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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are enjoying a 
merry and bright day!

Merry Christmas!


If you'd like another hint:
Look in the tags of this post!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Shhhh! It's a Secret...

I hate doing this, but well you're going to have to wait two weeks before I let the cat out of the bag. 


If you want a hint: 
Let's just say it's going to give me a lot of writing material...

Hope you enjoy the season and have a blessed Christmas!
I'll see you back here in 2015!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Rain Came Down and the Flood {of Thoughts} Came Up

Currently, I live in the Bay area. In case you haven’t heard, we are having a “big” storm.  Ok, I will consent to the fact that it is a storm. And the reason it is so big is the fact that we don’t have the infrastructure to handle it. Physical infrastructure that is. If there’s one thing you need to understand about Californians, it is that they are rarely prepared for rain {or any weather}. Ever. And when it rains most of them freak out. And it looks like the zombie apocalypse is happening. Or as we’ve dubbed this one, the Rainpocolyse.



But right now, we desperately need rain. That seems somewhat ironic since it is coming out of the sky as I type. The reason we need it so badly, is because we are in the midst of a drought. {Insert family inside joke about “in the middle of a drought,” that I narrowly avoided just now} 

And I’ve been thinking about the ways that it so directly relates to some life lessons. The first being that the rain has caused most people to stay home, work at home and keep their children and pets indoors. And often when we do that we slow down, or add minutes and moments to our days. When you are stuck inside, you do life differently.

When it rains, I give myself permission to read a book, make soup, stir up some hot chocolate, be creative or dream. I let my self do all the things I should be doing normally – resting, having nourishing food, enjoying treats, using my passions and building my dreams.

Thank you God for rain that refreshes the ground and our souls.

The other thing that I was thinking about is how in this world {or possibly, just my world} we want things to be predictable and scheduled, processed and efficient. And well, that is just not how life works. And I was thinking about all of this as I thought about how much we need rain and the rain is so good for the earth and it causes things to grow…and so on and so forth. And yet. And yet, we don’t get rain once a week to make everything grow. God didn’t say on these days on the calendar it will rain. He didn’t make it so that droughts are scheduled or that storms are in some sort of pattern.

He didn’t do any of that, but He could.

So why did he make things erratic and allow us to tear up the landscape he so beautifully created, thus making his perfect system no longer work? 
I don’t know. 

I do know that he has had the perfect plan since the beginning of time. And I do know that we can read about the droughts of old and the days of plenty. In each of those stories we find a reflection of him and his character. We also see that there was a purpose to the droughts and the storms, the days of plenty and the days of few. It was all part of the plan.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Captive Audiences + Grace

Tonight I sat and told a story and tried to calm the fears.  My words tumbled out and I'm not even completely sure what I said.  I know the message I wanted to send.  And I know how passionate I got.  More passionate, more aggressive, more agitated than any of them had probably ever seen me be before.
  
It all started with a simple question about Ebola.  One of pure innocence and wanting to understand.  I tried to sit on my hands and clamp my mouth, but I'm afraid I inundated her and the rest of my rather captive audience.
 
"You probably don't know, but I've been to Liberia.  I worked in a medical clinic there."  I hastened to add "Just for a week... in high school. But I worked with..." My voice trailed off.  "Well I know some of the people who have died from Ebola."  My voice caught and I also realized my matter of fact tone.  
{I know "some" is the overstatement of the year! I know a few, a handful of the many people who have died.  I know the people and the souls who lived in those bodies...Please give me grace}  
When you're dealing with disease, poverty, corruption, and a place half a world away sometimes you have to be matter of fact.  When you're dealing with all these things you can't change, sometimes you just have to stick to your guns that you will not be emotionally effected by these truths.  Because sometimes the more you hear something the more it becomes real.  And your active imagination can see these things, you can touch them, and you can smell them.
 
That's the thing about Liberia, it has a smell.  You can smell the red earth, the moisture in the air, the air itself.  Sometimes the perfume mixes in the smoky charcoal texture.  There are other things that have a smell - so does disease, poverty, corruption.
 
