Spent lots of time in the garden and on the porch weeding, moving plants, transplanting, harvesting and doing yet more weeding. Homestead tip of the week: When you cut the bottom off of a celery stalk, put it in water and watch it grow. Lots more celery from a throw-away. Also, anyone have a good place to get canning lids in bulk for less?
*2* Traveling to the PartyPlanned our summer trip to the Midwest. It's my in-laws 50th anniversary celebration and that is something to celebrate! We are hoping to visit lots of friends along the way.
*3* PlacesJennifer at Conversion Diaries posted about her favorite vacation spot- a remote, desolate part of TX not far from where we lived for 8 years. She describes it this way; "All the towns had that eerie end-of-the-earth vibe...Some of the towns really live up to the name "ghost towns," the "ghost" part coming not only from the vanished people but from that keen awareness of your own vulnerability to larger forces that you feel when you're hours and hours away from the nearest Wal-Mart, and the only light at night comes from the stars." Yep. Sounds like how I remember it. Starkly beautiful, the wilderness puts our small lives in perspective quickly.
One of my summer goals is to de-clutter and to build some organizational/storage units in This Old House (cause if you know old houses they.have.none.) We spent an afternoon cleaning the play-side of the porch. Brio train set out, Playmobile repositioned there, de-cluttering the living room in the process. Thankfully we have a walk-up attic so the toys that are too loved to be parted with get sent there. Our kids LOVED the train set and I have several spreads in the scrapbooks of living room sized "Train Towns." Seems like the boys are a bit past that now. More space, cleaner space and the 3 younger kids have lived out there since, creating fantastical Lego creations.
*5* SuburbiaSpent the afternoon at our friend's house for the parenting class and then stayed for dinner (thanks, Tamara!). Feche-boy spends hours outside on the property walking, thinking, getting his daily dose of "green therapy." It seems quite normal out on our 10 acres but he started doing the "garden pace" in our friend's suburban yard. Seemed a leetle out of place amongst the manicured lawns. And, even though it was a warm day, we noticed how few kids were actually in the yards playing (these are nice yards, complete with nice playscapes). Maybe it's not as fun with just 1-2 kids in a family. Cub said at the end of the day that he wanted to "play outside" when, in reality he'd been playing outside all day long. He clarified that it wasn't "country outside." It's been a long week of feeling hammered by the demands of how we live. That little saying blessed me greatly. Our kids love their life, the freedom they have, the wildness of it, even when I sometimes don't. Little blessings.
*6* KidsHad a discussion yesterday with a cool group of women about birth control, reversals, adoption and letting God plan your family. Rhonda Jean over at Down to Earth http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/2009/06/embrace-work-you-do.html had a good post about "Embracing Your Life." Everyone still breathing has hardships of some sort and while I fully believe in planing your work and working your plan, life and hardships and frustrations happen regardless. Embracing where we're at, and letting God have the last say is the place I'm wanting to get to. And this relates to children and birth control because fertility, while it's talked about and conceptualized as a given and something, in fact, we need to guard against is truly in the hand of the one who creates life by His very ruach.
I certainly don't believe, like some that birth control is a sin. But I do believe that our greater culture and the culture of the church, the American church anyway, acts and behaves in ways that say children are a burden. And if, behaviorally, the church doesn't DO anything MORE than the world in embracing, loving, disciplining the little children than it is as bad, or worse, than the world, who at least is honest in saying that it's all about me.
*7* Beit MidrashBible Study- good stuff as always. Lots of laughter, good fellowship, beautiful Godly people. Genesis Chapter 24. Issac pleads, for 20 years, for his wife to conceive. Pleads. Heart poured out intercession.
Two nations are brought forth through 2 sons and I see myself in both of them. One who doesn't take seriously enough that which he has and the other who hungers and strategizes about how to get more. I want to be more grateful and I hunger after more. It's having joy in the journey while still staying focused on the path that is the difficult thing, for me anyway. God says twice (Romans and Malachi), "Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated." This always seemed so unfair to me. Certainly God doesn't create people to do evil or to hate specifically. The commentary states that in thwarting his inheritance Esau thwarted the promise of God. God's displeasure comes from seeing the heart of a man that rejects Him. Not me, Lord. Not those I love. Keep us hungry for YOU. Keep us hungry for more than worldly things, for the mundane (it was for lentils that he gave up his inheritance, hello!).
Which leads me to global thoughts such as Michael Jackson's death and someone who had more- talent, fame, fortune. But true Joy? True Peace? Very debateable. I hope that this man who walked in confusion has finally found rest. I prayed for him each day for about a decade. I felt so burdened for him. I looked at him and saw someone who had influence and power and seemed to squander it. In my own life, I do the same. No judgment here for The King of Pop. I truly hope he is at peace and in the presence of THE King of All.
For more Quick Takes visit Jen of Conversion Diary