Around the Web

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts so I thought I’d unearth the backlog of cool things I’ve found around the web onto you today!  And some random photos.  Cause sharing is caring, right?

  • I used this video for our family devotions one night and it really resonated with the kids (and me!)  I love mixing it up sometimes and using various resources to enhance what we’re learning.
  • Shannon’s post on how she’s a different kind of awesome mom made me love her even more.  Even though I already really love her!  For the record, I’m the same kind of awesome.  ha!
  • These posts slay me.  I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at a blog post.  Like, we’re talking tears here.
  • The Pioneer Woman’s 16-minute meals save my life night after night.  This is one of our faves!  When you find something everyone likes as much as they do this recipe, it enters the hallowed halls of dinner time staple.

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  • Have you entered the world of energy bites yet?  I know they’re everywhere now!  We’ve been addicted to them since last summer and we can’t stop making these ones.  Delish!
  • I love this post about Mother’s Day Gifts for new moms.  I know when I was a new mom and doing very little for myself I really needed great gifts that made me feel special.  Baby handprints on things are cute but when I was constantly covered with stickiness from them (as well as other fluids!) I longed for things that made me feel beautiful and, to be honest, not mom-like!
  • I know oils are all the rage just now and you’re probably sick of them.  I’ve used them for years but I’ve never thought of making little bottles like these.  So cute and ready to go with you where you are!

What have you found around the inter webs that caught your fancy lately?  Tell me!  No, seriously, do.  I sometimes get bored on the weekend and I want new pretty things to look at!

Happy Friday!!

Creative Activities for Kids: Photography

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**All of the photos in this post were taken by my boys**

In our home, we strive to have an emphasis on the arts.   It’s mostly because both my husband and I are passionate about creativity and we’ve both worked in artistic fields (him currently, me in the past).  It’s something we love and as such, something we want to expose our children to.

Whether they’re naturally drawn to it or not, we want to expose our kids to all sorts of things in this world and with so many forms of art, there’s bound to be something they love.

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When I look around this world I can’t help but be in awe at the creativity of our Lord.  He created the earth and the multitude of vegetation, animals, colours, sea creatures!  If you’ve ever seen some of those, you know He’s a creative God.  I think He’s given us this too and we should strive to use  our imaginations, our talents and our time in creative ways.

I know many people naturally think, I’m not creative or artistic!  But I think that’s false.  There are so many ways creativity can work itself out and I think all of us have it in us.

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Can you set a beautiful table or decorate an amazing mantle?  Are words your thing and the using of them to write or speak in engaging ways?  When you get dressed do you love textures and colour play and how they all work together?  Can you whip up an amazing meal?  Splatter paint all over a canvas?  Use your body to move in ways that are beautiful?  Manipulate clay in your hands?  Whittle things out of wood?  Act on a stage?  Write poetry?  Design fonts? Grow a well groomed garden?

These are only a few of the myriad of ways we can be creative.

We want our children to explore these things.  To be exposed to them as well as try them.  So we take them to plays and we have an extensive art cupboard and we have computer programs for them to use.  We have lego they can build with and characters to create stop motion with and we allow them access to all of our tools and gadgets when it comes to creativity.

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The other day we were all home and feeling kind of restless and bored.  I knew we needed to get out of the house but I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on going somewhere and doing something so I suggested a family photo walk.

This is such an easy way to let your kids be creative.  When I was a kid I had to beg to use our family camera and thankfully my parents were willing to share but when purchasing film and paying for developing came into play I had to limit my shots and therefore my creativity.

These days we can let our kids shoot endlessly and teach them about angle and perspective and let them play with it without it costing us anything.  Also, with all of the gadgets we have around (and I’m sure you do too) we had enough cameras for everyone to use.  I shot my film camera, we have 2 DSLR’s that the kids used, plus an old point and shoot.  Add in phones, which can take pretty great pictures these days, and we were all set.

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We headed out to an old and charactery neighbourhood and let everyone do whatever they wanted with zero instruction.  We only encouraged the kids to take pictures of whatever they find intriguing, whatever they find beautiful, whatever is wooing them to see.

And they did.

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It was so cool to see how they got in close and found different angles all on their own.  How someone took a shot that none of us had even thought to take and how there was that one that each of us took almost the exact same shot of.

