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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.

E x p l o r e, lifestyle

Later, Not Goodbye // Clarksville, TN

June 22, 2016

“It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later.”
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     Three years ago a little family (then of only 3) made their way to Clarksville, TN to make it their home via the military. Knowingly they came, we met, and became kindred spirits with the knowledge that three years was also how long they planned to stay before skipping on!
So, year one and two snuck by on us all. We became close, we watched this little family grow with the addition of another kiddo, we watched them grow stronger as dad shipped out for a nine month deployment and mama and boys continued faithfully at home, we watched with joy their reunion as the leaf of year three turned over. That’s when the realization hit us.

Wait, they wouldn’t be here forever?!

     As this little family moves on from our embrace to the many other amazing adventures I know the Lord has in store for them, I am just overwhelmed at the memories we’ve shared, the laughs that have shaken us to tears, the bond of friendship that has grown ten-fold stronger because it is united in Christ.
This is something that even an ocean can’t separate.
So, we send the dear H. family off with embraces that long for them to stay, but also with urging hands nudging them on to the place, people and hearts the Lord has for them to touch next!
.   .   .   .   .
Of course sending such a family off requires one last hoorah of memory bank filling, so my sisters and I leaped at the chance when (finally!) a free calendar square made itself known!
The Saturday morning started with cinnamon rolls. Can you get much better?
I think know not.

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As we finished off the tasty pastries and wiped our upper lips we discussed plans for the day, the unanimous decision being to hit the local farmer’s market! While mama got ready, some play time in the most bright and cheerful play room was in order!
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Needless to say, these little guys know how to play! From dress up to Duplo skyscrapers to hilarious quotes of their own (“You’re goin’ in the trash can tomorrow!”) with the addition of looking stinking cute in the process! They reminded me of the little Lost Boys from Peter Pan, which upon my asking them if they had heard or watched Peter Pan, their reply was “Who’s that?”

We also talked all things Toy Story and Finding Nemo, which of course included watching the upcoming sequel teasers of both!
But as always, play time can’t last all day, no matter what Peter Pan may say.
Jammies were exchanged for shorts and t-shirts, blonde hair was combed, and we headed into the real life of the day!

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“I love to walk a city, whether I’ve been there once or a thousand times before. It’s amazing what sort of inspiration you’ll find when you steal a second glance .”
| erin hiemstra |

     How little I knew of Clarksville ’til we took the time to see it! I had been downtown briefly a couple years before, and driving it once every week, I thought I knew it well! Only until we turned another corner downtown did I see a whole new little world of charm! Makes we wonder what other cities I so quickly check off my list as “explored”.

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The thirst quencher of choice was some one-of-a-kind homemade lemonade that totally hit the spot!
I could see local farmer’s markets being a new favorite Saturday activity, having been to very few myself I forgot how exciting they are!
Seeing a glimpse of the diversity of talents and expertise these people share, combined with tempting smells, a fresh breeze through the aisle of tents, the beat of vibrant music from some local musicians, and just watching new faces pass by.

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2016-06-15_01062016-06-15_0097     Of course, it goes without mentioning that outings like these always call for a token/souvenir to remember them by! And as the mama in this sweet family being the extraordinaire paint brush handler that she is, it seemed all too spot on to head to the little pottery studio situated on Franklin Street, called Horse Feathers.
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The personalities of these people. I have loved watching these little guys grow up and getting a sneak peek at their unique quirks that makes them who they are. And also watching their sweet mama and dad nurture those quirks while walking and leading them along the path.

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Our creativity fix satisfied, we headed back out the antique aqua doors and back toward the car, taking in the sights slowly as we did. Seriously, this downtown area has me itching to come back for a more in-depth snooping!

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1 universe.

9 planets.
204 countries.
809 islands.
7 seas.
And I had the privilege of meeting you.

You’ve touched our hearts in ways that can’t be put into words, we are so thankful that God put Clarksville on your map for a season! See ya later sweet friends, we know new adventures are calling your name, but we’re totally keeping those old ones under lock and key!

heart writing

||Septemberish

September 9, 2015

The brewing breeze subtly arrives. The clap of thunder, crescendo. The harmonious patter, like tiny feet on cobblestone, raindrops on the first fallen russet leaves. September thunderstorm.
Septemberish ||  resembling or characteristic of September.

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     September ushers in the new, leaving us to reminisce the old. Summer. With it comes change, vibrance, a harmony of spirit. A warmth of heart.Watching an autumn thunderstorm roll in this afternoon reminded me of the change. I am seeing all around me, not just in regards to Creation, but also in life.

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For me, personally, it means a lot of new changes, an adjustment to what I’m accustomed.  Life is different this September. But beautifully different.

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     Numerous brown boxes that smell of unattained learning have been delivered at our doorstep the past week, I watch in a different thrill of excitement as my siblings unpack their stacks of books to begin the new school year. I feel the excitement for them, a sense of wonderment. It’s a feeling I will always remember and always want to. I see the familiar light in my little brother’s brown eyes at the thought of starting his first day of 4th grade, his animated talk that “I’m learning cursive!” It’s a memory that’s being made.

This year, instead of having a box delivered at my door crying “Read me!” I’m embarking on the quest to search out the skills and learning I want to acquire under my belt. Bittersweet it is at times to think those “school book-filled box” delivery days are over, but it is with a renewed excitement that I start on this new road of change.

It will be a challenge. Self-discipline, motivation and productivity will be hurdles to jump as a whole day is laid out before me with not a grid in sight. It’s overwhelming at moments to look at the limitless list I’ve scribbled down over the past year at the skills I want to tackle and wonder where to begin.
It’s an uncertainty that I see most high-school graduates facing. . . what am I going to do with my life? All those grand plans we make as fourteen and fifteen year olds suddenly, as eighteen year olds, seem not the path to take.

 

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September. It’s a new season, in all definitions of the word. I don’t have everything figured out. Honestly, who does? It’s an opportunity to seize this season day-by-day for God’s glory,
to not waste one moment, to ramp up our toolboxes with tools we will use the rest of our lives.
It’s not easy, no one ever said it would be.

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The thunderstorm passed all too quickly this afternoon, the only remembrances of it being the damp leaves that even by tomorrow will not leave a trace of it’s existence. But the rain nourished the earth.
So is this young season. It will pass all too quickly. We have the opportunity before us learn the things that will push us forward, to grow. In later seasoned years we will look back with thankfulness or with regret on this season. Did we seize it?

September. A time of beautiful change.
Relying on God’s grace alone I strive to move forward in this exciting season. 

“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”
|| 1 Timothy 6:17-19