What I appreciated about these women around me was their questions and their general acceptance of the things that I was sharing.  Not that I was sharing the correct information or that I didn't have some of my facts jumbled.  It was rather that they listened and accepted me.  They accepted that this was something that as important to me and that I really did check the news everyday for stories.  To me it gave me life to see these faces looking at me, eager to hear words, and open arms to my heart.
 
I didn't talk about my friends or the culture.  I didn't talk about specifics.  Just the news, and some of a recent missionary update.  And when I talked about it at the end I wanted it to be all about hope.  All about the things that were beautiful coming out of this horrendous situation.  All of the things where God was being glorified.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Castle in the Clouds

You know the song?  I assume you know the song, because just a few years ago the movie adaptation was the talk of the town.  The song, it is beautiful, emotion filled, poetry music.  It is lovely.
 
In college I took a music class to make me a required well rounded student, and it was good for me.  My class was musical theatre.  The music behind the theatrical production.  The inner workings of the art produced.
 
As a watcher of musicals, plays and such, I enjoyed the class.  I picked Les Miserables as the show topic for my big huge project.  I listened to the music over and over.  I knew the story, but now I knew, in a deeper way, the emotions.
 
I love the story of Les Miserables.  I love the redemption and the exhibit of true character.  I love what seems to be the black and white of evil, and yet there are the questions that seem so...grey.  They can only be answered in the grey.  And at the same time there are the messages that are so counter cultural.  Lavish forgiveness. Denouncement of fortune for the sake of statement of beliefs and follow through.  A questioning of judgement.  Is is ok to lie and steal for "good reasons?"
 
And in the middle of it all there is a time to dream.  There is an escape.  The past for some people becomes wiped clean.  A castle in the clouds.
 
I go to my own castle in the clouds.  I escape from the world.  And sometimes we need to create those castles.  The world is just too much right now.  People are struggling and others are wielding cruelty in barbaric ways.  I can do nothing, so I go to the castle.  And the king of the castle, he listens and comforts and then asks me how I will help those outside the castle.  And I shake my head and ask What tangible thing I could do?

I don't have an answer.  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Brother is Awesome

Because I'm a proud sister and because I miss him lots, I thought I would share my brother's newly created blog.  He is documenting his time in Germany.  Yay!

 
I'm super excited to read his account because well first of all he is a boy which means he talks less than I, a girl, do.  And, he has a time and space difference which would make anyone have difficulty in maintaining contact.
 
I am elated for him!  I keep thinking about the wonderful experience of studying abroad.  It has also made me realize that I had promised myself that I would blog my 2013 trip to Germany (and Europe).  It's been a whole year, which is crazy to me.  Here is to hoping that those adventures are documented soon.
 
I think my brother might be better at documenting his travels than I am.  Go have a looksee.
 
p.s. He texted me at 8.45/9am Germany time asking me if he should go to N├╝rnberg.  It was 11.45pm/midnight California time...

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Heart Breaks: Ebola

A few months ago I read BBC, like I do almost everyday, and continued on my way.  I read an article about the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.  It caught my eye because Sierra Leone is next to a country of my heart, Liberia.  This blog was created long after my trip there, so don't go searching the archives for best tips of visiting a third world country.  {Although there are many things to think about}  The reason I passed over the article, and the reason I didn't see it's impact, is because I know there is no cure to a virus.  Viruses are adaptable, they change, they morph.  I know this from my time in biology and human anatomy and physiology.  I also know how ill equipped this part of the world is for disease.  Diseases that run rampant there, are little known words to us in more "developed countries" {And what developed does or doesn't mean is a whole other topic}.

