Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Inspired Words and Actions


Books, Words, Thoughts, Ink on Paper.

Its all a passion of mine.

Reading takes me to different times, places, worlds even. So when a book like Jessica Turner's The Fringe Hours shows me a very different but possible reality of my own, I buy in!



The reality found in her book is divinely inspired, filled with hopeful pursuits, and a gentle reminder to stop and listen to the whisper of my creator as I walk this life.

A couple themes resonated with me:

1. "God Created you with a unique set of gifts and passions. May The Fringe Hours give you permission  to pursue those desires."

My passions and gifts are important to God, and that I need to make them a priority in my day to day. As a woman who wears multiple hats, my passions end up at the bottom of the pile.  Her words have challenged me to find moments that I can make different decisions and use my "Fringe Hours" to focus on gifts and passions.

"When we live using our God-given talent and passions, I believe we are pleasing him and more fully living the life we were born to live."


Using my "Fringe Hour" Lunch to read great books.
2."Don't let them suck you into the quicksand of negativity. Instead, extend your hand and offer kindness".

Grace is such a hard topic to get my mind around. In the past couple weeks I've had to remind myself to extend grace. I've found that when I decide to keep grace on the forefront of my mind, my responses to difficult situations are far kinder to myself and others.

"Think how life would look if we approached our struggles with grace instead of guilt."

Used a "Fringe Hour" one evening to make collar
covers for the Pups to wear to the Paws Fur Pink walk. 
3. "Pinterest and the internet in general, cannot be your yardstick for who you are as a woman, what you should love, how you should cook, or what you should prioritize. It does not define you as a mother, as a giver, as a person."

Can I get an AMEN!!! If you had my copy of this book on your lap right now, you would see multiple underlined sections, with the word "WOW" next to them. They are moments that stand out as pure truth to my heart. This was one of those!  After reading that quote, I un-followed multiple celebrities on my Instagram feed and well as Pinterest. I mean who really needs to know what the Kardashians are eating for dinner tonight! I can't say I'm missing them much!

Mixed Pinterest (in a healthy way) and a "Fringe Hour" to make a
sweet Valentine's Day Decoration


4. A reminder to "Love well each day"

Love is my soul word for 2015. I am focusing on Loving the People in my world beyond well each day. When I have taken time to work on the things I love, and I much more available emotionally to love those around me. Its an interesting paradigm shift for me.

"Time is a sacred gift and should be spent well, doing things that make sense for our family and ourselves. Our days should not be filled with a litany of pursuits that drain us."


Spent a few "Fringe Hour's" one Saturday to
 teach a friend to tie fleece blankets.

5. Last but not least, Rest. This was my soul word for 2014. As I look back, I think I spent more time talking about rest, or planning time for rest, than actually resting.  In fact as I tried acupuncture for the first time last month I realized that I don't rest well at all. As my mind raced to every item on my to do list, prayer list, and grocery list while little tiny needles were pushed into my skin, I had a sobering reality check. Learning more about the negative side effects of stress on our bodies, truly learning how to rest is now a goal for 2015.

 "My body and soul are often desperate for that quiet"

Pick up a copy of this inspiring book, and find practical ways to find time for you!





Monday, October 20, 2014

Washington DC Trip - Humbled by the Graves, Memorials, and Monuments


There is something humbling and haunting about the silence in my heart when my eyes first see the white head stones. I don't know what to think, to feel. I am transported back to my 8th grade self, when I first felt this feeling. How can there be so many? What is the worth of this kind of loss? How in this age of brilliant endeavors, can we still go to War? My Questions haven't changed much as an adult. I realize that we must protect our own, and well as those who can not protect themselves, however walking these graves, the cost is sobering. 
   



I am humbled by their service. The honor guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. Every Hour. Every Day. Every Year. I watch with hitched breath as every measured step, every exact movement, are carefully executed. This attention to detail, to self control, to honor is why our Military stands apart triumphantly. It is a powerful thing to witness.







This memorial is hallowed ground for our little traveling quartet, both of my grandfathers served in WWII. In the later years of my grandfather's life (my Mom's Dad), my parents were able to walk this ground with him. To witness the power of his memories, and the importance of a nation memorializing the lives and service of those who serve.



Ryan's father fought in Vietnam. My Dad had friends who served in one of the hardest wars our country has fought. This memorial is intense and plaguing.  I followed a woman who walked slowly dragging her fingers across the engraved names. Did she lose someone in this war? Was it her father, a brother, a friend? Was she mourning a physical death, or the death of a relationship due to the emotional injuries of this complicated conflict? 

We spent a few minutes reading through the causality lists for familiar names, and were thankful not to find any. 

I was taken by the faces of these men, looking back on the names of the fallen. I am humbled by their sacrifice.


The Korean War is one that I know very little about. This memorial is brilliantly human. The faces, the trees, the faces etched in marble. Another memorable reminder that Freedom isn't Free. 


We completed a long walking loop of the memorials and monuments and finished our day with an evening trolley tour of the same.

These monuments truly reflect the greatness of the leaders they represent. I am humbled by their vision, by their hope, by the change each of their lives made.









I am humbled.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Washington DC Trip - Mount Vernon


We started our trip to Mt. Vernon on Miss Christin, one of the Potomac Riverboat Company boats. Sitting on the top deck, we had incredible views, until we were bullied to the lower deck by the cold wind and smell of freshly popped popcorn. Popcorn is a cruel cruel master.   



Enjoying local history and sites as we traveled on the Potomac River, we arrived at the dock of Mount Vernon. I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty we found there.  There was something so very organic about the grounds, mixed with a sense of order.




Walking to the mansion, surrounded by fall color, is breathtaking. This California girl, found herself having a love affair with the fall foliage, and her boots of course!









The mansion itself is a wonderful expression of the man who had such vision for our country, as well as his own home. As we walked the home I pondered the busyness that would have been life at Mount Vernon, against my own. I evaluated my priorities, especially my thought life realizing that greatness like this doesn't come from considering the impact of a "Real New Jersey Housewife" going to jail or who Honey Boo's Mother is dating. Greatness comes from deliberate thought and focus. It's a sobering thought, realizing the impact of one life on our country.







Ryan and I spent a few moments reflecting under a large oak tree, when he said "I am proud to be an American in a time when it doesn't seem to matter". This insight impacted my heart,  I am proud of the country I call my own. Proud of the man who was our first President. Proud of my grandfathers who fought for this country, and the men in our families that have served in generations since. I am proud of the Red, White, and Blue even if it is a time where that matters, because in our freedom every voice counts.