Happy Birthday

About a week ago my 3rd daughter turned 5 years old.  She had a wonderful day.


She’s growing up, and it tugs at my heart a little bit.


The last few months have brought a beautiful new sprinkling of freckles across her nose, and I love it.


She seemed pleased with all the special attention that comes with birthdays,
saying “Next!” after she opened each gift.


And, eventually, she got all five candles out.


Happy Birthday, sweet pea!

Economy of Abundance

I wish I had pictures to help illustrate what I’m feeling these past few days, but I don’t.

For the past 6 weeks I’ve been working on a major undertaking that involved putting together large bulk orders of products from multiple places for the benefit of a group of people I’m associated with.  As things came to a culmination last week, I was staring at literally, thousands of pounds of materials that needed to be picked up, packed and distributed.

And I’m 8 1/2 months pregnant.  (We won’t talk about some of my assesments of my personal mental state when I decided that I could pull this off right now. )

I’ve been doing this for a while; it’s a volunteer job for me.  I do it because I care about the people, the products, and because I was asked to do it.  But this order was about a 400% increase over what we’ve done in the past.  I was both thrilled and terrified.  In my mind I re-lived every scenario from past experience and knew how many glitches could mess things up.

So I prayed.  A lot.  Not for me, but for everybody who was counting on me.  And I have this to say:
God’s economy is one of abundance.

I’ve said that before, and I wholeheartedly believe it is true.  But it’s a lesson I re-learned last Saturday when I watched people show up, dig in, help out, and get an enormous job done in only 2 1/2 hours.  I re-learned it every day last week when the next little step worked out instead of blowing up in my face.  And every time my husband took a break from very important things to make sure that I wouldn’t have to physically manage it alone.

We’re living in a society that is completely fixated right now on scarcity of every kind.  But I know that’s not God’s way.

I could bore you with lots of details, and some would try to explain them away.  That’s fine.  But this I know, that it is often in our scarcity (in my case this time, the scarcity of energy and physical abilities that come at the end of  a pregnancy) that God is able to show us just how much he can do.  Somehow he is best able to do this for us when we feel weak, or afraid, or when we’re intensely aware of how many things can go wrong.  That’s when he shows us that he can make things work out, in ways we didn’t expect, using people and help we didn’t forsee, and do it faster than any prior experience of ours would predict.  And I learned how much God cares about all these people I was trying to help, and that he cares about my efforts to do it.  Isn’t life wonderful!

So I’ve been feeling really grateful for the past few days, and I needed to express it.

Blue and white dishes

Do you ever find yourself shopping, and here and there you pick something up for a song, only to discover down the road that everything you bought goes together?

I love the color blue, but live in an area where blue isn’t nearly as popular as other colors, such as brown and black and darker jewel tones.  But for me, it’s all about the gorgeous shades of blue.  This, of course, means that I don’t see nearly as much of blue as I’d like to, but it also means that the colors I like often get marked down to ridiculously low prices.

I also happen to really, really love dishes.  I mean that I love them a lot.  Give me a store that houses both women’s fashions and housewares, and I’m all over the housewares department without a backward glance at the fashions.  I love the simple beauty of dishes, and their inherent usefulness.  They seem to hold such potential, like they’re just waiting to be filled or covered with goodness to nourish someone.  I guess, in many ways, dishes are artful symbols of abundance to me.

So, I just discovered that I’ve managed to collect 3 platters, a bowl, a baking dish, and 12 plates that all look really cool together.  And the most expensive item was $3.50.  I like that a lot.

Don’t you think this dish is just baking for something wonderful to bake in it?

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The bowl and platters have been used multiple times already.  The platters are the perfect size for bringing in meat from the barbecue or covering with sandwiches or wedges of watermelon.

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The plates were a happy accident.  I love their white rims.

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and the fact that they’re so simple.

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And blue.

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I love that life is so full of simple gifts.  Simple pleasures to enjoy.

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