That evening we had a slide show of everyone’s images and talked about each shot.  What we liked about it, how they could change it to make it more interesting, what they saw and why they wanted to snap it.

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It was a great way to spend an afternoon together, encourage creativity, open them up to new avenues of ways to spend time and also, it was free!

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We will definitely be doing it again soon!

The earth is not mine to fill up with garbage

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Ghandi once said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”

Of course, I’m going to disagree on the very fact that the Lord provides and not simply earth but that’s a tale for another time.  What I do agree with is that we do not have enough to sustain the world’s greediness.

Over the past number of years the Lord has taken me on a bit of a journey and a learning curve when it comes to our earth.  Of course, there are a number of people who would right me off as someone with hippy tendencies and pay no mind but I’d like to argue that it’s so much more than that.

What the Lord has graciously showed to me is that the earth and all that is in it is His and that we are responsible for the way that we treat and mistreat that.  As with all facets of our lives, we are responsible for our actions, and only our actions and so I can no longer hide behind what great things other people are doing and I can no longer actively mistreat that which he has given us to care for.

I love how the NASB says it, “The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.”  Psalm 24:1

Couple this with a few other verses like Genesis 1: 26 which tells us in Hebrew that we shall have radah over the earth, meaning dominion and rule and Psalm 90:12 where we are instructed to live wisely and well and we’re met with, at least how I see it, a pretty large task.

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We are responsible to live wisely and well on this earth and we are to treat this earth in a way that stewards the resources God has blessed us with very, very well.

The more I read about our earth and the ways we treat it the more I realize I haven’t done a great job of this in the past.  It’s one of those areas where I’m particularly thankful for God’s patience with me as I learn that the earth isn’t mine to use up, destroy and fill with piles of garbage, though that’s often how I’ve been living.

Tracey Bianchi, in her book Green Mama, says this, “In the book of Romans, we read that, ‘since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made’ (1:20).    Which means that our majestic mountains and ice blue lakes, our acres of forest and even our dandelions are a display of God’s power.  Who are we to dare to trash that?”

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I know I’d rather not take up that challenge with God.  I’m really not super pumped about standing before God and giving an answer for all the plastic McDonald’s toys that gave 30 seconds of fun and then ended up in the landfill, or about how many chemicals I leached into the very earth that shows his glory, thus ruining portions of it.  I have to answer for all the food that got chucked because we didn’t get to eating it all and the clothes that I bought for insanely cheap that were only worn once and then fell apart.  All of these things end up filing our earth with garbage and to some degree destroying the beauty and majesty that God has given us in his creation, our very way of seeing Him, in part.

Besides that, we now live in a society that feels like we deserve so much more than what we actually require for life.  It’s amazing how little food can actually sustain us and we can in fact, thrive on, but we eat on.  We like things new and crisp so we chuck the slightly old for new trends.  We want the portability of having our water with us everywhere so we buy up those plastic bottles and then toss ’em aside.  We certainly need the latest version of every gadget meaning that every adult in america tosses a phone aside each year or two.  And what happens to all of these things?  Well, there tossed into a corner of the earth called the dump.  A place less reminiscent of God’s glory and more of our grossness.

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But, of course, God doesn’t need us to save the planet.  I love Tracey’s take on this, too.

“The weight of saving the world does not rely solely upon you.  God can save the planet himself.  Actually, he already has, which is tough for me to swallow because I like to think God needs me.  Ultimately, God is interested in your heart and movement toward wise living and responsible stewardship, not how many gallons of water you saved this month.  He created this  world and then invited us to partner with him in caring for it.  He wants us involved in the process just like I want my children involved in the projects I design for them.”

It’s so wonderful to know that God doesn’t need me.  If he did need me, in all my littleness, it would be hard to perceive him as God, to be honest.  But he does want us to live in this world using our hearts and our minds and all of the resources he’s given to us.  It’s when we ignore those that we end up where we find ourselves today.  Ignorance is not at all bliss when it comes to this world and I think it’s time we become more informed for the sakes of our children and our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

I struggle to think of the world they will live in should we keep using up all of the resources here on earth and filling it to the brink with garbage.  I struggle to think what I might say to them when they look back and see the way us, their ancestors, prepared this place that they now live in.  From what I see, it may be to our shame.

