November 18, 2014

overwhelmed... for good.

The past several weeks have found me overwhelmed, by the big and the small.  I could see the end, I knew it would just take time... time I did not necessarily want to wish away. I held on, managed each task as it emerged {mine, or not} and I find myself here... overwhelmed, for good.

I see the work of Your Hands

Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I hear the sound of Your Voice
All at once it’s a gentle and thundering noise oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

You are Glorious, You are Glorious
Oh God, there is no one more Glorious
You are Glorious, God you are the most Glorious

-Big Daddy Weave

His goal, reached. And others beginning to bloom, within reach.
Her dream, moving in the right direction, coming true, bit by bit. 

I find myself relieved and joyful and so amazed by my Great God.  I could not have made one of these things happen, but He has provided the opportunity and the means and the grace for them... and I am truly thankful and humbled by His goodness.

November 07, 2014

friday letters... the catching up {again} edition

coffee, and yes... i am painting nativities again.  you can find them under the "shop" tab!
Dear Friends,
It is mid-morning, I have warmed up my coffee, and am feeling thankful that I exercised this morning.  I didn't mean to let three weeks go by without doing that- especially with my "no excuses attitude"... but life.  Life.  Which is kind of the reason my 31 days series fell off, too.  But...

Dear 31 Days of Celebrating Ordinary,
I will not let you go unfinished, not again. I may not have been able to keep up 31 days in a row, but celebrating ordinary is what I do.  I will finish... even if takes all of November. {I know that is not how it is supposed to work, but my blog, my rules?!}

Dear Life,
I am slowly and gradually finding my way back from vacation mode, helping my husband welcome 14 marching bands to our high school, and the time change. {I must be getting old because this time change was hard... I was asleep by 7:30 three nights in a row!}  But vacation was wonderful, and so was the band competition!

Dear Chicago,
Thank you for saving the very best fall weather for our visit.  It could not have been any better, and it was what I had longed for! And you provided the perfect backdrop for a beautiful celebration.

Dear Amy &William,
Your weekend was... amazing.  Amazing.  You planned the perfect celebration of your life together and we were so honored to be a part of it.  Thank you for letting us help you prepare, and for not thinking we were in the way!  We loved it, truly.  It was wonderful catching up with your family, Amy, and it was so much fun to meet and get to know William's. And Drew?  Well... his quotable moments were fantastic!!!  It was so sweet to hear his love for both of you the morning of the wedding, telling Amy to aim for a bigger version of me, when you come down the aisle, and laugh over his statement that two days of parties were ridiculous!  Let me just say this, though... every moment of your time together was celebrated in your weekend of wedding festivities... and every moment is another page of your happily-ever-after story.  I have prayed for your happiness for so long, and God's yes is always one of my favorite sounds.

Dear Camden,
This is it... your last football game of high school.  I might blubber our way across the field tonight, or I might laugh and smile with joy.  My insides are undecided.  But this, I know... I will walk across that field in celebration of you and your hard work and there will be no one there who loves you more than me.


October 22, 2014

his sneakers

I saw him wearing new sneakers the other day,  and I wondered if he was done with these...or maybe he just needed a change. I had promised to let him wear these as long as he wanted...the new pair could wait until he was ready.

The look on his face when I had suggested the new told me how attached he was to these.  Torn and worn by the miles he has traveled.  Covered in the red dirt of Africa. I can relate.

I decide not to make a big deal of the switch, and just let it simmer in my heart.  I love the ways he has held tightly to the experience and I have a feeling I haven't seen the last of those trampled laces.

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October 21, 2014

a walk around the block...

My goal is always home.
I pull into the neighborhood, focus on the last road that will get me there, and let the rest of the world become a blur.  The little details of the neighborhood are lost on me, though I pass them every day. Twice.

In the cool, beautiful of the air of the weekend, I headed out for a walk... and the details came alive. Along one end of the road. the sidewalks sweep in curves, while the other end boasts angular lines. textures change along the way, too.  But it is the way the sunlight creates a thousand shades of green in the trees or the grass that catches my eye and amazes me.

Ordinary is beautiful, especially when the sun shares its golden light.

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October 20, 2014

they are why i love this ordinary life...

I have always lived an ordinary life, and always will. 
It's who and what has to do with my job that makes it 'unordinary.'

-Kate Winslet  

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October 19, 2014

even me...

If I live my beliefs everyday, God can use even someone
as ordinary as me to change the world. 

-Brad Wilcox

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October 18, 2014

come on, fiesta... forever...

