PROTECT_five minute friday


When I think of protection I think of prayer

not because prayer is a superstitious good luck charm for a life of no pain

but a covering that simultaneously gives pin points of clarity

what humans are in most need of is protection from ourselves, or maybe better stated:

the human condition

being the 4th of July holiday there are always a plethora of platitudes about patriotism

yet, the founding  father’s, in their divine given wisdom, pinpointed the greatest threat to this newborn nation would come from within:

it  is where the novel idea of checks and balances was born into what we now call democracy.

praying will not guarantee to eradicate terrorism, cancer, or unemployment

prayer will slowly reveal the closer –than- you- realized –hand- of- God ; making us:



a  paradoxically thankful overcomer

in the worst thing that has even happened to you.

When I think of protection I think of prayer.



Linking up late in the day with the listening writing crowd over at Kate’s place for another  installment of Five Minute Friday.

Click on the link to read some more honest, brief, brave posts of the word: Protect

Or get brave and write your own.

I promise it won’t hurt.



Pregnant;  newborn; toddler; pre-schooler- PARENT


We got a puppy.

His name is Pad-Foot Canis in honor of the dog characters in Harry Potter and The Sister Grimm books.

A big deal for a family.

Yet, not such a big deal to write about here at my space.

And yet.

This being our first ever canine member of the family I found myself not knowing what to expect at all. This not knowing and acquiring a puppy had quite the domino effect on the equilibrium of our family that I think is worth sharing.

{I bet the farm someone has written What To Expect When You Are Expecting: Puppy Edition, by now.}

The following is the bizarre feeling of deja`vu I experienced the evening prior to getting the puppy and lasting till the second day with him.


Pregnant how?


*Me spending hours at Barnes and Noble browsing and comparing expert puppy advice books and taking detailed notes on the book I finally settled on, to make me feel more prepared and in control of something new.

*Me spending hours and hundreds of dollars at TJMaxx on cute yet chic stuff “we need” for the newest edition to our family.

*Me getting a late night whirlwind of energy of the psychopathic variety to “get everything organized”.

*Me nesting by re-arranging where the puppy pillow bed and accessories would go then spending an hour turning a simple dog leash hook into a mixed media craft complete with quotes from literature.

*Me being mean because I am stressed declaring “I’m the only freakin’ person getting ready!” to my family.

*Me feeling like this is a big mistake, convinced I am not cut out for this.

Total flashbacks of my pregnancy-persona.  


Newborn how?


*Pad-Foot crying and whimpering all night the first night.

*Me feeling guilty for not getting up because I am exhausted.

*Me getting out 12 seconds after I decide I am not going to get up.

*Tim sleeps through it all which pisses me off.

Total flashback of my newborn-in-the-house persona.


Toddler how?


*Pad-Foot examining, turning over, chewing, trying to ingest everything in his line of vision and grasp.

*Me saying “No!” 97 times an hour, but always, always hesitating the moment before wondering if this is a bad behavior or just mere young curiosity.

*Me hoping I am doing this right and not causing terrible habits or setting wrong precedents.

*Me too tired to worry about such things come after dinner.

*Us having way too many conversations about pee and poop.

Total flashback of my second-guessing-exhausted-toddler-training-brain.


Pre-schooler how?


*Pad-Foot following me around everywhere.

*Pad-Foot looking around frantically if he can’t see me.

*Pad-Foot’s presence making laundry a twice as long chore because of an intense fascination with baskets holding clothes.

*Me enjoying it despite.

Total Pre-schooler-not-letting-me-get-anything-done-persona.


This was such an unexpected experience. {Despite my efforts to be prepared reading the experts; just like with babies!}

It was five years of stages coming into sharp memory focus in the span of the first 48 hours with our puppy.

I can see why couples chose pets over children, man. I really can.

One gets the thrill of newness and sweet relationship and shopping binge of a baby coming, but without all that fussy eighteen years of development thing dragging your life to a halt.

Reflecting on this I noted another superior advantage to canine over human:

The likelihood of others judging you for the rest of your natural life if your dog does or does not do brag-worthy tricks, does well or not so well at obedience school, what he eats or does not eat, acts like at Target,- is very, very low.

