Monday: I took my girls to our church's youth camp, dreaming about the next three days of doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. No one to taxi. No meals to cook. For the one meal my husband would be home, I planned to use a gift card.

Tuesday: A friend from the camp called and said Rebekah hurt her knee. At our visit to the emergency room, hurt was further defined: fractured tibial plateau.

Wednesday: My husband and I took Rebekah to an orthopaedic specialist. He looked at her x-ray and said, "This is serious." After consulting with another doctor, he informed us we would need to go to a children's hospital for further evaluation. Because her break is on the growth plate near the joint, they didn't feel qualified to help her.

Thursday: I picked up my other two girls at youth camp and tackled the huge laundry pile. In the evening, I noticed Rebekah's leg was considerably more swollen than it had been. And it was hot. I checked her temperature. Fever. Back to the emergency room for observation and eventually a shot to treat a potential blood clot, not to return home until 2:00 a.m.

Friday: Off to a children's hospital in another state, where Rebekah had an ultrasound and a CT scan. The doctor told us that Rebekah needs inpatient surgery.

Saturday: A day to catch up on everything that wasn't done all week, including cleaning and helping my oldest daughter with one last shopping trip before she leaves for college.

Sunday: Rest!

Tomorrow: We move our oldest to college. We find out when surgery will be scheduled.

Now do you understand why there are no new posts on this site?!
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one. Count your blessings;
See what God hath done.
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one. Count your many blessings; See what God hath done.
          (Chorus of "Count Your Blessings")

"I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth."
                                                                                                                        Psalm 34:1

On my third reading of Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts, I finally took her dare to record the blessings in my life. This week I reached 1,000. The simple act of writing down God's gifts helps me notice the small things, remember the big things, reflect on His kindness, and focus on gratefulness rather than complaining.

Here are 16 of the 1,000. If you want to see the full collection, you'll have to outlive me and come to my funeral. My journal will be displayed by my photos. : )

Ongoing opportunities for the girls to earn money
ew friends to pray for
ncouragement from a friend

he alto line to "Behold Our God"
Having a plan for supper before 4:00
pen windows
sing my whole board [in Scrabble] and getting a 50-point bonus
full pantry
ot running out of gas on the turnpike
ough rising

oing to the gym with Janessa
ce cream
resh chocolate chip flaxseed muffins for breakfast
he squeeze of trials which makes me exercise faith and cling to Christ
eeing the Holy Spirit's activity in a meeting with a friend

Onward to 2,000!
If you're anything like me, you're on the lookout for perfect people. Well, in your head you know there has been no one perfect but Jesus to walk this earth, but your heart tells you that some people, particularly women, get awfully close. You read their books, or hear them speak, or observe them from afar at church.  And what you see doesn't look anything at all like what you live.

Look at her. She glows when her husband speaks. With her children she is patient and creative. She is fashionable and beautiful and never seems to have a hair out of place. God has given her purpose, He's even given her a platform to share her wisdom, and she is serving Him with joy.

Then you look at yourself. You see the ring around the toilet. You remember wanting to ring your kid's neck this morning. Your head rings with more doubt and insecurities than you think you can bear. As you think of her, your head bows lower.

I don't know about you, but it's dangerous for me to read too many books or blogs because what begins as an attempt to collect ideas can end up throwing me into a pit of condemnation. Because I can't see the full picture of these women's lives, I assume they are doing everything (or nearly everything) right.  Me?  Not even close.

You've probably already figured it out, but Mrs. Perfect is not writing the posts on this site.  I have convictions and ideas to share--as do you--because God has been a faithful teacher He has generously given me gifts for the good of His people--as He has you. These convictions, ideas, and gifts are what ooze through each post. But if they show anything about me, it's only one-dimensional. They don't announce the other dimensions that are just as true--like that I'm hesitant to cook for people outside my family and that sometimes my kids are hesitant to eat what I cook, that I can't think fast, that I am ignorant about many things.

I still wrestle with insecurities. I hear the critic squawking in my head, telling me I can't. I write a post, only to wonder if I'm telling readers what they already know. I mean, if I know it, everyone else does, too, right? I grapple with the irony that I am a writing teacher who isn't much of a writer.

If this site encourages you to truly enjoy learning with your kids, I will be most happy. If, as more women stumble onto the posts here, a conversation develops and we can learn together as peers, I will be ecstatic. Never do I want you to leave this site feeling discouraged or condemned.

Our strengths and weaknesses are different, but we all have something in common: we need God to lead us to tomorrow and beyond, for without Him we can do nothing.

May God bless you as you follow Him.


From Mary DeMuth on Inferiority:

A blog is not a proper medium
For a heart splayed here
But I feel it still
This insidious beast
Strangling my voice
Stammering my speech
Holstering what little reserve left
And carelessly shooting my will to the stars


I see others superior
And me beneath them
So very very far below
A submarine me looks up
Through warbled waters
At their staid massiveness
Their casual assurance
Their wit and intelligence

You stoop, dear Lord, to earth
Not once
But twice (Click to tweet)
Once to fit my shoes to your sacred feet
Twice to lift me from the dust
And set my feet on a rock
The kind of rock making
Us all the same

So when I cower beneath
Another’s magnificence
I’m forgetting the stoop,
The shoes,
The lifting,
The rock my toes wiggle upon
And I’m forgetting all You’ve done
To set me free
From my own insecurity
And the tyranny of others’ betterness.

Forgive me.
Yes, forgive me.

The house is empty of everyone but me. My husband is in Virginia for work; my girls are on a mission trip to Boston.

So little time, so much to do before they return.

I helped friends in the morning and afternoon. In between I wanted to visit two libraries. On my way to the first one, I too-late-to-do-anything-about-it zipped past a police officer. A glance at my rearview mirror confirmed what I assumed: he pulled out behind me with his lights on.

When I imagined this moment countless times before, I thought I would tremble and cry. I didn't. I slowed to the side of the road, opened my window, and reached for my license. Calm and cool.  Oh yeah, and I whispered, "Please, God, help him to be merciful."

The police officer approached my van, my hand already poised out  the window with my ID. I said sheepishly, "This is the first time I've ever been pulled over."

He needed to know that. I've been driving for thirty years, after all.

He took my license and addressed me sternly: "In the winter, the speed limit through here is 25. In the summer, it is 15.  You were going 43. Whatever season it is, 43 is way too fast. You know why it's 15 in the summer, right?"

Yes, I know. A park is on the right side of the road, a public pool on the left.  "Children," I replied.

He continued: "Because it's your first time to be pulled over, I am going to give you a verbal warning--not even a written warning--but you need to slow down.  Have a good day." 

Thank you, Mr. Police Officer, for showing me mercy today. You saved me time and money and kept my record clean. I'll try to remember not to forget to drive slower next time. If not, at least I'll remember I was warned.