Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lessons from Leeland

Slow down! Seriously, stop thinking about the million things you have to do today. I know you just sat down for 5 minutes to catch up on blogs. You are just taking a small break from your incredibly busy life and if you are being honest, you don't even really have the time to be sitting in front of your computer right now.

Take a deep breath. And be really REALLY honest. It's all just an illusion. What is this "busy"-ness that we've created? Have we said yes to too many things? Most likely. Will the day still go on and life still be ok if we don't get everything done? Probably.

I can say all of these things because I used to be one of those people. And I still am sometimes. But Leeland reminds me to stop. And enjoy.

A stay-at-home mom can be very, very busy. There are always errands to run, meals to cook, laundry, cleaning, and the list goes on. And then of course, you want to invest time in your child. Read him books. Expand his mind. Teach him about Jesus. Give him some fresh air. You know, all those things that "they" tell you to do. You better believe my kid is gonna be on the A Honor Roll because I'm reading him books at 5 months old and giving him toys with three different languages on them!

But then I stop. I sit on the couch for 30 minutes holding Leeland while he sleeps. I lay on the floor for an hour playing with Leeland. While he naps, I set aside the many chores that need to be done and spend time in God's Word. And Leeland teaches me that these are the things that really matter.

So if the laundry sits on the couch overnight and I don't fold it until the next day, that's ok. If the clothespins for that baby shower don't get spray painted yellow and green until the night before the shower, no one will know.

So take this advice from Leeland. Enjoy the small things in life. Invest in someone around you. Try to stop "doing" and enjoy just "being."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don't Take It Personally.

I'm not ignoring you.

I've really been feeling the need to create.

But the thing is, I don't want to create for you, I want to create for art. For expression.

Maybe this all sounds way out there, and maybe it is.

I used to write. I loved writing. Anything and everything. I journaled, I wrote poems, I wrote newspaper articles and research papers. I just wrote. And I loved it! I still have my final research paper from my freshman year of college- my professor wrote on it, "If you pursue a career in writing, you will succeed!" Some may think that sounds like a fortune cookie, but those words meant SO much to me. I was going through some old stuff the other day and found a newspaper article that I wrote when I was on the Compass staff at ETBU. It was GOOD! I just sat there thinking, "Did I seriously write this??" I feel like I've lost my touch. When I write these days, it just seems bland and boring. I need to rediscover writing.

I used to paint. I have never been good at painting, but I loved it! I think I'm most proud of a painting I did for my brother. It was part of a basketball court and a basketball, and it had a quote on it about coaching. When Weston and I got home from our honeymoon, his wedding present to me was waiting in our apartment. An easel and some really good paints and brushes. I was so excited! But I've rarely used it, and Weston has never really forgiven me for that. I need to rediscover painting.

I used to sing and play piano and guitar. I led worship with several different bands. I loved it! But then it all faded away. People moved on and went their separate ways. I was told I would have an opportunity to sing with a group for a summer and then denied it and that was like a stab in the heart. I became very self conscious and haven't really sung since then (apart from choir at church). It's been 2 and a half years. I need to rediscover music.

As all these things are going through my mind, I read a blog this morning that said this:
"The job of the artist is not to convince people to like what they have created. The job of the artist is to create. Your creation could be words, paints, crafts, music. But your art is in no way limited to those things. Your art is any work you are passionate about. And your job is to be passionate, not to convince someone else to like you."
I read that and thought, "YES! This is what my heart is screaming!" So for now, I'm going to create. And rediscover my passion. I already have about 5 blogs written and waiting, and maybe I'll post those. Or maybe not. We'll see. For now, I will simply create.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Links I Love

There are a few websites that I visit daily...or hourly... or whatever.
[The names in grey are links. Just wanted you to know that in case you didn't take the time to scroll over them ;) ]

Jenny is the lead singer of the band, Addison Road. I will admit that I like her blog more than her music. (not that I don't like her music, I was just a blog fan before an AR fan... actually I'm not really an AR fan because I discovered them after I stopped buying CD's.)
Every time I read her blog, I feel like we are sisters, or best friends. In fact, when she came to Marshall for a concert, I e-mailed her and asked her to go to coffee with me. And she did. Read her blog, love her blog, love her. It may or may not be true that I sat in a pizza place, pregnant, reading her blog on my phone, and crying. That was quite the sight, I'm sure.

I have recently fallen in love with cleaning. [weird. i know. a whole blog post coming on that later] With that love of cleaning, I have fallen in love with Mrs. Meyers. My collection is small right now (only one bottle of Basil Countertop Cleaner) but once I run out of my old products, I will be stocking my entire house with Mrs. Meyers products. Which only inspires me to clean more so I can get rid of this old stuff fast!
I do lots of cleaning but also have to take care of Leeland in the middle of it. I'm always worried that some cleaning chemical is going to be on my hands when I pick Leeland up and then he'll suck on my fingers (which he loves to do lately) and get sick or something. With Mrs. Meyers, I don't have to worry about that!
A good selection of her products are available at Walmart in the laundry aisle which is nice because the shipping that comes along with ordering online can be a beast. But there are special seasonal scents available online for a LIMITED time that sound dreamy!

I love reading their Daily Devotionals. I don't read them every day but usually go there about 3 times a week. It seems like every time I read one of their devos, it speaks DIRECTLY to me. Those ladies are so talented but the best part is that they are just like you and me and all of their posts relate directly to real life. SO good! AND one of my favs, Lysa TerKeurst will be speaking at Feminar again this year! Come to Feminar, it's a blast!

No matter how many pairs of TOMS you have, it always seems like you never have enough. It's always like you need just ONE more pair. Then after you get that pair, you still need another. But I suppose this feeling is fitting since there is always ONE more child out there that actually truly does NEED a pair of shoes. So go ahead, buy another pair. They are always coming out with new styles and designs and it is fun to check em out all the time. Of course, it can be a little dangerous because you might end up buying too many pairs of shoes but... I don't mind :)

Seriously, who doesn't love Google? I don't know what I would do without Google. I am what some may call a 'Google Mom.' From the first second I suspected I was pregnant, I've been googling everything. Weston's google method is to find the exact few words that will get the job done. Like it's some magic formula. He usually only googles a few words at a time. Me? Google is like my genie in a bottle. I ask it exactly what I want to know. And it never fails. Here are a few examples from my love affair with Google:
"Can a pregnancy test be wrong?"
"How do you know if you're in labor?" [Ha! This is when I really was in labor and probably should have been telling people but instead it was mine and Google's little secret.]
"My baby spits up all the time."
"What do you do when your newborn is constipated?"
"When do babies start crawling?"
A few times I have felt guilty about googling for answers instead of calling a doctor, but the other day, I googled, then called the doctor, and the doctor told me the EXACT same things I found out on google. Google, you never fail me.

Scott Erickson is my favorite painter. I discovered him my sophomore year in college when he was the live painter during a concert at ETBU. I would say he is a Humanitarian Painter. You know, painting for a purpose. Using paintings to give a voice to those who otherwise might never be heard. Right now, he is the Artist-in-Residence at Ecclesia in Houston. I have really been wanting to go see him again since he is so close (he was formerly in Seattle) but haven't had the chance. His paintings are ALWAYS the desktop on my computer. ALWAYS. And have been for the last few years.