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Love {mother}letters



Posted by on Apr 17, 2012 |

Read My Letter - Blogger ButtonDivine providence brought them into my life 3½ years ago; they entered through love's door.  

Shannon, a favorite blogging friend of mine, thought I might be interested in and able to help "Danny" on a project-gift he was creating: a compilation of letters of encouragement from moms across the blogosphere to encourage his wife. In short, after a life-changing trip to Africa, "Danny" and his wife had agreed to simplify gift giving by making gifts for one another, and his gift to her was this Mother Letters Project.

Fast forward to now, and what began as

an idea…

a gift…

a seed

has now full blossom-flourished into Mother Letters {Sharing the Mess and Glory}.  It's a bonus for me that Amber and Danny/Seth became real life friends, cherries on the frosting of a very tasty cake.  

A tapestry woven in words wise and warm, the Mothering Life is proclaimed from 48 contributors who've been there, done that, all who are STILL there and doing.  Some mamas to littles, some mamas to bigs, and some mamas to babies they've had to let go of much too soon; yet somehow they manage to see goodness and grace in spite of shattered hearts.  You'll find NYT best-selling authors to anonymous mamas you'll never have chance to meet…but ALL bring life and light and love and beauty to the high calling of motherhood, and you're bound to leave its reading encouraged and inspired.

I'm beyond thrilled to be included in this edition.  

Help Amber and Seth help you:  don't think about buying their book, BUY IT!!  I feel strongly about supporting the hard work of writers, whether their words are published online or in print.  And, really, you shouldn't wait–launch price is 30% off!  

Click the image below and within a minute or two you can be reading.  And because I want to do everything to help Amber and Seth get this book into the hands of as many as possible, would you please share among your spheres of influence?  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest–I'd be grateful if you'd pass along this post to as many friends as possible!!

Affiliate links used and any commission earned through the sale of Mother Letters will be donated to The Mercy House.


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85 Words + 119 Syllables = A Test???



Posted by on May 2, 2011 |

Poetry Reading by Irene Sheri


Just for fun, match the author and book titles with their companion haiku (from my incourage book reviews last week). All of these books have had great impact in my life, and regardless of when you discover this post, I can promise you they’re still life-changing reads.

A.  John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life

B.  John Eldredge, Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive

C.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

D.  Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical

E.  The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale

F.  Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men

G.  Emerson Eggerichs, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs



Questions and answers

Inside mind & heart of man

Secret truths revealed



The Crazy Cycle:

Marriage spins out of control!

It makes so much sense!



Deep calling to deep

Living in community





You’re in a battle

A tug-of-war of the heart

Fight! (or Satan wins)


Sometimes dreams come true

But maybe not like you thought

They’re even better



Time is precious gift

Lived for God’s glory or self

Wisdom chooses well



Hands and feet of Christ

Compassionate empathy

Reject status quo



1F, 2G, 3C, 4B,  5E, 6A, 7D


And if you’re curiosity is sparked to read a few thoughts on each selection along with some notable quotes by the author, please DO read the post in its entirety :).

Note:  Affiliate links used in the titles; if you click through and purchase (and all of these are books you should read at some point in you life…), you might just buy me a cup of coffee!!  From a truck stop, not Starbucks ;).

Photo credit

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Joie de la NETTOYAGE?!?
[Simple Mom :: project simplify + book GIVEAWAY!]



Posted by on Mar 21, 2011 | 72 comments

Projectsimplify2 There is no greater evidence of God's twisted sense of humor than when he pairs a Messy with a Neat Freak 'til death do us part.  

It's a combustible combination that will have both parties at times tugging and warring.

In our family, I'm the messy.  

I'm pretty good at cleaning, mind you, but that organizing and decluttering business?  Well, sometimes the mere thought of it strangles me in paralyzing chokehold.  It's not that I don't have the want toI do, I really do!–I just don't have the follow through.  

Can we call it adult-onset A.D.D.?  Or genetic?  My dad was the biggest clutter-hound on the planet (well, I thought he was until I saw an episode of Niecy Nash's Clean House…!).

In spite of my natural tendency to multiply clutter like a dozen libidinous bunnies, I actually enjoy seasons of organization.  I can't predict it, I can't manufacture it, but when it strikes me SWEETMERCYcarpe that diem!  

W e l l, lovies…it hit me last week when my husband traveled to God's Country, an energizing, irresistible force of Spring Cleaning meets project simplify.

Maybe it was a case of sympathetic, transferred nesting for Lisa Jo; or perfect timing with the start of my kids' Spring Break; or all of that coupled with inspiration from…

I met Tsh/Simple Mom years ago at the first Blissdom Conference; I've admired her ever since.  With great design sense, clear vision for her site and an obvious heart for God and family, she leads by example.  When she asked me to guest post about parenting teenagers** in her Seasons of Parenting series, then invited me as a regular contributor for that niche, I was honored and thrilled.  To the max.

Book03 Her book, Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living, is six shades of fabulous

practical, beautiful and inspiring, and one of you have a chance to win one!  We'll get to that in a minute.

Simple Mom is midway through project simplify, a five-week series challenging readers "to roll up their sleeves and clear the clutter from the different “hot spots” in their homes."  

