A Good Name, Sweet Thing


Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is to be more desired than great riches.


A good name … hmmm.

Our newest addition to the family has a good name. She arrived 8 weeks ago and was distinctly named for her story – her backstory as well as her future story. (Yes, a newborn CAN have a backstory.)

Although her parents knew in advance that she would be a girl, and what her name was, everyone else was kept in the dark until her arrival, long awaited.


It’s such an odd sensation, driving to the hospital to meet a new family member for the first time.

Who are you, sweet thing, and who will you be?


Version 2

Her own DNA.

Her own name.

Her own voice.

Her own little bud of a personality.


Her own struggles.


Oh, it’s so hard to think of someone this little having to go through struggles; she’s such a sweet little thing.

But she will.

That’s the thing about living … it’s not struggle-free.


Yet, it is our reactions to our struggles that determine whether or not we will have a good name. The good name spoken of in Proverbs.

A good name is a good character. A good reputation.

Anybody responds well in the pleasant times.

But that kind of good name is built on one’s responses in the hard times.



So, while we would never wish strife and hard times on this new life, instead we pray that her responses to her struggles will form her character and build her good name.





Incidentally, her name is Hanna Joy.

But to me she will always be Sweet Thing.


Version 2

Lessons From a Two Year Old



There is something about 2-year-olds that is so raw and honest. They are still uncorrupted by the world, in that they don’t really think about what others are thinking about them, or whether or not their opinion will rock the boat. Or even whether or not they should have an opinion. They just have one.

They live in the moment. They feel all the feelings – the highest highs and the lowest lows. And then they move on.

We could learn a lot from 2-year-olds.

Here are some things I learned during my ten days with Little Man.


1.  Know who you are.

Several times on our outings, friends, store clerks, and perfect strangers would comment to him, “You are so cute!” or “Aren’t you a sweetheart.” Each and every time he would look at them seriously and reply, “No. I Deklan.”

At one point during his visit, he and The Cowboy were practicing counting. First Gramps would say a number, then Little Man would say the next number:

G: One

LM: Two

G: Three

LM: Four

… and so on.

Then Gramps decided to switch it up.

G: Okay. Now you are One.

LM: No, I Deklan.

G: No, I’m Two so you are One.


We all need the confidence of a 2-year-old to know who we are, despite the pressures of the world to influence us otherwise.


2.  Remember that your Father delights in you.

One day, after we had FaceTimed with Mommy and Daddy, Little Man had a hard time going to bed.

“I go MY house,” he kept saying. We had some extra cuddles that night. We talked about all the people who love him. We talked about how, in a few days, Mommy and Daddy would come pick him up and take him home in Daddy’s truck.

As I laid him down and covered him up, he looked at me with those innocent eyes and said, “I make Daddy so happy.”

I know for a fact that his Daddy tells him this all the time. How wonderful that, in his hour of difficulty, Little Man could remember that his Daddy delighted in him.

Our heavenly Father tells us all the time, “You are precious in My sight.” (Isa. 43:4).  It would serve us well to remember this when we go through difficult times.


3.  Recognize the feelings and state them for what they are.

Wrestling with a wiggly 2-year-old during a diaper change is as hard as the hardest workout I’ve ever managed. It can be frustrating and nerve-wracking for all involved.

On one such occasion Little Man had had enough and suddenly hollered, “Gwumma! I haf no patience!!”

You and me both, buddy boy, but thanks for putting it out there.

Sometimes it helps to stop and identify the feelings in a moment of frustration. As so many psychologists are wont to advise — figuring out the problem is half the battle. So, recognize it. Name it. Then choose how to deal with it.


4.  Slow down and appreciate.

2-year-olds are experts in being aware. Even the most everyday, mundane thing gets legitimate recognition. We can be busy doing something important, like playing on the train table, when the garbage truck drives into the neighbourhood. Then everything stops as we run to the front window to take it all in and give an enthusiastic WHOAH!

So many little wonderful moments pass us by in our busy, important worlds. We need to be present in the moment, and fully aware, so that we are able to thoroughly appreciate life’s tiniest of gifts.


I am definitely appreciating the gift of a certain 2-year-old.



Blankets, Bibs, and Burp Cloths

Blankets, bibs, and burp cloths

We are expecting another baby in our family. Peaches and The Producer are due in June, and Babe has already named the babe Junebug so we don’t have to refer to it as … IT.

But Peaches’ doctor has recently informed us that Junebug will make his or her appearance 3 weeks early … in May.

Now what name? Mayflower? Maybelle? Maybelline? Mayberry? Nope. Junebug will remain.

In light of this impending birth I have been busy sewing for Junebug. I’m praying for him or her with every stitch. Thank heavens I finished the quilt before the doctor made her pronouncement or I’d be in a panic right now.


Some people look at me weird when I mention that I am sewing for baby. Why sew bibs when you can buy them? And there are such cute ones out there nowadays. I have to say, it has nothing to do with saving money. Have you seen the price of fabric these days??

For one thing, the bibs I make – though maybe not as cute as the bought ones – are the BEST at absorption. Babies are drooly, don’t you know. But that’s not the main reason I’m sewing for baby.

For me, it has to do with love.

Love for my daughter. Love for my grandchild. Love for my Mom, who taught me to sew.

I also love to sew. I am not an accomplished seamstress, but I must love it because nobody in their right mind would continue to sew in the shadow of my mother – a brilliant seamstress, quilter, knitter, crocheter – unless they loved it.

My birthday quilt from Mom
My birthday quilt from Mom

I got my love for sewing from my Mom, who got it from her Mom. I guess you could say it’s a family tradition. It’s also a family tradition to use that love of sewing to clothe and bless your children and grandchildren.

Mom sewed for me as I grew up. Then she sewed blankets and burp cloths while I was expecting. Later, she sewed outfits for my kids, and now she is sewing for my grandchildren – her great grandchildren. She taught me to sew. She taught my daughters to sew.

Little does she know, unless she is reading this, that I still live for her well done.


The fact is, my sewing is not always well done. This most recent baby quilt, for example, has some mistakes that I wouldn’t have made had I been more accomplished. But to be accomplished one has to spend hours and hours and hours of learning and practice, which I haven’t done and Mom has. Maybe someday I’ll be as good as she is, but I doubt it, because by the time she was my age she was much further along in her sewing accomplishment than I am now.

Still, I sew with the little expertise I have and hope that the love will show through. Meanwhile I’ll learn and grow with each project I work on.

And the family tradition of blessing new babies with bibs, blankets, and burp cloths will live on as I work on them, every stitch swathed in love and prayer.

Thanks Mom.          IMG_4522

To Be Truthful …



I bought the train table for me.

Now before you go jumping to conclusions about what I do in my spare time … let me explain.

Little Man is coming for 10 days while his parents are away. I love him with all the pieces of my heart, and he’s such a good little guy most of the time.

But he’s 2.

And I’m … Well, let’s just say I’m past the half century mark.

I have a bad ankle on my left leg and a bad knee on my right. I’m not moving as quickly as I used to. So I got a little worried about keeping up with this little Force of Nature.

I mean, I’m a fun Grandma. But I can’t be fun all the time.



And so, last time he was here with his mom and we visited a play place, I took note of the almost hour and a half he spent at the train table. He was enthralled with those trains, pushing them along the tracks, over hills and bridges, through tunnels. Connecting all the cars together to make one long train. And he wasn’t the only one. Several kids of many ages were completely engaged in play with the trains.


That very afternoon, in anticipation of this coming visit, I went out and bought a train table of my own. I justify the expense by telling myself there will be other grandchildren who will play on it for years to come.





But it’s really for me.