Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday in a Nut-Shell, only Bigger

Our morning started off in its usual way, except I decided on a lark to spray on some perfume, and we had a meeting with LaCasa, the organization we'll be working with when we move to Goshen next Spring. I packed paper and crayons for the two Wilds and sprung surprise pieces of gum on them at the very last second. It mostly worked.

This move we're making feels complicated because it is complicated. It's also really simple. But here's the main thing you should know: We want to do this. We are excited. I am fighting daily with impatience, because if this was up to me, we'd go tomorrow. (You might recall how (not) good I am at waiting...) I've gotten several emails and comments lately asking me why we're doing this since it's obvious that I "don't want to". I feel bad if I've given that impression.

It's important to me to be honest in all of the upside-down and sideways feelings that I have about the whole thing. It changes by the hour. It is scary sometimes and it feels too far away. Other times, it's too close for comfort. It's almost impossible to wrap my brain around what it will be like to be there, because it's so, so different from here. In the end, we like this ride we're on. We like knowing that we don't hold the keys. We're amazed by the way Jesus has held our sweaty palms every step of the way. Pretty soon, I'll tell you the whole story. (It's kinda long.)

I used to believe that fear = doubt and doubt = don't. I don't believe that any more. I think we risk dying a slow, insulated death of mediocrity and foolishness if we run from everything we fear. I've no reason to stalk God when life is lived tucked into my comfort zone.

Of course not everyone is called to do what we are doing, but I know everyone's called to something. And my gut tells me that God often calls us to risky places; not necessarily risky in terms of imminent danger, but risky in that it's outside our norm. Risky as in the very thought gives us butterflies and births within us the deep desire to go hide under our beds like we did when we were six.

Okay, that was more than I really intended to say tonight. But now it's in print, so it must be true: I want to move. I might tell you eighty more times over the next seven months that I am scared or nervous or uncertain. Maybe whenever I say those things, I'll link back to this post, to remind us all of the simple facts. :)

After our meeting, the rest of the day was pretty regular.

(Have I mentioned how much I'm in love with Regular?)

We got a cart-load of groceries. Blackberries were fifty cents a box. $0.50 Have mercy. I bought six boxes, yes I did. The next time you see us, we may be a little blue-tinged.

Lunch was all circles, all the time, man.

(I had buffalo turkey on wheat with left-over tomato basil soup.)

I took my boots off but then my feet got cold, so I added white sport shortie-socks over my striped knee-socks. I also had leg warmers over my jeans. And I kept my down vest on and zipped. I was fa-fa-fa-freezing. And extra-fetching, I'm sure.

Siley crashed at nap-time.

I read the book that keeps on slaying me (well, one of them, there are several right now) and then I dozed for 30 minutes on the couch.

Calvin raced in after school and we had spritz cookies for snack, then we got busy with a craft. Sometimes my life just needs a crafty hour. It doesn't happen super often, but everyone's happy when it does. It helps us work the bugs out, I'm convinced.

Plus, Silas was still sleeping, so it was a win-win. Silas + Paint = Something Tragic.

(He had already drawn a rogue tramp stamp on Ruby's lower back prior to lunch. In an odd turn of events, she didn't even realize it had happened.)

(He also "scratched" her in the eye with a marker.)

(He also scribbled on the dining room wall with a marker while I was making dinner.)

(All in one day.)

(But who's keeping score?)

So, the paint.

I saw the idea on Pinterest, of course.

Mix sweetened condensed milk with food coloring.

The end.

The paint is beautiful. It's thick and shiny. Translucent.

I successfully dodged Calvin's question, "What does it taste like?" when he saw me dumping the milk into the ice cube trays. You know that child would have been licking his paint brush if he'd had the slightest clue...

And now, a memory from kindergarten: We finger painted with green pudding. Then we scraped it off the paper and ate it for snack. I would not make this stuff up, people. I remember it clear as day. It struck me as heinous, even then. But that didn't stop me from partaking. The end.

We painted until we were blue in the face and pink and orange in the hands, shirts, and, in some cases, hair.

I woke Silas up and let him join the fun, since The Fun was almost over.

Homeboy loved him some sugar-milk paint.

He dropped it in huge globs all over his paper. "I'm makin' pancakes!"

Sure you are.

It kept him occupied for a good twenty minutes and he could have gone longer. I felt bad for doubting him.

Then came dinner.

I love to cook. I love trying new recipes. But there's something about cooking in this kitchen that makes me decide over and over again to boycott complicated meals. And by complicated, I mean any meal requiring more than one bowl and one spoon.

