A Cool Evening

Yesterday was all around cool. First of all, Dave finally got a wedding ring again after several years of his being at the bottom of the lake. Not the same one as the lake one, obviously. A brand new one! Faaaancy.

Secondly, it was the Civil Wars show at The Ryman. If you live around Nashville, you understand the magic of that sentence. The Civil Wars are a like mythical beasts with perfect pitch and the Ryman is as close to sacred ground as you’ll find ’round these parts. I can’t even describe the crowd. They had multiple standing ovations. It sounded like a rock concert between songs; people were stomping on the floor and yelling, “WE LOVE YOU, JOHN PAUL!” It was insanity. Wonderful, Nashville insanity. (Photo credits to Ms. Lillian B)

For one song, they brought out Taylor Swift. The girls behind me started screaming and, no kidding, crying.

It was a lovely, lovely music-filled evening. But it doesn’t stop there.

All during the show between songs I was checking Facebook because some sweet friends of mine were all tied up in this miracle: Chalos Adoption Journey 

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Stewardship – The Hard Part

Sometimes, I am slow to learn. I don’t quite “get” patience, though the last 5 years of my life have been one giant lesson in patience. I don’t always remember, “keep your house clean and you will be happier,” even though every time my house is clean, I feel so much better. It just takes me a bit to catch on.

We’re going through a study at church right now about being a good steward. Being a steward means being in charge of something that doesn’t belong to you. I’m learning about this, and I realize it’s been slow coming over the past few years, but my ideas of stewardship are changing.

God has given me an incredible urge to nurture that everyone doesn’t get. He’s given me this gift – this huge piece of me that is overpowering, this thing I cannot ignore – and I’m not using it to the best of my ability. Sure, I’ll babysit your kids for free. Yes, I’ll snuggle your baby all evening while you take a nap. But I could be doing more. I know God only gives us what we can handle, so I don’t feel like I haven’t been doing enough. I wasn’t always aware that I had options. It didn’t fit into the puzzle I was able to understand.

I’m starting to think of being a good steward like this: God didn’t make me wealthy beyond measure with fancy cars and piles of cash. I can’t fly to Haiti once a month to visit an orphanage with the money I have. Lord, how I would love to do that, I’m not telling you I’m unwilling. But He has made me wealthy beyond comprehension with love for children and a desire to nurture. I have been dwelling in the heartache (heaven help me, there is a lot of heartache) of not being able to use this gift the way I understood it – being pregnant, being a stay-at-home mama, toting my children around in their carseats while we sing along to Elizabeth Mitchell songs. Lord, how I would love to do that, I’m not telling you I’m unwilling. If you know me, or if you read the blog and “know” me via the internets, you know my husband and I have every intention of adopting. We are still trying to get pregnant. But lately I’ve had what feels like conviction toward foster care.

There was a man who lived up the road from us when we were younger that had foster children; it was my first understanding of what that meant. Kids come to his house, they stay for a while, and then they leave. As young as I was, I thought, “man. That must be really hard to not keep those kids forever.” That sentiment is still something I think about today. I know a couple who do interim care for newborns that are in the process of being adopted. I still think, “man. That must be really hard to not keep those babies forever. I don’t think I could do that. I don’t think I could let them leave. It would be too hard for me.” But what if God has given me the gift of nurturing so I can be a foster parent? Is it selfish of me to keep this gift to myself when it’s so needed? Am I being a good steward of this gift if I think it’s too hard to use that way? Not to sound cocky, but I would be a rock-star foster mom. I just would; it’s a fact.

I don’t think everyone who wants to be a mother has been called be a foster mother – that’s totally not what I’m saying. I’ve just been thinking a lot about it lately, and starting to feel like maaaaybe this is what God is telling me. Maaaaaybe I can take this thing that is so hard and turn it into something positive and wonderful and life changing. Maybe this is just a journal entry more than a blog post – but that’s kind of what I need right now.

So I’m a Collector

Alright, blogging confession time. I have filled my house to the brim. I do, in fact, have too many things and I’m finally admitting that. I’m a collector, to put it nicely. (Hoarding is just a fad word. Collecting is fancy and timeless, as am I. Right…? Am I convincing anyone?)

I LOVE things that are completely unique and have tons of character and charm. So when I see something like that (at the flea market, or at grandma’s house, or at the thrift store) every ounce of me wants to pick it up and give it a home and love it forever. And then I do. Even if I’m not using good judgement. Much like my feelings toward that super cute 2 year old at Wal-Mart. Except I didn’t bring that one home.

I picked up a box of old thread spools from my great-grandma’s barn, not knowing what I wanted to do with them. That’s totally my style, by the way. “I like this. I’ll just keep it in my trunk ’til I have an idea.” Well, I finally had an idea. Centerpiece!

This velvety, super comfy, mustard-yellow rocking chair (Dave’s Christmas present to me) from the flea market.

I definitely gasped when I saw this $4 landscape painting from the 40’s that is SO my taste right now – it will probably change next year, but it was $4 so WHO CARES!? Live it up old painting! Your time is now! Also, tell me that old-school school-house clock is not amazing. It’s industrial, so it’s super heavy, and it makes this wonderful whirring noise. It’s also a flea market find.

Another one of my newest quirky pieces is this handmade piece of a guitar my dad started to build when he was younger. High school maybe? Is that right, dad? I love that there is not a single other one just like this in the whole world. That pink and gold thing is a piece of hand-painted wrapping paper that I framed. I just loved the colors and designs. SUPER cheap and easy artwork.

I do my best to justify certain purchases or collections because I think, “Dave would really like this.” Mostly he doesn’t care… but that doesn’t stop me. This is one of “Dave’s” collections.

If I had a booth at the flea market, I would make a killing selling all this stuff. Dave thinks this is a very good idea. I, on the other hand, think, “Look at how much money I’m saving by NOT buying things like this since I already have them!” That makes sense right?