Category: journal

Journal: Dreaming versus Living

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My husband and I are dreamers. I think the thing that has brought us together for going on 22 years is that we love nothing more than to sit and talk through all the things we wish we could do. The problem with that is when you’ve spent nearly 22 years talking through the same dreams and yet never really doing anything about them the dreaming part starts to feel more like an escape.

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I’ve been pondering the difference between dreaming of things and escaping as I’m reading back through parts of Ecclesiastes. The one thing that continues to jump out at me is the idea of living right here and right now. The writer seems to discourage dreaming or looking forward.  Even pondering too deeply the season that you are in is a negative. These are hard words for a deep dreamer and “muller” of life.

So I saw that there’s nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that his is lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him? 3:22

There is so much we don’t know. There is so much that happens in our lives that we cannot even begin to explain – despite how badly we might want to figure it out. But the writer over and again reminds us that it’s worthless almost to keep constantly speculating. He continues to encourage the reader to tend to the “God given callings and joys in our lot.”

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This is my life – my struggle – constantly thinking, speculating, meditating, worrying, mulling. My dreaming of what I hope for and long for becomes a means for me to escape from what the Lord is calling me to and the lot that He has placed in my lap.  The things my husband and I constantly go to to talk about are safe things – and because of that those safe things become an escape; a way for us to step out of the struggle of the right now.

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I want nothing more than to rest in the season that I’m in; to accept my lot with joy – not just give in. Even when the season makes me feel like I’m sitting on the edge of a precipice, I want to sit there resting in the view.

{photos from Colonial Williamsburg, 2016}

Journal: August 23

 

“Above me, wind does its best
to blow leaves off
the aspen tree a month too soon.
No use wind. All you succeed
in doing is making music, the noise
of failure growing beautiful.”

― Bill Holm

I read these words the other day and for some reason they came back to me this morning. Maybe it is the crispness in the air – the wind that seems to have shifted as the seasons slowly start to change? Maybe it is my heart that I want so desperately to change – the things in my life that I so desperately want to be different that aren’t. But this quote reminds me that seasons change, leaves fall, but only in their season. The wind can blow and blow all it wants to, but those leaves will hang on until they are ready to fall – till their season.

There is a quote by Edith Schaeffer in response to someone asking her “who is the greatest Christian woman right now?” Her reply was “we don’t know her.” She is the one who is struggling, who sees the emptiness in her soul, who sees how easily the world slinks into her life.
She is the one who feels like a failure.
So what makes her great?
Because it’s in our failure that God’s music plays.

Just like those leaves that hang despite the wind trying to rip them off – it is in our brokenness that the world hears the music of the heavens.

 

I sit in middle of the grove listening to the waves of movement above me.
The sun streams down in beams around my lap.
There is no sound except the rush of the wind rustling through the leaves.
These leaves that sound like fairies running from branch to branch.
I can almost hear them laughing in the soft chirping of the birds that fly.

Despite the wind, no leaves fall – except this one lone leaf.
Slowly I watch it drift down from the heavens as it floats on the air above me.
it lands in my lap – a green tissue shaped heart.
Like a message from above – a voice in the shape of a heart reminding me to be patient.
To bask in the sun – to listen to the fairies dance – and to hear the music of the dancing hearts.

 


Long ago I started blogging and it was a combination of my writing and creating. Then I decided to separate the two and I started another blog called A Constant Pursuit. Recently, in an effort to stop segmenting my life I decided to shut that writing blog down and merge it with this one; because creating with words is no different than creating with threads. My writing life has been pretty vacant lately and when I have written it’s been kept private, but I’m hoping that combining these two loves and two outlets back into one might help me reawaken this voice that has been so silent.

Journal: Cultivating a presence

I started this blog as a way to journal, write and share what I was making when my nearly 10 year old daughter was an infant.
I wasn’t writing for comments.
I wasn’t writing because I wanted to link up.
I wasn’t posting because I wanted to get shared all over social media (social media wasn’t even a thing back then).
I just wrote because I needed to and I wanted to.

But then I started selling on Etsy and I started getting hits and the world of blogging exploded. It became a way to frame my day in order to be noticed. And I’ve got a thing with being noticed. That drive to be discovered soon overrode any other drive I had. I realized that I needed to start using my blog platform to help sell the things I was making. And eventually all I was doing was advertising. I upgraded my website, changed my logo a million times and tried to figure out how to use this space less as a journal and a space for me to frame my words and more as a space for me to show off my wares.
The words stopped flowing and as my space here sort of fell apart so did my life.

The last eighteen months has a story that isn’t quite ready to be shared, but these months have totally reframed my life and the idea of presence.

I have spent so much time grieving the past and trying to control the future so much that I have become exhausted with today.