It never lasts long, that feeling. I can't quit. I cain't.

Voila, here's dinner.

Please pardon the wonky photo. I was hungry.

Martha's version looked way prettier, dang her.
(Can't find her recipe online, but I did find it here.)

Calvin started crying when I made him eat half a tzatziki cucumber. Swear.

And for dessert?

Blackberries, of course.

What was the best Regular thing about your day?


  1. Those danged kids are growing up right before me eyes Min, it makes me proud and sad at the same time. I've had the most fabulous regular week all week long and I'm hanging on to it for dear life. Dinner on the table every night at 6, all the wonderful regularness of each regular hour of each regular day. I've been one heck of a happy camper this week. Even me bowels have been regular. : -P

  2. i typed out a 500 word comment. then deleted it and thought emailing may be a better option.

    i love this post. gawsh... cutest kiddos ever making the cutest creations out of the coolest paint! maybe i'll put my brave girl pants on and try this with my one and two year old?! or maybe i'll wait another year.

  3. Darn it, Jayme reads faster than me!

    Best part of this blog? Siley and his 20 minute home-stretch with the colored sugar milk. Pack him up, send him to me. I won't take no for an answer.

    I'm still pretending in my mind you're planning to show up at Keek's party the day after tomorrow. Don't ruin it for me yet. You know you can not resist hoot owl cake pops. Seriously.

    You are doing a great thing, and not because you are great (although I think you are), but because it's God's plan and HE is great!

    Thell Corey his teenagery video made my cry all kinds of pitiful yesterday. I hate that people overlook teenagers.


  4. what-up with the white T/paint combo, homegirl? didn't do too much paint when my kiddos were little, i's waaay too leery of the mess. yes, i shoulda lived more dangerously back then. like the cute plate & round food too. that meal looks interesting, goin to check it out....:)

  5. Love the big beautiful pictures to go along with your great post. My 2 year old would have a hay day doing this. I'm your newest follower on twitter!

  6. Gonna have to try the paint. I usually try to avoid messy table art because of the dining room having carpet. BUT looking at the carpet you can't tell that I try to avoid messiness. My day was a bit better than regular. I got to meet with my HS BF. Since she lives in CO, we haven't seen each other in over a year. Our time together wasn't as enjoyable as I had anticipated. Our little ones demanded all of our time. (Imagine that.) Faith is a mean friend. Mean as in she left pinch marks on my friend's little guy's cheek. What is it with my toddlers and their cheek obsessions??
    I'm happy things are working out with your housing. Love your willingness and obedience! I never had the impression that you are not wanting to move. I admire you for voicing your feelings of uncertainty. It shows all the more how you are doing this out of obedience. I love how God has you excited about starting this new chapter!

  7. Lovely circle lunch. At least Calvin wasn't gagging, was he? That's what mine does. Best regular thing about my day? Had to have been eating lunch and reading aloud while trying to chew my food and not talk with my mouth full. Reading aloud is very important around here though I usually try to avoid eating at the same time I'm reading.

  8. Making dinner tonight. I've been eating at hotels and whatnot for 4 (5?) days now. It was nice to pour my own glass and smell my own milk to make sure it was okay (it was). It was lovely.

    Also, I leaned my primary and secondary colors in second grade by mixing colored icing together on graham crackers and then eating them. Way better than the pudding. And now I want some Dunkeroos.

    So glad your doubt >< (that's a mathy sign for 'does not equal') don't anymore. So excited with you. And the water well is over 35%. Woot! Good (regular) night.

  9. my day was honestly...well I don't want to say AWEFUL but that's the word that comes to mind. Seriously. I was almost in tears when I realized I was out of trash bags, so I went to bed. That was at 6 p.m. Then I had an interesting heart to heart with my 2 year old that broke me, and then I had a pow wow with my husband over my convo with that 2 year old, and serious changes are being made, but I'm still in a funk. Sometimes I can't even handle REGULAR! ACK! Get behind me halloween candy! (Oops, I just ate a cupful of vanilla ice cream and cranberry juice).
    wow, I'm a bundle of sunshine.

    It happens.

    p.s. the other night I made Chicken Tikki Masala and my husband LOOOOOVED it. Q said, "This tastes too weird" and would not eat aonther bite. Hater! Also, I did not feed my children lunch today. I put them to bed, for safety's sake. They had been snacking all morning anyway, naps seemed like the healthier choice.

