E x p l o r e

Front Yard // Spring Textures

April 13, 2017

I can’t get enough of wandering. . . some of us carry an inherent need to explore.
Textures. Fragrances. Sounds. Air. Shadows. Movement. Patterns. Light.”
// Victoria Erickson

 

I’ve been trying to figure out in my brain what it is exactly that makes spring so exciting.
Like, you know, the breath of fresh air that it is because it is, seriously. The pizazz that makes you want to do a happy dance or something. Or for those of us that aren’t as loose-limbed, attempting a happy dance. . . and looking much like a kangaroo on steroids (which I’ve never actually witnessed, but dug up the image from my brain files at this moment in a try-to-be-witty attempt. #fail)

 

 

But really, spring is just a happy season! Even the name of it sounds “bouncy” (fist bump to you if you thought of Tigger.) My travel/roadtrip/downtown shopping/car-riding itch is reenergized once again with the turn of the weather here in Tennessee, it always is when the sun shines 70 degrees.
Also, giving a boost to my new love of exploring different textures, because I wake up to some new sight outside every morning it seems like. Whether that be the slick green shoots of grass, the rough creek gravel of our driveway under my barefeet (hello, winter pampered feet), or the soft cotton touch of my new favorite tee.

 


My life is a constant crazy ever since the beginning of the year. I like to compare it to a hibernating bear, asleep and snoring for a couple years being normal and nothing too exciting to look at on the outside, but that is now waking up with a roar and an energy I didn’t know existed.
I want to slow it down. But ironically I want to go racing right with it too, matching it’s pace.


 

 

 

I hold on to these days tightly but gently, knowing they’ll slip through my fingers like sand if I’m not seeing them each day for what they are. I never want to be too busy to see the grace of God in every day, never too crazy to contemplate what story He’s writing for me, never too tired to patiently take steps knowing that He holds the ultimate blue-print of my life in his hands.

 

 

 

 

I’m a sucker for memory-triggers! Yep, a familiar place or sight, a smell, a type of music, or wearing the same outfit (you can officially freak out) will spur a memory in my probably much-messed-up head. So, all these spring textures. . . they are doing it for me. And I can’t help but smile.
I just love spring here at home, it holds a kind of beautiful promise for me of how the Lord brings change after a dead season (winter) and the vibrance of everything embracing that change. And to think, I get to be on the receiving end of this and see it every morning!

If I ever travel the world someday or leave my home, I will always want to remember my house, in the spring. The azalea bush, the brick walk, the creek gravel driveway. And oh yeah, especially the walk to the mailbox, which is probably my most favorite walk. And not just the house itself, but every single moment that happened under it’s roof or in the front yard.

 

 

My childhood is here. I see it so well in retrospect, the smells and sunshine of this season bring back a flood of memories. And while part of me wants to just grasp after those moments and relive them (ok, I’m a huge sentimental guys, you’re welcome) the more realistic and probably grateful side of me is just so ready to embrace the new memories, which hello! I’m making everyday.

 

 

 

 

See the textures around you in your own life, and not only the physical ones. But the ones of your life, the woven tidbits and texture of your own story that the Lord is weaving for you.
Textures are unique, different to the touch. So is your story, it has shape and uniqueness. . . some parts are rough, others smooth. Your life is a textured, beautiful work-in-the-making.

See that and embrace it.

 

Character Sketch, lifestyle

The Creative

March 7, 2017

“Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem.
Here’s to the hearts that ache, here’s to the mess we make.”
// La La Land

 

     Creatives. They live in the world of possibilities. Seeing past the stark white canvas, blank page, bolt of fabric, the lump of clay. Or the undecorated sidewalk.
It takes a lot of “scope for the imagination” to be a creative, an eagerness to look past what you see in front of you and see instead what it could be. A work of art.
It’s a crazy thought to think that each creative eye is different, every move of the hand and idea spark in the eye, quirky in it’s own way. It makes us live in a world of curiosity, wondering just what unfinished and unthought of masterpieces lie behind that random person’s brain.


She’s a dreamer, go-getter, genuine firecracker. A creative if I ever saw one.

Today she’s a sidewalk chalk enthusiast, but what about a series of tomorrows?
Will she exchange her chalk for pastels or watercolors? Her canvas for something more permanent, not washed away with a later rain? Will being the next Beatrix Potter be an ambition?

 

 

Just observing this little creative was such a treat on this sunny and even more windy day. Watching her think and concentrate, putting so much brain power into her chalky creations. It reminded me so much of all the creatives whose path’s I’ve crossed over the years. The creatives who started small and were nobodies and are now well known, with thousands of followers on Etsy and social media. But also the creatives who go unnoticed, who are still starting out small with the dream to go bigger and share their work with the world. All alike is their desire to bring a little more beauty to the world with a creative gift they’re recipients of.

 

 


 

Sometimes, the creative gets slack. From a world that says the creative gift they’re pursuing isn’t grand enough or noticeable enough to bring to the table. Or that there are more important and worthwhile things to be devoting that time to, to put that gift back on the shelf so that we can be busy about a more important work. Because it probably won’t bring in the X amount of dough like the corporate world can, and you’ll probably fall on your face over and over again trying, and be asked the question, “Is it even worth it?”


