Saturday, January 29, 2011

A quick note to say...

homemade elder berry cough syrup...oh yes I did.

  • I have the flu...complete with aches, fever, cough.
  • Luckily I made homemade cough syrup last week (for Ian) out of dried elder berries. More on that later in the week...when I'm feeling better.
  • My family is scattered today and it makes me uneasy...Chris is at work, Ian is in Sacramento at a wrestling tournament and Seth is headed to the beach with a group of friends. (Yes, it's dang cold's a winter beach trip..) And I am stuck at home...sick.
  • Is it just me? Or are foggy days eerily more quiet than other days? Weird...
  • The chickens haven't laid an egg in over a month. I realize it's been cold...but we've had a few nice, sunny, even warm days here lately...and I've been letting them free-range to their hearts content...which includes lovely dust baths in my flower pots and spreading their wings all wonky while sunning themselves on the deck. All that and I can't get a dang egg? They're taking this winter break thing seriously...
  • The house is a mess. And we're out of food. Yep. Mom's sick, alright.
  • Chris took care of dinner for me last the form of pizza delivery! I think we'll be having some mac and cheese from a box tonight...I am so not feeling like cooking.
  • Chris ran to the store last night to get me some Squirt...I needed it. As a bonus he brought me a box of Almond Roca...what a sweetie!
  • OK...time to go lay down...again. What are you doing on this wintry Saturday? Hopefully something more fun than me!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday in the Word.

" if the potter were thought to be like the clay!"

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Isaiah 29:13-16

13 The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is based on merely human rules they have been taught.[b]

14 Therefore once more I will astound these people
with wonder upon wonder;
the wisdom of the wise will perish,
the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”

15 Woe to those who go to great depths
to hide their plans from the LORD,
who do their work in darkness and think,
“Who sees us? Who will know?”

16 You turn things upside down,
as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
“You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
“You know nothing”?

Are you viewing God "based on merely human rules {you} have been taught"?

Or are you viewing Him as the wonderful, loving, omniscient, omnipotent Father that He truly is?

Don't look at God through another man's eyes, based merely on rules...see Him through the eyes of your heart. Listen to that still small voice that is calling to you. He's real. He created you. He knows your name.

And He loves you...very much.

Monday, January 24, 2011

one thing leads to another...aka scattered thoughts.

oats in a thrifted seal...parchment paper seems to work.

I am finally coming to terms with this season of Solitude that I am in. It's taking me a while to get past the guilt of not whatever form that may, ministry, running here and there...busy-ness essentially. Been there, done that. It's time to slow things down. And breathe. Be quiet. Listen. It's necessary. And not easy.  But being alone (click that link...don't mistake being alone for being lonely. I'm not all. Come to think of it...I don't know that I experience loneliness. I quite enjoy being alone...) has led to some interesting revelations.

Solitude...and quiet...has lead to some good things. One of them being my list of goals. And one of those goals being trying my hand at Yoga. I am loving it. And I like how this article describes it...slow, no pain, no pressure...just slow and deliberate movements that feel really, really good. Who knew I'd enjoy it so much?

Something else I've been enjoying is Miso. So good...and so good for you. I warm a little chicken broth diluted with a bit of water and add in a slice or two of fresh ginger. When it's heated through I pour it into a mug and add a teaspoon of Genmai Miso (soy and brown rice), stir to dissolve and sip away while checking email. SO good. Matter of fact, I had a little stomach thing going on last week. I made myself a mug of miso and the stomach trouble disappeared. Coincidence? Maybe. But...maybe not!

A blog friend of mine, Mavis, has been sharing her adventures in amazing coupon shopping on her blog, 100 Dollars a Month. You would not believe the deals she gets! It's amazing. I am so impressed as coupon clipping and I don't get along. I thought I had the perfect money making coupon deal planned out yesterday for CVS...the way I figured it I should have come out 11 cents in the black. Instead? I spent $25 and have NO IDEA where I went wrong. Dangit! Anyway...Mavis has created a cute Coupon Purse to help you organize your coupons while looking stylish and hip at the same time. Wanna win one? Go here!

I watched Ellen Foster this weekend. I got the DVD at the library...for FREE. Have I mentioned recently how much I LOVE the library? No? Well...let me just say, I LOVE THE LIBRARY.

