5.25.2014

to remember.

sit still, with eyes tied shut. breath in a moment.
chaos before and behind. whirling and twirling.
but if only for a moment, we stop. we remember.
life is more than that which fills the waking hours.

think upon that which kneads the heart into true beating.
the unison of heaven meeting earth within micro moments.
peering with the eyes of the heart, upon a God who is Holy.

it's not difficult. it's not for the intellectual or the spiritual.
it's for those who believe.

see him there, operating in human frame in absolute purity and perfection.
never missing a beat. never acting for self.
power in complete and utter righteousness.
love that protects, and promises, and cleanses.

even the dirtiest of soul, the wickedest of thought, the most selfish intent
can be washed in Him.

there is hope for pain, and crippled minds, and broken bones.
there is hope for isolation, loneliness, and failure.

sit still and peer.

He does not slumber nor sleep.
He does not turn his back even on the most frustrating of persons.
He only offers Himself.

over and over
and over again.

with fierceness and determination and fire.

the blood is ever flowing.

remember.

----

there are moments along our journey in life where we are confronted with truly devastating things. we watch those close and far to us suffer. ones get sick. lives are cut short. people are slaves to sin. we see it on a large scale, in war and abuse. we see it on a smaller scale with our brothers and sisters among us. why is victory seem so unattainable for some? why the landscape of deep sorrow, unescaping pain?

we cannot avoid these realities. and if we only think for but a moment we find hurt among us. within our cities. within our churches. within our very families.

lives littered with abandonment. orphans never tasting love and acceptance. abuse. evil thoughts. pornography and human trafficking in abundance. racism. abusive legalism. deep rooted rejection. they are our neighbors. our church members. even at times, ourselves.

i think it's an interesting journey to hold this pain, this tension within our hearts. to not forget. nor grow numb. but to offer them up within ourselves to the God who redeems. Yes, He redeems to the uttermost.

to live in a way that offers what we can. to preach good news. to serve others and not our own agendas. to offer what we have to the sick and the dying - both in body and spirit.

to sing the song of the cross. over and over and over and over again. to believe that is works for the fallen brother, the prideful sister, the wandering sheep. to not give up on people. to understand mercy and forgiveness work wonders.

to believe He is working it all for our good. not only ourselves, but for humanity as a whole.


save us, Oh Lord.







“Though You Slay Me” (featuring John Piper) from Desiring God on Vimeo.



5.22.2014

He is who He is who He is.


oh to the God who is forever open. arms outstretched.

as a little girl i remember thinking your feet touched down in front of the choir and you reached past the clouds. perhaps you held the sun. but you didn't burn. your hands were old and wise - wrinkles marked out like the countries of the earth. boundary lines within the creases around the eyes.

and then they said you lived within. my heart a little home, a hobbit hole for my miniature Jesus. setting the table, and speaking to my head through an olden horn phone.

you sang me songs and i became a grade school playwright and you were my audience. awake at night, eyes intoxicated by the spinning fan and the shadows that crept through the blinds. i wrote stories, and you always applauded. you'd whisper, "this is your best work as of yet."

soon you were my champion. my hiding place. a cove off the shore, with dry walls and sea shells.

you came out from within, and down from above. you stood among my comrades and whispered truth. "this is the way. walk in it."

the closer i came, your hands seemed less ethereal and more full of flesh. blood and bone underneath fingers that had seen labor. no longer bleeding, but still a home from which it poured forth. the river that offered perfection at no cost to me.

you roared. you swirled around me.
your jaw opened and from within you came the stars.
your eyes opened and i saw, truly, the beginning and the end.

pain was dwarfed in your presence. under your shadow emotion burst within.

we smelled the same. you and i. cut from the same cloth. yet within the tension of your being the world existed. within the tension of my frame was a clambering for more.

more of you. more of myself. myself understood as it was hidden within you.

my hair blew over my eyes in the tornado of your being. i peered through to a God who was bigger, braver, and much more sure than i ever could be.

and then you whispered, "i've only just begun."

and within me there is the deepest waters.


