You know those weeks your to-do/project list is teeming over a single page, but you are still hopeful you can accomplish each item listed?? Yea … that is my week with the optimistic perspective that each of those things will get done (fingers crossed!). Here’s a few of my dock items …
. Birthday week! Matt’s birthday is midweek, and I am hosting a little birthday get-together for my sister’s birthday on Saturday. Party vibes, think: white. Pinterest is not helping me with all the beautiful ideas out there. Hoping for a beauty day so we can be outside.
. We went to Kayben Farms this weekend, and I saw some sheep. Along with chickens, goats, a miniature donkey, cows and horses, I’d love some sheep. Our five acres can’t house all of those cute creatures, BUT a girl can dream of pictures like this, right?!
. Clearing out our saskatoon bushes of long, overgrown grass. I’ll be using this cute gardening pillow I picked up the other week – so comfortable to kneel on, and yes, pleasing to the eye. Confession: I actually bought two, one for around the house and one for the greenhouse(!)
. I bought two heads of cabbage this week … my plan is to FINALLY make some of these. Without the raisins tho!
. We are currently doing a program called ‘Five In A Row” and we are in the middle of the book Make Way for the Ducklings. Hoping we can find ourselves near some ducks this week as part of our nature study.
. The other weekend, I cleared two big garden beds of weeds, weeds and more weeds. I would love to have them both full of these … does anyone have a suggestion for what would partner well with them?
. And … laundry! I have stacks to get through as I’ve been sorting/switching closets. Clothes too small, clothes to give away/pass on to the next brother, just up to my ear in clothes! Dreaming about laundry room ideas in the midst of it all 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Whatever optimistic, lofty goals you have this week, I hope you are able to tackle them with some gusto! Happy week, ya’ll <3
pic pix: dreaming of spring lilacs, Apr.2015, our old back alley
color: golden rod yellow, blush (yes, again), pewter blues
word of inspiration: new beginnings
source of word: With spring in the air, our hearts healing, blooms and sprouts soon to be making their way to the surface . . . we are on the path of new beginnings.
/1. this room
… “me”. just missing some wood, but love love love this room. /2. nothing like a fresh posy
photographed with a pretty door /3. an all season sweater, coming at ya [source unknown]
/4. what a cute print
for a cute little lass /5. Joanna Gaines
has got an eye for colors + design, like this dreamy rug
/6. love this wrap of a skirt
/7. my girlfriend’s cute company – Jane + Lou Baby
– is continually bringing fresh things to the table. i love these baby britches
. /8. this little mirror
– the sweetest /9. there are so many things to get in this print
. from pillows to shower curtains … /10. brass pendant
, needed in my life /11. would like a pair of these plushy blushies
for my studio /12. a couple colorboards
back, i highlighted the bison blanket
(which we now have) from this company
. my latest obsession? this yellow rose blanket
A note for you all: Thank you for all the private messages/emails and those who contacted me from my last post about our sweet baby boy. It warms my heart the love and support we have felt, and I am grateful for this community here. Thanks for sharing in life with me <3
This part of my world [writing] has been kept more to the pages of my journal lately. I haven’t wanted to openly/publicly express anything mainly because by talking about it … it solidifies even more the reality that we are living, and that is hard for me right now.
As some of you may or may not have known, I was pregnant with our fourth baby due to join us in July of this year. Even though it was a rough start, I was just starting to feel well as we entered into the new year. Spring, summer, fall … quite literally, life plans were made around this wee one arriving. I was passed the ‘early’ stages of pregnancy and was feeling pretty excited that I was already one-third of the way through pregnancy and in 6 months, would be meeting him/her. Mini conversations around Christmas were had with this baby growing inside me about how he/she would be with me next year, already 5 months old! To say we were overjoyed was an understatement.
Then, a few weeks ago happened.
January 22, 2017, my sweet baby boy, Elkan Matthew entered this world. I was around 15+ weeks pregnant but the doctors figured he had passed away around 13+ weeks. The crushing moments of finding out our baby had no heartbeat and then having to endure labor were only the first hits of pain. As we held our teeny tiny, perfect little boy in our hands, pangs of sadness/awestruck/disappointment/hurt/love/bewilderment and so much more brewed inside me. So many questions, so many feelings, so much hurt. The plans we had for him (though we didn’t know “he” was another boy!), the dreams we dreamed of him and the life we wanted for him were and are … gone. And yet, only because of God’s forever grace, we feel a hope and a reassurance – the reassurance that God is holding our baby. And even though my arms ache for him, we have a hope in our faith, knowing that one day we will be with Elkan in heaven.
We chose the name Elkan Matthew, like our other boys, not only for the sounds of the names but for the meanings and significances the names carry. In the past, we haven’t decided on a girl/boy name up until a month before the due date, but early in this pregnancy, we knew the name ‘Elkan’ would be part of this baby’s life – girl or boy. We knew God was doing a miracle creating this baby and we really felt that He would use this little life to bring creativity to others and would highlight His creation through our child’s life.
ELKAN: [pronounced: El-Kan] God creates; created by God/belonging to God
MATTHEW: gift from God
Our wonderful gift from God, though his life here with us what not nearly as long as we wanted it to be, was truly just that – a gift. And I believe that, though in some ways he will become like our family’s special secret, his life will always be present to us with his purpose and revelation … right down to the meaning of his name.