I also watched 99 Balloons: The Story of Baby Eliot again this morning. I the point of making my throat hurt from holding back the sobs, every time I watch it. So sweet...and brings back memories of a friend of mine whose baby girl, Elora, was also born with Trisomy 18 several years back. Sadly, Elora did not get to experience life here on earth...Jesus took her home just before she entered the world during delivery. She was beautiful.

Amazing the blessings we are allowed to experience when we're paying attention... is done, miso has been sipped, blog has been updated. Now...beds need to be made, dinners need to be planned, chickens need to be fed, groceries need picking up. The day must go on...and the solitude enjoyed.

Remembering to breathe...are you?

Saturday, January 22, 2011 what?

quite matronly...paper clay heads...
And from a blob of paper clay came three silly little ladies with quirky personalities. What fun it was to watch them emerge. I had no idea what to expect...and really no end result in mind. So the outcome was as much a surprise to me as it is to you!

So...I made them. Now what? I got so wrapped up in making the heads that I didn't really think ahead to what I would actually DO with them once they were done. I had a few ideas...but nothing set in stone.

I think I'll ponder it a while...

Friday, January 21, 2011


Beautiful artwork I purchased several years
ago from Bound Staff Press on 

"If you love something, set it free..."

I was sitting in bed doing my bible study last night (finally getting back on track...jeesh) and came across a little orange sticky note in my bedside table drawer (as I was rooting around for my Pez). On it I had scribbled,
"If you love something, set it free...God set us free."

I'd forgotten I'd written that down. And it was suddenly such a profound thought to me. We've all heard the saying, yeah, yeah, something, set it free...blah blah. But I'd never thought of it in regard to God. It occurred to me that it is exactly what God does for us. Before God sends us to this earth, we are with Him. It says it right in the Jeremiah 1:5...
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..."

And how about Psalm 139?
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Before we were born...we were already meant to be. God already had us planned. He created us...He knew us...He formed us...for a purpose. This is so amazing to me...that He always knew that at this very time I would be here, on this earth. He sent me, and you...for such a time as this.Wow... this is how my thoughts went:

He formed me in my mother's womb. He sent me to earth. Basically...He set me free. Because He loved me.

So I was born into the world...and I lived however I wanted for many, many years. I lived my life without any regard to Him. I never really gave God much thought. I had a knowledge of God...or "something bigger than myself" but I came to a point in my life that I wasn't sure I believed in GOD. Or at least I didn't want to call anything GOD. Did I believe in a higher power? Yes. I knew I didn't believe in the big bang "theory". Even in my unbelief I knew that was a crock. But I wasn't comfortable calling whatever it was God. But now I know that whether I believed it or not, God did send me here. He did create me. He loved me, He formed me and then He set me free. And off I flew.

We all have a God shaped hole in our hearts. And nothing else will ever fill it but Him. Not drugs. Not alcohol. Not sex. Not work. Not tarot cards. Not palm reading. Not "spirituality". The thing that we are always in search of...that longing we feel but can't quite's that little hole in our heart that only God can fill.

I accepted God into my heart when I was 32 years old. It was a rainy night...I was watching TV with my husband...and he came across a TV evangelist. And he listened. Now any other day, I would have made fun. But not this time. This time I listened. Intently. And I cried. And when this man on TV invited me to say a prayer inviting the Lord into my heart...I did. You can imagine my surprise when I found out this man with the powerful voice was Billy Graham. Imagine that. I just accepted God into my heart in the middle of my living room floor. Wonders never cease!

God came into my heart...He took His rightful place...He filled that black hole...and made ME whole. At that moment...this little bird that He set free 32 years earlier returned to Him...because I loved Him. And I knew it in an instant. An instant. This never ceases to amaze me...ever. I marvel at how God got a hold of He got my attention, finally, and opened my eyes so that I could see...Truth. And Love. And Hope.

Let me tell you that life has NOT been the same since. I am not the same person I was 11 years ago. Thank you GOD. Walking with God is a process. It's a journey. And like any other journey there are ups and downs...hills and valleys...good and bad...highs and lows. But in the end...and through it all...God is good. And He wants good things for us. He loves us....and is waiting for us to fly back to Him.

"If you love something, set it free.
And if it yours, it will return to you."

Dear God,
I am yours...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday in the Word.