  10. You know what - today was a wonderful regular day. I actually raced around the house after the kids playing "monster" I don't do that much. I need to do it more. though sometimes i am very monster like but not in a fun way you know. ;)

  11. did you know that i answered you in my head right before you answered yourself. the whole fear is not equal to you shouldn't do it thing. it's a hard nut to crack that one. but i have a feeeeeling that its the main thing. the big nut. let your faith be bigger than your fears. aaaargh. killing me.

  12. Girlfriend, just swung by to say that I think you're freaking awesome in every way.

  13. The best regular thing about my day?
    I suppose it was running upstairs to take a picture of a pretty raindrop pattern on the sidewalk.

  14. Love your purple coneflower, Farmgirl. Love your whole flower garden, in fact. But I especially love the coneflower.
    And Calvin's butterfly.
    And Ruby's rainbow. I was a rainbow kind of girl, back in the day.
    Love your round lunch. It puts my tried and true mac and cheese, corn and applesauce to shame. (Picture that one on a plate. Pretty.)
    Love that you want to make this move, and I love that you're honest about not always feeling all yee-haw about it.
    But what I really want to know is if YOU tasted the paint.

  15. Loved this post. :) And the paint--that's so fun! We will definitely be trying that here--the little guy said that painting makes his day perfect. :)
    Best part of my regular day: actually putting away the laundry that has been in the dryer for 3 days... :)

  16. "fear = doubt and doubt = don't" - I used to believe that too. You inspire me, the way you face the fear and follow after Him!

    And the best regular thing about my day? I did a little Spring cleaning. I never got around to it last Spring so I'm trying to get a jump on it before next Spring :)

  17. You like to live dangerously don't you - Calvin is painting in a WHITE shirt! What a wonderful mom you are to let him do his thing and not worry about something as silly as getting a shirt dirty. Kudos to you!!! I love your blog!

  18. pretty sure that if stuff wasn't hard, we'd do it in our own strength and if it wasn't scary we'd go without faith and if it didn't make our palms sweat and reach for Him, we'd never now the feeling of His hand in ours. i love the way you honestly share your heart, beautiful, messy and glorious. thank you!
    and i am a total lurkazoid heading back to lurkland now.

  19. Rogue tramp stamp.

    Oh. My. Goodness. LOL

    As one of the "askers", I hope you didn't mind my asking! It was more that I thought I'd missing something, promise! :-)

    As for the best Regular thing about my day? I would for sure have to say my husband & my daughter. They make my world go 'round.

  20. Shannan, I just wanted to let you know I posted about your well project today and linked back to your blog. Thank you for showing us how to walk the thing out in His name. Patty

  21. Your blog was the best thing abut my regular day. I told you it has become a staple to my day. Thanks!

  22. I remember when my regular looked a lot closer to yours minus milky paint. My regular now is quiet until the boys return and then it is pretty much mayhem with a splash of cruise director moments thrown in. Yesterday I took my youngest to the dentist only to find out even he has outgrown the treasure chest. I kinda wanted to cry until he made me crack up about it with his witty way of relaying the information. This Motherhood gig is a kick for sure.

  23. What a clever idea. I don't know if I have the nerve to try this with my 3 young grandaughters 7,4,and 3 but I have chucked it into my brain for another day. I've lived with a wonderful guy for 53 years that fears many things, so it's hard to get a project moving, but don'worry all will be well in what you are doing, which I don't know what exactly you are doing but the one that needs to is Jesus thats the best thing. Ann Schrock

  24. Thanks for sharing what you were not going to you know my trip is full of fear and doubt, yet sprinkled with the presence of the Almighty = peace, joy and obedience! Hope your meeting with Lacasa allows you to be one step closer then you were the day before :) xoxo

  25. I think that doubt can be good part of the process. I think it means you're engaging in some good conversations with the Lord. Trusting Him in spite of your doubts is faith, is it not?

    We did a similar painting project this summer. We used corn syrup instead of sweetened condensed milk. And we did it outside. :)

    I did not have a regular day yesterday. I had to go to a funeral for the soldier husband of one of our former youth group kids. It was a sad day. Here's to hoping today's as regular as they come!

  26. Haha. You're a hero for being a mommy to those three littles. You're a great mommy! Sweetened condensed milk paint--I am going to remember that one for the future.

    I totally understand the tension of wanting to do what God is asking but also being uncomfortable and a little nervous. So sweet to know that God sees and understands your heart, even when you can't explain the depths of it to anyone around you.

