Monthly Archives: January 2015

Loving these songs….

trees

A good friend introduced me to NeedToBreathe and I have been savoring these two songs for awhile now.

Both are from their album, Outsiders.  The_Outsiders-Needtobreathe

Would love to hear what stands out to you in both:

 

 

Something Beautiful

In your ocean, I’m ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin’ on my feet
It’s like I know where I need to be
But I can’t figure out, yeah I can’t figure out
Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There’s only one way to figure out
Will ya let me drown, will ya let me drown

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire,
’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees,
I’m waiting for…
something beautiful…
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is risin’ quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can’t be sure when it will subside
So I won’t leave your side, no I can’t leave your side

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire,
’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees,
I’m waiting for…
something beautiful…
Oh, something beautiful

In a daydream, I couldn’t live like this
I wouldn’t stop until I found something beautiful
When I wake up, I know I will have
No, I still won’t have what I need,
Something beautiful…

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire,
’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees,
I’m waiting for…
something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful [fade out]

Garden by NeedToBreathe

Won’t you take this cup from me
Cause fear has stolen all my sleep
If tomorrow means my death
I pray you’ll save their souls with it

Let the songs I sing
Bring joy to you
Let the words I say profess my love
Let the notes I choose
Be your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after you

In this hour of doubt I see
But who I am is not just me
So give me strength to die myself
So love can live to tell the tale

Let the songs I sing
Bring joy to you
Let the words I say profess my love
Let the notes I choose
Be your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after you

Father let my heart be…
For you

Let the songs I sing
Bring joy to you
Let the words I say profess my love
Let the notes I choose
Be your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after you

Jesus Calling–Absolute Trust

Let Me show you My way for you this day. I guide you continually, so you can relax and enjoy My Presence in the present. Living well is both a discipline and an art. Concentrate on staying close to Me, the divine Artist. Discipline your thoughts to trust Me as I work My ways in your life. Pray about everything; then, leave outcomes up to Me. Do not fear My will, for through it I accomplish what is best for you. Take a deep breath and dive into the depths of absolute trust in Me. Underneath are the everlasting arms!

Psalm 5:2-3, Deuteronomy 33:27

book_JesusCalling_MD

Limitations & Creativity

One of the best books I read this year (well, 2014) was Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways—Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live.

Yes, my book photo had to have a birdhouse in the background...the book is about being creative, I had to raise the bar....

Yes, my book photo had to have a birdhouse in the background…the book is about being creative, I had to raise the bar….

I’ll try to write more about the book as a whole but wanted to share a small portion that really struck me. She shared how she was working with a videographer to create a video and he shared with her about how the fun part is when he’s reviewed all he’s captured and discovers something that’s missing which means he has to get creative at making it work.  That seemed to surprise Emily until she thought about it more.

Here’s what she continued to write:

“My sister stands in front of her fireplace, whispers under her breath the things she dislikes about the angle, the mantel, the odd shape of the room, & placement of the windows. But she isn’t discouraged by it. In fact, she seems motivated by it.

Much of the beauty that arises in art comes from the struggle an artist wages with his limited medium. –Henri Matisse” (Freeman, 132)

I loved this because I had never thought of it before.  One thing I enjoyed about being a counselor was figuring out how to make treatment material fun and interesting for the kids I worked with, on a budget.  And these were tough customers as most did not want to be in counseling and had already done a lot of treatment and had heard a lot of the concepts before.  I had never thought about how the limitations, the lack of, the difficulty was part of the creative process.  And it was the very element that spurred me on to truly be creative….

And then I reflected on the art I have been creating lately.  One item I have toyed around with making lately are book page wreaths.  As I pondered, I realized two of them were created out of limitation.

This first one, I decided to do something new in the center because I was running out of paper!  I knew I would not have enough pages to complete the wreath but I had some small pieces I had cut off the book pages I could use.  It took a little trial and error but eventually I settled into making a striped type texture around the center.  And I think that addition to the wreath made it look even better than if the texture had remained the same throughout.  This wreath, something I could have tossed out when I got stuck, sold with the window frame and now adorns someone else’s home.  Someone else saw the beauty in my oopsy wreath!  I’m glad I didn’t stop when I encountered the obstacle.  It changed everything!

My oopsy wreath now hangs in a stranger's home...   : )

My oopsy wreath now hangs in a stranger’s home… : )

This second one is made from black and white phone book pages.  I thought I had a whole phone book full of white pages and as I neared the end of creating the wreath, I realized that that rest of the pages I had were yellow.  URGH!  I felt silly that I hadn’t more thoroughly checked out the phone book before I set out to make the wreath.

