Monday, January 30, 2012

Dirty Dreams {Part 2}

Ok, so that "(to be continued tomorrow)" statement didn't work out so well. One thing that I'm learning about blogging is that you have to go with something when you feel like sharing (and perhaps not commit to a part 2 unless you're certain you're ready to write.)

You've probably noticed that along this ride that we've called the past 2.5 years, I've been enjoying some time sitting down at the sewing machine. I've NEVER EVER EVER used the term "creative" to describe myself. And yet, there is something freeing and beautiful that creating has brought out of my heart. I can't articulate what it is.

Maybe it's a freedom to feel comfortable enjoying something without having a plan of action in place for what to do with that creative outlet. Or maybe it's because it has birthed a dream in my heart. A dream without an eternal purpose (that I can see yet). And for once, I don't feel like I'm wasting anything by nurturing this dream-seed. In fact, it may even find a place to plant eventually.

Do I want to change the world? Sure. Vision itself isn't bad or wrong, but it can throw dreams by the wayside. There's a stark difference between guilt and conviction. I think I've often confused the two over the past ten years. I think that for now I'm ready to change the world heart-to-heart and person-to-person. After all Jesus said, "Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing." Matthew 10:42 (MSG)

In the meantime, while I do my best to live like Jesus,  I'm going to let my heart be light and shake off the idea that I can't live with purpose while entertaining a dream.

I'm fairly certain that this quilt I stumbled upon on Pinterest sums me up nicely. I'm also pretty sure that my heart dreams in happy fabric hearts. Who knows, maybe if you just allow yourself some room to dream, the vision will follow? We'll see.

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Joy in Progress

It's been a productive day here. Parker is on the mend, and I'm feeling a little better too. We decided that since Jeremy had to be at work early this morning and Peyton was going to church with Mamaw and Papaw that we'd make the 60 mile trek down to Indianapolis to pick up some groceries from Trader Joe's.

They were out of "Green Plant" sad. So I snagged this "Beet and Purple Carrot" juice instead. I'm pretty sure that eating stinky over the past four days has been what's thrown my body into a tailspin. Yech. Back to fruit and spinach smoothies I go. (That sentence alone would've churned my stomach back in my days as an avowed vegetable-hater. That's progress friends!)

I'll let you know if it makes me gag. M'kay.

Once the groceries were unloaded and P-man came back home, I sneaked into the sewing room while the two littles got lost in Imagination Land with all of their new toys from Nana Kate and Papa Eddie. 

I made some progress on my secret "JOY" project. Now I'm feeling a little stuck, but I really need to get it done by the end of the day tomorrow. I think that will be my "after school" project.  (Who knew when I decided to be a homeschooling mommy that I'd feel like I had to go to school every day too?)

Darla by Tanya Whelan for Grand Revival Fabric Applique
I hope you're day has been filled with joy! I've got a pot roast in the crock pot, my punkins snuggling up next to me on the couch and about 9 hours left of a tutorial to finish. Don't won't get finished tonight either. After all, I'm no superwoman. What a relief.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What We Did Today

Parker and I aren't feeling so hot. We hunkered down inside the house and worked on this to bide some time. The garland + the sunshine brought a little joy to our day. We hope you had a great day too! {Click on the image if you want to check out the tutorial}

It's time to snuggle my little punkin into bed now.

And then it's time for me to kick up my feet and keep learning via Lynda

Sweetest dreams...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Can't Blog...

I can't blog with background noise. I'm a homeschooling mom. Silence is rare-- and precious. I haven't forgotten about dreams- part 2. I pinky-promise. Hang tight, friends! I'll get back to it asap. ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dirty Dreams {Part 1}

I've never paid much attention to dreams. Those faux wood wall decor pieces reading "Dream" in a sweet swirly script-- not interested. And I'm not talking about the standard once-your-head-hits-the-pillow kind of dreams either. I'm talking about the kind that your mind wanders toward when you're washing the dishes or putting away laundry. The dreams that make the mundane bearable because this tiny secret hope is tucked away deep in your heart. Unfortunately, I never really had that *dream* to keep me company. But I had vision.