And many of my today’s have worn me down.
But they have worn me down because I’ve been trying to cultivate something that isn’t me. I’ve been neglecting the margins in my life and I’ve been putting aside and ignoring all those things that used to give me space. I’ve jumped from one course to another thinking that it was going to be the thing that would make sense of everything and honestly nothing makes sense right now.

So I am doing the one thing that has always made sense – I’m picking up the scrambled words in my head and trying to lay them down.

To begin with bringing margin into my life, my Etsy shop is changing a little bit for the time being. I’m taking an extended break from any custom embroideries and embroidered shoe orders. It’s a pretty scary move for a lot of reasons, but I feel like it’s the right move. The shop will stay open, but for now it will only have downloadable embroidery patterns and finished hoop art that is ready to ship. I’m also taking a break from teaching sewing classes beyond a couple of adult Saturday classes (one in the Fall and one in the Spring).

I don’t know what this space will look like, but I am hoping to use it as a way to bring my focus back on today and life at hand.

extravagant love

Jesus Storybook Bible quote ... Always and forever love 2015 version in turquoise

It’s been a tumultuous few mornings in our house. Lots of tears, fussing, fighting and lots of hard parenting.
But today, after a foot stomping, fussing and complaining walk to school – a friend is there waiting.
A friend who never walks to school.
Like he dropped out of the sky like a gift.
I wish I would have had my camera to take a picture of this boy – eagerly waiting for my boy – with this big grin on his face.
And it stopped my boy in his tracks.

And then it hit me – this is how God loves us.

Even in the midst of our foot stomping and crying and fussing and trying everything possible to get our way – He still gifts us with amazing things.

He drops smiling faces out of the sky and into our days and into our fits and shows us His extravagant love.

Thou art all my good in times of peace, my only support in days of trouble,
my one sufficiency when life shall end.
Help me to see how good thy will is in all,
and even when it crosses mine teach me to be pleased with it.
Grant me to feel thee in fire, and food and every providence,
and to see that thy many gifts and creatures are but thy hands and fingers taking hold of me.
Thy bottomless fountain of all good, I give myself to thee out of love, for all I have is thine…
from Valley of Vision

random bits

I’m back in the world of online life again and while it’s been good to catch up with my virtual friends, it’s crazy how easy it is to just jump back into wasting time online.

Summer is nearly upon us and this summer I’m not coming up with any charts or graphs or check off papers or anything like that. I’m working on keeping my tween-ager as busy as I can and on being as engaged as I can possibly handle with my little chick. I do have a few goals for them and things I’m hoping to keep them accountable for, but that’s about it. In a nutshell, I want them to own this summer and their use of time.

Facebook is all about “what do you all do about tech rules?” and it’s been interesting to read all the discussion. We’ve tried all sorts of things and honestly this summer I’m leaning towards taking the time limits off. It’s that “the more you say I can’t have it, the more I want it” idea. I am holding them to a daily Bible reading challenge and that and breakfast will come before any screens. I’m going to hold really tightly to the rule of no screens upstairs though. We will have a quiet hour in the afternoon (for all our sanity) and we will have some sort of book reading challenge. And that’s about it.

I read and listened to a bunch of stuff over the last few weeks. Here’s a few of my favorites.

~ I love, love Ellie Holcomb so much and the more I listen to her music and her talking about her music the more I totally love her. There’s a great podcast with her that World Magazine did that I highly encourage you to listen too. My favorite is how she describes how she said she would never to this or never do that and almost every never happened. Seriously – that’s my world.

~ I just finished re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Like most people I read it in high school, but I hadn’t read it since then. It was so crazy to read it as a parent and even more so a parent of a daughter and a son. The relationship that Jem and Scout has is one that I so wish my children had with each other and the patience with which Addison parented them is something that I can only long to aspire towards.

~ This is a beyond awesome post by my friend Caryn about Mother’s Day. Like her little girl, I too grew up loving the Little Bear books and this tribute to motherhood is just awesome.

~ Right now I’m reading The Warmth of Other Suns (recommended in that podcast I referenced above) and it’s been the biggest eye opener for me. It’s the story of the great migration of African American’s out of the South and into other parts of the US. So far it’s just lovely.

~ My husband and I recently finished watching the first season of Turn on netflix. Seriously good and seriously made me feel stupid in my understanding of the Revolutionary War.

~ Do you know about pocket? It’s the great little online organizing tool that I first read about on While She Naps. You can use it on all your devices and I use it as a storage place for recipes, articles or other things I see online that I need to take care of asap. Either recipes to add to Pinterest, business ideas that I need to write down or articles that I really want to read and focus on (more than just perusing them in my feedly reader). Check it out!

I leave you with a video of one of my favorite Ellie Holcomb songs –