Thursday, November 27, 2014

Summing it all up


Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!


Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.


Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Philippians 4:4-8, The Message

Sunday, November 23, 2014



Photo 52, week whatever:  Confessions

Something that happened on our Photo 52 Facebook page sparked the comment that "Confessions" might be an interesting theme. In agreement, I immediately put it in the lineup for November.  There is nothing like a little frigid early November weather (on the heels of the previous "Polar Vortex" winter) to elicit some confession-worthy behavior.


Like drowning our family sorrows in beer cheese soup, 


or my own in extra coffee (to keep my hands warm) with extra creamer (because obviously).


Also by way of confession, we do make our kids shovel, but we don't dictate their outerwear choices. (You knew that though, right?)  In my own defense, when I took Ben to the doctor (wearing shorts) because he couldn't stop coughing, I did ask her whether she had any problem with him wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the winter. She said as long as his skin wasn't exposed to temps or for a length of time that made him susceptible to frostbite, she had no issue. As we suspected.


And another confession…on one cold day last week, Ben was hurriedly looking for a pair of socks as he was trying to head out the door.  He had none in his drawer he said.  On my own feet were a pair of his socks that I had just pulled out of my own sock drawer.  Rather than offer them to him I made him run downstairs and pull a pair out from between the sofa cushions.  Because that was the real reason he didn't have a whole drawer full of clean socks, I reasoned.  (Besides, I had already warmed this pair up for myself.)  That was laundry day, and after that he had nine clean pairs of socks in his drawer.  Hmmm.  I do laundry every week, so something is up here.

Moving on…


Photo 52, week somethingorother: Roadscapes

Cool theme that someone suggested.  Mine were photographed before the leaves all fell off.  This is the road between home and school and most other places on my daily path, a road with a great view for all seasons.


Though it's not that obvious, the bird soaring overhead is a bald eagle--
a common occurrence here, as there are lakes on both sides of the road.


Photo 52, some week from back in October: Spooky/Scary

This cemetery sits at the top of a hill beside that same road, but a few miles down.  The towering tombstones have always caught my attention as I have driven by, so this theme made me determined to go for a visit.  I waited until the moon was full, but the night that I hoped would be the perfect opportunity, the clouds rolled in as the sun went down.  What to do?

Andrew OGrady

However, I was amazed at how old the place really was, and managed to spook myself as this tombstone caught my eye with what at first appeared to be a witch-like face, but turned out to be a cross surrounded by laurel.  (Please tell me you see the ghost of Andrew O'Grady too.)


Finally, more in the scary category, is Ben behind the wheel for the first time.
He is actually going to do just fine.  Instructed by his dad.
With photog mom as backseat driver just to document the occasion.
Hooray for Dad!

One more confession:  I am done trying to track the weeks of Photo 52.  I love it, but I just can't keep up the blogging about it.  So while I will most likely post the photos for the rest of the year, it will be anybody's guess what week it is (and they may very well go unannounced), until week 52.  Which will be here before we know it.  A girl's gotta know when it's time to let go of something.

So those are my confessions.  Is there anything you need to let go of?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Creativity Project: Art


A funny thing happened when I was getting my post ready for The Creativity Project this month, with the theme of "Art".  I had my photos all ready to go, a bunch of shots backlogged of the art I had seen in the last few months but never shared.  (One awesome benefit of photography is that it has taught me to see art in the most unlikely places.)  All I needed was a shot of this book that has had me pondering art lately.  


As I set up my photo, I noticed this handy work of art that graces our table.  Bethany made it a couple years ago, and it holds the names of all our extended family members (who are works of art themselves). We pull a name out each night when we sit down to eat, and include that person in our prayers. So the prayer pot would be perfect for my shot, I thought.  And suddenly the whole scene became an invitation to see--and create--a little differently. (Those other photos will wait.) So enjoy my creative process, along with a few quotes from this book that I highly recommend! 

A Million Little Ways:
Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live
by Emily P. Freeman


"[Here's] what artists do.  They pull back the covering on our inner life, 
allowing us to see things beneath the surface, 
things that, without their compassion, creativity, and generosity, 
we may have missed."

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"Being an artist has something to do
with being brave enough
to move toward what makes you come alive."

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"Maybe you make paintings, or maybe you make pie.
Maybe you live confidently in the midst of scary situations.
Maybe you are brave enough to listen, to wait, to trust.
Maybe you see potential in situations, and in people that others aren't able to see.
Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are.
You have the power to influence, to move, to make, to become.
You have the capacity to perform the human act of making art,
of doing work that comes from deep within you and touches something deep within me.
We make art with our lives."


"The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people."
~Vincent Van Gogh


"The kind of creating God does is the kind only God can do.
But he invited human beings to join him as co-creators.
Not as equals with him, but as image bearers of him,
to carry his image into the world."


"Much of the beauty that arises in art comes from the struggle an artist wages with his limited medium."
~Henri Matisse


"For we are God's masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Ephesians 2:10

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The photographers in The Creativity Project are such inspiring artists!
If you want to see their take on "Art", start with S. Badiyah Austin at this link.
You'll be glad you did!  Her images are brimming with life.
Then, visit The Creativity Project on Facebook to share your own art.
We would love to see your take!

Friday, November 7, 2014

In retrospect


Our kids recently finished their fall sports season.
My girl?
She's #1.  They finally realized what I have known all along.


She made the A team this year, which started off with a bang.
There were a few bumps in the road,
but Bethany is determined, and she did an amazing job.




She's the kind of friend anyone would want on their team.


And Ben?  He has been dreaming of high school football forever.


Oh believe me, we tried to talk him out of it.
So of course the more we told him how hard he would have to work,
and how this is high school and they don't have to play you for one minute,
the more intent he was on playing.


But hey, he worked his tail off, never missed a practice, and never complained.
So it's hard to argue with that.
He's tenacious.


In retrospect, we can say that letting him play was a great decision.
Besides, he never got hurt.  And our prayer life got a workout.


People have a lot of opinions about sports and kids, 
but sports have been a huge help to us 
in teaching our kids about persistence, adversity and teamwork.
Meanwhile, we are enjoying a little down time.