Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Stuff I loved in blog land

1) I love the concept of the book, "Just Between Us", that Elizabeth Kartchener blogs about over at her blog, Dear Lizzy.

"I have a stack of journals in my studio or night stand and wanted to share my favorite mom based ones I’ve loved over the years! Mostly because of the most recent one I was suggested by my friend Stephanie. I purchased it right then on Amazon and my girls have really enjoyed the experience so far. It’s called Just Between Us. It’s a mom and daughter journal developed by a mom and daughter duo. It’s a place where you can write to each other and she can ask me any question and I can share things with her too. ..... (read more)

2) Because I have actually done ministry in a strip club I found the article "I went to a strip club" from Just a Jesus Follower particularly interesting.

A while back I was asked by a group of pastor’s wives to go with them to strip clubs.
That sentence alone sounds strange. But hang with me.
At first I was a little hesitant. And not for reasons you might think.
I love people. Especially ones who are broken; it’s part of my calling. But, given what I’ve walked through, I know how fragile broken people can be.
And I know how insensitive the church can be.
And I was uneasy. But, these weren’t just any pastors wives. They had a vision...... (read more)

3) The article, "I'm not taking a break. I'm breaking" from the blog Scary Mommy resonated with me after the past two weeks I've had.

"It’s almost noon and I’m standing at the kitchen counter, where it feels like I’ve been all day, cutting up fruit for lunch. The FedEx truck is here. I forgot that the dogs were outside, and they’re giving the delivery man a less-than-warm welcome. In pajama pants and dirty hair, I run outside to shush the dogs and grab the package. My children, wearing a bizarre hodgepodge of dress-up clothes, squeeze past me to greet FedEx Guy..... (read more)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Upside down love

Some time ago my girls spent the weekend with their Oma on the mainland. This meant that I got to spend a lot of uninterrupted time with Levi. One morning I was smothering him with kisses when I found myself saying "you are SO worthy of love". Immediately I sensed the Lord gently reminding me that everyone is worthy of love, not because of who they are or what they have done, but because He created them. I often find myself baffled by this. I find myself asking, "how can you love people who are hell bent on destroying other people's lives"? How?  Why are you so merciful to them? Why do you let them continue on their destructive path? 
Why? Because His love is upside down.
It is merciful. It is not based on emotion or works. It is not circumstantial or needy. It does not require reciprocation. It defies reason. It is abounding. It is perfect. It is relentless. It is baffling.
He is not an errant parent who is unaware of his child's actions. He is acutely aware, but extends His mercy and love nevertheless.
It is an upside down love and the most beautiful kind of love we can ever know.
A friend of mine recently shared a beautiful sermon on God's mercy. Afterwards, she had the lights turned off and played this beautiful, song called "Mercy" by Amanda Cook from the album Brave New World . Ever since she told me the name of the artist I have been playing her album on repeat. Here are two songs that have been  making my heart soar.


  My past embraced
My sin forgiven
I'm blameless in Your sight
My history rewritten

You delight in mercy
Mercy triumphs over judgment

Oh Love, great Love
Fear cannot be found in You
There will never be a day
You're uncertain of the ones You choose

You delight in mercy
Mercy triumphs over judgment

So I will wake
And spend days
Loving the One
Who raised me up
From death to life
From wrong to right
You're making all things beautiful

You delight in mercy
Mercy triumphs over judgment


Unreserved, unrestrained
Your love is wild
Your love is wild for me
It isn't shy, it's unashamed
Your love is proud
To be seen with me

You don't give Your heart in pieces
You don't hide Yourself to tease us

Uncontrolled, uncontained
Your love is a fire
Burning bright for me
It's not just a spark
It's not just a flame
Your love is a light
That all the world will see
All the world will see

You don't give Your heart in pieces
You don't hide Yourself to tease us

Your love's not fractured
It's not a troubled mind
It isn't anxious
It's not the restless kind
Your love's not passive
It's never disengaged
It's always present
It hangs on every word we say
Love keeps its promises
It keep its word
It honors what's sacred
'Cause its vows are good
Your love's not broken
It's not insecure
Your love's not selfish
Your love is pure

You don't give Your heart in pieces
You don't hide Yourself to tease us                       



Monday, May 16, 2016

Quote of the day

"Treat your child like a seed that came in a packet without a label. You can't tell what kind of flower you're going to get or in what season it will bloom. Your job is to pull the biggest weeds, provide sufficient food and water, and stand back and wait."

- anonymous educator from growingwildthings


My blog has been rather quietly lately. Why? Well, for a few reasons. Sometimes I go through these phases where I feel too private to share my heart. Other times I am frustrated that I do not have the energy or time to write something of substance so I choose not to share anything. Other times I can't string a sentence together to save my life. Lately I have been enjoying sharing beautiful quotes from #wildandfree.

