Wednesday, May 30, 2012

creativity is ever changing.

Where a river starts is not where it ends, the water begins in one place and never returns again.  It flows down new curves and over new rocks and past new trees and it empties out into something bigger than itself.  That’s the way of the river, moving on, going forward, newness, change-- the way of nature. 

Also the way of creativity.  Coincidence no?

We are given this gift, the ability to dream and to color our worlds, to bring beauty, depth, mystery, hope, wonder, and goodness.  When we were brand new in the world, this was in us, every single one of us.  The trouble is that not everyone remembers or believes it to be true. And some people were never told.  Which I hate.  Because incredible potential sits undiscovered and we need all the discovered potential we can get.  For us, for life, and for the world.

And just as I didn’t sit down to write any of those words, creativity will take you down paths you never considered, or even the ones you casually dismissed.  Until one day, you begin to consider it and allow it to grow. Time spent dreaming becomes the food the idea needs and suddenly possibilities are everywhere.  Encouragement comes.  Door open before you touch the handle.  This is the affirmation you need.

You see where this is going, a new venture is happening and I just wanted to share a glimpse.

More details will be coming in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

on walks and bravery

A walk is what we needed, but the stroller was in the car trunk and the car with the husband, so that trusty red wagon was loaded with all sixty-five pounds of my offspring. Now I can report this was a major mistake as my arms are protesting even the slightest movement of my fingers, two miles later.

The older one, he is content to play the role of passenger, as he silently studies the world that passes. Unless there happens to be rocks that need to be thrown into a lake, which came later.

But, that younger one, you know, the brave, doer, experiencer, she suggests every 15 seconds, “bwallk,” because now that she knows how, she has no need for sitting, ever again. At 16 months, she feels strongly about doing everything and doing it herself. Sometimes, she holds my hand, to appease me or whatever, but mostly just long enough to get her balance.

look out world, I have this baby girl and you have no idea the life that radiates from her beautiful self.

I strongly believe that children are born explorers and they belong in their element that is the nature world and so I often let them walk as I pull the empty wagon. And furthermore, walks should not only exhaust the mother. She wobbles in the best way and he comes beside her, hold my hand harpsiedoie. He is so proud in his helpful state and she feels so grown walking with him.  But, their strides do not match and it is short lived.

She shines of freedom and joy as she continues down the winding trail and all we pass swoon at her fresh-wobbly baby steps.  Because they know or remember or because it’s just this incredible wonder how children grow.

And we find a quiet place where the path opens to the lake and he immediately sits and begins to throw the rocks one by one into the water, his happy place.  It takes two minutes before she’s seated to his left and is grabbing anything her chubby hands can throw too. 

Slowly, she inches away, closer and closer to the shallow water, not asking permission, not meeting my eyes.. So much brave and just enough cautious.  And then half of her legs are covered in the debris from the edge, sticks, mud, and something green.  But, she plays and picks out colorful rocks and now the water is splashing on the lower part of her belly. Pants, shoes, everything soaked and she thinks nothing of it.  The other one, his shoes get wet and he’s back on dry ground. 

She looks up and declares, brrr, splashes and scoots deeper, far enough, I decide and she protests with all the passion she can find.  And she’s so mad over the injustice of the matter, for a decent while was we continue down the path away from this new world that she wants to know.

And the whole time I all I can think of is the greatness of her bravery and how fearless is in her blood and I wonder at the task I’ve been given to protect and nurture those pieces of her. 

To keep her safe, but never to break her spirit.  Show her how to fly so she will be able soar.

As we get closer to home, she sits barefoot in her shirt and diaper and I begin to hear the softest, “bwallk?”

My girl, you will soar.


Just Write

Friday, May 18, 2012

How to make someone's day.

Hello Friday people,

I have an iced coffee and sunshine waiting for me, but I can’t miss this opportunity to encourage and plaster the world with awareness.  My friend Jessica of A Little Gray was a designer in the Project Run & Play competition this season.  PR & P is basically an online Project Runway for kids clothes and it’s pretty intense all the skills these ladies possess.

Anyways, Jessica has this amazing fun, unique, and playful style that makes you think she’s the coolest person around, probably true.  She’s also this insanely talented quilter, not kidding, and has two adorable kids.  My friend Nick is so fortunate to have married her. 

Today she is in the final three and she needs your votes! There is nothing to sign, no information needed, only two clicks.  So, basically it’s the easiest thing you could ever do and it would be the greatest if she wins. 

This is her contribution for this week’s competition, A Small Town Summer, isn’t it perfect!

Go HERE to vote for A Little Gray’s A Small Town Summer!  Thanks so much. Seriously, Go JESSICA!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

on stealing moments

And the grumpiest babies will exhaust, nay, enervate their mothers and floors shall always hoard crumbs and  and and AND.  Mixed in with the wealth of goodness and endless joys are the crazy makers of life, it’s a fine balance that needs to be kept, it requires one to become a master of stealing moments.

Because tomorrow when we wake up the floors and whining and the  army of “ands” will still exist, while magic may happen everyday so does its counterpart.  None of this will change.

