7.30.2014

higher.wider.deeper LOVE.


Lately I've been loving things a lot deeper.
By things.. I mean, people.
I love my friends, my family, that random person walking their dog...
Well, I love the things deeper too, actually.
The taste of coffee, the sunlight's kaleidoscope through the leaves, the smell of our baby's skin.

I'm loving all these things deeper,
because I'm not loving them first.

Or, as good ol' C.S.Lewis would say:
"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.
Aim at earth and you will get neither:"
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 Now, if you're like me, you won't really get this quote... until you really get this quote.
Until it lives out in your heart, works it's way through your affections and alters your thoughts.

God has been kindly pushing this message deeper into my stubborn heart lately.
The more I lift my eyes and ponder all the 'perfection-of-beauty' that He is,  and the more I allow His gracious love to soak down into the dry and hollowed out caverns of my soul.. the more I look around and see every.thing with love.

 The heavens declare His glory, yes.
But so do the ants, the fingerprints on my chubby baby, and the warmth of my husband's embrace.

When we love God first, oh how much more deeply we can love others!
Drawing from that endless ocean - how much easier it is to throw bucket-fulls onto others around us.  Squeezing a drop from the thimble of my own heart barely satiates anyone.
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 Loving God first also frees us.
Frees us from fear of losing our deepest love.

For if we love our family first, we will fear and worry that they may be taken from us.
If we love wealth, health or home... we will be plagued with anxiety about losing them.
Whatever we spend our time, thoughts and energy on most each day is usually our heart's first love.  Can these be taken from you?

(I was blessed years ago to feel the weight of this truth... when I was with friends in Pakistan, and I got a real nasty dose of sickness (food poisoning?).  As I lay on a cot, feeling wrung out as an old dish cloth and bemoaning my state the thought hit me: 'Despite the fact that I am in a foreign land, apart from my family, and without any 'comforts of home'... I can still praise the God of all comfort'.  When all other pleasures this world may offer are stripped away, I still have the fountain head of JOY to run to.  He will not let me go.)

Do you come to this great God with joy?
Knowing that His love endures forever.
His love sought out the broken, the sinful... not the perfect or cleaned up folk.
His love found me.

When my heart sees this great truth, I am freed to love all others without fear.
For what is loss, when I know He is gain?
"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ"
Philippians 3:8 

This is where my heart is at lately, which sounds a whole lot more 'Christ-centered' than crafty for many of you I'm sure... but I only blog about what I'm passionate about, so this is it.
.thanks for being here.

Love,
Mel ;o)
 





 

7.28.2014

tea.infused.shortbread

This is the summer of baking.. instead of bathing suits.
Cooler days invigorate me to crank on the oven.

You may recall that I like my baking to be 'stupid easy' and let me 'wing it' with extra ingredients.
Thus, a recipe like this is my kind of simple, sweet, fun.

A handsome baker guy I married told me about a trick of throwing tea grounds into my shortbread to enhance the flavour.  That's right, just empty a dry (unused) tea bag into the shortbread ingredients and roll out as usual.

Earl Grey Vanilla is a personal favourite.
In this pictures you'll see I used my other delight - Bengal Spice - which makes a hint of chai infused/gingerbread flavour.

Happy baking!

Mel ;o)

 

7.26.2014

A.musing.mama! 4.1.

...don't even get me started.
But surely, surely I am not the only parent who deals with this one?

The notion of 'time economics' doesn't seem to translate well with our kids... in that, if I have to put in a certain amount of time preparing an activity for the kids to do (pool, crafts, games... etc) I have this crazy notion that they should actually play with it for more than a nano-second.

Like I said, don't get me started!

Happy weekend'ing friends,
a.musing.mama,
Mel ;o)

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You can catch up on all the previous comics HERE!
 

7.23.2014

confessions (of a mama) part.21.

I used to have a love.hate relationship with this place.
Loving the (rare) moment it was clean, hating the (usual) moments it was a mess.

