Sunday, November 6, 2011


"Momma," Jane rests a hand on my shoulder, "maybe Jesus will do something nice and make the splitting headache go away."

I press fingers to forehead, "I hope so," I offer.

"Let's pray. Jesus," she starts, "please make Momma's splitting headache go away. Amen."

I sigh, let the words surround me. "Amen."

In gentle strokes the evening eases in. Headache ebbs by gradual degrees. Through the haze I see Jane's blue eyes blink back at me.

"Do you want me to turn the lights off?" she asks and scurries to pour a glass of milk next to the window's fading light.

I pack a scoop of coffee in the espresso basket, press it down. I feel Jane at my elbow, her curls long down her back.

Black and frothy sweet, espresso pours out the double spout. We watch it fill a tiny metal pitcher, meniscus bulging. Hands like feathers I swoop the mahogany shot into waiting coffee cup, a long foaming stream, perfect aim.

"I'm always amazed you don't spill that," Jane says.

"Yeah?" Our eyes glued the chestnut liquid, I add several sloshes of hot water.

"I love watching," she says. "I think it is so cool." And I hear it, the admiration. Even a simple slosh of coffee is perfection to her.

The weight of influence presses in tight around me.


1582. Butternut squash fresh from farm cellar.

1583. Jane's whisper in my ear, "Momma, want me to make you eggs?" as I rise for the morning.

1584. How Rosie clamors up on the couch with Jane and Jack, desperate to do flashcards.

1585. Jane's smile, "I'm glad I gave that gum ball machine away."

1586. Jack's hug and nod as I kiss him goodnight before bed, "I know you need to get out to your husband," he says.

1587. Lucy's nose smudged with dirt when she comes in from playing outside.

1588. And how she assures me, "Momma, every year you're just looking more old." Her approving nod.

1589. How Jack unlocks and hold the door for me when I leave to meet some friends.

1590. Jane's description of my cooking, "Usually all your things are spectacular, you know."

1591. "And so they went to Bethlehem..." Lucy's sing-song voice from on the couch as she reads to a dolly perched in her lap.

1592. Jane fresh in from out back calls to the kids, "Wanna sing Rock-A-Bye Baby with me and the dulcimer?"

1593. Myra Rosie's sweet, "Ma-ma," when I go to hush the kids to sleep.

1594. Lucy's determination that grown-ups don't stay up late because, "They're tired, and they're scared they're gonna have a headache."

1595. How she cuddles her baby and follows me around, "Mom, my baby always wants to read Bible stories. You can read on right now if you want."

1596. Jack's exclamation, "Mom, LOOK, I can walk like a penguin!" red rubber band around his

1597. Big news: our baby's a BOY.

1598. Lucy's explanation, "Our baby has a part we call a tail."

1599. The six of us circled around the ultrasound screen and my doctor's assessment, "I'm 'bout as sure that that's a BOY as I am that the sun's gonna rise tomorrow."

1600. Dinner at Jesse and Libby's -- the soup, the apples, carrots and cornbread, pear honey and the bond of family that encircles the spread.

1601. Rockie Amelia almost one, all blue eyes, wide smile, and her daddy's adoring gaze.

1602. Sudafed, a cup of coffee, a bowl of cereal, and how my cold's almost invisible for a few hours.

1603. How Jane makes applesauce oatmeal for all the kids, feeds Rosie, and recites Never Tease A Weasel for breakfast entertainment.

1604. A spur of the moment afternoon stroll with a dear friend and her twin boys.

1605. Jane's exhortation to Jack, "You have got to stop whining. I do not help kids that whine."

1606. How she tries to help when I have a headache, "You can just give us stuff already made, and you can have apples and peanut butter for dinner, if you want."

1607. How Jack closes up the chicken coop for the night and confidently adds, "I said, 'Jane, don't bring a flashlight 'cause I'm gonna lead you.'"

1608. Another morning volunteering with the kids.

1609. Learning again that it's easy to give in a public setting, but how it really means the most in the privacy of home when my head is throbbing and my children need me.

1610. The baptism of giving.

holy     experience


Rachelle said...

Bethany, your children crack me up!! While their comments are sometimes hysterical, the honesty they speak with is truly heartwarming. I think you are well on your way to creating servants of the Lord. You not only influence your kids, but me too!! Love you!

CDJ said...

I am inspired to listen more closely to my children. Your ability to quote yours exactly forces me to wonder if I live too hurried...too noisily..or at too great a distance. Thank you for taking time to listen...then to share. (blessings on that new little boy!!)

Robin said...

I haven't been by your place in a while and oh my how your children have grown! I didn't realize until I started reading that I missed you. Oh the joy of blogging. Thank you for sharing your life!
~Blessings Robin

Melissa @ a time for everything said...


I'm guessing Jack is particularly over the moon.

#1586 made me giggle. :)

Amy Bowman said...

Your precious family is becoming so precious to me as I read your gifts each week. Such sweetness in your words and theirs..

Jeff and Naomi said...

Hooray for another boy to carry on the Schafer name and legacy! Lucy cracks me up and I too had to giggle at 1586. :) Thankful for Jane's faith and sweetness to you and your giving to others, even when it hurts. The dulcimer has piqued my interest--when and how did you come across one?! Hugs!

Amy said...

I always feel the chills of Heaven when I read words of your children's hearts. Truly. Your telling of them truly blesses me. We See Love and Grace poured out in their lives--meaningful now.

(advice: nasal rinse. every day. and...zyrtec--clears up the pregnancy sinuses, and seasonal ones, too!)

HopeUnbroken said...

just loved each bit of this week's sharing. brought lots of smiles to my face. thanks!

Stacey said...

Sweet, lovely, delightful...filled me with joy to read the lyrical commentary of your little ones. Brought fresh raising my own, their warbles and wiggles. Now a grandma it all is becoming fresh and new.

Craig and Bethany said...

@ Naomi- Oh, the dulcimer! It's a lap dulcimer that's called a Music Maker. If you google Music Maker it will pop up. Jane got it for Christmas a couple of years ago. She and Jack both play it! The music that comes with it is super simple to learn. Plus, I think it's a way better music intro than those pesky recorders! lol

@ Amy- Thanks for the tips!

@ Everyone- Thank-you all for your sweet, sweet, support and rejoicing with us.

the o's said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daiquiri said...

Your kids are getting so big!

Adina said...

Yay, another boy! I love your posts, Bethany, and the gratitude is simply icing on the cake.