 

      Yes, it’s worth it. Being a creative isn’t just choosing it as a title and donning it as a personality pin. Deep down, it’s in all of us. Whether we decide to draw it out or leave it hidden, it’s there.
Because we are made in the image of the greatest Creator. It’s worth discovering and rolling up our sleeves for, because by using that dose of creativity He’s given us, we glorify His creativity in the process.

 

     I witnessed so much creativity on this day back in the fall; the warmth of the last sunbeams of the evening, the whipping of the Indiana wind, the pigments of the green grass and the coloring trees. The small brunette with big brown eyes, orange smudges of goldfish cracker crumbs mixed with sidewalk chalk colors littering her princess shirt, the sketches “for mommy and daddy” scattered all over the driveway.
It all meshed so wonderfully together. I cannot help but think the Lord smiles when we embrace creativity, as a testament to His image in which He created us.


“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.”
Genesis 1:27

//& special thanks to my candid subject, little Elise E.

lifestyle

Ordinary Day

February 21, 2017

“After all, I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything
splendid or wonderful or exciting happens. It’s just those that bring simple little pleasures,
following one another softly like pearls slipping off a string.”
“Anne” // L.M. Montgomery // Anne of Avonlea

    These ordinary days. I don’t see them as pearls often enough, with a beauty that is worth taking notice of every waking moment.
The pizzazz days, the excitement days, the anticipated arrival days; these are the days which get me to explode out of my bed with energy the morning of. Which is funny to think about because I’m a night owl, and energized mornings are not my thing. I’m proud of my night owl-ness and love sticking by it, but curiously I’ve noticed no matter how early the next day, if it’s an exciting one, you bet your boots I’ll be there with bells on. I can be early bird, but I gulp when I realize I’m a convenient early bird.

Today is worth getting up for.”  I excuse myself on one of these mornings.

This mentality of mine, it hit me like a brick. I view every day through this lens. This so easily is the ruler I measure the day with. A question mark waltzed it’s way into my brain at this point. . .

Isn’t every day worth getting up for, even the ordinary?  

Regardless of the “apparent” worth I label and smack on it before my feet skim the floor, is not every single day, vibrant or muted, worth it?
In my limited little clump of fluff, called my brain, I view people as an inconvenience instead of an opportunity. A busy day as just another one to get through instead of one to hug the breath out of. Wishing a normal day away just so I can get to the next most exciting one. Crossing that square off on my Rifle Paper Company calendar, without giving it a second’s reflection.

Aside from the true cliche that “Life is a gift” I need to grasp something more.

Every day doesn’t always look like a gift from the outside. It often comes in the package of driving the same trek to work for what seems like the millionth time that week, it looks like pressing or missed deadlines, scheduling conflicts, misunderstood conversations, heartfelt questions being unanswered, an ache in your beating heart to hug the neck of someone long distance. It’s unlaundered jeans and t-shirts, unswept floors, unkept landscaping (courtesy of February) that still isn’t checked off the to-do list from 2 months ago.

These are our ordinary lives. We stamp them as always run-of-the mill, unnoticeable in the grand scheme of things. Our ordinary day is subconsciously viewed like an oyster shell; sometimes displaying some beauty, most of the time nothing special.
But we are missing something amazing by flipping on this auto pilot switch. We aren’t willing to search for the hidden rarity in the ordinary.

The pearl in the oyster.

The special minute in the ordinary day. The exciting discovery after willingly clasping the humdrum.

    So, can we view our ordinary oyster shell lives still as a gift? A surprise of a day hidden inside life’s sometimes crusty outside?

Worth wanting to get up for, not snoozing our alarm clocks for.

Character Sketch, lifestyle

| The Main Street Mail Lady |

February 2, 2017

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”

Mother Theresa

     She comes in every morning at 10:30ish a.m. I’ve come to recognize the unique “ding” of the door as she enters; quick and cheery. Her indigo mail bag weighted down and tossed over her shoulder, her canvas jacket of the same color trimmed with only the USPS patch. If you catch her on a day that’s nippy, you’ll get to see a woolen toboggan on top her head, pulled down almost to her eyebrows.

But that toboggan doesn’t cover her eyes. Her squinty smiling eyes that never once have I seen with a fog of sadness dimming the sparkle.

She always smiles with a wide grin when she enters, with a “Good morning!” in her endearing Chinese accent. Sometimes you’ll get the treat of hearing her chuckle as she mentions the weather or at my comments on how heavy her bag must be.

Her job is a simple one; delivering mail to each business up and down main street. A mundane one; she does it every single day, rain or shine. One that rarely is taken notice of; how often do you think to thank the person who delivers your mail everyday?

  All these would be grounds to complain, but that doesn’t stop her cheerfulness in it’s tracks. She does her job with peppy excellence, regardless how her day is going she makes it her mission to brighten others, not only with her packages but also her attitude!

I can’t help but smile every time she leaves the shop! In the 30 seconds she’s inside it’s like the clouds break and her sunniness exudes, even long after she leaves there are traces of it’s beams.

It’s one of the highlights of my day, greeting her and getting to be on the receiving end of such a winsome personality!

Makes me realize, do I take as much joy in my work as she? Do I see purpose even in the seemingly small, the mundane and the unchanging?

I can learn so much from her example, this simply city mail lady, who does small things with great love.

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will
prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, 
among whom you appear
as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ
I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain or toil in vain.
But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service
of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.
You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.”
– P h i l l i p i a n s  2 : 14-16

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