• link love,  WIP Fridays


    autumnflowers drawing

    I’ve been working on a piece in the wee smas of the day. I haven’t gotten as far as I would have liked this week, but it will come in its own good timing. It has taken me a long time to learn this, to slip into the small moments and use them as well as I can and then move on. It is a far more peaceful way of being, no longer under the gun of what can sometimes be my outlandish expectations.

    There have been so many good things around the internet this week.

    Molly Sabourin, Grace Here and Now– Just As I Am…

    It’s natural when approaching unfamiliar territory to try and make sense of it by observing the natives. I did this when I was first pregnant and living in the city. The circles I ran in happened to be more alternative than traditional, medically speaking,  and the new mothers I saw regularly at my parish and La Leche League meetings were pro-homebirth, breastfeeding, babywearing and kelp eating. These devoted hippie mamas became my tribe. I adopted their philosophies, birthplans, and bohemian style. To me, they were the quinesstential definition of “maternal” and because of that limited perspective I assumed flowy skirts, baby slings and Birkenstocks were the required uniform for new-momness, and vegan lentil stew, kale salad, and honey sweetended carob brownies the required menu.

    I have to say, this next post series was an article series that my husband and I could have used in our younger years-so much we had to learn the hard way. I deeply appreciate Bonnie’s willingness to be vulnerable and transparent about this so that others can learn!

    Bonnie, A Knotted Life– Financial Hardships and Suprise Pregnancies: An Introduction…

    …Yes, we are living this life because it’s the life we’ve chosen. We chose to take out student loans. We chose to pay for things with a credit card. We chose to not contracept or abort any of our babies. Travis chose to go into teaching and I chose to be a stay at home mom (Although daycare for five kids? It wouldn’t even be worth it for me to work!) We have chosen to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. We have chosen to make these sacrifices because we believe that in the end, no matter how hard things may be now (and how hard it is for even us to see it), it is worth it.

    It’s worth it to choose life. It is worthwhile to choose life over death, over the impossibility of more life,  or over things and experiences. And it is worth it because life is worth living.

    Could alternately be titled, (yet again) Why I Let My Children Read Harry Potter. (Okay, okay I confess to a little bit of snark with that comment.) I’m amazed at the people who refuse to read it or let their children read it “because of the evil of witchcraft” and yet have no problem with their children reading Narnia or Lord of the Rings. Good is good and bad is very bad and the evil literally wear their sins in their bodies, on their skins, and yet there is light and redemption….oh just go read the article. She’s talking about all sorts of fiction….

    Kathleen Shumate for Story WarrenTrue Fiction

    I have loved fiction longer than I can remember—“I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun”—and I have hope that the best stories will shape my children as they shaped me. True fiction furthers the Great Story and trains our imaginations to love and yearn for what is good. It is well worth our time.

    One of the uncomfortable conversations I have with my children often, perfectly captured and explained.

    Tony Woodlief for Image JournalThe Beast Without…

    So in the spirit of practicing what I preach about considering how our actions incite others, I think on the conversations my children have overheard, in which I question someone’s motives, in which I denounce some political figure or corporate charlatan, in which I rail against the people tearing down Western civilization.

    YES. YES. YES. Kort is on a roll this month, and this one I was getting all old-time gospel religion and hooting and shouting yes as a period for each sentence.

    Kort Garrison, One Deep DrawerGood Enough is…Good Enough

    I’ve got this idea in the back of my mind that things have to be perfect–the booklist complete, the supplies in hand, the house organized, dinner planned–before I can start.  It’s a fancy way of procrastinating.  It’s a fine way to give into the fear of failing or not quite measuring up.  It keeps me busy enough with the peripheral that I never actually get down to work.  And if affects my homeschooling and my paid work.

    It seems I always end with John, but if something ain’t broke, why fix it? You do read him, don’t you? I’ve told you a thousand times about his poetry, so you have no excuse. The harder decision is to pick which one to share with you. This one…just oh. No words. Just read.

    John Blase, String Bright the Gray

  • beautiful things,  link love

    Towards the light…

    Morning light
    Mid-day light.
    Mid-afternoon light.
    Late afternoon light.

    Turn your face towards the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.

    – Maori proverb

    (Continuing my photographic exploration of looking for the light yesterday.)

    Just a quick note: If you followed along with the Finding Home series, you might enjoy Kort’s series this month about Homeschooling and Working From Home with Ease. It was the series I really, really needed back in the day. While I dealt with the big heart issues in Finding Home, she’s talking about the nitty gritty day to day helps in scheduling, apps to use, and so much more.

  • beautiful things,  link love

    Learning to flourish…



    I was so very happy to be a part of Sarah Mackenzie’s (Amongst Lovely Things) bi-monthly newsletter called Flourish for March. It is being edited by my good friend, Kortney Garrison, and it was such a treat to be a part of it. I’ve long enjoyed receiving the encouragement that comes with each newsletter, so it was nice to turn the tables and encourage others! By clicking on the link above you can go straight to the issue, but I’d definitely recommend a subscription!

  • beautiful things,  collecting stories,  link love

    She who…

    photo (6)

    She who reconciles the ill-matched threads

    Of her life, and weaves them gratefully

    Into a single cloth-

    It’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall

    And clears it for a different celebration.

    -Rainer Maria Rilke

    I haven’t jumped on the 31 days train this year, but there are a few writers’ series that have been truly helping me to reconcile those threads. Perhaps you’d enjoy them too?

    Hannah E. Vazquez- Good Grief: 31 Days

    Emily P. Freeman- 31 Artists Who Influence

    Elizabeth Foss- 31 Days of Running Into Myself

  • creative capers,  link love

    yarn along, feb 19th

    photo (59)

    Switching gears this week, I had to put down the cowl for my sweet Lorelei’s scarf. She’s been learning how to knit herself from a kit she received for Christmas, but as I well know, it’s hard when you are first learning. After a tearful episode last week, I realized that she really wanted to wear the scarf before it got to warm, so I’ve helped her along a bit. She knits one row, I knit ten. 😉

    Since I’ve gotten back in the writing groove, I’ve found my tastes swinging wildly. Sometimes I just want good clean fun, sometimes I’m reading a book not so much for content but for structure. The books I choose this week were an interesting experiment- I wanted to find books written either about Asian or Middle Eastern culture (or their culture set within Western culture). I didn’t realize in so doing I was also ensuring that each other was also writing in English as a second language. That is truly fascinating to me, particularly in structure and style- the words they chose and why and when. They were all very good books.

    The Cry of the Dove was just fascinating. The peek into someone’s life so very different from your own; the ending is truly heartbreaking though. Some might find the prose a little hard to follow but it is worth it to dig through it; the mechanics get a bit flipflopped at times. The Surrendered was just.oh. I don’t even have words. It’s a peek into the Korean war from the other side…I just…oof. So very, very good, and so very, very hard. It’ll live with you for a very long time. Absolutely five stars. It covers ground you don’t want to cover but you really need to. The prose work is masterful- I learned so much as a writer when I could tear myself away from the story. It’s so tightly woven. I’ve just started The Bonesetter’s Daughter. I’ve read Amy Tan before…the way she renders relationships makes you remember your own, even if the story is about a girl, halfway around the world.

    Sharing with Ginny.