The likelihood of all of these judgments on you from people who do not even know you or your child and all the subsequent life long guilt over it- is unavoidable.

However, I am still completely happy and without any regret with us having four daughters in seven years {which equates one quarter of century of child rearing} prior to being “parents” to a puppy.

I cringe thinking about how much worse of a mood, how much more our stress would of  flowed, run over, should we have simultaneously raised little humans and a dog.

I would like to write it was because I was just smart or lucky it did not work out that way or something to that effect and leave it at that.  But really it is not my smarts and there is no such thing as luck. It comes down to a single reality:


Summed up, I chose to seek God and know myself. In seeking God in every single aspect of our unceasing rotating door of life little pictures of what will bless what will not bless us started to take shape. Understanding and wisdom rose slowly, broke the surface in the waters of our swirling minds.  It is then that one gets real pragmatic about self.

Know thyself.

The pregnant/baby/toddler/pre-school years were really hard on me.  I did not take to it gracefully, thought it was always the desire of my heart, and I love having children.  Sin nature is keenly seen and felt. Sanctification must happen or sin becomes choke hold.

Pad-Foot could not be thrown into such dicey waters. It would of been bad for him and us.

Of course, the struggle over letting Christ nature wash and renew over sin nature never ceases, but the seasons change.

It seems this is our both working, raising older kids, homesteading, dog season. But I have the summer completely off; thus the puppy now {wisdom}.

Next on the list: chickens.


WANT_five minute friday

thirsty roots

that is what i see when i meditate on the word “want”

and John 7:

“Christ calling out in a loud voice: if anyone is thirsty let him drink and I will pour out rivers of life”

i’ve been spending my evenings and weekends planting instead of doing laundry and scrubbing the shower out, like I should; but i can’t help myself because it’s june in upstate new york and we just got ourselves a new sprawling, left to sleep for too many years, property

the most important thing about planting are the roots

they start to shrivel as soon as they are removed from the cocoon of soil they have been secretly thriving in since a seed

they need water, or course, but the gardener knows is what is in the soil that dictates how  the roots will sink and spread and unfurl. That will  make all the difference between “thriving” and just “not dead”

the very best soil?

it has nothing to do with the store bought product of miracle grow

it has everything to do with dead things not really being dead, thanks to the unseen world of micro organisms, giving off a bad smell as it gives life to that thirsty, thirsty root

our culture is amazing in the amount of comforts it produces for us to meet our every want

our culture is tragic in how very, very thirsty most men, women, and children are

the need is the same:

what was dead

now living again

giving life

in the secret places of our inner man

remember this:

the process is not



pleasant smelly

feel good:

letting Christ HEAL you, RESTORE you, SAVE you;

it always starts in the hard ugly parts we don’t want to go to

it is always offensive, maybe even sickening to us

but it is the only way

because He alone can make the dead alive and meet your unquenchable thirst

stop resisting the hard

the foul,

the need to look away

in your private life

He does not look away from you or think you foul

He will set you free from it

In exchange:

you will start to slowly unfurl

start being set free

start thriving like you were meant to do from the very beginning



Linking up the listening, writing, generous soul over at Kate’s place for another Five Minute Friday. Go over to read more


get brave and write your own. I promise it won’t hurt.

{My Mac laptop is slowly dying on me all! So sorry for the no link, I barely was able to get this post out without crashing}.


my flowers in june

The month of June is summer showing off here in upstate New York. Our new home is wonderfully devoid of needing any inside work


completely uncultivated outside.

Three acres  left alone to sleep for several years now.

However, at one time someone took much care, planning, time, and money on the outside property.

We have been given the gift to be the recipient of their efforts; only having to coax it back to its glory. All that is demanded of us:

some sweat

proper big boy tools

an eye for hidden gems

and appreciation for the raw natural beauty that is here already.