{some favorites...go here to see who is
responsible for these beautiful images.}

* * * * * * *

Matthew 26:31-35

31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

“‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’[c]

32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows,
you will disown me three times.”

35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”
And all the other disciples said the same.

* * * * * * *
I would love it if you would go to Matthew 26 and just read the whole chapter. I almost put it all here, but then chose to just really focus on the words that have been getting in my face for the past several weeks.

My pastor has been teaching from this bit of scripture for the past two weeks...and each time he brings up Peter denying Christ I just cringe. I like to think that I don't deny Him. I like to think that will never disown Him. I like to think that even if others disown Him, I never will. I like to think that I will follow Jesus, even unto death. But will I?

Over the years...and after more bible reading and bible study...I've come to the conclusion that I am a lot like Peter. This is how my bible describes Peter's "weaknesses and mistakes":
  • Often spoke without thinking; was brash and impulsive.
  • During Jesus' trial, denied three times that he even knew Jesus.
  • Later found it hard to treat Gentile Christians as equals.
Ouch. That first one really hits home with me. I often speak without thinking...and yes, I can be brash and impulsive. I am working on it. And getting better little by little. But I still find myself blurting things out. As my old pastor used to say, "I open up my mouth and out falls stupid."

Our words are so important...once they've been spoken, they can never be taken back. That's why it is so, so important to exercise the gift of self-control. Yes...the gift. Self-control is a gift from the Holy Spirit. Once we accept Christ into our hearts, we instantly have the gift of self-control (among about Fruit of the Spirit for more info). After that, it's up to us to USE that gift.

I realized yesterday that not only has my pastor been speaking on Peter and his denial of Christ, I've also been hearing it on Joyce Meyer...and this morning while listening to Beth Moore...and on the radio yesterday. Peter, Peter, Peter...and His denial of Christ when things got ugly. When he got scared. When things were no longer rosy and nice. When he no longer had his posse of 11 other disciples to parade around with. When he's alone. And under the gun.

When a scripture...or a so in my face like this, I have learned that I really need to stop and look at what I am doing in my life that the Lord is trying to get my attention about. So I stopped and I denying Christ? Of course my  first response is a pompous, "Of course not! I would never deny Christ." I'm sure that would be any one's response who claims to love the Lord with all her heart and all her soul and all her mind. And I do. I really do. But, I don't know that I won't react exactly as Peter did if confronted with the scary situation of DEATH. I don't know. I hope that I would stand by my convictions unto death. I pray that I do, should I ever be in that situation. But one never knows how they'll react once they're actually in the fire.

All of that was good to ponder about...and pray...and talk with the Lord about. It was good to see where my heart was at...and to know that at this point, I'm not denying Him. BUT what I am doing is speaking "without thinking." I am being "brash and impulsive". Believe it or not I do control my tongue (more than I used to)...and I do think before I speak (most of the time). But there are still areas in my life where I am not as careful as I could be. And should be. And this is something that I need to work on...continuously.

Peter says in Romans 7:19:

 "For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing."

Boy...I sure can relate.

On the bright bible also says this about Peter:
 "Peter never failed to follow - even though he often stumbled." (emphasis mine)

I think the most important thing in all of this is that God is merciful. That is the bottom line. And He extends unlimited grace to us...His imperfect children. He gives us chance after chance after chance...after chance. He never gives up on us...even when we may have given up on Him. Thank you God...

At the end of Peter's Profile in my study bible it asks the question:
"Are you willing to keep following Jesus, even when you fail?"

I can honestly say....yes. Even though I am human...and I get scared...even though I am imperfect...even though I can be brash and impulsive...even though I stumble and sometimes even fall...yes, I am. I am willing to follow Jesus...all the way.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

a long weekend...

A flower shop in Leuven, Belgium

I love 3-day weekends...even when they're a bit busy.

Ian had a wrestling tournament on Friday evening. It's the BIG one for our school...the one we it was important. He did quite well...but in the end, didn't place. He was bummed. And so were we. But we were ready to get home...finally at almost 10pm.

Saturday involved sleeping in. I planned on it. I don't usually like to sleep in...but on Friday night I just knew I was going to sleep as long as my body would let me. I got up around 7:30...and yes, that is sleeping in. If I get up later than 8am I start to feel like half of my day is wasted.

