Wool, warmth and wishing it were wet {the w post}


We had Thanksgiving the other day when the rest of the country did.  It was kind of strange; for the first time since we have been married, it was just our family.  James, the kids and I.  We didn't go anywhere or have anyone over, we just cooked this amazing meal and ate it and it was just us.  We felt really bad about not having anyone to share it with.  At one point I told James to drive around and look for some transients to invite over but there weren't any.

So we ate our dinner and the four little ones barely ate anything.  I think Pearl ate her mashed potatoes, Ruth ate turkey and Moses ate 6 rolls.  Hannah drank her milk and had a bowl of cereal.  When she went to bed that night, she told me that she didn't like Thanksgiving.  She said she understood why we celebrate it but that it wasn't fun, we spent all day cooking food she doesn't like, and she says thank you to God every day.  I hugged her close, told her I understood and I was sorry it was a bummer day for her. 

Today we had a totally normal day; breakfast, reading, outside time, main lesson, read aloud and lunch, more outside time, quiet reading time, and then we went to the park and met some friends.  Hannah told me she liked today way better than Thanksgiving and I totally understood.  I even ate some leftover candied yams, so it was perfect. 

We got our Christmas tree this evening and the scent of pine is permeating the living room.  I wish it were snowing outside.  I just wish it would snow here sometime.  But it won't.  My husband laughs at me because I always knit with wool, making the kids vests, sweaters, hats to keep them warm, and it never gets all that cold.  It'll be 65 degrees out and I bundle them with their little wool hats and vests  to go on our daily walk and we will be walking down the street looking like we should be in 30 degree weather while someone is outside their house in short sleeves mowing their lawn.  But warmth is important and wool is important.  Just ask Steiner. 

So I'm just going to sit here with my tea and candied yams, knitting more woolens, pretending it's going to be a cold, snowy winter.  Hopefully we'll at least get rain.  We're kind of desperate for it in California. 

Have a great {and if I say cold and snowy, please know it's out of pure jealousy) cold and snowy weekend.


I will not waste this life

 I sat outside listening to jays argue with squirrels, acorns the treasure to be had.  My children played nearby building faerie houses and collecting bugs.  Steaming cup of tea in hand, book at my side, I drank in the beauty of autumn day, crisp air, life truly lived.  In moments of such peace I remember to breathe prayers, letting the call to pray without ceasing become my soul's cry and I know nothing better and need nothing further and God's presence is so heavy.

And then I grab my phone.  I check instagram where I notice I have lost 5 followers and I feel this quick pang of disappointment, frustration, rejection.  I go on facebook and see post after post that breeds anger in me; opinions and articles about parenting, faith, Ferguson, food, education, politics.  I comment on a few posts, mostly kind but some argumentative, and for quite awhile after I am only half paying attention to the world around me while continuously refreshing facebook in order to reply to the random strangers that I am arguing with.

How quickly and completely I let the true, the good, the beautiful, the real, my peace, my life's moments, be destroyed.  Destroyed by people I don't know, destroyed by the opinions of others, destroyed by information, words, thoughts, ideas that are not inline with my own. 

Seven years ago I stopped watching, listening to and reading the news.  Without a source feeding me the fears, events and opinions of the world, I was free to live my life simply, in peace, focused on our family, trusting God.  I wasn't completely ignorant; friends would tell me about important things or I would see a quick headline on yahoo, and if I felt the news warranted my attention I would look into it.  The news that I paid attention to was scarce and of my own choosing; the beauty of life was prominent and everywhere. 

And yet here I was, ignoring beauty of autumn sun setting around me, cup of tea cold, book left unread, being filled with the exact same things that I had set out to avoid all those years ago; fear, opinion, the unimportant.  Being filled with them on a much larger scale, in a way that consumed my heart, mind and emotions like never before.  I had unknowingly let that medium back into my life; unnecessary knowledge now with the ability to share my view on it with everyone. 

