She Reads Truth

on 18.2.15

I came across this website called She Reads Truth during Advent.  I have since become a fan, and have loosely been following their daily posts.  They have some great stuff! Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  This is not something I have participated in, in my Christian walk.  Much like the author of today's commentary, I also thought of it more as a ritual, and it is, but that doesn't necessarily make it useless. To quote Raechel Myers, "Bearing ashes or avoiding words will not purge us of our sins. These acts alone will not draw us nearer to God. But often times Church traditions—when we understand their origin and the intent behind them—can serve as tools to remind us of the very real reality of the Gospel in our lives."
I think it is so very important for us to always be mindful where we are at with God, what stuff in this world we have allowed to creep into our lives,what compromises are we making, you know just taking inventory. Being mindful, that is such an important characteristic to me. I want to be more mindful.  I know that my participating in Lent does not make me more spiritual, God is not "proud" of me, I am not more enlightened, I have not earned special favor, nor is my salvation dependant on it.   For me, right now, taking part in Lent feels like a tool for me to be more mindful of Christ and the most wonderful gift that changed my life forever! 




She Reads Truth

taking stock

on 2.2.15

I discovered a new blog called Meet Me At Mikes, and one of the things she does is called taking stock.  I have seen different version of this, but I thought I would give this one a try, with a few tweaks.  


January :: 2015

Made:  nothing that i wanted to {sad face}
Cooked:  lasagna from "What Katie Ate"
Drank: a specific number of glasses of water, daily, no exceptions
Read: Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist (highly recommend)
Wanted:  to move
Played:  Stratego, and horse (basketball)
Decided: to move
Wished: i didn't have to do the work that it takes to get rid of stuff
Enjoyed: putting together a puzzle with the family
Waited:  for Madam Secretary to return  
Liked:  the two 60 degree days we had
Wondered: if we would ever move
Loved:  Jeanne Oliver's class Becoming : the unfolding of you
Pondered: a simpler life
Started: listening to podcasts on my tv 
Watched: our church on Live Stream
Hoped:  i would lose weight in the challenge i am in

Needed:  to lose weight in the challenge i am in
Smelled: Candelles all natural wax tarts
Wore: my plaid puffer vest
Noticed:  the weight was not coming off very fast, even after cutting out 3600 calories a week just from soda
Knew: losing weight would be challenging with my thyroid
Thought: this time might be different
Admired: Tracie West's videos
Sorted: through 2014's mail
Bought: a new pair of shoes
Got: overwhelmed with projects
Finally: started playing with my new camera  
Disliked: my lack of inspiration that happens in the winter
Felt: sad
Following:  She Reads Truth  blog
Snacked: on a lot of granola 
Wished: my adult kids knew what being a parent was like
Helped: convince my grandmother to move in to an assisted living place
Listened: to The Art of Simple podcast with Tsh Oxenrider
Discovered: you can listen to podcasts on the Roku
Scripture Reading: it's chronological so skips around, Chronicles, Kings, and Obediah

It's time.....

on 30.1.15

It's here......it's time. Yesterday was day one of eleven for the Volcom Pipeline Pro surf competition that takes place on Hawaii's North Shore.  So why am I posting this on my blog?  I may live in the mid-west, but I am obsessed with the ocean, the tropics, and of course surfing.  Where I live, people make the comment that this is God's country.   Now I am a nature lover, but that statement doesn't really resonate with me here .  When I look at something like the Grand Canyon, it's beautiful, and it's amazing when you think of its creation, but...............it doesn't impact me the way the ocean does.  When I see the ocean up close and personal,  that is when I feel in awe of my Creator, and His creation.  I don't know how you can have a bad day when you live near the ocean, when you can walk the beaches, hear the waves, smell the salt, feel its spray.  I love the ocean, its power, its might, its stories, it history, its gifts. It demands respect.  As much as I love the ocean, I am also terrified by it.  Not having grown up near it, even just playing in the waves, can turn ugly. There is a lot to know about it, and even those who do, still find themselves in dangerous moments, some even lose their life doing something they have done for years. It demands respect. This brings me to surfing, what an amazing sport. So fun to watch and you can't say that about a lot of sports!  I have never surfed, but it is on my bucket list.  It is a high priority on my bucket list, like if I don't do it, it will be a huge regret. But I am afraid.