There were some things that really needed to be done around here...outdoor chores that had been let go due to all of the rain and a busy schedule. The chicken coop was the biggie...those poor girls. It was such a mess. But Chris helped me and we cleaned it up in under an hour and it passed The Girls' inspection. Do your chickens do that? Go in after you've cleaned and peck if they're inspecting your work? It cracks me up. Speaking of the girls...they have not laid one single egg in WEEKS. I know they slow down...but a complete halt? I'm attributing it to the cold temperatures...

Saturday afternoon Ian went to a birthday party which turned into a sleepover...and Seth went to a birthday party....getting home around midnight or so. Chris and I took that time to watch some movies...The Open Road and The Book of Eli. They were both good...I borrowed them from the library for FREE. Better yet! I will say they both contained language...and Eli contained some suggestive material and quite a bit of violence...I think they called it "brutal violence". And some scenes, it was. But the story was good...and the end was unpredictable...and I like that.

Sunday was church. Worship was sweet and the message was good...and timely. Afterward we stayed and chatted with friends for a good while...I don't think I got home until close to 1pm! After that...we just hung around at home. Ian recuperated from his sleepover...Seth went to another birthday gathering...Chris practiced guitar for the band he recently joined...and I read blogs and books and magazines. We ended the evening with another FREE movie from the library, The Blind Side. It was good...I cried a LOT. Like, the whole time!

Yesterday was Ian's 13th birthday. THIRTEEN. How is it that my BABY is THIRTEEN?'s official. I have teens... We hung out during the day....we opened presents and ordered his new scooter. We baked cupcakes and relaxed. Then around dinner time we headed over to our favorite restaurant. We eat there for every's become our tradition. It's a great local Chinese place...and we order the same thing every time.

And now...the weekend is over...and I am exhausted. I am off to a very slow start this morning...but I have so much to do. Bible sign ups...wrestling tournaments....lunch dates with friends...not to mention, classes start at the community college this week. I signed up for Creative Writing II and got in...but the Ceramics class I want is full. BUT, I'm going to go to it anyway and hope the instructor allows me to Add it. The scheduling of the classes is pretty convenient...Creative Writing from 11-12:15 and Ceramics from 1-4:15, both on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I think that'll work out quite well. These are both classes I need for my Bachelor's...and they're both available at the community college...which is GREAT as it saves me mega amounts of money vs. taking these same classes at Chapman. They'll take longer...16 weeks or so vs. 8 weeks. But you pay for that class acceleration...and to be honest, I don't want to rush through either one. I think writing and doing pottery until the end of May sounds pretty fun! Yes, it'll take longer to reach the goal of a degree...but that's OK. I'd rather have less in student loans at this point. Debt and I are not friends.

OK...well that pretty much wraps up the weekend recap...if you made it this far...I love you. If not...I still love you. And I don't blame you one bit for tuning me out... :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Something is better than nothing...

Or...don't let imperfection stop you from at least giving something a try.

We are two weeks into the new year...can you believe it? Time flies...even in 2011. far so good.

As you may remember I decided to write down a list of goals for myself...if it was floating around in my head, it got written down on The List. I wrote down everything from write to live on acreage and dig a cold cellar. I wrote simple little things like grow herbs and I wrote down things that will be a bit more of a challenge and stretch like grow all of the food we'll need for a whole year. As I shared last week...I wrote goals for my creativity...and I moved on that goal and actually made something. And it felt good. I felt accomplished.

Another thing I wrote on The List was get in shape. Pretty broad...I know. Then right below that goal I wrote do yoga/stretch. OK...there we go...narrowing it down a bit. What I really was looking for was some good stretching exercises. I have fibromyalgia and it tends to make me really tight and sore...especially in my neck and back. But lately I noticed it creeping into my hips. That's where I had to draw the line. OLD people have hip problems...okay? Not me.

Well...I knew that actually attending a yoga class wasn't in the cards right now...our finances are slowly getting back on track...but yoga still isn't in the budget. And honestly, I'm not one to GO to a class...or to a gym. I'm more apt to do something if I can do it in the privacy of my own home...with no observers. Ahem. know the routine...if you're like me, you're just going through your day, washing clothes, paying bills, running errands, making phone calls...and all the while your mind is going, thinking on things, figuring things out...and sometimes it can get a little overwhelming. (Hence...The List...had to get it OUT of the head and ONTO paper.) some point I got the idea to see if I would be able to Demand, through our cable company, a yoga show.

