Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mighty Girls - Halloween

It has been a few weeks since our Facebook feeds and our neighborhoods have been full of pint-sized Elsas, ninja turtles, ballerinas, and superheros. It'll be at least another week until the sugar high subsides. 

For a couple days in a row we had a chef and a doctor in our family. The girls played the parts well and walked pretty tall in all their gear; Catherine literally did as her 12 inch chef's hat appeared to add a mile to her tall, slender frame. It was cute to see them so happy with their choice. One of my favorite comments was, "Oh, what successful trick-or-treat-ers you have there." Hahaha! I guess it was a different direction from last year's Tinkerbell and Little Red Riding Hood, although their previous costumes hold a special place, too.

Last week A Mighty Girl featured many girl-empowering costumes and dress up clothes on their blog. Norah, the doctor, has her picture included under: Mighty Girls Explore Careers. Click on over to their post to see not only Doctor Norah, but many mighty girls dressed up as role models, superheros, and historical figures (scroll down a lot to find our little doc).  

Below are pictures of both girls rocking their looks. Any guesses on how many more years we'll get both of them to commit to a costume? I'm eating it up while I can!


















Thursday, November 13, 2014

The latest and greatest


"... in a society that is constantly telling us to chase the latest and greatest and change ourselves with the seasons, what if, more often than not, the riskier thing to do for God is to stay exactly where you are and keep doing what you’re doing for the time being?"

Recently I came across this article written for Relevant Magazine in which the author discusses taking "risks" for God. Kris Beckert challenges an idea present in Christian culture by proposing that taking "huge risks" such as those seen in the lives of "missionaries moving to Africa, folks who gave up careers to move across the country or to take a job that was beneath their education level, Christian musicians who risked everything to go on tour with their families or nonprofit founders who ate Ramen for months on end" isn't always what God wants or is asking of many of us. Beckert writes that sometimes staying where you are is taking a risk. I admit that when I first started reading the article I couldn't help but wonder if it was another article intended to help people feel better about staying put and maintaining the status quo. You know, one directed at those of us who might be comfortable where we are and with what we are doing in life and don't want to be asked to consider an alternative to our present lifestyle. 

While reading through the article, I was not tossed a message of complacency. Instead I was left with the reminder that we should encourage each other to examine our motives more than our plans. We need to keep our eyes open to the full range of possibilities when we consider a "calling". 

Beckert references Ecclesiastes 11:6 and it reads, "Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well." (NIV) This was exactly the verse I needed to see. It was a good reminder that no matter where God has me right now I need to focus on doing the good work He has placed before me instead of trying to judge the harvest. This is hard for many of us, including ENFJs (see Briggs Myers personality Types) aka someone like me who are said to " ...get excited about the possibilities for the future, but may become easily bored and restless with the present" [source]. You see, I truly believe that big things are yet to come for me and my family. I want to be used in a much bigger way. I know it sounds naive, but I'm not afraid to be uncomfortable. And I've told God these things, but He hasn't said too much back. Selfishly, I'd like to think He could at least say, "That's great. Glad to hear it, but just hang tight." But He hasn't said anything yet. Well, I guess I should say I haven't heard Him say anything yet. 

Almost every time I pray I include some form of, "please help me do only things that please You, and help me always give You all the glory," but too many times on some random day at work I get down...because I think I'm missing something and wasting time when I could really be making an impact. Well, it's on those days I'm feeling down I bet I miss out on opportunities to be like Jesus. I'm wasting too much time focusing on the latest and greatest and too caught up in my own pity party that I guarantee I miss out. Surely if I focus on my motives then I will find contentment where I am at any given time. After all, if I spend all my time thinking about where I should be or the bigger, better challenges I want to take on then that's really just me telling God I know better, isn't it?



Tony

Thursday, November 6, 2014

"Write On, Sister."

I follow a number of women (bloggers, public speakers, photographers, musicians, authors) who have not only honed the skills necessary to excel in their craft, but saturate their work with honesty and encouragement. I am drawn to these women as if they are humming my favorite tune in the grocery store aisle.

Below is an exchange between Glennon Doyle Melton, of Momastery and author of Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed, and another woman who shares some of her fears. Glennon posted this exchange on her facebook page. My friends, fellow bloggers, writers, leaders, and goals setters of all kinds, I was motivated by her reply and want to see that you receive this advice, too. 


" Dear G, 

I want to write but I'm afraid of the criticism. I'm sensitive like you and I'm afraid that if I put myself out there and get slammed it will be so painful. Love, S

Dear S,

It will! It will be so painful. Getting slammed will be the worst. I cry about it all the time. They told me it'd get easier, but it doesn't. If you're sensitive enough to be a good writer- you're probably too sensitive to be apathetic about the response. When they don't like it- it'll hurt. But at some point you just say: So What? I can handle a little ego crushing. Getting your ego crushed is like stubbing your toe- you think you're gonna die and you have to curse a lot, but the all- encompassing sharpness of it passes pretty quickly so you can get on with things.

Getting criticized for doing your thing is painful- but it's not as painful as NOT doing your thing. And you know- people do painful things all the time that make them better. I think pain might be underrated completely. For me- it usually precedes something really freaking beautiful.

Anyway. Don't forget- you don't have to be so tough that it doesn't hurt, you just have to be tough enough not to quit.

I'm JUST tough enough. Bet you are, too. Write On, Sister.

G "


Be encouraged!

Emily

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Apple Orchard

This family is in full on fall mode. We are all things pumpkin, knit, golden, cozy, and harvest-y. Last week my mom took the girls and me to the apple orchard in town. Apple picking was one of the girls' first fall activities last year. With that memory front and center while reflecting on the ways to celebrate autumn the girls had been asking about the orchard for weeks.  

Last year, especially as I adjusted to motherhood, I always felt like I had my home and hands full, so there are only a couple cell phone pictures of the girls after our orchard trip. This year I took my camera to capture the outing. Norah has already looked through the pictures multiple times often exclaiming, "That's me! Oh, look...that's Norah picking apples!" She is a good reminder that when I stop and snap I am preserving her history. I am recording it in a way that had not been available previously. And I am honored to do so. With each picture I capture a moment in my girls' story and I hope each shot gives a glimpse of a larger story. A story about seasons, family, redemption, humankind, the greatest love that could ever be. I hope our moments reflect the One who gave them to us in the first place. I hope our moments both preserved and fleeting keep telling the larger story. 







































Emily



Last Sept. was so hot that we wore shorts/sandals to the orchard and just pretended it felt like fall.