Until Next Time

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I’m feeling better, the sun came out,

and it’s time

for an important announcement:

We’re going on vacation! 

Kinda sorta.  Maui?  Not exactly…  Chilly New England.

My Sweet Babboo is off from teaching this week.  He’ll be working a second job (what a hero, allowing me to stay home with the kids!) and we’ll be here, same as always –


we will not be getting up before it’s light,

he will not be face-to-face with 9th graders all day (9th graders of the world, you understand, right?)


I will not be blogging.

In honor of a vacation-of-sorts, I’m taking a week off to do some maintenance work on The Full Vine.  I truly love writing to you each day, and I want to make it the best experience possible for everyone who pops in. 

While Mama works, please continue to stop by and nose around my re-do’s and experiments.  Most of all, have a wonderful week, and know that I’m thinking of you.

To kick off my week of semi-silence, here’s the REAL soul food thought for today:

Every time I bend over to scoop up one of my chillins, I am stooping.  Bending.  Creaking a little, maybe, but stopping in the middle of what I’m doing to fully hold and lift them.

Your right hand supports me. 

You stoop down to make me great.

Psalm 18:35b

It is impossible for me to fathom the Sovereign Creator bending down to notice and help me.  But somehow the feeling of lifting my hefty 20lb 7 month-old helps me grasp it a little.  He’s helpless, even though he’s huge.

I’m helpless, too.  And I am not judged for that.  God isn’t pointing his finger at me and scolding me as I’m so apt to do to my own children.  He’s gentle and humble.  Jesus Christ the Man proved that.

Thank you, God, for supporting me, being gentle with me, and stooping down to identify with me in my weakness.  I love you for it.


Until next time, friends!

For a little more Full Vine reading, grab a cup of something steamy and click away:

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cloth Napkins: Never Old Fashioned

Faw the Boids

Guess Who Went No Poo?

Homemade Pizza

The Frugal Woman’s Toilette: Her Face

The Half-Hour Headband

Little Boy Blue

The Garden That Was


Maybe I’m Growing or Something

what in the world is “soul food sanctuary?!”

what happened to SUNDAY’S VERSE SATURDAY?!?!


Neither do I…  But sometimes you have to roll with it – just go with it, when a lightbulb flickers on and you realize you’re on to something good.

I used to write “Sunday’s Verse Saturday” because I had a hard time remembering to get my heart ready for Sunday worship.  Sometimes that’s still true…  But I realized something really cool this week:

Lately, my inspiration for Sunday morning’s sharing time has come from much earlier in the week.  God is so incredibly gracious.  I don’t deserve a lifeline or a rock to cling to.  But every week He gives me sustenance for my soul. 

There’s a reason it’s called “daily bread.”  It’s not just for church time, or for the day before.  I cannot take a step forward without His help.  I need Him DAILY.

Some will say that this means Christianity is a crutch.  I’d say………..it’s a stretcher.  I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit my abject need for His love.  There I am, on the front lines (as are you), trying to live by the skin of my teeth, trying to become something better than what I am, and failing and failing and failing.

The mercy of Christ is what gets me out of bed, turns my heart into something new, and allows me to be of some use and help to the people around me. 

This week, Psalm 26:2b,3 kept pouring through my head:

Test my motives and affections. 

For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love.

And I have lived according to your truth. 

That is my prayer – a little scary, to think of Almighty God testing me…  But not really scary, because I remember His love and it never ever fails to reach even me.

Joy On the Brain

Stuff’s going around.  I mean sickness.  People are dropping like flies around here.  How about where you live?

We fellowship in a very small church.  There are 12 people in it, including children.  This might seem odd to most readers, but it’s been beautiful for us.  I can go into the details of how and why and what in the world?! another day.  For today, let’s just say that when numbers are down from sickness, it’s tough to “have church.”

That also means that when sickness is spreading around our church, EVERYONE knows and EVERYONE is praying.  I love the closeness of it.  But, I said wasn’t going to elaborate on church!

Anyhooways, I’ve had joy on the brain. 

Why?  It’s winter!  It’s dreary and cold! 

Why?  Because even in the midst of sickness, loved ones passing, worries about our friends, concerns about our sons’ teeth and habits and sleep schedules and futures and safety and ___ and ___ etc etc, God has been giving us peace through his promises:

I will be filled with joy because of you.  Psalm 9:2a

The joy of the Lord is your strength.  Nehemiah 8:10b

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

A couple of those are probably repeat verses from recent Saturday history.  My feeling?  That only proves that God is teaching me something.

Lift your head, child, and put your eyes on me.  See?  I’m smiling as I help you through.

If you look at it logically, the above verses say that joy is strength and Christ is strength.  Therefore Christ is joy.

joy = strength = Christ, who is in my heart at all times

So even when things aren’t perfectly lovely, joy and strength are perfectly available.  I’m sorry that sounded trite.  I’m full of peanut butter cookies and feeling all warm and gooey.

Whatever you may be dealing with, I hope you have the joy and strength of Christ in your heart.  And peanut butter cookies in your belly.

(photo credit for the fireworks goes to my Sweet Babbooski)

Air, Water, Sleep

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the basics.

Air.  Just breathe in and out.  Babies are screaming.  It’s okay.  Deep breaths, think it through – what do they need?  Oh yeah…  Clean diapers make happy babies.

Water.  Why do I feel shriveled and exhausted?  Oops!  Coffee doesn’t cut it.  Chug-a-lug.

Sleep.  A good sleeping-in should be at the top of every doctor’s medicine list.  One morning of sleeping in and I feel like myself again.

(Oy!  Look at those frog-belly legs!  My retinas!  It burns the eyes!)

And then there’s a verse like this one, classic as PB&J, but I forget I forget I forget. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

Here’s to remembering and practicing the basics.  🙂