Free Bird!

Inspired by my friend posting this quote on Facebook, I decided to try out my new Sai watercolor markers as a embellishment to the hand lettered words. I’ve never painted with watercolors before, other than the Crayola ones as a child. I had a lot of fun figuring out how they worked and building layers of color and blending colors together. I definitely plan on doing more art with them in the future. I had people asking where they could get this print, so I scanned it and created a downloadable PDF for your printing pleasure. 

Simply click on the link below the picture and it should open up the PDF for you. 

BirdFriends

FinalBirdFriends

Advertisements

Five Minute Friday: Motherhood Should Come With…

courtesy of photobucket.com

These pure and spontaneous pleasures are “patches of Godlight” in the woods of our experience. {C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm}

Five Minute Fridays have become “patches of Godlight” for me. In 5 minutes I tap-tap-tap out my spontaneous response to Lisa-Jo‘s prompt, and then leave it there for you; pure, raw and unedited. Reading how others respond to the prompt leaves me marveling at the creativity of God, shown through the complexity of His creation.

So, the rules are simple:

1. Write for five minutes straight without stopping, thinking or revising.

2. Link up your post at Lisa-Jo’s site.

3. Check out as many of the posts that others link up as you have time for.

Today’s prompt is “Motherhood Should Come With…

GO:

After four children I know a lot about what motherhood requires. Although I’m no expert, I have opinions about the best swaddling blankets (Koala Baby waffle blankets from Babies R Us) and my favorite pacifiers (Nuk – latex).

My friend and neighbor is currently 9-1/2 months pregnant with her first baby. As I talk with her about onesies, medications, and babywraps I realize that there is one thing every new mother should not be without.

Other mothers.

We don’t always agree. Formula, breastfeeding. Cosleeping, crying it out. Cloth, disposable. Stay at home, work outside the home. There are a plethora of schools of thought on what’s best for a child and a parent. Really, doesn’t it all come down to the fact that we’re all trying to do our best?

We need each other. To reassure us that someday you won’t have to wipe anyone else’s bottom. To encourage when you’ve had 2 hours interrupted sleep for the third night in a row. To laugh with you when your toddler creates a mural of lipstick on your comforter, and to cry when you send your oldest off to Kindergarten.

Putting aside our differences, let us not forsake meeting with one another. At playgrounds, MOPs groups, PTA meetings and in our own living rooms. Being a mom can be isolating and all-consuming.

Motherhood should come with playdates for mommies.

STOP

Now it’s your turn! If you don’t have a blog, leave a comment below with what you think is a necessary tool for parenting.

Also, I don’t normally post on Sundays, but I would love it if you checked back here this Sunday. My mom will be guest posting on Mother’s Day! I’m so very excited about it!!!

One sure-fire way to stay up-to-date on the happenings around this blog is to sign up to have my posts automatically delivered to your inbox or subscribe in a reader {for free}. Then you’ll never miss a thing!

{unpacking}

The last time we were all together was 5 years ago.

An impossible wish was shared: time together, face-to-face. Time to share, worship, celebrate, encourage, pray, laugh, eat, cry, and dream. We watched as slowly God made a way for six women from five states to leave their families, jobs and ministries behind for a weekend of retreat and fellowship.

In every single picture of me from last weekend I look exhausted; probably because I got a total of six hours sleep. Not wanting to waste a minute of my precious time with these women, I stayed up way too late and got up far too early.

It was totally worth it.

::

It’s been a week since I got back home, and my overnight bag still sits in our bedroom half unpacked. Clothes, toiletries and random items spill out of it; I’ve pulled things out as I’ve had need of them, but haven’t taken the time to really finish the job.

My brain feels the same way.

Conversations, prayers, memories, jokes and words of prophecy are all jumbled together.

I’m sure that what God did there will slowly leak out of me over the next few weeks.

For now, this blessing from Paul seems to sum up what I’m feeling…because I am strengthened through His Spirit, feel His love for me in a way I never have before, and saw Him do more than I asked or imagined.

Today, this is my prayer for you as well!

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. {Ephesians 3:16-21}

How has God shown His love for you recently?

Cliques (They’re Not Just for High School)

Ok, so now we can agree that we all feel lonely at times, that Satan wants us to feel lonely and does so by creating relationship killers through our insecurities, and that God can change that.

Whew! We’ve covered a lot!

The last thing I wanted to talk about on this topic was cliques. The reason I have for this is that I don’t believe cliques ended with high school. They just have different names now.

No longer are we navigating the land of jocks, nerds, slackers, preps and goths. Now I find myself categorized by the decisions I’ve made in my life; the roles I assume:

Wife.

Stay at Home Mom.

Christian.

Blogger.

Thirty-something.

Those are just a few, but you get my point.

For some reason, we tend to assume that the people in the same category as us are the ones we should associate with. Those are the people we’ll have the most in common with and that’s our sphere. The problem with this is that I begin to judge people by their category, instead of as individuals.

I can dismiss relationships that God may be placing in my path because they don’t seem to fit the mold. Also, I become small and narrow-minded, because I only associate with people exactly like myself.

One of my best friends is single, with no children. She and I live in different states, and we don’t keep in touch that well (a problem I’ve already confessed to). However, when I get the opportunity to spend time with her, it’s like no time has passed. Our lives are completely different, but our affection for each other has remained the same.

I am covered in baby spit up, fishing cars out of my purse and making sure everyone is Purelled. She has a fabulous apartment overlooking the Puget Sound and she always looks so stylish and put together. Honestly, when I first became a mom I thought that our relationship wouldn’t last. I thought that she would look at my life and think it was boring. I didn’t think I had anything of value to offer her, because why would she want to come sit at my house and watch my child roll around on the floor when she could go out on a Saturday night?

I underestimated her. I thought we were only friends as long as our categories matched. I’m so glad I was wrong, because she is able to speak into my life in a way that someone who’s in the same situation as me cannot.

God knew I needed her in my life and wouldn’t allow me to push her away.

::

The challenge, then, is this:

Don’t dismiss people from your life just because you don’t think they will fit into your pretty little box of friends.

My children have an art supplies box.

Inside of it is a jumble of sidewalk chalk, markers, watercolor paints, crayons (some new, some wrapper-ripped) and colored pencils. When I first purchased these items I was so careful to make sure that all of the art supplies ended up back in the appropriate container. Everything had its place and it was neat and tidy. This type of organization does not last long with toddlers. Caps were misplaced, packaging was torn, and crayons were broken in half.

My Type A, organized-self felt frustrated by the mess, but then God showed me the beauty in it. No longer where they confined to one medium; pictures were drawn with chalk, pencil, marker and crayon. Art was still created.

Our lives begin as an empty canvas. We allow, or block, people from leaving their imprint. We can choose to only allow this medium or that to build on the picture of our lives. Or we can open it up, allow God to design, and see the splendor that appears.

Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:14

Thank you for joining me in this look at loneliness and relationships this week. I know that God has really spoken to me through it and through your comments. I also know from the comments that He’s spoken to you. I have read each one, and prayed over the things you’ve said, and I will continue to pray for you in these areas. Thank you for being willing to be open and honest with me.

Miss Part 1Part 2Part 3 or Part 4 in the series? Check them out!

Also, you can sign up to receive my blog (free) in your email or subscribe in a reader.