Dashboard Jesus

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We were the silliest of girls.

We rode around our neighborhood on ten-speed bikes belting out The Song that Never Ends, stopping to scoop up dead critters from the side of the road and burying them in the “cemetery” at the edge of the woods behind my parents’ house. We’d mark the resting place of squashed squirrels and flattened frogs with cinder blocks scrawled with our own Sharpie blessings. Continue reading

On What’s Real

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As I pushed my three-year-old son’s dresser drawer to a close, the framed army photograph of my grandfather tipped over and landed face-down with a thump.

I propped it back up, blew a piece of dust from the glass, and said, “Sorry, Papa.”

Miles looked for a few long seconds at the 1940s photo — the perfect wave of my grandfather’s hair, his tan army-issue shirt, the eyes that were even bluer in real life than in that colorized photograph.

“Is he still real?” Miles asked.

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Bad Dreams, Bean Bags, and How We (Like-It-or-Not) Became a Co-Sleeping Family

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My five-year-old son is going through a tough phase of intense fears, especially at nighttime. For the past two months, he has been coming into our bedroom at least three times a night, sometimes as many as ten, saying he had a nightmare. Most of the time, we don’t think he has even been to sleep yet, so by “nightmare” he means scary thoughts.

The phase has been hard on all of us. Anyone who has had a newborn baby who doesn’t sleep through the night can relate to the difficulty of functioning in a sleep-deprived state. My husband is transitioning into a new career, so he has had a lot of studying to do while still working his full-time job. I’m working two part-time jobs and homeschooling our three boys, so the days require a lot of planning, focus, and energy.

Needless to say, we’ve been drinking a lot of coffee. Continue reading

The Mornings We Make

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There was a time in our lives when mornings began with our three sons in front of the television.

They’re up early, always before six, and my husband and I prefer to wake slowly (for the first hour anyway). Turning on the TV resulted in kids sitting quietly while Chad and I sipped coffee and talked to one another about the things we were reading and thinking and planning.
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At one point, I questioned the morning TV habit. The kids were always grumpy and whiny when it came time to turn it off and get ready for school or church. It seemed like that hour of television cast a shadow over our mornings.

What would happen, I wondered, if the screen remained black?

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Cheater Chicken Curry: Gluten-Free and Paleo-Friendly

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This dish was a happy accident on a what-in-the-world-are-we-having-for-dinner-tonight day this week. Our plans with extended family fell through and I had zero time to hit a grocery store, so I rummaged through the freezer, grabbing some chicken breasts and mango chunks, and a lonely jar of salsa in the Lazy Susan. I threw it all in the slow cooker and hoped for the best. Continue reading

The Best Kind of Honking: On Girlfriends and Geese

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The last few weeks have been pretty intense for our family.

My husband is transitioning from one career to another, so we’re in that place where it sort of feels like he’s working two jobs.

I am homeschooling our three boys and working two new part-time gigs as a kitchen teacher at our homeschool partnership and a preschool specialist at our library.

We’re feeling the pressure of projects that need completion before the snow flies. Chad and our neighbor spent hours building a new railing along our front steps so we have something firm to hold onto in the icy months ahead. We have squash and carrots to harvest and tilling to complete in the garden and we probably oughtta make room in the garage to actually park our cars in there? Continue reading

Busy Heart

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Take your busy heart to the art museum and the

chamber of commerce

but take it also to the forest.

The song you heard singing in the leaf when you

were a child

is singing still.

-From “What Can I Say” by Mary Oliver

 

This evening, at what should have been supper time, I felt called down to the river.

I stifled the urge for a few minutes, knowing there was laundry to be folded, lunch dishes piled beside the sink, books scattered across the dining room table from the day’s lessons.

But the murmur of the river is persistent. It drowns out the beep of the answering machine and the swoosh of the washing machine and the buzz of the neighbor’s weed whacker.

Continue reading

A Mama’s Promise to Parents of Little Ones

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Something big happened last Sunday.

 I was upstairs getting ready for church, hustling (and sweating) like always, knowing I had the solo job of getting myself and three young boys dressed (Where are your church shorts?) and presentable to the public (Whoa, let’s clip those eagle talons!) and making it to church on time to get them settled into kids’ class so I could lead my women’s group.

When I came downstairs after blow-drying my hair, I nearly fainted.

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*Featured image by Amy Vivio photography


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Stacy

 

Darndest Things: Issue Seven

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Happy Friday, Friends! Start your weekend off right with a few laughs from these little ones…

Recently, I came home from the gym, and my three-year-old approached me, asking, “Can you talk like Yoda now, Mommy?”

Wondering if I’d understood him, I repeated, “Talk like Yoda?”

“Yeah! You were at ‘Yoda class,’” he answered, pointing to the rolled-up yoga mat hanging from my shoulder. “Can you talk like Yoda now?”

Continue reading