It took me a bit to figure out what to do.  We always have phone books dropped on our front steps but I had tossed all the others in our recycling container.  And now that I needed another, no more phone books appeared!  I knew it’d be really hard to match the color of these pages to something other than another phone book.  I felt stuck.  Eventually, I searched the creative odds and ends I had to see what else I could use to finish this project and found a grey egg carton.  And then I got inspired.  Soon the wreath had funky flowers on them, made from cut up egg cartons and a little paint.  I think if I had finished with more phone book pages, the wreath would not have been near as beautiful, at least to me.

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I love how Emily took something like limitations and pointed out that instead of seeing it as an obstacle, we can embrace it as an opportunity to use our creativity!  In fact, sometimes the most beauty comes out of what we do when we get stuck.

Seriously, run out and pick up this book.  It’s amazing!

P.S. And for those in the creative realm, Emily’s sister is Myguillyn Smith–the blogger and author of The Nesting Place….talk about a creative family!

Glimpses of Christmas…

The Christmas season this year for us was both exhausting and rejuvenating.  Peaceful and busy. Fast and slow.  We had moments of sickness and periods of health.  Togetherness with extended family and time to snuggle up at home, just the four of us, enjoying the wood burning fire and just being.  Here are some glimpses of what Christmas was for us this year…

Mary & Joseph sojourning to Bethlehem...

Mary & Joseph sojourning to Bethlehem…

We were gifted a Veggie Tales Nativity scene.  It has been very well loved.  The kids shriek with delight when it appears each year and the past two years, we’ve had Mary and Joseph journey around the house until Christmas Eve where they join the rest of the Nativity scene to wait for Jesus’ birth.  The kids LOVE trying to find them each morning after they realize they’ve moved.

 

 

 

 

I shopped and shopped for the right Christmas tree topper.  Every one I brought home tipped over due to being too heavy.  We finally20141213_222046 landed on this silver star…which struggles to remain upright too…it is jerry-rigged (who came up with that term?) with a paper binder clip!  It reminds me of The Nesting Place quote, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!”

 

 

 

 

 

20141206_174928Making cookies, a small way to let people know how much we love them…I hope they tasted love with each bite.  The most requested ones are the Ritz cracker, peanut butter, and dipped chocolate cookies that taste similar to the popular Girl Scout cookie.

 

20141219_203238One of my favorite ornaments since becoming a mother was gifted to us from Erin, Evan’s daycare provider the first two and a half years of his life.  She gave us a clear ornament with his smiling face peeking out.  For some reason it made me feel like she treasured Evan just as much as we did.  So I decided to share the love and made some for the rest of our family (and our own tree).   All you need is:

  • Clear plastic ornaments (I found mine at Michael’s–majorly discounted in November and December–I think mine were fifty nine cents each)
  • Some Photos you are all right with cutting
  • tin foil
  • something decorative for the back side of the photo (ribbon, glitter, sparkles, etc.)
  • something to tie or hang on the top of the ornament ball
  • a cup to trace to make the right size circle
  • a pencil or pen and a permanent marker
  • tweezers

Trace a circle onto your photo the right size for your ornament ball. You may need to experiment a bit.  Once it’s cut out, lay the circle on tin foil and cut a circle out of the foil with a slight edge to bend over the photo.  Once the photo and foil are combined, use a permanent marker to write the year the picture was taken on the bottom of the foil side.

Remove the silver hanging part to the ornament.  Roll the photo/foil combo into a small tube–small enough to push into the whole at the top of the plastic ornament.  As it goes into the ornament, it will start to unroll.  Help it gently with the tweezers until it’s standing upright in the center.  Once it is secure in it’s position, gently add ribbon or glitter BEHIND the photo (so the side where the foil is).  In my experience, when glitter gets on the photo side, the static makes the glitter stick either to the ornament wall or the photo, making the photo difficult to see.20141219_203209

Then put the silver piece back on the ornament ball and add ribbon or anything else your heart desires to the silver piece to make it festive.  Wa-la!  A very beautiful, personalized gift that did not cost much to make!  Whether you gift them or make them for your own family, they are delightful.  My goal is to make a new one of these each year so as we gaze at our tree each year, we can see the kids growing up little by little!

It has taken me seven years to make our house a home.  Ryan’s encouraged me to “put some stuff up on the walls” and this was the year I finally did it!  After being inspired by The Nesting Place and Jen Hatmaker’s feature wall, it became a goal to put one together myself.  See Jen
Hatmaker’s here: One Amazing Feature Wall, my words, not hers! I have a few favorites in my feature wall but I absolutely love the twig frame I found at a local store and the barn wood type frame I found at a thrift store and made into a chalkboard…

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I haven’t just stuck with the walls, I’m getting better at adding beauty other places…redoing chairs, adding fake flowers…and I’m enjoying it!  It makes my soul sing–and I hope others’ souls who visit.  And that, my friends, is a glimpse into our Christmas!  I hope your soul sung as you celebrated Jesus’ birth too!

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