life is a sea of very simple things. my mind is often filled with the shallowest of tasks. practicality. efficiency. even my parenting is often like a very hot summer day, with sweet little moments of spiritual awareness, though only for a moment. a quick breeze blowing through. in these small pockets i feel deeply. my son shares a childlike strain of thoughts that blows open the caverns of my soul. my toddling daughter leans her little head deep in the warm indention between my shoulder and my collar bone. my husband finds a moment between dinner and dishes to make my frazzled mind erupt in laughter.

most of the time, MOST of it - i can only swim so deep within the waters of my self before my exhausted frame must come up for air. thoughts are very survival based. get groceries in enough time to get home to their naps to make an edit to wash my hair to paint a picture with the boy to be patient and remember to call my mom.

and so we don't know how much of us is slumbering, because frankly, we don't have the time to realize. it's as if we are running a race, and the scenery and the onlookers are like a roaring blur. we cannot take them in until we cross the final line, bending down deeply under the crush of our work, and then standing up tall with hands rested upon our head - breathing... really breathing we see. we see again. we see what we did, and who we've become... who we are becoming. we see what it was worth.

i'm eager to awaken. to see. to rise above the menial (though the glory it holds is great, this we must remember). to find the pieces of me covered with the web of urgencies that never have an end. because, is there EVER an end?

they don't tell you, do they? if they did, i don't remember. that somewhere in this madness you lose parts of yourself. like an animal shedding skin because it no longer fits.

old skin goes. and you grow.

and you wake up a new person. older. wiser. less self absorbed. more resilient. beautified by one year old kisses and the strength your three year old shows when he loves. you lose fresh eyes, and gain a perpetual tiredness that offers perspective.

even that which slumbers awakens with a pristine understanding of what matters. i mean what really matters.

i'm not sure when it slows down. when it lets up. when i can bend my body down to come up for air and spin around to see it all. to really see it.

is it in the restfulness of death. or the independence they'll one day put on - to open up the space.

and in both we mourn. and in both we celebrate. laying to rest the old me. that sits and feels and thinks and creates without limitation. celebrating the death of self, that never could die until i was given babies. and when the day comes, when i breathe again - i mourn children that no longer fit onto my hip or lie next to me in my bed and ask for stories and back scratches. and i celebrate that we did it. we made it through. and the journey busted open the deepest trenches within us, so we can feel, and create with depth that was never there before.

4.23.2014

blogging resurrection




This is, in fact, the longest I have ever went between blog posts since I was in junior high or before. (Yes, I had an angel fire page) It's actually quite depressing for me, as it has been over 6 months. 6 months lost (or found on instagram) - and the train has slowed to a pretty long stop.

There is one reason, and that is time. Time. September is about the time Lucia started moving, and I took on some work to bring in cash and any free time was sucked right out of me. I showered less. I read less. and I blogged less.

I also think I got burned along the way. I know it comes with the territory. Oversharing allows others to overshare their opinions on your life and how you portray it. You have to know that going in. I constantly felt pushed (mainly by myself) to address these issues within every post.

"Here's a picture of my living room. No, it doesn't always look like this. No, half the time my son is throwing toys at the cat and Lucia is only in a diaper and I literally never wash my hair."

It's exhausting. The truth is, I love beautiful things. I love taking pictures. I love when they look beautiful.

No, everything outside of that frame is probably UTTER CHAOS, only to get MORE CHAOTIC as MORE CHILDREN enter our family life. But, in that moment, in that frame, something was beautiful.

I also felt constant tension in how I wanted my voice to sound. My online voice. Especially in the arena of spiritually. This is so silly, but I started being super concerned with all my friends in different corners of the church.

I didn't want to be judged? Or... maybe more, misunderstood.

I didn't want to be misunderstood. (this happened a lot with my mom. I'd write a deep post, and my mother would text me, "are you depressed?!)

I suppose, in the midst of it all I have to write in my blog the way I have done for years before - as if LITERALLY NO ONE READS IT. And maybe they don't. Or won't. Or do. But regardless, that's has to be my motivation. I have to write with that bravery and guts. I have to be reckless and free.

If not, there is on point.

I blog to read my thoughts. I blog to create something. I blog to find the beauty in the mundane.

All of this is coming out of many conversations with Ricky about what it is I feel I was made to do: beyond be a wife, and a mom, and a designer. Even when I consider jumping back into some form of ministry, what always arises within me - and what I always settle on is this: "Ricky, I think I'm suppose to blog."