Here is the outside of our home with only some old out buildings against blossoms and wild flowers as landscape:

Our pair of American Chestnut Trees:



 monstrously huge

and covered in blossoms the color of peppermint sticks

the blossoms leave

a path

of candy confetti

littered over half our shady side yard

instead of gardens

I have


And I must use this space to tell of my new favourite magazine find; stumbled upon at the lovely Barnes and Noble.

It is called DAPHNES DIARY.

It is a British publication  {thus the spelling of “favorite” with a U above}

It is so cottage-y and write-y and craft-y and home spun-y and arts-y

and best of all, it has these free paper do-it- yourself templates scattered among the pages, much little lovely little wildflowers sown in, in themselves.

Google it or go hunt it out at Barnes and Noble, I encourage you. I know it will make your summer more pleasant because it will make you slow down.

Here are some photos of the free paper flower templates we made from the Summer issue of Daphne’s Diary. We strung it with twine and pin-pushed it in the ceiling to hang in the girls’ tree house:


So, between chestnut blossoms, wild flowers in the grass and field, along wit diy paper crafts I still have some pretty flowers in this show off month of June.

old and young


HAVEN_{five minute friday}


a haven must be bigger than self

not just in terms of size

in lasting-ness

in experience

we purposely sought out:

dirt roads that make your vehicle shake if you go over 30 mph

internet connection that is sparse

“don’t leave out your garbage or feed the birds cuz the bears will just eat it”

for the haven we felt would only be found in rural living

the moving process took longer, cost more, and felt stranger than we anticipated

when we are gray and childless and want  to downsize it is very possible we will donate our house to charity rather than get waist deep in the muck of real estate ever again

more than the goodness of


better schools

close work

a pretty view

the haven seems to be dredged in the land and the trees themselves

how the air smells different and you can see more sky

surround in a fishbowl of natural elements, not asphalt and other roof tops

it feels older and wiser

more content and at ease at whatever may be coming down the pike,

“cuz there is nothing new under the sun”

being surrounded in nature is like being cocooned in the attributes of God:

The Haven.



Linking up today with Kate and the other listening, writing souls at Five Minute Friday.

It has been a long time since I have linked up because of the moving and no internet thing.

Please click to on this link to read more posts or get brave, don’t over think and write one yourself.  I promise it will not hurt.




When you wake to Sabbath



We have been home among the hills for six weeks now.

Six weeks of waking to turkey calling  in the woods and the morning sun slanting in through our French doors windows that lead directly to our bedroom balcony flagged with second hand wicker chairs.

I simply cannot get enough of the view out the backyard. I hope I never can. Some things are meant to saturate yet never fill.


When the morning is still pre-daughter and my coffee has not cooled I stand on our deck and just scan the vista; it amazes me.

I amazes me that after so many years of tying to move we are actually here.  If felt like some elusive mist of a dream for a long, long time. Why it took so long I am not sure. Our “city house” has still not sold, and that is not comfortable.

I don’t really like to talk about it. Try not to dwell on it when my chest starts to tighten and my theology starts to get murky when it comes to the increased cost this demands and the why questions itching at my brain that never get full relief.

Then I look out at the view that looms up after the acre of green lawn.

It really does emanate peace:

the green on green

the bird call vying to be heard over bird call.

the girls’ legs flying for a full minute before they reach the property edge.

In the morning hours before the girls and with the coffee I simply stare. It is just about an unconceivable act to not give thanks before I try to pray.

And this is what I think about:

“somewhere there are crowded urban tenant buildings and squalor passing for homes perched on the edge of dump mound and this is where I live…”

“somewhere there are those whose lives are continually held in bondage and I am completely free…”

“somewhere families are scared to walk outside for fear of the violence and I don’t even have to deal with traffic…”

And I get why Emerson and those Transcendentalism could come to the conclusion that nature is God.  I really do share a kinship with those hippies and their anti-corporate pro-tree huggin’ stance on things. At risk of sounding like a heretic I see the plausible conclusion Buddhists come to, and in fact scratch truth surface that inner peace has to come from within and a lack of stuff and noise without must be present to achieve this.

Some people if you give them a math problem will find a way to solve it…they are wired to dive in and do so.

