Free Little Library: Complete!

 

 

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Build A Little Free Library For Your Front Yard


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Spencer Collins built his “Little Free Library” — one of 15,000 “take a book, leave a book” structures that have popped up around the world — both as a Mother’s Day gift and as an attempt to engage with his Leawood, Kansas, community through one of his favorite pastimes. It’s a way to “get into reading, get to know your neighbors, and … make friends,” he told Fox 4 News.

Inspiration travels with the wind.

This is Spencer Collins, and this is the Little Free Library he built with his grandfather:

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Even though someone complained to the city of a “permanent fixture” on the Collins’ property, and ordered Spencer to remove the Little Free Library from his front yard, the city realized how ridiculous this ordinance was.  As of July 8th, it will be legal to have a Little Free Library on your property…thanks to Spencer!

I think this is fantastic.

Continue reading “Build A Little Free Library For Your Front Yard”

“Do Mommy Bloggers Matter? …”

First, let me just clarify: I have nothing against mothers… “

http://stuntandgimmicks.com/do-mommy-bloggers-matter/

 

This is such an interesting idea.  Do Mommy Bloggers matter?

I hadn’t considered Mommy Bloggers didn’t matter.  It definitely takes a perspective outside of onesself to see if one matters.  Or does it?

I was curious, just to be contrary, if Daddy Bloggers matter, and I was quite amused to see that not only do they matter, but they have their own website: Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 4.52.51 PM

http://dadmatters.focusonthefamily.com/

 

A few people who have commented on the worth of Mommy Bloggers are people like Jenna Hatfield who says, “Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 4.55.51 PMhttp://www.blogher.com/mommy-blogging-remains-radical-act

or

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http://www.theveryworstmissionary.com/2014/04/i-worry-for-mommy-bloggers.html

 

But these still don’t answer the question, “Do Mommy Bloggers Matter?”

That is a question that raises the uncertainty of the inherent worth of a Mommy Blogger.

Does what these women do matter?  

 

When we place the power to define our worth in someone else’s hands, we are often told that we only want to be wanted. This artificial script leaves us with an extremely narrow role: to be a pleaser.

Victoria Pynchon  (http://www.forbes.com/sites/shenegotiates/2011/10/12/what-is-a-woman-worth/)
I am very interested in solidifying my value, because the value of women is such a hot topic.  My grandmother’s value was so low, she could not legally vote; so, logically, my value is greater.  I live in a free country, I have a few college degrees and I have the freedom to drive, work and speak; these rights and freedoms are not allowed to women in other countries, so is it that my value is greater than theirs?

Although I don’t think so, I will say that the value of self that one believes in may be true for them, but it will not be true for everyone.  My value in Iran is very different than my value in California, even though I am the same person in either place.  So we have to conclude that my value is estimated by the people around me.

I’ll just predicate this idea by stating:  That Sucks.

My worth can be determined by the people around me?  Who gave them that ability?  Really?  What person can tell you what your worth is?

 

A very interesting interview with Christian author Carolyn Custis James explored her perspective of “God’s Purpose For Women”:

Women know they’re fighting battles. They fight battles with and for themselves; they fight battles for their children or neighbors or communities. We know we’re warriors. And it’s good that we’re warriors with the men, not against the men. That’s very powerful.

These women throughout Scripture—Ruth and Naomi, Deborah, Mary of Nazareth—they’re warriors. They’re standing up for the kingdom; they’re doing the hard things God calls them to do. That gives us a handle on who we are, and that can’t be taken away.”

When I see questions like, “Do Mommy Bloggers Matter,” I feel the battle of the value of being a woman.  I don’t like it, because I understand the worth within myself.  I know for an absolute fact that my husband values me above all the worth in the world.  My children value me as the greatest mother on earth, and my family understands my great value; as I understand theirs.

But I realize that  not everyone shares my view.  Not everyone understands the value of women.

And this is a battle it seems we will always be fighting.

 

My favorite chapter of the Bible is Proverbs 31.

I can identify with the woman in that chapter, not because of everything she accomplishes, which can be a little overwhelming to read, but because of the inner strength, and confident tenacity she has within her.

I am always fighting with how mankind values women, but I am steadfast in how God values women:

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.”

The fight we feel within us when someone questions our value is flimsy.  I can simply turn the channel, close the browser or walk out of a room in order to dismiss the ridiculous claim that women somehow don’t matter…even if you have absurd follow-up statements like, “...I have nothing against mothers.

Value is something that I believe is more important than people realize.  As a person, we are always looking to see what our value is: Is it in our waistline? Our bank account? Do we find our value in how much we get accomplished every day, or by how much we are praised by other people?  
Our societal value as a woman has definitely changed through the last century.  On one hand, women gained the right to vote in 1920, so that was a huge step for us.  On the other hand, the feminist viewpoint determined that the value of a woman was still not equal to the value of a man, and thus began the struggle for women to be “just as good as men.”  
As opposed to having value within oneself.
Yet, in Proverbs 31, we see how God values women: 
 She is far more precious than jewels.
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But the thing is, even if someone didn’t see value in me, even if an entire nation saw me as a less valuable person…it really wouldn’t matter.

