Since we moved into our new place, I have been compiling a list of things I want to make to decorate our home. The reality of working and going to school full-time has eaten up most of my time (and life) lately, leaving little time for crafty things (or blogging, apparently).
This week I’ve realized the importance of still making space for some of those creative things, though, because it’s something life-giving in the midst of all the busyness. So this week, along with all the work and class and homework, I’ve made time for some cooking, crafting, and taking walks with Derek.
One thing I made was a vase of flowering branches for our living room mantle. I’ve been looking for colorful things to add to that room (which has plain white walls) and when I saw directions for these flowering branches on familyfun.com, I decided they’d be perfect. The original project calls for tissue paper, but my tissue paper options were limited so I ended up using fabric instead because I had some in the exact color I really wanted.
I started by arranging the branches in the jar I had, making sure they were the length I wanted. Then I cute the fabric into a bunch of yellow squares and green triangles.
For each flower blossom, I glued a green triangle to the yellow square, then shaped it around a pencil tip to make a flower bud. Then I glued each one to the branch. Easy, right?
Actually, it would have been a lot easier with a hot glue gun. I used tacky glue, and the flowers kept slipping off the branches and unfolding. I tried holding some of them on with a clothes pin and held others with my fingers until they stuck. Eventually they all stayed, though. I was really pleased with the finished product and love how it looks on the mantle.
Posted by thelordshousekeeper on September 23, 2011
This afternoon I went to the hospital to visit a friend who was shot in a drive-by shooting this weekend. She’s alive (thank God) but the bullet went through her side and her bladder. The doctors don’t think there should be any long-term damage, but she had surgery and will be in the hospital for a while.
I grieved a lot for her when I heard, for the pain that she’s in and the violence in her life. It mixed in with grief for another dear friend who, along with her young kids, is currently homeless and living in a hotel because of the spiraling cycle of self-destruction she has been careening down for a while, and grief for a family member who just announced, mere days after her daughter’s birth, that her husband no longer wants to live with her as her husband.
These are heavy things. They make me want to cry. To kick something. To shake my fist at the devil. Most of all, they make me want to do something, to fix everything. But I am powerless to fix any of this.
As I was talking to the Lord about all this yesterday morning, He reminded me of Matthew 25, specifically verse 36 where the King says to the blessed ones, “When I was sick you visited me.” With that reminder came the tender invitation to come and be with Him in this place, to visit Him in this place of suffering, to be His friend in these places where He grieves, too. I don’t even know what that looks like, really, but I was overwhelmed with the reality of His nearness to me and to them in these places.
And I realized that the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46 has nothing to do with a list of religious “do’s” to gain God’s favor; it’s a sweet invitation to be with Jesus in those places, with “the least of these”, because we are blessed by the nearness of God in those places.
Abba, bring me face to face with You in all this!
"You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust...You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us..."
Posted by thelordshousekeeper on September 22, 2011
I know I’ve been pretty silent her in the blog world for quite a while (for almost two months, actually, if anyone has been keeping track….oops). My life, on the other hand, has been anything but silent. I don’t have adequate words yet for some of what has happened in those two months (and some can’t be shared in a public forum like this anyhow), but I can give you a brief list of some of the major life events since I last wrote:
- We did a lot of wondering and praying about how we were going to pay rent and bills at the end of July.
- I found a job (quite shortly after I wrote that last post about being discouraged by the fruitless job search, actually). Now I work as a server/cashier/dishwasher at a breakfast café in Westport. I really love it (except for working every weekend…). And it has been a reminder of God’s attentiveness to my heart and desires. During my final week of work with the after school program, I was praying and asking God to provide work for me and Derek. I felt God ask, “Well, what kind of work would you like?” The first thing that came to mind was a little breakfast and lunch café, full of bright colors, where I could serve cheerfully. That picture opened the door to a lot of lies in my heart about how I would never be good at the things that I wanted to do (some yucky heart residue from the after school job). About a month later, when I received the call for an interview at this breakfast place, God reminded me of that conversation with Him. Sure enough, the job opened up.
- We contemplated a major, life-changing decision, ultimately deciding to say yes to what we felt was an invitation from God. That following month was an emotional roller coaster, careening though drama, phone calls, urgent meetings, a good deal of heartache, and then eventually ending with all our options exhausted and all the doors closed. God spoke to us deeply in that process, though, and assured us that He always brings forth life. Though we don’t know or understand what that might look like in this and we still carry a fair amount of grief over how things turned out, we’re still believing His word in that. (One of these days I may write a password-protected post sharing some more details of what happened and the ways God spoke in it).
- Derek found a job (just in time to confirm the aforementioned life-changing decision). Now he works three days a week doing apartment maintenance and grounds keeping at an apartment complex near the Plaza (which fits perfectly with his school schedule).
- Derek and I celebrated our second year of marriage by going out to our friend Autumn’s farm out in the middle of nowhere in Kansas. It was so peaceful and perfect. (I came home to discover that my engagement ring was stolen from the house while we were gone, though we got it back later that night, but that’s a whole different story….)
- Derek returned to school for his second semester in CISCO networking. Don’t ask me what that is exactly. I just know it has to do with computers (and nothing to do with facebook) and that now he knows enough about routers to set up a home wireless network for us (pretty handy!).
- I started school full-time. After almost five years out of school (which I still don’t regret, by the way), I’m a student again, this time working towards my associates in child growth and development. The classes are proving to be pretty intensive so far (more so than I expected for me first semester). I’m learning a lot already, though, and growing more and more excited about learning to teach young children well.
- We moved out of the Tracy House and into our own apartment. We had been looking towards this move since the beginning of the summer (we were finding it increasingly difficult to live in community as a married couple, especially in a community with such a diversity of ages, life stages, and values). We felt like God was inviting us into a season of more intentionally establishing the foundations of our family. Somewhat unexpectedly, Lindsay decided that the season of the Tracy House was coming to a close and we all moved out at the end of August. So now, for the first time since we moved to Kansas City, Derek and I have our own space, a huge (and cheap!) third floor apartment, complete with a sunroom and its share of old building quirks. The building is named Isabel, which means, “God’s promise” or “Our God is a vow.” It feels like a significant name for our new home. We are mostly unpacked now (except for the second bedroom, which has become a temporary storage space for everything that doesn’t have a more permanent spot yet). Now I often find myself distracted, dreaming about ways to make the space lovely and home.
So there you have it: the reasons behind my silence over the past couple month. And now, I have some homework to do (or procrastinate on…) and some beautiful weather to enjoy….
Posted by thelordshousekeeper on September 5, 2011