What I didn't realize is that this virus would become a part of my world and a part of my every waking moment thoughts.  If you don't know what I'm talking about I suggest you read this article about the actual disease/virus.* 

ELWA, one of the places where Ebola patients are being treated.  
There are rumored reports that the rest of the ELWA hospital has shut down.
Personal photo. Please do not use this photo without permission

Before you get to freaked out, take a deep breath and remember what kind of society you live in.  When you get sick, what do you do?  You stay home, you go to the doctor, you talk to all of your friends, and you agonize over all of the possibilities it could be.  Consequently, you would be treated immediately which includes being quarantined.

Getting this virus is not hard, but but it's not like other viruses that are airborne {Please, don't freak out!  Remember you live in a developed country where we have routine vaccines for many of them.}  Ebola is transferred through human fluids (blood, saliva, human waste), but that also means that it can be transferred by sweaty palms.  In a world where washing your hands is not a basic hygene function this is a problem.  In a country that is near the equator, and thus people sweat all the time, this is a problem.  In a country where relationships are the core of life, this is a problem.  It is tearing this Liberia apart.

My hope is not that you would obsess and become anxious over this, but rather that you would Pray.  
Pray hard.

Liberia has a culture that is deeply rooted in tradition.  It is weary of the government and outside forces.  It is much more comfortable with the witch doctors and home remedies.  There are reports of medical aid workers being met with resistance and protestors.  This is how this people feels it can protect itself.  This is their defense mechanism.  Unfortunately, their unbelief is allowing the disease to infect and spread.  There are two wars going on; one against Ebola and one against information education that counters the culture.

I read the articles and search for the news that brings any announcement from West Africa.  But the news can't tell me about the people I care about.  It can't tell me where Precious is, and whether she is alive.  It can't tell me if Elizabeth knew what was happening when she was hit with the virus.  The news doesn't know whether Jessie tried to run lab tests on his own blood to figure out the disease that was ravaging his body.  The news can't tell me any of the the things I desperately want to know.  
So I pray.  

I pray for those fighting disease, those watching others fight it, for health workers.  I pray for protection on the children whose faces I've seen and the people that have been caring for them, teachers, parents, aid workers.  
Above all I hope.  

*Disclaimer:  This is an overview of the disease, not a medical professional or medical journal.  
*All of the names included are of national Liberian healthcare workers I had the privilege of knowing.  Elizabeth and Jesse have passed away, Precious has contracted the virus and her whereabouts are unknown. There are a few additional people that work with orphaned or poverty level children that are currently at risk. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Talking {Coffee} Shop

We all know my love of coffee shops.  Here is a few things happening in and around the coffee shop before I head of to work...

Hearing Conversations About:
The free cup of coffee when buying  a bag of beans and the amount of people who don't redeem it
An older woman who doesn't have her usual seat, "It's such a busy morning..."
A group from the company down the street on the different type of men's v-neck t-shirts
"I don't remember what I did last week, soccer?  Yes, it was soccer non-stop..."
Camp Galileo and the cool {overwhelmingly so} science projects
Cranberry scones and "Are you allergic to almonds?"
House blend, they have to brew a new pot
Laughs
Pinching children's cheeks, they are just so dang adorable!
Business deals
Weekend plans

Seeing:
Empty cups
Red walls
Breakfast scattered tables
Business clothes
Casual clothes
Bright bags
Pouring liquids
Computers
Specially brewed coffee
Brown coffee bags


It is a busy day!  Happy Friday!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fire Burning

photo credit Jenni Bergeron
 
I want you to burn my bridges down//Set me on fire
-One Republic
Feeling like I need a jumpstart these days.  I am waiting, but for what?  I am stockpiling in anticipation, but for what?  I’m praying that my bridges of fear and failing get burned down.  Maybe those bridges can also include the brain blocks, lack of motivation, and busy lifestyle?  One can hope! 
As I did my work today I was searching for beauty.  I was looking for a way to release some creativity.  I don’t know what that creativity looks like right now, but I’m waiting.
Looking for the fire that will set things in motion… {like my large amount of blog posts in draft form}

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Challenges of Growing

Potted vintage tea tins.
 
