For your eyes. For your heart. For your mind. For your soul.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Back in December, Alex came home from work, ran in the house, dropped all his things on the couch, grabbed me by the hand and hurried me out the door. We jumped into the truck and with Evie in my lap, drove to a place behind our house that overlooks the fields of a local farm. The sunsets are fleeting around here, in case you're wondering what the hurry was. I managed to get this shot before the colors vanished and I've been waiting for a long while to share it here. It doesn't even do the image I hold in my head justice, but there is no substitute for real life, is there?

This life is not what I expected, and this blog is not what I imagined it would be when I started it long ago, but both are beautiful nonetheless. I am happy with the words and pictures and dreams I leave here every few days, sometimes longer. I have no desire to leave every thought or step I take, but sometimes I come across things that resonate with me and I think to myself, "I have to share that with someone." So I'm starting this series.

For your eyes:
- I really liked this set of photos of children around the world with their most prized possessions. My mind has really been on a simplifying kick lately (after reading Simplicity Parenting) and this reinforced my thoughts regarding the amount of toys Evie actually needs. We have big plans after the Air Force that will require us to down size a lot (by like 1,000 square feet), so we're trying to gradually rid our lives of unneeded things.

For your heart:
- After writing this post about all of the struggles we've been having in our household lately and our decision on a second child, a reader left a link to this article in the comments and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. It is so spot on in how I feel about motherhood right now and her words give me hope.

- I read this article a few weeks ago and it has resonated with me since and has affected my parenting skills more than anything else I've read, I think. When the house is a mess and Evie is being a terror, I take a deep breathe and start to sing to myself - ". . .take it easy, take it easy, don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. . ." It sounds silly, but it normally calms me and helps me put things into perspective. Does the fact that the house is a mess and all Evie wants to do is play outside really matter as much as I've convinced myself it does? No. Childhood is not forever and we're never guaranteed another day.

For your mind:
- I guess this one could be filed under 'for your heart' as well, but it made me think more than it pulled at my emotions, so 'for your mind' it is. It's a thought provoking view of relationship dynamics. In a way, this is not a new thought in Alex and I's relationship - we've always said he keeps me grounded and I help him fly, but it's interesting to see it portrayed as a necessity for a successful relationship. Which are you - the bird or the hand? Are you convinced that a pairing of the two makes for a successful relationship?

 - These words are some of the most simple, yet profound that I've read about loving as Jesus loved.

For your soul:
- "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)

- "You don't have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don't have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don't have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don't have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts. You have to pay your electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that's all." (Cheryl Strayed)

- "How do we keep our inner fire alive? Two things, at minimum, are needed: an ability to appreciate the positives in our life - and a commitment to action. Every day, it's important to ask and answer these questions: 'What's good in my life?' and 'What needs to be done?'" (Nathaniel Branden)

- "As you think, you travel, and as you love, you attract. You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where you thoughts take you." (James Allen)

- "We are what we believe we are." (C.S. Lewis)

In addition to Simplicity Parenting, I've been reading A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle and it has spoken to my soul more than any other book I've read, I think. There are so many things I would love to share here, but I am so enthralled with it that I can't put it down long enough to type them out. If you're a writer, artist, mother, or really just a woman, I encourage you to pick up this book. I feel like I could pick up this book every day and learn something new from it. . .

What have you seen or read around the internet that you've enjoyed lately? What books have you read that have stuck with you and changed the way you perceive life?


  1. Oh I'm so glad that article helped xx

  2. The Mark Twain 'Explore, Dream, Discover' quote is one of my favorite quotes of all time. Another one is by J.R.R Tolkien, 'Not all those who wander are lost'.
    You will never regret chasing beautiful sunsets over doing the dishes. Great shot!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts Andrea! Many of your concerns about having another child are similar to mine and I just feel like I'm giving so much of myself's so much harder to be a mama than I anticipated, and in different ways too. I LOVE Simplicity Parenting and will have to look into A Circle of Quiet. Hang in there!



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