Tag Archives: relax


Sometimes hospitality looks like, “If you’re willing, we’re willing.”

It looked like that wedding weekend at our house when my son’s girlfriend spent the night with us. It looked like that getting ready for the newlyweds to spend a weekend here watching the little sibbies. It looks like that whenever my son gets a weekend off to come home.

I struggle with hospitality. Having people into my home does not come easily or naturally, and it has only been recently that I have even felt comfortable there myself.

It’s hard for me to believe that people would want to be here. Add to that the stress of a mess and crowded quarters, and it becomes pretty difficult for me to imagine having house guests, let alone doing it.

And yet . . .

We have had many house guests over the years. I’m sure of it. There have been seasons of graciousness and seasons of grace. We are in one of grace, these days.

These days, hospitality looks like clean sheets and towels with a package of cleaning wipes on top just in case.


Of course I dream of gracious guest rooms and cozy quarters and scrumptious breakfasts, and that may happen one day. For now, though, if you’re willing, we’re willing, will have to do.

And that’s okay. So, Come on over!

If you’re willing, we’re willing.

Hello, June!

You have arrived, bringing with you pause from the school year and wedding planning and preparation for summer and all that it holds.

I hope to enjoy you, and the moments you bring.

I tend to stress out.

You bring my birthday, and that of Little Mae.

Preparation for camp.

Stephen Ministry teaching, recruiting, and leadership preparation.

Catching up on things around the house.

Revamping the porch.

Caring for my children.

Scheduling appointments.



The resting is the hard part. There will always be more doing.

I begin this month curious as to where it will take me and what I will learn from it. Feel free to join me and to share where you are and what you are learning, as well. Life is a journey, Friends. Let’s try to enjoy it!

Grace Enough

I am wrestling the notion of good enough these days. I’m taking measurements, self-assessments, and coming up short. I’m feeling the failure. Inadequacy.

Contempt seeps into my brain, whispering accusations and reminding me of where I lack. I see it everywhere. Even though . . .

Even though I have worked hard this year at my job as teacher and working mother.

Even though I have loved my husband, children, students, co-workers in the midst of my struggles.

Even though I have learned much about flexibility and taking one day at a time.

Even though I have walked through a school year not knowing at the beginning that a wedding was awaiting me on the other side. Would I have taken that first step had I known?

I can still see so many shortcomings.

I’m NOT good enough. 

That’s why there is grace enough.

There has been an abundance of grace, and today’s was no exception.

Inspired by my homeschool-mama friend, Davene, I planned a field trip to the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace in Staunton. The planning began weeks ago, and today was the day of the trip. I was feeling woefully inadequate.

Had I prepared my students well for the experience? Would they learn from it? Would it count in their minds as something fun while at the same time holding lasting educational value?

As we sat in the parlor of the manse, not touching, only listening, and our guide explained the serious nature of the parlor and the importance of the family Bible, I was reminded of yesterday’s conclusion of Caddie Woodlawn

One of my favorite childhood books, I had chosen to read it to the class, and yesterday we finished the last two chapters. Not wanting to be a spoiler, I will simply say that Father received an important letter from England and called Mother to the parlor where they shut the door to discuss its contents. Later, a family vote was taken on a serious matter with each member casting their ballot in the family Bible.

I hadn’t set an agenda in the timing of the chapter, yet it fit perfectly with our experience.

Later, when asked questions about Woodrow Wilson, my students knew answers due to a crash course we had that morning and on the way riding on the bus. I brought some books along, and we discussed some random facts, and I let students read the books, or be read to, if they wanted something to do.

I hadn’t planned out a big unit, but the time spent riding the bus was productive.

It was grace enough.

This is what I need to remember. There is grace enough for each day, and when I recognize it, it’s breathtaking. And I can breathe.

Coffee Corner

Favorite Place

It’s my favorite place, my Pinterest corner. The place where, my eldest points out, I can take a picture and make it look like life is perfect.

Coffee with my love. Drinking from our fall mugs. Knowing that whatever this year brings, we will face it together, like we have for the past 21.

Pinterest Corner

It seems I am not the only one who finds refuge and creative energy here.

Where is your favorite place for creating heart space?


Weekend Walk

One thing that I love about living close to downtown is that there are so many great places within walking distance.

After a lazy morning of sleeping in until 7:15, my man and I woke and had coffee, then decided to take a walk alone (courtesy of an adult child who is home for the weekend and agreed to supervise littles during their episode pick) to such a spot.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen  was this morning’s destination. It’s where all sorts of deliciousness is prepared.

My luvvah went in to select treats, while I sat outside on a stone wall gazing at a stone fountain and grabbing some solitude. It’s hard to come by these days.

The walk home found me agitated and restless, actually dreading returning. I wanted to just walk and walk and walk and maybe even run and not look back, but alas, that is not a choice right now.

My insightful partner helped me process those feelings and longings and got the plates and fresh mugs of coffee while I sat in silence on the porch.

Then we shared the entire box of goodness.



I am learning to relax and enjoy the weekend, and, yes, it is something some people have to learn. I am grateful for such a patient partner and teacher.

My Sweet Grace on Labor Day

There’s more to the Labor Day story.

Steve and I were in the kitchen cleaning up. He was cleaning up, at least. I was hanging out.

His phone dink-a-doo’d a text announcement. I see that it is our (female) friend, M.

Why is M texting you? I ask.

He has no idea, reads it, then reads it to me.  “Want me to pick you up at 1:00 for some me and you time at my niece’s pool?”

Immediately we know that she has mixed up our numbers which are only one off. We laugh, and I tell him to respond, and he does.

 “I don’t think Julie would appreciate that, though I’m flattered!” 

My phone then lights up, and my friend and I make plans for an afternoon together at the pool where we swim and relax and talk and bake in the sun.

What sweet, hilarious, Labor Day grace.

Do You Haiku?


Did you figure out
that I was on vacation
and mixing it up?

Writing in Haiku
just because I wanted to
do something different?

It’s been a fun week
full of the usual stress
that vacation brings.

But I got to go
and spend time with my family
on familiar turf.




Mommy Muscle Monday ~ Letting Go

Mommy Muscle Monday

Mommy Muscle Monday

This week my letting go muscle will be working overtime as I travel away from home, leaving things to run without me. You know they can, right? I don’t always believe it, though.

Things around here will run just fine without me. Sometimes better. Or I should say differently.

Different is okay. It doesn’t mean better. Or worse. Just. Different.

I don’t have a link to insert here to take you to the ten steps to getting your home to run without you so that you can travel out of town. I have this, though. It’s a gift, really, being loved so well through my broken places.

Because letting go is one of those places. I struggle with defensiveness and with feeling undeserving. I struggle with expectations and shoulds placed on me by none other than…myself! I struggle to let go and have fun. If this trip were for tragedy rather than pleasure, it would be easy.

I will. Let go. I will trust that I can live in the moment and enjoy my time away with sisters and mom.

That is a gift.

Now I’m off to finish the ironing and prepare freezer meals…(juuuuust kidding!).