Hmm...that could work. So the next morning...I got up off my butt and gave it a try.

And...after selecting a few yoga shows...some too new agey...some too soothing...some just TOO...I found one that I liked. The description said, "yoga based". And I liked that. I don't want to hear about chakras and whatnot. I just want to stretch. Yoga-based sounded I pressed Select and got into Mountain pose. (I just cracked myself up...)

I'd made a good choice. The class was only 20 minutes long and the instructor gave lots of modifications for those of us new to actually moving, stretching and bending. There were a few things that I absolutely could not do...but rather than quit, which is what I would have done not too long ago, instead I sat and maybe just did the arm movements...or a stretch that I'd done earlier...something to just keep moving. Before I knew it the 20 minutes was up...and I felt great. It wasn't much...but it was something. And something is better than nothing. I wasn't able to do it perfectly...but I was able to do something. So that's what I did. And it felt good.

That was a little over a week ago...and so far I've done yoga 6 times. I tuned into the same yoga based class I started with...but come to find out, it's the same exact show every time. And I knew that was going to bore me. So...I searched around a bit more and found two more classes that I liked. One was about 40 minutes long..and a bit more intense. But again, I just did what I could. And even after just a week, I'm already noticing that I can do a teensy bit more each time. Already...some progress. I like that... 

This morning I followed along to a yoga DVD I borrowed from the library. Again, no cost and in the privacy of my own home. Perfect. It was a little bit...groovy, shall we say? But...the exercises were good and highly modified as they were yoga moves for people with chronic pain issues. It was actually really good for me...and since I did a more intense workout yesterday, and was definitely feeling it today, it was perfect timing for something a little more gentle.

Interestingly...there's been a chain reaction. I'm more aware of my breathing throughout the day. I've been taking good deep breaths, and being aware of when I needed to. I'm more aware of my posture. While I'm walking...while I'm standing...while I'm sitting at the computer. And I'm more aware of what I'm putting into my body. Maybe aware is not the best word. Maybe I just care more about what I'm putting into my body. (I've always been aware...whether it was good or bad...I knew!) For instance...I'm sipping miso right now. (And I like it!) For breakfast I had a piece of whole wheat toast with organic peanut butter and honey, a bowl of yogurt sprinkled with homemade granola and a half of an avocado. This is not to say that I'm not gonna eat some peanut M&M's...or indulge in a few slices of pizza. is a start. Good changes are taking place. And...something is better than nothing. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday in the Word

It's all a blur..
Isaiah 35

Joy of the Redeemed

1 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.

3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.

But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the LORD has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

* * * * * * * * *

Things are a little unclear for me lately. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing. Things are quiet...the Lord is quiet...yet I know He's here. It's almost as if we're just sort of sitting together, maybe in rocking chairs on a porch overlooking a beautiful valley...resting...pondering. Every once in a while, in my imagination, I'll glance over at Him like, "Well? What's next?". And it's OK. He knows I am impatient. In reply He gives me that look that my Papa used to give...a knowing smile, a twinkle in His eye, a slight nod of His head...and I know that all is well...even if quiet.

It feels weird to not be doing anything...I feel guilty. And then I have to remind myself that guilt is not of God. So I stop feeling guilty...eventually. And I also have to remind myself that I am doing things...I'm cooking and cleaning and washing and taking care of this family of mine.

I'm also taking care of my self...which is new.

Without meaning to really I started to do yoga a few times a week. Just in my own home...on TV or with a borrowed DVD from the library. I can't do all the moves yet...but I do what I can and feel good that I'm at least doing something. DO. There it is again...

I am learning about better foods...better things to put in my body. It's a slow process...that works for me. Anything too drastic and I won't follow through. Goals...not resolutions. If nothing else, I've learned that about myself over the years. Take it slow...and it's more likely to take root inside of me.

Quiet. It's unsettling. But it's not a bad thing. And I have to remember that just because nothing seems to be happening on the outside...things are taking place on the inside. Like a seed in the winter. On the's just a little seed. But on the inside? Amazing things are taking place...and are just waiting for the right season to bloom.

"You might be surprised....if you get quiet you just might hear God."
- Joyce Meyer

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

coming along...