I planted a few things a few weeks ago.  I was preparing to do an Instagram post and get all artsy.  There was all this prep for real life.  It was slightly absurd.  And I decided to just dig in.  Literally.  I decided that it was ok to be messy.  My fingernails had dirt under them for days.  I washed them many times, to the point of needing lotion after every wash.  Frankly, an unnatural thing for me. 
I dug in, to the messy side of life.  Once I made the decision I was gleeful.  It was exhilarating.  I dug and planted, patted, and watered with abandon.
Some of the seeds will come up.  They are finally coming up.  It’s just 2, but it’s a blessing.  I am so thankful for the rain, so I wouldn’t forget to water these fragile biological lives.  But some of the seeds won’t come up.  They were doomed from the beginning.  They were never going to be, no matter how carefully handled.
See, there are two things I take away from this.  There will be dreams, no matter how big {these are bulbs we’re talking about} that are not going to happen.  They were an idea, which was not firmly rooted.  They were doomed from the beginning.  But that does not mean that they never should have been planted, nurtured, and hoped for.  Most of all hoped for.
The same goes for the messy side of life.  There are arguments that we can dig for just the right information, argument, rebuttal.  But the thing is, were not going to win it.  Not that battle.  And that is ok.  We can not win them all.  We can not always be right, we can not always have beautiful flowers without the dirt beneath our finger nails.  For if we did not enter into the messy, we would not fully understand the challenge of growing.
I hope for those seedlings and bulbs to grow.  I want to see the dirt give way to beautiful life.  I want the reminder that beautiful things come out of the messy, hard, challenges.
The challenges are what make life a beautiful adventure.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Worlds Collide

Globes
 
 
I love seeing people become friends and connect.  I love the stories of how people met, or know each other.  One of my best friends and I love to tell the story of our first meeting.  We even fight about it and cut in on each other like an old married couple.  It’s great fun!
Lately I’ve found my connections are varied, wide, and cross over.   Part of it, but not all of it, is the fact that I grew up and lived in the same neighborhood for my whole life.  And I don’t live in a small town.
I should also note that I went to public school, but not my neighborhood {two blocks out my front door} high school.  This means my circles were broadened.  I also went to a big university, ok moderately big, but lots of room for meeting people.
Last week, I went to a meeting of college and post college people, and my worlds collided in one room.  There were people from my high school, people that I knew when they were 7, and people I met last weekend.  There were people I’ve known for most of my life, people I’ve known for a few months and people I’ve known for a few weeks.  And it was crazy because some of them knew each other.   Even last night I got asked by a friend that was there that night, ‘How do you know so-and-so?’
The reasons we know each other are crazy.  It can by choice or circumstance.  It can grow or can trickle off.  It takes work to keep up contact, yet sometimes people collide.  And when we collide we cross over, above, and underneath each other.  We create a web.  We become intertwined.  Our stories although our own, become a part of another’s through connection and relationship.
Even when you know no one in a place, there is a connection.  Someone you know, knows someone or something about that place.  Somewhere there is a connection.  And believe me you can find it.  But it takes listening, it takes sharing, and sometimes it takes lots of questions over a long period of time.  I promise you, you have connection.  We were meant to build relationships and relationships {most of them} are built out of connections.  Isn’t it crazy wonderful how they shape our stories!
How are your worlds colliding?  How do you know so-and-so?  Was yours a chance meeting or a deliberate collision?  What’s your craziest world collision story?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Punching Fear in the Face

Those chessy inspirational sayings, I find them annoying. 
I mean look at one. 
The first time it might be awesome and pleasing to the eye. 
The second time it’s cute, a good reminder. 
The third time its lame. 
And well after that I think I get more out of them because it’s so annoying. 
 
dance in the rain!  don't wait for the perfect moment, make the moment perfect.  life lessons and quotes.  advice.  wisdom.
 
