Easy Peasy

my three baby boys

“I don’t know how you do it!”

“I could never homeschool, make my own bread, go without paper towels, etc”

“All boys…aren’t you going to try for a girl?”

More often than not, these are the things I hear when I am first getting to know someone. When the boys were little, I heard, “It looks like your hands are full” just about every time I was out.  It wasn’t my favorite thing – I was pretty sure it wasn’t a compliment… I had three boys-aged three and under and I was exhausted.  I began responding with “My hands were empty for a long, long time-so they are a blessing.”  It seemed to end that conversation.

It was the truth, though.  All I wanted to be was a Mommy, from the time we said, “I do.”  It was my goal.  We were married in 1992 and didn’t have our Taylor until January of 1998.  We waited a few years to spend time on our marriage, traveled to Europe and worked.  But then things didn’t work out as we planned. While everyone around us was excitedly making plans to decorate a nursery, I was crying in my living room every month. It was so hard.

After several years, we finally were expecting. We had just bought a new house and the thrill of our future was like no other. We lost our first baby when I was 9 weeks along. It was so hard. I had to have surgery and the recovery room was in the maternity section of the hospital. I felt forgotten.

During the next many months, I would deal with depression, anger, jealousy and much more as we continued along-just the two of us.  We began looking at adoption agencies.  Finally, over a year after my surgery, we were expecting again.  Taylor.  We would be surprised two more times in rapid succession with our other boys. I never took it for granted that we were able to conceive. I still don’t. I also didn’t want girls. I was pretty sure I might mess one up. I love my boys. They are amazing. My hands are full – but I am so thankful for it!

As the years have passed and we have all grown, I have evolved into who I am today – a work in progress with glimpses of who I will become someday.  I certainly never thought I would homeschool. In fact, I used to tell friends I would NEVER do that.  Never say never, right? We love it, though.  It’s what is right for us.  It’s not for everyone. It is hard some days. It is a lot of work and some sacrifice-but it’s what we are supposed to do, so we have grace to do it.  I love spending this time with my boys who are growing faster than I can imagine. Soon enough, they will be independent of us.  I know we won’t regret this time.

Years ago, I went to an older (than me) ladies’ home where she taught a multi-week class on homemaking, organization and cooking.  It was very Titus 2. This was my first introduction to the Bosch.  I never forgot it. I was amazed that this woman could throw some stuff into this mixer and flop a huge mass of dough onto her counter, which would be tucked into bread pans.  While we tackled some other area in the house, this amazing smell of homemade bread was drifting throughout the house.  It was awesome.  Years later, I would be able to hang out with a wonderful friend who had a breadmaking heritage, who taught me much more and I was HOOKED.  I received a Bosch and a Nutrimill that year for Christmas and they remain some of my favorite Christmas gifts ever.  I use them almost every week and I am recharged every time I do so.  In fact, I just told Mr Darcy I would bake bread for a living, if I could. 🙂  He knows that he can always get me a kitchen gadget and I will be happy.

When we knew we were making a life/job/ministry transition 3 years ago – I became more diligent about trimming our grocery list.  It was easier because “green” is in.  Making your own cleaning supplies was cool. Vinegar is cheap and works so well for so many things. My Mom started giving me surgical towels to use in the kitchen (unused, of course!) and I stopped using paper goods.  I don’t fill up my trash can (which fills up the landfill) and it’s cheaper.  I buy cloth napkins or make them for our dinner table and I feel like our mealtimes are actually a little nicer-looking as a result.

I decided to write this post today because I want you to understand that the things you think you could “never do” might just be what you wind up doing.  I wasn’t going to be able to have children – but I have three wonderfully loud boys in the room next to me.  I will give them each a spelling test today as we learn together in our home – and still live to talk about it tomorrow.  I will get a loaf of homemade bread out at lunch to make grilled cheese for my four guys and use my blue surgical towels to clean up after I spray my homemade cleaner on the counters.

It’s a good life.  It’s my life.  Yours looks different and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  I don’t have to be the scrapbooking lady, or the one who makes french pastries (although I want to be the best friend of that lady!).  I don’t have to have the cleanest house – just a tidy one that doesn’t feel like chaos.  I don’t even have to have a wonderful blog that thousands of people comment on (but please feel free to comment whenever you would like!)

It’s my chance to be center stage. It’s all about me. The talents I have been given, the strengths and weaknesses alike.  The successes and failures and what’s in-between.

I love it. Even when I hate it- I love it.



I posted this on the Heavenly Homemakers blog….Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pamela Guinn
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 11:14:59

    You are such a blessing and I so appreciate your open and honest communication. You go girl!
    Love you


    • Janna
      Oct 26, 2010 @ 12:46:14

      Thank you, Pam! We were just talking about you last night as we remembered JREA conferences from years ago…



  2. Angela
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 13:03:57

    I love you Janna!
    I love reading your blogs… It reminds me of going to your house and sitting in your kitchen And drinkng coffee and just talking and pouring whatever I was feeling out to you… And leaving your home feeling healed more timed than not… You are an incredible lady and you give so much to everyone in your life and I am guessing anyone you just happen to pass anywhere!


    • Janna
      Oct 26, 2010 @ 15:21:28

      Angela –
      Thank you! I wish you could pop over with those precious babies of yours and we could sit and enjoy a long conversation or two (or three) and some coffee. You have such a great sense of humor!



  3. LeAnne Wadsworth
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 13:54:20

    Once again Janna, YOU are amazing! I never get tired of reading your blog or your posts on FB or anything else that has Janna Briggs in it. Your mark, your personality, your flair. I love…you.


    • Janna
      Oct 26, 2010 @ 15:19:13

      LeAnne – Thank you.

      I don’t know how you do it – but I always feel better after reading anything YOU write! I see your smile in every word!

      Love you –



  4. judy roybal
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 15:29:48

    I say yes and amen Janna! I so related to wanting a baby when at first EVERYONE was pregnant but me and yes I got 3 in 3 years 🙂 I love baking bread and grinding wheat. I loved homeschooling my granddaughters and miss teaching spelling and history. Now the Lord has brought some wonderful ladies into my life from my church and since I’ve evolved or as I call it “reinvented myself” again…having a ball! God is always lavishing HIS grace on us to give us everything we need to do what HE has called us to do!


    • Janna
      Oct 26, 2010 @ 16:05:41

      Judy –
      I love the idea of reinventing myself…I am pretty sure I have been doing it every few years!

      I love having grace lavished on me, don’t you? 🙂



  5. Renee Bullard
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 21:43:00

    Janna, I love this post (like every other post you write). I love how you are at the stage in life now where you are radiating confidence in who you are as a daughter of the King! Unashamed to say “this is my life”! That is awesome. You inspire me to think outside the box and challenge myself! Love you, from all the way back home!–Renee


    • Janna
      Oct 27, 2010 @ 09:50:30

      Renee- Thank you!! You are right – I am not ashamed to lay it out there and say – “here it is…”

      Love you – Love seeing your precious babies’ pictures on FB!



  6. Becca
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 23:13:14

    cool Blog Ms. Janna 🙂


  7. Melanie
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 11:47:47

    I love, love, love reading these! I so miss our bread baking days together. I think of you everytime I make some.


  8. Elaine
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 13:52:42

    I sure enjoyed this post…and found myself wishing I had a loaf of that homemade bread you bake. 🙂


    • Janna
      Nov 01, 2010 @ 16:27:44

      Come on down and I will make you some! We can sit and enjoy a cup of tea together! Thanks for being such a great encourager.



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