1. There is no such thing as too much sunscreen. I put on sunscreen. Promise I did. But there was snow the entire time. Snow combined with elevation makes a bad bad bad recipe for getting burned. I got one made sunglasses tan line. And let’s just say I am on my second round of peeling.
2. Snow makes everything 5x harder than it would normally be. This was basically the most intense outdoor trip I have ever taken. It snowed somewhere between 6 and 8 inches one of the days, and we spent it together in our fly.
3. Snowshoeing is not for pansies. yep.
4. Sleeping with your damp clothes dries them. My socks were wet every day from hiking. I had several pairs rationed through the week, but it was important to keep holy socks holy. Putting them in my down sleeping bag at night allowed my body heat to warm them up.
5.Wearing deodorant when you don’t shower is bad. Bacteria builds if you wear deodorant over and over without showering. So we were not allowed to bring any. But I did… I brought wet ones… Don’t worry.
6. We can accomplish far more together than apart.
7. BIF stands for Bathroom In Forest. I am now acquainted. Check out Deuteronomy 23.12. Its biblical.
8. Bug spray sometimes works. I was eaten alive by mosquitos. There were so many of them our last night it was ridiculous. I would have drenched my clothes in it if there was a way.
9. Wilderness is great medication for a busy life. It makes perfect sense really, Jesus went into the wilderness to quiet himself and be still. I found peace and joy in turning off my blackberry. Its easy to be a workaholic, its medication to release yourself from what you do sometimes.
10. There isn’t many feelings comparable to the feeling of Accomplishment. I for sure exceeding my own expectations of myself. For sure. Victory!
Mothers Day weekend is about to begin. Every mothers day growing up was traditionally plant flowers all day with Mom. Yard-work-for-everyone day. My mom loves having beautiful outdoor spaces, as well as indoor spaces, and mothers day always kicked off the season of eating dinner on the patio. Steak, moms salad with avocado, baked potato, green beans, and if we are lucky molten lava cake for dessert. Still makes me all nostalgic just thinking about it.
I am no where near being a mother. I cannot even fathom having another living thing to care for all the time when I can hardly care for myself as it is. Not to mention there have been a litany of screaming babies around me lately. I have not always received the gift of patience and I don’t have the best compassion for mothers in these situations. I know there are always screaming babies or kids around, because they are after all kids, but its almost comical how over the last week how I have seen screaming kids everywhere. Weddings, wal mart, many different kids at wal mart, church, public restrooms, grocery store, all over. Screaming. Kids.
Then I think of all the high school kids I know. The just straight unruly high schoolers. Their whole worlds centered around themselves, usually, many with rocky relationships with their parents. Many also making decisions that give their parents gray hair. It makes me think of a conversation I had with a parent of one of my younglife girls. She said, “Being a mother is the job you can never quit. Believe me I have wanted to quit. I have no control over the decisions they make, right or wrong. I have to watch them walk through their bad ones. Watch them fail. And I watch them through their good ones. Always wanting the best for them. Its the hardest job, but its the best one.”
I don’t tell my mom enough how thankful I am that she has done and is doing her “job” as a mother well. She is so invested, always calls, always encourages and loves, and always wants what is best for me. And she is always willing to make me steak, baked potato, salad with avocado, green beans, and molten lava cake if I wanted. These days with a good wine too.
Thanks Mom. I love ya.
What about you? Have you thanked your mom lately? Any fun mother’s day ideas or plans? Who are you celebrating this mothers day? Mom, Grandma, Neighbor, Mentor? Who had mothered you well?
“however, community is first of all a quality of the heart. it grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own. the question, therefore, is not “how can we make community?” but “how can we develop and nurture giving hearts?””—henri nouwen (via jilldv)
Sometimes I don’t think I live my life with the urgency I wish I did. When my life is busy and noisy, I don’t value my breath. Sometimes its easier for me to watch my clock, packing my day, and live waiting for my next meeting, event, scheduled hour of this or that.
Even when I have no plans, when I sit and chose what is next base on whatever impulse I have. These days, that usually involves episodes of modern family or reading blogs or pages of bittersweet by Shauna Neiquist. I’ve loved my Vanilla Robos Tea while playing settlers with my roommates.
Then when I have space, it seems easier to see the to do list. The pile of laundry to do, room to clean, thank you notes I still haven’t written.
My roommate Betsy is remembering the 10th year anniversary of the death of 3 friends from high school today. I listen to her story, with small detail, and I can only imagine. I can only imagine what they were like, what the grief of losing friends young was like.
This life is a gift. I believe that. I believe the love the Father has for us all is real. That he is speaking to us, and weaving himself into our lives where we let him. I want to see him and hear him and find him more and more. I want to care about what he cares about, and live my life like I believe heaven is real. Because this is no game, Jesus is for real.
Today I am valuing my breath. Living in grace. Living in this gift.
The last couple of months as I have made the decision to pursue art and young life I have been asked an abundance of the same question about my art. Its something along the lines of, when or how did you become creative?
I know that art gives me life. I have been given hands and eyes that see things and is able to create things specific for me and me alone. The work ahead of me I believe to be meaningful and intentional, set aside by the creator of the universe for me to do.
That being said, one large piece of the puzzle if you will that made me the artist I am is my mother. I don’t know that I have always seen it that way, but it is so true. My mother has played an influential role in my creative journey.
If you walk into my Mom’s house you will see a litany of different pieces of art I have done from age 4 to 22. Every Christmas she pulls out a watercolor I did when I was 4 years old of two reindeer’s, a mama and a baby Rudolph of course. My signature is literally the same size as the reindeer mind you. Every time I go home I beg my mom to give me back paintings I cant stand that I did years ago. But she would never let me take them. I always tell her I will paint her something new with the old stretchers, but it will never happen. Because she has always supported my art, even before anything I did was note worthy.
I have daydreams, not many because I try to be present and live in today. But one thing I daydream about is being a mother. One thing I specifically daydream about it my house, the rooms my kids will live in. I want to paint them crazy murals on their walls. If they want a castle I will paint them a castle. If they want dinos or space or cowboys, I want to paint something ridiculous. I was telling my mom this and the first thing she said was, “But you have to let them do it.” In my mind I was thinking, “No, its my house I want to paint it and make it how I want it.” In middle school my mom let me paint a mural on my wall. I painted an island, monkey’s, palm trees, the works. Looking at it now, you could just say I have technically come a long way. But it wasn’t ever about that for my Mom. It still isn’t.
My mom always put me in front of a blank canvas, and has encouraged me along the way to paint it. She pushed me and has continued to speak positively in my ears even when my own voice is much more critical than it used to be. She makes me excited to be a mom. If I do half as good as she has done, I will be one kick ass mom.
Upon beginning my Christmas shopping gift guide extravaganza, Justin and my mom both asked me what I want for Christmas. A few of first things I found were Clocky, the alarm clock for the sleeping impaired that literally runs away from you, the beeper for when you loose your keys, and a grobal the self watering planter. I feel responsible…
I have not been very good about blogging lately as I have had so much going on in preparation for what is coming in the next few days. I get the priviledge to be a work crew boss at a Younglife camp in Faser called Crooked Creek Ranch. I will be spending 3 weeks with high school kids doing laundry, and I am so excited. I anticipate hard laughter, sweet time with Jesus, true and sweet vulnerability, freedom for captives, rejoicing in heaven and hopefully learning to fold better than I do now…