morning rumination // mother’s basket

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

A new week is upon us, so there’s no better time to talk about new rituals!

There’s no verse in the Bible that states that you must spend time with the Lord in the morning. Yet, for many years I would go through my day feeling like a failure if I didn’t forsake all other human tasks, prior to communing with the Lord. Essentially, I began each morning behind the curve, or so I felt. Even if I would spend time in the Bible later in the afternoon, I still felt like I was doing life wrong.

It turns out I felt that way because, for me, I’m at my best in the morning. I’m an early bird by nature, and am most alert before 1pm. After 1pm, I run on caffeine and many prayers for survival. I suppose I felt like I was failing all those years because I knew that I wasn’t giving my very best offering to the Lord.

And then along came three children. Middle of the night everything. Exhaustion. Busyness. Blurry vision and fuzzy thinking. My youngest is just now three and I still feel many of these things and am finally, just finally, feeling like I’m coming up for air. But barely. I’m still tired. I’m still an early bird, I still have early-risers and I still have a problem to solve.

When will I sit quietly with my Savior? 

It’s something I desire and it’s definitely something I need (we all do.) I’m 100% more refreshed, renewed and inspired when I start my day with truth and peace, but man. It’s really hard. The clock yells, “5:30am! IT’S ALREADY HERE AND YOU’RE STILL TIRED! JUST SNOOZE FOR A FEW MORE MINUTES!” But the truth is….If I want peace and quiet and some sort of time for reflection, it must be before my three girls arise. And if I don’t grab that time then, it’s not happening until, well, it probably won’t.

Admitting that truth has made my plan much clearer, and it is this:

I’ll sleep when I’m dead, I guess. (I laugh at that to keep from crying.)

But seriously, no matter how painful it might seem in the present moment, I need to surrender that time. My girls need me to have that time with Him and so does my husband. They all deserve a mother, wife and friend that is bathed in scripture. So, as NIKE says….I have to “JUST DO IT”.

I was recently listening to a favorite podcast and loved their take on the “Mothers Basket” (this is a home education podcast but you do not need to be a homeschooler to benefit greatly from this episode.) We have a daily ritual in our homeschool called, “Fireside”, where we get out a huge basket of books, poetry, art pieces, scripture, music and enjoy the feast before us. We sit on the couch (and if this SoCal weather would cool, we light a fire) and soak in literature and learning. It’s everyone’s favorite part of the day (usually because we have an exciting read-aloud happening. Right now it’s this one and we have ONE CHAPTER LEFT AND I’M MORE EXCITED TO FINISH THAN ANYONE IT’S SO GOOD!). The girls look forward to these moments because it’s specially-curated pieces of learning and it’s set apart. They get cookies and milk and they devour snip-its of culture. Plus, it’s quiet (nap time for Polly!)

While I personally have a small basket which holds my Bible and reading material for my own edification, I had never thought to fill it with anything other than the “essentials”. Where the heck am I going to find enough time to read anything else but the Bible?! I can’t even manage THAT in large degree. However, this podcast episode allowed me to imagine enjoying, in small doses, pieces of several delicacies (as long as we are talking about a feast here) during my morning ritual. I don’t need to eat an entire cake. A few pieces will do. The episode pushed me to think outside the box and mentally prepare and retrain my mind for the importance of this time I have with the Lord!

I worked on my “Mothers Basket” this weekend and am looking forward to spending time with the Lord in a renewed way. Delighting in Him and the varied interests He has given me. I would encourage you, if you are struggling in your personal time with the Lord – maybe it’s also been rough for you to make time – to listen to that episode and begin thinking about a new way to approach your morning time with Christ!

It’s a beautiful opportunity we have, at our fingertips. I regret thinking of all the mornings that slipped into afternoon and evening, without me meditating on His word.

Here are to new starts and baskets full of invigorating truth, beauty and virtue. I have my basket ready – by a comfortable chair. All I need is my hot cup of coffee and the alarm to ring. I’m ready!