But today I appreciate them.  Most of them are true my station in life today, yesterday, and the day before that. 
And here is why…
Opportunities, the ones I’ve been waiting for, praying for, hoping would become. 
They became.  All at once.
The other day, amidst the decisions, I almost took one by saying “I am so fearful of the unknowns of that particular one.  I want to take it, just to punch fear in the face.”  But I’m really glad that I didn’t, you know punch fear in the face, because I think fear can punch back pretty hard.  And let’s be honest, I don’t have a very good right hook.
My graduation cap said Adventure is out there.  And I believe that adventure is out there, because it’s in making the moments, monumental.  It’s in making the insignificant, important.  It’s not in making everything a big deal, but in realizing that certain things are of great importance.  Experiences shape.
I need to be reminded that life is an adventure, and I should live it as a great one.  And I need to be reminded that fears should not confine my thinking, but rather expand it.  When I am fearful, it is often because I created the boundaries and dictated the rules.  In an adventure, there are no rules. 
Rather than punching fear, I want to be freed of its companionship.  Fear does not belong as a part of my adventure.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dressed in Capability

When I watch the Oscars I watch for the dresses and well the musical performances, but mostly the dresses.  But… I’m not going to give you a rundown of my favorites or a list of my top dressed.  Instead, let’s talk about art.  See I love looking at dresses, and drawing them, and trying them on.  My friend went wedding dress shopping and I loved it…mostly.  Bridal shop, please adjust your lighting.  Please.
 
A few years ago I picked up a retro drawing of a dress in LA.  It lived on my bulletin board in college and made it into a shadow box that lived on my bookshelf for a few years.  When I go into a thrift shop I’m the one who takes FOREVER looking through all the patterns and looking for the retro, vintage ones.  I have a pattern for a slip from the 50’s, which I bought fabric for, and was going to make for my senior year prom dress.  Yeah, that didn’t happen.
 
This brings me to some art pieces that I saw and love the retro look.  You know what I also love, the statement. 
:) !
 
I’m not going to go all feminist on you.   I’m just going to tell you that I am capable.  Honestly, I am much more comfortable in a dress than wielding a power tool. 
But, there are some days that I want to show you that I am tough. 
Capable
I can get dirty. {Ok, I’d prefer my dirt to be flour over mud}
 I can saw down a tree in the mountains. {Christmas trees count!}
I can dig a hole. {Although I’d like the hole to then hold a flower plant or vegetable garden}
I can hammer a nail. {Picture frames up on the wall, check}
I drive a manual car.
I have jumped a car battery multiple times, sometimes without assistance.
I can mount TVs to walls. {Mini tool sets are useful}
I can operate heavy equipment. {Yay tractor driving}
All this to say, I want to be confident in my abilities and to exercise my capabilities.  I also want to embrace my love of the swish of fabric and the click of heels.  I’m learning how to blend the two.  And I’m learning how to show that I am capable.
What are you capable of?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Expected Response

Last night it was 10 and I shut off my phone.  I was so distracted by it.  My focus was not in the things I needed to do, was not on the screen in front of me {otherwise known as this blog}, and my brain was tired.  So I shut it off.
I wrote a draft for a blog post about 2 weeks ago about expectations and vulnerability.  {FYI: I didn’t publish it, because honestly I just needed to type and get words on a page.  When I read through it I discovered there were holes and rabbit trails, so I filed it away.}   It got me thinking about the expected response.  We have an expected response from those around us.  We have an expected response of the things we post, link, gram, pin, tweet, copy and paste.  We expect an audience and expect specific responses.
Part of the reason I turned off my phone was because something I had posted on the internets was not getting the response I wanted it to get.  It was information that was for the betterment of others, not myself, but the motivation was for the betterment of me.  I would not have seen that underlying motivation if I received the response I wanted.  In the words of a friend “So I guess that’s good.”
When I turn my phone on this morning I may have notifications and little messages that show that I got the response I wanted.  And that’s ok.  Or I may have no notifications and that’s ok too.  But the point is my worth is not determined by the response I get.  My worth was already determined long before I was born.
 
