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Showing posts from November, 2018

Collecting Coins in my Bank

Naming blessings out loud to people who ask me how I am, or writing them down in my journal, or thinking them in my head as is often the case because my hands are busy and the children can't seem to listen for more than a moment to the sweet things I want to share and by the time Philip comes home, I haven't the stamina or words to express them, is a form of depositing coins into my bank account of contentment. Or perhaps it is a bank account of discerning reality or accurately totaling the day's balance. Each moment or beauty or funny thing the children say acts as a clinking coin, and as I collect, my bank grows heavy. I am saving up for those days when I must break the bank open because the children have rolled on the couch with dusty clothes or because our rabbit dies or because the church service was a bore or because I contracted pink eye from the kids or because Benny's oversized head concerns the doctors or because our grandparents will one day pass away or b

Psalm 66: Thanksgiving for the Past Season

For the internet readers. A blog. A celebration. 1 Shout for joy to God, all the Stevens! 2 Sing the proofs of his faithfulness for the last few months;     make his praise as loud as our neighbor's garage band. 3 Say to God, “How awesome are your plans!     So great is your arranging of a nanny for us,     and now the marriage of Katie and Alec. 4 All the earth bows down to God;     they sing praise to you for the friendships made,     they sing praises for the new marriage beginning.” 5 Come and see what God has done,     his awesome deeds for our family! 6 He turned my postpartum weeks into rest,     I passed through the turmoil with help—     come, let us rejoice for the months that Katie dwelt here! 7 She loved our children through your great love,     her eyes watched over the household affairs—     let not this desperate mother forget your faithfulness. 8 Praise our God, all peoples,     let the words of his praise be read in other count

Psalm 4: A Mother's Lament of Her Home

For the internet world. To the Kitty Piano accompaniment. A Psalm of Abigail 1   Answer me when I call to you,        my righteous God.      Give me relief from my distress;         have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2    How long will my children turn my home into a pigsty?         How long will they abuse the furniture and leave honey drips on the floor? 3    Know that the Lord has set me apart as his faithful servant not theirs         the Lord knows about every fingerprint on the walls. 4    Tidy up and do not sin;          if you have a moment in bed,          search your hearts and be content. 5    Offer thanks for the unbroken dishes          and trust in the Lord. 6    Many, Lord, are asking, "Who will bring us a new sofa?"          Let me acknowledge the places to sit with you among us. 7    Fill my heart with joy          when their laughter and new games cause wear and tear. 8    In peace I will lie down and sleep a few hours,          for

Why People Drain Me

I've heard that introverts are people who prefer solitude, that they're energized by being alone and that they tend to focus on internal feelings as opposed to external stimulation. I've always thought myself an introvert, but I'm not so sure any more. Here's why. I've noticed that certain people rapidly drain me of energy, such as small children, strangers, complainers, sulky teens, big groups, long-winded talkers, and reserved types. After an extended period of time with these people, I'm ready to be alone for a few hours. However, other kinds of people energize me. Some of my energizing people are introverts. Some are extroverts. Some are shy. Others are more talkative. After having coffee with these people, I'm full of new ideas about life and parenting and the world. Do you see my dilemma? I don't necessarily prefer solitude over being with people. I prefer solitude to being with draining people. And I prefer being with energizing people o

Comstock Chronicles: Farewell to the Rabbit

In the mornings when I throw open our bedroom curtains, I see our rabbit hunched down on the cement pad beneath our avocado tree. She stares at me out of one glassy eye and sometimes rises up on her hind legs at movement from inside. We’ve given up trying to chase her into her hutch at night; she's become too evasive. In fact, if she hears the screen door clatter open while she's nibbling grass pellets in her hutch, she’ll spring out so we can't trap her inside. Phil, pitying her joints, has put a ramp up to her door so that she doesn't have to leap the three feet to the ground. Now we stand over the Amazon box with the labels still affixed to the sides.  I’ve set the box in a hole I dug in our garden, and the children and I squat around it.  “Now you’ll have to tell us the last Bigwig story,” Rose says as she and Lee stroke the rabbit's soft fur.  I respond with some sort of agreement. I’ve made our rabbit more clever than an ordinary scrub-and-sag