Monday, October 31, 2011

My Portion

"Oh, hold on," I said to my sister. She paused in her sentence and I could hear her respond to her children on the other end of the phone. "I just need to take a picture of this quick. The sun, the door..."

"Yes!" she said, knowing that our conversations have permission to be interrupted by pink sunrises and fall wreaths. We are hunters of beauty, she and I, and it's early morning conversations like these that remind us to be diligent. We remind eachother of grace, of the Gospel, of faithfulness and the power of trusting in the Lord. I need to say just a few words to her and she knows all the undercurrent and everything I'm not saying. Sisters are good for that.

This morning it was pink skies, coffee beans, pumpkin smoothie, and her sweet voice to keep me company for 45 minutes. Mornings like these should happen more often and "Isn't the morning the most beautiful?" I say to her. She concurs. Sometimes I look around my home and I'm thankful that I am surrounding myself with things I love. Colored glass. Mason jars. Knit-wrapped candles. There's not a whole lot I can control about life. But I can make this home a place where I find things to be beautiful, greeting me at dawn through windows and on shelves.

William Morris (an artist and writer from the 1800s) said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." This is the gift of a homemaker, I believe. And I'm thankful for it.

Yesterday, I did what I don't do often but should do more. My (amazing) babysitter played and rested in my home while I gave myself a night off. No laptop. No to-do list. Just some hours spent on non-kid things.

Like reading more than two pages in a book.
Vanilla soy lattes. (Be still my heart.)
Sitting in a movie theater to see a movie that doesn't have any cartoon characters
or songs about how to brush your teeth.
Having a conversation that rabbit trails and wanders in a city sandwich shop at 10:30 p.m. Some people have a way of catching me when my thoughts are spilling and not consistent, and I feel like it's a stroke of luck, serendipity or grace that this one, across the table from me, only smiles, listens, responds and lets the rabbit trail wander where it wills.
The company of friends I find to be so authentically good, I am caught off guard by it.
Because it's not about the words, or the points we're trying to make. When we can all ask big questions, and discuss it, and land in a place of, "I have no idea..."
...that's when you know you're in good company.

Nights off are good. But these are the days that are given to me. Soggy cereal sitting in bowls for hours. Puzzle pieces underfoot and in laundry baskets. Long work hours, balancing schedules, spinning plates. This is my portion and He has called it good. I don't really understand it, but it's not about me understanding it anyway.

So I say, give to me fields of golden brown and dying reds.
Muddy boots and pigtails. Sweet apples and sailors on playground ships. The smell of winter in the air. It's instinctive now — to gather, count, nestle in, light candles.

Give to me late nights with coffee and Abbott and Costello.
Friends and laughing, and a home that feels like home. People who sit across tables and listen, and talk, and laugh and give me the space to ramble. Friends who love my daughter without measure.

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." These broken stories, big questions, honest hearts, blocks of silence ... fill my home with them.


  1. Your words hit me right where I needed them, this morning. Straight into my heart, past all the grey and rain of this faraway place...right into my heart, where I am encouraged. Thank you.

    (And that William Morris quote is one of my fave. I did a little piece on it here:

  2. that encourages me. sometimes i write and wonder if it's just to fill the big, empty void... so i'm glad to know we shared in this together today. heading on over to your blog now.... :)

  3. This is SO beautiful!! Your writing reminds me of the last book I read, which was by Ann Voskamp, before the baby came and stole 3/4 of my brain. Now I can barely put a sentance together (no joke, my kids have started finishing my sentences for me because they're tied of me searching for words like cup and jacket) LOVED reading this post.

  4. Faith - thank you so much! That is a high compliment! Ann has a way with words and more so, I admire her heart as she chases gratitudes. Beautiful. AND I totally understand the baby-stealing-brain. I have a three year old and daily she has a way of making my mind feel completely empty and depleted ;) Thanks so much for stopping in!!

  5. This is sooooooo good. Love the quote. I shall have to put that up in my house as a reminder, especially during this season. Love it! Hope you're enjoying the cold, I mean cool autumn weather. The picture is gorgeous and your words are too.

    Peace to you.