12.16.2014

looking back...

Things have been quiet around these parts lately, friends.
I'd like to say it's because we're intentionally taking time to 'cease striving' and be still in a season so hectic and hurried.

But, instead of a refusal to strive,
it feels more like a failure to thrive lately.
Don't worry this isn't the part where a mournful violin plays and I whine on... but, this blog is a direct reflection of my creative spirit.
If it's vacant... so am I.

The last half year has been a series of challenges for our family.
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It's also been a time of much learning, growing and encouragement.
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The beauty of God's grace shines brightest in trials.

Lately this path we're on has me looking to what anchors my heart.
Sometimes we put our trust to deeply in people... forgetting they are broken just like us.
Sometimes we put our joy too deeply in things... forgetting they can be lost.
Which is not to say that I thereby don't trust others, or find joy in things... but that I hold them loosely, yet love them deeper in the knowledge that they aren't my true anchor.

As I look back I see how God's been teaching me this over and over.
Each trial shows His comforts clearer.
Each blessing shows His care brighter.

I remember learning it while swimming with our daughter this summer, and the image of standing on the true ROCK when everywhere else feels like drowning.

I remember way back to the beginning of this almost expired year, where the idea of 'let it go' was working it's theme into my heart (long before Elsa's song went there!).
When I read that word SURRENDER.(blog post here).
When I see all my goals for living in that perspective... I'm encouraged.
By God's grace I've seen growth in these areas.

A growth that comes from a hard year in many ways.
Like the gardener who prunes away,
cutting deep,
clearing the clutter,
so that more fruit may abound.

Looking back, I'm still learning to wave that white flag to His work in my life.

So this is my hope in the midst of a sleepless stupor.
A creative vacancy.
A challenging chapter.
He's still working on me.

What's being worked on in you?

Mel ;o)

12.01.2014

a walk. a wreath.

:another family tradition:

The annual hike to collect cedar and nature's supplies to create a rustic wreath together.

 A beauty-full weekend indeed!

Mel ;o)

 

11.27.2014

just.one.more.ornament...

 There are days I just want to turn our living room in to an arts/craft studio.
Most days it looks like one regardless.
Paints, glue, fabrics, sewing, markers, paper... helter skelter.

We kind of love it. (Right, husband.. right??)

So lately it's been crafting mini angel ornaments out of found supplies.
Painting landscapes across canvases.
Colouring paper wreaths.. and of course.. more ornaments (our Christmas tree is going to be the weirdest mash up of curious scribbles this year).

And.. more ornaments.
Yep, as I am prone to suffer from the 'bite-off-more-than-you-can-chew' style.. I thought I would just simply 'whip' up these new ornaments from the Jesse Tree breakdown in Ann Voskamp's newly released book for this Christmas season.

I only have a few left to finish... only a few left... breathe.

For those of you wondering who/what the heck this 'Jesse tree' talk is all about: each ornament covers a specific story from the Bible (Old Testament) and shows how they all point to the coming of Christ... a 25 day countdown to Christmas!

Now you know,
keep it creative friends,

Mel ;o)
 

11.20.2014

One thing:

Hello friends,
It's been a while since I've written any ponderings and pontifications.  My brain has been fairly scrambled (more so than usual) from our sleepless.fitful baby girl in the nest.
But, one thing my thoughts keep coming back to is this simple - but profound - story in the Bible.
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It's found in the Gospel narrative of Luke 10:38-42, where Jesus enters a village and is welcomed in to the home of Martha and her sister Mary.  Martha, understanding the importance of hospitality in that culture, was 'distracted with much serving'.  Mary simply sat at Jesus' feet and listened to his teaching.  I can imagine the vein bursting from Martha's forehead when she protests: "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Tell her then to help me" (!!).

Does Jesus agree?
Does He hurry Mary off to help with the important job of serving?
 No.
We see Him respond with: "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her".
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Serving, or sitting.
I feel Martha's priorities hammering on my own heart.
I desire Mary's passion to consume it.

Because productivity is like a drug to me.
If I can keep just enough things clean.  If I can check off just enough tasks on the 'to do' list.  If I can visit with enough people.  If I can juggle all the important parts of the day without being swallowed in to chaos...
... I can find my value in that accomplishment.

You know you struggle with this too, if you see anger in your life.
Anger often points to something that we love, but it's being threatened.
We get frustrated, we get angry when our to-do lists go unfinished.
We get mad when the kids distract us from that.one.task we just want to complete.

Because we love to get it done.
To feel that fresh 'hit' of success?

You see it in our conversations.
"How are you?"  "Busy, good!... you know, busy!!"
Because the business of busyness defines us as valuable.

I'm not saying productivity is bad.
I'm not saying let the chaos take over your home or workplace.
There are a lot of good things that can keep us busy.
There are a lot of good things that can keep us distracted from the one thing.

What one thing defines you?
Where do you find your identity?
I believe that where we find our identity, is where we rest.
A heart that does not know it's 'one thing' is the Martha heart - "anxious and troubled about many things".  There is a restlessness.  A running from thing to thing to find comfort, peace, security.... identity.

A heart that rests, is the Mary heart.
Found sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Holding to his teaching.
Leaning on his strength.
Trusting in his promises.

Practically how does that look for us in the harried days of daily life?
One way that I've been convicted lately is to make my 'quiet time'...my devotions of reading/study/prayer take place during the *sweet spot* of the day.

You know, that one precious hour when the kids are hopefully napping.
That delicious moment when you know you could be 20x more productive at cleaning the house, or catching up on e-mails, or fill-in-the-blanks...
I see this as the perfect moment to give a sucker punch to my productive heart.
To clearly show it that we are going to STOP. SIT. and be STILL at the Saviour's feet.
I'm not perfect at it.
I still have a throbbing vein in my forehead that wants to do instead of be.
But I see the sweet relief that comes from this rare rest.
I want more of it.

I want this to be my one thing.
Not to be a woman spread thin to a multitude of things... but to focus in, and go deeper through the One.

What's your one thing?
Is your heart anxious, or has it found this rest?
I pray it has.

Mel ;o)

 

11.18.2014

crafty Christmas creativity:

It's always at this time of year, usually after the first real snow fall, that I start hatching way too many projects in my head.
They flutter about, distracting my thoughts, until I sew/sketch/sort them out!

If you're feeling the bug, too, I thought today I would post some links to projects (D.I.Y's) I've done in the past for young and old(er).  In case you wanted some inspiration for your own creative moment!
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You can click here for 10 different kid's craft/gift ideas.
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Or, click here for some more adult sized cozy creations and decor to make.

Happy Crafting friends!
Mel ;o)

11.15.2014

A.musing.mama! 4.7 (COMIC winner)

Isn't that the truth?

Today's COMIC giveaway winner is Nichole M!  This sketch is dedicated to her 13month precocious progeny who loves getting into all sorts of messes while she attempts to clean.
Yes, a carton of ice cream all over his head.
Yes, the toys all over the floor.

(Not depicted... taking the stereo speakers for a 'walk' with the cords as their leashes! ha!)
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I think we all relate well to the 'futility' of housework with little ones underfoot, don't we?

A BIG thanks to all the hilarious entries for this giveaway, you guys - and your fun families - gave me some great chuckles!

Have a fun weekend friends,

Mel ;o)
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You can catch up on previous COMICS here!
 

11.13.2014

my art. her art:

 
My recent paintings.
8"x8" mini landscapes.

Her recent paintings.
A new 'gallery wall' to brighten up our living room/kids creative corner.
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Art is like exhaling.
We love creating in our nest here!

Mel ;o)