the wood between the worlds

"Let's go for a walk in the woods", his eyes lit up as he said it and there was a resounding chorus of hurray's, an undercurrent of adventure.  

He looked at me, half expecting a decline.  Although it's rare I turn down a good romp through the woods, these days I feel like I'm always behind and need to catch up.  I almost sent them all ahead without me.  I had a baby to nurse, clothes to fold, dishes to wash, and a house to clean.  I went anyway.  The house can wait--these days of babies growing too fast will not. 

Things had been weighing heavy on my mind of late.  Parenting issues.  Bills to pay.  Dreams that keep coming knocking, that are afraid of dying.  Struggles of hope and faith and not having enough of either, but desperately wanting more.  The moment we climbed that first slope off the worn out road and into the woods, it all seemed lighter.  Forgotten for the moment.  Feet rush ahead of mine, kicking up leaves and skipping over logs.  It seems another life, where time stands still and we always walk into the sun, in all it's lazy golden glory.

It's not all silence, but it's still.  They squeal and laugh and beckon for each other, the sound of it softened by the trees, floating on the stirring of a breeze.  And I can hear so much clearer here.
Life is simple when you're in the woods.  One beautiful adventure.  Shared with the ones you get to love.  

And I kind of wish we could live there--in a house deep in the woods.  But then I remember there will always be discontentment, even surrounded by the beauty of the earth.  Because we were made for another world.  This one is not meant to satisfy us, only whet our appetite for more.  We were made with a God-shaped hole.  People, things, nature, money, renown...none of them can satisfy our longing for more.

"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.  Aim at earth and you get neither."  -C.S. Lewis

It's often I feel that tug, a pulling between worlds.  One is a permanent residence.  The other only temporary.  One holds my citizenship, the other my cohabitation.  

But they both demand my allegiance.

Am I really longing and living for heaven as though I'm only passing through?  I have to wonder, and the sad answer is:  so often, I'm not.  I get caught up in the things of this world.  The needs, the cares, the wants (too many), frustrations, and fears.  I let them rob my attention, and steal my peace.

But here in the woods, it almost feels like an in-between sort of place.  Walking in step behind my small tribe, my baby nestled tight against my chest, I revel in the love of a God who creates with such care for His children, who designed families as an extension of Himself, who inspires praise from the mouth of the birds.

And the quiet cathedral of the woods becomes an echo of heaven.

The embrace of my children in shafts of sunlight, a heavenly gift.

The stirring inside to love well and love big my God and His children, a heavenly ambition.

And there's an undercurrent of peace, an unfurling of joy no matter what earthly things may come, I'm choosing to let my God fill me up and give me the desire of heaven.


Happy Love Day!

{inspired by pinterest idea: source unknown}

{decorating for our little party}

{love notes to my man and each one of my kids}

Happy Valentine's Day, friends!!!  
Let love be as real as it gets today and everyday!

The Way of Love:  1 Corinthians 13 (MSG)

 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.


If you love it then you better put a bow on it

Usually whenever I start posting back to back crafty projects on my blog it can only mean one thing:  my house is a disaster and I'm avoiding the laundry.  

Wait, I guess that's two things, isn't it?  Well, they're all true.  Thank God for babies.  It's easy to forget how much constant attention they need and how much little attention the rest of your life gets during this baby phase.  I guess they make us focus on what's eternally important, after all.  Pretty sure heaven's not gonna have any dirty laundry.  And I do love this newborn, all wrapped up in mommy's arms phase, but it's just hard to let some things go.  Like long luxurious showers and afternoon naps  and clothes all folded in neat little squares (has it really been almost an entire decade since I've experienced those??)   But back to the crafting goodness...

Astair and I decided that "if you love it then you better put a bow on it".  We threw a bow party.  She made bows for her hair and I made bows for my thrifted blazer pockets.  We even made Story her own little bow onesie (I'll be posting that soon, too).  She's wearing it in a couple of these pictures.  It's bow-licious.

And I'm going to quit typing and let the pictures talk because it's reeeally late and I'm pretty sure I need to go fold some clothes.  And put bows on them.

p.s.  we took these pictures at the old church right across the street from our house.  we take A LOT of pictures in front of that place.  It's pretty special.  It's been our family's backdrop for a few years now (you may recognize it in many of our photos).  I kind of love it (but that doesn't mean I'll be putting any bows on it...)


diy heart toed oxfords

While most people are happily cutting out cute paper hearts and stringing them across their happy little mantels, I am mantel-less and feeling kind of left out.  I'm sure I will still find time to make happy paper hearts with my gang, as well as find somewhere to hang them (ceiling fans?) but in the mean time I wanted to share the only valentine's decorations I've been inspired to make so far.

My oxfords were begging for a new look.  They were just too white and boring.  Here's the treatment they got:

Step {1}

Draw (or trace) a heart on the toes with colored chalk (can be wiped off afterwards).  This is just to serve as a guideline for painting.  Slightly narrow pointed toe oxfords work best for this heart shape.

Step {2}

Choose your paint color.  I used craft acrylics from Hobby Lobby in Christmas Red and Bright Yellow and mixed them to get this peachy color.  I applied two light coats of paint. 

Step {3}

Let dry thoroughly before coats and before wearing.  You may want to apply an acrylic sealer (found in the paint section of Hobby Lobby) to give it a more glossy layer of extra protection. I forego this step for now.  I wore them the other day and the paint didn't scratch (even with little kids stepping on my toes).

Step {4}

Step it on out.

(and then take pictures of your feet for valentines cards...or maybe not?)

Fa cheesy.

I'm really loving these, though.  They feel fun and inspire me to wear something other than my mommy slippers.  

p.s. I'll be posting another diy for you and baby and the outfit I wore with these shoes (just for fun) tomorrow.  Gasp.  I know.  Two posts in a row.  It's a miracle. 


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