Striving to live life faithfully. From self involved artist focusing on everything but GOD to the opposite in a decade. Catholic, wife, mom to 7 sons, & writer.

I used to think in my early twenties that I would either make a go of the world, let go of my black and white, good vs. bad thinking, get elbow deep into the muck of the world, or move to Vermont... read more here

Little Spiders and Paying a Call…

It is spring and our kids schedules seem to be in overdrive.  I can’t even think more than 7 days into our calendar without feeling anxiety, so for better or worse, I am just going day to day to day and moment to moment.

Even within all this busy Jesus has been calling me.  Passing our church after dropping a couple of sons off at track practice, I feel it, a little nudge that could so easily be brushed aside.  Without thinking too hard I put on the directional and park.  I try the little side door of our church and expect it to be locked, but instead it eases breezily open and I go in and sit with him.

Our tabernacle is in a little room/chapel off the side of the main church. The front of the tabernacle has a design of loaves of bread in a basket with two fishes set in relief and it has a keyed lock where the door opens to place the Eucharist in.  There is a wooden kneeler placed in front of the tabernacle for people to kneel at and pray, that’s my spot.

I’m not sure how it got past me, but as a child and young adult I really never understood that Catholics actually and truly believed that Jesus was made present in that little wafer of flat bread (passover bread) when it is consecrated during the Mass.  It wasn’t till son number one was making his First Communion and I attended an information night that it smacked me in the face.  The Director of Religious Education said unwaveringly that the Eucharist was Jesus, no longer just a piece of bread and certainly not just a symbol.  I remember feeling taken aback and yes even thought she was a bit foolish and naive saying/believing something like that.

That was 7 years ago now… and here I am stopping by for a chat with Jesus in that little wafer…

…AND writing about it.

A couple of times a week 3 year old ~G. gets services (speech, OT, PT) at our elementary school.  He’s only there for about 45 minutes, so I usually just take a walk with ~P in his stroller during that time.  This week though, I’ve been hearing the call and head down the street to our church instead.  I leave the stroller by the door, put 18 month old ~P in a back pack carrier and head in.  I kneel and pray/chat/thank and ~P babbles on my back.  It’s nice.

Light streams in across the floor in front of the tabernacle through a green window. Today I am watching the light as it brightens and darkens with the ebb and flow of the clouds.  It is like a heart beat.  I pour out my prayers to my God.  I talk to him about the things weighing on my heart and pray for the wellness of people I know who are sick or struggling, for peace in their storms, thanksgiving for blessings, help with my mothering, and on.  It’s all very informal, just talking, what comes to mind.

As I stare at the rug and the beautiful light, I see a very clear dark spot.  I think at first that maybe there is something on my glasses.  Then I realize what it is.  It is  on the edge of the hand rest of the wooden kneeler.  It is a very small spider.

Ha, I think, how funny.

Then Jesus in his very Jesus-ee way makes the connection for me.  It’s not just a very small spider, it’s an “Itsy- Bitsy- Spider”.

And cue the song in my head…

The spider goes up the water spout, the rain washes him out, the sun dries up all the rain, and there goes the spider climbing up again.  And as I sing the song in my head, I watch this tiny spider in real life HD climb this invisible string right before my eyes, before Jesus.  It climbs and climbs, it’s teeny tiny legs, sure and certain.  And my God speaks to me in the language of my current life with little ones.

Yes the rain is going to come, and yes it will feel like it has washed you away, but I will always be here to dry you off and give you strength to climb again.

Love to you all from the often sopping wet trenches,




We are Easter People.

We are Easter People.

We have just arrived home from our Easter celebration in Massachusetts with my family.  The boys are all neatly tucked into bed and Kevin is out harvesting sap from our maple trees as our buckets are overflowing from two days of sap runs in our absence.

Lent ended last week.  It is that time of preparation for our hearts where we either give up the things that are keeping us from getting closer to God or we take on things that will help us grow closer to him.  I chose to get out for a walk each day and be kinder to my husband.  The first gave me precious time for my soul so I could be more successful with the 2nd.  I hope to continue with both far beyond Lent.

You could feel the tensions build in the readings this Holy Week.  There was Palm Sunday when Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem as a king (shortly after raising Lazarus a good friend of his from the dead), to the lead up to Holy Thursday where Jesus celebrates the Last Supper with his apostles which ends with one of them turning him over to the authorities.  Then his apostles all flee in fear as Jesus is tortured and humiliated, and on Good Friday Jesus is horrifically crucified on a cross.

Holy Saturday is spent in stunned silence as his followers hide in fear and mourn the death of their hope, and then today…  some of his followers go to his tomb to pray and find it empty.  What has happened?  Where did he go?  Was he stolen?  Those questions are not immediately answered, not until later in the day and then over the next 40 days as Jesus appears to his followers over and over again and the truth is unmistakable.  He Is Risen.

Paper mache' and grass recreation of Jesus' tomb the boys and I put together this past week. We tried to improve upon our previous tomb and make it more travelable.

Paper mache’ and grass recreation of Jesus’ tomb the boys and I put together this past week. We tried to improve upon our previous tomb and make it more travelable.


How often are we in stunned silence in the moment?  Disoriented, fearful?  Just like the apostles on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  They couldn’t make sense of what was going on.  He was supposed to be their king, to lead them to freedom.

