Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mark Twain

I found this quote yesterday by Mark Twain. I've heard parts of it before but never the whole thing. It goes: "Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth."
Wouldn't this world be a better place if we followed his advice?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Perfect Love

More from Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle: "Despite the fear and unfaithfulness of his followers, Jesus' love never faltered, for it was not dependent on the merit and virtue and the qualifications of those he loved."

I want to love like Jesus. I want to look at the heart of a person not on the outside. I want to be loved for who I am inside. No, I want to be loved DESPITE who I am inside. That's how Jesus loves.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Decluttering My Hobbies

Things are blooming down south. This is a redbud tree in the children's garden. Spirea, daffodils, azaleas, camellias, grape hyacinth, and more are budded out.

I'm also coming out of my wintertime fog. I had an "Aha!" moment this past weekend.

I've been reading Susan Vreeland's Luncheon of the Boating Party; about Renoir's painting and how it came to be. I love the descriptions of how he saw colors and light. I see that way too. I notice things; subtleties.

But unlike Renoir, I have had almost no training in painting. I believe I could learn to paint, but the amount of time it would take is time I can't give right now.

So for now, I'm going to concentrate on photography and writing. I'll do the occasional small watercolor, for I can do those without much angst. I find them fun and relaxing.

God has chosen motherhood for my life's pathway and all that calling entails. Until Darcie is self-reliant, I won't have the time to pursue painting on a large scale.

And maybe it will come sooner than I think it will. I'm going to practice contentment in this stage of my life and count my blessings which are many. I'm not going to think of what might have been. I just want to be the best mother and grandmother I can be.

I don't want to become an old person who just sits in the house all day. I want to be active and learn new things with my family. I want to show them that it can be fun to get old. I want us to have fun together.

But the point of this post is to say that, for now, I'm letting painting go. Except petite watercolors.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Divine Discontent

I'm still finding many jewels in Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle. This one gave me some insight into why I usually feel a little edgy and not completely content.

She writes, "Divine discontent, a longing to find the melody in the discords of chaos, the rhyme in the cacophony, the surprised smile in time of stress or strain. It is not that what IS is not enough, for it is; it is that what IS had been disarranged and is crying out to be put in place."

I once wrote in a photographic bio that I liked to take photos of the world as I wished it to be. I usually only take photos of beauty or idealistic things. I know the importance of photojournalism. We need to see things as they really are. I just feel that my place in the scheme of things is to record beauty; to inspire. Maybe that's my way of rearranging and of putting things back in place.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Garrett's tour of duty in Iraq is half over. He gets to come home for two weeks. Yeah! He leaves Iraq at 9:00 Monday morning, flies to Kuwait, and then picks up a commercial flight to Atlanta with a stopover in Germany. Iraq time is eight hours ahead of Eastern time. That should put him here Monday night or Tuesday morning.

I am SO excited about him coming home. The first six months have just crawled by. I hope the second half goes by much faster. I'm praying he's not going to re-enlist!

One thing on his agenda while he's home is to go to Swainsboro and pick up the motorcycle he's bought. Every day there's a new package on the porch for him; two helmets, a black leather vest, and who knows what else. The boxes are stacked head high in his room. That boy can spend money faster than anybody I've ever seen.

But he is grown. I reckon he can do what he likes with his own money. I just hope one of those helmets fits me, 'cause I'm ridin' that bad machine as soon as it gets home!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Two Faces of Debbie

Laurel and I were talking late into the night ( her baby wouldn't sleep) about how different we are. She's a minimalist; I like English Country. She's more of a gourmet cook; I'm definitely Southern. She hates to sew; I love to sew. And on and on...

These two quotes sum up the difference well. She has this one posted on her blog "Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life." Robert Lewis Stevenson I agree with that mostly except the part about not grasping at the stars.

This is a summation of a quote I had on this blog at one time. "Aim for the moon. If you miss at least you'll be among the stars." Or something to that effect. Two different ways of looking at life.

I've always thought I could do just about anything I set my mind to. I've always aimed for the stars and hit them most of the time. I finished my first bucket list in my thirties. I'm a dreamer and an implementer.

I don't dream impossible dreams. I know I'll never be a Martha Graham, a Bach, or a Monet. That's fine. I just want to do what I do well and not half way. My theory is that if you don't at least give it a shot, how will you know what you're good at or what you like?

Here's the conflict. I've been going through a crisis of sorts for the last five years. I feel dissastified; like I'm not living up to my potential. Sickness and depression are my almost constant companions. I'm not content to do the little things even though I enjoy them. I feel like there's bigger things I should be doing.

I want to write a book. It's on my new bucket list. Whenever I hear of other people writing books and getting them published, I'm jealous and envious. I don't like feeling like that. I should be happy and proud of their accomplishments. I am, but other negative feelings are mixed in with the good.

My envy tells me that I'm not content with my own life. I love my life yet I'm not content. What a contradiction I am.

I'm in a holding pattern. I'm waiting on the Lord to show me what's next. This hymn just popped into my mind and says beautifully what I desire. I need to sing it to myself every day.

Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me,
The changes that are sure to come, I do not fear to see:
I ask thee for a present mind, intent on pleasing thee.

I would not have the restless will that hurries to and fro,
Seeking for some great thing to do, or secret thing to know;
I would be treated as a child, and guided where I go.

I ask thee for the daily strength, to none that ask denied,
A mind to blend with outward life, while keeping at thy side,
Content to fill a little space, if Thou be glorified.

In service which thy will appoints there are no bonds for me,
My secret heart is taught the truth that makes thy children free,
A life of self-renouncing love is one of liberty.

Wow! That nails it, doesn't it? It makes all my whining about "finding myself" seem pretty pathetic. Yet we have to go through these seasons in order to grow and see what useless things need to be shed in order for Christ's light to shine more brightly through us. I'm done whining now. Please God, let me be through.