Take time. Make time.

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Early in March, the trees in our front yard bloomed beautifully.

We have lived in this house for three springs now. The first spring, the trees bloomed. Thousands of tiny, pinkish purple-y flowers. Gorgeous.

The second year, there were no flowers. Just lots of green. The trees were lovely, nonetheless (I love trees), but I did miss the flowers that year.

So when this Spring the flowers came, I was happy. It’s the little things, really. Isn’t it? Every time I opened my front door, their color, their magic, their beauty greeted me. Each time I returned home, I was welcomed by our sweet trees, with their fullness and I would just smile, heart warmed. Really, I would. I would smile. I smiled a lot at our trees in the few weeks to come.

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I knew I would love to photograph the trees. I knew I wanted to remember them. I wasn’t sure if I would actually make time to do so, but it was definitely a thought. Do you ever think a thought like that? A thought of a little something you would like to do, to see, to say, to write, to make? Do you think, “I would really like to do that. If I ever have time…”?

It’s not necessary to do such things, to photograph the trees and their blooms. I know that. I knew that in the busy weeks to come, if I did not go into the front yard with my camera, that life would go on. It would go on just fine, of course.

But, one day, between a commitment early in the day and an engagement later in the evening, I poured myself a fresh cup of coffee, grabbed my camera and headed out for just a few minutes. And I am just so glad that I did.

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It’s really wonderful how taking just a bit of time for just a little thing that matters to me, how it energizes and excites me. How using a piece of my day, such a small fraction really, for the passions and creativity that occupy a great space in my being, doesn’t drain me or slow me down, doesn’t steal from my time with other more pressing and necessary  things. Taking time, making time for these little things that matter to me is not only worth that bit of space in my day, but can actually add to the fullness of all the other aspects of my day.

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I’m just not that woman, that mother or wife, who doesn’t have an identity outside of motherhood and wifehood. I have always still been me. Albeit a struggling, lost or confused version of myself at certain points (read: an 18 year old first time mommy. Yikes!), but still me. It’s not that I don’t understand how a woman could get lost in all the responsibilty, the chaos, the emotional roller coaster that motherhood and marriage can be. I definitely get that. And it’s not that I don’t think being a mommy and a wife aren’t important enough to take over the biggest part of me. Believe me when I say, they ARE the biggest parts of me.

It’s just… I’m a person. And there is a lot to me. I like a lot of things. And the older my boys grow, the more time I am fortunate enough to have to spend doing lots more things that I like. And so far, I am very much enjoying that. That’s all.

But wait… really… looking back… I scrapbooked when I had newborns. I wrote and sang songs with my husband when I had toddlers. I trained for a half marathon when my boys were young elementary age. Over the course of over ten years of motherhood and marriage, I have enjoyed a number of things that did not directly benefit or revolve around my children or husband.

Oh, but didn’t they? Didn’t they benefit? Didn’t my guys benefit from having a mommy who they see learning new things and growing in her natural bents in life? Doesn’t my husband benefit from coming home to a woman who has passions, who glows and chatters on about prospective projects again and again? I think so, yes.

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Anyway… if there is a point to this post, it’s this: Take time. Make time. For the things you enjoy. For the things that make you feel fuzzy inside and make you feel like maybe you have something to offer the atmosphere around you. You know… the things that remind you just how beautiful life is. Maybe you have 10 minutes. Or maybe you have 2 hours. Take it. And if you’re a mommy? Don’t feel guilty about it. Okay? Okay. ❤

And now, I will leave you with more of the photos I took of my trees.

OH! And if anyone can tell me what type of trees these are, I would be grateful!! 🙂

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“It needs to be written out.”

I like to write.

The more I write, the more I like it.

I like to write almost as much as I like to talk. Almost. 😉

This may have something to do with the way I process things… which is outwardly. This is a common trait among extroverts. I tend to need to get thoughts out of my head and form them into words somehow.

Words… I also  like words. I like the way they look written or typed out and I like the way they sound. I like the ones that mean something and the ones that change things. And I like the silly ones, too.

So… why is writing so hard? Or what I am really wondering… why is writing about the big stuff so hard?

The thought of writing about the things that mean the most to me is overwhelming. The thought of writing the stories that have shaped me and the times that have broken me and the triumphs that have released me and the truths that have lifted me… completely overwhelming.

The words are there. The words are definitely there. But, can I really convey the depth in a blog post?  How will it be interpreted? Will it be read as I feel it, as I live it and as I mean it?

There is no way to know that. And I guess these stories and thoughts that I’m living, they mean so much to me. It feels so big to write them out… bigger than talking them out. Still… I feel called to tell them. I really do.

And I don’t think that’s because I’m a gifted writer; that’s debatable. I think it’s because my stories are worth telling.

I think yours are, too. But, are you willing to tell them? What’s the difference between the stories that get told and the ones that don’t? There are miraculous lives being lived each day that I’m unaware of. The difference is there are people who are compelled to tell and others, not at all. One isn’t wrong and the other right, of course. Just different.

Yesterday, I sat with a friend and we caught up while our boys played. She said something encouraging to me about my perspective, likely after I had rambled about it. And then she said this: “It needs to be written out.”

Our conversation went on and she said more things that made a lot of sense on the matter of writing it out. But, just those first words had been enough.

So, where do I start? I don’t know… Here, I guess.

#selfiesforever

This evening,  I had a conversation about the “selfie” with my husband. About the idea of it… about different reasons or possible reasons people may have for taking said selfies and for posting them on social media. About the reasons why I take selfies and the reasons why he doesn’t.

I know that for me, the idea of a “selfie” isn’t new. I know that for me, taking photos of my own face has been a way for me to document, commemorate or remember a moment, and has been since I was a young teenager. This was before the smartphone camera, MySpace, Facebook and the rise of Instagram. Haha.

