Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Present

I'm becoming addicted to the desert sun. 
I've told Zac for the last year that someday...I want to live on an island.
I want to walk barefoot,
skin dewy and hair windblown
along shores and feel the strength of the ocean.
I want to sift sand between my fingers,
the rush of wave sound crashing through my pores.
I want to plant bananas
eat coconut
live off mangoes. 
Mostly, I want to be close to the earth...to color...to senses.

One can dream.


But then,
 what's so lovely about dreams is that we can have a portion of them in the present,
if we look and accept and become open,
we already can have our dreams.

I may not walk barefoot around the rockies,
but I can wear a sturdy sandal and still feel free.
The sun is just as bright here as it is on an island...
it's the same sun,
shared.

I already have what I want.



I may not grow bananas,
but I can grow up children,
beautiful little beauties full of golden goodness.
Mangoes? 
Maybe not from a tree, but my freezer is stocked with frozen fruit,
and at this moment, I have 6 bunches of spotted bananas on my counter.
My dreams are reality if I make them that.


When I crave a soft pink sunset,
I can clutch a bit of rose quartz,
stare into shimmery angles
and get lost in my mind and my memories.
I can remember the sunsets of yesterday...
so today I have them.


 I re potted my beloved snake plant this morning,
giving it a little scoop of earthworm castings and a nice long drink.
My hands were deep in dirt and microbes and botanical nutrients
and a little piece of my soul said
"You have what you want."


The air this morning was so still, the sky so blue that it felt like an early spring.
I was headed down to the garden when I found my two oldest boys in this position...
together, watching clouds...close to the earth, grounded.
My heart whispered
"You already have what you want."


In the garden, raised beds on either side of me, I worked.
I loosened soil and mixed in compost
preparing for the spring
helping the earth do what it does...
grow. 
Did you know that under the ground is the beautiful connect microscopic world?
Have you seen pictures of the cells in earth? 



I wasn't able to be out there long...there wasn't much to do as it's still winter.
Closing the gate, knowing that it wasn't time to drop seeds into the soil,
walking away,
knowing there will be a time when the door is wide open
and I'll be surrounded by the miracle of plants.
I have a deep love for nature.
It's the connection, seeing how it all works together,
to create harmony.
I feel direct access to the One when I smell pine,
when I dig in the ground,
when I see a lady bug crawl or a bee hum,
I know He is there.
What's more is I know it's His art, His protection, His gift. 
When I smell the sun baking the earth, I smell Him. 
Maybe that's why I want to smell the salt air so badly...
because I want access to all parts of the Divine at all times. 
 I can wrap my arms around a tree and know without questions that it's powerful,
reliable,
real.
I feel Him.

I walked away from the garden 
knowing that I have exactly what I need.


It's been a perfect morning for me,
being deep in my thoughts, 
realizing that each moment of the day is mine.


Good things have come...
gifts of essential oils from a friend,
(am I the only one that feels like I own the earth when I'm holding a bottle of oil?)
bird song, and rolled oats topped with coconut and banana.

My children all played "castle" this morning while
I drank coffee and watched a beautiful documentary.
I love starting my day with inspiration.
 Sitting there for those 90 minutes,
my mind transported somewhere else yet my soul staying where I am
my heart having gratitude for who I am 
I realized that I'm the one who determines if the dream has come true.

It has.










Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fire Place Makeover / Quick Fix


As many of you know, our family was blessed with our first Colorado home (I can't believe it's been a year so far!)
It has plenty of room for our family of 6....plus some.
It's a fixer upper and we have been slowly fixin'. 
I shared with you our kitchen update many months ago (click here to take a peek)
 and since then there hasn't been many changes because, well...fixing costs a pretty penny. 

One project that we really wanted to tackle was the fire place. 
We had a lot of ideas of what we would have liked to have done... my favorite being horizontally laid ship lap from the ground to the ceiling, with a rustic large mantel.
Then we thought of having beautiful stone laid...and then looked online at costs and scratched that off the list immediately.
  GASP
 We wanted a fireplace makeover...not an extra mortgage.
As life would have, other costs started surfacing (mainly vehicle repairs) as is always the case when we plan what we want to do with our cash flow.
 Then, as Providence would have it, we came across the idea to just paint the tiles and the surrounding wood, just leaving the mantel as it is for now.

Hold forth.