I am a pacifist and yet here I was arguing with a stranger about pacifiscm.  My words were not filled with love and kindness, I was not being mindful with my tongue, I was worked up and angered over this person's views and the way they portrayed my God and their love of our criminal justice system, and I was just spewing garbage.  "But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."  "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits."  " out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."  There is a reason for all of the verses on the tongue and no, I'm not using my tongue but it's utterly the same.  My head is being flooded with news and opinions and my heart is subsequently filled with emotions ranging from anger to frustration to happiness to pride to jealousy to disgust and the world we live in gives us a microphone and my heart just overflows right out of that microphone onto a screen. 

As I am going through this unnatural range of emotions and sharing them with whoever happens to be on the same thread as me, I'm simultaneously living my life.  Kissing my children's scraped knees, reading classics aloud to a room full, taking a walk through our neighborhood listening to my kids sing and watching out for hidden deer in the oaks while having these crazy, bipolar emotions as I scroll through my phone.  This can't be healthy, this world we have created.  It's eating away at our lives, our moments, our peace.  We agree and bemoan it and then, we carry on the same as before. 

My worth is not wrapped up in my instagram followers.  My views and cares are not any less if I keep them to myself or if someone else's differ.  I will not disappear, I will not be ignorant, I will not be nobody if I am not on social media.  But.  I will suffer if I keep allowing it's influence into my life.  I will suffer if I remain distracted.  I will suffer if I allow my emotions to be tossed around by the thoughts of others.

I want to hear the birds sing.  I want to watch the pink orange glow of the sunset over the hills.  I want to hear every little story my children tell and smile at every amazing thing they do.  I want to feel wind kissing my cheek.  I want to read books and learn and grow without the influence of a thousand voices.  I want to enjoy my moments without having one hundred people "like" them.  I want to live every single day, breathe deeply, dance unabashedly, feel, hear, taste, smell, see life.  Because we only get one.  I refuse to waste it.


Hospitality failure

I haven't been writing much. 
You may have noticed. 
Honestly, Instagram kind of killed my blog, I admit it.
I'm going to try and get back to it though, I really am.
This is my attempt.

I'm going to be totally honest right now.
I love hospitality.  Opening my home, baking for people, offering fellowship and a place of comfort;
these things fill my heart.  And yet?
I hate it too.  I have had to come to a place where I can admit this and I feel like such a horrible person.
I think it may be my introversion that makes hospitality so difficult for me.
I like my peace, my comfort, my privacy, my rhythms, and having an open door home is not really compatible with my comforts.  In theory, I'm all in.  Someone is in need?  My door is open.  You need a place to stay? We will make room.  Hungry?  I'll make extra.
But then they come.  And I'm fine.  Things are lovely as long as I can take care of them and not have to talk too much. 
At some point though, my heart starts to pound and it becomes hard to breathe.  I'm thrown so far out of my comfort zone that I stop being hospitable and start being rude.

I always talk about how I would love to live in community.  Shared land, shared kitchen, shared garden.  And then my husband reminds me that I can't even handle people in my home for any length of time,
so how would I ever live in community? Kind of like how I always talk about how much I would love to
travel full time, driving around the country with our children in an rv, and he reminds me that I hate being away from home for even a day or two. 

It's like I have these ideals, these things that I know are good and right, but I cannot live up to them.
And I know the grace of God is sufficient for my shortcomings but still.  It just kind of shows me that I'm not the person that I think I should be.  I know God made me an introvert for a reason but I also know He wants me to be hospitable, kind, loving, welcoming.  I need to learn how to balance the two.

I don't have any answers, just the realization of the need for balance.  What do I need to do to maintain my comfort and sense of peace while being hospitable?  I'll be thinking about this for awhile. In the meantime, if you happen to come to my house, please know that I want you there.  I want to shower you with kindness, I want to serve you.  But if you notice me get a little short, if you notice that I stop engaging well, please know that I still want you there.  I'm just struggling with the balance and need to learn to breathe.