I have a photo of myself in my bedroom at 17 years old, taken with a Kodak disposable camera, which I would later take to the grocery store photo lab to be developed. I took this photo of myself, in my bedroom in my parent’s house the night before I would set out into the world to begin my adult life after graduating from high school just a few days earlier. It’s one of my favorites… and not because I look beautiful — I had been packing all night, my hair was messy and my face was tired. And not because the photo itself is remarkable in any way— composition or lighting — haha, no.

I don’t know what exactly compels me to take photos of myself in moments I want to remember, or moments that I feel pretty, or moments that I don’t feel pretty.

You have your reasons why or why not, I have mine.

I’m definitely PRO-Selfie, guys.  😉

#selfiesforever

My back-up glasses, which I wore for about 3 weeks, while my others were lost.

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On a day when I didn’t feel well at all…

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I’m also cool with asking my husband or kiddos to snap a quick pic of me. Especially when I’m wearing a dress that I love and the day is sunny and lovely. 😉

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Taken just yesterday, when I had a moment of realization— I have only 6 months left of my 20’s. Weird! But, also, okay with me 😉

  I hope that if you happen to be PRO-Selfie like me, that you won’t feel sorry for it. Take a picture of your own face if you want to. It is lovely. And it deserves to be in a photo or two. (insert kissy face emoji here)

The Life of Jesus… is in me.

Last night, I heard wonderful words spoken that rang true in my spirit. Words that lifted me and encouraged me. Words that echo what GOD SAYS about my life.

Jesus is the Builder of God’s House.

God’s House? That’s me. Not a building. Not a gathering. Not a holy mountain. Or the sky.

I am where God lives. Within me is where He dwells. And he doesn’t come and go either. No. He never leaves me. His presence doesn’t lift in my moments of sin, in the moments when I don’t feeeeeel peace or calm. His spirit doesn’t come and go depending on how ‘together’ I have things at the moment. Nope.

If you’ve been in church, then maybe you have heard that or something like it. Or maybe you have heard the complete opposite.  Or maybe it means not so much to you as it did to me last night.

But… I am willing to bet that if I had never heard it spoken like Wynema spoke it, then there are others out there who haven’t heard it quite this way either. And I’ll bet that if it was big for me, then there are others who will find it just as big.

So, if you want the whole bit, go to Wynema’s blog and read THIS. ❤

Okay, now here are some special words I walked away with that have CHANGED me.

Wynema said this during our discussion time after the teaching:

(I’m not quoting her word for word, but pretty dang close.)

“You want to be like Jesus? That’s a bold thing. You want to wear a  bracelet that says WWJD? You will never be like Jesus. He was perfect! But, you know what? Jesus’ life is IN YOU. It’s in you! Remember, you’re God’s house! Jesus’ life is in you and you were meant to LIVE it out in the way that ONLY YOU can.”

This means a lot to me. More than Wynema could have realized when she invited us into her home to do an acoustic worship set just before a calm, cozy time of teaching and sharing.

There is much to all that I’m saying here, and I just cannot begin to teach or preach or list the scriptures right now. Or maybe ever. Haha. That’s why you need to go check out Wynema’s blog post. 😉

But, I just had to get this out and into the open. I had to do it while it is fresh.

Fresh in my mind and rejuvenating my spirit.

 

Word.

Much of my 2014 was spent re-realizing and solidifying many of the truths by which I live my life. There was evaluating and some discussion, but not much debate or inner conflict. I know a good deal about who I am at this point, and I was glad to go deeper and pull more from the foundations of what makes me ‘me’.

2014 was a slow year in terms of on paper accomplishments. (Technically, so is every year thus far. I’m not very impressive on paper at all, guys.) But, it felt like such a a significant year on the inside.

I keep going back to this quote that I pinned early in 2014:

We did not change as we grew older;

we just became more clearly ourselves.

~Lynn Hall

This has been true for me.

And so, without further ado, I would like to introduce my word for 2015:

LIVE.

Yep. That’s it. Sound simple and rather unoriginal? Haha. That’s okay. It’s my word. Not yours. 😉

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For the last few years, I have had a word. The first year, I didn’t mean to. But, the revelation was so great and undeniable that I knew my focus of 2012 was LOVE.

In 2013, I didn’t ask for a word. I didn’t think of a word. I didn’t even know I needed or wanted a word. Still, it came. GRACE.

Toward the end of 2013, I wondered if I would have a new word

Sure enough, it came to me. DREAM.

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Call me silly or religious or both. (I’m the first, but hardly the latter.) But, I believe these words were impressed upon my heart, upon my spirit, by a loving God who longs to reveal to me beautiful and life-altering things. I believe that He is my teacher. And that He uses what He will to reach me. Gosh, He loves me so much. He just gets me.

So, I’m holding onto the lovely things I learned in the first few years of the word. And I am expectantly moving on with my new word.

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More to come of this word, LIVE. More to come, I assure you.

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I have created a vision board dedicated to my word for 2015 via Pinterest, if you care to follow along. While I do plan to create a physical vision board as well, it is nice to have warm, fuzzy inspiration at my finger tips. I like to add to it when I am feeling giddy and when I am feeling low. It’s just one of those little things. I’m surprised at how much I love my virtual vision boards and how often I refer to them. Here is the link, if you’d like to take a look. And if you create a vision board for your year, even if you don’t do the ‘word’ thing, I would love to hear about it! Shoot me a comment!

Happy New Year, guys. It’s going to be a GREAT one. ❤

 **Note: All graphics and photos used on Sum of My Life blog are my original designs and creations. Please use with permission, or link back to me! Thank you!**