Honestly, even typing it something within my comes alive. It's almost slightly embarrassing. I just LOVE documenting life. I LOVE writing my heart. and I LOVE LOVE LOVE vulnerability. The brave, gutsy, reckless, free kind.

Anyways, here's to a commitment. A commitment to do what I love to do. To over sharing. To the hard comments that make you think. To the community blogging brings. To beautiful spaces. To portraits. And whatever else happens in the next couple years that ends up on here.

So to no one but myself, I think I'm back from the .com dead.



INSPIRED BY THIS DOCUMENTARY

9.26.2013

amos turned 2 (almost a year ago) and had a train birthday. yes, i'm a little behind.



I'm starting to plan my sweet boy's 3rd birthday. THIRD BIRTHDAY. As is standard in mom dialogue, this is absolutely insane to me. This train of "growing up" is happening way too fast - and it's thrilling and saddening all at the same time. 

His birthday party requests this year have already transformed multiple times from dinosaurs, to planes, to construction trucks, to helicopters, and now we have landed on Safari Animals - which I am super pumped about.

That being said, I realized I never blogged Amos' last birthday. I didn't get many good pictures... but it was such a joy to plan. His first birthday stressed me out, but I learned a lot and last years was much easier - with the addition of pinterest which makes planning anything and everything easier.

His party was trains and that was his current boy obsession. It was thrown at my in-laws home, as we were still cooped up in our tiny one bedroom city apartment. I am very excited to be throwing it on my own turf this year!


my little conductor. everyone got a bandana scarf [amazon], hat [amazon], and whistle [amazon] in their gift bag along with other treats.

banner made by me. find similar birthday party paper goods here.
part of the drink station. nothin' too fancy.
pom poms from martha stewart tutorial. wrapped wooden letters with yarn. made all the print outs. and my mom sewed the little gift bags. 

train tracks with electrical tape. sorta permanently stained their carpet, so try an inconspicuous area first!
he seems like such a small baby here...
so exhausted after his big event.



9.25.2013

i think i love my iPhone.............'s camera.



my poor iPhone bit the dust... as in, got ran over at 75 miles per hour on the San Diego interstate. wah wah wah. not having my phone is quite liberating in some senses - being the introvert i am, it's a nice escape from connectivity. the thing i miss the most, however, is the camera. i actually might call myself an iPhone photographer. a boring one, yes. as i only photograph my children, and the occasional delicious cup of coffee. that being said, it has become my main creative outlet as a mother. my blog is a hit or miss. my shop is pretty much nonexistent. but my little phone, it's attached to me and has become the tool in which i chronicle my life. i use that little camera to transform my mundane moments (and wow! there are a TON of them) into spectacular microseconds. for me, it really has the power to help me see the beauty in the chaos that is my life.

often times i hear people complain about how social media gives an unhealthy view of people's lives. "people only show the good, pretty side of things." i still can't seem to understand why this is so terrible. i'm not one easily prone to comparison nor judgement (though i'm prone to a lot of other sins, believe me) - so i celebrate people taking the best of their day and sharing it with the world. no one wants to see my dirty bathroom, or my greasy messy bun, or my burnt pot of beans - or if they do, perhaps only for a glimpse here and there for the purposes of reality. but everyday? that would be exhausting. but maybe someone, somewhere wants to see the afternoon light casting a shadow on the one spot on my floor not covered in toys - and my son, for a brief, brief moment playing blissfully by himself at the kitchen table. maybe my little iPhone helps me pluck out the most beautiful, thrilling, and intimate moments of motherhood and sings a little tune that counteracts the world's message that a young mother is throwing away her talent, her freedom, and her "fun."

i don't know, for me, my iPhone camera does this for me. and instagram is my little microphone. it's an artist mother's canvas. it's quick, easy, accessible and i can tote in my diaper bag. it's my little voice.

anyway. R.I.P. iPhone 5s.


9.08.2013

i'm almost 27 and here's a list of 10 things i've learned.



sometimes I find myself in utter shock that I am a 27 year old woman (almost, almost) and a mother of not one, but two children. I pay a mortgage. I am 3 short years away from 30.

my son has escaped babyhood, and my daughter can move about freely on her own.

remembering my teen years, and my early twenties - and what I was convinced these years would look like. what I thought was greatness, or God's plans and intentions, or the apex of adulthood and Christianity.

