Sunday, 26 October 2014

feeling blue...and loving it

some shots from my lving room and the old & new blue accents that I’m loving

images © copyright Melody Armstrong 2014

Saturday, 25 October 2014

my fall manifesto...revisited

i want to......

-laugh every day --no matter what
-let thanks to God be the first thoughts on my mind
-listen, really listen, to my kid's stories -- even when I'm trying to "get stuff done."
-make crabapple jelly and juice

-pay attention to my life (and read Buechner when i need reminding)
-sing loudly in the shower
-grumble less about busyness
-eat slower...savour more
-juice, juice, juice and love the art of it

-pull out recipe books when I get the cooking blahs
-remember that cooking blahs are an amazing problem to have
-make family opportunities to give
-get out with friends more as a couple (without kids)
-write often. whenever, wherever, whatever
-stop to write love notes...even if they are on plain paper :)

(this love note i wrote for my Dad was still stapled to the inside of a 
cupboard door in his garage, years after it was written...hmmmmm)

-give longer snuggles at bed times
-plant life (tulips and gladiolas)
-celebrate small victories and maybe losses too
-keep eyes wide open for beauty everywhere

-rediscover the Bible and let its life land fresh in my soul
-share it, share it, share it (whatever "it" it)
-less wine
-walk to the forest more (lay in moss &listen to stillness)

-lace up in these cooler mornings and get out in it
-say "yes" when the big kid wants to go for a drive
-cinnamon bun dates with boy in braces 
-make mall dates with preteen queen of the house
-watch net flix with hubbie (more TV? )
-play (especially if it's snowing in Sept!) (like mom, 87)

 -enjoy home days to the fullest
-read to the kids
-get more music (non 80's haha) on the family ipod
-find some great audio books for our long drives
-set aside days where a fleece onsie is full fashion
-bake with the kids and enjoy the mess

-be true to my creative self and indulge whenever I can

....and the list goes on.....but thought I'd share a few with you. 

hugs and love,

(p.s. I've included some links to older posts in case you're in the mood to kick back and read a few other related pieces.  Enjoy!)

words and images © copyright Melody Armstrong 2014 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

sitting with sadness awhile....

have finally agreed to allow my own Sadness a seat at the table of this great life banquet of mine -at least for the time being.

Sadness is rarely allowed to pull up a chair, much less have a voice in the conversation of my soul. I usually do a good job of pushing sadness back and squeezing the door tight to keep it out.  I think Sadness is a lousy guest.  It talks too slow.  It asks me awkward questions while looking me square in the eyes.  It takes a long time to make its point when it finally speaks.  I don't enjoy sitting with sadness, ever.

I much prefer to sit with Joy.  We're great friends and have so much to talk about as we laugh and savour life together.  Some of my other favourite guest are Happiness, Triumph, Strength and Success.  They are  always welcome to join the party whenever they show up.  While they are a lot less dependable than Joy and Sadness, they are so much fun and they really boost my self-confidence.  I admit that our conversations can get a little shallow at times, but at least they don't ask me uncomfortable questions about myself,  my character, or my faith the way Sadness does.

Sadness has been incessant lately, continuing to knock at the door of my heart.  It will not take "NO!" for an answer.  I've told Sadness time and again that there is no room at this soul table because the seats are already filled with Joy and the enormous Blessings' family.  But Sadness disagrees and insists that there is room at the table right next to Joy, maintaining that the two are comfortable together since they spend most of life side by side.   Not only that, Sadness is also pushing me to squeeze in and extra chair for Brokenness, --another guest that I find to be an intolerable party-wrecker.

So, I concede.  I have finally agreed to make room at my soul table and sit with these usually unwelcome guests.   Strength, Success and the rest of the rowdy and jovial bunch haven't shown up.  Joy is present and smiling as usual, but seems to be especially quiet today.  I'm feeling a little on my own with Sadness and Brokenness but have decided to engage as honestly as I can and see what they have to share with me.   I'm hoping that maybe we will find a way to be at peace with one another.

I'm pretty sure that the main course of this meal will be humility.   O, God, please also bring Courage to this soul banquet as I learn to quiet myself, listen, share and be nourished at this table. 

words and images © copyright Melody Armstrong 2014

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

an open heart

“It takes courage to push yourself 

to places that you have never been before...

to test your limits...

to break through barriers.

And the day came when the risk it took 

to remain tight inside the bud 

was more painful 

than the risk it took to Blossom.” 

It's always safer being closed.  But is safer, better? 

My husband and I have been pondering the questions again....the ones that keep popping up when relationships get stretched and worn thin.  Is it really worth the pain to keep caring, to keep trying?  Is it possible to somehow be impermeable to hurt and disappointment, and still maintain an open, tender heart?  Or, should we just accept pain and hurt as the inevitable cost of choosing to maintain certain relationships? 

I've been watching this sunflower in its slow and careful unfurling to the world.  Its destiny is to bloom - to open up and boldly share its radiance.  I'm certain our hearts are destined for the same, regardless of how vulnerable it makes us feel.

There is no guarantee that our relationships will turn out the way we'd like, no matter how hard we try or how good our intentions may be.  Still, I think it is right to keep risking, regardless of the cost. The willingness to be tender and open in relationships, to share our truest selves with the world,  allows for the possibility of an amazing miracle to occur...the unfolding of something shockingly beautiful.  

words and images (unless otherwise cited) © copyright Melody Armstrong 2014

Monday, 6 October 2014

september stillness

i pause

from all the racing, running
wildness of my world

and catch a glimpse
of more 
than shimmering leaves
that flutter and wave
to catch a fragment
of my 
always divided

it's like they know
i'd be sad to miss the show

and that would be easy 
on these days when it 

so i stop and sit and stare
    (can eyes drink in a view?) 
and since a poem 
might distract
i open the page
to sketch
what i'm aching
to really see

that my life is vast
and deep and flowing 
with countless
that have 
my attention.

words and images © copyright Melody Armstrong 2014