How do we escape the bonds of food? It is one of my weak spots as I like to cook and bake. Mostly, though, I really just love to eat what I cook and bake. Today alone I baked a batch of banana muffins and two loaves of banana bread, sourdough is rising, my tomato sauce is simmering in the crock, and ground beef that has been sauteed is waiting on the stove for the soup it will marry with in about another hour or so. Of course all of these delectable items will not be eaten today, but my house smells scrumptious and even though I can't possibly be hungry I simply want to eat something yummy! How am I to keep those New Year's promises I swore I wouldn't give up on this year?
Seriously, though, I live in a land of plenty, where moderation tends to go out the window as gluttony has become the banner of all things American. How easily I find ways to reconcile this in a world where I know there are people who live on a dollar a day or less. This fact does not represent the minority. While some are struggling to eat enough to sustain their lives, I am struggling to simply eat less!
I could laugh this issue away, but really I wonder which is worse: being hungry or being in bondage. Across this great nation we have excess in everything imaginable. Homes, cars, clothes, toys, and food are plentiful and at our fingertips. So often little is not enough and we want more. We become discontent with all that we have, crying 'I need more'. To be satisfied seems a distant concept that disappeared as affluence crept in. Because we can, we do. Because we want, we have. Because we can't wait, we get it now, and in abundance.
How do we break free from this mental prison that tells us it is alright to live this way. As I think back to the question, which is worse - hunger or bondage, I have to think about the way hunger creates a fervency. I certainly do not desire to be among the starving, but I do desire to be fervent and not in a constant state of gluttony that seems to lull me into a dream-filled slumber where I find I am never content with all that I have.
Oh, I do love my food.
I pray, however, that I will be mindful of the world around me and realize when enough is enough. I do not need more than I simply need and just because I may want, does not mean that I must have.
Very often, less is more.
is coming to an end and I find myself anxiously awaiting the new year. The thought of fresh beginnings flood my mind along with hopes of great accomplishments. I am not one to make New Year's Resolutions, but I have been secretly designing great master plans for the upcoming year. There are spiritual hopes, healthy promises, and wealthy agendas floating around in the back of my head.
The beginning of a new year marks milestones for many. In our home we look forward to a year that will hail another teenage girl in our midst as our youngest turns 13. My 40th birthday is this year and I am excited to be sharing that day with my nephew who will be celebrating his 1st. Beyond that we find our eldest daughter preparing to graduate this summer and embark on the next phase in her life. It is our 3rd year with Lawlor Family Painting and we anticipate a year of growth and of building great relationships with new clients, all the while enjoying ones we have made in the past couple of years. RiverGlass Creations is getting ready to embark on its next path as well, as I hope to expand outside of the virtual mall and venture into local shops.
At the same time not all desires for the new year are great milestones. I look forward to surviving the rest of this school year and working to better equip my girls for the life before them; to gardening and actually producing a successful crop; to hiking and camping, enjoying the northeast and God's beauty in creation; to being a better wife, mother, daughter, and sister, expressing my love in more definite terms to those around me; and of course to living a healthful life.
Yet all the while, amidst the grand schemes I have prepared for the year to come, I reserve in the innermost parts of my soul the hope of a year filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. I aspire to showcase a life lived out for God, in service to the King of Kings.
I pray that this new year is filled with great blessings, hope, and love for all of you.
An integral part of what I do in addition to being a wife and a mom can be seen in RiverGlass Creations. This a format where I can allow my creativity to flow and escape as I leave the everyday things in life and slip into a place where my thoughts are less cumbersome. My focus is on the creation of something beautiful. But that is not the only reason I make jewelry. There is a benefit outside of myself. This is why I ask...
Why RiverGlass Creations?
Nothing speaks more volumes than pictures and these pictures tell
This is what you will see along the banks of the Hudson River.
From afar it is deceiving but when you are walking along this part of the shoreline
you cannot take a step without touching glass.
Creations has barely put a dent in the amount of glass that we see but
we strive to clean this part of the Hudson River and much more.