It’s easy to disconnect from this, as christians, because we can look through the bible and not see Jesus tell us to be more green or to reduce, reuse and recycle.  But it really does come down to how we steward all things and what we call being responsible with what God has given to us.  I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not always wise and sometimes I don’t even care.  Convenience and comfort are two pulls that have a great affect on my life and as with most things, this isn’t good!

I’ll leave you with one more quote from Green Mama because I just love how she breaks the responsibility we have with our earth down to that of sin.  Simply put, we are stealing.  But I’ll use her words because they’re just so good.

“He [her pastor] defined steal as simply taking more than your share of the resources.  Stealing is not limited to Grand Theft Auto.  There are a limited number of resources in this world, and when we take more than we need, simply put, we are stealing from others.  We can do this in a variety of ways – financially, socially and environmentally.  By pillaging the earth for more than our share, we break the eighth commandment.  We steal from our children.  We steal from their children.  And if the planet makes it that far, we steal from their children too.”

Jesus may not have mentioned a carbon footprint or bought detergent with the word GREEN smacked across it but we do know that stealing was not something he got behind.

For so many more resources and thoughts and simple ways to start a journey of honouring God through the way we steward the earth I would encourage you to pick up Tracey’s book, Green Mama:  The guilt-free guide to helping you and your kids save the planet.

She has great and simple starting points that leave you feeling like you can begin instead of feeling overwhelmed.  I was so incredibly thankful for her words in my journey and rather than rewriting everything she has to say here, just grab a copy, or even better – borrow mine!  I’m happy to share!

**because I get this may feel like a plug for the book I’d just like to point out that I am in no way being compensated for this post, I just really really love the book and it has encouraged me so much in my journey of recognizing that the earth is the Lord’s!

Why I need a million reminders and maybe you do too!

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My kids remind me of things constantly.  Partly because they know they need to if they want anything to happen but also because I’ve asked them to.  When you have three active, make-their-own plans, kinda kids this is just how it has to be.    I no longer plan their sleepovers.  They make arrangements with their friends.  I don’t have to coddle them as they get their school projects finished, they just do them.  But clearly I need to be in the loop.

Not only because I want to be an active and attentive part of my kids life, but for logistical reasons like, I need to drive them there or pick up some construction paper.

We have a system in our family.  It goes like this.

Remind me!

If you have film club after school, remind me in the morning.  If you have a basketball game tell me where you need to be.  If the milk is almost gone, let me know so I can pick up more.  If you have outgrown your socks, for the love, make it known!

It happens with almost everything in life.  One child needs a chiropractor appointment and another has a sports medicine appointment and one has a meeting about high school next year and the list is endless.  Of course I have a day timer and I write endlessly but I want them to know that they are responsible for the things that they’re doing and so they need to be active participants.

They leave me notes taped up around the house that say, “Please call again to check on my doctors appointment time.”  Or, “Coach needs to talk to you so please email him your number.”

It’s how we function around here and it helps me and I believe it’s training them.

Sure, I could always just have enough milk and always make all the phone calls but as they grow I want them to learn and so we do it together.  We remind each other.  We use many ways to let the other know what we want or need done; notes, words, phone calls, text messages, the list goes on.

I was reminded today that God does the same thing for us.

Upon thorough reading you’ll notice that the bible repeats itself.  A lot.

As I studied Deuteronomy this week I couldn’t help but think, “I just learned all of this in Numbers, only one chapter ago!”  I started to think about skimming and plowing through because, y’know,  I’ve got this!

But let’s be honest.  I forget the things I read in scripture just as quickly as I forget to make that phone call about the doctors appointment.

Our days are full.  Life is busy.  We’re juggling a lot.  I know I am and I’m pretty certain you are too.  God knew we would be.  He knows our ways and our weaknesses and He knows that we are prone to hear, jump on board, and within minutes forget.

I’m tempted to think I’m so different than the Israelites grumbling as they wandered in the desert.  Complaining about lack of food and water and then fondly remembering ‘the good ol’ days’ back in Egypt when they had melons and meat!  Somehow they completely forgot the whole slave part though.  You know, the deliverance.  That whole Red Sea thing.   Forgotten.  Instead they see exactly two steps in front of their face and cry out that they’re sick of manna!