I was finally able to add another layer of paint to these funny little paper clay girls on Saturday. I loved watching their personalities emerge. I had no idea when I grabbed that little blob of clay what the end result would be. I still don't, actually. It's a surprise even to me. The girls are painted. They have names. And stories. Now...they are just waiting, very patiently I might add, to be finished.

It's kind of cool to go into a project without a finished product in mind. This might be the key...for me anyway. I find that when I decide to do something I have an idea of what it should look like once I'm done.  And this very aspect is what has stopped me from trying creative things in the past. I know what I want to do. I see the end result. But I don't always know how to get there. So...I just don't bother. But I think since I had no idea about paper clay...and no idea even how to form only expectation was to have fun with it. That's it. And I did.  I am.

DO.BRAVE. just never know...

Monday, January 10, 2011

I believe...

I believe in the sun even if it isn't shining. I believe in love even when I am alone. I believe in God even when He is silent. ~Author Unknown

Saturday, January 8, 2011

paper clay.

I have wanted to try my hand at using paper clay for some time now. I was finally inspired to action when an artist I admire, Cathy Cullis, challenged herself to creating a "tiny head" a day...using paper clay.

After some thought...and some arguing...I finally just decided to give it a try. I grabbed my Michael's coupon and headed off to buy some paper clay.

Once I got home I set the bag aside...and moved on to other
things...laundry, dinner, homework, daydreaming, listing off all of the reasons why I shouldn't try yet another art medium...blah blah blah.

But...when dinner was done...and there were no more reasons why I shouldn't...I opened up the package of clay and just began to mold and sculpt. In a few minutes I had three heads, three hearts and two birds.

It took a few days for them to really dry nice and hard. I think because it's so cold. I imagine in the summer you could set them outside to dry and cure in no time.

Today...I will paint them.

They're not perfect. But they are done. Which means I made another step in the direction of DOING. And that's what's important.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I got these bowls at the thrift store last week...on the first day of the new year. They're handmade...and unmarked...probably made by someone taking a pottery class, or something. I like them...I like the color, the texture, the size...they're just right for each of the boys to have one on their nightstand to corral little bits and bobs...keys and pocket knives and gum and nuts and bolts know...boy stuff.

Speaking of pottery...I'm planning on taking a class beginning this month at the local community college. Would you believe I need it for my degree? Yeah...I do! I love it! I've wanted to take pottery for a while now. And painting. And drawing. And..any kind of art I can get my hands on.

I remember when I was attending the community college 20 years ago. I decided to major in Psychology...I was going to be a counselor...and live in a little old bungalow with lots of cats and a wild garden. I was taking all of the necessary psych classes in preparation. But every day I'd see the art students toting their portfolios and their huge sketch pads. I'd see them in the cafeteria...sketching their lunch...or their girlfriend. And I longed to be one of them...I wanted to be an art student.

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an artist. I'm thinking I was around 4 when I decided that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. An artist and a mommy. I loved to draw...and color...and paste. In Mrs. Dunbar's class in 2nd grade, if you got all your work done on time or if you scored the highest on your times tables got to pick your free time activity first. And since I often scored well on my tests, I got to pick my free time activity. And every time...without fail...I chose art.

I'm not sure what happened along the way...when I lost that dream of being an artist. I don't know...

What I DO know is that I am finding myself with an opportunity, 20 years later, to be an art student. Even if it is just for a class or two...I'll take it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday in the Word.

can you see the dusting of snow?

John 14:12-14
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

* * * * * * *

As I was making coffee this morning, filling the carafe with water in the dim morning light, I realized that it was Wednesday. I whispered a quick prayer, "Lord...what do you want me to share today?" Quietly, in my heart, I heard the word, "glorify". I looked up some bible passages...and knew instantly that this was the one.

It's beautiful...

I would recommend reading it in context, however. We don't want to make the mistake of looking at Jesus like he's a genie in a bottle. Our wish is not His command. It's important that we stay in line with Him...that we see ourselves as His tools in this world...we are His hands and feet. As followers of Christ we want to be in His will...and so when we pray something, ask for something...we can know that He hears our prayers, and if it's in His will, if it's GOOD for us, if it's going to lead us down the straight and narrow path that He's paved for us...then He "will do it."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

so far...

local free-range chicken farm located near my home.
 Day 4 of 2011...already? We wait and wait and wait for something...we anticipate and plan and dream...and then *like that* it's here and gone goes on.

