A Chair With a View

Tacy is napping, the dishes are done, the girls are playing quietly so this is where I am right now. In the corner of the dining room, in the chair Josh bought me for Valentine's Day, enjoying the view that I bought the house for.

This little corner has become quite my sanctuary already this summer. I am trying to make time to read both my Bible and the stack of books I have going as well as finding time to write and enjoy other creative things. As of right now this is my favorite place to do that. We have moved Tacy into the guestroom/office so my normal space is occupied by a pack and play.

It's actually nice to have such a small place. With the office it was easy to let it get run over with junk and stuff and piles of papers to sort and organize. This little corner is so mall it's pretty impossible for it to get too out of hand. In fact, I have to keep it some one what tidy if I want to be able to sit down.

God has been working on me a lot this summer when it comes to contentment and being at peace with where I am. This little corner definitely makes those lessons easier.


Little Girl Scrapbook Kit

A few weeks ago Josh and I went through the girls room and got rid of most of their toys. We took four black trash bags to the dump and another three to Good Will. So far we have been pretty good about not bringing a whole bunch of  new ones in and we hope to keep that trend up till at least Christmas.

This does present a challenge since all three of our girls have birthday's between now and Christmas, so I have been trying to keep treats and gifts things that can be consumed or inspire creativity.

This week we went shopping for a birthday party and since we are in a no toy mode the girls and I opted to get something creative for their friend.

This is what we came up with. We hit up the dollar store and Michael's and filled a cigar box with scrapbook supplies. Rather than an actual scrap book we bought a mini composition book and added colored pens, stickers, decorative tape, and glue sticks from the store. We also cut down a bunch of patterned papers from our home stash. I went through all of our pictures from the school year and pulled out pictures of her and the girls to add to it to get her started.

We added some flower stickers to the top and now have a inexpensive gift that doesn't take up a lot of space, encourages creativity, is self contained and doesn't require adult supervision. A win an all accounts!


What if THIS is Radical

You would think a generation raised watching Wizard of Oz would be more familiar with the concept of being content with where you are. And yet, as I look around at my peers I find over and over again in them, and in myself, a desire for the extreme. 

Browse through Amazon and you will see book after book with extreme titles.

The Radical Question

Crazy Love

The Explicit Gospel

Risk is Right

Reckless Faith

The Insanity of Obedience

Even the books about “contentment” and “intentional living” and “simplicity” seem like they are trying to tell us how to be content with where we are. And yet they all spend a whole lot of time talking about the writer’s accomplishments, her speaking engagements, and her blog readership. 

I understand. I do. We were raised in the suburbs in evangelical churches where mediocrity and apathy were rampant. In an attempt to challenge us and motivate us were fed a steady diet of youth camps and conferences that called us to the mission field and exhorted us in our rolls as ambassadors and champions for Christ. We were called to be Jesus Freaks and change the world. We went to Christian colleges and spent our weekends study theology and doing VBS with kids in low income housing. 

If you were a college female in the early 2000s, chances are you wanted to do mission work in an inner city, work with teen moms, or start a magazine for teenage girls helping them “find their identity in Christ”. We went to small groups and talked about our passions and somewhere along the way we may have met a young man who was just as "radical" as we were. 

We graduated, we got married, we got jobs “for now” to pay of student loans and wait for God to call us where He “really” wanted us. And we woke up five years later with two or three kids thinking that it would have been easier to follow Christ being a missionary in the 10-40 window then is raising a family in the suburbs on one income. 

We fantasied about sacrificing for God but somehow this isn’t what we had in mind. When we thought about changing diapers day in and day out to further the kingdom it was in an orphanage in Uganda, not a two bedroom apartment in Virginia. When we dreamed about sharing the gospel with young minds it was during VBS in Mexico not in a minivan driving to the grocery store. 

Chances are I will never know what it is like to be a missionary in another country or to raise my own support so I further the Kingdom in an inner city. But, I do know that the life I am living now takes a lot of courage and grace and commitment. To wake up every day and do the same thing, with little thanks; it may not be glamorous but it is the work put before me. I may not be saving orphans off of the street or writing for an audience of thousands, but I am providing safety and security to three little girls who depend on me to live this life with as much passion as I claimed to have in college. 

What if, the most radical thing I do is wake up and be fully committed to whatever task is in front of me?


The Best Intentions

I was sitting down just now to write a blog post, when something happened that took all the air out of me. All of the sudden I didn't want to write, I didn't want to blog, I didn't want to do anything creative. I  started shutting down.

Then it hit me, square between the eyes. The reason I had a million WIPS going at once, the reason I am not going to the Influence conference this year, the reason most of my bucket lists go untouched. The simple fact is, it is far easier to make plans than to follow through. For all my talk of wanting to be a writer, for all me claiming to have big dreams, it is far to easy for me to walk away the minute things get uncomfortable.

It is far to easy to voice a passion with out actually acting on it. It is far to easy to speak the language of intentionality with out practicing it. In a Facebook-Pinterest-Instagram world it is far to easy to "like" something and then move on. I am far to content with slacktivism and planning imaginary parties in my head. But all of that just adds up to a bunch of nothing. It doesn't matter how many ideas I pin or articles I read I am not putting my knowledge to use.

When some one is truly passionate about something it is obvious to every one around them. They talk about it, they live it out, they share it with those around them. It is more than a passing fad or idle hobby to them, it's a consuming fire. They are fully committed to their passions no matter the cost.

There are things I WANT to feel that way about. My relationship with God, my family, my writing. But to be honest it is to easy to coast by putting in minimal effort and calling it good. I have been satisfied too long with make plans and walking away. It is time to look at my life and take some action. The best intentions are worthless unless they are acted on.

I realize that different seasons in life will affect my ability to pursue the things that are on my heart but, if I truly have a desire for them, I will pursue them on some level no matter what my season. It's time to read my bible, play with my kids, and share what's on my heart. 

So here is to stepping beyond planning and "wanting to" and actually doing something with my time.

Ephesians 5:15-16 
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.