If you have never heard of Banzai Pipeline, it is what they call the surf reef break that creates amazing waves that hit the North shores of Hawaii starting in December.  The waves are enormous, up to 30 ft, and because it is so close to the shore, the water is shallow with razor sharp lava reef. Pipeline is considered the best waves in the world, but also the most dangerous. They say that this is where surfers come to die. Many a professional surfer has lost their life there. The sound of ambulance sirens are a regular occurrence during this time.  Pipe Masters is held there every December, and a few others that follow. Volcom is one of those.

With today's technology we can get live cam feed of what everyone there is seeing.  Now I would so rather be there, and one day I will, but for now this is all I have.    Volcom Pipe Pro Live is the link for the live feed.  The video below is actually from a few days prior.  Enjoy, I know I will!


NOW YOU cooks

on 6.1.15

NOWYOUcooks :: 
nowyou is a tribe of creative women that i belong to. we are going on our 3rd year, and it just gets better and better.  we are picking a different cookbook of our own choosing each month to cook from, photograph, and share our successes and failures with.  i am so thrilled to do this. 

the book i chose for january is what katie ate.





  this book is so beautiful, the graphic designer in me fell in love with the font, the mixing of fonts, the lay out, and the amazing photography, and i suppose the recipes aren't bad either.  here are a few examples.











 actually the recipes are out of my scope of practice, but that will be a good stretch for me.   The author of the book (who does both the recipes, and the photography) also has a blog, What Katie Ate, with more beautiful photography. she is from dublin, ireland, but lives in australia.  that might explain why some of the ingredients are foreign to me. anyways i am so excited to get cooking!










the new year

on 2.1.15

A new year,  new beginning, a fresh start, a second chance, a redo, a do over, a do different.  all of this i love. for all these reasons, i love the beginning of a new year. it is one of my most favorite things! love. while there are times that i don't like change, like when a friend moves away, or people you like change jobs, i also embrace change. i crave change.  i will drive miles out of my way to go somewhere i have been many times just to change the scenery. i love/hate change, it just depends.  a new year represents good change to me. i look forward to doing new things. meeting new challenges. looking forward to the new me at the end of that year. and if there is one thing i have learned in all of these years of mine is that we grow, we change, we are similar but not the same. this is one of my favorite new year quotes. 


Be at War with your Vices, at Peace with your Neighbours, and let every New-Year find you a better Man. ~ Benjamin Franklin

one of my biggest downfalls is i want to do everything! now. you could say i am an overachiever, but it is in theory not reality. i can not help myself, years of experience have done nothing to change me in this area. i simply can not help myself. and so this year is no different.  i am taking part in a lot of different things.  i know, i know.  i know all the things you are thinking, but it is what it is. i am an optimist. i can do this. i want to do this.  so here is a list of this projects i am participating in for 2015.  

1. my word :: give ::
    i want to give,  
    give away,
    my money,  my time,
    my thoughts, my ideas,
    my finds,  myself,
    maybe even my secrets. 
    to my God,
    my neighbors, my community,
    my church, my family, my blog, 
    my tribe, myself. 

2. NOWYOUcooks :: NOWYOU is a tribe of creative women that I belong to. we are going on our 3rd year, and it just gets better and better.  we are picking a different cookbook of our own choosing each month to cook from, photograph, and share our successes and failures with.  I am so thrilled to do this. I will do a separate blog post on the book i chose. 

3.  creating time capsules :: i signed up for a year long course of creating time capsules using video and photography.  i have taken the 6 week course, and so i loved the idea of doing a year long course.  and several of the ladies from our tribe are participating as well, making it that much more fun!

4.  shooting with soul :: this is a book that contains 44 thought provoking photography prompts.  I am joining Tracie and possible several others to spend a week on each prompt, sharing on our blogs, and then posting our favorite on a collaboration blog.

5.  losing weight :: well this an ongoing project.  i am hoping to participate in a few different challenges to motivate me. the thing that will bring real change for me is understanding my own metabolism, working with my thyroid, and finding things that work for my body dynamics. 

6.  i have a several classes that i have signed up for either recently or a year ago that i get to work on. several of those are art classes through Jeanne Oliver. love.

