jumping the gun on “screen free” & gratitude listing & stuff

number eight-hundred and ninety-seven

number eight-hundred and ninety-seven

That being on my gratitude list today of:

#897: Summer vacation brushing our fingertips.

Today is the last full day of school that my first grader, fourth grader, and fifth grader have to endure.

Three more half days ( two and half hours on movie watching) wait in the wings for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Then a cruel, cruel 30 minutes, just for maniacal kicks from the state education department I am pretty sure, this Friday.

Then its Summer Vacation Baby!

Oh Summer, Summer, Summer…kinda conflicting emotions I go through every year.

Of course I love it.

Of course I am looking forward to the girls being off of school.

Summer is a whole new seasonal phase for us.

New survival mode.

New schedules.

New rules.

New routines.

New experiences and old acquaintances re-visited.

This summer is going to be unique in that come that miss bag of blessing of: September, I will be waving a:

“Bye!  Have a good day at school!  See you at 2:40!”  to my little ones, who will be attending the same school, entering all day Pre-K and 2nd grade.

My big girls, however, entering 5th and 6th, get to be my educational guinea pigs, as we three explore the murky, and somewhat Hippy-ish sounding, {add eye roll  here}  of  an Un-Schooled  Home Schooling Experience!

Still tipping my big toe in and so I can’t explain too much, and am fairly certain  I would do a poor job anyway.

Like they always say:

“Experience is the best teacher”

Well, I’ve found experience is also the best blogger.

Rambling theories are boring and are nearly incapable of not coming off judgmental.

So that’s that.

On top of more computer problems from my evil operating system, I have simply been zapped of too much emotional energy to focus and execute much of anything, including a coherent blog post.

This has been a particular hard season in my life.

I call it a slippery season because I keep reaching out and grasping with happy and relieved hands what I think is “it”.

“It” being that grand purpose, that final destination, that struggle ended.

Only to have it  dribble down white knuckles and tense muscles; tying to hold water.

This post could simply go on and on in endless hazy metaphors so I will just stop right now.

I will say that in this slippery seasons of so many questions and vying voices and versions of the truth bogging me down, some days so bad it’s a struggle to even remember that life is supposed to be enjoyed,

I have heard some simple truths resound louder.

Truth that is as firm and concrete and as a hand in my own.

For my intense feelings of:

I am totally stagnant and unsatisfied because nothing is happening:

“Your situation may be stagnant, but I am the Living Water and flow in you new and everlasting.

Like the woman at the well you can drink from Me and never thirst again

because I daily supply you with my fresh water

For the days when it feels like:

I am in the dark, not knowing what to do or even think about anything big or small

” You can trust your Good Father to lead you by the hand, like a child in the dark”.

For the days when my mind was bogged down on:


& theories

& historical relevance

& American thinking vs. Biblical thinking

“Stop living in the abstract and return to being simple and present.

That is where you will always find Me.”

You can read between the lines and come to the conclusion that these are not swell places to be.

And yet,  it is pretty much unavoidable to not tread these waters at some point when you start to wrestle with Christ-likeness and God’s will in your own life.

So, to my fellow perfectionist personality readers,

my followers with a propensity for depression,

those who can’t help themselves by getting sucked into analyzing the crap out of everything,

and fellow believer who has gone through this life bogged down with the heavy weight of God-imaged legalism that everything is a test and He is a your narrowed- eyed teacher, waiting to see if you get an F or an A this time.

You and your thoughts are always going to be your own worse enemy.

I hope the words in italicized bold, that are His words, spoken by His Spirit, not mine, give you that solid stepping stone to get you out of the muck one more time.

I find myself today, on the stepping stone today, with shaky legs but solid ground. Looking back. Relieved. Looking forward.

Lastly, before I unleash on you all a copious amount of photographs, I will simply state 3 spiritual disciplines I fell inline with this 2013, that have not necessarily made my life easier, or given me exact concrete answers, but has supplied those very real stepping stones as I climb, with my family, to where Christ calls us to follow.

They are:

*listing of gratitudes {crucifies that complaining tongue}

*working on memorizing Romans 8 , as prompted my Ann Voskamp Romans project {gives clarity to the Spirit & Flesh boxing match that is always duking it out in our minds, words, actions}

*and fasting once a week {its just important, and does something real in the spirit realm. Okay. Even though all you usually feel is hungry and cranky and can’t really complete full sentences by 5 o clock}.

