Monday, March 28, 2011

Reading Gratitude

Giving thanks for a week filled with words. . .

 266. A field trip to the Children's Literature Festival

The library where most of the event took place.
267. Listening to five author and/or illustrators (Henry Cole, Brad Sneed, Marsha Diane Arnold, June Rae Wood, and Sandy Asher ) share about their jobs
 
268. Learning about a website Sandy Asher helped start, America Writes for Kids.

269. Figuring out the most bizarre bookshelves I have ever seen

You turn the gray handles to move the shelves from side to side . . .

and create a walkway.
 270. A new book signed by Henry Cole and full of beautiful sketches


 271. Notes that allow me to remember things I would have otherwise forgotten


 272. Cleaned out closets

 273. Magazine clippings

These are a few of my favorite things. . . .
 274. Playing a song on the piano I love (but don't yet play like this)

275.Old, twisting trees


276. Going to see Disney On Ice Toy Story 3 by way of free tickets

277. (More) Surprise snow


278. A new swimsuit (now if this snow could just stop. . .)

279. Flowers peeking out of the ground


 280. Painting time

281. Lentil soup


 282. The real flowers almost always in a vase at my MeeMaw and PawPaw's house

Makes me smile

 283. Wait time put to use by drawing the wire sculpture-like thing that hung on the wall


 284. Joining goodreads, a free website that helps you keep track of the books you read (plus a bunch of other stuff I haven't figured out :)


May your week be full of encouraging words~ Megan 
Megan's bookshelf: read








I think I had better go read. . .  ~Megan

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Painting the Week

Before I had two sisters, I often went over to my Gramma and PopPop's house. These visits usually included watching a movie--one of my favorites was Alice in Wonderland. Inspired by Alice, my Gramma and I would get (dry) paint brushes and pretend to paint the roses on her sofa red. It worked out perfectly that her sofa actually was red.

I wonder if it's the memory of painting the roses red that drew me to this hair pin?

Though I no longer pretend to paint roses, I do paint something else. For the past few months, I have painted a summary of the week using wet paint brushes and real paint.

My water colors paints

My mom was the first to see a painted calender at Lovely World. She liked the idea and wanted our family to do something like it for 2011. We collected art supplies, divided five sheets of paper into seven sections, and painted our week. I loved this time to be creative.

As we continued painting our weeks, Middle Sister and Youngest Sister lost steam. They both enjoyed doing it a few times, but didn't like the idea of doing it for the rest of the year. 


My mom let Middle Sister and Youngest Sister go to Barbie world and, since I still enjoyed it, encouraged me to keep painting a summary of the weeks on my own.


So I got out paints and one sheet of paper. I didn't mind doing it alone. While creating I am too busy thinking to do much speaking.


I have decided to post a picture of my calender painting each week. I am hoping this accountability will help me keep painting the week a habit.

Twelve down-- forty to go


May your weeks be full of color~ Megan

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blooming

Spring is peeking around the corner . . .






and I'm hoping it gets over this shyness soon! ~Megan

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rise and Shine

I find that expression very hard to impersonate on Monday morning.
Since Daylight Savings Time it is dark when my alarm goes off.
The sun has not yet risen and shone, and those annoying beeps don't inspire me to try.

But I get up.
Thankfully, my clock is in a place I have to walk to from my bed.
After quieting my alarm, I remember the discipline I'm working on for Lent.
Writing out Matthew begins to give me light.
My eyes adjust to being open and focus on the words.

It is slow work.
I wonder if it won't take me long after these six weeks of Lent to complete it.

Though I am beginning to see how much more this practice means than simply writing something down.
I can't breeze through the genealogy.
I have to pay attention to the foreign names.

It forces me to go through each word,

each day,

and not skip to the end.

Not skip to the wondrous, wonderful part.

I am learning that you have to go through the less exciting, more monotonous times to appreciate the rising and shining.

Being grateful for the process as much as the progress. . . 

 251. Big words

252. Seeing the word surprise spelled differently while reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen  


253. My dad's creativity for breakfast on St. Patrick's Day that made me think of a Dr. Seuss book

I do like green eggs and turkey bacon. . .

254. Special treats from a favorite cafe


255. Little rain drops creating circles that ripple out on our deck


258. A day trip to visit good friends a few hours away

257. White picket fences


258. Green grass


259. Hilly roads


260. Unique umbrellas. It is fascinating to see the different patterns traveling about in the rain.


 261. The First Day of Spring


262. New spring clothes

263. A good friend who helped me choose them

264. Sunshine


265. Bird songs early in the morning, encouraging me to sing too



May you find wonder in rising, shining, and all else~ Megan

Monday, March 14, 2011

Finding the Lint

Middle Sister, my dad, and I were coming back home from a jog last week when Middle Sister spotted something white in the yard. She asked what it was and my dad guessed that it was some kind of lint. I joked that it wasn't the same kind of lint as the season we were entering Wednesday. But, this made me consider more deeply my idea of Lent.

