Thursday, June 27, 2013

huntington summer evenings

I wrote about it last summer.
And again I just have to say.
Summer wouldn't be summer
without this lovely tradition.
The music, the picnic,
wandering the grounds
of the beautiful Huntington Library
into the evening..
It's a little piece of bliss.
And I look forward to it every year.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

streams in the desert

You all remember my post about the desert?
And how resistant I was to this new adventure.
I even went so far as to lobby against it biblically.
Saying to my husband, "You know in the bible the
desert isn't typically regarded as a good thing."
Visually I've thought of the desert as dry, brown, hot.
And in the bible so often it symbolizes being stuck.
That in between place.  Outside of God's will.
Not yet reached the promised land.

But I know.  Shame on me.
Please forgive me, those of you who live in desert places.

The Lord is always working on me.  Always teaching. Always refining.

The desert is God's country too.
There is beauty in the light, in the red sand,
the yellow blossoms, the wild life, and vast open space.
And God does miraculous things in the desert.

The pillar of cloud and fire.  Victory over the Egyptian army.
Bread from heaven.

"I will rain down bread 
from heaven for you."  
Exodus 16:4

Life giving water from the rock.
"I will stand there before you 
by the rock at Horeb.  
Strike the rock,
and water will come out of it 
for the people to drink."  
Exodus 17:6

He provides their daily needs in the desert.
"For forty years you sustained 
them in the wilderness;
they lacked nothing..."  
Nehemiah 9:21

They lacked NOTHING.

I just learned that there is a natural spring over the hill from
the desert house.  A spring that will bring water to our well
and attracts deer to the area.

And that is what reminded me of the scripture in Isaiah inside the
art piece of Arizona above.

"Behold I am doing a new thing; 
now it springs forth,
do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and streams in the desert."
Isaiah 43:19

This promise of hope.  The new thing that springs forth,
making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.

It's so beautiful isn't it? I wrote about how much this meant
to me in a New Year's post from 2011.
And the devotional streams in the desert has long been one of
my favorite.  I recommend it often as a way of helping to
change the way you see your struggles, your desert places.

And yet, I still need reminding myself.
The Lord recently nudged me towards that sense of hope
He creates in the desert.  A way in the wilderness.
This little desert house.
Could it be a literal manna?
Live giving bread sent from heaven.

The absolute quiet.
The open space.
The removal of our daily distractions.

A space to dig deeper into the well of living water.
To seek His way in the wilderness.

A reminder to trust Him for
E V E R Y - T H I N G
just as the Israelites had to do.

A place to be still.
To retreat.
To see the desert places as
the blessings they are.

Where God is ever present.
Always providing.
Always filling.
Always healing.
Always knowing.
Always seeing.

When the Lord appeared to Hagar in the desert,

"she called the name of the LORD 
who spoke to her,
"You are the God of seeing," 
for she said, "Truly here I 
have seen him who looks after me."
Genesis 16:13

Him who looks after me.
Him who looks after you.
Because He sees you.
Those simple words carry so much comfort don't they?

And she named the well in the desert
"The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me."

This desert place.
I want it to be one where we grow closer to the one who sees.

"Draw near to God 
and he will draw near to you."
James 4:8

Because it is the very sustenance we need.

"Times of refreshing come
from the presence of the Lord."
Acts 3:19

Refreshment in the desert
until the day when we reach Zion,
our Promised Land.

"The desert and the parched land
will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy."
Isaiah 35:1

Sunday, June 23, 2013

oh me oh my

so sorry to be absent for so long.
life has been full.
and I've been tired.
Really tired.
I think all the hustle and bustle from the queen bee market
to the D.C. fifth grade trip, to all the end of the year
responsibilities just caught up to me.

And my body has just wanted rest.  Lots of rest.
And I've learned from the past to listen to my body.
Even going on this computer feels too much most days.
I put my etsy shop on vacation mode.  Really just to get
caught up with life and balance, and well rest.

But like I said life is still full, still moving.  We do have children after all.
So my is a recap from the last day of school til today.

This was taken on the last morning I had to do my crazy hour and a half commute to get
my son to school and back home again.  Don't ask.  It was a crazy commitment.  An act of love.
And I was literally doing a happy dance to see it finished!
He's officially an elementary school graduate!
HOW did that happen so fast.
That last day I sat down outside
and just wanted to soak in the peaceful feeling
and enjoy the hydrangeas that are out of control this year.
I can say this because I do NOTHING to care for them.
It's all God's beauty.
We made our first batch of lemonade, from the tree
planted as a memorial to our first four legged baby Bella.
The girls had their last day of school with 
a memorable tribute by their tutor.
And we had a fun playdate with a homeschool friend
at the Huntington Library.
Horseback riding lessons continue, but early to beat the heat.
There are requisite trips to the park.
And Piper is always keeping us on our toes.
She figured out she can grab the toilet paper
roll and run like mad around the house.
This was her crazy yogurt face.
Happy for summer, and a treat.
A dance rehearsal and recital.
Fathers Day was celebrated with breakfast in bed.
And this adorable card their tutor helped them make.
Jackson began a summer basketball league.
And has already wound up with a sprained wrist.
But thankfully not a break.
OH and I almost forgot..I got to go to CHEA, the 
homeschool convention to do some research for
next year.  It was a full and fun day.
One booth was giving these away..such a blast
from the past.
Art class.. I love the way they teach.
And the art that I already want to frame.
And...I'm new to how people do insta-sales on
instagram.  But oh me oh my, they are really cool.
People across the country who have access to uber cool
thrift stores with vintage sheets and afghans and this and that. 
You could get carried away.
These I carefully selected with a future project in mind.
And.. vacation bible school. 
I love this particular VBS.  
It has been a part of our lives for eight straight years.
 And they love it too.
We have to make time for outdoor mud play.
 And I realize it's becoming a beginning of summer
tradition.  Teeth cleaning...and hair cuts.
They ask to go short and then grow it all year,
just to ask to go short again.
It's this funny little routine.
They want it longer all year long.
Then they can't wait to cut it and are oh so happy once they do.

I was happy get rid of my gray
and finally shorten up my bangs again.
OH and again, almost forgot, my summer
schedule is allowing me to return to my old
spinning teacher.  It is oh so hard, and oh so fun.
I can't walk out of there not feeling happy.
And last but not least, little Piper loves being a part
of our bedtime story routine.  And it never fails
that she falls asleep all cozy in one of their beds.

And this is that moment when all moms take a moment to soak it all in.  
The day is done.
And everyone is tucked away.
The house is still and quiet.
There is a peace.
And our hearts are full.