Nice typing, huh?
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I really liked Jodi Ohl's Sweetheart Magnet idea in the
January, 2009 edition of Cloth, Paper, Scissors.
However, turning the whole thing into little Christmas ornaments
seemed more timely, and fun to do with the kids!
So we've been collaging our way through these little 2x3" treasures.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I woke up at four this morning, which certainly wasn't my plan.
But I'm grateful for the quiet after a week (enjoyably) full of people.
I've been sensing my kidometer running low. Maybe this will perk it up.
So here's my Christmas gift for Keith. Scroll down to see the other similar posts..
As for the other delightful gifts exchanged, here's the lowdown:
Keith wrote wonderful poems for each of us.
Julie worked with Anna (age 10) to create haikus with watercolor backgrounds.
Cheryl painted a card for each person with a letter inside about what she likes about them.
Eric created and hand-illustrated a card game that includes each person in the house
and their unique characteristics, which we played together at the end of our
house Christmas celebration. Oh - and Jesse (age 14) jumped in with a rap that he had
recorded and written out for each of the (non-parental) adults in the house.
All in all, it was a very festive and laughter-filled time. The only person who didn't
think so was 4-year-old Elliott, who was done exploring his stocking and
ready to move on to opening his own presents.
The last of these is coming tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
We celebrate Christmas in many ways and iterations around here. This year, our
household decided that in order to go slightly less overbudget, the adults would
make gifts for each other (even a note would do) and just buy gifts for the kids.
Well, it turned out to be a very fun and funny adventure which the children also
enjoyed participating in. I'll tell you more about it soon. For now, here's my gift
to my husband. It's mixed media on Raffine ArtSketch paper.
And a blessed Christmas Eve to you all!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Last week in his advent sermon, Jimmy said that God sending Jesus
is the biggest way He has said, "I love you!"
Thinking about Christmas reminds me of how much this is true.
"And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have beheld
his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 1:14, NIV
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
You know, I used to think I was too busy to put up Christmas lights.
I could carve out the time to decorate inside the house, because it was
a group activity. But any festive expressions pursued alone were out.
The past couple of years, I've felt free to engage in "frivolous" behaviors,
and I find that I'm able to also accomplish more of the meaningful stuff of life
along the way. It hasn't robbed me or the people I love of anything,
and I believe it has rather contributed to our experience of pleasure in life.
I suspect that this is a result of the fact that God created us to be fully human,
and good things happen when we embrace all the elements of our humanity.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Every December, my church practices what we call "fallow month". The idea is based on the Jewish law in Leviticus 25 where God told people to grow crops for 6 years and leave the land fallow on the 7th year. He would provide so richly during the 6th year that there would be plenty to eat for the time of rest. Also, poor people and wild animals could glean from the land that was untended.
This concept is used in farming even today -- usually farmers leave one section of their land unplanted and grow on the other areas, rotating the fallow ground over the years. This allows the land to remain fertile and resist disease.
We noticed that people tend to become very busy in December, yet this is a time for Advent -- awaiting the coming of Christ. And a time for enjoying family and friends rather than being overwhelmed by multiple events that are supposed to be festive but end up being distracting and stressful. So all the major meetings and groups close before December, and we prepare for Christmas by contemplating Advent together and not having a bunch of stuff going on. People are encouraged to make some changes in the way they live so that they can slow down, spend time with loved ones, show compassion to others, and worship God.
Eric and I are looking to spend some extra time with our parents & siblings this month. We're pulling way back on Christmas shopping & gift giving this year, replacing some of it with thoughtful letter writing. And on my blog, I'm planning to post fallow month updates and take a break from painting (although I may gradually wrap up the Seattle series). So here's to a restful month of looking forward to Christmas and to the return of Jesus, who will come again!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
... speaking of which, when Eric and I go on vacation, we check out as many interesting churches (preferably recently 'planted' ones) as possible. We used to avoid church on vacation, honestly. But having started a church from scratch ourselves, we now think of each one as a sort of canvas. We've seen first hand how much creativity and energy, time, sacrifice, life, and relationship go into the thing. What has another group of people in another place done with their community piece of spiritual art? We assume that people start churches because they have a vision for something that's not there. What was their vision? What was the need? Are they accomplishing it? Can anyone? How are they trying to make it work? Seeing these things reminds us of what we love about our spiritual community and also inspires and challenges us.