Tag Archives: space

In the Space

My little Gift and Thrift tree is set up in the space. It was purchased for not too much money a few years ago at my favorite thrift shop. I love that the branches stay attached and just kind of fold up, and that it assembles in two pieces.

I am not good about fluffing it to make it look real, though I am not sure how real a plastic tree can look. Once the ornaments are hung, it looks better.

The colored lights are strung, as I am a colored lights girl. Actually, I love the look of both colored and white together, but I also like using what I have, and this is it.

Decorating is not going according to plan. I removed the ornament box from our room when I realized that all we were doing was tripping over it. I know the decorating will happen, I am struggling to hold its timing very, very loosely.

So that is where things stand, and it is hard.

In the grand scheme of life it is not that big of a deal.

In fact, I am hearing a lot of things inside that try to minimize the hope and anticipation that I feel over the small act of unpacking my memories and hanging them for a season as a reminder of God’s goodness and faithfulness to me over the years.

Too much trouble.

Why bother?

There are bigger issues in the world and in other people’s lives.

But this is my life. And these are my issues. And I will continue to hope and wonder.

I will continue to be encouraged by women like this who remind me that it’s okay to hope and to show up in the space slowly and quietly.

Creating Space

There is a breath mark between Thanksgiving and Advent, where the giving of thanks makes way for the light beginning to shine in the darkness. Some years offer natural space for this transition, allowing more time for preparation. Other years call for an intentional creating of space.

This year there is the tiniest of breath marks between the two.

This year calls for creating space.

I am making that choice in several ways, most obviously with physical space created in my room for the setting up of my own Christmas tree. There is a story behind this tree (isn’t there always?), and last year it served a different purpose. My ornaments remained boxed in the basement.

As Advent 2014 dawns, I feel a pull to create space in a less obvious way by making room to care for my heart. This looks like taking time to unpack my ornaments and the memories that they hold. It looks like remembering back to Christmases along my journey and holding my heart in those seasons.

There are many traditions, intentional and not, that have built up and taken place over the years. I feel a draw to unpack them from the haphazardness of my heart as I unpack my haphazard totes.

Maybe you have physical items to unpack.

Maybe there are only memories.

Maybe you will create your own space and join me.

Maybe you will create space to just rest.

Good Things

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
With my whole heart I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
May I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins.
He heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagles!
Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT)

May I never forget the good things.

It is easy to forget in the hard, when everything feels overwhelming and bad.

There are so many good things.

Forgiveness. Not just forgiveness but restoration of hope and of relationships.

He has restored my soul.

Healing. Not from a physical wound or disease but from a deep heart wound. It is a continual process of relapse and repair.

The Great Physician continues to meet me in my places of pain.

Redemption. Pulled back from the brink of certain soul death, God has called me to life in the present, not just the hope of the everlasting.

I have been invited to live fully.

Love. My life is crowned with so much love that, at times, my head aches with the weight of it all. Yet the lover of my soul continues to press and pursue me with the magnitude and depth of his care.

He offers me tender mercies each day.

Good things.

I listen to piano music being played, and my soul soars. The music happens just because there is a piano and just because it can be played. There is no agenda other than beauty.

I fill my belly with warm food prepared together with my husband. A son has requested breakfast burritos, so we lazily chop and brown and saute and sip coffee as we mull over the state of current events, and, more importantly, the current state of our hearts.

I steal off to my room and place of space when time around the table becomes too much to handle. My husband graciously resolves an episode of conflict surrounding episode pick as I read from Psalm 103 and ponder good things.

I accept that my dining room table has transformed to a ping-pong table and the chandelier has been raised to accommodate two brothers competing and instructing the youngest on ping-pong technique, while singing family folk songs. I hear this through my closed bedroom door, images filling my mind. Little sisters clamor to join and are welcomed with patient grace.

There is no Macy’s Day Parade on my TV, but there is a parade of music, words, memories, and people flooding my mind and filling my Facebook feed and texting my phone. There is the hope that one day Thanksgiving may look like what I long for and what has been in the past with parade watching and couch-cuddling and coffee drinking and sweet potato baking.

When it looks like that, it will no longer look like this.

And this is a good thing. I am thankful.

Fair Judgement, Mercy, Kindness

It’s a tough decision, and I can’t do everything.

Waking early and diving into Bible reading and journaling becomes coffee and bedmaking and starting the laundry. Stepping into the kitchen, and it’s remains from last night’s family time makes returning to my writing and thinking space anything but relaxing or invigorating.