By focusing on specific tasks each week, she makes de-cluttering doable and almost downright FUN by having her community do it together, celebrating accomplishment with before/after photos.  

This week's Hot Spot:  kids' clothes and toys.

Did I mention it's Spring Break at Chez Pensieve?  Me thinks the kids might suddenly come down with Mama-induced Spring(break) Cleaning Fever.  There's only one cure for that…. 😉

While I'm not following project simplify to a "T", I'm reading along gaining inspiration and encouragement from those taking part.  Simple Mom is all about doing what works for you…and honestly?  For the first time ever I was more about the cleaning/decluttering/organizing process than I was about photo-documenting the occasion!!  Wonders never cease….

Wanna win a copy of Organized Simplicity?  (trust me, you do!)  Please leave a thoughtful comment below relevant to this post by Friday, March 25th at 11:59 EST.  ("Great post!" or "I want to win!" comments mean nothing to me and will be disqualified.)   Maybe share your favorite Spring Cleaning and organizing tips or let me know if you're already taking part in project simplify. 

After you do that, feel free to enter as many times as you like by leaving a separate comment indicating you've done any/all of the following.  Winner will be chosen by Random Integer Generator (unless you write a really cool cleaning-related haiku or poem and I'm swayed to pick favorites….).

  • Subscribe to PENSIEVE in a reader or by email.
  • Tweet a link to this giveaway and comment its specific URL.
  • *Like* or Share this post on Facebook.
  • Stumble, Kirtsy, etc. this post.


**  If you're interested, here's my two-part series for Seasons in Parenting:

Parenting Teens, Part 1
Parenting Teens, Part 2


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One Thousand Gifts, a beginning



Posted by on Mar 21, 2011 | 12 comments

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. 
~ G.K. Chesterton


I continue to savor Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are; it won't be one of my top reads for 2011, it will be one of my top reads for life.  To read Ann is to love her, to know her is to love her more.  A rare, exquisite writer, Ann was born to share Christ through word written, spoken but mostly lived.  Her countenance belies a Jesus-knowing that makes me want to know Him better.  And though I know humble creature that she is, stumbling across any praise of her would cause instinctive recoil, when she realizes it is Christ in her that draws me, she wouldn't dare deny him his glory!

Ann's own one thousand gifts began on a whim, a scribbled list of gifts she already had.  She discovers "eucharisteo," a word Luke used when he recounted Jesus taking, breaking, giving thanks and sharing bread, a word rich and telling, pregnant in its significance, rooted in grace and thanksgiving and joy.

Her message is consistent in her book and on her blog-

Counting one thousand gifts is more than gratitude. That can be mere cultural construct. Counting one thousand gifts is about eucharisteo. That is Christ command. Eucharisteo, that Greek word that expresses what Christ did at the Last Supper: take the bread of pain as grace. Give thanks for that which is hard. Endure the cross, all in view of the joy set before.

Counting one thousand gifts means counting the hard things — otherwise I’ve miscounted. ~ Ann

* * * * * *

This morning in quiet and solitude and in delight of Spring's arrival, I find myself particularly grateful.  I'm naturally inclined toward thankfulness, for the big things and the small, but some days it's near impossible to contain.  Maybe because my first born will soon graduate, or maybe because I will soon add another year to my age, or maybe because there's a Season of "new" just around the corner, I find myself introspective and more appreciative of people.  

It seems right today to begin a list for my One Thousand Gifts, and given my pensive mood, it starts with "gifts" who live under my roof.

1.  Recent soul-conversations with my husband, heart-stirrers and marriage-difference makers, the kind I forgot I need.

2.  My daughter's persistence in reconciling relationship.

3.  Discovering that my daughter reads non-fiction just like me!  Pen(cil) in hand, outlining, circling and writing notes.  (I wonder, did she learn this from me or is it shared DNA or???)

4.  My oldest son's quick wit and ability to make me laugh…even when I'm not happy with him.  Maybe especially then.

5.  My youngest son's notice and compliment every time I get my hair cut…it's genuine.  


…to be continued

* * * * * * * 

Delighted to finally be joining this beautiful symphony of gratitude…join us?


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The Pursuit of God



Posted by on Mar 20, 2011 |

A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God is resonating with my soul and spirit; what he had to say in his 1948 classic is relevant today–is it possible to be more so than back in his day?

As I'm just beginning to devour the pages, I already want to share every word.  Which is highly convicting because, if I'm being honest, I don't devour God's word with the same appetite nor desire to share His word with such compulsion.  

I'd rather lie to you.  But I won't.  And I do wish that was my desire.  But it isn't.

Astonishingly, God is faithful when I am faithless and he's willing to use the words of man to teach, challenge and inspire me towards Him.  Yes, His word is sufficient and it's where I should be spending most of my time reading, but God will find a way to get my attention right where I am.

He's generous that way.  

Wisdom from the first chapter–

The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonder of His world; we Christians are in real danger of losing God amidst the wonders of His Word.  We have almost forgotten that God is a Person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can.  It is inherent in personality to be able to know other personalities, but full knowledge of one personality by another cannot be achieved in one encounter.  It is only after long and loving mental intercourse that the full possibilities of both can be explored.

~ The Pursuit of God, p. 13

More to come….


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