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Showing posts from February, 2016

Morning...

I am not a morning person. I'm blessed with Littles who sleep until 8 or 9 on a regular basis, and I happily sleep with them. On the days that they wake up earlier, I can barely make it until dinnertime before I collapse on the nearest piece of soft furniture in exhaustion. I tend to save my quiet time for the only time of day that's actually quiet, in the evenings after everyone else has already gone to bed. Perhaps it's because I'm an introvert, but my mind seems to be clearer in the relative calm of night.
The literal darkness wraps around me like a warm, comforting blanket - the figurative darkness, however, is something I could do without. The mental fog that seeps in uninvited, making words hard to understand and sentences difficult to form, dulling my memory and slowing my reaction time. The sense of purposelessness and lostness that washes everything with a dismal grey tinge, as I struggle to engage, to interact, to care. A darkness of spirit that transcends t…

Just One Drop

Today, my social media was flooded with red Xs - people joining the End It Movement to raise awareness of human trafficking for "shine a light on slavery day." Groups and individuals, celebrities and ordinary folk, all with a raised fist marked with a red X. In it to end it.
Back to Africa earrings via Fair Trade Friday's earrings of the month club
Awareness alone can't solve the problem - but it cannot be solved until everyone knows that there is a problem. And that's why I speak out. I was already passionate about local businesses, but a few years ago the End It Movement opened my eyes to the need to expand that passion to ethically made goods, as well. So I post photos of the fair trade businesses I'm happy to support. I have an elevator speech for anyone who comments on my Fair Trade Friday earrings (I think I've told at least 5 people this week about the refugees in Houston...) I check labels and I research brands and I vote with my dollar to the bes…

Fixed Up

I embraced the ___-of-the-month club last year when Fair Trade Friday opened up their earrings of the month option - I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun it is to get a mystery package every month, and ended the year having either loved and kept, or given away as gifts, every pair of earrings I'd received. So when they added bracelets, I couldn't resist. I love bracelets, and I didn't want everyone to get tired of earrings for Christmas ;) This month's, from 107 Market Street, actually evoked a squeak of delight when I opened the envelope, and that was before I saw the recycled aluminum cross (which just made it better).


I love accessories, and clothes - I mean, I make clothes, and make up my own designs. It's kind of a thing. Yet, somehow, my closet has turned into that of a stereotypical college student (which isn't even a fair comparison, since I know college students who dress better than I do). It's not so much that my fashion sense itself has c…

Forget...

I forget a lot of things - random items at the grocery store (why is it always a necessary ingredient for dinner that night?), that muffins need to be made this evening so we'll have them ready for breakfast tomorrow, where I put Brooklyn's tennis shoes after we got home from the park... things that would make my life easier if I could just remember them.
And I forget more important things, too - I forget forgiveness received and grace given, Whose I am and the promises He kept and keeps. I forget Who provides for my needs (and some of my wants, too), Who loves me unconditionally but also asks that I love in the same manner. I get frustrated and uneasy and and anxious, and begin to pace like a caged fox, forgetting that He's already set me free.
But my remembering capacity is all clogged up with things like That Stupid Thing I Said On Sunday, I Wonder If Anyone Else Noticed? and perceived slights and unconsciously held grudges and weird, disturbing dreams and deeply ingra…

Excuses

I am all about personal adventures. Let's hike that trail, drive to that new knit shop several hours away, go to that food truck rally someone posted about on Facebook! But when it starts involving other people, my social awkwardness kicks into high gear and I start back-pedaling rapidly to escape. The variable of introducing another human being into the equation makes my logical brain hurt, and all I can see are the little italicized imaginary scenarios that are standing between me and a tidy, predictable answer.

But on Sunday I realized that the fear of the unknown was keeping me from making the best use of what I do know. For example: there's a woman at our church who I've enjoyed speaking with, the few times we've interacted - there are a lot of unknowns, but I do know she's a stay at home mom with a daughter Brooklyn's age and a son who's a few months younger than Tobin. 
So I took a deep breath and messaged her, and we ended up meeting at the park th…

Improvised Discipline

gorgeous charms from Bella Vita Jewelry

Last semester, our church went through a sermon series in Ephesians, and our women's ministry did a study of Ephesians - and I knitted my way through Ephesians, because that's how I process things. I made dark ridges that cast shadows on watercolor valleys, because grace is only beautiful if you're in it. I shaped it into a giant triangle scarf, so that I would wear it often, and I added a few significant charms from a local artisan and a tassel (just because I love tassels) to the point. And then I named it Grace-filled because that's what Ephesians is - the pattern's on Ravelry here if you'd like to knit Ephesians for yourself.
image via She Reads Truth
This semester the ladies are staying in Ephesians 6 for a Priscilla Shirer study of the Armor of God. One point that she strongly emphasized in the first lesson (and has continued to reinforce in each subsequent chapter) is prayer as the 7th piece of armor (in addition to…