So far this year I have..
  • taken down the tree and all the trimmings. I usually cannot WAIT to get our Christmas tree out of here. My house is small. A tree is large. And it tends to make the house feel claustrophobic. So come December's usually outta here. But not this year. This year our tree was small. The lights were pretty. And I really didn't even want to take it down today. But I did. It was time. I'll miss it though...and that's a first.
  • signed up for a free online herbal class...SO excited about it and loving it so far.
  • enjoyed a conversation with the owner of the used book store today. She encouraged me to be a part of our local Slow Food chapter. I sent an email to the gal in charge, who, by the way,  I used to babysit for! I haven't heard back as of yet...but I think as long as you pay an annual fee, you're in.
  • Took two bags of goods to the thrift store yesterday...and promptly pulled around to the front of the building, parked my car, and went inside. Yes. To shop. And yes. I found a few things. (Slowly making the switch to glass storage rather than plastic...I found a huge storage jar, some little jars for my new herbal remedies and two boxes of quart size canning jars. Not to mention a cute basket with leather handles. I got outta there for under $15.)
Hmm...why did all of that feel like so much more? I think maybe the herbal class alone makes me feel accomplished since it's on The List and it's something I've been wanting to DO for a long time...but was intimidated by so have only been reading about. Signing up for it was definitely a step in the right direction. And that forward movement feels big...and good.

Oh...another thing I was excited about was working up the nerve to try Miso. I've been curious about it for some time now. I'm not sure why Miso was so intimidating to me...but it was. But, in perfect timing with my whole DO theme, the herb class instructor mentioned Miso in one of his lessons. I took that as my cue to finally give it a try. So today I went to the store...and I searched high and low until I found the Miso. But...I never did find the Miso. So I had to ask someone...and he took me right to it. There it was...right on a shelf I had stood looking at for at least 5 minutes. I was looking for a jar. It came in a resealable bag. But just time I need Miso, I will know RIGHT where to go to get it. Nice.

Finally, I bought the Miso, and an organic chicken, and some chamomile tea (for my class) and a ginger beer. Then I came home and promptly made some Miso soup for my lunch. I think I feel healthier. :)

(Not sure what Miso is? Neither was I. Go here to read all about it!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

A word...or two.

When I returned from Belgium I had a realization that I had just done something...or several things, actually...that I never imagined I'd do. I flew across an ocean. I went to a foreign country. I spoke in a public setting. The crazy part of all of that? I am afraid to fly. Especially over an ocean thankyouverymuch. I never really had a desire to go to a foreign country...especially without my husband to keep me safe. And speaking in front of people? You may as well just put bamboo under my nails...pure torture.

Well...isn't it amazing what we can do when, #1 God is in control and, #2 we are willing to follow His lead. I give God the utmost credit in helping me to build up the courage to go through with it all. But I also give myself a teensy bit of credit for being obedient to Him. I could have said no. I could have pretended I didn't hear Him whisper. I could have just allowed my fears to rule and not done any of it. But I didn't. I listened. I obeyed. And I trusted. I would say in this case, God and I made a good team. Trusting Him is never a let-down. Ever.

When I returned from Belgium and got unpacked and got settled back into my routines here at home, I realized that I had just done something that, for me, required something I never had...bravery. I am not, nor have I ever been, a brave person. On the contrary, I've always been somewhat of a scaredy cat. But suddenly I realized that had changed. And right then and there I thought to myself, "I think the theme for this year is BRAVE."

I didn't really think anymore about it. I've pretty much just been living life...taking care of my family...waiting patiently to see what's next on the horizon. It's been quiet...and slow...and calm. And I have to say, I've been liking it.

But then the New Year was just around the corner...and I had the thought to write down my goals, for the new year as well as for life in general. If it was an idea in my head...a desire...something I'd like to try or make or bake or was written down on The List. And in the process of writing this List I had a another realization...and it was just one word...and that word was DO. It's not pretty. It's not poetic. It won't look cute written on my body somewhere in Sharpie. But it will help me to get some things accomplished in my life.

So for 2011 I am going to be BRAVE and I am going to DO things rather than reading about others doing them.

In 2011 I am going to DO BRAVE. And I'm pretty excited about it!