A Simple Blessing to Encourage Hope

To end the week, I want to offer you an extended weekend blessing, one I shared at our Hope*ologie Live event last weekend. I wrote it over time, pieces of it come from years ago, other pieces I wrote specifically to remind us of hope in the areas where we are perhaps most often discouraged – home, family, and soul.

A Simple Blessing for your Home, Family, and Soul

In the regular rhythms of home and play, of work and washing, of listening and slow conversation, may we see God even though we can’t see God.

May our home be a place of quirky delight and may we open our eyes to the gift of living inside her because of all the ways we’ve made her our own. And if our home doesn’t yet reflect our own personality, may we have the courage and moxie to make it so.

May we be people who hang pictures, paint walls, light candles, build forts with blankets, and try new things.

May we save our apologies for when we do things that hurt people and stop giving them out over messy living rooms and outdated drapes.

chatting at the sky

Toward our families, may we be full of hope – able to move beyond our fear and insecurities into the lives of others, willing to release the right to control the outcomes.

May we be open to finding a gift in an unwelcome situation, hearing wisdom from an unlikely person, and receiving grace in an unexpected place.

May Christ be my security when I care too much about the small things and my salvation when I care too little about the big ones.

May my heart be soft enough to know the difference.

Of all the things we give to others, may we never forget to give them hope.

A benediction from Chatting at the Sky

In my soul, may I not be surprised at my own contradictions, how I long to be alone, yet crave community; wish for attention and also anonymity; want my independence but secretly wish for someone to take care of me.

May I stop trying to smooth out my inconsistencies by the strength of my own will, but may I bring them all like a child into the changeless and unmoving presence of Christ.

May we not despise the small space we take up on earth because it is this very small place where Christ delights to make his home.

May we not be surprised when we discover the fixed point from which he longs to move into the world is not from some nebulous place out there, rather it is from an intimate place within us.

May fear, discouragement, doubt, comparison, envy, and failure not have the final say in our homes, our families, or our souls.

Instead, may we live into our truest calling as people who give and receive grace, forgiveness, and love. May we turn toward hope on purpose and begin again today. And then, again tomorrow.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom.15:13).

For Your Weekend

God Made Light

May this weekend be a time to . . .

“Sing songs ‘round campfires. Make marshmallow s’mores. Let Grandpa tell stories. Wage flashlight wars!

And if you ever feel scared in the darkness of night, remember the shadows are no match for God’s light.”

- from God Made Light by Matthew Paul Turner, a  lovely addition to your child’s library. And, truth be told, great for grown ups, too.

Enjoy your Saturday, friends.

for your weekend

home

Today, may I see the abundance of what is rather than the emptiness of what is not. May I learn to receive the simplest gifts as a daily grace and go with Christ as he brings me to his fulness, over and over again. Enjoy your weekend, friends.

Thanks for joining me this month as we celebrated Artists who Influence. I look forward to adding to the list in the weeks to come! Here are some good reads from the week:

What We Learned in October – We’ll be sharing on Monday what we learned in October. Hope you’ll come back and link up!

Jesus, Good Timing, and the Ministry of Mums

emily p freeman

Often I remind myself of the importance of speaking out and writing words, not because they’ve never been spoken or written before but because our saying or writing them may be the first time someone finally hears them.

I recently heard two simple sentences that had a deep impact on me, not because I’ve never heard anything like them but because I’m in a season where I needed to hear them now.

A few words Preston Yancey recently spoke came at just the right time for me, so right that when he said them, I had to block out everything that was happening around me until I could dig my phone out from the bottom of my purse, fumble with the notes app, and type frantically on the tiny phone keyboard these words, only partially remembered.

I’m sharing those words today at (in)courage.

For Your Weekend

For Your Weekend

May we find a way to gather up all the competition and comparison we carry in our hearts and toss them into the lap of God. May we have the courage receive what he gives in return – compassion, generosity, and a light heart.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. Here are a few good reads along the way:

  • New But Good by Ellen for The Sweetwater Blog because this short glimpse into her life as a mom of a new middle schooler reminds me not to be so anxious about my girls growing up.
  • I’m Sure It’s Fine by Shannan Martin for FlowerPatch Farm Girl because in the midst of this crazy, heartbreaking, confusing world, it’s good to remember that some days are for “kissing life on the forehead.” (A phrase like that you don’t forget. She’s full of them.)
  • Living Our Lives as a Work of Art, a podcast with Kathi Lipp because I enjoyed talking with her and her co-host so much and it could be some nice company and encouragement for you as you fold your towels.

For Your Weekend

for your weekend

“O God, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is.”

Macrina Wiederkehr, Seasons of Your Heart

May we know all of our questions, insecurities, doubts, and disabilities are hidden with Christ in God. May we not dread the small beginnings, the little impacts, the slow results, rather may we finally stretch out into the fullest shape of ourselves  – a small, dependent child of God. May we allow our souls to be a spacious foundation for the building of the kingdom of God.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. Here are a few good reads along the way:

  • Silence by Dr. David G. Benner because he says Silence is our constant ignored companion and I think that’s important to remember.
  • Barn Update by The Nester because in two weeks we have a writer’s event here and it’s almost ready and we can’t wait to host more and more things in the barn!

For Your Weekend

For Your Weekend - Chatting at the Sky

May we be open to finding a gift in an unwelcome situation, hearing wisdom from an unlikely person, and receiving grace in an unexpected place. Enjoy your weekend, friends.

