What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, October 13, 2023

Operation DIY Wedding Flowers

Adele' looks pretty shady and suspicious here- but I promise, I asked permission beforehand!

 Operation Wedding Flowers
is under way.

I would have preferred making large and lavish bouquets of things blooming right outside the door for a DIY wedding... but as far as I am aware, a whole lot of NOTHING blooms in the end of December.  

Corynn loves dried flowers so the plan is:   use LOTS of scavenged greenery (a-hem, Christmas tree scraps), supplement with all the free (or dirt cheap) dried flowers we can find and add a small selection of fresh flowers for accent/statement flowers.

I spend more time than I should these days wondering how this flower would look dried- or maybe that roadside weed?  How would marigolds fare? I even cut a bunch of echinacea cones and beebalm seed heads to see if they might mimic blue thistle flowers if I painted them with a tinge of blue...) I have no idea what I am doing or it if will work.  If it doesn't work, it doesn't work... but what am I out?  Nothing.  But if it does... well, aren't I clever?!

Someone-who-shall-remain-nameless-because-we-found-out-too-late-that-it-is-illegal-to-do-so, cut some pretty fronds of dune grass when they were at the beach, thinking they would be a nice addition to our stash of dried florals.  (They are.  And SUPER thoughtful of said person.  But they are also illegal to cut so... I would hate for a police raid to interrupt the wedding ceremony because someone caught wind of the dune grass. Hmmm.  It's a pickle.)

The girls and I have been pruning all the hydrangea plants of the neighborhood (okay- maybe just Aunt Holly's.)  Now they sit in the Granary awaiting their time to shine.  (I knew I worked on cleaning that upstairs out for a reason.)

And then one day last week we made a trip out to Corynn's work, which is all about the pretty dried florals and picked up two bouquets of dried flowers for $8.00/piece with her store discount.  We will probably get 4 more when there is a nicer selection but it made for a fun afternoon trip together.

Now pardon me... I have to find someone who will let me prune their pampas grass.  ;-)

I'll leave you with a picture of Ineke behind the sign Andrew built and Corynn painted as a commission for the store...

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Soaking It Up

  (I should mention: all the photos with a little star were taken by Adele', the budding photographer.  Get it?  Budding?!)  












Autumn is such a beautiful season but it gets the short end of the stick in my book.  I dread winter too much to fully enjoy it and all the goodness that it brings.  Mountains shouting God's glory.  Cuddles under fir blankets on the couch.  Spicy, sweet candles flickering away on counters.  Baking deliciousness to keep the kitchen warm when we haven't started the woodstove.  (still)  Cool nights and quilts on beds.  Matt and I snuggling into each other just a little bit more for warmth.  Pumpkins.  The last of the flowers.  Hot showers.  Sunsets.  

Mostly, I just think about how cold it is going to get.

A few weeks ago, it was unusually warm (almost 80 degrees by some freak miracle) and I decided to take a walk after supper.  The evening began to cool and I took what felt like my first deep breath in a long time.  I smelled that wonderful autumn smell.  I crinkled leaves underfoot.  I soaked it in.  Afterward, I felt so happy that I had decided to go for a walk.  I felt so refreshed.  

I decided then that I would make it a point to go and walk outside for a bit and breath deeply every nice day there was until it got freezing cold out.  If it isn't raining, I ought to go for a walk.  Even just for a few minutes.  Not for exercise.  Not for my weekly goals.  Just to soak it up before it is gone.  To store  up the warmth and sunshine and autumn glory for winter.

A few weeks later, with a few rare exceptions, I have made good on that commitment.  And you know what?  

It didn't work.

It was refreshing.  It helped me to slow down.  To breathe deeply.  To clear my head.  It helped me to decompress.  But I feel no more 'stored up' than I did back when I first began.  

And that got me to thinking... Not only with the turning of the seasons but with the changing of our family as we marry Corynn off, it seems very clear to me...  I do an awful lot of clinging and grasping for things to remain the same forever. 

I want the sunshine to never end.  I want the warmth to never leave.  I want the flowers to never fade away.  I want my children to stay with me forever.  I want the days of Corynn coming into the room, decked out with a clay nose and a goofy wig to never cease.  I want health never to be compromised.  I want the piano to always be background noise.  I want bodies completely surrounding the table, always.  I want our parents to always be around.   I want to be able to kiss my children good night and say good morning to them every morning.  The thought of that not being forever is heartbreaking.

I want to cling to it all.  Cling.  Grasp.  Some good old-fashioned white-knuckled clutching.

But I can't make these things stay any more than I can keep the sun from going down or rising again tomorrow.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace" 

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Mary Magdalene tried to cling once... in John 20 she is there, weeping outside the tomb for her crucified Lord.  And Jesus reveals himself to her.  Of course she would cling.  He is risen!  He is THERE, right there beside her!  How could she not?!

But He says to her...“Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’

Jesus had things to do.  The plan was underway.   If Mary had had her way, Jesus would have stayed with her forever.  And what a tragedy that would have been for the whole world.

All my clinging, what does it do?  

It stifles God's work.  It undermines God's will.  It hinders the fruitfulness of God's plan.  

God has given us these things, these good and Holy and wonderful things, for only a short time.  He doesn't want us to cling to them but to faithfully give them up when He asks for them back.  Whether it be the warm summer sunshine, the children who must leave and cleave or the parents who will one day enter glory... or any good thing He gives in between.  

We must hold it loosely for what it is- a temporary gift.  We can try to soak it up, but it won't work.

So we just give thanks and rejoice that it once was.  

Tuesday, October 03, 2023