sorry for the radio silence over here. did something nasty to my back on monday morning. so my day turned out... differently than i thought it would. my past two days have centered around the couch. i've had friends call and swoop up my kiddos. and i only cried twice. my plan is different than His. i have so much to do. a craft parade next week. (next week!!). a writing project that is stalled and, you know, the never-ending etcetera.
but my Father cares for me and loves me. He knew i needed couch time more than sewing time.
so i finally made it to the computer to tell you all. hopefully, i'll be back on this shaky legs soon.
can you tell that the person who gave it to us (that's right. gave it to us) is an artist?
this piece is moving from his studio space, he and his wife couldn't find room for it in their house, so they left it with us. yay! drawers for fabric, yarn, and probably other stuff. but my imagination is just filling it with crafty items for now.
the girl immediately claimed it as her own, though. about 15 minutes after the guys brought it in, she had moved clothes into the top drawer. and as i went to put fabric in the other top drawer today, i found shoes.
oh she makes me laugh.
the same night that these friends let us adopt this lovely piece of blue, we women stood in the kitchen, finishing supper and talking food. it had been one of those weeks where i had no money left for food and was running out of ways to feed my family. quickly. and then we were having new guests over the following night. so my sweet friend stood with me and we brainstormed for about 15 minutes coming up with different combinations of what i had in order to come up with a meal.
i'm out of flour, which can seriously limit a resourceful person in their meal planning. and at one point in our brainstorming session, my dear sister (who is also limited in her pantry) said, "you can have whatever flour i have left. i think it's about 2 cups?"
oh friends are awesome. doing life with people- being honest and truly walking with people- it's full of blessings. chock full. flour and furniture.
and i have to add that yesterday i had a surprise box of produce show up at my door. a gift. right when i needed it. Jesus just plain likes me. He likes giving me presents.
friday night was one of those. where i thought that if one more person (little or big) was loud again, my ear drum would actually burst. my head was spinning and i couldn't handle the crazy anymore. as jason was making his way home i was thinking of what we (or i) could do that evening to alleviate some of the interior and exterior crazy.
and here was my answer:
the library. all by myself. did you know that being quiet is one of the RULES at the library? it was magical. i went upstairs- to the adult section. and meandered.
with fabulous company. nothing but books. quiet and books. i can't say enough about it. it restored my soul.
and i came home refreshed and better. and so excited to sit, after little ones were tucked in, and peruse my treasures. the library is amazing. they just let you take books. for free. it's crazy awesome.
so the next time you're ready to yank your ears right off- drop the kids off at my house and go to the library. beautiful medicine. quiet.
we did things we don't normally get to do. played with the hose for MUCH longer than is usually allowed. licked the beater AND the spatula used to make frosting.
and had a few fabulous friends over.
now this is not the blog you will visit where each party has coordinated everything and there are beautiful banners and matching party favors. not this girl. not this time. after the night leading up to this celebration day, i felt lucky to be wearing mascara. but it was such a special day. phone calls to wish a happy birthday and friends stopping by with gifts. it truly was a day of celebrating.
we had a rip-roaring good time.
a couple of people reminded me yesterday not to mourn the end of these short toddler years, but instead to celebrate the awesome-ness of my kid. and he is totally awesome. a gentle, inquisitive, articulate, creative and loving 5 year old.
i have to get this out of the way. bear with me, friends. these pics are too cute to keep to myself.
and the gardener:
thank you. had to be done.
we spent the morning at the farm.
which is always a special brand of delicious.
we explored what is becoming more familiar territory. said hello to the animals. and met the new arrivals.
and then we went inside to sit with a dear friend, as we usually do. this is a woman who has children grown and gone. we sit together, have tea and talk about... everything. she is a friend who has completed so many of these mommy-days that can overwhelm and drown me. and as i sit in her sun-filled farm house and speak with weary voice, she looks into my eyes, grabs my hand and pours hope into my soul.
i'm so thankful for her friendship. she never comes at me with overarching knowledge or a hard-and-fast plan that will solve all my problems. she usually tells me to relax. to have faith in the One who carries my family of four. as we talked about raising daughters today, she said, "just teach her what is in your heart." and i keep thinking on it. how simple that makes it feel to me. "just tell these children about you. offer to them whatever wisdom you've got. He will help them too."
this body we're a part of is so magical and mysterious. i'm overwhelmed by the community that He chooses for me. He is so kind, friends.
