Saturday, October 31, 2009
My family was never a huge Halloween family - we lived out in the middle of rural Maine and never really had the neighborhood trick or treating experience. My mom was super creative and resourceful so we always had cool costumes & decorated pumpkins, but we really just showed them off to Grammy & Grampy who lived next door, then drove to a few of the houses on our road to get some candy.
(I'm pretty sure Halloween was the only day a year we saw most of those neighbors, now that I think about it. Weird.)
I do enjoy the fall decorations that seem to culminate at Halloween though. I found these images last week and had a moment where all I wanted to do was go home and carve a pumpkin. Or paint a pumpkin - how cute are those little guys?
And how cool is this pumpkin cooler idea?
It makes me want to throw a fall themed party just so that I can try it!!
And finally, check out these fabulous candy shots...after all, it's not Halloween without the candy!
(Except for those weird health food nuts who give out apples and granola - I always felt so bad for their kids, didn't you?)
If Halloween is your thing, I hope you have a lot of fun!
*design images via a life's design, candy images via pine to the pacific
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal."
"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength."
Today I'm clinging to these promises, believing that if I put my trust in Jesus, He'll give me all the peace and strength I need. Sounds simple, right?
*image by Snooko, via The Pioneer Woman
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Since I took yesterday off from work (to recover from a gross cold which I hope is finally starting to get better!!), today is my version of Monday for this week.
And really, doesn't this adorable dog & baby seem like the perfect cure for a case of the Mondays?
*image & smile via Cup Of Jo
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will...and Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us...
(Romans 8:26-27, 34)
*image by Stuff N Things via The Pioneer Woman
Saturday, October 24, 2009
On a rainy Saturday morning, I inevitably find myself humming this wonderful Peter, Paul & Mary tune. It's so satisfying to wake up and hear the rain outside, and then have a default song (that you love) pop into you head.
I'm working on this rainy Saturday...I hope you have something slightly more exciting (or relaxing) planned!
*image via Le Love
Friday, October 23, 2009
Recently my boss and I were talking about how little girls consistently wear all of their favorite clothes and accessories - no matter if they all match or if it's occasion appropriate.
She, and a number of her girlfriends, have decided that it would be fun to have a princess sparkle party where they do exactly that - wear all of their favorite pretty party things despite what matches and doesn't. I suggested that they give out tiaras as party favors so that they could all really sparkle. I mean really, what girl doesn't want a tiara?
Shortly after that discussion, I happened upon this photos. Needless to say, I thought they fell into the princess sparkle category quite nicely!
When I first look at the brooches and intensely shiny little stones, my thoughts immediately flit to all of those rings, long necklaces, clip on earrings and pins that my grammies used to let us play with when we were little girls. Back in the floozie days, when didn't know why all of the aunts and uncles laughed at us when we were okay with being called floozies!
I remember how we loved to claim our favorite glamorous party dresses and then pile on the accessories - no matter if they all matched. In our minds, if they were pretty and we liked them, on they went. And then how proudly we paraded around, showing off our beauty!
Ladies, when you look at these photos (especially the shoes - be still my beating heart!!) doesn't a little part of you want to flaunt your sparkle again?
Don't you want to layer on all of the rhinestones and parade in front of whatever audience you have, just to hear them ooooh and aahhh over the fabulous ensemble you've created?
Perhaps I'll just settle for an incredible new pair of shoes.
Like these gold beauties...definitely work appropriate, right?
*as always, images & inspiration via Garance Dore
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Last week I went to Rocktoberfest - an annual benefit concert for Love146. A number of musicians & bands were there to perform in support of this wonderful organization, which is dedicated to ending child sex slavery and exploitation.
My favorite, hands down, was this brother-sister duo called Joel & Janna. Not only does he play a real piano (major happiness points for me!), but their voices blend into stunningly beautiful harmonies that just made me want to cry and laugh at the same time.
The other thing that really made me enjoy listening to them was their obvious love for Jesus. Unlike most of the other bands there who used nice metaphors for Christ's love, these guys belted out old familiars like There is Power in the Blood and mingled their love for Jesus into every one of their originals. It was refreshing and beautiful.
Go check them out - they have an album available for download on iTunes called The High Road.
I don't think you'll be disappointed...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I'm still processing what we heard at Catalyst, and wanted to share a few more of my notes & thoughts...this time on Rob Bell's message - Is Bigger Better?
He opened with the story of the widow's mite:
- Jesus had to confront some misconceptions during His ministry, and sometimes the crowd thinned when they heard what they had to say. This begs the question, is it okay sometimes when people leave? (worded another way: Is growth always better?)
Then he talked about the idea of eucharist:
- eucharist = "good" + "grace/gift" - a holy, sacred thing
- Jesus is the eucharist, a gift to us from God
- We, the church, are the eucharist to the world around us - broken and poured out in humility to a larger agenda
We looked at Jesus as our example, and then drew some conclusions:
- Jesus only did what the Father did - He didn't bring his own plans to earth.
- When we're doing as the Father does, our actions are more focused and intentional. Even though the task may be difficult, it won't be a burden if it's coming from the Father.
- God longs to give us joy in the task at hand, no matter how important or small that may be. It's not about size, accomplishment or importance - it's about being faithful to the work given to us. When we are anxious about being more, that robs us of the joy God longs to give us.
- When you get to heaven, God won't ask you why you weren't more like Moses - He's going to ask you why you weren't more like yourself.