Now vision, vision meant everything. Depth. Greatness. Purpose. Drive. Changing-the-world-style vision. That's what I had. It was drilled into me. Day-in and day-out for a full year it was hammered into my vernacular so much so that I measured the worth of others by the extent of their "vision" too.

It was ugly. It was consuming. And I can't say that it really spurred me on to love people the way that Jesus loves people. What it did was cause me anxiety over figuring out how I could someday love people by living out my bigger-than-life, move-to-the-other-side-of-the-world, filled-with-purpose vision.

I missed out on dreams because I had "tunnel" vision.

After all, dreams were without vision and void of purpose, right? Since dreams distracted us from vision, I couldn't waste my thoughts, my time or my life on dreams without feeling intensely guilty. So by the time I was 20, my dreams were shelved in lieu of a vision-filled mission. Dreaming became dirty. Almost shameful. I didn't even realize that I was missing out on anything.

But I was...

(to be continued tomorrow)

Monday, January 9, 2012

You Can't Do It All

This is just a little reminder that:

You can't do it all! (And it's a-ok)

So tonight kick up your feet, take a deep breath, and remember that you are incredible just as you are.

It doesn't matter if your laundry is folded or your kitchen sink is spotless. It's ok if there is a stray dust-bunny hiding behind the sofa or a wandering toy on the living room floor. 

Don't try to do it all. You'll fail. Just do what you can and do it as a part of your everyday living. Because living well and living with a heart overflowing is really what matters. You matter too.

(And while we're chatting, please consider shutting off and stepping away from anything that makes you feel like you *need* to do it all because if you don't, you're lacking. If it's Pinterest, stop pinning. If it's Facebook, log out. If it's reading blogs, just take a break for awhile. You may only need a break for an hour, or maybe it's for a season. Just rest and remember that you're crazy awesome-- just as you are. Sure there are things that we all want or even need to adjust in our character, but don't let the journey steal your joy for the moment. YOU ARE LOVED-- just as you are.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Bruised Day

We're snuggled in for the night here at the Smith house. (Thank you, Jesus.)

Today was our first day back to "normal" following a relaxing Christmas vacation. I don't think that any of us were quite ready to crack back open the school books and resume learning this morning.

The day was filled with squabbles, impatience, harsh words and a general feeling of overall frustration from all of us. I breathed prayers of peace more than once as the day wore on. I mandated quiet time for all of us this afternoon. The bliss of Monday gave way to the weariness of Wednesday, and today I had to literally choose joy over and over again. 

But isn't that life best lived? Choosing joy in every adversity? Loving despite weariness? Believing in the promises from the Promise Keeper?

Today didn't start out blissfully, but here's how it ended:

Peyton and I were sitting on the couch. He was watching Star Wars Episode I while I perused Facebook. Parker was playing in her room. That's when I stumbled across this: Praying for Haven Grace

The status update reads, "Our Precious little Haven is slipping away from us hour by hour..The Doctors Have nothing else to offer but to make her comfortable..Please!! PLease!! As much as we love all of you and treasure your prayers and concerns we can only allow immediate family and a few close friends which we have already contacted to visit @ this time.. Thank You all so much."

I perused the page, looked at pictures of Haven Grace and a flood of tears washed down my cheeks. The tears turned into deep silent sobs that are from such a sacred place in your heart that something inside your spirit begins to hurt too--tears that become prayers themselves.

Parker skipped out of her room, noticed my silent distress and scooted onto the couch next to me to ask what was wrong. I showed her Haven Grace and told her what I could piece together of her story. And at that, Peyton paused the movie and said, "Let's just stop and pray for her all together right now.

So we all held hands, huddled together on the waxy brown couch, and prayed for Haven Grace. The same silent tears that soaked my cheeks began trickling down Parker's too as we asked God to wrap his arms tightly around Haven and her family tonight. We thanked God for being THE healer. We took comfort together that here on Earth or forever in Heaven that Jesus is carrying that precious little one. 