Some people if you give them a ball and set of rules will always score…it flows from them.

Some people if you get them alone without distractions start to ponder God and the big questions in life…it is the path their mind always will take.

I am sure you can guess which one I am.

But silence and nature and lack of distractions and beauty and reflections and organic farming and mediative color books is not going to help those who are suffering, those  who are in bondage, those who in short have been wrecked by sin and the effects of sin in our world.

It is where Jesus Christ always comes in to show with authority He is not just a nice idea or moral code or sensible natural way to live.

He is overcoming, present tense.

But with so much injustice, pain, nasty and hopeless He seems like a complication of nice platitudes wearing  a robe at times…I really do get it.

I cannot for one minute name myself as one who is suffering.  But I feel the weight of it.  It seems like the more righteous and obedient others choose to be, taking the higher harder road, the harder and more burdensome it becomes.

If you are the thinking type, you can not help but ask:

What gives, Lord?

Right now is seems especially  true of the good Pastors and ragged mothers we are acquainted with.

All these questions without warm fuzzy answers reminds me why celebrating Sabbath is so important.  And I am not talking about filling some pew-sitting tithe-giving obligation.

Sabbath is resting from yourself. Because let’s face it: no one spends more time thinking about us, then we spend thinking about ourselves.

When we cease from self and those needed and practical demands for a set time, deliberately, then the bigness, the grandness of God gets to have a spot light in our lives where we and our family and our jobs and our problems are the star of the show.

The God of the ages, not our practical problem solver, looms so much larger  in the realm of messy reality, not just dusty theology.

Like looking out and seeing that hill and hearing those birds every morning: it really is good and it is right here.

But I don’t live on my deck with a perfectly hot cup of coffee with daughters sleeping like cherubs, do I?

Rain and winter and sickness and stress about money and loud squabbling daughters will come around of course.

But my hill will be there, the birds will be there.

And when they too pass away Christ and His kingdom will not pass away.

And we get to be a part of that forever.

That is the reward of faith, of having ears to hear, the keep showing up, the discipline of Sabbath obedience.

It will give you eyes to see so you can wake daily to Sabbath rest.

to the hills


I have three more weeks of work left and then it is Summer vacation.

I am hoping that my writing will start flowing out more than just in starts and sputters.

And if anything I wrote about real Sabbath rest resonated with you let me introduce you to blogger Shelly Miller and her brand new book published all on this subject.

Her blog is found here  and her book can be perused here.  I almost always find solace and peace in what she writes.

And I am not getting any financial kick backs for writing this or putting in these links…my blog is not big enough for that by a long shot!

Post cheers.








why I wrote a manifesto

It has been over six weeks since I posted anything here at manyslices.

There are lots of reasons. The big one: we finally moved!

Also, because I was not sure exactly why I should keep writing once we get the internet at our house.  Yes, that is right…it has been four weeks now with no internet at our house. A situation that needs to be fixed!

Not being on social media, makes you take a long hard look at social media.

Just like moving makes you take a long hard look at why exactly you are making such a drastic, expensive life change.

It comes down to the bigger picture and belief in the why of life.  Or at least the why pertaining to why we do what we are doing in our life.

As I write this it is our third day at Cape May, NJ.

Our annual Spring marriage time out:

I suddenly have more time, less stress, and wi-fi!

Shortly before moving I read a link on a blog my cousin writes about the importance of having a manifesto attached to your blog as a way of making the point of your writing space more clear for your readers and for yourself.

Clarity is good.

And hard to come by.

But between packing, and negotiating contracts, and worrying about mortgages and rent at the same time, manifestos for my personal blog got put on the lukewarm, out of near sight, back burners.

I missed writing, however.  And so I knew that I needed to continue when I could.

So before I could dive into a particular post I needed to spend time on the why I decided.

Why should you read this?

What is it I believe?

And what is the overall theme of this space?

So please check out my “many slices manifesto” at the top of my page. Or simply click this link.

Read it slow, resisting the urge to speed read an over 1000 word anything when on the web.

I hope to be back soon with lots of photography and stories and perspectives of what it is like at our new country house and home.