I see a lot of myself in the apostles.  I often say in my heart “Jesus l give you all of me, do with me what you want.” and I mean it when I say it, but then things get tough and I am disoriented in my heart and end up saying to him “Oh, no you didn’t mean THAT though did you? That is too hard!”.

How could Jesus’ brutal humiliation on the cross or my –fill in the blank with any thing I don’t want to do– be part of the PLAN???

It’s not supposed to be easy, this life.  If it doesn’t make us cringe a little, if we aren’t giving up something, then we cannot be transformed.  Jesus knew this so well.  He gave us his all to free us from the parts of ourselves that we tend to cling to, the parts he sees keeping us back.

Jesus sees how very beautiful we are.  He can look beyond all our little and big sins to our potential.  The potential each and every one of us has.  He’s got a plan that he revises each moment of our lives.  We can help him complete it if we decide to look to him and listen.  To listen even when it means carrying his cross for a mile or two or three…

Pouring sap into holding containers.

Pouring sap into holding containers.


…We thought this sugaring season was a bust a few weeks ago.  With no snow on the ground to keep our perishable sap from spoiling we have to boil each run of sap as it comes in.  That was ok when we were thinking it was a short season and the warm weather would make the buds on the trees open and it would be over soon as the sap wouldn’t be good for sugaring anymore.  Then you just pull the taps out of the trees, wash out and put away the containers, lines, and pans.

Well that hasn’t been the story.  So far we’ve made 7 gallons of syrup from about 280 gallons of sap.  It has been our biggest yield since we’ve been sugaring.  That has meant some long nights in the sugar shack, a whole lot of persistence, and even a little faith.

Sugaring seasons on average are about 4 weeks long and by the end we are often tired and yes we have been known to waste some sap instead of boil it at the end because we just felt spent.

So far we are keeping on keeping on.  We’ll see how the season turns out and if we boil every last drop of sap (you know we’ll kick ourselves in the summer if we don’t do it now when the getting is good).

I know making maple syrup for 4 weeks is hardly a great cross to carry, but it is where our family is at right in this very moment, THIS Easter.

Steam rising out of our sugar shack.

Steam rising out of our sugar shack.


Leaning into the collecting, the boiling, the feeding the fire, the waiting, all while carrying on with all the other aspects of our busy lives…  Four weeks of persistence rewarded with gallons and gallons of sweetness.

Who doesn’t want gallons and gallons of sweetness?

We are ALL Easter people, we are made truly alive by the challenges we face.  I don’t know about you, but I want to see what plan Jesus has for me and the goodness that I can’t even comprehend.  Oh God give me faith and persistence and yes, gallons and gallons of sweetness!!

Happy Easter Everyone!!

HE IS RISEN, Alleluia, Alleluia!!



That Sweet Vermont Season

That Sweet Vermont Season

We’ve been prepping all week for a run.  Those cold nights and warm days that wake the sleeping sap from roots to limbs.  Drilling holes, tapping trees, cleaning out holding barrels.  Today was the day, the sap ran and ran.  It’s been 8 years of Sugaring seasons for me now. I’ve been going through myContinue Reading

Obladi Olbada Mr. G Turns Three!

Obladi Olbada Mr. G Turns Three!

Tumbling around on the floor this morning enjoying life and one another, I’m like a mother lion with her cubs.  ~G and ~P jockey for space on my tummy for bounces and snuggles.  “Ob-la-di ob-la-da life goes on bra” sings out from my Pandora “Raffi” station and I can’t help but think: “It sure does…”Continue Reading

Play dough and Being Made

Play dough and Being Made

There are just two of us today in our twelve passenger van making the 5 minute drive to preschool.  At 8:20am it is already a day busy with an agenda ready to sweep me away.  Hidden two rows back safely buckled into his car seat I hear my 4 year old ask in a wayContinue Reading

7 Quick Takes:  It’s Autumn in Vermont Edition

7 Quick Takes: It’s Autumn in Vermont Edition

Here’s my 7 Quick Takes on what’s been going on around here lately… 1 — Fall kind of slid right by no matter how hard I pulled at it’s coat tails begging it to stay!  I did manage to take a few photos before the splendor fades into the winter…     2 — ~PContinue Reading

Walking On Water

I wrote this post around this time last year and never posted it, I found it today and it seems so appropriate to my “right now”, that I thought I would finally share it in case it resonates with anyone else. It dawned on me tonight what Peter actually did on that boat when he focusedContinue Reading

Learning to Fly…

Learning to Fly…

One of my sons asked me a few years ago what would I choose (if I had the opportunity to be gifted with a super power) Flying or Invisibility?  Without thinking I immediately chose flying.  The son who asked me chose invisibility and went on to state his elaborate case for his choice.  But hisContinue Reading

When Life Gives You Currants…

When Life Gives You Currants…

These are the July weeks when our currant bushes strain with fruit begging to be picked.  Kevin planted them 6 years ago at a time when I hardly knew what a currant was.  We have red currants which are tart and about the size of a medium small blueberry and we have black currants thatContinue Reading

Hidden Shoes and Lego’s Up the Nose…

Hidden Shoes and Lego’s Up the Nose…

Last summer I spent weeks researching and designing an entryway storage system / mud room that would work for our family of 9.  We had fast outgrown the set of hooks we had been using and had nothing in the way of shoe and boot storage.  Basically we piled all of our shoes by theContinue Reading

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