I’ll just admit that I’m exactly like them.  Over time things seem normal.  The house I was so thankful for just becomes normal.  The jeans I loved last month when I bought them feel less than stellar now.  The iPhone from last year is so, well, last year.

We’re a fickle bunch and God knew it and put in place ways to take care of us.  He did this in one way specifically.  Reminders!

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.”  Deut. 4:9

“Therefore watch yourselves very carefully…lest you act corruptly”  Deut. 4:15

“And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them…”  Deut. 4:19

“Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God which he made with you….”  Deut. 4:23

Over and over and over Moses tells the people to remember.  Remember what you’ve seen and heard.  Remember the statutes and commands.  Remember because I know you’re going to forget and you’re going to get too busy and you’ll raise your eyes to something else and glorify it instead of God, so remember.  I’m reminding you now and I will again and again and again.

Scripture does that for us and it’s why we need to come back to it all the time.  Every day.  Because we forget so stinkin’ fast.  It’s there for us as a constant reminder.  It’s there like a sticky note on the back of the door or a voice mail sent to yourself.  It’s there so that you don’t forget.  Let it help you not forget!

When Circumstances Change Who You Are. I get it.

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There are moments in your life that change you.  Alter the way you see things, the way you do things.  There are events that cause you to reevaluate the things that are important.  There are circumstances that make you into something completely different.

Sometimes the changes are permanent and sometimes they’re not.

When my Dad got really sick and we knew he had very little time to live, life changed.  (You can read more about that journey here)

It changed because we knew the days, hours and nearer to the end, possible moments that we would have with him were limited.  Extremely limited.  And when minutes spent with a loved one start echoing in your ear like a clock ticking away the seconds, well, priorities shift.

My life became necessities and love.  The necessities were work and my husband and my children and the love became evening after evening in the hospital.  The love became meals eaten together as a family in the palliative care wing.  The love became a room for my children with their name on the door so they could watch cartoons and laugh with their cousins and escape the sterilized smell and somber moods for just a while.  The love became holding straws up to his lips so he could drink and sitting at his bedside reading scripture over him while nobody else was in the room.  The love became speaking words I wasn’t sure he could hear and holding his hand whether he knew I was or not.

What became completely unnecessary was creativity.  In fact, when hit with survival mode there wasn’t even any creativity to draw upon.  My tank had run dry and there was no station to fill ‘er up at.

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5 years ago I hung up the strap of my camera.  I tucked flashes and lenses into my impossibly heavy vintage case.  I chucked canisters of film into a pouch and I closed the lid and snapped the lock shut.  I wrote a letter to clients, past and present, announcing my departure from this art I loved so much and I handed a list of their addresses over to a dear friend who I knew would care for them and their pregnancies and days old babies and memories just as much as I would.

And that was that.

I was changed.

Photographer was no longer an adjective I used to describe myself.  If someone called me one I felt like a fraud and I would try and explain it away.  Because photographers actually pick up cameras and find exhilaration in the sound of the shutter snapping open and closed.  Photographers see the world in a distinct way.  Always snapping in their mind.  Altering reality.  Seeing in black and white or oversaturated tones and picking tiny little moments out of the world and storing them as though on glossy 4×6 sheets.

I was none of that.  I didn’t feel any of it.  It was a part of who I was but not a part of who I am.

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Don’t get me wrong, it was just fine with me.  It felt like something off my plate when life became about survival and I was more than happy to tuck it away and forget about it.

For the past five years I truly felt it was a part of my past.  A chapter in the novel that had ended.  Pages had been turned and new things had come and there you have it.

My lovely husband had tried to nudge me back to it several times over these years but I always had an excuse as to why not.

Until…

Well, a few weekends ago I pulled that dusty old leather case from the back of the closet.  I wiped off the top and I clicked the latch and I opened it up.  In just a second it all came rushing back, so much the same but slightly different.

Because I’m different.  And events and time change you and it changed me.

But what I know is that some cases aren’t meant to be closed forever.  Some things are meant to have the back of the closet as their permanent home.  Some are, mind you.  But some aren’t.  I don’t think we really know until God reveals it to us.