7.  speaking of Jeanne Oliver, she has a new class that is free. free. free. called Becoming: the unfolding of you.  if that sounds interesting to you be sure and check it out.  

can i say i also want to blog more, sew more, knit more, do more art, read more, learn more, i could go on and on...... 

oh, the excitement is building, i am off to get busy!












day 16 ~ juxtaposition

on 1.12.14

jux·ta·po·si·tion

noun
  1. the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.


  2. i love that word, i love saying that word, and i love that word in action. juxtaposition. it makes me think of that song from the electric company (remember that show), or maybe it's sesame street....o n e   o f   t h e s e    t h i n g s   i s    n o t    l i k e   t h e   o t h e r.............

  3. ok, anyways our assignment this day was to find and photograph juxtaposition. i wish i had spent more time on this prompt, but it has just been a crazy time this past week, and it just didn't happen as i wish.  i tried to be mindful this past week to notice juxtaposition. it didn't happen. one day my husband made a comment how the chocolate mint that we grow in our flower bed was dead all the way down until you get to the base that is buried in the snow. there you can see a few very green leaves, still holding on to life.  perhaps the snow acts as a barrier, protecting it from the hard freeze outside of the snow. and freeze it has.  wrap your brain around that. frozen water, acting as a barrier to protect a plant from the freezing cold air. i knew then i had found my juxtaposition. 

tracie who lives in california had rain yesterday, how's that for juxtaposition.....



day 15 ~ message

on 24.11.14

words. messages. 
keep your eye out. 
seek out what you need to hear today. 
stumble on it. 
remind yourself.  
write it down.  
this was our assignment.  
it will all work out.
this is what i need to hear. 
be reminded of. it will all work out.  

This is not for any profound reason other than we are having guests over for Thanksgiving.  The parents of my daughters boyfriend.  I am a behind the scenes girl.  I love to create atmospheres for people to enjoy.  I don't love to be the actual host.  That totally freaks me out, I wish it wasn't so.  Last year our Thanksgiving did not go as planned, but it was just us, so we scrapped it, ate what we had and watched a movie, and it was fabulous.  First while I had food on the counter, I opened a cupboard and a dish fell out, hit the edge of another dish that was full of food, and busted into a lot of pieces.  One piece fell on my foot, cutting it. While this was taking place, I had bread in the oven, which burnt in all the excitement. To top it all off the BBQ'd turkey that we have been making for 15+ years started on fire, and was unsalvageable.  As horrible as that sounds, we found lots of humor in it.  However, can you imagine if we had guests over, people we don't know all that well.  Oh snap. I don't even want to go there. 

it will all work out.

I wonder what word or message Tracie needed to hear?


Do not be afraid of tomorrow, for God is already there. ~Author Unknown


gratitude ~ day 4

on 17.11.14

We give thanks to God not because of how we feel – but because of Who He is. 
~ Ann Voscamp


Nothing seems to grind me down more than discord in this family of mine that God has blessed me with.  Regardless of our circumstances, i feel like we can get through anything, if we do it together.  Family is a big deal to me.  So when there is discord, it throws me off, i lose my way, i feel lost. It doesn't have to be anything major, it can be a moment, a discussion, an action.  I was feeling this way the other day.  I didn't prepare a post that day, because even though i wasn't feeling ungrateful, I wasn't feeling gratitude and i didn't want to be disingenuous.  While i was online, i was reading a post of  Ann's  from A Holy Experience.  and the statement above  hit me.  It was an aha moment, a beautiful reminder.  I love bits of wisdom, simple, but true, that can freshen your perspective.  That was all it took, changing my perspective, looking at the details differently. simply.  The photos i took represent that as well, the same leaf, just different details.  Which details speak to you?

day 14 ~ unexpected enchantment

en·chant·ment
noun
  1. 1.
    a feeling of great pleasure; delight.

This was the basis of our assignment today, enchantment, stirring your inner child with an everyday object.  So I have this lego version of Chewbacca in my art room.  It belongs to my son, but somewhere along the line, I swiped him, and he has been hanging out with me ever since. Him and a plastic little deer......who knows why we are drawn to things we collect, or that draw our attention. why ask why.
This was the first thing I thought of when I read the prompt.  Do you blame me, who doesn't love Chewbacca?

Tracie is very whimsical, so I am excited to see what enchanted her. 


“Enchantment lies in everyday moments if you are observant.”
 


day 13 ~ good day sunshine

on 14.11.14

What happens when you haven't seen the sun in weeks?  We were encouraged to go find our own sun of course!   Ok, well it hasn't been weeks for me but it has been several days of grey, murky skies, and no sunshine to be found.  So I went looking for my own, and here is what I found.............