Limit...

discussion sheet for dialogue on systemic racism and white privilege
As much as I dislike the idea, I have to admit that I'm limited by what I do (or do not) know. For example, if I don't recognize the privilege that I was born with as a white person in America, I can't move toward racial reconciliation, or use the advantages I've been given to help the disadvantaged.
I'm limited geographically and circumstantially - in this season, I can't wander very far afield, so I need to be especially intentional about reaching out to those near me, living in Gospel community with fellow believers and sharing Gospel love with my neighbors.
My ability to pray is limited by my awareness of people and circumstances that need to be prayed for. If I don't know that more Syrians have been affected by the humanitarian crisis in their country right now than victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Haitian earthquake, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and Rwandan genocide combined, then…

Willing but Weak

I'm pretty attached to sleeping. Wait, let me clarify: I'm pretty attached to feeling rested. I tend to stay up late because my mind clears as those dependent on me for care fall asleep, and I will absolutely get up early for a worthy adventure - but in terms of the norm, I'd like to get about 6-8 hours, uninterrupted, every night. If that doesn't happen, or I'm sick or extra-tired for some reason, I'm not averse to a nap.

Except that I now have two children under the age of three, and at least one of them wakes up needing comfort, assistance, or sustenance at least once every night. And during the brief overlap of their naps during the day, there are too many other things that I need to do (and that I'd like to do) to get a nap very often.

You would think that two and a half years of this would have resigned me to it - rather, it's made me crankier and more entitled. I bid the covers a very fond farewell each morning until I've rushed through the …

If

I don't remember how I first heard about IF:Gathering. I know that I've watched bits and pieces of it from home for the past two years, with variable success - the first year my extremely sketchy internet connexion kept locking it up at inopportune moments, and last year an 18 month old and a newborn kept me busy/distracted.

But this year, our church hosted an IF:Local, and I was able to attend the Friday night session. I've never done anything like that before - Adam's mom took my sister-in-law and me on an overnight prayer retreat that their church did (several years ago, just after he and I got married), but it didn't really extend beyond the 30-or-so ladies in attendance.

This was a whole new adventure. IF:Gathering is simulcast out of Austin, and thousands of women all over the world watched together - some there in Austin, many in small-to-large groups in their own homes and churches, and then lots just from wherever-they-were-at-the-time. It was definitely m…

Focus...

Focus. Not something I've had a whole lot of lately... My schedule has been chaotic and my mind has been full and prone to wander, causing trickle-down effects like leaving my keys at my parents' house and not realizing it until I'd arrived home, 3 hours away. (Thankfully Adam was nearby and able to let us in, but it led to several days of getting up when he did - at o'dark thirty - in order to lock him out after he left for work.)
Our church's women's ministry is doing Priscilla Shirer's Armor of God study this semester, and one thing it covered last week was common tactics of the enemy - how he prods at certain areas that he knows will produce a reaction. Relationships, confidence, identity... and, among others, focus. That gave me pause - because my distraction goes so much deeper than forgetting small processes and making minor mistakes. It roots in shifting my attention to the never-ending line of Tasks Waiting To Be Done and off of my only Hope and He…

The Wrong House

Since Adam got a permanent position with his unit, we've been beginning the process of finding a house to live in, instead of our apartment. Aside from the occasional complaint about neighbors who slam the door when they leave at 6am every. single. morning. or think that it's totally appropriate to vacuum at 2am, I honestly prefer living in an apartment - with the same level of feeling that Adam, conversely, feels toward living in a house.
So, in an attempt to get on the same page, Adam and I sat down and he talked through What He'd Like in a House (such as Number of Bedrooms, Number of Bathrooms, Size of Yard, Shop Out Back, Garage Specifications - very grown up things). This exercise was accompanied by going through a real estate flyer and circling houses we found promising - out of over 20 apiece, only 2 overlapped between us. When he was finished, he asked what I thought.
"May I read you a poem?" I asked in answer. (This is what it's like, living with me…

{For the Love} of Love

I know. I do this every year. But the fact remains that Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday - not because of the sparkly, flowery, chocolate-coated-ness of it (I mean, I like that too...) but because of the sudden inspiration and availability of notes and cards and fun things for expressing love.
See what I mean about availability? February is the only time I'm going to find that washi tape!
Though she hadn't ever heard of The Five Love Languages (that's Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch), my Mum did an excellent job of teaching me how speak all of those languages. If you love someone, you tell them what they mean to you, get (or make) them little treats, spend time with them, cook them a nice meal, and give them a hug. There wasn't really a distinction between them - all went under the header of demonstrated love.
She was great to leave notes - for me, on my chair at breakfast or in the little mailbox on my bedroom d…