Monday, April 30, 2012

Counting His Unending Gifts :: April 30

A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting out the love of Christ. 
~Ann Voskamp

Continuing the counting of God's bounty of blessings......

unexpected evenings home
voices raised in praise
ultrasounds and colonoscopys turning out well so far
hands laid on in prayer
email connections across the miles
sun breaking through
stomp songs
watching my love perform and fulfill one of his dreams

little man's tball
rest.....lots of rest
smell of fresh cut grass
twirling little ones

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Community

All through my childhood I just knew I would live in my hometown my whole life staying where it was comfortable and everyone was known. And then I met my honey and we moved away. The military likes to do that.

Everything was new.....home, neighborhood, state, friends. And even though it took time, it worked. My closest relationships were formed. Bonds were made that are far stronger than where we live.

And then another move, this time overseas. More newness. A whole lot more. And no friends, no fellowship, no shoulder to cry on when you need it. That nine hour difference kind of makes it difficult. So new relationships, new bonds must be formed.

It's not an easy thing to leave all you know, all the relationship, the closeness but it's such a fantastic experience too. Now those bonds stretch around the world.

Joining up at gypsy mama.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yarn Along :: April 25

the blue yarn is my daughter's and the ball of tan is for the sweater
though that was a pretty non gender specific color

Well, I finished the first square for Knit-a-Square and decided on the yarn I am going to use to knit the first sweater for Knit for Kids. And in some spare moments I began teaching my daughter to knit. She loves to create and talk to this seemed like a good way to spend some one on one time.

Still haven't finished my books that I started a while back mainly because I tired of non-fiction. So, for some variety I decided to reread The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Such an engaging read and a nice break. Maybe this weekend I will finish up those last few bits of the other books I have going.

Head to small things for some more inspiration. 

The Power of Yes

Yes does not come easily.

The no prevents mess when they want to create and craft. Keeps the kids from bouncing around after a sugary snack. Allows me finish up one more task while they go off to do something alone. Doesn't let them zone out in front of video games (even though they've been cooped up due to rain and would really love to just bounce around in front of the kinect). Helps to maintain my sanity when they request to do something that just irks me or inconveniences me or what have you.

But no also crushes little ones hearts. It squashes creativity. It puts tasks, to-dos ahead of relationship. With no there is no nurture, no connection.

And so, yes is making a comeback in our home.

Saying yes to creating.....even if it means we have to spend some extra time cleaning up later. The joy when they proudly display their work is worth it.

Saying yes to reading or coloring or whatever with them.....even though I know I'll have extra work to do once they are in bed. They are only mine for a short time and I want to cherish them.

Saying yes to walking in the rain, baking something delicious, or just plain talking. Relationship is paramount and needs to be nurtured. They need to be lavished in my love and attention.

Cause really, I don't want to look back when they are grown and gone and wish that I had said yes. 
 Joining up here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Counting His Unending Gifts :: April 23

Our life is even more full than normal this week with unexpected appointments, sports, more appointments.....but in the crazy fullness are the moments of beauty, of infinite gratitude to my Savior for the life He's given.

having an account that needs to be balanced
little ones praying "for others to be as wealthy as we are" (so thankful they believe we are wealthy rather than noticing what they don't have. And really, compared to most of the world we are.)
playing old school Mario.....terribly :)
chocolate and a chocolate party in your mouth
HDMI cables
rain pouring down
big hits in tball

Friday, April 20, 2012

Trees Please!

April 22 will mark Earth Day worldwide, an event now in its 42nd year and observed in 175 countries. The original grass-roots environmental action helped spur the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act in the United States.

As Christians we are to be good stewards of all that God has given to us....that includes our earth. We are also called to love our neighbors. In light of these commands I encourage you to join in the :58 Global Impact Tour this Earth Day and aid those in the Dominican Republic who live in extreme poverty. 70% of the people living in rural areas of the DR are in poverty and the very things they need to sustain them, like trees and water, are being destroyed causing a vicious cycle of poverty to continue. But by giving the amount you would normally spend on a cup of coffee you can plant five trees.

Now if you're wondering what in the world trees have to do with poverty than watch this.....

Planting a tree may not seem like a huge deal, but to those who live in poverty it can be a lifeline. So, this Earth Day let's give a little love to our neighbors.

For some beautiful photos celebrating earth day head here. And for more fantastic info on creation care and it's link to poverty head here. Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Together

We live a nomadic life.

The hubby has been to the Middle East numerous times. And Korea. And back to the Middle East.

Now we live in the heart of Europe.

Our family lives in the States.....most of them still in our hometown.

