Friday, February 24, 2012

on this Friday, the 24th of February…


I finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy this week.  I never intended to like them, but they were so sneaky and amazing and now I’m going through withdrawal in a bad way.  The husband is reading them now and I’m bursting because I can’t talk to him about them yet.  Every other moment, I’m all, what part are you on now, which I’m sure he loves, He does. He does.  I need a book club more than ever.

I had been losing badly to the  combination of winter, potty training, and a sleep hating baby.  I regret to inform you that one day I even wasted an hour of my life watching the Kardashians, something I plan on never repeating.  Immediately after, I scolded myself.   But, the day I finished reading Mockingjay, I was came alive with creative energy.

This week, everything feels better, I finished a dress from this book, whipped up a sleeve for Matt’s Kindle, and started on the Little Things to Sew play town project for the month.

I’ve been packing a few boxes every day, you know, for that move that is coming next month. And you might be wondering, where are you moving? We have no freaking clue and my I-love-the-unknown game face is growing tired. But, we signed up for this, with all our adventurous-change-craving antics, so really I’m not sorry, just brutally aware of the fact that I am hardly in control, which is beautiful, but painful too.

Sometimes, I want to change this declaration to, Oh darling, let’s just be predictable people who live in cute little house with a laundry room, art studio, and a perfect yard, in a neighborhood full of our best friends, and never wonder what will happen next because nothing will ever change again.

But even considering that creepy-truman-show-esque utopia  makes me shudder and and desire to pack a bag for each of us and jump in the car, destination unknown. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that everything is just as it should be.

And it’s the weekend.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

little one. big prayer.

In the shadows, the rocking back and forth, slow and calming.  She is still and hushed in my arms.  I begin, “Dear Jesus,”

And from across the room, in a bed that makes him look so very small. Under four blankets and one pair of Thomas the train pajamas…

Thank you Potato Head.  Thank you eyes. Thank you other ear in morning(the one we can’t find). Thank you light off. Thank you hat. Thank you nose. Thank you Hudson’s nose back (a game we play). Thank you glove. Thank you play scarf. Thank you new car. Thank you Lightning and Mater. Thank you silly monsters. Thank you TV. Thank you Harper. Thank you Daddy. Thank you Daddy and Mommy. Thank you play house. Thank you make house (a project from today). Thank you house.  Thank you MMs (the candy) Thank you tortilla. Thank you light. Thank you moon. Thank you dark outside.  Thank you good day.  Thank you shoes. Thank you shoes back. Thank you gloves back. Thank you play gloves.  Thank you Uncle Josh. Uncle Josiah. Thank you sandwich and chips.  Thank you milk.  Thank you Harper’s shirt. Thank you Harper’s baby car.  Thank you hippo. Thank you animals. Thank you elephant. Thank you other elephant.  Thank you baby Jesus. Thank you obey mommy. Thank you daddy home to us.

A recap of the day? A stall tactic? Or a whole bunch of thankful pouring out of a three year old?

Either way, my smile hurts my face.


Linking up with Just Write

Monday, February 20, 2012

The flicker of the flames


Lights from passing cars and street sweep across the windows, the room is dim, save the small flickering tea lights on a plate.  A glass of wine, a chunk of fresh bread. Our new Sunday night tradition, a time to pause, reflect, give thanks, and to be still. Remembering.

Noise from the apartment below, a teenager and way too many friends playing video games.  The bass can be felt on the floor.  Above, a mother is yelling at her son, again, for apparently, everything he has ever done wrong. It’s a miracle our children are sleeping. Our eyes exchange a long glance and we sigh, one more month.

Yet, somehow it all seems so fitting, the unwanted noise and strife that surrounds us.

The flames reflect on the wine glass, brightening the rich crimson. I watch it for a while, noticing how the light makes the color even more lovely and vibrant.  Our hands rest intertwined on the table. He starts with a prayer.  I don’t like to close my eyes when praying, I never have.  Maybe, there are messages and beauty that are meant to accompany the words. And I think that prayer is the opposite of darkness.  As I listen, I watch the dancing reflection more.  If my eyes were closed, I would have only heard the unwanted noise, I would never have noticed.

In a world that’s plagued with brokenness and hopelessness, anger and pain, confusion and turmoil,

there is a light that makes all things new and beautiful.

on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

-1 Corinthians 11:23-25

Monday, February 13, 2012

Impending adventure

We’re moving in approximately six weeks… somewhere.

Sometimes, God puts together two artist adventurers and we say, “Here we go.”  Then He says, “This will be fun.”

Sometimes, we make wild declarations for our love of the unknown and then He says, “Well, in that case…”

And sometimes, even when we throw grown up fits, the kind laced with logical and reason, when we think we want all the answers, out of the depths of our heart, our greatest desires surge from within and speak to us.

Matt came home from work one day last week.  That afternoon I had a conversation with a friend, the kind that always leaves me encouraged and remembering my dreams.  He took one look at new art on the wall and said, “Are you trying to tell me something?”  I said, “No, I’m trying to tell us something.”

This, my friends is the current state of things.

Hold on tight.


Ayden waited as Maven sat patiently by the fire.  His silence only made the time pass more slowly. 

What was he listening for? Only the wind dared speak.  Would his commission come from the mountain’s breath?  Would the north or the east call his name?

How would he know when to leave and begin his pilgrimage?

How would he know which way to go?

When he could bear it no longer, he chanced to interrupt his mentor and blurted, “When will I begin?

“Now,” Maven replied.

“Then which way do I go?” Ayden could not hide is frustration in his asking.

Maven instructed, ”Anywhere there’s not a path.”

