Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Takin' the PLUNGE....well, kinda

Seeeeeewwwwwww, I've wanted to make a quilt for like forever! I follow multiple quilter blogs and drool over all the quilty goodness regularly. I had the impression that I need certain feet for my machine and had to learn certain techniques before I should even begin, but had a lovely and talented quilter encourage me that it wasn't all necessary and that I should indeed give it a try. I've continued to mull the idea over and over, bought fabric specifically for a quilt well over a year ago, but NOW, now I'm taking at least my first baby step! :D

These are I-Spy squares. If you've never seen an I-Spy quilt, do a quick google search and be WOWED! I'm taking part in a kind mama's first I-Spy swap....though she is a very experienced quilter, this is the first time she is hosting. Perfect for me to participate for the 1st time too!

 The idea is that you send in 200 pre-cut squares, 20 each of 10 prints. And then, you get back 200 DIFFERENT squares to help complete your I-Spy quilt. Fun right??? I sure think so! I enjoyed choosing the prints and cutting these little squares so much I already have enough for another exchange ready to go! lol! The possibilities are truly endless!
I figured if ANY quilt were going to be loved regardless of how it turned out it would be an I-Spy. I can just imagine my kiddos piled in the floor around it playing together. (Warm, head tilted smile here.) ;) "I spy a cupcake! I spy a Zebra! I spy a Stop sign!" You're imagining the fun too now aren't ya?

Well, whether these little squares will indeed make it into this quilted creation and fulfill my fairytale fantasy is yet to be seen. But, taking the first step seems pretty exciting right now! And hey, if I start feeling overwhelmed by the idea of a FULL sized quilt (shiver!), then, I can always start with one of these clever Mini Quilts right???

I-Spy FUN ahead!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Let me do it!

According to my mother, this was a phrase she often heard from me as a child. "Let me do it!". She says this was the case even before I could say it clearly. "Let me do it!" Regardless of the fact that many times the "it" was something greater than my capabilities. Something that I would struggle with until realizing that indeed, I was going to need help. Then, I would finally bring it to her, frustrated, and allow her to intervene with ease and success. It gives her great joy to watch me mother my youngest, for he too is this very way.
Today has been one full of "Let me do it!" moments. He's a bit under the weather, so also a bit more easily agitated. But repeatedly today, I have had to step aside, watch and wait for him to come to me for help. It's often a struggle for me, to watch him struggle, without immediately assisting. Knowing all along that I could have it all in order, in a quick moment, with very little effort. But, I know him. I know his heart. And, I know that it would do more harm to him, his energy for life and being involved in every single moment of it, if I did. So I wait. And when he decides that he not only needs my help, but also wants it, and then approaches me with the visible release of struggle, I am ready. I help in an instant, gently, warmly, lovingly as I nurture the balance of his desire for independence and knowledge of dependence. Never quenching his determination. Never bruising his confidence. Assisting yet challenging him. Continuously encouraging him. For I delight in him and am so very proud of him.
Today as I watched him, knowing he wasn't feeling well anyway, I was filled with a greater desire to help. I realized quickly that while he may not be 100%, he certainly was nowhere near giving up. I knew I could save him the frustration and exhaustion, but still had to wait. And as I did, I saw myself.

How many times has God looked upon me, longing to help me, knowing that I would refuse it, and so He waited. He waited for me to bring whatever my "it" for the moment was and place it in his hands willingly. And instantly, without effort, he accomplished what my struggle could not. Gently. Warmly. Lovingly. How many times has He softly reminded me that my dependence on Him only strengthens my independence in this world. How grateful I am! How very grateful I am that it is not all dependent upon me and my abilities! For in spite of my determination, strong will and go getter personality, I am simple and limited, easily distracted and far too impatient. How thankful I am to serve a God who is complicated beyond what I can figure out, powerful beyond measure and full of grace and mercy and tenderness. A God who knows my heart and speaks to it personally and intentionally. And I pray finds delight and pride in calling me His daughter. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Our thoughts and prayers are in Japan with our dear friend Shige, his precious family and the overwhelming struggles their country is and will be facing for sometime.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A month later...

