{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} – Reflecting Light and Tending the Wild

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life, as inspired by the women at Like Mother, Like Daughter~


As I was moving around the kitchen Wednesday morning, straightening up and encouraging the girls to finish their breakfast and running through my list of things to do for the day, a flash of light from the living room caught my eye. I ignored it at first, focused as I was on the tasks at hand, but it was persistent, this light, winking and blinking and inviting me to come, to take a closer look. And so, finally, I did.

Instead of finding the LED candle or flashlight or lamp I expected, however, I found a yellow Lego atop a Christmas tree, part of a set of Advent ornaments Katie and Jonathan have been building each evening before bed. The morning sun streamed through the window, hitting the translucent block in just such a way that it reflected the light back to me.

It stuck with me the rest of the day, this block, this tree, this moment yesterday morning, and I thought of it again each time I walked past it, there on the banister. An apt picture for Advent, it seems to me, for the block has no light of its own, but, when it catches the light of the risen sun, it radiates brilliance in a dark place.


 Happiness is having cousins. We spent the day with my sister’s three kids on Monday and, as we were leaving, Katie said to me, “Hey, Mama, I wish we could babysit again sometime!” (as though the babysitting business was something “we” did.) I love that my girls have cousins who are close (both in location and in age) and that they get to develop those relationships as they grow.

Also happy: a non-selfie picture of me with both girls! Because I’m typically the taker-of-photos, and because Abby is often far too busy to sit still, and because Katie is not often in the mood to look at the camera, a shot like this is rare. Thanks to a fellow mom at MOPs, however, who had both the idea and the ability to take this picture, here it is.


Abby knows where the canning jar rings are stored and, when I start dinner prep in the evening, she likes to dig them out. The initial appeal was the commotion she could make by throwing them on the floor or banging them together, but lately, she’s taken to wearing them as bracelets. She slips one or two up each arm, then marches around the kitchen, waving her arms in the air, pleased as can be.

“Look, Mama,” Katie told me, pride evident in her voice. “I line all the people up. I line the shepherd and the kings and the angel and Jesus’ Mama and Daddy all up in a line. Everyone except the donkey and the sheep and baby Jesus.”

“Yes, I see that, sweetheart,” I replied. “Why are they lined up?”

“They lined up ‘cuz they waiting.”

“Why are they waiting?” I asked, the Advent theme of waiting fresh in my mind. Maybe, I thought, they were waiting to see Jesus.

“Oh,” she said, as though it were self-evident. “They waiting to go on a trip. They going to Minnesota.”

(Apparently, four months later, that’s her takeaway from our family vacation. That we waited in line.)


I finally uprooted the garden this past week. We hadn’t reaped anything really edible from the plants in quite some time, but, though I knew they were sucking nutrients from the soil and giving little in return, I couldn’t bring myself to rip them out. Something about how green they were, about the way they still had fruit (hard and cracked and bitter though it may have been), stayed my hand.

But rip it up I did. Now the dirt lies bare, resting and waiting through the cold months until spring comes, until it is time for another planting, another season of productivity and growth and harvest.

Which leaves me wondering: what else grows wild and untended, ready to be pruned back or ripped up?

Those are the {pretty, happy, funny, and real} moments around here this week. How about you? Where have you found contentment lately?

1 response to "{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} – Reflecting Light and Tending the Wild"

  1. By: Jamie Posted: December 21, 2017

    Love the part about the Advent Legos. Good great, Jenn.

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