Monday, April 23, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
i've been in a small creative slump over here. i have some sale/show opportunities coming up and i have been trying to come up with some new ideas. i have half ideas. good pencil drawings and then a pile like this:
i don't like it. i'm not finishing it. i'm uninspired.
i can't seem to find the balance between inspiration and dedication. plugging away at something i'm not excited about has never been easy for me. but i am pretty confident that if i tried a little harder- worked more carefully- i could do better. more.
and it's the case with so many areas. writing. housekeeping. parenting.
i know it's so easy to feel like you never do enough. and there is no way that i will ever accomplish all i can so easily think i should be doing. these expectations are not from my Father. He needs me to be relying on Him. remembering that He is upholding every action. every gift.
so i suppose that needs to be my conclusion. again. reliance. in using the gifts i enjoy. the things that are hard. the moments that are a challenge. He cares. He's here. He's involved.
i can rely. on His constancy, presence and care.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
a favorite children's book around here is "Toot and Puddle; You Are my Sunshine."
it may not actually be a favorite of my kid's, but it is a favorite of mine. for those of you who don't know this delightful book, it is about two friends (two pigs) who live together in Woodcock Pocket. one day, Toot wakes up moping. and the majority of the book is spent on Puddle's efforts to cheer him.
finally, there is a huge thunderstorm that arrives. Puddle stays safely inside while Toot splashes in the puddles. the next day, Toot is back to his old self. and Puddle remarks on his change of mood and says, "sometimes you need a big whopping thunderstorm to clear the air."
i can relate to this book.
now... i'm not saying i was all-out moping today. but... i was complaining. whining. unmotivated. funky. i woke up and looked with dread at the newly dirty breakfast dishes- could barely bring myself to put the same plate into the dishwasher that i put in yesterday.
and tonight. there was a thunderstorm. as i sat on our back step and felt the air change from heavy to clean, watched the rain move in, the wind-waves on the street, i felt my internal air clear.
i needed a big whopping thunderstorm. and one came.
i was wrong today. there was joy to be had that i missed.
but my loving Father is so very very kind to me. giving good gifts. even when i'm whining. and He gave me a thunderstorm tonight. when i really didn't deserve one.
He's so good to me.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
friday was a day for strawberry picking.
it was beautiful. met up with friends, let the kids roam the aisles, and picked bright red berries.
so saturday saw some strawberries on the plate. starting with waffles.
saturday was also full of farmer's market flower-picking. we came home and filled empty pots with new growing things. planted a few herbs and set some flowers in the window boxes. so lovely to be outside, hands in the dirt, with my family on a saturday. feels all americana and stuff.
and we earned our strawberry shortcake for dessert. on our newly cleaned, beautifully decorated deck.
days filled with good.
a happy beginning to your week. may we be seeking Him more than any other thing.
Friday, April 13, 2012
i love this book.
i check it out every spring. and am a bit ashamed to admit that it taught me quite a bit about gardening.
the book opens with a gopher stealing vegetables from other people's gardens. a wise squirrel instructs him on making his own garden. slowly and beautifully, a garden emerges for the little gopher. he is amazed.
the book follows each step with lovely illustrations.
borders show seeds, bugs that help plants grow, and the process of growth for several vegetables.
and when gopher harvests his garden, he hosts a feast with all his garden friends.
a good book, gang. for your kids. and for you too.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
we got to go on a little adventure. into a forest and beside a river. what a great start, right?
well, it actually started very early (for us) in the morning. we drove out to a friend's house as they were letting us tag along to Pisgah for a class on life cycles. the drive out to her house was worth it. all by itself. even if the day was going to end up terribly. the drive through dew-flowers and morning mist made it worth it.
but, of course, the day just went up from there.
we learned the craziest stuff. God is amazing, folks. the stuff He has made- the systems that work- that i don't know a thing about- that i never pay any attention to- is astounding. mind blowing.
side-note: i'm so tickled by this young friendship. two boys who talk about birds and bugs, among other things. i'm a fan.
we picnicked and explored. parked by a noisy river and gazed at a waterfall. we moms each answered as many, "momma! momma!"s as we could. stopped for some cookies on the way home. and made it to our doors with happy kids. exhausted.