Because I was created byOne Greater than mankind, and One Mightier than nations, and I know my value to God.

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And I love you too 😉

 

Letting Go of Past Goals

There is nothing more pathetic than cleaning out your harddrive on your laptop, and seeing over 10 years’ worth of old goals and projects that have either come and gone, or never came at all.

I have a proposal written up here to organize a city-wide marathon, supporting churches and church ministries.  I really wanted to get us all on the same page under the banner of love and unity, seeing as there were like, 60 Christian churches in town.  Looking over my proposal is incredible: I had already had a response from the head of the Police Dept. for security and clearance, and a number of groups for booths, such as the local Girl Scout troops.  Unfortunately, we needed a million dollar insurance policy to start that out, and the head pastor said it wasn’t going to happen.

It’s sad that I still have the proposal….10 years later.   It was just too good of an idea to let go.

Continue reading “Letting Go of Past Goals”

The Purpose of the Artist: The Sensitive Spirit, or the Eccentric Ego?

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The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. – Pablo Piccasso

 One of the goals of parenting should be to broaden the parent-child relationship from “supportive” to “engaged.”

The other day my son was playing a spelling game, and he had to spell the word “axe.”  I was curious what the difference was between “ax” and “axe”…and although I’m sorry to say there isn’t a big difference between the two, I did read a definition of “phrases which use ax”  that seemed relevant to what I am trying to explain.

The phrase was, “have an ax to grind have a self-serving reason for doing or being involved in something: she joined the board because she had an ax to grind with the school system.”

 A lot of times I see parents, or if I’m being completely honest, I see myself, participate with what their children are doing for self-serving reasons.  You could say, “they have an ax to grind with life/school/careers, and so they have a self-serving reason for being involved in what their kids are involved in”:

Continue reading “The Purpose of the Artist: The Sensitive Spirit, or the Eccentric Ego?”

I Have A Mom Butt.

This article originally appeared on Ravishly.

Featured on:Ravishly-300x102

I Have A Mom Butt — And It’s OK

mom butt. bathing suit.mom butt. bathing suit.

The Mom Butt is what my aunts had when I was growing up in LA.  The Mom Butt is not what you will ever see in magazines, or posing on a red carpet, or being praised in Gweneth Paltrow’s no-bake, no-eat cookbook.

The other night my husband and I took our kids to swim at a lake nearby.  This is an awesome lake that no one goes to on weekdays, and especially in the evening: which means we have it all to ourselves!  We love this lake and try to take advantage of it as often as we can during the summer.

Now, after 5 enormous pregnancies and still having a few dozen pounds to lose before I get to pre-pregnancy, college-weight:  I hate bathing suits.  I have a body that was designed for having babies.  I have never had a body that looks like any of the ladies on Pinterest who are stretching in green fields wearing hot pants and sports bras…

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I can’t imagine running around my suburban neighborhood wearing this.                                               Does it even come in size “I’ve-had-5-kids”?

Continue reading “I Have A Mom Butt.”

Navy SEAL Motherhood Training

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The other day I was reading the transcript of Adm. McRaven’s commencement speech to the graduating class at  University of Texas at Austin, and it was just an incredible journey.

He talked about the people who started the SEAL training, he talked about what they did in training and he talked about the people who had to leave.  What was left was a group of SEALS.

The whole time I was reading this I was thinking: if mothers had training guidelines like this, it would make a world of difference!  We would know what to expect, what our expectations should be, what our days will be like …and most importantly, where the journey will take us and for what purpose.

Now, making “training guidelines” for mothers is kind of ridiculous.  It doesn’t scare me away, but I’m a little more “tough as nails” on the scale of womanhood.  I can only imagine how it would come across for my more tenderhearted peers.

Nevertheless, I believe it would be helpful to have some guidelines for motherhood…and I’m using SEAL training as my base! :

1) Navy SEAL Motherhood Training (yes, I’m going there!)

2) The Big 4 Mental Toughness

3) 15 Things Emotionally Strong Mothers Don’t Do

4) Avoid The Trenches

5) What Is The Point.

Raising Artists & Creatives: Why are you up there in the first place?

Why are you up there in the first place?

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During a conversation once, I talked with a friend about making the leap into “doing” instead of “watching” a while ago, and this was her story:

“One day, when I lived near a lake, I was hanging with a group of friends at a swim hole, when we found a freaky rope swing that could get you about 20 feet of air before landing in the water.

All of them were enthusiastic to risk it and use it, while I, being the sheepish lady I tend to be, hesitated when it was my turn to go. 

I sat there for one minute…then five minutes….then 10 minutes with the rope in my hands, shaking, finding every reason not to go, taking my sweet time, when one of my friends shouts:

“The more you think about it, the longer it will take. The longer it takes, the more you will find reasons to not go. Why are you up there in the first place? Because you want to go! Don’t be a bastard, just GO.”

Continue reading “Raising Artists & Creatives: Why are you up there in the first place?”