God’s people, His chosen people wandered in the wilderness for 40 years on a journey that could have taken 11 days, apart from their disobedience.  They were scared, though He told them not to be.  They said no even though He said yes.  They took the very human route of collaborating stories with others, and scoping out the scene and then made humanly smart decisions based on what they saw instead of what they heard from Him.

40 years and no promised land later, Moses died.  God did show Him with his eyes though, what could have been.  Moses saw the land, it was right there before him.  I wonder what he felt in his heart just then.  Seeing what could have been.  Knowing the life he could have had.  Gazing on that land in all it’s splendour knowing he would never taste of its beauty.  All because he was scared.

I don’t want that to be my life.  I don’t want to look back in my final days and see what could have been if only I’d listened.  I don’t want to stay someplace I’m not meant to be for my entire life because I don’t believe I can do it.  I don’t want to play it safe when it seems too scary.  If I’m told to go then I want to go.

I don’t know what this means at all just now.  Not one little bit.

But I do know that I pulled that baby out and I heard the sound of the mirrors snap and I listened to the whir as the film finished and rolled itself back up into its shell.  I explained to my kids what film is!  And then I dropped the roll off and I had to wait a day before I got to see any of my photos and it was so exciting.  I had to wait to see what I shot, people!  No instant gratification.  No immediate post garnering 74 likes.  Waiting.

When I picked up my photos the following day and I thumbed through the stack and when I saw the colours and the grain something came back.  Something that I thought was a thing of the past rushed into me and I looked again and again and again.

I want to follow where He leads and stop the rabbit trails that aren’t mine to have.  He has given me a love for words.  He has given me a love of art.  He has opened my eyes to see beauty in the mundane and joy in the simplicity of texture and pattern.

Of course this means nothing other than I might just be that camera girl again.  Get ready friends.  It’s coming for you.

Are my kids Christians?

 

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Someone asked me today if my son is a Christian.

As a parent I never thought this would be the question that stumped me.

I can easily be stumped by tenth grade math or the naming of the last 10 Prime Ministers.  I can be stumped by titles of songs and endings of movies. (I’m always asleep by the end) Street names have never been my strong point and ask me how old I’m turning on my next birthday and I may have to take a sec to figure it out.

But when asked if my kids are Christian I just automatically assumed my answer would be a big, bold yes. But it wasn’t.

I know the whole ‘when do you actually become a christian’ thing is a hot topic debate.  If you’re a Calvinist you’ll probably sneer and mention something about before even being formed in your mama’s womb and if you grew up in an evangelical church in the 80’s it’ll be more along the lines of during that alter call or when you said that prayer.

I would land more in the first camp than the second, (minus the sneer) but that’s not really a debate I want to enter on here.

Thing is, until 10 years ago (give or take) I would have told you I became a christian when I was 3 and I prayed to ask Jesus into my heart.   I did that, however, because my brothers had just seen a scary movie on the rapture (thank you, christian movies of the 80’s!) and they peppered me with questions of the, “do you want to go to heaven or hell,” variety.  To be fair, I gave it some serious thought.  Like, 30 seconds worth along with a question about where they would be.  When they said heaven, I said heaven and they led me through some prayer about Jesus coming into my heart and then we all jumped on my bed and that was that.

But ask me today when I became a Christian and I would tell you that it was more than 20 years after that event.

Did I always believe in Jesus?  Yes.

Did I always take up my cross and follow him?  No.

It wasn’t  until my late 20’s that I believe I grasped what it means to be blind and then to see.  It wasn’t until then that I realized that it wasn’t being good enough or doing enough that saved you but it was unmerited grace and only the blood of Jesus that could do the saving.  It was having the feeling that the disciples had of, ‘where else would we go?’  It’s hard to put into words exactly but at some point there was a line crossed that meant no turning back.  Come what may, this is my life, this is how I will live it, this is whom I will follow.  End of story.

So when asked if my boys are christians all I could do is say, “I don’t know.”

Do they pray?  Yeah.  Do they attend church?  Yeah.  Do we study the bible together?  Yes.  Do they understand concepts in Scripture and believe it as truth?  They would say so.  Do they believe in Jesus?  Mm hmm.