Previous to knowing Elkan would be born, we had planned a mini getaway to Palm Desert, CA for a week which ended up being days after he was born. During that week of renewal and rest, we were ignited again with some passions and ways that we want to be more creative in our lives. Our hearts have again become stirred to really live for what we feel our purposes are and we also have a sparked striving to live out our dreams and to not just think them. Amidst that time away, it’s become more apparent that Elkan’s gift of life to us, was and is a reminder for us to live our lives more creatively, enjoying all that God has created for our moments and breaths of life to hold … all with the understanding and the believing of His awesome promise that we belong to Him.
There are things in this life that I will never understand, especially why Elkan is not here with us today. But again and again I will hold onto hope. Hope for today. Hope for our eternal future. Hope for the redeeming of things that are incomprehensible in this life. Hope that the purposes I have been created for will be accomplished, be an inspiration, and seen through. Hope that God is carrying me through every happy/hard moment I live. The hope that you, the reader, would see and be reminded from Elkan’s life that there is a creative process in your life that God wants to be part of.
And for the hope … that day I get to see my baby boy again in heaven ❤️
“But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you. God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:4-6
Memories squeezed in small pictures. Moments captured on film. Time captured in our head space to reminisce. There’s something so wonderful about embarking on a new year with fresh vision and eager anticipation for the journey ahead. But for the nostalgic girl over here, there’s also a string attaching me to what will one day be distant memories that is hard for me to cut off. Thankfully, 1. seasons go and come again and 2. we have some many vices of recording special/favorite moments in our lives.
Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods or circumstance. – C.S. Lewis
Instead of trying to change everything as I roll into the fresh new year, I want to take steady movements to improving and furthering the bounds I took in 2016. Like C.S. Lewis mentioned, as faith as my foundation, “holding on to things” regardless of the constant change around me, this next year can be more of an embellishment of that which is already rooted in me. Of course, there will always be things to weed out, but of the good things rooted this past year (and previously) … I want to nurture and grow.
For the past few years, we’ve come up with a word/theme to come back to during the year. Call it a vision cast or an ideal we’d like to get better at. This year, when I asked Matt what he thought our “word” should be, he came up with STEWARDSHIP.
stewardship [noun]: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care
Initially, I wanted to ask him the next word that came to mind as it didn’t sound quite as exciting as I wanted(!), but I bit my tongue and said, “Let me mull on it.” And the more I chewed on it, the fullness of stewardship and all the areas of our life it applies to, the more it seemed to be the best word for our upcoming year. From the way we manage our time (with our family, business, friends), to the way we take care of our resources (acreage, home, vehicles, etc.), to those very things I mentioned earlier (taking the previous years’ lessons with me) that have been ‘entrusted in our care’ … we can always do better and grow, grow, grow! So, here’s to stewarding more AND better this year <clinks glass>!!
Hope you had a wonderful time of rest over the holidays, the happiest of new years to you and yours and I hope to be connecting with you more over here in 2017! Now … for the (condensed version) highlights of my 2016:
I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. Israel went down for a nap, and the older two got (extremely) bundled up to go out in the frigid temperatures. The house got quiet. It was that I’m-so-excited-I-could scream (but not) kind of quiet.
Coffee. The first thing to come to mind this Monday morning. The first Monday in a while that we are 1. not sick and 2. have nothing, absolutely nothing on the agenda today. After I thought of my novel “enjoy a cup of coffee in peace plan”, I got thinking maybe I should tackle the list of to-dos instead. Nah, those can wait. Since moving, my continual to-do list is just that … continual. I’ve only painted the living and kitchen, and there a ton more rooms to tackle. Boxes are still in every room. Hidden maybe, but not from my memory. It doesn’t help that I keep dreaming of new projects on top of the things that need to be done, but that’s just the way it goes, right?!
But regardless of the lists, I sit still and sip my coffee.
Being quiet … how often do I really do this? I should clarify that question, how often am I quiet and doing nothing with my hands? When does this happen? In this season of life, almost never. It’s probably why it feels so foreign as I stare out the window and see the boys play and the world is moving slowly around them. Gentle wind. Flying birds. Sparkles glimmering in the snow. Even though they are bustling around, the elements around them are peaceful. Despite the fact that they are boys and always moving and exuding energy, they are surrounded by pockets of peace.
It’s easy to use the excuse of this ‘busy season of life’ to sometimes not sit and drink in the actual quiet. The actual blessings we are encompassed in. I can tend to look at what they are doing, at the moment, and not consider the complete surroundings – like focusing on what is frustrating as opposed to acknowledging the good that envelops our everyday. I’ve always seen myself as positive and viewing life from a glass half full, but if I don’t let even the smallest of frustrations or (quite literally) noises be drown out with JOY of the peace around us … I will miss out.
Like this season of bustle, busyness, and merry-making, if we don’t stop to see the peaceful snowflakes of life falling around us, we may just miss out on the joy engulfing us. The JOY of the Saviour coming to this world, so many years ago, to give us hope. Take a minute, step back and pinpoint the peace around you. I can almost guarantee you it’s there.
“…then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places…” – Isaiah 32:16-18
pic pix: a family shoot done by one of our favorites, Sherah, Dec.2016, at home