sculptor

Discovered my inspiration this week. I’ve admired this piece for a few days now.

bowl
art-it’s what’s for dinner

Perhaps I love it because Sprout #3 made it on his lathe and gifted it to me. Plenty reason enough!

 

lathe
the wood chips are a-flyin’

 

Maybe I love it because it’s simply beautiful. Each of the bowls’ perfect imperfections combines to make it singularly unique. I’m mesmerized by the yin of the smooth wood and the yang of the rugged, rough-bark edge.

The Sprout explained each block of wood is called a blank. He mounts the blank, sets the lathe to spinning and patiently applies his trusty bowl gouge-and voila!….a bowl is born. Although the bowl has entered existence, it must undergo certain time-consuming steps to becoming its best bowl-self. It must dry and cure in wood shavings. The wood needs to cure, but not too rapidly, to prevent future cracking. After it has dried for some time (months), the woodworker must diligently sand, apply sealer, sand, apply sealer, sand and….well, you get it. This entire process reminds me of the Michelangelo quote:

michelangelo1

My life spins like that wood block on the lathe lately. Events happen and I don’t comprehend. Enough with applying the bowl gouge already, ok? It’s painful and I’m not privy to the intricacies of the process. I didn’t attend woodworking school. The wood chips are swirling. Some days I want to jump off that lathe and return to my previous carefree tree-self. Is this my drying out phase so I don’t split later, or is this the sanding and re-sanding part? I don’t know.

I do know these struggles are not unique to me. We ALL have ’em. For me right now it’s health issues but your struggle might be your broken relationship with your parents or children, your spouse’s alcoholism, your sexuality, a cancer diagnosis, your depression, your lonely empty nest, your dead-end job, your failing marriage, your barely making it from paycheck to paycheck, your PTSD, or the unexpected death of someone dear to you. It could be a crisis of faith.

I adore this bowl because it reminds me of the Master Sculptor. I’ve put my life in the hands of the Wise Woodworker. The Brilliant Bowl Maker. The Lord of the Lathe….enough alliteration…I can’t stop myself! However clumsily I phrase it, I trust the process of becoming and I’m assured my life is in loving hands. One day I’m going to be a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind bowl! Yessir! A bowl with rings closely spaced to indicate I stood proudly during the tough, drought-y years. A bowl with widely-spaced rings to testify I raised a glass to the wet and bountiful years. A bowl large enough to hold a lot of cool things.

bowl4

Today I’ve been looking up.

 

bird_in_flight
photo-public-domain.com

 

Here’s a reminder on my desk. Do you ever feel like you need Cliffs Notes for daily life??

wp-image-534291673jpg.jpg

You are becoming quite a handsome bowl, in my opinion. Yes….you’re looking more and more like ART to me. I like that.

The bowl with the rough edges? Yeah….it’s me. How’d you guess?!

Lumber-y love to all.

 

 

 

 

 

the right diet

Intended to share with you how I did ‘it’. Our church was involved with The Daniel Plan during the season of Lent and I participated along with many other church members. I gave up sugar and white flour for the season of remembrance. Went on a low-carb eating plan and continued with my usual exercise routine: spinning, yoga, and some weight training. Lost a little weight, my clothes fit better and I feel good, but writing about it now feels shallow. Blah, blah, meh.

femalecardinal
This female cardinal has nothing whatsoever to do with this post. She’s been pecking at my windows for three weeks. I love her.

Let’s face it. I don’t have a big problem with diet and exercise. I’m weird…I LIKE exercise. I can thank my parents and other ancestors for a basically slim build and a built-in ‘off’ switch in my appetite. I’m lucky, grateful and without easy answers. Other areas of my life? Things aren’t always as easy.

One of my fittest friends at my gym (a doctor in his early forties) recently suffered a heart attack. This guy is skinny and he enthusiastically exercises every day. He’s obviously very strict with himself and with his diet. Wham.…two stints required. What the ?!

My minister mentions his love for chocolate-covered doughnuts quite regularly. He’s a big guy and he’s an avid long-distance cyclist. Talks about competing in the ‘Clydesdale’ division in bike races. Ride on, Pastor Burt!

Your body is a temple, because the spirit of God lives in you. If I want to see God, experience God-I can take a look at you and behold His majestic creation. You’re the priceless lost coin, you’re the sheep He’s calling home, and you’re a precious recipe of gold, frankincense and myrrh carefully folded together.

If you’re thin and look fantastic, hallelujah. If you’ve got some ‘middle aged spread’, you’ve surely earned it. If you like chocolate doughnuts, I hope you savor every last cocoa-morsel with the taste buds God gave you. If you are like the Texan and ice cream is your passion, thank God for the sweet, creamy delight in each chilly spoonful.