Have their eyes been opened to the truth of the gospel?  Have they recognized that without Jesus and his work on the cross they cannot be saved?  Do they grasp that it is not by works but faith?  Do they know that they are poor and needy sinners in need of a Saviour?

By word they do, because we’ve said the words so many times and they’re pretty smart.

But do they really get it?  Like in the deep part of their heart and soul?  Have they crossed that proverbial line that changes everything?  That means whatever He asks and wherever He leads they will follow?

Probably not.

I think there are some children who are given wisdom and understanding at a young age and that’s amazing, but it’s not the norm.  I think more often than not we don’t know where our children’s hearts really stand because they’re simply operating out of house rules or obedience to their parents.  Once we’re out of the picture is this the life they’ll choose?  We hope so but at this point we simply don’t know.

I’m not sure it’s important that we know at this point.  I do know that my role is to teach them constantly, to disciple them in truth, to pray with and for them and to guide them in righteousness.  So that’s what we do.

As much as I want to control their salvation, it is a role that is not mine.  I can’t force them to be true followers of Christ.  That work only belongs to the Holy Spirit.  It doesn’t matter how many devotions we do or how many prayers I pray, or if we do or do not participate in Lent or Advent or hide inside on Halloween, it is not mine to decide.

So I offer up my pleas and I offer up my children and I believe in a God that is sovereign and has a plan that is greater than mine.  And if I believe all of that then I have to believe that He has a plan for my children, too.  No matter how many parenting mistakes I make.  No matter how many devotions we do.  No matter if they prayed some prayer when they were 4 because they heard Jesus could live in their heart.

Scripture tells us it’s a race to run to the end.  Until we’re at our end, how do we know if we’ve continued to run it?

What do you think?  Is there a moment you can pin it on in your life?  Do you feel certain your kids are saved?

Better than Amazon Prime? Mm hmm.

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part of today’s random selections

When I was a kid we had these friends who went to the library as a family every Tuesday night.

I envied them like crazy.

The mere thought of getting to compile a new stack of selections every single week still makes me drool!

We were a sometimes library family and with my kids, I’ve found us to be the same.  We can’t get there once a week and sometimes we don’t even make it once a month but I do find myself popping in there by myself more often than we even go together these days.

The library, any library, feels like home to me.  The walls lined with row upon row of books scream whisper hope.  Possibility.  So much potential.  I feel like the people sitting at the tables and perusing the shelves, they’re my people, though I never talk to them because….ssshhh.

Oh, and the quiet.  I relish the quiet.  People altogether in one place and yet silence, or hushed voices at the very most.

But enough of my drama, the real reason I love the library is because there are so many things I just don’t know.  So many things I can hardly pronounce, let alone have a conversation about.

Learning is my jam and the library lets me choose pretty much anything I want to learn about.

Decoupage?  There’s a book for that.  The Civil Rights Movement?   Aisle 4 over there.  Want to travel to Japan and be armed with sentences to get you through?  Yup.  Curious about Donald Trump?  Derek Hough?  Garfield?  Maybe Women in the Arts is more your speed?  Or Politics in this Century? Traditional Lebanese Cooking?

Or maybe you like story.  The possibilities are endless there.  Love.  Loss.  Strength.  Defiance.  Submission.  World Changers.  Quirky sorts.   It’s all there within the pages of the novels, you just have to find the right one.  Look long enough and it’ll be there, I guarantee it.

Books are my love. When I was little I would do my saturday morning chores with my nose buried in something as I vacuumed.  I still do the same as I’m waiting for pots of soup to simmer on the stove.

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The library offers endless possibilities and I love seeing what jumps out at me as I walk quietly along the rows.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon and their prime delivery but I would never order even a quarter of the books I check out of the library.  I can’t afford all the gorgeous coffee table books and I wouldn’t spend the money on some of the gambles that I’ve picked up just out of curiosity.

This morning I just needed some quiet.  It’s spring break here and I’ve been surrounded by people for too many days on end and a break was necessary.  So I went to my happy place.  I breathed in the smell of old books and thumbed through half a dozen gorgeous architecture  finds and peered at name after name in the biography section until I found one that my fingers wanted to reach for.  It was perfect.

And I don’t even have to wait two days for shipping.