Distance, separation is a way of life. Forging connections and relationship over the miles takes time and effort. (and lots of coordination of time differences and schedules) Despite the challenges the bond of family is purposefully strengthened, relationships are deepened. And, one day, we will be together......our family in it's wholeness.

joining up at gypsy mama

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Yarn Along :: April 18

Well, not too much knitting or reading went on this week. For the past few months fatigue has been my constant companion and the last couple weeks have been the worst of it. Other than the basics of keeping home and family not much else gets done.

I did peruse ravelry for a bit and felt completely overwhelmed. No idea where to start. Or what to plan to many beautiful patterns.

Hopefully in the next week or so there will be answers from the doctor and energy will return. I am dying to be able to focus enough to knit more than an eight inch square in garter stitch.

For more inspiration head to small things.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: April 16

Life is full.....of laughter, love, heartache, illness, activities, commitments, joy. His poured out grace astounds me daily. A few of the gifts.....

simple sandwiches
new haircuts
happily bouncing kids
walking in the sunshine
crisp morning air
softball tourneys
happy, dirty kids
refreshing new study

Friday, April 13, 2012

One Little Starfish

One day an old man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind. He began walking very carefully so as not to step on any of the beautiful creatures. Since the animals still seemed to be alive, he considered picking some of them up and putting them back in the water, where they could resume their lives. The old man knew the starfish would die if left on the beach's dry sand but he reasoned that he could not possibly help them all, so he chose to do nothing and continued walking.

Soon afterward, he came upon a small girl on the beach who was frantically throwing one starfish after another back into the sea. The old man stopped and asked the girl, "What are you doing?" "I'm saving the starfish," the girl replied. "Why waste your time?... There are so many you can't save them all so what does it matter?" argued the man. Without hesitation, the little girl picked up another starfish and tossed the starfish back into the water... "It matters to this one," the little girl explained.

Fighting against social injustice is one of my passions. Yet, as a stay at home mom most of the time it feels as though there is not much that can be done to make a difference. I am only one person who spends her days caring for little ones not a celebrity who can use status or a politician who can use influence.

But this story reminds me that there are so many little ways to help, to show caring to another person. Don't let yourself get caught up in thinking that your actions won't make any difference, that you can't effect change.

Remember the lesson from the story.......if you make a positive difference in just one life it's worth the effort.

part one of a series

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Goodbye

my love in S. Korea (looking at N. Korea) during his remote tour
Goodbye is......

watching my love walk out the door (again) with the chance he may not return


single parenthood for six months to a year

moving overseas and away from all that is known

sadness and excitement

embracing the life that God has so abundantly blessed me with even in the hard moments

trusting that God will make it all work

joining up at gypsymama

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Life's Little Equations

"I'm sorry" + hug = sincere apology

practice + practice = learning

practice + practice + practice = mastering

chores / everyone = family

good days + bad days = real life

soul + color = art
+ words = literature
+ sound = music
+ movement =dance

Taken from This Plus That: Life's Little Equations. Fantastic read with the kiddos!

Yarn Along :: April 11

Part of the stash......

Nothing really new here....still working on squares for the Knit-a-Square project and reading the same old books. But I did finally join ravelry. Now to just find the time to peruse it and hopefully find some knitting inspiration. Can't seem to find a project that sounds like fun (and with the stash I am accumulating I really need to find a way to use all that yarn).

Head on over to small things for more inspiration.....I know I am. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Around the World on Tuesday

Tired out after a morning of physical therapy and playing hard. Love that little guy!

Joining up over at communal global.

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: April 10

A smattering of the gifts He has poured out.....

great, big ideas
family day
a taste of BFD
finding babysitters
light saber battles
new {unexpected} family
completely new life in Him

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Beautiful Life

Life doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Living in the mess, the ugly, the ordinary moments is what makes life full.....of grace, love, joy, peace, contentment. Perfection is unattainable, yet beauty is found in all Christ has blessed us with. Enjoy the beautiful ordinary.

Yarn Along :: April 4

It's finished! Well, the knitting part. Now I just need to stitch the two parts together and add buttons. Still unsure what my next project will be so for now I am working on some 8 inch squares that will be sent off to make blankets for AIDS orphans.

Still reading You're Already Amazing and Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl. Both are really good reads and definitely something I needed to read at this point in life. Also, I finished up A Knitter's Home Companion. It's full of lovely essays, patterns, recipes, and book recommendations.

Head on over to small things for more inspiration.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: April 2

"Paying attention to our lives is a way to pay thanks to our Lord." ~Ann Voskamp

A smattering of the gifts.....

clean, cavity free teeth
aching muscles
building with my two hands
wearing and snuggling the little man
painting faces
Trappist beers
family soccer
gooey mac and cheese