Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spirituality of Being Weird

I just read an amazing chapter in the Pursuit of God on meekness. A. W. Tozer wrote, "The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself - nothing; in God - everything. That is his motto."

I live in a world of misunderstanding.  I know we have some "wild ideas" about things, but they are not unfounded, mythical or unscientific.  However after reading the chapter about meekness, I am more profoundly tuned into how much I really care about the opinions of others.  

It's kind of laughable - given some of the choices we've made.  have our babies at home, utilize natural as opposed to synthetic antibiotics (remember how I chewed raw garlic?) etc. cause me to automatically be on the outside of most conversations.

But still it can be hard.  Not hard enough to go eat a hotdog.  

But seriously, I have begun assessing my own meekness quotient.  I recently had a conversation that the person on the other side had no idea how belittling they were toward me.  I had a long talk with Christ in my prayer journal this morning about that.  Meekness = rest.  I don't have to feel compelled to defend myself.  Our family choices are  result of research and prayer.  But I don't even have to say that.  As Tozer reminds me, "in myself - nothing; in God - everything."  I'm satisfied.

Now, I'm going to go install a re-purposed old door as a scandalously large desk inside a closet for a crafting space.  Good times.

Love, Carra

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Yard and a Garden

Our house in suburbia :)
We live in a city of approximately 275,000 people. We live in a neighborhood that is an older established "subdivision" but suburban for sure.  From our backyard, we can see six houses (just those that touch our property or at a corner).  All our neighbors are quite nice, but sometimes you just want a little more "boundary."  We have a lovely chain link fence which keeps the dogs out and the kids in. 

Just last week, we visited some of Pete's cousin's in Vancouver - what a lovely place!  His cousin R & Y have the most beautiful (albeit small) urban yard (garden really) that I have seen by someone who is still working full time LOL! Sanctuary, oasis, cozy... Those are just some of the words that describe their little back yard.  So I come home inspired to develop our yard into a little oasis as well.

However, do not fear - there are still high ambitions for the urban homestead! I'm trying to blend homesteading with landscaping with frugality.  Here's what I've come up with so far...

1. We need some bushes or something for a visual barrier in the back of the yard.  In poking around google, I found some blueberry bushes that can be grown as a hedge.  It will take five years to get them to full height, but they should produce some berries even after the first year.  I love the idea of growing blueberries.  They are so healthy and can be frozen or dehydrated to keep for a while.

2. Creative shade plans.  If we can find some clumping (not hyper-grow-all-over-your-yard runners) bamboo that is affordable, we can plant that on the side of the yard.  It would be pretty beautiful (R & Y have some black bamboo in their yard). Shameless beauty.  Added serenity.

3. Dirt for free.  I need to exercise more. I need dirt for my garden projects.  We have dirt underneath our house.  Yup, that's the plan.  As long as I don't dig close to the foundation, I can dig out some dirt for my garden.  Random, I know, but super frugal.

There you go, the first three items on the list of frugal-serene-oasis-yard-garden.

Other ideas for creating a sanctuary/homestead includes eliminating (or at least greatly reducing) the quantity of plastic toys out there.  Seriously, if I'm all about this natural stuff, our kids should be playing with sticks and dirt. Hmmmm, I kinda like that idea.

Love, Carra

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Painting Plans and Ponderings

So here's my wacky little faith in front of the Marmoleum display at the Common Ground Building Supply.

It is a great little shop in Durham, NC.  All of our Mythic junk-free paint has come from there.  I love that there are so many colors available even in the natural stuff.

Right now, Pete and I are contemplating two big renovations. One is the painting of his office.  It is wood panel walls and very dark.  I spend a lot of time in there too (I'm actually sitting in his office right now balancing the laptop on my knees) especially when we're talking about ministry plans and strategies.

It is an interesting dilemma - where I should land for my office-y stuff.  It seems the location is a bigger reflection of my crazy life.  I'm cooking, schooling, gardening (sort of), naturalizing, etc. a big chunk of my life.  And I'm emailing, balancing, budgeting, strategic thinking, and planning another big chunk of my life.  When fall semester rolls back around (and it's coming quickly), I'll be regularly on campus again... so there's another chunk of my life.  My life is very mingled.  My head is mingled as well.  Where will I end up as my "base"?  I guess I'll see how nice the paint job turns out LOL!

Love, Carra