Decorating with amateur art and second-hand finds

I have goals for my home. I want it to be cozy and cheerful for my family, and amiable and restful for guests. I love color, art, and uncluttered design. The challenge is that I do not have money to spend on decor or energy for DIY projects.

Here’s what I do have: a continuous stream of children’s art, ample hand-me-down furniture, lots of photos, and many second-hand stores nearby. These supplies have proven more than sufficient.IMG_3527

Continue reading “Decorating with amateur art and second-hand finds”

Things I Tell My Kids, part 2

Parenting is about teaching. Teaching about life, teaching to ride a bike, teaching character, teaching math. Instead of coming up with new curriculum everyday, I rely on trusty phrases I can pull out easily. There is power in repeated words. Here are a few we use at our house:

Are you being kind?  Rather than exhorting our kids to be nice, we have always used the word kind. It’s a much richer word. One of my greatest hopes for my kids is that they turn out to be deeply kind. The word kind speaks of compassion, generosity, attention to others; it involves action. I want to call my children to all that kindness implies. Continue reading “Things I Tell My Kids, part 2”

My faith as a bright, flowered couch

I have a theory that most people’s spiritual lives are like fabric–with color patterns and definite textures. If you stand back, the feel and look of the fabric is clear. Mine is like a bold, floral chintz.

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Like the tiny threads woven together to form a fabric, there are certain ideas that define my faith. Together they form the texture and color of the whole thing. Continue reading “My faith as a bright, flowered couch”

On Justice and Lament

In my early twenties, I had a room-mate who was a PhD student in Space Science. Kandis-Lea was an unexpected mix of folksy and scholarly. She would return from her lab late at night and unwind by watching Touched by an Angel; when I rolled my eyes, she would just giggle. Her research was on the moon of Jupiter called Io, and though I attended her dissertation defense, I could not have told you one thing about it, even an hour later. It all flew straight over my head. To this day, Kandis-Lea closes all her emails to me with “Love you dearly.” We have not lived together since 2001, but she is one my most loyal friends. Should I ever be in grave danger, I am confident the Holy Spirit would alert her and she would throw herself into praying for me. Continue reading “On Justice and Lament”