I have always thought of Lent as the season leading up to Easter when you make a resolution to draw you closer to God. The idea of dirt being called lint too caused me to wonder if Lent is a time to look for the dirt in our own lives.

Our dryer has a pull-out screen that collects lint from our clothes. After a load, we have to pull off the sheet of lint that formed on the screen. There are words on the top of the screen, Clean Before Loading, that remind us of the under-lying dirt.

I think the season of Lent has many more layers than I originally thought. I also think one of those layers is God's reminder to do some spring cleaning in our hearts.



 Continuing to count my blessings as Lent begins. . .

240. Playing Twister with people good at becoming knots

241. Soup on the stove-- leftovers in the fridge

242. Going to see The King's Speech. It was very well done and fit right in with our studying World War II in history.

243. Puddles on the ground and water droplets on the windows


244. Successful piano competition; not because of how I played, but because of the peace God gave me.


245. A new bag


246. A surprise out the window this morning. A little bit of a shocking surprise. Really weather? More snow? I did enjoy the 70 degree weather Friday. . .


247. Pointe shoes that work well for my feet

248. Listening to the sermon yesterday morning in church. . . viewing the hard topic of death as separation. . . continuing to ponder our pastor's words. . . beginning to see separation as the great antagonist in becoming the body of Christ. . . seeing simplicity in complicated ideas. . .

249. The start of Lent

250. Fifteen minutes a day writing out Matthew; beginning to clean my heart



Blessings to you at the start of this season of Lent~ Megan

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Spy Wishful Inspiration


I found this wish left over from an art project created about a year ago.  I had liked the little word too much to throw the paper away. Thinking it could be the treasured piece of another project at some point, I kept it. The wish had found its way to a box of other potentially wonderful things. I planned to look through this box when I needed inspiration.

Filled with shiny candy wrappers, polka-dotted bits of ribbons, and discarded costume jewelry from my grandmother, the box overflowed, crowded and messy. The inspiring items downgraded to clutter.

Then, I got a new box. This box had more room. I rediscovered little joys in moving things from the old box into the new one. In doing so, the little paper wish showed itself again. 


Just like the typed up wish on a piece of paper, figurative wishes easily get lost.

Life can look like a page in an I Spy book. In order to not get overwhelmed, we have to keep focused on what we're looking for.
   
Life can seem like one big puzzle still unassembled in its box. We don't have the top of the box, showing us the big picture of what the finished product will look like.

But thankfully, we have help. Piece by little piece God fits our wishes into the outlines he has made, at just the right time.

We find peace by giving up control of the pieces.   

May you be able to spy your wishes and see them pieced together~ Megan

Monday, March 7, 2011

Comfort Outside Comfort Zones

Saturday morning was the annual Salvation Army Omelet Brunch. For the past few years, my mom has gone down early to help. My dad, sisters, and I have then come down a little while later and we have eaten breakfast together. This year, though, the routine changed a little bit. I was old enough to help.

My mom and I arrived at the old brick building bright and early. We signed in, picked up red aprons, and went into the chapel. Tables were set, coffee was being made, and my mom explained to me what would happen.

There were three main jobs: Filling cups, swapping baskets running low on donuts for baskets full of them, and clearing dirty place settings.  

I am not very outgoing, especially with strangers. Quiet usually describes me. Not shy, but quiet. This, added to the fact that I was by far the youngest person there, made me thankful for my mom. Things sounded simple enough with her there walking me through it.  If I had any questions (or problems) I could simply ask her. She was my comfort zone.

Then the peaceful chapel transformed into a dining room. There were more and more cups to fill. More and more baskets to exchange. More and more place setting to clear.

I found myself on the opposite side of the room as my mom. She was close, but not close enough to talk for me, if I couldn't find the words to say.

But, the words came.

I experienced the beautiful result of serving: losing oneself. 

There was the shield of service I could hide behind. I was not just Megan, quiet and unsure. I was in comfort outside my comfort zone.

Before long, the shift was over. I took off the apron and was simply someone ready to eat breakfast.

It was good to be back in my comfort zone, but I was glad that zone had grown. 


Continuing with gratitude. . . 

 216. Omelet Brunch


217. Donuts

218. New friends

219. Aprons


220. Rainy days

221. Blue Skies

222. Fresh fruit


223. Books on CD

224. My journal


 225. Popcorn/Smoothie dinners


 226. Plane tickets and new suitcases for a upcoming trip. My dad is having to go out of town more often with his job, and we are going to go with him in a few months. It will be Youngest Sister's first time on an airplane, but Middle Sister hasn't flown since she was a baby and I haven't flown since I was five. My dad has been sharing with us some of the rules about what we can and can't pack. For instance, he says we won't be able to bring our regular-sized tooth pastes. I just hope knitting needles are allowed. . .


227. A jog with Middle Sister and my dad

228. The right words

230. Expanded comfort zones


May your week comfortably stretch you~ Megan