I will be changing my basket out monthly, I think. Here is what I currently have in it and I look to read these books on a rotation, not necessarily daily. I hope to give myself 40 minutes a day. We’ll see how that goes!

My Bible

A Little Book….

A short novel

Something to grow me (given by my dear friend, who has stood by me for years and is currently discipling me and a friend – go read her blog!)

Some thing I enjoy learning about (easily one of the best books I’ve read this year)

A small book on Paul Cezanne (I don’t particularly love his art, but the girls are learning about him, and I want to grow my appreciation. I found this small book at our local used book store.)

Learning to love liturgy (I was recommended this book by a bunch of friends in a private, online community of believers. It’s the 1979 revised edition. I’ve never given it a try, but am anxious to follow a church calendar! Any tips from veteran readers?)

I also have several magazines about education and a book of poetry written by a friend that I will rotate.

Overwhelmed? Looking for an easy place to begin? I would recommend THIS book. The passages are daily and while they are short, they are packed with truth. This and some quiet prayer time will fill your day with endless promise!


My hope is that this inspires you and gives you tools to begin something similar for yourself – let me know what’s in your basket! Here’s to this week, personal growth, and many special moments with the Lord!

abandoning lukewarm // living as Laodicea


“For true doctrine is not a matter of the tongue, but of life.” 

-John Calvin

Nothing reminds you of your lukewarm tendencies as does a barrage of chaotic or unexpected life events. At least, this has been the case for me. I, much like everyone else I know, has felt the unparalleled strain of the world lately. Whether it be within the walls of our own homes, or the stains and streaks of unwarranted suffering, slashing loved ones. It’s all around. The death, the hurt, the words, the poison targets people are aiming. The strain and indifference and valleys in-between what used to be and what suddenly is. It’s like the decay of human relationships and health and belief and love are hanging on the air – so thick that I know I’m not the only one suffocating.

Or, maybe I am and it’s my turn to stumble through a bit of the pain which other people have gracefully marched through their entire life.

And… I’m presented, once again, with my lukewarm default. Because, you see, lukewarm works when things are bright and vivid. Stale and familiar prayers and chants and positive vibes are so taupe and vague and perfect and normal, when all is well. They satisfy.

But oh, when you hurt. The hurt that reduces you to your very lowest and most raw shadow. When you have no where to go, so you sit in it. That dark moment is when lukewarm is the very most disgusting thing that has ever resided within me. If we are in a place of aching and all we have are lukewarm sentiments to soothe us, we have no solace or hope, whatsoever. Nothing.

I’ve been a shell. I’m a walking Laodicea.

I am tired of lukewarm. Lukewarm has moved me through hard conversations and short inscriptions, proclamations of faith, and hope and believing. Lukewarm has resembled fiery passion for short moments, when I was introduced to uncomfortable situations but nothing has made me confront my own comfortable coma like real mental torment.

For this grinding ache,  I shout hallelujah! I rejoice in hurt and falling tears that will come and go as quickly as the wind blows and dies away.

Pain and swift-changing reality has given me the greatest gift.  It’s cracked me wide open and let everything pour out.

It has turned over a mirror and forced me to stare at my deplorable lukewarm nature and finally let it float away on the ever-changing winds of time, life, pain, joy.

I hate lukewarm. I don’t care if lukewarm comforts people and releases them to be acquainted with me. I abhor lukewarm because Christ is revolted by it. With lukewarm, I am so much farther from the Father then if I had never known of Him. To think of so much of my life being squandered with lukewarm platitudes and my imagining that I was, all along, white hot.

Lukewarm is my worst nightmare and it has been a constant companion for many years, sparked with genuine moments of intense strength where I saw glimmers of real faith. It’s gotten me by. It’s given me just enough to maintain. Be enough for others, but never for me or Him. I knew it, too. That’s the most horrible admonition.

And so, once again….

I say thank you Heavenly Fatherfor pain.

Without heartache, I would be living without a victory march, but simply a half-forced smile.

Beige. Tepid.

But with pain, I feel. I will live loudly, vibrantly, boiling and burning hot.

Laodicea, no longer.