Paint the wood?
 I know.
For all of you honey colored wood lovers (aka Wilson Phillips peeps and acid washed blue jean wearers) this seems a bit insane.
I ,on the other hand ,can not live with honey colored wood ... it hurts my head. 
No prejudice intended...I just prefer either natural pine or darker stains.
I'm a rustic modern lover meets Little House on the Prairie...with touches of bohemian and southwestern flare. I don't think there's really a name for my style.
Eccentric may be the word I'm looking for.

At first we tried white washing the wood and it was an epic failure. 
Instead of it being crisp white it turned out almost yellow.
Zac was busy rolling on paint and I just stood at the door stop and said rather sharply 
"this has to stop." 
I literally felt like the yellow tinged white was crawling up my head...that's how sharply it was effecting my senses. 


I told Zac that at this point I thought the best plan of action was just to take charcoal grey paint and cover all the wood and tile.  
"All of it ?" he questioned.
"Yep" I repeated "all of it."
So he did...and it was immediately 100 times better.


We used black rustoleum paint to cover the brass face.
  I think a fireplace makeover for about 30 dollars is pretty swell. 
Now...to answer a few questions you may have...
or maybe you don't.
Yes...you can paint tile. I wouldn't advise it as a lasting fix for an area that's going to be getting wet (like a shower.) But for a back splash or for the surround of a fireplace, we were reassured by the Home Depot man that it works great.
Yes, we do put a primer on the tile before painting it with our color.
 No...you do not have to have heat resistant paint for a fireplace, just because honestly...it doesn't get that hot. 
We've had our grey beauty now for over three months and thus far...no chipping or bubbling or fumes. We may build a mantel eventually but really all we needed was to fix the 80's vibe in our living room ... and this solution accomplished that. 

Happy Wednesday friends

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Have a Green V Day

Today the world is living in pink ... I'm swimming in green.

It's not what you think.

No jealousy, envy, or greed just now.

Phew. 

Just lovely peaceful vibrant green.


Creamy avacado, silica induced cucumber
Hydrating ,nourishing green



Oxygen green
cleansing 
filtering
natural


little birdie green
cheery
inspiring
colorful


desert green,
strong
sturdy
prickly


woven yellow green
reed green
dried, brittle basket green


I need to be honest with myself...
I may have a small obsession ~ 
For me,
it's always about green.
There are times I can emjoy a little plum, a swatch of navy, and an accent of grey
but my heart beats stronger at the sight of trees
tangy limes
heavy metal ridding cilantro
hardy succulents


It may be pink out there,
but it's green in here.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Just for fun...

The colour green signifies nature, life, youth, safety and hope. Green is the second most favourite colour with blue being the first. Read the top facts about this colour.
Green represents ‘go’ in traffic signals, railway signals and ship signals. It is known as a safe colour worldwide which is why first-aid equipment is often green. Fire escape exit signs are green in most countries, although some are red.
Green is the colour used for night vision goggles because the human eye is most sensitive and able to distinguish the most shades in that colour.
The colour green is often used as a symbol of sickness, you’ll most likely have noticed this in cartoons; the character often has a green face when being sick.
In North American stock markets, green is used to indicate a rise in stock prices, however In East Asian stock markets, green indicates a drop in stock prices.
Green has long been a symbol of fertility and was once the preferred colour choice for wedding gowns in the 1400’s.
Before the 1950’s Santa’s suit was originally green until Coca-Cola bought him out and changed his suit to red.
In high schools in the United States during the 1960s, it was believed that if someone wore green on Thursdays, it meant that they were gay.
Green is the national colour of Ireland.
Green was a sacred colour to the Egyptians representing the hope and joy of spring. The floors of the temples were green.
Suicides dropped by 34% when London’s Blackfriar Bridge was painted green.
Kermit the Frog doesn’t find it easy bein’ green!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sky and Trees

“Even 
After 
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

"You owe me."

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.” 
― Hafiz


Let's chase the stars my little one,
crunch the soil under our feet
arms wide open, twirl ... beneath the sun
it's warmth seeping into our hearts and minds.


Let's learn about the world around us 
not fitting into a box
nurturing our curiosity, 
taking chances,
not losing our creativity to knowledge.
Let's love learning my loves,
let's know who we are by what we gravitate towards.
Let's see value in differences



Let's lay on benches under trees...
and write.
Let's write about what we want and not be dictated to.
Let's draw pictures with stick men and big circle eyes
let's collect stories from our hearts and put them on paper
let's let the world be our classroom
See the hawk soaring? 
Hear the dogs barking? Why is there already a bumble bee buzzing in winter?
Notice the buds on the trees? Lets read about them.
Let's learn from our Creator.