I often find that my mind hums with beautiful words in the last, few, quiet minutes of the day, only to have them claimed by sleep. Then morning approaches and with it, a tidal wave of demands and time constraints. Sometimes, in the afternoon, when Levi is napping, I have enough headspace to write,  but I am overcome with guilt that I should be using my time to  clean or exercise. While I enjoy sharing the odd muffin recipe and photos of my life and children, I often long to share the deeper stuff the keeps me awake at night, and permeates my thoughts during throughout the day - my struggles, victories, challenges, frustration and discoveries. Sometimes I feel like I should keep my blog content "joyful" as the title of my blog is "A Joyful Life", but when I think about it, a joyful life is not a life void of conflict, sorrow and brokenness, it is a life lived with Christ.

At the moment Nathaniel and the girls are still sound asleep and Levi is enthralled with the hair dryer I just handed him. I am nursing a mason jar of piping hot earl grey tea and  wondering how much time I will have before Amelia wakes up and requests breakfast. I recently read a fascinating article by Kim Brooks called "A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Mom: Is domestic life the enemy of creative work?". It was funny, honest article about the challenges of trying to balance creative work with the needs of rearing children and how they are at odds with one another.

I don't profess to have any great skill in the writing department, but it is something that I enjoy doing. It not only helps me work through my issues, but also allows me to capture my musings in a concrete form that I can revisit later. It's probably the reason why I have diligently kept a journal since the age of seven. The act of writing, of weaving words together,  is not only therapeutic, it is creative and soul nourishing.

At any given time, have at least thirty or so blog entries that I have begun but failed to finish for one reason or another. I know that editing is an important part of the writing process but it a whole lot less fun than pouring thoughts onto a page.


This evening I escaped my house just before dinnertime to "run errands".

I needed a break from being interrupted and from feeling like my brain was atrophying. I needed to walk purposely without carrying an angry, thrashing toddler  in my arms, to eat without being asked to do something, to cry without worrying about someone else's feelings, and to accomplish something without being sabotaged by an avalanche of needs. I needed to not be responsible for dinner or the clean-up required afterwards. I needed to walk away.

So I did. I wearily climbed into my filthy, sticky car and drove away. With music blaring in my ears, I sobbed my heart out.  I let go. I raged and prayed and cried until I was spent. Then I pulled myself together and did my "errands". Afterwards I enjoyed a quiet , uninterrupted dinner of sushi and kombucha in the parking lot.

 Do you ever let yourself fall apart someplace safe?  Do you ever sob and yell in the car when you are alone? If you haven't, perhaps you should give yourself permission to.

I know that sometimes I just need the space to cry without worrying about anyone's feelings. Sometimes I need to growl in anger or yell at the top of my lungs without scaring anyone. Sometimes I just need to pour my heart out to God in prayer without waking the household. Sometimes, it is because I feel powerless as a mother, or a failure as a wife. Sometimes it is because I am  grieving, or frustrated, or burnt out. Sometimes it is just a culmination of many things that brings me to my knees.

I think that sometimes I have to break before I can feel whole. Sometimes I have to let myself FEEL instead of hiding from my emotions with various vices (social media, relationships, children, and food to name a few).  Sometimes I need to face those yucky feelings instead of shoving them into the deepest parts of myself. I also KNOW that I  should ALWAYS bring my frustration, hurt, brokenness, heartbreak, sorrow, grief and hatred to the feet of Jesus, but I often forget to do so until I am at my wits end.  Thankfully I know He can handle whatever I throw at Him, when I get around to doing so.  After I have spent myself I always have this sense that He cups my snotty, mascara stained face and whispers "beloved, I see you, I know you, and I love you"  and I can't help but return home softened, renewed and whole.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Quote of the day


"People would stand in line for days and pay hundreds of dollars if there were a pill that could do everything for a child that reading aloud does. It expands their interest in books, vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and attention span." 
 - Jim Trelease

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mini Books: I Adore Old Things

I rarely scrapbook anymore and I can't remember the last time I made a mini book, but I thought it would be fun to share one I made years ago.

These Days: April


the Moroccan pillows on my couch (Holly, they fill me with joy every day)

cutoff shorts from bootlegger , a bright orange tunic from "funk your fashion"

Blog Loving
Lindsay Bently and Lemon and Basil and A Holy Experience

 to king and country

a bit antsy

"Amity" by Nasreen Pejvack

on reading something by Ted Decker

having a lighter duvet on our bed

about lupines and foxgloves blooming in my garden
a list of songs I want to learn how to play on my guitar

squirrely bread toast with sliced tomatoes, salt, pepper and asiago cheese

about the history of Iran
to not devour the jar of Adam's peanut butter

to wax some pieces of furniture that have been languishing in my room half finished for AGES

about an article entitled "Doula's Who Do Nothing"

to work out six days a week

 anything that remotely resembles a documentary