He closed with a discussion on thinking long term:
- Do we run all the time, or do we take time to rest and feed our own souls? Have you considered taking a Sabbath day - no email, church related phone calls, etc?
- As the people proclaiming a gospel of peace & life, we should be living examples of these principles in our core relationships - otherwise we're inviting people into something that's not real.
- Does your spouse / family get the very best of you, or what's left over? The church can't be doing well if you're family is not well - the two are linked.
- We need a sustainable pace that won't wear us down as time passes - we should enjoy the work more as time goes on, rather than losing passion because we're exhausted.
*image by BriolePhotography via The Pioneer Woman
Monday, October 19, 2009
On a chilly and bright morning like this one, I am loving this look.
(minus the cigarette, of course)
I'm not sure if it's that coat or the incredible shoes, but I've had this image on file for months and just keep coming back to it.
Not feeling confident that I could actually pull it off, but I suppose it's good to think about being more daring...
*image & inspiration via Garance Dore
Friday, October 16, 2009
This furry little goober stayed with us last night, so I've just returned from a brisk morning walk.
(It was definitely snowing the entire time we walked around the pond, which was a little cold...and somehow not appropriate for October...but there it is...)
Thank goodness it's Friday - I've been driving all over God's green earth this week for work and I'm so ready for a little rest this weekend.
But until I leave for work, I think I'll go play with Sir H. After all, what better start to the day could there be?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.
When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.
They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.
I think if they could, they would take
each other's arm.
It's early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.
They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.
Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.
Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.
- Raymond Carver
*photo via sister
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I've still got so much to process from my trip last week. In the last day or so I've really been thinking about Andy Stanley's first message - On Your Mark - the one that really defined the rest of the conference.
Here are a few tidbits from my notes...
- The desire to leave a mark is God's thumbprint on my life - He created me with a purpose.
- God isn't here to play a part in my story - I'm here to play a part in His story. (Am I willing to use my gifts & talents for a different story than the one I've been writing?)
- In order to allow God to make His mark through me, I need to be a leader under authority rather than a leader in authority. (And I have to make this decision every single day.)
- God takes full responsibility for the life wholly devoted to Him.
- Living to make my mark is too small a thing to give my life to.
*love this photo of me & Twin via Miss Ab...look how happy we are reading in the airport!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This past weekend I went apple picking with a group of my favorites. It was a glorious fall day, and the colors were perfect all around us.
Plus the wind was crisp and cool, making it the ideal temperature to wrap up in a scarf and drink hot cider!
About half way through the afternoon it was fun to observe about half of the people diligently looking up into the trees for perfect apples, while the other half were studying the ground for the perfect rotten apples to use as ammunition.
We keep each other balanced.
The lovely Miss Kate (on the right) was back for a quick visit, having recently moved to another part of the country, and it was fun having her with us for the afternoon.
And, I'll have you know, that most of those girls making funny faces together contributed really wonderful things to the apple bake-off on Sunday night. Really wonderful things...
Now just to get to work on all the apples in the fridge...
I think I see an apple pie or coffee cake in our near future!
Monday, October 12, 2009
We're back from Catalyst, and while I'm definitely not caught up on my sleep or feeling back to normal quite yet, I wanted to capture something about the experience before running off to work.
I still have lots to process and don't really know that I can rattle off the spiritual take-aways just yet, but I know that there are a lot of them floating around in my head and heart, and even more waiting in my pages of notes to take root in my heart.
The quality of the material that each speaker brought was just phenomenal - and there's something very cool about hearing people like Andy Stanley, Rob Bell & Chuck Swindoll speak in person. Not to mention that it totally takes it to the next level knowing that they prepared a message just for a leader like me.
There's something about worshiping and learning with thousands of people (13,000 to be exact) that just opens your heart and blows your mind in a unique way. It never ceases to bless me, and makes me anticipate with so much joy what worship will be like in heaven.
(Please note the crazy scale of this event, which is captured in such a insignificant way through a camera. Also note the proximity of my pictures to what's going on, and know that thanks to some very tall people with great scouting abilities, we definitely sat in VIP seating for the entire conference. woot!)
Our travel from Boston to Atlanta was far less than ideal (canceled flight, 8 hours in Logan airport, lots of faxing confusion, missing hotel rooms, etc.) but I was so proud to be traveling with a group of my friends who all behaved with grace and love despite a high level of stress and frustration. It was very cool to know that God could further knit us together as leaders and friends in the middle of inconvenience.
(check out the super cool mirrored wall in Logan, which entertained us for a LONG time...)
I would be so remiss in talking about this trip if I didn't talk about how much fun we had together. There was so much silliness and laughing - no matter where we were - in airports, riding in giant rattling vans, waiting in lines, eating meals, or in the middle of the conference.
There's just nothing like realizing that pretty much everyone shares - at some level - the same lame sense of humor. It's wonderful and terrifying...all at the same time.
So thanks peeps - I'm going to be leaning into this experience for a while.
And I will try to never use the word momentarily again for a long time...
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Etsy is one of my all time favorite ways to spend time and money.
If you're not hooked yet, I dare you to go start poking around. Go on, I dare you.
And since I compulsively bookmark things to gaze at later, I figured I'd share them with you here.
This way you can appreciate even more fully how random and assorted my tastes are.
(Every picture is a link to the item, fyi.)
How about you?
Is there something you've been longing after for a while?