    Y'all are obeying, and that is what matters!!! As Paul says, I beat my body and make it my slave. Sometimes we gotta make our body do what our heart knows to be true. :)

  27. Have you read any Mark Batterson? If not, you should. You would like him. For confirmation. I'm reading his Lion book right now, but I like his Goose book, better.

    Is that one Calvin painting an alien? It looks like it. It looks like it could spring off the paper and abduct someone.

  28. The best regular thing about my day was shopping for a new bedspread for the guest room. (My son is coming in next week!) I went to Target, K-Mart, TJMaxx, Kohl's & Walmart. I will return to Kohl's tonight to buy the one that I liked best...I had to take them out and feel them know, can't buy a creepy feeling bedspread! xo, Cheryl

  29. The best regular part of the day was getting to go to be at 9:00 because all my girls cooperated and went to bed on time.

  30. had my first skype. i was so excited i got up from the couch to run to the kitchen with my laptop and tripped over the dog and fell. but i didn’t drop the laptop. however, i was dismayed to see my friend laughing her fool head off. at first. and glad the sound wasn’t working at that particular moment. In the end it was amazing to see her laughing. xoxo

  31. I followed your link from Patty's blog. Your blog is awesome and I love the way you write. What a gorgeous family you have too! Congrats on your decision to follow Jesus into new adventures. I'll be following along to read about those adventures. My hubby, two sons and I left our comfort zone and served with an International mission and relief organization for nearly twenty years. They were the most incredible years of our lives. I lost my hubby three years ago, and now live with one of my sons and family who are working with inner-city at-risk youth and refugee families. Due to health limitations I'm basically just a cheerleader for them but loving it.

  32. Reading your blog continually blesses and challenges me! You don't skirt around the hard truths, but you do it with grace- good stuff...

  33. My husband coming home from work.


  34. The best regular thing was the kids wrestling on the bed laughing their heads off while I was trying to read a magazine. Normal, mundane, but wonderful.

    Can't wait to hear the whole dang story.

    Hey, do you ever come down yonder to So. In??? (That's where we are.)

  35. Regular about my day? Laundry and lots of it. We have fabulous clothes that need to be laundered. :)

    Love that paint idea.....never heard of it but I've got an artist at heart who is 10 and she's all about a craft! We'll definitely try those out.

  36. Thanks for being real in your posts and sharing your ups and downs, what is faith if we don't have a few doubts along the way? This is the first I have read of Goshen being your moving place. Since I live in Indy, I am a little sad to think of you moving farther away, but if God is calling you to Goshen--it is the very best place for you to be!

  37. If we didn't do anything that made us feel a little nervous, we wouldn't get married or have a family! Life is an adventure, and I tell myself all the time," this life is the journey, not the destination".

  38. I thought Calvin's picture looked like an angel.

  39. Right you are. We are all called to something & more often than not it is a multitude of mixed up math....exciting x scary + happy - sad with even a few x+y & ab to the c which still leaves me scratching my head. We know lifes not a bed of roses or maybe it is....ya gotta take the torns to get the roses & the roses are worth it. I love you, I love your love for Jesus! Thanks for being honest & sharing all the equations even the ones that have yet to make sense! :)

  40. i hear what your screamin' sista! the Lord has been doing a number on my soul with all of this. i'm mostly asking LOTS of questions and don't have many answers yet.

    i have some days that i really wrestle with feeling "regular" and then some days that i really love it.

    but then there are thoughts like this "I've no reason to stalk God when life is lived tucked into my comfort zone." and i crave the "stalking".

    i'd love to hear the whole story! much love.

  41. I love to use the sweetened condensed milk paint to paint sugar cookies with my daughter! She loves it!

  42. we talk about being brave all the time here, doing something even when you're afraid, I agree it would be a sad life to avoid the things we're afraid of, not what God has for us at all.

    Love the paint, my favorite part of the post was the list of things Silas had colored (especially the tramp stamp on Ruby!) oh he sounds like a funny little boy!

    50 cent blackberries is the best thing I've heard all week!

  43. Wait a minute. Did you say - Goshen? As in Indiana? As in close to us? Huh?

    Oh, I hope that's what you said.

    Anyway, to answer your question (best regular thing), since today's Monday, I'd have to say 'cause it's writing day at the coffee shop and that means I pop over to hubby's office to pick up Little Boy when I'm done, and 'cause it's column day, and a certain regular column comes out in a certain paper. In Goshen.

    Grace alone, the whole kablooie.

  44. Thanks for linking to my site. Hope you enjoyed the recipe :)