I am a firm believer in taking care of what God has given us. The earth has beauty and majesty beyond anything that we can ever create. We have a duty, I believe, to preserve that beauty and majesty, and RiverGlass Creations flows from that ideal. Every little bit that we do is a step forward. Though it may seem like we will never achieve a world with no pollution our endeavours should be to that end.
with us in our efforts.
Visit our store and see what RiverGlass Creations is doing with the glass we collect from the very spot along the Hudson River that you see above.
Just as there are seasons in nature there are seasons in life. My favorite season is fall. Though the days of summer may be too short, the warmth of an Indian summer, crisp air, colorful changing of leaves, aroma of baked apples and fruitfulness of harvest time bring a sense of coziness that summer does not. It is a busy time of year as we are knee deep in school work and preparing for colder weather, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, but I have come to realize every season is a busy one and despite any efforts to slow down and enjoy our time, days slip by almost unnoticed.
In life, seasons tend to change just as quickly as summer disappears into fall, and fall, much more quickly, into winter! Some seasons you wish could last forever and others can't end soon enough. A season comes along where everything falls into place, and then suddenly you don't know up from down and can't find your way back to normal or figure out what is going on or why it's going wrong. Taking things in stride seems like the best thing to do, like rolling with the waves in a storm, but it is also the hardest thing to do because we like control. We like to be the master of the ship, we like to command our way through the storm.
I find my best hope of sanity comes when I place all hope and trust in God who has promised to be my help in time of trouble, to be my shelter in the midst of the storm, who knows my every need and knows how strong and how weak I am. Although the season I am sailing through may be filled with discomfort, and I may feel unsettled, trying to push ahead onto that next part of the journey, I wait confidently and prayerfully for His perfect timing.
Well...the apples and pumpkins have been picked for the season, the garden is being put to bed, the pool is closed. Soon the leaves will be down and we will be raking, the crockpot will be working overtime, the blankets will be scattered across the living room, and winter will be knocking at the front door.
As I sat thinking about how to begin this entry the song with the lyrics "back in the saddle again" began reeling in my mind, though I don't think I have ever heard the entire song but only a clip from a movie scene that I don't recollect at this time. Funny how the mind works and remembers and at the same time doesn't. Never the less this week we hopped back in the saddle again, beginning a new school year, leaping forward from the last with little reprieve.
The girls completed last years assignments the last week of August, as they spread out their vacation days throughout the year. We spent Labor Day weekend here with my parents who came for their own mini-vaca. It was a time of great fellowship with one another, shopping, eating, and resting. But all things must end at some time. Monday came and my parents went. Tuesday arrived without a skip in the beat and Chris was painting a porch, I stayed home handing out new text books and assignments, and the girls were back to school again.
Ariana, my 16 year old, is finishing her high school requirements this year, with a minimal work load. She is glad to be done with science and math while enjoying a second semester of a cooking course, rhetoric, government and economics, and modern history and literature. We are encouraging her to take some college courses as time comes available, either during the second semester or summer session. They do grow so quickly as my grandfather always said and the idea of her graduating is still quite surreal. We take one day at a time as we work to figure out her next steps, understanding that she does not plan on investing much time college bound. She is considering college courses to advance her knowledge in writing but her utmost desire is to be a wife and mother. We can only wait and see and trust in God and his guidance.
Taylor, my spunky 12 year old, is now in 7th or maybe its 8th grade. One of the dilemmas of homeschooling is never really knowing what grade your child is in because they are a year ahead in some things, or not. Taylor likes to remind me that she takes 8th grade courses. So be it. Last year she began Omnibus, an intense history, literature, and theology course, which she did quite well in. We continue to work on maturity in writing and look forward to seeing her progress in her second year of Omnibus. She is also taking pre-Algebra, logic, and a general science course which she is excited about. She loves the experiments and is nature bound.
Our week went off without a hitch. While public school kids were waiting for Thursday to start their first day, Ariana and Taylor were in full swing. There were no highs or lows, no melt downs either. Just simply doing what is a normal day in our home.