beautiful words

As you probably figured out by now, I’m a reader.

And because I just can’t help but share the things I love to read, apparently, today I am sharing a couple blog posts by someone else that I have just adored.

Why Your Kids Don’t Need a Super Mama – Ann Voskamp
“My kids don’t need a Super Mama. They need to see a Mama who needs a Super God.”

What To Do When You May or May Not Be a Control Freak – Ann Voskamp
In which Mark Buchanan says “Here’s what I’ve learned: Every impulse to seize control — is the Holy Spirit’s invitation to practice self-control.”

Ahh!! I so loved and needed both of those posts! And they were so timely. But then again, when doesn’t a mama need to hear that their kids don’t need a Super Mama?

And of course that second post popped up the day after I started reading Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. So ironic, because I think Cline and Fay’s words are all about control vs. self-control.

Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility

Yes, I added an another book to the list of four (now five) am already reading or about to be reading. Crazy? Nooo. I love it :)

If you want to see more links to blog posts about mama-hood that I enjoy, see my Pinterest board, Breathing Space for the Mama Soul. I try to only pin things that are encouraging to me. Nothing that induces a sense of shame, nothing about a specific parenting-style topic. Only words abounding with grace and the invitation to breathe deep and lean into a God who knows. The real words coming from the real hearts of real mamas.

 

I love these words {and the women who write them}

The words and the art are coming a little slower these days, but I am learning to just let that slowness be. Let it be. The art can not, should not, be rushed, or it wouldn’t be my art at all.

So, I don’t have much to say today. Instead I just want to share some things I have been reading lately – things that speak to my heart in ways I needed them so badly to, and so maybe they’ll speak to you, too. The thing I love about each one of these bloggers is that they are real in such a refreshing way. There are certain blogs I visit often because when I read their words I breathe, and I find a kindred spirit, and there is honesty there and permission to be and… I can’t explain it well. Just go read if you want to find out what I am trying to say…

Boys in the Bed and Calm in the Storm by Amber Haines

We Don’t Want Your Loveless Art by Emily Freeman

The Quiet in a Mama’s House, a Mama’s Mind also by Amber Haines

And if you want to see some brand new baby lambs, just because, go to Junelle’s blog here… it’ll really make you feel like maybe Spring is here :)

Upcycled t-shirt into a bracelet

I have a bunch of old t-shirts that I’ve had since high school. Why do I still have them? Don’t ask. Just don’t. But alas they are not really wear-able anymore because they are so worn down and mis-shapen {due to, well, umm, time… and the fact that I wore many of them during pregnancy, thanks to the fact that I never got big enough for those tent-like maternity shirts to be worn comfortably. I loved my bella band}.

I saw this tutorial from V and Co. a while ago and have wanted to try it ever since… and finally, I did.

I didn’t buy jersey knit material. I took one of those totally mis-shapen, not-even-good-enough-for-good-will t-shirts, started at the bottom, and cut the entire thing into one terribly long 1-in wide strip, and then followed the directions Vanessa has here, for the 2-fingers bracelet.

No pictures of the process here, folks. Head on over to her site :)

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the rest of this t-shirt. I highly suggest that if you make this, make it a girly craft night, because you’ll likely have enough fabric from one t-shirt to make several of these!

faith… and a bird’s nest

“Begin to believe, and hold on to it steadfastly, that He has taken that which you have surrendered to Him. You positively must not wait to feel either that you have given yourself, or that God has taken you. You must simply believe it, and reckon it to be the case.”

~Hannah Whitall Smith {The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life}

It seems that God is weaving this theme into my heart… the one of trusting even when I don’t feel like I am. The one of trusting Him more than I trust myself, or even more than I trust my ability to trust in Him fully.

On another note, I have built a bird’s nest… with wire and beads and a jump ring, and this tutorial by Sarah Ortega. It just needs a chain…

This bird’s nest is inspected and approved by my Eli.

It might have even been taste-tested if mama hadn’t ruined the fun.

Update: I just had to make another… so I did, during Eli’s nap… and even found a chain in my jewelry box…

Psst, Friday Sneak Peek-ers… in case you wondered, I got a little bit more done on the kitchen art :)

StudioJRU

Oh My, Miscellany Monday

I made cinnamon scented oil this morning, to paint onto the leftovers of my pine cones. At first I mixed olive oil and ground cinnamon in a small bowl… and realized that it just smelled like olive oil. So I added water to try to dillute the olive oil smell… and then I remembered that water and oil do NOT mix. And so I added not-so-strongly-smelling vegetable oil. And mixed. And mixed. And got a cinnamon-y paste surrounded with oil…

And painted the tips of the pinecones with the oil that collected around the cinnamon paste…

And it smells lovely.

