Motherhood is not a shiny thing

Motherhood is not a shiny thing. 
You don’t bring her home 
to hang on the wall,
Dust your hands off with pride 
and walk away satisfied. 

Or place her on a shelf
for admiration alone.
That’s not how this goes.

Mothers aren’t born,
Like they like to say.
They’re unearthed
Mined from the depths
Refined and
Chiseled away
They are utterly excavated,
I guess you could say.

is not gradual,
it’s not gentle.
The process is not pretty.
She’s thrust on to you, really.

Dents and dings
will accumulate.
She’ll become worn from use.
Her luster depreciates
quicker than you assumed.

She’ll feel heavy,
too heavy
some days.
Like your grip

But, know this:
you can’t lose her
drop her
or break her,

She’s resilient.
She’s brilliant.
but gracious.

With time
she changes,
takes on a new hue

Where she used to gleam,
a deep patina shines through.
There’s more to her
and more to you.

Every mark on her tells a story.
This is her testimony.

Unashamed she wears them –
Beauty from ashes.

Let it be so
Not a shiny thing, no
Something more valuable;
More tender, more pure

Can you see it?
her true radiance
no longer concealed
like the Velveteen Rabbit —
now she is real.

All professional photos on this site are (c) D. Crowe Photography

New rainboots

She slips her little feet into her new rainboots with my help. 
We head outside to our unofficial therapy, our reset, the surreptitious cure for bad attitudes and restlessness.

I watch her watching a bug, a bird, a truck, her siblings.
She sniffs the mums and shrieks at the katydid.

Taking her in more than I take in the news…it’s good for me.
My delightful counterbalance to all things crazy. 

Her blissful simplicity in place of my hyper-awareness;
Her eagerness to be captivated by beauty when it can’t seem to get my attention; 
Her easy arrival at a smile, when mine is more hard won.
Her relentless pursuit of fun when my own energy is depleted.

This year with her – her tiny hand in mine, through her eyes, at her pace – is exactly the reminder I need. Don’t forget to look up…look around. There is still mercy and grace and beauty to be found. Childlike wonder does a heart good. 

(New rainboots don’t hurt either.)

**This post originally appeared on my instagram @shanna.leigh

So About This Fall…

Well apparently we’re a homeschool fam now…for sure did not see that one coming (on par, #2020).

I believed all of the myths about homeschooling until I was sort of backed into a corner and had to re-evaluate why I had been against it in the first place. Homeschooling isn’t a choice between two extremes…in reality, educating your child is more of a spectrum of varying approaches, methods, & styles. The freedom to choose the how is perhaps the most appealing thing about homeschooling. 

The more I researched, the more I uncovered my deepest desires for my children’s education. Things like: making savoring beauty a daily discipline as important as any other ✨a reclamation of childhood ✨cultivating a deep love of learning ✨utilizing nature, projects, and great literature to learn concepts ✨seeking growth instead of a checklist ✨becoming a student of my own child ✨full freedom for our faith to be integrated with education in a holistic way ✨and maybe most importantly, the decidedly undervalued gift of time.✨

I won’t begin to claim that we have everything figured out (not even close — as in not at all), or that any one decision is better than another (no decision comes easy these days), or that we won’t ever send our kids back into a school building (because I’ve changed my mind before and might again). But I will say that the clarity, peace, and assurance our family has felt about this direction for this season has been supernatural and surprising.

The Father even kindly made a way for us to put together a small local homeschool co-op, between just us and two other families. Having each other’s support as we wade into unfamiliar waters has been the biggest relief and grace.

Now don’t mind me while I nerd out over our Little House on the Prairie books that amazon just delivered. (YES!!) I may not be the smartest or the most patient teacher, but surely being a bookworm at heart & caring too much about spelling and grammar (😂) will serve me well in this new calling. I have yet to meet a homeschool parent who feels “equipped” to handle it, so the good news is I’m in good company!

WHATEVER you’re doing for school this fall: let’s do it WELL friends.

(*If you are even mildly curious about homeschool, I highly recommend starting with reading the book Wild + Free. I am still very much a newbie but happy to try and answer any questions you may have).

Thanks to all of my HS friends who have patiently answered my questions and helped guide us as we get started ❤️ I’ll be sharing more about our approach and curriculum in a later post.

What are your family’s plans for school this fall?