Come on my babies, let's play with your daddy
Let's balance on trees,
climb the trees...
pick up sticks.


Let's bring our toys outside
Lemonade anyone?


“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” 
― John LubbockThe Use Of Life


“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” 
― Kahlil GibranSand and Foam


Let's "be" my little baby
Let's learn to live instead of searching for a living



Let's feed our minds and souls and bodies with everything that is good
Everything that is whole
Everything that the One gave us in the very beginning to be perfect for us




Let's not live to impress others
but to love them.

“And like a colorful bloom of temporary lights in the sky, you will shine.” 
― Chad Sugg

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you feel so inclined...here's a great Ted Talks about healing the body through food.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAkEYcmCCCk

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Reasons


Hello little friends, I'm not here to harm you...just to admire your care free spirit,
your hearty physique,
your preparedness.
I'm here to admire you wiggly noses and your bushy twitching tails...
I just like to be near you,
to notice you,
to be aware of your specialness.


Hello my blue eyed boy
I'm not here to bother you...not on purpose at least.
I'm here to love you,
to watch you,
to laugh with you.
I love your freckles and your soft pale pixie face
Your are my little Irish man... my new walking buddy.
I enjoyed are long ramble through the prairie lands today,
thank you for listening to me go on and on about the trees
thank you for listening to me talk about my love of the sun...
and smiling and really really listening.
You are my dear friend, my soul mate
I'm here just to be with you.


hello crystal,
lovely geode.
hello sparkles and joy in a cracked sphere
snow white and glittery and gorgeous
I'm here to hold you
to feel your weight.
Near the window I gently turn you left...slowly right, admiring the way you catch the sun
Through you, I can catch it too.
You are everything I want to be
Strong, delicate, pure, glittering from the inside out
I'm here to worship your Creator and the purpose you play here on earth...
to bring joy.
I'm here to treasure you.


Soft light...pretty work space...hello.
I'm here to work beneath your glow,
to cherish the moment of a "new day"
over and over and over again.
I'm here to be content with simple, with antique, with used.
I'm here to play while I work
I'm here to see the art of white wall, draped with good things...
and see the beauty.




Hello dusk dusting my garden
rest easy naked sleepy trees
rest easy empty boxes 
I'm here to hope for you
to dream of what you can become
to adore who you are right now, as you are
I'm here to adorn you with chimes,
to fill you with seeds and nutrients 
I'm here to give you a drink when the summer days are hot
I'm here to nurture you
to take your gifts and be thankful for them...
the shade, the dance of leaves, the garden plunder
I think I'm here to be thankful for you



I'm here to feed the squirrels...
the bunnies...
the butterflies.


I'm here to paint oceans,
trees, 
someday...I hope...a sunrise.
I'm here to learn.


I'm here to kiss,
to dance,
to touch soft lips and brush long hair
to stare into eyes that need me.
I'm here to give
whatever I can...
to whoever I am.


I'm here to look across the room at my daughter writing...
and see a picture.
I'm here to see the world in pictures..


Thank you, oh thank you
Divine 
Thank you, oh thank you
Father
Thank you, oh thank you
Light of the World
Creator of Love
Giver of Peace

...that my purpose is so great, yet so simple


Thank you for giving me so many reasons to be here


  1. I come to the garden alone,
    While the dew is still on the roses,
    And the voice I hear falling on my ear
    The Son of God discloses.
    • And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
      And He tells me I am His own;
      And the joy we share as we tarry there,
      None other has ever known.
  2. He speaks, and the sound of His voice
    Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
    And the melody that He gave to me
    Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Purpose

 Hello

It's a chilly evening here in Colorado...but beautiful. The snow hasn't fallen yet, the sky is golden ...casting it's bits of light on the edges of our pines and aspens. The branches are bare today...and will be for another few months. They are warm though...all bathed in light and freshness and God.

I've been slow today. Baking here a bit, washing there a bit. I've been reminiscing ... a lot...
remembering all of my babies, remembering the very real struggle of love and tiredness and growing at such a fast pace - my belly and my spirit.

I remember flowers.

Silky baby hair...warm little bodies ...always with me...
the sweet smell in my nose, the hands on my skin, the beauty of looking in their wondering eyes.
Feeling close to them...all of the time...even when my body was weary...
My heart was close to them.



