I’m sitting here with the laptop on my (where else?) lap, and thinking about all I’ve been doing lately. What I haven’t been doing is documenting everything. There’s just something freeing about being able to, say, take a hike with the kids and not take a camera to share it with others. I’m finding a difference between being in the moment…and stepping outside of it to see it happening through the lens of a camera. Furthermore, it’s also freeing not to have to deal with downloading, uploading, editing, blah blah blah blah. Sure I’m still documenting our lives on film (you know, “film” in the current sense) to some extent, but I have a feeling my annual family photo book is going to be a little thinner this year unless someone else wants to take the photos. So the photos I’m sharing here are not just the best of the batch, they ARE “the batch”.
Interestingly, though, I am drawing a lot more. So the artist in me wants to create something to remember my life by. Am I just substituting pencils for pixels?
In the same sense, I’m still struggling with keeping up this blog. I keep wanting to say something like, “it’s not you, it’s me….” Do you ever have something you love doing at one point just slowly lose steam? Blogging has been a wonderful outlet and I have made some lovely bloggy friends that I would visit in an instant if I were in their neighborhood, but there have been unintended consequences to keeping a blog too.
But…I still love to write. If you’re one of my pen pals, oy….you’re getting pages from me now of news and rambling (sorry haha). Am I just substituting ink pens for keyboards? What is it about leaving some sort of documentation of my life? Is it vanity? Is it to leave a legacy? Is it important at all?
Welcome to my online documented midlife crisis (smile).
What about you? Are you Facebooking, texting, tweeting, blogging and otherwise sharing your life online? Or are you living mostly an UnDocumented life? I don’t know which is the better, but I know my life is always under the loving watching eye of El Roi, the God who Sees Me. With Him as an audience, it ought to be more than enough in terms of validation. If no one but Him sees the beautiful flowers you cut for the kitchen, does it count? Does it matter?
If no one but Him sees the victory of cleaning your whole house or of your new smaller size or of just keeping your mouth shut when you didn’t want to, is He alone enough to rejoice with?
If no one but Him sees the angry outburst or the falling tear or the frustrations of the day that you are repentant of, is He alone enough to draw comfort and grace from?
What would happen if we stopped racing to our computers and smartphones for those needs (for validation? for decompressing? for an outlet? for what?) and began lifting our chins up first to give Him thanks in all things? I don’t know the answer. But it might be worth pondering between scrolling through blogs and whatnot.
Anyway, would you like to see some photos to catch up?
I’ve been harvesting some of my herbs for the year. This was a mix I made to steep in grapeseed oil for a wintertime facial moisturizer. I decided to use calendula, lavender, borage, rose and lemon balm. Don’t they look beautiful? I love all of the color and texture and scent and sight of God’s creation.
I took my baby and 6 and 8 year olds to a small island to meet up with a longtime friend. We had a lovely time living off grid for the weekend (except for my daughter’s small bout with illness during it), and I had the opportunity to interview another wife and mommy about living without electricity for an upcoming podcast.
I loved the peace and quiet. I could almost hear the clouds moving across the sky in rhythm to the salt water lapping the beaches.
On the home front, we’ve been eating some out of the garden, and as the goat babies have been sold, we’ve been enjoying lots of good, fresh, daily milk. This was the biggest batch of babies we’ve dealt with and sold, and of course there have been some challenges. We’re still learning through the process, and that goat husbandry is more an art than a science in a lot of ways, too. God sure has been giving me a lot of grace in those lessons.
Trying to find time and space to practice drawing or painting has been a challenge. I find it is the same for handwork or anything else in like manner…it is a matter of just finding little bits of time here and there, and knowing that over time, a whole picture (or quilt or whatnot) will get finished. Eventually. Like I keep saying, if there’s something you want to do or to learn during the busy time of wiving and mothering, just pick at it in bits. And little by little, the whole will come.
My husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary with an overnight in an old ranger’s (non-electrical) cabin. It was enjoyable just spending time alone and in quietness. Of course baby was with us, but she was a good girl.
Here we are playing in the cabin. You gotta love the bald spot in the back of her wee head! We joke that there is the part that looks like Daddy.
My older daughters put together a tea party for one of their doll’s birthdays. It was so lovely! Can you see the dollies had their own tea party to the right? And yes, that is my herb and vegetable garden in full swing in the background.
And here is our new bed! This quilt is the biggest one I’ve made! I call it my “summer, strawberry quilt”. I finished it right before having baby, and it was quilted on a professional machine. I was able to bind it in time for our anniversary. The bed frame was picked up at Goodwill for $40 and after painting and distressing it, I decided not to use the footboard after all. But it still looks so nice! Then I found a bed frame for $2 (yes, two dollars) at the local Rotary garage sale. I bought a new box spring for $119 at a place going out of business, and suddenly we now have a bed at normal height. It only took us twenty years to get there. But I’m not giving up my all cotton with wool wrapped futon for nuthin’.
And here are some photos of Ruby just because you know how much I love to share her with you. She is still non-verbal but finds her own way of communicating (some of which is inappropriate, like hitting). She is one busy girl! Children with Down Syndrome are typically either “observers” or “movers”. Ruby is a MOVER. We have to have someone watching her at all times, and she now wears an identification bracelet too. She has lots of playmates and teachers and therapists right in her own home. She is happy and healthy and a delight, and we are all still learning together.
Anyhow, that’s all for now. Someone took this photo of me working in the garden without my knowledge. It just reminds me that I don’t have to plan or live a documented life. I am always under the loving watching eye of my Father, and it is a joy to fellowship with Him in the midst of everyday life. Actually, I think abiding with Him is the most precious way to live a life, even if no one else is around to see or read or hear of it at all. Don’t you?