Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Steps

"I don't mean to be like people are stupid," I say, "but with math and science and history and art, any idiot can learn it if they do the steps." A felt ornament in hand, I pull embroidery floss through it's wool surface.

"I know," Jane says. I'm checking her school work. Paused at a cache of sketches, we stare at the latest installment of daily practice. "When we started art with Grammie," she says, "it was HARD. And I was like, I'm not gonna be any good at THIS."

"Yeah," I say.

"But after hundreds of hours, I mean HUNDREDS," she leans toward me. "That has some WEIGHT," she says.

"Yup," I say. "You're probably coming up on 400 hours."

"Yeah, WOW," she says.

"After hundreds of hours," I lean in and whisper, "any idiot can learn it."

"It does help to have IQ," she says, "but most people with a high IQ don't want to stoop so low, which is actually standing TALL." She shrugs.

"Yup," I say.

So it is. Practice makes easy. Hundreds of hours and suddenly, there, in the palm of your hand: skill.


6198. George Lewis. Our newest additions grows strong and healthy. Big boy, over 10 lbs. by now.

6199. I get the blessing and privilege of having a dear, dear friend as my doula at George's birth.

6200. Jack meets my every possible need the weeks recovering from delivery. He cooks the meals, cleans the main living areas, does dishes. With nary a hint from me, he serves from his heart, every action pure love.

6201. Dear friends and family send us meals and treats and gifts. On top of the gift of a child, we find love and help there reaching out to us.

6202. We celebrate Christmas over the weekend with extended family. Peace settles on the whole clan of us out at my parents. Something more than us, something I can only describe as the presence of Christ encircles us. Christmas truly.

6203. I still struggle to keep the house tidy, and struggle to respond with the perfect combination of strength and grace when things go sideways, but even there, even the worst moments are fill with purpose. We encircle each other with grace and spur one another on in love and good works.

6204. The new geography of our family adds depth to each of us.


  1. No wonder patience is so highly valued in the Bible. Practice and patience intertwined. It is humbling to have to go at it so long to become proficient. I have often thought of Moses those 40 years in the dessert taking care of sheep. Learned patience for caring for a flock. Who knew the flock he would eventually care for....

    And that photo of Betsy with her baby and her hymnal is adorable.

  2. Sometimes people have brain limitations...they practice and practice and still can't make it work. not stupid or idiots but developmental disabilities. Just saying and spreading the love. Can't wait to meet George!

  3. I work with people who have mental illness. And I love and respect the dignity in each human being.

  4. Yes, yes! Such a great point Lynne. I was meaning to address the perfectly capable and yet too proud or unwilling to work. Thank you for speaking up!! The developmentally delayed have a beauty all their own often far more beautiful than the rest of us. I know you see this every day. Love you!!!

  5. You are so aMAZing! I'm pretty crazy in love with you!

  6. Ohh, these photos, this wry and holy conversation. I am all smiles and admiration, giving thanks.