Friday, April 18, 2014

{coffee talk} WANTING

I dream of a cottage style house built by my Dad somewhere near water and so many acres of nothing but grass and dirt and trees. I dream of salvaged barn doors in that cottage somewhere, the ones on a pulley maybe, heavy and creaking. I dream of built-in book shelves that touch the ceiling, filled with colorful stacks and rows of books.  I dream of vintage things all around, from years ago. I dream of a really big garden full of fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers. I dream of a cozy space for guests to stay and kids to play above the garage. I dream of all of that, and yet I still want the house to be small, holding us close together so there’s nowhere we can go to end up feeling like we don’t belong.
I dream of chickens. So many chickens. I ask Pete for them often. And a dog. And a pot-belly pig named Gertie, short for Gertrude.
I dream of a swing on a wrap-around porch not too far from the rocking chairs. I dream of looking through the window while I sit with “my love” (Pete’s pet name for me) and swing and rest. I dream of a study, one with those built-in shelves full of books and french doors that lead to an entry where the staircase climbs high and is chock-full of candid family photos. I dream of writing in that room while the breeze gently blows through the window. I dream of looking outside to see my kids run far and fast but where I can still see them, watching them play for hours with nothing but sticks and rocks and water and dirt and each other.
Through a swinging screen door, I dream of a home. I dream of my kids loving life, fully alive with joy in simple things, and to love people unconditionally. I dream of them to learning to help the world around them because they see their parents doing that. I dream of making them big meals and laugh with them around the table while the chairs scrape the wood floors. I dream of going to church on Sunday and then spend the afternoon with grandparents, feeding the horses and smelling the flowers. I dream of running into old friends in the grocery store, standing in the aisle talking until the frozen things in my cart start to melt.
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming and hoping for a thousand different things. The renewed health of a loved one. The reconciling of a relationship. The love of a father, or mother, or husband or wife. The happiness of children. The success of a friend. There’s even nothing wrong with the wanting of things, things that make your heart happy with their beauty and light, like a cottage house in the country.
More than anything else I could dream of, I’d like to truly be content with exactly how things are in this very moment, even when times are difficult and painful, but holds hope somehow. I can always continue to dream, I just simply hope to do it with a peaceful and patient heart.

What are you dreaming of today?

Friday, April 11, 2014


Hi friend! I’m back from maternity leave and what a wonderful, fulfilling season in my life. I took a much-needed step back from blogging and social media, but did what I could to keep you apprised of Baby Ripley’s growth and development in photos. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed bragging on him – what a precious gift from God that little boy!

When you take a “break,” life never really slows. In truth, with four kids, time velocity quadruples, I think. They keep the hubby and me on our toes.

To that point, my daughter recently tried out for the 7th grade cheer team and didn’t make it. She performed the dance and cheer accurately, unlike many others, but she just doesn’t have the cheerleader ‘motions’ that many of her well-trained cheer peers have. And quite honestly, Bailey’s heart just wasn’t in it – it was more of a social desire, a common interest to share with her best friends. Regardless, rejection is a tough pill to swallow, and being pushed to the sidelines in sports is never easy for any child. Or adult.

But I remind her that she is and will always be a cheerleader. In a slightly different form.

You see, I take great pleasure in watching my family and friends see their dreams come true. It’s as if their dreams become mine, and my investment in them is real and significant. Their dreams take up residence in my heart. I cheer and do cartwheels when they succeed, metaphorically speaking, and I cry and pray and feel disappointment for them when barriers stand in their way.

Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you find great pleasure in cheering the triumphs of others. Or, maybe you find yourself annoyed to find yourself pushed to the bench. You wonder why God seems to have called you to the sidelines, instead of the main stage…or center court…or center field. Maybe you’re impatient and wishing for a moment of your own, with people on their feet in the stands, cheering for you.

Take heart, friend! In God’s great manuscript, there is no such thing as “sidelines.” Every single role, every season, every mission matters, and has great meaning in the Kingdom of God.

What are you cheering for today?

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