After we prayed, Peyton resumed watching his movie. Parker grabbed a Kleenex to wipe the tears from her eyes and snuggled in for some extra hugs. And I couldn't help but grieve for all that Haven's mom and dad must be feeling tonight. It moved me to pray for so many of my friends who have had to walk very difficult roads with their childrens' health. Bless their battle-weary hearts too.

Throughout the remainder of the evening, Parker periodically asked me if I was still sad. I assured her that even though my heart still aches for Haven Grace and her family, I'm so thankful to know that God loves her even more than I can imagine-- and I can trust Him to take great care of this sweet little girl the same way that I trust his care for us all. 

At the end of the night I cozied my little ones snugly into their beds and kissed them a few more times than usual. The squabbles, impatience, harsh words and frustrations that bruised our joy today melted away when Peyton compassionately reminded me to stop and look at Jesus. Together. Unified. Choosing to look past our every day inadequacies and look into the face of the one who makes us whole. 


Monday, January 2, 2012

New Ventures

We moved back home to Indiana following our 18-month stint in Texas just a little over four months ago. While it's absolutely comforting to be back home, there's no denying that everything about this transition is a new venture for the Smith family. Thankfully the "newness" of it all is so overwhelmingly perfect for my heart that each day I find myself whispering my gratitude to the Lord over and over again in quiet moments.

One of my little dreams that I've loosely let flit through my mind over the past few years is to open an online fabric shop. While I still haven't quite made that leap *yet*, I have started a sweet little Etsy boutique called Lovespun Studio.

Would you all mind stopping by the Lovespun Studio Facebook page to "like" it? Also, while you're clicking away (just because you're being such sweet precious friends), please stop over and become a follower of the Lovespun Studio blog too. The blog will be a place where I post tutorials, giveaways, finished projects, shop updates, recipes and simply share encouragement to inspire the creativity in us all-- even if it's just a lovely word to lift up your spirits. If you really want to go social media crazy, you can follow LovespunStudio on Twitter-- which may just be the catalyst I need to actually tweet!

In any case, because Lovespun is such a time-consuming big and exciting new part of my life now, I wanted to make sure that I shared it with you. That said, because this is my personal blog, I'm going to do my best to keep it just that the vast majority of the time. I'm sure that you'll see some of my favorite photos and projects around here too, but sparingly. ;)

Hugs to you all!

Are YOU embarking on any new adventures in your life? If so (or if not), leave me a comment because I'd love to hear about them! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome, welcome 2012!

I can honestly say that I have never, ever, ever been so thankful to see a year pass. I don't tend to be one who wishes away time or looks so forward to the future that I forget to live in the moment, but that said, "SO LONG 2011!" Adios, au revoir, sayonara.

2012, I welcome the fresh start that you bring! I woke up with "no brush necessary" hair, the sun poked out from behind the clouds and both children are peacefully napping. I'd say that all signs point to "it's going to be a fantabulous year."

In keeping with the fresh start, I've decided reinvigorate the blog. It isn't a resolution, it's just that I want an outlet for my heart and I really do enjoy sharing on this blog. Truth be told, the past three years have changed me so much that I'm a little hesitant to step back out and reintroduce myself. But I've come to the conclusion that it's either hide away or open up. I (still a little hesitantly) choose the latter.

So these are my terms and conditions: I commit to be vulnerable, honest and open with you. Please remember that the things that I share come directly from a very fragile and recovering heart. My posts are not up for debate. Of course, we don't have to share the same thoughts, opinions or ideas, but I won't ever go on the defensive. I will always graciously and openly appreciate our differences.

My heart is spilling over with gratitude for the way the Lord has rescued us this year. So this year as I blog I think I'll include in many posts an ongoing list of the things that I'm thankful for.

1. Holidays with my family

2. Clouds- they make me appreciate the sunshine 
3. A warm house
4. Vacuum cleaner attachments
5. Strawberry raspberry vanilla iced tea
6. The Message version of the Bible
7. Toothless grins 
8. "Friday night" friends
9. My Nana and Papa
10. Encouragement from long-distance friends