I realize that the last few posts around here have been heavy and anything but lighthearted.  Thanks for reading or skimming {whatever you do}.  Some of this has thoughts about my life and others about the things going on in ‘my world.’  One of such events has been a sweet family whose story is written at the blog Charlie’s Song.  Needless to say, there are no rosecolored glasses around here!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Grief

In grief it is often hard to do something tangible.  It is difficult because grief is the reality of a feeling.  Grief wreaks the body.  It seeps into the cracks.  It overcomes the strong and brings them to their knees to where the feeble are.  Grief it has a pattern, but can not be explained.
 
It is difficult to describe grief because it is different in every situation and circumstance.  It changes and morphs.  The response to grief varies.  Will this be the correct response for this person in this moment?  Or is better to wait?  Better to hold ones tongue?  Better to hug?  Or better to let be?
When presented with grief it is hard to know how to respond and it is hard to do something tangible.  Yet in the midst of tragedy there are tangible things that can be done.  Meals can be brought, clothes cleaned, houses swept, children looked after.  And though tragedy and grief are not mutually exclusive the way they are responded to looks so very different.
In grief I will meet you. 
In tragedy and suffering I can meet your needs.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Famous People

Shirley Temple
 
I’ve been thinking about famous people lately.  As a little girl I was a big fan of Shirley Temple.  And yes I own a large number of her movies as a young star.  I perfected the impression of “Oh my word” from the end of “Curly Top”.  I practiced with my sister, as she tapped her way through “Animal Crackers”.  I even went as far as to dress up for Shirley Temple for Halloween one year.  Good, clean, adorable fun. 
                When I was a freshman in high school I did a report on Shirley Temple and learned new and exciting things about her life.  It was the first time I heard of the diplomat side of her, and I was in awe.  During that time I was beginning to love other countries and different cultures.   
                For my high school graduation I received a beautiful gift of a blue pitcher, collector’s item that had a picture of miss Shirley herself and her signature.  I had admired it at my Grandma’s house and love that I may now call it my own.  “Bright Eyes” you and your smile will be missed!
In other famous people news…
President Abraham Lincoln
 
Yesterday was and will be an important day in my life because it’s Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  Ok, that’s not the whole truth.  It’s my Dad’s birthday and also happens to be the famous president’s day of birth as well.  We enjoy the many similarities that the two hold.  Yesterday I found some fun facts about Lincoln and shared them at the dinner table For example, Lincoln is the only president to hold a patent {my dad also has his name on a patent}.  We then had some “fun facts” about my dad.  And then I broke the news…Lincoln seems to have really liked cats.  My dad on the other hand, he does not like cats.  So although there are some similarities between the two, {height and birthday and patent} they are both different men.  I am so glad that my dad is who he is. 
Happy {belated} birthday!
 
 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rain


Rain Drops on Puddles - Prints available here: http://lizziephoto.zenfolio.com/wallart/h9b72338#h9b72338
Today it’s raining.  While I usually put on music while I work {ahem…working to find work} today I am just listening.  The rain makes beautiful noises and it reminds me of kindergarten; nature walks, leaf rubs, muddy shoes, puddle jumping.  Sound. 
Our world is so loud.  It doesn’t need to be, but it is.  Water makes some of the most beautiful noises.  A few weekends ago a friend and I went paddle boarding out at Santa Cruz. {I know, I was at the beach and in the water in January.  Crazy talk} While we were out, cruising, and getting mad at the boats making wakes, she remarked that this was her quiet.  That is what refreshes her soul. 
Today, the sound of the rain on the roof, hitting the brick patio, sliding down the thirsty plant, is refreshing me.  The world is making music.  This time around I’m happy to listen.
 
{And I’m happy that we have rain in dry California!}

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Breathe

Just Breathe  - Vintage Style Print in Turquoise Blue Green - 8x10 inch on A4 type poster.

