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Hello Tree

September 26, 2016
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On my drive from one city to another in my little rural community, there is a spot of road that runs through a giant, ancient, lava flow. Just before I come to that spot of eerie terrain, I always look to the East to see if I can find it, my favorite tree. It’s about a mile away, towering over the myriad of trees scattered down by the winding river. It has watched over the little house perched beneath it for decades. Many more decades than I have been on this earth, I am certain.

It caught my eye one day, just over three years ago. I noticed it’s height first, and then it’s unusual shape: a compact ball atop a slim single trunk. So very different from the spreading limbs of all the others. Unique. Brave. Strong. Wise.

Something about it spoke to me. And so I say hello to this one-of-a-kind tree each time I drive by. And hope that I too can be those things.

Trying something new: oiling my rusty posting skills with Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute-Memoir challenge.

Good for My Soul: Thoughts on Decluttering

January 22, 2015
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Use Everything | Thoughts on Decluttering

With my recent life changes, I’ve been excited and anxious to do some major decluttering.

My original intentions were directed toward physical aspects: my house and I were going to have one heck of a reckoning, and I was going to emerge the conquering heroine of a clean swept home! No more piles! No more undone chores! Bright, sparkly, clutter-free surfaces in every room! This should only take about 2 weeks of concerted effort! Yeah.

The reality has been slightly different from the Pinterest-fueled vision. The holidays hit. I realized I was WAY behind in keeping books for my husband’s company, and it took longer than I planned to bring it up to date (though, in my mind this counts as decluttering). Kids still have homework, music lessons and activities, I have meetings and my beloved Kenpo class. Laundry, dust and dishes are, of course, ever present. Somehow I am just as busy as before…exactly when did I have time to ‘work’?

I have, however, made decluttering a part of my every day routine. I’m picking two or three areas to focus on each week. Small chunks here and there. Little by little, piles are dissolving, and I’m giving myself permission to be okay with the slow-ish pace, as long as I’m moving in the right direction!

To my surprise, I have found myself making that same incremental progress in non-physical dimensions as well. For example, last week I spent an entire day planning healthy meals and menus. I started feeling frustrated with how long it was taking, and guilty that I didn’t tackle other tasks that day…and then I realized: I WAS DECLUTTERING. Giving attention to something that has gone off track and needs a reset is the mental and emotional equivalent of dejunking!

This realization has me thinking about the value of cleaning out the overload of information and noise in my day. I’ve become accustomed to background noise, and have developed a near-compulsive need to gather information. I constantly have an audio book or podcast to keep me company while I do the busy-work of daily chores. If I have to wait for software to open (Dear Microsoft & Adobe, why does Photoshop take F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to initialize?), I’ll check email or Pinterest or Facebook or my blog reader, etc. Pick your poison. Rinse. Repeat. Inevitably, my brain is processing so many things, it’s difficult to cut through the cacophony and zero in on my own thoughts and intuition.

So this is the story of how cleaning my house has revealed a hidden facet of the search for my new path. Pretty sure I’ll be fighting old habits for a long time. But day by day, bit by bit…I’m moving in the right direction, and that feels good for my soul.

Notes – Lynne Knowlton quote from this post on DesignMom. I’m currently loving these podcasts: A Slob Comes CleanThe Chalene Show

Coming Home

January 2, 2015
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Follow Your Heart

How will things be if you jump off the track your life has been on for thirty years, trusting that the Lord has an entirely unique and un-imagined path for you to traverse instead?

Human beings are creatures of comfort and habit. We prefer the ‘known’ path, because we think we can see the next steps, we think we know what to expect, and we can try to make plans for dealing with those expectations. Thinking we know how things are and will be has the potential to keep us pinned in places that might be okay, or not. What if this thinking limits our potential to soar high above our wildest dreams? What if there are opportunities out there we aren’t aware of?

I took that leap six weeks ago. I didn’t know for sure if I’d ever have the courage to do it, and can I tell you? It feels amazing to realize that I do! I came home. Home to be present with my husband. Home to be present with and nurture my children. Home to a feeling of inner peace that calms me when I begin to worry. Home to be thankful for and enjoy what I have. Home to rekindle my creativity. Home to rest, to become centered and prepare to follow the new direction my path will take.

I have no idea where this journey is leading, but I’m happy to be on it. It feels right. Like coming home.

“…be not afraid.” John 6:20

A New Year

January 2, 2011
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Wow, I blink and the months fly by! I’ve meant to drop in and post many things this past year, but my responsibilities have grown and my time has shrunk, and I’ve had to let a few things drop. I’m hoping to change that.

I love the beginning of a new year. I enjoy thinking about all the things I want to do differently in the months ahead, and I’m excited to work on them. Inevitably, my list becomes longer and longer, and truth be told, most of the items on that list are rollovers from last year. As much as I like to think I can do it all, the realistic part of me is deciding to choose one thing to focus on this year–kind of a ‘word of the year’ if you will (thanks for the nudge Cammi), and let the grocery list of everything else fall into place. So, here is my focus for 2011:

What are you planning to focus on this year?

The Accomplishment

April 22, 2010
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For the past year and a half this girl has been working on a goal to practice her violin 100 consecutive days (excluding Sundays). She reached it a couple weeks ago, and to celebrate, we took her to get her ears pierced. I love that she will be reminded of her accomplishment every time she looks in the mirror for the rest of her life!

Paisley Bunting

April 21, 2010

I really shouldn’t take credit for this adorable paisley penant bunting…but I will. {grin}

My sister, the photographer, came over to sew this fun splash of color for her studio under my supervision. I can’t say she didn’t break out in the rash she claims comes from anything having to do with sewing, but she did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself! (I thought it was awesome that she picked some Marabella prints all on her own, LOVE!)

Baby Steps

March 13, 2010
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This is my baby girl…she’s almost four years old now!?!

I’ve been thinking lately that I want to be more intentional in the present, to soak it up and enjoy it for what it is and not miss/waste a single second of it. Recently a friend reminded me that “how we spend our days is how we spend our lives”…so true. Baby steps grow into long journeys, so I need to worry less about the bigness of everything on my mind and just BE.

Oh, and I’m still working 24/7 on that big project I mentioned…um, how many weeks ago was it? But it’s almost finished–you can see it here. Just a few details to finish up, and I can move on to my sadly neglected pile of projects! Or at least get a few more steps down the road. {grin}