I forgot to put the {whole} chicken in the crockpot until 11:30 this morning. Last time I cooked a chicken in the crockpot, it took close to 8 hours. I was going to shred the chicken and use it in a different recipe. If it weren’t for the option of putting the crockpot on high for part of the time, my husband might not be eating until very late tonight. It’s just a day like that.

If you’re like me, and think know that maybe definitely you’re not taking the time to find space to breathe in, go here to read Emily Freeman’s post today.

Right after I read her post, I took the risk of bringing the dog out to the back, even though the baby is napping, and even though the dog dashing through the back door sometimes wakes him. Eli didn’t wake, but as soon as I stepped outside and started to breathe, I sat in a puddle of half-frozen dog pee. In my favorite jeans. That I just washed. {Like I said. A day like THAT}.

I’ll try again later. I used to be so much better at sitting still, at being quiet… pauses in conversation never bothered me… sitting alone doing nothing didn’t bother me. I thrive in quiet. And yet somehow in the past year I’ve forgotten how to. Like wildflowers that forget that they thrive on the hillsides in the Swiss Alps, trying to transplant themselves in a pot on a windowsill. Like a tree that forgets to just be a tree. I’ve forgotten.

It’s time to breathe again and remember.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

crocheted mushroom… feeling coming back

The other day, in the middle of completely unrelated errands, I passed a Michael’s and went in. I had a sudden urge to crochet a sock monkey hat for my little monkey boy… and the only yarn I had at home had become a surrogate litter box for my cat one day, when I forgot to clean his box out for weeks.

I immediately found the yarn I wanted but when I got home… a sock monkey hat did not appear. This little guy did:

I used the pattern here.

Lately, I’m feeling something come back that I haven’t felt in a while.

Long ago (before college) I used to sketch. I used to paint. I used to crochet. I wrote poems and sometimes I even shared them, those most intimate parts of my heart, with others.

And then I was hurt… I was criticized by someone, simply for the reason to hurt me. Their words and actions said I wasn’t up-to-par. I wasn’t good enough for them, I was selfish. I was just not good. And so I stopped. I stopped doing the things that I knew were the truest parts of me.

I’m reading Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman… and it has begun to free a part of me that had been locked up so long I thought it had died forever. The permission to create… the permission to be me and do what I was made to do, without reservation and without worry of what someone else may think of it (what they think of me), or their expectations or my own expectations, built from my imaginary ones of others.

For although I’ve created here and there for the past year or so… it has still all been done with reservation… with fear and LOTS of anxiety and the underlaying questions of “am I selfish? Am I not good?”

Oh but now I know… now I know that being good is not the question… being HIS is.

breathe

Yesterday I decided that I needed to breathe.

To be honest, I got more done yesterday than I have in a while. I’m not bragging. Sadly it still wasn’t much. I folded laundry. I organized the baby’s toys (he will be old enough to enjoy them soon and I wanted them out of boxes and available).  I also put away all of the clothes (that were already folded) of his that do not fit anymore, and made sure they were all in their respectively labeled boxes. That part actually took me several days, but the boxes are finally put back in his closet now.

I love being at home. I don’t even mind being in my home for many days in a row. But after getting all of that done and still seeing piles and stacks and lists and seas of  totally un-categorized, undefinable disorganization… I decided the air in my home was just not cleansing enough, and I needed to go on a walk. Even though it was pretty cold out. Cold enough for the weatherman to predict, with certainty, snow for today.

So I bundled the baby up in layers and a coat and a blankie and we took a walk.



And when I got home, after feeding and cleaning baby and making dinner, I realized that maybe I needed more than to just breath clean, cold air.

And so I created…

And I breathed.

If you are feeling caught up in all the things that you should do, all of the chores and your self-expectations that are simply just never done (unless you are brave enough to do laundry in the nude)… I want to encourage you, no, URGE you to stop and do something that you like. Maybe it’s just something small. Try to make it something you can complete today. And then rest in the fact that God loves you and wants you to be happy… and He feels that way just the same even when you still have 3 more piles of laundry to fold.

*The envelopes I made were from a tutorial by The Knitted Blog