...and I'm really not sure where I'm at to be honest. It's been a month since she left. I closed the door to her room and avoid it altogether except for when I randomly find something of hers....like her paci under the couch or those little shoes that were so cute but just wouldn't stay on her feet and ended up at the bottom of my purse. Then I quickly open the door and toss it in, without emotion and quickly shut the door back. I think I've finally worked my way through all the laundry bins that held the remnants of her last days here. I don't linger on thoughts or pictures of her for long most days. But today, I'm really not feeling well anyway and so, I have allowed the reality to creep in just a bit. It reminds my heart that she indeed was a real part of my life and that regardless of my inability to talk much about her right now, I miss her. My heart aches. I wonder if she is well. Has she adjusted? Have they learned yet how she likes to be held and which foods are her favorites? Is she finally crawling? Or did she just skip that step like we suspected she might? Has her "mama" decided she is worth the fight? Does she know that she is loved? Oh I hope so!
I don't doubt God's hand in our time together. I don't doubt that He intended it, and still does, for good. I still don't know the "whys" really, but getting caught up in the emotion of that would surely be destructive. Instead, I just wait. Somewhat burying myself in time consuming distractions knowing that healing and learning are both part of the "now" but don't always work together and frankly aren't always welcome. I do however find comfort and hope in His Word when I am willing to embrace it and trust that He knows best. And today, these words encourage and almost, just almost inspire....

"Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the infinite greatness of Christ's finished work and His righteousness. Look to Jesus and believe - look to Jesus and live! In fact, as you look to Him, unfurl your sails and bravely face the raging storms on the sea of life. Do not exhibit your distrust by staying in the security of the calm harbor or by sleeping comfortably through your life of ease. Do not allow your life and emotions to be tossed back and forth against each other like ships idly moored at port. The Christian life is not one of listless brooding over our emotions or slowly drifting our keel of faith through shallow water. Nor is it one of dragging our anchor of hope through the settling mud of the bay, as if we were afraid of encountering a healthy breeze. Sail away! Spread your sail toward the storm and trust in Him who rules the raging seas." - Streams In The Desert

Such a beautiful image! Almost exciting...at least from the "safe" place I sit now. But the still overwhelming cautiousness within me brings me back to retreat. Time. Just a little more time yet. I don't want to miss out on what He has in store, but the leap seems out of reach right now. So thankful for His grace and patience. So thankful that He knows me like no other.

"My righteous one will live by faith." Hebrews 10:38

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I am not a painter, as I stated in my last post, but my sweet girl is! The picture on the right is a watercolor that just happened to be in one of the frames from my thrifty project. Being another's hand-made art, I had no intention of throwing it out. But, something even better happened, it inspired my 9 year old artist. The picture on the left is her replica. Mind you, she has had no official training or traditional art classes. Nothing more than simple projects and lessons we have done together. She amazes me at how naturally she picks up and applies brushstrokes and lighting techniques. Effortless.  It's like she "sees" it you know? In a way that I don't when I look at the canvas. She comes to life when she paints, and my heart swells just getting to experience it!

What a Blessing!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thrifty Wanna Be!

Yea so, I am pretty much in complete awe and envy of those amazing people who can take random thrift store finds and turn them into creative, elaborate treasures. You know the type. Well, I'm not one of them. Perhaps it's a skill that can be honed and there is still hope for me, but this weekend, I attempted the craftiness and my aching body is still paying for it! LOL! However, I did learn something (or was at least reminded) about myself....I am (also) NOT a painter.  
I was on the hunt for a bunch of frames, preferably different sizes, shapes and details, and I knew that it being the last weekend of the month it was half/price weekend at the thrift stores. (yea, you didn't know that? I mean that's like common knowledge right???) ;) First stop was a total bomb....nothing. I was feeling a bit discouraged, thinking perhaps this was a bad joke and I would end up coming home with nothing more than a lampshade and a dress that fit no one in my house but was too cute to leave behind. I really wanted these frames, so I mustered up the courage to make a second attempt, and SCORE! It didn't matter what color they were because I intended to paint them.

My pile of "treasure". And ALL for about $20! (which is what I wanted to spend....one of those tricks of the trade I think, setting a $ limit.)

All laid out ready to paint. BTW.....the picnic tablecloth here has a fuzzy back that "stuck" to the driveway perfectly to keep everything in place and never blew up on my freshly painted projects while drying. See....I AM a fast learner! Another one of those tricks of the trade I bet!

My personal assistant who promised to get no paint on him. Ahem. We'll just leave it at that.

And my finished products! I was pleased. And the display they created turned out just the way I wanted, so I suppose not a bad thrifty experience after all. Who knows, I may surprise myself yet! ;)