I thought it would be both wise and humorous to create a list of things I've learned about "life" over the past 2 decades. this is wise, as perhaps it can bring some aid to someone, somewhere. it is also very, very silly as I am sure, by the end of the next 2 decades I will chuckle at some of these thoughts. I am still a child. I am a teacher forever learning.

1.) A man who will be a good husband should possess the following qualities.
      - The ability to hold a job, whether he enjoys it or not. He must be able to respect and honor authority, be honorable when no one is watching, and be convinced God is His provider.
      -  He must be humble enough to admit when he is wrong (even if not immediately, but at least, eventually) and be willing to be trained and taught.
     -  He must be willing to be an open book. His phone, his email, his business meetings, his work relationships, his sin, his joys, his fears, and his dreams must be something he welcomes you into.

2.) Please do not, DO NOT, spend what you do not have. It's a messy thing to do.

3.) Train yourself to eat well. Find vegetables you like. Drink water. Go for walks.

4.) Don't let nature escape from your life. Go into it as often as you can. Take walks during your breaks rather than checking your phone. Camp. Swim. Sit under a tree. Remember God in the midst of it.

5.) Every movement of God has value. Every church (that which I am addressing would be the believing church, which proclaims Christ as the Son of God, and the only way to the Father - etc.) has value. Both these things are ushered and made up of broken human beings. Within every movement and church there are those who claim to be brothers, but in fact are not. Because of these facts, every movement and church has the ability to hurt and harm those within it. That is not to say that these are entirely bad, but that is why our hope is ALWAYS Christ and our foundation is ALWAYS the Word. With that we can remain gracious, forgiving, and honoring in the midst of these things - as they come and go.

6.) Healing is of God. He loves to heal. He will not always heal every time we ask. This should not cause us to give up on healing nor believe it is because we lacked faith. Healing is of God.

7.) Discipleship is so much the plan of God in growing and developing his people. The New Testament is essentially discipleship written out. Discipleship will not always find you, you must go find it for yourself. Seek wisdom. Seek guidance. Seek counseling. Etc. You were not made to live or figure things out on your own.

8.) While you are young, I think it is vital to learn these skills:
            - Time management. Learn to fill your time, not with iphones, facebook, sleeping, or chattering on about nothing. Fill these precious moments with reading, writing, service, etc. Learn a skill. Find a hobby. Be vigilant in pursuing things of greatness. If nothing else comes to mind, read your Bible over and over and over. One day you will have multiple children, only so many hours of the day, and you will long for those precious, lonely hours again.
            - The ability to be a self-starter and self-motivator. This ties into the previous point. Learn to fill your time even if no one has given you an assignment or a deadline. Set your own assignments. Make your own deadlines.
            -  Conversational skills. Ask people questions about anything and everything. This is how you will make friends. This is how you will form vital business connections. This is how church begins and continues. This IS marriage.

9.) The greatness of your life - is made up of little moments, seconds that turn into hours that turn into days. It is not one epic ministry opportunity. It is not even the wedding nor the birth. It is the hidden in between - found within the 4 walls of your home and the thoughts/motives mulling under the skin. It is the mundane. It is the responses to the husbands when the money is tight and the agitations brew. It is the disciplining, for the hundredth time, the same sin within your child. It is the coffee in the morning to which your heart overflows, "Today, today - I believe You are good, You are real, You are worthy."

10.) We do not find God. Therefore, we do not need to feel pressured to make life with Christ more appealing or more fun or more thrilling. God finds us. Provokes our hearts to believe. Keeps us. The call to follow Christ is a hard one, it is one that will include hardship, trial, and suffering. It can - at times - be isolating, confusing, and require longsuffering. It, however, WILL be rewarded. It WILL be (even now IS) worth it. and even if nothing would come of it (though it will) He is WORTHY of our devotion. That is why the gospel is simple and powerful. It is simple in what it requires of us in proclaiming it, which is exactly that - just PROCLAIMING IT. It is powerful in that it is where the platform is given for God to provoke a heart. Your work is to proclaim. His work is to make Jesus seen as that which He is, glorious, beautiful, and the Savior to the sinning heart.


xo a 26 year old woman with a lot to learn.