miles and meditation + common prayer

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#milesandmeditation

i have been spending my running time not only working up a silly sweat (come ooooooon, fall!) and ideating (running is the BEST time for the ideas to flow) but in more meaningful spiritual pursuits. setting the tone for the day. not just jamming out to music with a good beat, but filling my ears with worshipful music that uplifts and inspires and encourages and humbles. melodies and lyrics that point me heavenward and help me to fix my gaze on the things above as my feet pound the earth below. and as i run, i pray. i think. i meditate.

this week, i have been pondering the following passage in the first book of corinthians. the pauline epistles never fail to challenge me. make me dig deeper. ideas and precepts and philosophy and practices that resonate and stick with me through the day and sometimes, through the week.

1 Corinthians 9:19-27 (ESV)
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 

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and when the world seems especially dark and hazy and murky and ugly and scary, i tend to get back to basics. repeat the truth of God’s word over and over and over. i dig into the archives of the faith and look for constants for absolutes and writings that have stood the test of time. the puritan prayers and spurgeon are morning and evening mainstays, but lately, i have been drawn to the book of common prayer. here is a passage that i have been praying over our home – community – church – family – friends – neighborhood – city – state – country – world. praying it over hearts. praying it over humanity.

O God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for thy holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; [especially those for whom our prayers are desired]; that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ’s sake.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever.
AMEN

prayer of saint francis

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in light of (or should i say, in the shadow of) so many brutal and wretched and heartbreaking and atrocious and ugly things happening in the world, in hearts, in homes, in nightclubs, in schools, in the streets, in big cities and small towns, at the happiest place on earth, in the halls of congress, and in the media – i wanted to share some words that has been spoken around our home A LOT lately. the prayer of saint francis of assisi has been moving through my mind and clinging to my heart for the past few weeks.

truly, i hope that it is your prayer too. that it is OUR prayer. that it guides our hearts and words and motives and actions. but the greatest of these is love. Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

amen and AMEN

throwback thursday


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in honor of #throwbackthursday (or #tbt), i thought it would be fun to pair a few recent snaps with some links to posts from around this time, in years past. oldies but goodies. i started blogging here in late 2011 so there is nothing to be found from april of that year but we can start strong in 2012 right around the time we announced that we were expecting our little peanut!

it is pretty fun to walk down memory lane. reminiscing and being reminded of all that God has done in just the past five years. some of this seems like yesterday. some of it seems so close and familiar and fresh and still relevant. and some of it seems like a lifetime ago. some of it seems exactly the same. and some of it looks like different people entirely. time is funny like that.

this quick exercise of traveling back through the blog was such a meaningful activity for me. sometimes, the simplest of things can mean the most.

this humble blog has become such an important part of our life. it isn’t just about sharing stories or hosting giveaways (although, those are a blast and stay tuned for another one soon, wink wink) or having a creative outlet. it is a chronicle of our life. the messy and lovely. the ups and downs. the tough stuff and fun stuff. those magical mundane moments. the milestones. this is my digital record of our date nights, our precious moments, our epiphanies, our challenges, our ends and our beginnings. and yes, our outfits and meals too.

i think it is such a good practice to write things down, type things out, snap a picture, capture moments and emotions and thoughts and feelings. journal. jot. something that can jog your memory and connect the dots of life. it is so easy to forget from where you have come – what has happened – the ways in which God has worked. i never want to forget His goodness or overlook the ways that He has guided and shaped my life.

psalm 103:1-5 / bless the LORD, o my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

so, here are a few blasts from the past. feel free to click around a bit and look for any gems you might have missed. ahem, ben’s macarons and my random theological musings. but mostly, i hope that going back in time in our life encourages you to do the same for yourself. look back through albums. read your prayer journals. scroll deep into your facebook or instagram feed. laugh at yourself. marvel at the growth and changes. be inspired to revisit neglected positive habits. set goals. try something new. focus on the shifts and pivot points and seemingly insignificant details that served a greater purpose. and be grateful for what you had and what you have.

planting seeds with elinor at this time last year (2015)

a saturday sante from 2014

a family outing for hotdogs and vinyl (2013)

the first dear peanut letter (2012)

uprooted & rooted

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this week’s humpday jaunt was to our favorite, the farm at agritopia. i know that our nice weather days are numbered and even though it was in the nineties, there was a nice breeze happening and we decided to brave it and grab some uprooted kitchen plus a nice spot in the shade. perfect.