Here are some good reads and reminders:

  • Forgive Yourself by Seth Godin, because these may be my favorite 62 words on the internet this week.
  • How to Talk to Your Own Soul by Amber Haines, because her words always move me to stop and listen to the stirrings within me that make no sound but still cause a ruckus. 
  • The Bench because I’ve decided to name my monthly newsletter and next week I’ll begin sending it out once again. Sign up to receive it and you’ll also get a free week-long devotional ebook I wrote, Seven Little Ways to Live Art.
  • The Hope*ologie Podcast is available on iTunes, where The Nester, our Dad and I talk about our experiences with change, transition, and the hope we’re finding in the middle. We could all use a little hope on-the-go.

a million little ways sidebarFinally, the ebook sale is still going on in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe (maybe other places as well?)

You can get A Million Little Ways wherever ebooks are sold for only 1.99!

You don’t have to have a a Nook or Kindle – simply download the free Kindle app for your phone or computer.

Here’s to a lovely September Saturday.

When Your Dream Begins to Change

They had a dream to create a place where they could take the old, beautiful things – the wooden chairs and side tables and other broken pieces people tend to throw away – and give them new life. They wanted a place to do what they had always done: make the used into art.  

when your dream changes

I shared their story here before, how they wanted a shop, how they dreamed of a name and came up with Chartreuse, a word they thought of separately in the night and realized it in the morning, their oneness showing itself in the simplest, most surprising ways.

And they opened that shop and sold their wares, both the ones they made and re-made with their hands and the various finds and work of others.

Then, a month or so ago, they opened their doors for the last time, had their last big mark-down sale, and cleaned out the back rooms — both the crannies as well as the nooks.

Our community said goodbye to the shop called Chartreuse.

I can see how that might seem like sad news, that our friends who had a dream have now closed down their shop. If you only looked from the outside, you might lose hope. That story was too good to be true in the first place.

Steve and Paula at Chartreuse

photos from the Chartreuse Facebook page

But looking again, paying attention to the full story arc, I remember they had a dream and they didn’t let fear keep them from making it come true. The dream was about more than let’s have a shop.

The shop was simply evidence of a couple brave enough to move toward what makes them come alive. It was one piece of proof that these two are together becoming more fully themselves.

The art lives on simply because the shop is not the art. Steve and Paula dreaming together, moving toward one another, making plans for their future – this is the true art. The shop was just the proof.

They closed the shop for a reason. Now, they have a new dream. They found land just outside of town with space to host weekend sales of all their goods. This will allow them to not have to staff a shop for a certain number of hours a week but will give flexibility to their schedule.

This dream that fits them even better than Chartreuse.

the new dream

When you hold your dreams with open hands, you let them breathe, grow, and have life. This can be scary because living things move, change, and take shapes we can’t predict or control.

But what good is a dream if it doesn’t grow along with us?

Watching Steve and Paula make this newest transition, I’m reminded that the true art isn’t the thing we can point to – the shop, the barn, the book, the song. The true art is listening to a living God and relating to real people as the person I most deeply am.

And sometimes that means letting go of what I thought the dream was supposed to look like and opening up to a new idea.

I’ve been thinking a lot about change and transition recently as John  and I continue to watch his vocational landscape shift and move and take new shapes – some we planned for, some we didn’t.

I think about another dream, one our family has to work together to combine our unique passions into one voice. It started with our first Barn event last year and continued with the launch of Hope*ologie in April. Our theme for Hope*ologie in September is Change & Transition – and starting this month, we’re making some changes of our own.

Introducing The Hope*ologie Podcast!

The Hope*ologie PodcastStarting this month, The Hope*ologie Podcast will be available for free on iTunes. On this episode, Dad, The Nester, and I talk about transitions in our own lives. It’s light-hearted for the most part, a little silly, hopefully relatable. We’re thrilled to be able to share a piece of Hope*ologie with everyone.

To listen: We’re still working through some of the technical things (and when I say we I mean Dad). For now, you can find the podcast here on iTunes. Then click ‘view in iTunes’ and you have to click ‘subscribe’ to listen.

I think in a day or so you should be able to listen without subscribing but I’m the baby sister and too impatient to wait for those tech issues to be worked out so you’re welcome and I’m sorry.

hopeologie

Incase you haven’t yet heard, Hope*ologie is a membership site co-created by my Dad, sister, and me where we hope to help you overcome chronic discouragement by finding delight in your right-now home, family, and soul.

If you’re considering signing up for Hope*ologie but haven’t yet, here’s something you might like to know:

Instead of having the monthly collections expire after 30 days, we’ve decided to give our members unlimited access to the content. That means if you subscribe today, you’ll have access to nearly everything that’s been available since the first month. Visit Hope*ologie to learn more.

For Your Weekend

augustIn the warm close of summertime, may the colors of nature remind you that you, too, are created. May you find peace in your body and soul this weekend as you move about in your world wholly accepted, loved, and seen.

May you remember how Christ came down to be with you and makes your heart his home. And may your life be the kind that brings his presence near to others. Enjoy your weekend, friends.

Come back Monday where we’ll be sharing together What We Learned in August, a fun monthly community link up we practice, sharing the fascinating, ridiculous, sacred, or small things we’ve learned. For an example of pasts posts, visit the What We Learned archive. See you then!