Wherever you go, 
no matter what the weather, 
always bring your own sunshine.
~Anthony J. D'Angelo


    Oh Tracie darling, what kind of sunshine did you create?





gratitude ~ day 3

on 12.11.14

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson



     ~ cheese......it's still fantastic.  it is my go to    
       snack, and i eat too much, but i love it.

    ~ kitchen chats with my family, daily. love.

    ~ one of the things i do love about winter, is the
       mood that it sets.  dark by 4:30, candles lit.
  
     ~ a new found desire to bake fresh bread, often. 
        smells so good, tastes even better.  focaccia is 
        next.

gratitude ~ day 2

on 11.11.14

                                            God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.
                                                Have you used one to say "thank you?"
                                                              ~ William A. Ward



today is Veteran's Day.
how do you say thank you for the giving up of ones life?
how do you say thank you to those who willing put themselves in dangers way?
how do you say thank you for leaving
the comfort of your home,
your family,
your friends,
your life,
for millions of people you have never met,
who don't even know your name?
how?
today i have no photo.
but i do have sincere gratitude
for the freedom i have to vote,
for the safety that i take for granted daily,
for the freedom to choose my path,
my own beliefs, and to share ideas openly.
these and so many more.
while i sit and enjoy
a tv program with my family, 
under peaceful skies,
an American soldier is battling for his life,
bombs landing around him,
guns aiming for him,
evil lurking on the ground.
how?
how do you say thank you?
i try to be mindful.
i remind myself of what was lost
so i could gain.
i try not to bury my head in the sand,
about things i wish were not so.
i try to listen to things that are
difficult,
uncomfortable,
a soldiers suffering,
so that i don't forget,
and become
comfortable,
complacent.
when i hear the
national anthem,
i am reminded 
to pray.
i pray over the soldier 
and his/her family,
though it is not enough,
i say
thank YOU. 


gratitude week ~ day 1

on 10.11.14

Gratitude is not an area I find difficult to do, but there is always room for improvement. There are many moments through out the day that I feel thankful, and there are those times when I remind myself to BE thankful.  I believe there is always something to be thankful for no matter what your circumstance.  The Apostle Paul said,
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In all circumstances.  

There is always something to be thankful for.  
Do you ever stop to think about the small things? For instance, we need food to survive, got it, but God didn't want us to eat just for survival, He wanted us to enjoy it. So He have us taste buds, to taste with. He also wanted us to smell it, so He gave us an olfactory nerve. Food gathers people, it connects us, and we get to savor it. Amazing! 
How about art, or being creative. God was the first artist, and He made the most amazing landscapes, and filled it with some of the weirdest animals, and clothed it in all the colors that He designed.  I might paint something, and mix different colors to get what I want, but He is the author of color, and what amazing colors He did create!

This week I am participating in Gratitude Week 2014 with Michelle gd and many others.  I really loved the idea of capturing that which I am grateful for with my lens even better than writing it down. 






 ~  I love worship. lifting my hands. singing the
     words. each one. noting its meaning. imagining
     my Abba Father.    

    A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath. It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. 

                                           ~ Psalms 91:1-3


 ~    We have had the most beautiful autumn I can 
        remember, but eventually it had to end.  We 
        got a snow storm and the cold that comes with
        it.  It is the circle of life, and its days are 
        numbered.  moisture. and it does encourage
        nesting, warmth, baking, doing.  Did I mention
        how completely grateful I am to be warm.  It is
        one of my favorite things, to be warm.  It 
        makes me giddy with gratefulness to be warm.
        warm.  It also makes me mindful of those who 
        are in need of warmth.

 ~    this guy.  We are not home together very often
       as we work different shifts, and different 
       weekends.  So when we are home together, it is
       nice, even if we are in different parts of the 
       house, doing different things.  it is nice to co-
       exist.

 ~    Books.  I love books.  I love learning.  I am 
       grateful that there are people, different from    
       myself, the same as myself, open and willing to
       share their ideas, their stories, their inspiration, 
       their imagination.  I mean seriously when I go 
       into a book store it is like endless possibilities.
       I feel so inspired, so possible, so giddy just
       entering. I need to read more. I love the written
       word. I love books.