Monday, December 17, 2012

some sentiment.

we managed to catch up to some stillness this weekend.


an evening with a few friends reading some scripture and singing some carols. it was so nice.

and then some advent candles. just the four of us.



while the moments surrounding these peaceful ones are often filled with things... other than peace, we've been blessed with a few slices of quiet.

my sisters and i watched "Little Women" growing up. i haven't watched it in years. the little girl and i had a little time to myself on saturday morning. and we cuddled up and started watching. and i got all sentimental. as that beautiful music started and the snow covered trees appeared, i looked down at the girl sidled right up next to me. and you know what happened. got teary.


i'll keep my eye out for moments like these. they are here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

slow down.

i've been thinking a bit, these recent days, about a post megan wrote. i need to slow down. it's mostly my own fault. and i need to slow down some more.

i've been feeling like each day this week, i've woken up with 5 to-do items too many. there just isn't time. and then when i do tackle something, the results are... varied.

i made marmalade on wednesday that... kind of turned out. and, to bolster that gift, decided to make caramels.



i overcooked them. literally took a butter knife and hammer to it yesterday. chiseled pieces off- one of which hit kate in the face after it ricocheted off the cabinet door.

yup. success all around.

and in the middle of the caramel flying and the cards being written in the middle of making lunch, how i long to be still.

how i long to sit in front of my tree with cider/tea/hot chocolate (i'll take whatever is available) and just be. just ponder the coming King.

but i keep not doing it.

He is giving me good in the midst. and i am thankful for the longing.

hoping i follow through soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

love and incense

i sometimes have this sense that there is something inherently unacceptable about me. that i'm just a little bit too crazy to be fully and completely loved by God regardless of what i've done or will do. there is something in me- a mysterious something- that makes me just miss the bar. i have too much darkness. too much brooding. too much melancholy. or something.

but God is slowly chipping away at this lie that seems to be so firmly fixed to my heart. He is kindly, slowly, patiently, working the truth of His love and affection (yes, affection!) into my vision. He is planting it in my heart and letting it take root. 

but these lessons don't happen quickly. and on one hand, i'm so grateful. so glad i have a Father who doesn't expect me to have my life turned around as soon as He reveals a corner of darkness in my heart. He is so patient. so nice to me- to continue to repeat the same message in so many ways. through sermons, scripture, songs, conversations. i slowly end up hearing the same messages. kindness. 

on the other hand, i want change here. now. today. this instant. as soon as my eyes are a tiny bit opened to something i need so badly, i want it right now. i don't want to wait. 

it is patient and kind work He is doing, though. requiring things of me like discipline, humility and what feels like sacrifice- but ends in joy. 

two (of several) tools that have been helping me focus my heart on the utter reality of His love and care for me are these:


i'm loving this book by Elise Fizpatrick. daily (brief) readings that speak to His love for me. and all that means. they focus my eyes on the cross, not on myself. on His care for me, not my lack of care for Him. i recommend these readings to anyone wanting to be reminded (or find out for the first time) what Jesus has done, what it means, and who we are now. 

the other tool i've been using is incense. a sweet friend gave me some incense a couple of years ago as a Christmas gift. i started lighting it in the afternoons, during a particularly dark season of anxiety. i tried to use the smell of the incense to remind me of peace and hope in Christ. 

i've been lighting incense these recent days and allowing the scent and visual smoke to bring to mind the serious reality of His loving presence. right now. in my living room. He is here. loving me. 

a few days ago, i was walking from the living room into the kitchen. i had incense burning on the dining room table. and as i walked through the smoke, i found a smile on my face. my saving Jesus was there. right there. with love and acceptance. and i hadn't needed to work really hard to be sure of that.  


He is kind. so good. so patient. He is love. for me. for you. if you are in Him, He sees you as He sees His Son. unreal, friends. seriously mind-blowing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

advent wreath

oh we are certainly in the swing of this lovely season, aren't we? last year, in an effort to pay closer attention to the beauty of anticipation, we tried doing a jesse tree. yeah. we didn't really follow through so well on that one...

so this year, we're trying something new. and so far, we're keeping up.


an advent wreath. (now, obviously, we do not have a wreath. but you get the idea.) we are sitting down together as a family and, weekly, reading some scripture. we are discussing a few things and lighting a candle. or two.


i love it so far. we are using a guide provided by The Village church in texas. we are really enjoying it. i think it works for kids of multiple ages. kate is talking about the darkness becoming light. samuel is venturing into bigger ideas of sin, etc. but, as we've done these readings these past two weeks, we have had lovely moments.


the lights are all off, and suddenly, a candle brightens the dark. the darkness does not overcome it. the light wins. and we sit together and marvel at the wonder of it all.

happy advent, friends.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

family/upcoming show

well hello there. we've had family in town this past weekend- such a nice visit. we went on a few adventures, made a few oh-so-delicious dinners, and had fabulous conversation in the midst.


oh- and mindy took pictures.



more on that later.

my recent weeks have been filled with crafting- getting ready for a show coming up this friday.


i've been cutting and sewing up a storm over here. this friday's show will feature 8 different artists who have made a variety of ornaments. there will be ornaments made of paper, clay, fabric and even handblown eggs. (that's right).


if you have time to come out this friday night (the 7th), please do. we'll be at the Flatiron Building downtown (1211 Pendleton Street, Greenville, SC). 6-9. so many beautiful things will be there. i'd love to see you.