I return anyway.

So it goes these days, all days, really, but especially these.

I have to choose carefully among all that is good. I can’t do it all.

Surprise, surprise!

But the soul needs to be fed, and the heart needs space to open, so that is where I land this morning in the midst of all that presents. I need space to listen to God before I dive into the rest of the day headfirst.

Judge fairly and show mercy and kindness to one another. Zechariah 7:9

Show mercy and kindness.
Be strong and finish the task.
Seeds of peace and prosperity are being planted.

Be strong and get on with what you have been called to do!

Don’t be afraid.

Celebrate joy.
Love truth and peace.

Seeds are being planted.

Thank you for this reminder, Father.

Looking back over the past 25 years, I often feel shame and contempt rather than gratitude and hope for the seeds.

Thank you that you are always planting, always pruning, always finishing the work that you start. Give grace for me to witness growth.

Fair judgement, mercy, kindness. Three things needed on a Saturday in my home. When the episodes are over and the must do’s call my name, these three will carry me through.

Thank you, Jesus!

Mama’s Workbasket

It sits in the corner of my favorite place, collecting all that needs attention.

laptop for blogging, books for reading, journals for writing, papers for filing, scraps for art journaling, letters for addressing and mailing

I am always working on it, and it is always full.

Pinterest Corner

I smile at how it is different from other Mamas’ Workbaskets collecting all of their projects.

yarn for knitting, blocks for quilting, clothing for mending, needles for stitching, photos for scrapbooking, crafts for making, toys for sorting, papers for grading…

It’s okay to be different and to have a different kind of work in my basket.

I remember the wisdom from today’s teabag…be yourself.

I’m trying. My workbasket holds much of what makes me…me. It contains projects and work that I value and enjoy (mostly) when I find time and space to tackle them!

How about you? What’s in YOUR workbasket, Mama?

Coffee Corner

Favorite Place

It’s my favorite place, my Pinterest corner. The place where, my eldest points out, I can take a picture and make it look like life is perfect.

Coffee with my love. Drinking from our fall mugs. Knowing that whatever this year brings, we will face it together, like we have for the past 21.

Pinterest Corner

It seems I am not the only one who finds refuge and creative energy here.

Where is your favorite place for creating heart space?


Five Months

Sitting at the computer this Sunday afternoon, a deep longing to pound out meaningful words fills my heart. This is a preciously tiny snippet of time that I have to possibly think and write and remember and celebrate 5 months of blogging.

But there are voices and noises and animal sounds and children asking questions to which they don’t really want answers.

I want to focus. I try so hard.

But the voices are loud and annoying, and the bird is banging in its cage, and these crumbs on the computer desk are driving me crazy.

Isn’t there something inside?

There is too much going on inside, and way more going on outside, and that is how I know I am not getting space. Everything is jamming together and sloshing out around the edges and not in a good way.

There’s the recurring theme that it’s always too much, and I want my life to be so contained and controlled. It is a different kind of too much these days, but I still need to be present.

That means getting out the Hello Kitty toys and listening to the door open and close countless times and enduring giggles and banging feet and endless questions when all I want to do is run away to write. It’s where I am today in my real world.

Happy Five Months to you, Composting the Heart!


about where I fit
when the story is big
and still in process

Just breaking it down
one bite at a time
work and then play
and saying enough

Closing the gate for awhile
yet still smiling over it
allowing my heart
the space that it needs

A Fun Find

Child with a Dove

One of my favorite ways to find space is to poke around Gift and Thrift, a local secondhand store. I stumbled upon this treasure the other day while grabbing a few minutes for myself.

Wandering through Gift and Thrift is always an exercise in self-control (do I really need this item or can I go dig a similar one out of my basement?) and self-awareness (I am drawn to this item, but why?).

When I saw this picture hanging on the wall with the others, I was intrigued. It spoke to me. Taking it down, turning it around, and noticing that the framing was done by a local shop made the $20 price tag (steep for Gift and Thrift) seem more reasonable. The fact that it was a print from Picasso’s blue period was even more compelling, and I bit the bullet and splurged on it.

I love the way that this $20 purchase fits in with the $6 mirror and $15 Pier One wall decals over the bed in our room. I love that the original was painted during a dark time, showing that beauty truly can emerge from brokenness. I love finding just the right thing for my space.

I love the before and after. What do you think? Have you had any fun finds, lately?

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