Suddenly Ayden realized that all through the night it was Maven who waited on him.

{Entry 392/The Perils of Ayden}


“I’m afraid,” he confessed as maven stood with him in the place where his quest would begin.

“Of what?” Maven asked in his calming voice.

“For this journey.  Have I learned all I need to know?” Ayden queried.

“Ayden,” he replied, “You know all you need to learn.”

“What should I take with me?” Ayden continued.

“Leave all you have and take all you are.”

Ayden persisted, ‘And the path, is it safe to travel?”

Maven looked at him sternly for the first time he could remember and scolded him, ‘it is not safe to remain! it is not the place but the presence that upholds you!  This is your own certainty. Go! Walk were no man has walked, yet you find footprints.”

{Entry 709/The Perils of Ayden}

Excerpts from Erwin McManus’ Chasing Daylight.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

the fog breaks

It’s been foggy, as if we’ve been wrapped in a thick, wool blanket of grey, the scratchy kind. My brain feels it too, in waiting and search and looking for direction.  And I think that when you are in that place, all this other noise comes along and tries to get in the way.  All this other noise wants you to believe that everything is a sloppy mess, served with a side of despair, but it’s not.

Everything is fine.  I’m mostly good, just exhausted.

The emotional range of three year old may be great and endless.  Piles may be waiting around, but piles don’t have feelings. And sure, the dreary limbo of February may be in full swing.  Plus, this and that and that too, but…


Yesterday, the sun melted away that scratchy blanket and filled the great big blue with the most radiant light.  Life-giving, wondrous rays burst through the windows and I drank in every last drop.  I found myself on a bench in front of the frozen lake, with a large coffee in hand.  I closed my eyes, sipping the sweet nectar and relished in the vitamin d. And I stayed until I realized it was cold. 

On that bench, I was reminded that noise is just noise and not always true, but it’s awfully loud if we keep listening to it.  That part of the waiting process is for reasons we can’t explain or identify.   We must surrender to the waiting and turn down the noise, so that we remember what is real and honest and lovely.

And let the sustaining grace warm you inside and out.


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Friday, February 3, 2012

of mornings and playing and nightmares



For three days a heavy shroud of grey has not allowed a single color from the sunset to shine through, tell me, is it still happening where you are? I do hope so.

Last night, I had just begun to clean the kitchen and the kids were playing so wonderfully, it was nearly silent and I glanced around the corner to find them both playing with separate things like little contented angels.  If you must know, this is what our home is like always and there is a soft glow that radiates too.  Nope. 

So, I was speed cleaning, because of my great love of washing dishes, which stems from years of torture as a child, when I was forced  against my will to clean the kitchen with my brothers every single night.  I believe enough time have past that I can truthfully and safely admit that I would find any excuse to do the smallest tasks possible. You know the kind, “I’ll just go wipe the table off, really well.”

Anyways, it had been about ten minutes and I was sweeping the floor when that boy of mine, who had constructed a train track the length of the living/dining room, he walked up to me, put his hands on the broom and said, “All done broom.”  I just stood there all frozen and he removed the it from my hands and placed it back in its place of storage.  Then, he showed me his masterpiece and insisted, “Mama play train track.”  What was I to do?  I mean, I didn’t want to clean the kitchen anyways.


We’ve been having a nice quiet morning here.  The kind where I give the baby girl her oatmeal with a bowl and spoon, she only likes to eat with proper dishes, that girl.  And anytime you give her a spoon and some food, you can pretty much secure yourself five to ten minutes of sitting and drinking coffee, an essential similar to breathing.  She does really well and makes a gigantic mess, which, of course is worth those blissful sitting and drinking moments.  I will go to great lengths to sit down and enjoy my food, make no joke of that.

Speaking of quiet, slow mornings, the other day, in the car, I told my husband that the worst imaginable scenario was one that required me to wake up unmercifully early to feed, dress, make lunches, prep children for the day, and get out the door, all under the strict tyranny of someone else’s schedule.  The fact that people have put up with this kind of oppression for years and years makes me sad and “revolty”.  Will that be the deciding factor towards homeschooling? Maybe.

The end.  Happy weekend.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

art as a prayer


Today, I’m not handling the great unknown as graciously as usual.  On Sunday, I prepared the last details and then we celebrated her first birthday and for two whole days I had absolutely zero projects in the works.  As ridiculous as it may sound, I might have temporarily gone crazy.  Like, 48 hours worth of feeling lost or confused.

Last night, I searched the nooks and crannies of television and social media and found nothing, but didn’t I already know that. Of course, I did.  After powering through yoga, even though I really didn’t want to and nearly stopped three times. I mean, I did stop three times. It was dreadfully silly.  I soaked in the tub and then climbed into bed to read Anne of Avonlea, where she talked about souls and poetry.  It helped some, almost.

The trouble is, I’m in this mix of distracted and excited, but the unknown is just so very unknown and distracting today.  More than usual. It’s like the Godfather of the unknown. But, probably, it’s just normal unknown, really.

And today it is foggy, like the Godfather of foggy.  A perfect day for thought and reflection and drinking in the sweet sounds of harmonicas and guitar strings.  It’s a good day to feel things, for reveling in the deep, beautiful melancholy of it all.

It’s an even better day to feel things with a paintbrush in my hand.  That is the place where sense comes, because there we meet the Creator and the brushstrokes come together like a prayer, like autumn leaves dance in the wind or like the waves crashing upon the shore. We call and He answers.  And we are left with peace and clarity.

Here we figure out what questions we are really asking and at the same time, the answers too.

In the morning, O Lord,you hear my voice; and in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.  -Psalms 5:3