I used to get really overwhelmed by the task of keeping our house decent'ish.
House cleaning always seemed like a necessary evil in my life.
I would clean it with the power of *rage*...rubbing the dirty spots clean while muttering dirty words under my breath.
This ol' house often taunted me like the Hydra monster of Hercules... for every head I cut off, three more sprang from it's root.
Like a continual game of whack-a-mole... the dust bunnies and grime kept popping up their heads.  Sometimes I'd catch myself begrudging the little mess-makers around me.  "If only they would just clean up their toys right away" "If only he would just put it back where it came from".
Sometimes I'd catch myself wishing for a natural disaster: "If only a house fire would do the cleaning for me!".
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So, needless to say, keeping this house clean really showed the dirt in my heart.
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Because I used to love when I thought my heart was clean, and I hated when I saw the sin festering there.  I'd get overwhelmed by the mess.  For every sin I thought I conquered, three more sprang up.

The problem was, I was trying to do it all with my own elbow grease.
As if I could rub my heart clean by pretending perfection.

"We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment."
(Isaiah 64:6) 
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Back to house work.  Guess what the winning solution was?
Maintenance.

I used to just let the dishes pile up all day, and then in an overwhelmed heave of exasperation I'd clean them late into the evening. 
Now I do a bit in the morning, after lunch, after dinner.
Small, manageable piles.
The art of home maintenance.

It takes only a few minutes to sweep.
Fifteen minutes to wash a floor.
Another fifteen to clean the bathroom.

Instead of sitting on the couch feeling guilt and anger over the mess, I just had to get up and 'crack on' and see how quickly they could be dealt with.
What freedom!
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Maintenance works for most levels of our lives.
Keep in touch with people regularly.. it's easier than putting them off for months and trying to reconnect.
Keep in communication with your partner.. it's easier than festering in silence and isolation.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.. it's easier than the heart-attack to restart.

Keep the path to your prayer room well worn... it's easier to go to God quickly when your heart is kept soft.

Maintenance.

I'm still learning the value of such a word in my life too.

Mel ;o)
 
 

7.18.2014

A.musing.mama! 4.0

Surely our daughter isn't the only contortionist couch-potato out there?

The daily face-plants, head-bangs and bruised elbows are usually the result of her falling off some chair or couch she's been teetering curiously from.
I think she lacks the physical ability to actually 'sit still' some days... (so I'm not sure how that's going to work if she gets into school this fall).  Maybe my next sewing project should be velcro-bottomed jeans for her.

A.musing.mama,
Mel ;o)
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 You can find all the (forty+) previous comics HERE!




7.17.2014

going batty...

First: Azriel
Second: Hudson
Third: Talia
The legend continues.
We're just all a bit batty around here.

comically yours,
Mel ;o)
 

7.15.2014

the making of Marigold:

It was a perfectly drizzly gray morning to whip up a sewing project today.
While the boys were out, and the babe slept... Azriel and I dove into my sewing corner and made this fun dolly.

The perks of being a 'craft hoarder' is that all you need is at your fingertips!
After a very fast sketch of what she wanted her doll to look like, I let her pick through my fabrics to decide which would *match* her drawing.

Obviously I did not have purple yarn on hand.. so she's an orange head. 

We've decided to call her Marigold.
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Sewing with kids is really frantic fun.  You can talk to them about the importance of "patience" and "hard work" to get a good result.  The joys of creating instead of buying toys.
You just need to let go of the quality control in favour of quality time with your kiddo.

I think she turned out pretty sweet for a couple hours of cutting/stuffing/sewing/painting.  It was getting tough to do the final stitches when Azriel just kept hugging me and squealing "Oh mama, she's just SOOOOOO beautiful!!!"

win. win. 

(And yes, I totally was thinking of this website while we brought her drawing to life!)

Have a creative day friends,
Mel ;o)