Some people fiesta for special occasions, and others… well, other think a fiesta is an ordinary way of life. That would be… me. And thankfully, I have a friend who is always willing to fiesta along with me.  We are Mexican food/taco-loving ladies, and I am so thankful to have a friend who understands. 

This past weekend, my fiesta friend went on a little trip... without me.  But it was fun knowing she couldn't help but think about me along the way!  

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October 16, 2014

the wednesday nights...

A deep sigh of relief bursts from my soul when he walks through the door on Wednesdays, a sigh that breathes thank you, God, for delivering him safely home... again. I know he gets sleepy.  The early mornings, and a long day at school topped off with a couple hours of college prep stuff would exhaust anyone.  I don't worry, but I do pray.  He tells me that his foolproof trick for not being too sleepy is stopping for Chick-fil-a fries, and I just smile as he heads off to start on homework.

After dinner, Eric & Laura head out to choir practice, and we are just two... home with the cat. Sometimes there is more homework, and sometimes... he is done.  I love those nights. We laugh at America's Funniest Home Videos or the Cosby Show, we clean the kitchen together... we carry on with silliness.

It is the ordinary stuff that makes the night special, the stuff that I will miss most when he heads off to college.  It weaves its way through and around our hearts, makes us who we are, and creates the relationships we cherish.

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October 15, 2014

heaven sent...

It has been just over two years since she was healed in the arms of Jesus... and truly, she is still part of my every day. A photo I pass, her smile making me smile right back.  Her handwriting on a card or envelope that has shuffled its way to the top of the mess on my desk. A beautiful thought that passes through my heart.  

God changed me through knowing her... and I can't help but be thankful. Even in my loss. And every time I remember her, it is a gift straight from Heaven. 

I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people leading ordinary lives.
-Tracy Chapman

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October 14, 2014

changing the way i see...

He was shaking out his towel as we were getting ready to pack up and head home...but the wind caught his towel, and I caught the shot. It is one of my favorites... even more so than the few I took after this, as he was running, pretending he was a caped super hero.  

But what happened before the shot?  It may have been years ago, but I still remember... because it is never pretty.  Stand away from us. Make sure you shake it out well, but not in our direction, because I don't want sand in my face.  You know, the normal fun beach/sand conversations. 

Some days I see the sand, and other days I find it quite simple to fine tune my focus on the beautiful backdrop God has given this world. 

With only a change in one's perspective, 
the most ordinary things take on inexpressibly beauty. 
-Karen Maezen Miller

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October 13, 2014

the minutes that save the day...

It is a seven minute ride between her work and mine. I say we'd carpool even if she had her own car, but I'm not so sure. The mornings hardly go beyond pleasantries. Sometimes we revel in the silence, each happy to be with her own thoughts, and some mornings we stew... probably about something between the two of us that has us thinking not-so-nice thoughts {it goes both ways.}

But afternoon comes... and we find our way together once again. Stories of zoo antics and opportunities, the sharing of our days. The exchange of laughter, wonder and conversation make every minute of morning stewing worthwhile... and I'd not trade seeing the joy she has for her job for anything in the world.

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October 12, 2014

make the ordinary come alive...

Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable, but it is a way of foolishness. 
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. 
Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry when pets and people die. 
Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself. 

-William Martin

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October 11, 2014

it takes courage...

I sit here thinking about how much courage it takes to live an ordinary life. 
-Colum McCann

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October 10, 2014

the rain calls...

It's rainging... again.
Not a sweet splattering that calls you to dance... but a deluge that comes, wave after wave.  It makes me cringe when the wind rattles the doors, and it seems the sky is falling all at once.  

Weeks ago we sat under the bluest blue sky and felt a ripple of breeze pass by.  I smiled, and Eric checked the radar.  I was having none of it, confident that the game would play, and so would the band.  But within fifteen minutes we were back in the car, waiting out the lightning meter.  That night more than six inches of rain fell in just over two hours, and the number of lightning strikes in our area escalated moment by moment.   I wish we had been closer to home.

But the grass is green and the canals are running high... and it seems our corner of the the world has never been more beautiful.  Water rushes, birds gather, and there is one big gator that positions himself right in the middle of it.  

Sometimes the rain pulls us to dance, and sometimes it calls us to snuggle up inside, safe from the storm.  

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October 09, 2014

just add sunshine...

An ordinary moment can be quite magical...

Oh! To be taller than the tallest... to see the world with a different perspective.
Or maybe pretend you are walking the high wire without a net beneath you.
Add in a little bit of golden sunshine, and the moment is pure magic.

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