It’s altogether easy and familiar for me to rely on rigid thinking. Do ‘x’ and ‘y’ and I’ll get z!   I can quickly fall back into feeling like that lost child of alcoholic parents. I learned being good doesn’t stop your parents from drinking.

Today I’d tell that confused child, ‘you’re wonderful’, ‘you’re trying and doing the best you can’ and ‘you are incredibly strong’.

graham

My wish for you right now….whether you are fat or thin, healthy or unhealthy, sinner or saint, gay or straight, black, white, red, yellow or any other combination of colors, young or old….

Feel God’s embrace right where you are. He’s trying to tell you you’re pretty cool. Believe it.

Grace-for-the-week-ahead love to all.

 

browns

Are you up to your eyebrows in Christmas busy-ness? Have you checked your list? You baking your guts out and then snicky-snacking your guts out?

With the assistance of bad cell phone photos, I’ll bring you up to speed on my Christmas preparations. Here goes:

IMAG0519
Over-achieved one evening and made Christmas cookies. This was the easy part. Looked like a multicolored tornado raged through my kitchen when I decorated them. Can you say ‘backache’?
viewfromchoir1
Sunday found me in the choir ready to sing John Rutter’s ‘Gloria’.
viewfromchoir
We had a full house, though you can’t tell it from this photo. Started to take a selfie in front of the big Christmas tree. I resisted.
82road
Took a walk today. 60 degrees and perfectly calm. I was struck by the winter browns. Gray, beige and brown rule the winter-time around here. Saw a lovely herd of deer.
deadtree
Dead tree. Victim of too many years of drought. It does provide a nice home for a barn owl, though. Don’t look too hard-the owl is NOT in this pic! Sorry.
82
More browns surround the lonely little country house.
barn
Was Jesus born in a barn like this?
pnut
I doubt there was a mini-horse at the manger.
rod
Was there a big animal close by who sniffed the head of the newborn king? A donkey? A sheep?
pnut1
Did the animals sense the importance of the star?
roxy
My side-kick. On our walks, she manages the security on the ground. She savors the scent of every deer, jackrabbit and snake. She resents it terribly when I tell her there was no dachshund present at Jesus’ birth.

I feel incredibly blessed this Christmas season. I know so many others though, who are hurting and suffering. This time of year can be a trial for people. I try to remember to give thanks for my blessings and pray for those who are struggling, realizing we all have our trials. God bless us.

Here’s a couple of fun pics I took with the good camera. They make me smile. You’ve already seen them if you follow me on Facebook.

reindeer Dressing dogs in Christmas costumes. It’s a sickness, I know. It’s just that the doxy loves it soooo much!

hannah
My vote for December picture of the month.

Did I mention blessings? I’m grateful.

Is your heart ready for the hope and wonder of the Savior’s birth? He’s coming.

Here’s hoping the browns aren’t getting you down.

Green, shiny tinsel-y love to all.

down time

I’ve been away from the blog for a while.

One day I’m blogging my chipped fingernails to the quick. The next day…week…month...BAM... I’m sick.

Sick people don’t care one whit about fashion, blogs, amusement parks, horned toads, changing seasons or wiener dogs. OK..maybe they still care about dogs, but not much else.

thermometer

I’ll spare you all the feverish details and the ensuing poking, prodding and radiating of the ol’ bod. So far, I’m getting better and I’m profoundly grateful. Anything major changes and I’ll let you know. I need to get busy-there’s important stuff coming up!

One evening, during a dark nadir in my illness, I couldn’t sleep. I shuffled into the living room and collapsed on the sofa to play the endlessly fun, yet wildly unproductive ‘What If...’ game. What if this is cancer, what if this illness costs tons of $$, what will happen to my family if something happens to me? blah, blah. You know the story. Deep in the midst of my fun pity party, I hear the clickety-click of doggy toenails on the floor tile and the bump of the dachshund’s front feet on the sofa’s edge.

Roxy-Doxy, (whiny voice) there’s no room for you. Go back to bed with the Texan!

She was having none of it as she waited for me to pick her up. She promptly dug her way under the blanket and wedged herself between my leg and the sofa cushion.

The warmth of the little dog was reassuring. Made me feel not so alone and her presence lightened my thinking. Even in the dark of a feverish night, Roxy sniffed me out and came to me. I was too preoccupied and anxious to simply turn on the light, but she found me in the darkness. Even after I scolded her and told her there wasn’t room, she waited patiently ’til I picked her up. Could this aging sausage dog be teaching me a lesson about someone who comes along side me when I am weak, pitiful and afraid? Someone who is always there, even when I turn Him away?

And the dyslexic atheist says there is no d-o-g.

He hasn’t met Roxy Doxy.

robanddoxy
The wiener (l) and the Texan (r). My loves.

You’re-never-alone love to all.