30 April 2010

gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
—Melody Beattie

slow living

READ THIS...(click here!) I love her thoughts about living life at a much slower pace. This is my favorite quote from the article:

"I've always called it "simple living" because that's what I've always heard it referred to as, that kind of returning to the earth, to the older ways of living. Moving away from the consumerism and microwave kind of world. But, "simple" living isn't really simple at all. It's work. A lot of it. For the most part, I find it enjoyable work. I find that I like rhythm of this sort of life. It's really like slow living isn't it? Everything comes slower. The food comes slower, the heat comes slower, you're living your life just a little slower. And as a result you notice more, don't you? You pay more attention to the seasons. You pay more attention to your consumption. And in a round about way, you pay more attention to your family." (http://moonlithill.blogspot.com/)


(i have no clue who these people are but i think this is the sweetest picture. i think a lot about practicing now a lifestyle that is simpler and slower so that someday when i have kids, and life seems to move faster and faster, i can enjoy moments like this while they last)
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” — Marcus Aurelius

28 April 2010

27 April 2010

garden week one :)






solitude

Last Tuesday was kind of a rough day. So after lunch I packed up my journal, bible and some A.W. Tozer and drove to Nebraska City. For some reason, I almost always end up in Neb City when I need some time of solitude.

Unfortunately, I think the concept of Solitude has been lost a little in our American culture. As an introvert, I've always enjoyed time alone but have only in the past year or so begun to value spending time in solitude. Away from familiar things (i.e. home, or the Mill), away from people in general for large chunks of time so that I can actually let my heart quiet down and spend time sitting at Jesus feet. I would say my times of solitude, although usually prompted by a heavy heart, are never particularly epic. In fact, I usually come away from them with with nothing in particular except knowing that I've been with Jesus, which more often than not, is exactly what i need.

Here are some pictures I snapped last week.







sisters



I have the greatest sisters ever. And that is a fact. I am so lucky that I get to live with them and hang out with them all the time. These pictures were taken the other night on a rare night when we were all home (!!) and eating cake. Mostly they just represent to me how much I love these girls and how much fun we have together. I could write sentimental and tearful paragraph after paragraph about what they mean to me, but I don't think that would be real great for my emotional health right now. :) So I'll say they are the greatest and that I love them and leave it at that.








23 April 2010

"When I’m not doing something that comes deeply from me, I get bored. When I get bored I get distracted and when I get distracted, I become depressed. It’s a natural resistance, and it insures your integrity."
— Maria Irene Fornes

Isn't that true though? Particularly of our spiritual lives. If we're not operating out of what God has placed deep within us, ultimately if we're not living a life that ACTUALLY requires us to take active steps of faith, we get bored and distracted and a bit disillusioned about our walk with Jesus. A relationship with Jesus is anything but boring, but only if we are actually relating to Him, and when He says "Get out of the boat now, sister", we get out.

(my delightful bestest pal in the world Jill compared faith to a tree... which was an illustration that just made a lot of sense to me... more on that later)


22 April 2010

beds

i love beds. a place to rest. to renew. to dream. a healthy escape from the hurried pace of life. a place that can be just a little more magical than any other part of your home if you want, because it's just yours. twinkle lights and pillows and flowy fabrics and snuggly blankets.




impossible

21 April 2010

"Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?"
James 2:14-17 (The Message)

“What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.”
—John Ruskin

17 April 2010

community

the other day i saw three people sitting at a table outside a restaurant engaged in conversation over dinner... two of them were leaned forward enjoying conversation, but the third woman's posture bothered me. she was turned away a bit, arms crossed and the tone of her voice as i walked by oozed with an air of "please notice how cool i look here", as if remaining aloof makes you cool. it bothered me because i recognized myself in that. we all do it sometimes. when we feel insecure or lazy... we just want to put people off a little, make them think we're more awesome than we really are in lieu of actually having to engage in meaningful relating.

and then i started to wonder, why do we do that? we live relatively short lives, with even shorter amounts of time to relate to each other... why do we waste the time we DO have? why do we let our insecurities get in the way of real relating the way God intended for us to relate?

I just finished reading "Becoming a True Spiritual Community" by Larry Crabb (which is a fantastic and worthwhile read) He gives a great illustration at the beginning of the book which one book reviewer summarized this way: "The relationships among believers often can be compared to a series of rocking chairs on a front porch lined up side by side. Though every seat may be filled and cordial dialogue exchanged, the real hunger in people’s hearts is to have the chairs placed in a circle facing each other. In the same way, we long for our souls to be turned toward each other." (margaret oines)

ultimately real community and relating on that heart level can only happen when we relate not out of our insecurities but out of our security in who we are in Christ. when my position in Him is secure, i no longer care what you think of me and i'm free to be honest and vulnerable and share my stuff. i have a few people who i relate to like this, but what if this was the standard? what if, as the church, we worked to related to each other from the Spirit all the time? how incredible and dynamic and world-changing would the church be if we could learn to do this better?

its hard, and risky... but so worth it.

watch your...

hydrangea


i absolutely love hydrangea

i mean, flowers in general...

but particularly hydrangea

if i live somewhere for a long period of time i will grow them.