Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
What a gift it is to eat and drink, merry make and find joy in smallness. But, I still taste the hopelessness of those Ecclesiastes words. I echo with my own fist shaking. I ask the same questions.
I wonder why it is that I need so desperately for something to look forward to beyond my current address. There is always something to want. Always something to strive for in the greener pastures I think I see beyond my horizon.
Thoughts of a new adventure overcame me this morning. I have been travelling down a path of wondering, and to be quite honest, I’ve felt better today than I have in quite some time. And all it took was thinking about something TO COME.
There is something so deep set in our hearts that is nourished by anticipation. The Sunday school answer here is to say that I know it’s because we all hope for heaven, for Jesus’ doubling-back to earth. And, I know it’s true.
But I still kid myself into believing hope sometimes means believing that life will get better when x,y, and z happen. I am soothed by the thought of a quicker fix to my longing.
This advent season, I desperately want for my heart to soak in the truth that what I wait for can be found in the manger.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
So, I’m the first to admit I don’t always have the instincts of a natural-born chef. While I do possess the occasional ability to improvise with what’s in the pantry, more often than not, I’m a fastidious grocery list maker, a recipe follower.
Be it for their voyeuristic quality (as we call them at work: “armchair reads”), or otherwise, I’m a huge fan of cooking magazines. I devour the pages of my monthly Bon Appetit. I turn corners down in hopes that I’ll have the courage and occasion to test my culinary capacities out on willing subjects.
The truth is not revolutionary. I love to feed people. I love to create. I love to make something and watch someone enjoy it. And cooking is one of the most tangible ways I can think to do it.
So, if you’re hungry, come on over. I’d love nothing more than another excuse to be daring in the kitchen.
On my list to try:
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Yesterday was an amazing day with Kyle of Power and Light Press. Between a workshop at Woodlawn High School and a four-hour open print event at Railroad Park, we caught up about her travels, her art, and her letterpress business back in Portland. Kyle's been on the road since June of this year, and her journey will continue through April of 2012. Her warm spirit and easy smile makes her an easy one to welcome in. It's not difficult to imagine why her experience has been so rosy thus far. Please join me in wishing her continued happy trails by following her adventures here and buying her cute cards here.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
This post may be a bit premature, but as 2011 winds down, I think it’s fitting to take a looking at the aims I set out for myself at the year’s start. Back in January, I declared it a year to Let It Leaven. This theme included spending more time in the kitchen, hands deep in the dough, practicing the art of bread-making. I did, in fact, bake quite a few loaves this year, stumbling some, but making small improvements with each attempt. No matter how much my waistline suffers, I will continue to explore this book that inspired my goal.
On the other hand, the second tier of my resolution was to give my letterpress interests room to rise and grow. At the start of last year, I was still working at a local coffee shop. I was baking, loving my co-workers, and enjoying the freedom that my schedule afforded. I was printing when and if possible, but somewhat inconsistently. My simple life was fun, but I was beginning to grow desperate to see some progress personally, professionally, and artistically.
Come last spring, I was almost at my breaking point when new opportunities came barreling at me full speed. I began a new job and I finally bought my own printing press, moving it into the basement of my house. Things began happening, and I am still in awe at how abundantly I am blessed to have these opportunities.
For several subsequent months, as I adjusted to life back in an office, the repair on the press was slow, slow going. As of this fall, however, the press is up and running, and pumping out designs here and there.
I’m still learning; I’m still failing. I want to see this little hobby of mine turn into something more substantial, and at times, my impatience has lead me to try and rush the process. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve let some people down in my attempts to expedite the success of my little business.
As I face the year ahead, the truth I have to admit to myself is that I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. I have a hope, and maybe even some tentative plan, but life tends to throw me for loops.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
My hopes for 2012 are that I will use it as a year to delve deeply into the things I fill my time with. In printing, may I continue to learn the quirks of my press, may I thrive to improve on my precision, my quality. I don’t know what kind of momentum I’ll have with it, but I’ll take it one step at a time. More than that, though, I hope for depth in friendships, I pray for strengthened faith. I’ve made the mistake of going too wide before.
May this year be about going DEEP.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
“Jesus counts thanksgiving as integral in a faith that saves.” Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts
I’ve read words like these. I’ve probably even said something similar in a finer moment. I’ve intellectually grasped that if I have open hands, if I will blindly follow where I’m taken and trust…then sure, I can truly live. But, how do I operate out of a heart that is truly thankful for the good, the bad, and the ugly? How do I turn it all into praise?
That seems like a mighty big mountain to climb.
It probably starts with a concise, “hey, thanks.” It snowballs from a few minutes spent reflecting on prayers answered. It grows. Eyes are opened; lips more quickly offer gratitude for joys both big and small.
So, in this season, I’m practicing thanks. Like the single leper that went back to Jesus to acknowledge His healing, I will try and lift my head, turn back to Him, put one foot in front of the other, and try and cultivate a spirit that chokes out the words I’m trying to believe even as I say them. “I am undeserving. Come what may, I am thankful.”
Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
I heard the story once of a child sitting down to dinner at his grandma’s house. He struggled through his green beans, his salad. He poked and pushed the lovingly-prepared meal around his plate. As his grandmother came to collect his dish at dinner’s end, she looked at him, winked and whispered, “Keep your fork.”
In that instant, he perked up. Dessert was coming! And not just any old dessert. Not pudding or jello or anything of the like. This confection was sure to be substantial, requiring the strength of a fork to deliver each bite to his mouth. Now, that was something to look forward to.
I am the kid, you are him, too. We sit at the table. We sometimes turn our noses up at what we’ve been served. But, before this meal has concluded, we are told we can hang on to our forks. We can look forward to the sweetness that follows.
Listen, listen to me, and you will eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the finest of fare.
Praise the Lord. He is good. His love endures forever.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Listen to more here