gosh, we have been doing the agritopia thing for two and a half years now. it holds such a special place in our collective heart. and the food from our friends at uprooted holds a special place in our bellies. the farm is going through an exciting season of change. and gosh, so are we. at one point during dinner, i found myself so overwhelmed by it all. here we were, our little family. our “baby” getting his first full plate of uprooted food. our kids splitting a meal. elinor sipping on her requested “farkling water”. i remember strolling the grounds when she was just a bitty thing in the sling. and now, she was carrying on a conversation with us while we ate.

the farmstand and food trucks buzz has settled and the farm is more calm on wednesday nights, but it is also humming with an energy of AMAZING projects that are taking shape. this farm is coming into its own. finding its groove. growing up. and i couldn’t help but be struck by the similarities between our beloved agritopia and our family. we aren’t in that “everything feels fresh and new” season of life anymore. we aren’t newlyweds or brand new parents. we feel a little more seasoned, a little more settled. there is a strange sense of ease to our life right now. a good groove, in spite of the unknown that we are experiencing. and while there will always be breezes or gusts of change, we feel more rooted and prepared to sway along with them.

our little friend the food truck has only six more weeks operating as such. very soon, the uprooted kitchen will plant its roots in agritopia’s new craftsmen community, barnone. and we are SO EXCITED for them and for the other creatives and crafters and cooks and cool people to be featured there. so while there is a ton of change coming and lots of work to do, the change/work, oddly enough, is making things feel more settled and secure.

and golly gracious, isn’t that just how i am feeling right now. life decisions and big shifts and lots of work on the horizon. new seasons. ch-ch-ch-changes. and yet, a feeling of coming into our own. hopefulness. serenity. God is moving. moving in our hearts and minds. moving things into alignment. reminders of his provision. moments of clarity. clear providential blessings and not-so-happenstance occurrences that show me he is on his throne. he is working. his timing is perfect. and that our faithfulness will never be in vain. he is a good God. and even when it seems like he is taking away or plucking us from something or yanking us out by the roots, perhaps it is because he has accomplished what he set out to accomplish in us and through us, in that particular place. perhaps we have outgrown our little pot. perhaps we need an infusion of fresh soil. perhaps he has a bigger and better place in mind. a place where our roots can dig deep. a place where we can bloom. a place where we can yield more fruit and be a blessing to others.

so here’s to the growth process. here’s to change. here’s to finding our roots. here’s to flourishing. may we continue to walk in the light. may we be faithful. may we have hearts of gratitude. may we look for ways to benefit others.

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chasing light

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when we chose ridley’s name, one of the verses that we were drawn to was 1 peter 2:9 | but you are a chosen race, a noble priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

and ridley noble has been exemplifying that verse since birth. he is a light chaser. he exudes joy and contentment and confidence in who he is. that scene above is a daily occurrence. one of his favorite things to do is to chase beams of light around our house. he finds the warm, sunshiny spots in our home and stays there. camps out. sets up shop. he chases the light on the floor, he places his hands in the bright spots and studies the light and his own hands. he plays in the light. he relaxes in the light. he enjoys the light. and i pray that he always chases the light. that he dwells in bright places. that he realizes that he has been called out of darkness and into the marvelous places of the Most High. that he will proclaim the excellencies of his High Priest, his Creator God. that he basks in the warming love of his Lord and Savior. that he examines his life under the truthful rays of scripture. that he leads the way. that he pursues noble things. that he lives as a son of light.

what a remarkable reminder for me. may i chase the light. may i dwell in the light. may i be radiant and shiny. Coram Deo.


psalm 119:105

your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

1 john 1:5-7

this is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. if we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

john 12:36

while you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.

james 1:17

every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

john 8:12

again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

weekend gerunds

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commemorating the close of the workweek with a soirée for ben. family pizza night and some wine and a cute cupcake and a hefty foodie/cook book present. just because. you gotta find magic in the mundane. celebrate the little things.

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savoring our weekend petit-déjeuner en famille.

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creating my first solo quilt. playing with freeform styles and learning a lot about myself in the process.

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growing some tasty herbs in our backyard. (no, these are not all ours)

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learning more and more about God’s all-sufficiency.

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celebrating the oscars with plenty of popcorn and some sweet-and-sour gummies and perfect vesper martinis. there were some fabulous red carpet moments. and a ton of movies that i didn’t see. and a big wahoo for leo finally taking home a golden statue.