a good day.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
we were privileged to gather with friends (old and brand new) to celebrate the mighty resurrection.
we ate and ate. walked through a kitchen- hot with ovens and work- to reach the long food line that ran out the back of the porch.
we went on a little 'explore' about the place. again.
a place that is becoming more and more familiar. because of kind people who welcome and invite.
because my family isn't nearby, we don't usually celebrate easter with anyone. but for two years now, we've been invited to the farm. to join our forever family in remembering the reason we sing. why we celebrate.
we sat in an overcrowded room with small song sheets, singing. all of us. singing. praises to the One Who paid our debt.
i love family.
praise to the One. the only answer. the Defeater of the fears that tightly grip. the answer to every question. happy Easter.
Friday, April 6, 2012
while at the beach, i picked up a new issue of Bon Appetit. haven't read that magazine in a few years. and i felt like i fell in love with food again. i started thinking about the meat/grain/veggie supper that is my usual 'treat' of a meal each week with a bit of skepticism. i used to make better food. with longer ingredients lists.
so i decided to up the bar. there was an article detailing the 'simple' foods they ask their applying interns to make for them. a roast chicken, a vinaigrette with greens and chocolate sponge cake. simple, right? the ingredient lists were pretty short. but i had not yet read the instructions...
and i quickly realized why i don't make meals like this anymore. oh so many reasons.
the time. the whole afternoon. for a cake. a chicken. a salad. the salad was minimal, i'll admit, and delicious.
the mistakes. the smoke alarm going off at least 10 times because, oh yeah, i forgot to put water in the bottom of the roasting pan. i cut the cake too soon so the frosting was soaking through the sides. the list continues.
the chicken. it was good. worth all the work? THAT much better than the normal chicken i make where i stick it in the oven and leave it, instead of basting with butter every 15 minutes? no. not that much better.
and the cake. it was good. but did not turn out the way i thought it would. nothing looked like the picture, friends. not one item.
all of this meant that, while everything tasted okay, i sat at the dinner table feeling exhausted and incompetent.
no more. i know there's a middle ground. i will still look for it. i won't give up. but i'm not doing this again.
we had baked potatoes and popcorn for dinner the following night. i earned it.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
we went to the beach. the beach, friends. the real, salty, windy, amazing beach.
we were that excited.
jason was at a conference in Pawley's Island last week and was staying with 4 other guys in a 2-level condo. he asked the owner. and yup- he extended the reservation 2 days past the end of the conference. got an absolute steal on the price.
i got a call wednesday night telling me the news. i had a couple of hours to pack up. woke the kids to tell them our destination. and we piled in- drove nearly 5 hours on our own.
and we made it.
almost 2 days with just me and my peeps.
our extended family is fairly spread out. Minnesota, Michigan, Texas. so, if we ever have time and money, we're going to see one of our loved ones. we have not yet gone on a vacation with just the 4 of us.
this was our first.
so very fantastic. good to just be us. without our lives/duties/responsibilities tacked on as well. no stress.
these kiddos of mine. they are my favorite. and they had a complete role-reversal at the beach. my timid, cautious boy was bounding toward the waves, racing them back to shore.
the girl? wouldn't come within 15 feet.
the ocean is one of my favorite things. i love the mystery. the constancy. the smell, the air. i feel at home and simultaneously long for my forever home. i feel closer to Him Who made it all.
it is always hard to leave. oh but what a surprise to be able catch a glimpse, friends. what a gift.
so thankful for all i can take away from the short time we had. the rest, breathing room, the beauty and reminder of so much of His hand in my now. today. here. sitting at this computer.
Monday, April 2, 2012
yesterday was Palm Sunday. a day where the believers remember Jesus coming. the palm branches waving. the people crying "Hosanna!"
"Hosanna" is a declaration of praise and joy. it literally means "save us, we pray."
i've cried more times than i can count while listening to this song. identifying with every line.
so thankful for the 'long awaited King, come to set His people free.'
so glad that i am a temple torn down, being rebuilt in His holiness.
trying to guide my heart into a posture of expectation. waiting to remember the cross, the darkness, the tomb, the bright morning, the joy.
the freedom and grace.