Friday

{August 29 daybook}

::simplifying::

I love beauty and color and decorating but I also need and crave simplicity. Every so often it becomes way too cluttery and I find myself steeped in anxiety and a bit unable to breathe. And so I begin to simplify, doing away with excess, organizing, finding homes for the things that have chosen shelves or corners as their home. Late summer seems to be one of the times this happens, I think because I am mentally preparing for a season of comfort, and a beautiful, orderly place is so important to the fruition of that. 

                                  "Our lives are frittered away by detail.  Simplify, simplify." 
                                                             -Henry David Thoreau


::cooking::

Just as the return of autumn beckons rhythm and comfort, it also calls me back to the kitchen and menu planning. I need plans in order to accomplish most anything and cooking is one of the most necessary places for that. In summer things are a bit wispy. We buy veggies and meats to grill and things are quite simple. With days of soups, chili, homemade bread, slow cookers, and pumpkin everything around the corner, I am spending loads of time with cookbooks, clipboard, pens and plans. And I love it.



::listening::

Lately we have had Mozart playing in the morning, the Swell Season, Elizabeth Mitchell and Woody Guthrie at various points throughout the day and Gillian Welch as my kitchen companion.  I love having music as a background to our days combined with deliberate times of quiet where all we hear is our voices and sounds from outside. 

We have been memorizing and meditating upon James 1:19, specifically being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. These three things are key to family harmony. As we focus more on listening to each other, we find ourselves slower to speak and be angry,  and much more compassionate and helpful.



::learning::

I always learn so much from listening to my children narrate from their various books or seeing their drawings in main lesson books. Even when they are telling me about the same things that I have read on my own or heard from older siblings when they read the books, I always learn something new, even if it's just a new perspective. Hearing or seeing what each child takes away from something is such a beautiful, eye opening thing.


Days are moving at a slow, peaceful pace, preparing us for what lies ahead. We are welcoming peace into our lives and family, quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.

Thursday

{daybook}

August 28.

::rhythms::

meals, working, outside, playing, learning, creating, reading.  these are the things that make up our days, that center us.  there is so much turmoil in the world and having a steady, rhythmic home life speaks peace into our family.  when things out there get so overwhelming, i look to nature's rhythms, the constant changing of the seasons, the ebb and flow of the ocean, the birds that fly so freely overhead.  life goes on, it continues, God reigns.  i find peace.  and so i long to give the same to my children, a family rhythm that they can look to and know that things carry on, life is beautiful, there is good.  





::creating::

my mind focuses so much better when my hands, my heart, my soul are working on creating beauty.  adding  and changing home decor, always along with the season, bringing nature inside to breathe real life into our walls, finding ways to add the lovely.  using my hands to knit, always knitting, pouring love and prayers into each little stitch.



::reading::

always so many books.  agnes grey by anne bronte, for the children's sake by susan schaeffer macauly, how to teach your children shakespeare, parents and children by charlotte mason, and reading aloud star of light by patricia st. john to the kids.

about the brontes.  jane eyre is the most well-known and loved of the bronte sister books, followed by emily's wuthering heights.  anne is overlooked, though in my opinion, her books are the most lovely, thought-provoking of all.  agnes grey was much harder to get into but i am quickly falling in love.  the tenant of wildfell hall though, that is my all time favorite bronte book, and i daresay one of my favorite books.



::contemplating::

oh, just... issues of racial injustice, poverty, cruelty, heartache.  you know, the easy things ;)  as you likely know, i am a very passionate, zealous person and when something falls in front of me, it's really hard to let it go.  i've had to meditate on amos 5:24 a lot lately... "but let justice roll on like a river."  this takes me back to nature's rhythms.  when things are hard find the constants.


::thankful::

sometimes i forget to be consumed with gratitude.  things get really hard sometimes.  the world tilts and i think i'm falling, we are all falling.  but the river, the ocean, the birds, the children, the laughter, the stars, the Creator.  constants.  rhythms.  so thankful for those.


autumn is just around the corner.  my season.  my comfort.  my peace.  autumn is beckoning and i am answering.  seasons.  constants.  rhythms.

"let justice roll on like a river."