A hymn to real life, and to you.

1148999_10151733553435502_2040390506_nFor the beauty of the earth.

These are Minnesota’s perfect summer days. They are long enough to be savored, and yet seem always a few hours too short. Jason has just finished mowing the lawn, and the yard is welcoming and wide.

For the glory of the skies.

A couple of nights ago, I took the garbage out and realized it was the first time I had set foot outside the house all day. Sometimes, the house feels like a cocoon. It is safe. Everything is close. Nothing can harm us. But the problem is this:

I can’t see the way the stars arch overhead, or how Jupiter really, honestly, does look red against the black of the night sky. So I stop. Put my hands behind my aching back. Stare at the sky. Breathe.

For the love which from our birth, over and around us lies.

I have not had to cook this week. Okay, except breakfast. (A recipe for blueberry cornmeal pancakes was just screaming to be tried.) But other than that, friends have brought us dinners every night. And that might not seem like a big deal, but every time someone takes the effort to carry a box or a basket of food across my messy threshold, I feel surrounded by love and care.

You know why? Because not making dinner saves me about two hours of food prep, cooking, dishwasher loading, hand washing, and cleanup. That is two hours more time to hold my little ones, who are fast growing. It’s time that the rest of the household enjoys in various ways. It is a blessing – a hand over my hand, stilling my activity, bringing me calm.

And the best part? Seeing friends. Sharing the babies – the soft warmth of them nestled into welcoming arms. I love the way Ellis scrambles up from whatever she’s doing when she hears a knock on the door, or how she gets a little bit sad when everyone leaves, and asks when her friends will come back again.

Lord of all to thee we raise,

I haven’t had nearly enough chances to respond to all the encouraging comments I’ve received on my blog posts over the past few months. And nothing short of going back and thanking each of you personally would be socially acceptable. But right now, I really can’t do it. So please accept what I’m about to share.

The words I’m lifting up are for you.

There were days when I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage all this new adventure. And you made me laugh with your comments. There were days I wrote funny, goofy little posts. And your responses made me smile. There were serious times when I was totally freaked out about what was coming. And the stats page telling me how many people had read my last post made me realize I wasn’t doing this alone.

My friend Jules told me this week how she much she better understood the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” now that she had two. I wholeheartedly agreed. Without the extra hands that are helping us in so many various ways, I would be a wreck. (Okay, sometimes I’m still a wreck, but that’s really my own fault.) But because of you, I am encouraged. Lightened.

Raised.

This is my hymn today. I’m humming it around the house, and I’m thinking of you, my friends, my family, with love. With thankfulness. With heart.

This our hymn of grateful praise.

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