Now faithful readers of manyslices through the years {thanks you two guys} know that I and my girls go “screen free” come July. {Mr.MS says he is exempt for professional reasons}.

A sorta kick start to the Summer, the old fashioned way.

That equals no bloggin for Big Mama in July, and then come August, I participate in Susan Conway’s August Break on flickr.

One photo post a day for that whole month, with just a sentence or two of text.

Last year I titled it: WE DIG SUMMER, and think I will again. A month photo blog highlighting our Summer.  I loved doing it last year.

July is two weeks away, but my written online affair with manyslices is going to cool down…take a break…give each other some space… starting now I think.

I am asking The Lord for a great Summer.

A blessed and joyful one.

One with sunshine and memories and relationships.

Hikes in woods & wine on the porch

Early mornings on the porch swings & evening in soft twinkling deck  lights

Gardens &  fresh produce

Community Service & Curriculum planning.

And of course there will be books…lots of books.

So I leave you with photos { of course }.

Taking pictures of pretty things and special people I see every day in just the right light, at just the angle, till it looks right and “I got it”, floods something good and simple and joyful in me. As I click, words like invisible captions float from my mind up to the atmosphere.  I name it.  I load it. I look upon it. And then the gift is mine.

number 873

number 873

cowgirl boots,a violin playing “you raise me up”, and some serious talent

number 871

number 871

My big girl’s beauty, talent and confidence as she plays “Fur Elise” and “When I Survey” on the piano at her first recital.

number 891

number 891


Roses everywhere in my garden

number 888 & 870

number 888 & 870

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApicking our own salad greens from our own garder


picking the first ripe strawberry with the babe

okay, okay, I did not really write this one down, but I should of

okay, okay, I did not really write this one down, but I should of


it would of went something like this:

the girls drawing there Summer list of inspiration from a well worn book I bought them two years ago.

{Here’s the link if your curiosity is roused}

number 900

number 900

The Babes’ love of Look and Find books

number 875

number 875


Getting back into the sewing room after months of inactivity to sew a curtain that I made from an altered flouncy rummage sale shirt


number 901

number 901

Quietly observing a young squirrel make a little nest in the crook of our Maple tree that towers over our deck with The Babe

number 904

number 904

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAConverting weedy grass and a tiny tomato patch into 4 gardens of veggies of herbs with gravel path ways in between with Mr.MS over the course of two months.



Linking up with Ann Voskamps Multitudes on Monday and saying a farewell CHEERS  till September (except for  my “We Dig Summer” photo journal I will also post here in August).

Joyful, simple, healthy, blessed, Summer to all of you.



3 thoughts on “jumping the gun on “screen free” & gratitude listing & stuff

  1. Well, Leah, I’m going to miss you this summer – but I understand taking a break! I’ve been thinking of doing the same. Even sort-of doing it, right now. Anyway, I love your pics. The lettuce looks great! And I’ve already looked up the book and they have it at my library. My daughter might be old enough for some of the stuff, so I’m excited to check it out. Thanks for sharing. Praying for you in this season, also. I’ve been feeling the same way. Thinking I’ve overcome some struggles, then, finding my heart fighting vigorously. Just wish I naturally humbled myself and received God’s will gladly. But maybe that’s the Christian life..? A daily dying to self that’s really a supernatural work of God. A continual dying till we’re with Him. Alright, this is my happy, sad good-bye that feels like the end of the school year and I won’t see my friend till fall, when school starts again! 🙂 Have a great break! (And maybe this is too sappy, but I’d give you a big hug if this was an in real life good-bye.)


  2. Struggling to catch-up on all these posts after my partial self-emposed bloggy break and now you’re having one, ha. There is no condemnation from Him, just that enemy whispering good for nothings into our ears. Years ago I read a little booklet from the late Elbert Willis (In the old fashioned 80’s style that I quite like) Exposing the devil’s work, great for reminding me to notice when he’s up to no good and counter attack. Think there’s an on line version to read. Hope your big girl enjoyed her performance, pretty curtain and the vege patch is looking great, we too have strawberries flowering, no berries yet. Gorgeous roses!!! Enjoy your Summer break, it’s wet and cold here at the moment.


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