 
His chest heaved, labored, his face red.  He squirmed, trying to pry himself from the situation.  ‘Hey T we’re going to take 3 deep breaths… 1 {inhale, exhale}…2 {inhale, exhale}…stay with me buddy, one more 3 {inhale, exhale}.’  In and out, his chest rises and falls.  Easy rhythm.  Life goes on.
T is all boy, rambunctious, energy, and lover of water.  At 2 and a half, he needs to be reminded that one of the most basic functions sometimes needs thought.  He needs to remember that breathing puts things in perspective.
In the midst of sadness, I breathe. 
In the midst of anger, I breathe. 
In the midst of hope, I breathe.
I stop I breathe, and often pray, before moving into the situation. 
Breathing is supposed to be this non thinking, easy, does it by itself, function and yet, sometimes it’s not.  We need to breathe to have life.  What a concept.  But when we think about this thing that does well all by itself and doesn’t need help, we realize that sometimes it needs reminders.  It needs reminders to slow down.  To take it all in.
When I think about what it means to breathe I find that the focus shifts to that one thing that allows me to keep on living. 
Let’s take deep breaths together.  Let’s realize that the rise and fall rhythm gives us life in more ways than one.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Where I'm At


I’m making a list and throwing it on the page {cause I’m a list person}.  I’m working through some things, and thinking lots.  Here’s what I’m thinking and learning about.  It’s nowhere an exhaustive list, but you have to start somewhere.
Things I’m learning, which tells you a lot about where I’m at in life:

-          I can’t see the whole picture, like most of the time.  And sometimes I can’t see the whole picture because I’m not looking in the right place. {Case in point: if you can’t see the whole website, go to full screen view…}

-          Laugh at yourself, and let some things reflect off you

-          Lots of things break your heart, like words, not always people

-          Music is good, and so is coffee, and chocolate cake

-          Sleep is good too

-          Life moves up and down emotionally

-          Confidence, boldness, uncomfortable

-          Dreaming,  it’s ok, the bigger the better

-          Things take time…yea

-          Dig deeper

-          Explore

-          You can’t go back, you can only move forward, so take a step

-          Sometimes you do the thing you most don’t want to do, over, and over, and over

-          Sometimes you don’t make sense, and that’s ok too

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Garden

Today I went to a community garden.  I’m not a frequent gardener, both in the sense of the community garden and my own life.  I seem to get distracted and then the plant dies or something of nature happens.  It’s like I can’t get in the habit.  It’s not a top priority, so it slips below almost everything else on the list of things to do.
 
Just because I don’t garden much doesn’t mean I don’t like it.  Every once in a while I long to feel dirt under my fingernails {in places where it gets stuck…forever}.  I love seeing the electric green color after a fresh rain or watering.  I love the sweet smell of growth.  {Ok, I could pass on the smell of super fresh dirt}.  I love the soothing rhythm of turning the dirt and digging holes for the promise of seedlings.
Today was about working in the earth, ease of conversation and feeling rather than seeing.  Gardening is an experience.  I got invited in a passing thought to join a new friend in her space, with her growth, and her veggies.  There was order and freedom in that space.  It seems odd, but the vegetables were in rows and we looked at the plot like a puzzle seeing were a row could be finished or a new one created.  Order.  There was freedom in stepping in the dirt, kneeling and having nothing but air around.  The only boundary at that point is the ground, which isn’t much.  Freedom.
I didn’t add a picture, because when I picture the space, feel the experience, and imagine the growth of that plot, I can then erase the distractions.  I can make the clutter of the surrounding areas disappear.  If only it was that simple in life.  In only it was easy to focus and be focusing on the right things.  If only the distractions could be erased, the clutter instantly invisible.  When I see the confusion all around I am returned to thankfulness, I turn to compassion, I give mercy, and I am reminded of humbleness.
 
By the way, if you are a lover of children’s books please read The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small.  They have excellent books and this is one of my favorites.  {So much so, that as a child I met them and have a signed copy}