my nap and post-kid-bed times have been filled with so much fabric. projects completed:
close to completed:
and then there's fabric i can't stop staring at but can't commit to that perfect project for it.
i know you are all familiar with that feeling you have when you finally sit down somewhere to take 5 minutes of relaxing and your mind is filled with all the things you could/should be doing instead. i've been feeling that. i've been so loving my sewing time. but everything else gets shoved (sometimes literally) under the bed.
i've got a sick kiddo over here so we've been forced into slow motion. lots of books, puzzles and a little girl painting my finger nails. apart from the sickness, it's been a nice lazy way to enjoy these last days of summer.
little man turns 5 next week. i can't believe it. and we'll try to start some school the week after that. and our days will be different.
the hours move so quickly sometimes, don't they? so i'll try to savor the day. try to look past the sickness and the worry i'm prone to and see the goodness here today. with little ones growing so very quickly. we'll try to be lazy.
Jason bought a book for us to read together (Because He loves me). It is about God's great love for us and how, if we really understood it, it would (and does) inform every decision and moment in our day. and the chapter jason and i sat down to this past monday night centered on the reality of my right standing before God.
Because of what Christ has done, and because I am hidden in Christ, God feels for me the same feelings He has for His Son. i know. it sounds crazy. but Christ's perfect record has replaced my crappy one. the Father will never stop loving the Son. He will never stop loving me. no matter what. no matter how many times i mess up.
and there is such freedom there. such open space and deep breathing. i cannot fail Him. Christ never will. i am hidden in Him.
this is mind-blowing to me. these are things i've known. truth i've spoken out loud to others. but i've been reminded anew of the true FREEDOM there is in this beautiful gospel and i can't keep quiet. i'm so thankful.
happy monday, friends. welcome to the week. i'm trying to not look at all of the looming tasks that need accomplishing this week. trying, instead, to rest in the reality that just as the past days held so many moments of good, the coming week will too.
i know i've said it before, but one reason i like maintaining this space is that it forces me to better. i could easily look back at our weekend and see little arguments with jason, frustrations with children, fabric that doesn't work the way i want it too, etc. but these photos put all the good right in front of my face. i can't ignore it.
it rained. oh it was glorious. and the kiddos danced in the wonderful wet.
my new favorite photo:
dancing in the rain, friends. full on dancing. i know there's a metaphor there for our days and lives. i'll let you fill in the blanks on that for fear of taking something beautiful and making it overwhelmingly cheesy.
may our weeks exceed our expectations. our Father most certainly does. it's that gaze-shift i need to practice. seeing my days as He does. He is everywhere. goodness everywhere.
these days have been filled once again with fabric. fingers and hands filled with fiber and piles of fabric waiting and beckoning from, seemingly, every corner of the house.
had a dream the other night that i arrived for the indie craft parade, the doors were about to open, and i looked down at my table and saw nothing. nothing to sell. that's where my brain has been these recent days.
working on birds and pillows. organizing ideas and solving problems. in the midst of all the 'regular' we do around here. hard to see how it all will get done, but isn't that how every day is, really?
so here's to more work- more accomplishing. no matter how small. it counts. right?
i woke up this morning and plugged in the camera to see and recall what our weekend was filled with. i couldn't remember what i'd taken pictures of, and, usually, my photos write these posts for me.
well, i found only 4 pictures, and they all looked something like this:
and that's pretty much our weekend. being at home. building towers. we had a beautiful sunday night with good good friends, but otherwise... tower building.
jason and kate went out on saturday to run an errand. samuel and i stayed home and i tried to have a little play date. he and i have not been really getting along these past few days and i wanted to try to just spend some time.
so we built a marble run and raced marbles. we played trains (i was james), picked up 'coal' and whizzed around the track. and it was so good.
so good to spend time, uninterrupted with my boy. i didn't even take pictures. i didn't answer the phone. i made him the priority.
and after jason got home, he could immediately see the difference in our boy. the kid was happier, kinder, more ready to share what was going on in his head.
and as he headed off to bed, giving me a little 'i love you' hand-sign, i felt a quick pang of guilt that more time hasn't been spent with him. how easily i turn into a 14 year old who feels slighted/annoyed by the words of my kid and then oh-so-subtly doesn't really look- doesn't take the time- to get on the floor and just be. to get on eye-level and instead of talking... listen.
a reminder for me. and a gift of a night. a weekend of what looks like nothing special. but... building towers can be pretty cool. pretty stinkin' cool.