Tuesday, January 31, 2012


We made the choice to move from Arizona to Iowa for many reasons.  The choice to come back was made perhaps for even more reasons.

When we left for Iowa in 2005, I was sick of the desert, the lack of seasons, the 'brown'.

We returned home in 2011 and it's true that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Driving over the border from Colorado and into Arizona, the scenery was flat, brown and sandy but my heart swelled with joy and we are blessed to be living in a house near the neighborhood I grew up in where there are more mature trees than the newer developments in Arizona.

But even the expanse of desert no longer bothers my aesthetic senses.  In fact, up in north Scottsdale, one early morning, the sun still not shining her fullest, I felt the desert quite beautiful and peaceful. This appreciation has grown within me.

Perhaps because Iowa was my metaphorical desert, the true desert I grew up in now appears as an oasis. It's funny what the mind can do.  Iowa had some simple beauty but my heart belongs to Arizona.  I'm a desert girl who needs the sun over snow, city lights rather than corn fields and I'll take our citrus and palm trees even over the majestic oak if it means warmth instead of cold.

You actually can go home.

Image courtesy of

Write On Wednesdays

Monday, January 30, 2012


A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Here are just a few:

Arizona.  Since we've moved home, I've repeatedly given thanks that we were able to return.  This beautiful January weather, makes me grateful that Arizona exists!

The support I've found during difficult times.

God's promise to be my strength.


Women who reach out to other women

Reminders that gratitude is key.

"Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God."  Psalm 42:11 NASB

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm okay with that

"The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages." - Virginia Woolf

House cleaners came yesterday. Only because we rent and the owners are coming today.  And my housekeeping skills lack a bit.

I'm a stay at home mom. I home school.  But Molly Homemaker I am not.  And I was so grateful that we were able to hire these women for this one day but as soon as they arrived, the tapes started playing.  Those tapes saying that I'm not good enough. That there's no reason I should hire help when I'm a stay at home mom. That the house cleaners were judging me because the kid's rooms were so messy.  And on and on and on. And I had the yuckiest feeling. Until I got mad.  And told the voices to shut up.  But it bothered me enough to prompt me to come here today and write it out.  My indignation.

Indignation at the pressure that I've felt to be superwoman.  

The myth of superwoman has hung on long after the media stopped airing fantasy-based commercials about working women's lives: Here she comes, home from the office after 12 hours of high-powered negotiations in the executive suite. Her designer suit is still fresh and unwrinkled, her face radiant and unlined as she opens her arms to greet her two adorable children—and sends a seductive glance toward her handsome husband, beaming proudly in the background. Watch her as, with one smooth motion, she slips off her jacket and into a dainty apron as she glides toward the spotless kitchen to create a three-course meal for her beloved family. After dinner she will check the children's French homework and read them a chapter of Jane Eyre before tucking the little cherubs into bed. While her husband watches the late-night news, she will disappear into the den to make an overseas call that will clinch a multinational deal for her company.
-Deborah J. Swiss

Yes, I'm a stay at home mom.  Yes, I home school. No, I do not love to cook and clean. (Gasp).  Now, I do those things. Because I feel that it creates a healthy and loving environment for my family. I believe that as a stay-at-home mom, my job is to keep the house up.  But....

First, I am a child of God.  Then, I am a wife and mother.  Then, I am a daughter, a writer, a student, an artist, any number of things.  And I got to thinking in that discomfort yesterday.  If I simply woke up every day, taught the children and then cleaned until bedtime....wouldn't that constitute as a waste of my talents?  

If we confine ourselves to one life role, no matter how pleasant it seems at first, we starve emotionally and psychologically. We need a change and balance in our daily lives. We need sometimes to dress up and sometimes to lie around in torn jeans. . . . Even a grimy factory can afford some relief from a grimy kitchen and vice versa.” – Faye J. Crosby

I think it would.  So, I gave myself a break.  And I'm going to continue to do so.  Because we don't live in a pig sty.  It's just that when I clean, things don't look quite so shiny.  I don't fold the toilet paper into a little triangle. There are streaks on my windows after I clean them. And yeah, it had been a while since I'd cleaned the ceiling fans.  I came to the conclusion that housecleaning is an art.  No, I don't want to learn it.  But I appreciate it as such, and so every once in a while, I'm willing to pay for it.  And, this is not a sin.  It doesn't make me a bad mother, or a bad wife or a hypocrite.  It just makes me a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, with an averagely cleaned house most of the time.  I'm okay with that.  

And just as an end note.  The kids promptly did their best to destroy the place, moments after the house cleaners left.  I think the super clean made them nervous. 

submitting at A Pause on the Path

Sunday, January 22, 2012

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.-Anne Bradstreet

submitting at PhotoSunday

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Exploring the world

"Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them."- The Audubon Nature Preschool

submission at shadow shot sunday

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quiet my mind

This hits me right where I need it today.  As I took my quiet half hour, and my mind spun, I spun gratitude and pleas to bring me back to His presence.

And I don't know when I became so anxious.  I don't know when relaxing became so impossible. When did I start adding a million rules and regulations to my already busy days?

I felt God saying, 'You keep my commandments, so why are you adding to the list? "

I don't know.  But I know it makes me miserable.  And uptight and high strung.

Young continues, "Though many people think that beginning the day with Me is sufficient, they frequently go off course unless they continue seeking Me throughout their waking hours," reminding me how true this is.

Lord, quiet my mind today.  Allow me to relax in You, trusting You with my tomorrows and with the next hour.  Remind me that I am small.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I am one of those people who has wondered if I should blog since the day I started blogging.

And now, in the new year, I am maybe more unsure than I've ever been.

My life circumstances have changed and though I walk in grace, I don't feel entirely sure that this grace will flow from my fingertips quite as well during this season....if that makes sense.  Because though there is the light, there are more moments of darkness that I deal with on a daily basis now. And I'm afraid that might bleed out.

So, I am in a waiting period.  On a lot of issues.  And I am focusing on one day at a time.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I can easily forget all this.  That God created this job for me on purpose....and that He will give me the ability and the strength to do it welll. 

submitting at JumpingTandem

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Ideas in a New Year

Open my mind to new ideas.

Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

Happy New Year!

I woke this morning, so happy to see the sunlight streaming into my bedroom.  Sunny and warm in January; is there a better way to start a new year?   I have to say, that I'm glad to say goodbye to 2011 although it brought me home. 

Here's to new beginnings.