A Tiny Adventure: Circling the Sun

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Have you ever found yourself so lost inside a book that when it ended you were stunned to find yourself here instead of there? Isn’t that the most wonderful feeling? I just returned from colonial Africa where I have been spending time with Beryl Markham and her band of glamorous expats. Well actually I was reading Circling the Sun by Paula McClain.  I love when a book is so well written that it engulfs all your senses. With this book, I swear to you had to brush the red African dust off my hands each time I finished reading.

Beryl Markham was a beautiful, willful woman who was raised in the wilds of Kenya. She became the first female licensed race horse trainer in Africa (and possibly the world) and also the first woman to fly across the Atlantic from east to west. Her life is filled with amazing adventures and stories of bravery and grit.  She lived a remarkable life, one that can tend to make other women feel small.

As I was reading her story, I was so moved by the greatness of her life. I imagined what it must have felt like to be a pioneer for women. I wondered at the pride she must have felt to have blazed the trail for all the women behind her. And then I admit I felt a little sad that I will never be that kind of woman. My path in life is not to have great adventures or fight injustice. Chances are I will never find myself in a situation where I need to be bold and daring and make history.

My life is a quiet service.

It’s easy to see others as more interesting. We can lose ourselves in the monotony of daily life. The endless mountains of laundry and dirty dishes, the schoolwork, the meetings, the weeknight dinners, and Saturday birthday parties. But we all serve a purpose. It’s God’s challenge to us to find it. It may not be to pioneer. We may be warriors in our own ways. Between the amazing adventures, Beryl Markham was also a wife, a mother, and a daughter. At some point, she had to make dinner for someone.

There is glory in the small things as well.

We can not know what path our life will take or the impact it will have on the world. We aren’t supposed to know. In reality, Beryl Markham’s life was riddled with controversy and her spirit never seemed to truly settle. I won’t have a life that inspires epic novels, but I have a family that loves me and I seem to have found my purpose. And that’s enough for me.

As for my taste for great adventure? Thank God for good books.

What have you read lately that got you thinking? Or maybe just got you lost?



Best laid plans…I should be at the gym right now. I have a Monday morning date with myself every week. A 6am sweat session, the only one that I am guaranteed each week. The rest get filled in when spots open, but that 6am Monday slot has become sacred. A quiet drive through the dark streets of my city, a challenge to my body before the battle of the workweek begins. It has become the one thing that makes Monday bearable.  

How can life possibly weigh me down when I start my week reminding myself of my strength? That I have the power to just lift myself back up?

But 5:15 came too early today. When 2am brought a toddler that wanted juice, and to play, and to wrap her fingers in Mama’s hair, 5:15 came way too early. 

Some days are like this. I’m learning that the best laid plans do often fail. Sometimes I need a reminder that I am not in control.  My strength is given to me by a God that knows my heart so well. He knows what I need, right when I need it. He gives me the strength I need when life becomes heavy. He carries me.

So this week, when I feel like I have already let myself down, I will call on Him. When my attitude slips, and my weakness shines through. When I’m trying to squeeze it all in and still make time for myself, and my husband, and for tiny fingers and toes that dig in the dark to find Mama, I will call on Him, for He knows my need.

Currently, my need is coffee….and a shower…and to get to work. Happy Monday, everyone. 


It Was a Good Friday

The last time I disappeared from the blog, it was because I was pregnant and I wasn’t ready to share it with the world.  Guess what? Not pregnant, just busy. Busy raising a child, teaching the children, you know your typical “woman running the world” stuff.  I just haven’t had the energy to write, and to be honest I haven’t had much to share. There’s been a lot of adjusting, learning, and kind of just surviving over the last year. But Reagan is getting ready to turn one and I feel like I’ve settled into a groove and it might be time to start writing again. Besides, it’s spring in Southern Virginia and that means there is much fun to be had!

Today is Good Friday. I’ve been baking. I felt like I needed an Easter tradition that I could share with my little girl.  I decided that Hot Cross Buns could be something we could do together every year on Good Friday so that we could enjoy them Easter weekend.  When I am in need of a fantastic dish that doesn’t skimp on delicious (or on fat) I always turn to Pioneer Woman- Ree Drummond.  Here’s the link to her Hot Cross Buns recipe that I used today.

It’s a bit of a process, but it isn’t hard. The only problem I had was getting the rolls to rise. We live in an insanely drafty house. It’s an old farmhouse with several additions and depending on what room you are in, you may need a Snuggie or full-blown snowsuit. So where to find a warm place for the rolls to rise?

A wise resourceful woman steals her daughter’s space heater and hides the rolls in the guest bathroom.

Now I’m just waiting for the rolls to bake and cool so that I can make the pretty little icing crosses on them. And that is where my mind is lingering, on the thought of the cross and just what that means. 

For me Easter has always been the unofficial start of spring. It’s a time of new birth and new beginning. Even more so last year when my baby girl was born the day after Easter. It’s a time for eggs and pretty dresses and chocolate peanut butter eggs. In my head and in my heart I felt the true meaning of Easter for a long time, but it wasn’t until I became a parent that I felt it deep inside of me. What it truly means, Easter.  

I rock my daughter in the quiet of her room. I kiss her little toes. I listen to her giggle and call “Mama” in the dark. And I think about the cost, the sacrifice that God made for me- and for her. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

I think about Jesus as a child. He once had squishy cheeks and baby giggles. He was not only the savior of our world, he was some one’s son. Someone rocked him and listened to him breathe in the dark night. Someone watched him grow into a man, and someone watched him die.

And as my rolls are cooking and I am preparing to celebrate the rebirth of that savior, I hang my head with humble thanks because I know in the depths of my soul what a sacrifice like that really meant. I feel it in my aching heart. And in that I know how much He loves me.