So, at the end of the whiniest day, a new chair calls from the green grass speckled with weeds.  It sits under the charming and interesting branches of a cluster of trees.  Especially that one branch straight out of a great novel. The air is full of tiny white puffs floating and swaying in the springtime air.  Leaves rustle and birds serenade. 

A cup of tea steams and succumbs to the direction of the wind.  The sun begins to sink and wash across the green  stretch one last time.  Brilliant words of a book fill you with reverie and you want to read them to anyone who will listen, but the squirrels show no interest, so you read them aloud to the breeze, perhaps they will be carried and land upon eager ears, but if not, they seep into your soul. 

The sky brews a stronger shade of vibrant as the keeper of light descends, leaving those who will notice with a mesmerizing and momentary piece of art.  Tonight it’s the softest blush.

And by stealing this moment, each breath feels lighter, the tougher parts release their grip, because tomorrow will be brand new and God knew to make babies extra cute for the most frazzling days. 

All of it, this is life and we must stop wishing away the hard, instead, we must steal the moments that renew and refresh.  We must become zealous in our pursuits to fill the reservoirs. 

Perhaps stealing is a poor choice of words, because these glimpses of beauty and sweet life-giving air belong to us all.  And in the name of sanity, we must claim them or be swallowed into the heavy world, where they go forever ignored.

Sweet aroma rises from my cup.  Trees turn into shadows against the sky.  The melody to the song of the birds changes.  A chill sweeps across my shoulder.  This moment for today and new mercies tomorrow.


Just Write-  a group of brilliant people who take steal moments with words.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The brand new.

There was once a day of creative failure, a sewing project that would not fit any human and a painting that resulted in many grimacing, fist clenching moments.  The painting sat unfinished and taunting on the table. The artist walked away, but did not leave the emotions. They trailed along and took captive the rest of the evening.

The artist, being a feeler (INFJ) was as melancholy as one could be, not because everything was so terribly wrong, but because right now was.

Someone wonderful tried to cheer her up, she would have nothing to do with it.  A bath was taken and not enjoyed and she slumped into bed decidedly defeated.

But before she drifted off to sleep, the swarming thoughts cleared away and one promise remained.

Tomorrow is brand new.

And it was, and it is.

She looked out to see a wild tale of grey clouds resting above the trees and birds flew high, higher, and higher still past the clouds.  Clouds may be present, but they never inhibit our abilities to soar.

So, it was true. Tomorrow (Today) is brand new, she declared to herself in the stillness of the morning. She would soar.

And inspiration came in a stroke of random and a painting was born. Not the one from yesterday, but something new, that wasn’t possible without walking the road of struggle. Something better than it would have been the day before and something immediately cherished. In fact, its value was increased because of the struggle.

I suppose what we have here is another lesson about the journey and growth.  One of allowing right now to be rough, but knowing right now isn’t forever.  And a lesson of letting the process happen, so that the beautiful will come.

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 6, 2012

On Sundays, I bake or buy bread and we take communion together, in the hours past loud, when the wild things sleep.  But this week, he came home repeating pieces of the Bible lesson from church for the first time and I suggested, let’s include him too. 

A candle flickered on the middle of the table making him a captive audience and wondering where the birthday cake was.  The dishes were cleared.  Baby girl in her high chair drank juice and munched on bread and made demands for the glass that held wine.  Her demands were not met. 

Daddy took the bread in his hands and broke a decent chunk for Hudson and you could see in his eyes, he was really listening, his mouth stuffed with homemade bread.  This is my body.  We took the bread.  Glassed raised in the air. This is my blood. We took our cup and gave him his.  He raised it in the air and declared, “Thank you Jesus!”

A toast for Jesus. 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

through pictures and prayers

 Calm the Seas Original Acrylic on Canvas

Here’s something.  I like church.  I think it’s good and important, but mostly it’s distracting to me and I mean that in the most respectful way.  So many people to watch, so many reactions and emotions, structures and plans.  Most of the time, I walk away saying, that was nice.

However, give me a roaring ocean or a majestic thunderstorm and I can’t help but be completely moved and in awe of God.  Give me a paintbrush and a canvas and I’m totally connected to the master of the universe.  Just me and Him, communicating, it’s beautiful.

I remember one thing from last week.  The song lyrics were,

You can calm the oceans, speak peace into my soul. 

In my head, this image came alive, the juxtaposition of the storming seas and the calm serenity.  The constant comfort of His presence. The truth that no matter the circumstances, He is. As the song continued, the image came into focus like I was watching  someone paint it.  I knew I needed to come home and do the same. 

And I did. As brushstrokes became waves, I felt peace indescribable, in an overwhelming way. It was a prayer and a declaration, you are with me.

We all connect to God in different ways and understanding that is crucial.  And when we understand the ways we connect, we will thrive.  I don’t need to focus on how clapping is impossible for me, or how small talk is my LEAST  favorite, or how much “repeat after me,” drives me insane, because it’s not about me.  I am just one person and maybe others thrive in this setting of being led, prompted, and instructed.  But me, I’m searching for those messages that come alive and give breath. He supplies them and my part is to give them a home on a canvas or in a string of words.

I wonder, how do you connect to God?

We reach for God in many ways. Through our pictures and our prayers. Through our writing and our worship. And through them He reaches us.” –Ken Gire


{Painting is in the shop.}