It was a beautiful time of my life. 
It was a time that I had always dreamed of - even with the loneliness, even with the bedbugs and the three autism diagnosis, even with the poverty level pay and the teeny tiny house.




It was beautiful because it was then...that I discovered myself.
It was slow...year after year giving up expectations..
listening to new ideas,
finding truth and sustainability and purpose.
I found love.
I met God in those years. I struggled with God in those years. 
But mostly, I found Him. 



Those sweet porch days.
Green bean picking days.
Bread making days. 
Sleepless nights and potty training and grocery shopping with a one toddler clutching my hand
another in the cart, one on my back
and one in my belly.



One of life's greatest treasures is being able to look back at our lives...no matter our age or our "point" ~ and truly see the events, the circumstances that have made us who we are.
Looking at it from all sides...not just our own.
We can learn why it happened. 
Life is a lesson...not a consequence.




We are the architects of our lives. 
Many things are out of our control...
but in the end we choose if we keep building...or we adjust our plans and change our materials. 

We choose if we throw our hands up, or ask for outside help...hire a new crew, find a new plot.

Some materials are garbage, we have the choice to seem them for what they are and say
"I deserve better building materials...this is crap."
Or we may find ourselves saying
"I've been blind...this whole time I've been looking at the view but ignoring the structure."



This is what I know...after building and rebuilding and storms coming and walls crashing.
This is what I know after fire, after rain.
This is what I know after climbing and clawing and crashing, then crawling on the ground defeated and torn and nothing.



I know why I am here.
It's something we all want to know...what's our purpose?
What does it all mean?



Reading the past, looking back at little blue eyes and trying my best to put light in all of them...
 right now
this moment
is my purpose. 
It will always be that way.
It's now.
Not tomorrow.
Not yesterday.
 Today.



I don't know why loving and building and growing sometimes feels so small.
My mind often says "but Alyssa, you need to do more. You need to find who you are and be important...share it with the world. Earn an income...be known."

Voices tell me that...some audibly, some not so audibly.

People, books, television, pictures in stores...
They all want me to know who I am tomorrow. Who I "could be" if I tried.
It makes my head confused.
 It makes my heart sink because I wanted to be who I am being right now...
and it's not enough for them.




Then I'm quiet. 
A voice says "Raise your hands."
My body feels like it's flying forward...into compassion, into security
I listen.
My hands raise above my head, palms open and I sway to my heart song 
He is here with me. I feel His presence. My heart is wrapped in large warm hands,
the world is glowing...and He's there.
Hello Creator
...my mind needed You.
My heart drums...the first beat slow and I call 
"if you made the heavens and the earth then surely I can trust you"
The beat fastens and I call
"If you formed my body and you love me with all of You then surely I'm worthy"
The drumming is faster and louder and I scream 
"If you love them and You're in me then so can I"
The drumming is slow and all there is is peace.
Golden light filled peace all around me...because I know who I am through Him.



I look outside at the setting sun, swallows dancing and dipping in the yard - and I hear Him :

"You are who I made, and no one else's opinion matter's except Mine and yours."



Then I know...again...why I am here.
He has made it perfectly clear.

I don't have to explain my joy or my fulfillment to anyone. 
My job isn't to convince.

 My purpose is to live well.
 My job is to nourish...myself, my babies, my partner, the strangers all around me.
 My joy is to worship.
I raise my hands, face pointing towards the Sun, salty tears meeting my lips and allowing my heart to cry out
"Because of You I Am." 
There is nothing small in that.

So, here I am...at the beginning of a new year...knowing exactly my aspirations.
Delighting in my purpose...not because it's easy, not because it pays well, not because it "looks good."

No, definitely not because of any of those things.

The beauty is I don't have to know why sleepless night and dirty dishes and curriculum delights my soul. I don't have to know why felted hoops and homemade laundry detergent ignite some kind of wildfire in me and I feel fuzzy with happiness.
I don't have to know why studying theology and herbs and medicine and the human brain makes me feel excited. I don't have to know any of that.
I just have to delight in it, because that's who I am.
Not an expert.
Not someone that can afford expensive toys.
Not someone that will change the world.

 I have changed my life, and I pour love into my littles so that someday...
hopefully because of a bit of my influence...
they will be able to raise their palms to the sky and feel their Creator...
and be fulfilled by who they are to Him.


Happy belated New Years my friends.