18 August 2011
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warning: this post is a bit of a departure from my normal subjects on this blog.
this post is probably very very premature, as i've just started the study i'm going to reference. but already, god is doing amazing things in my soul. somehow, he has given me this opportunity to be surrounded by a group of women who are proving to be absolutely invaluable in their love and insight. we're going through wendy alsup's study, "by his wounds you are healed," and the introduction alone was enough to knock the wind out of me. where am i finding my identity? what defines me? where do i get my kicks? if it's not from christ, then i don't really get it. i don't get what grace is, i don't get what peace is, i don't get what my purpose is, and the kicker is that i don't really get what he has done for me.

my initial thought: "that's ludicrous!" i've been in the church all my life. i get that christ died, therefore taking on my sin and providing a way for me to be with him in heaven. (wow, even writing it so flippantly right now feels so grimy.) i've been walking around with this head knowledge for so long, and somehow my heart hasn't completely gotten it. i don't know that i'm capable of ever totally getting it actually, but if i can begin to grasp what grace really is, then i can begin to see christ clearly. and if the spirit can help me see christ and his saving grace clearly, then he will change me and give me a new lens in which to view my life, my roles, my identity. and the outflow will be what i've prayed for for so long. purity. pure motivations. pure attitudes. pure thoughts. pure actions. oh lord, i want to be changed!

i was enlightened to find out that even amongst this group of strong, spiritual women, i was not alone in feeling insecure in who i am. even admitting out loud that i'm insecure is a huge work of the spirit, because it's the opposite of what i always try to portray. i want to be hip christian lady with her crap together - polite toddler, baby in sling, gourmet dinner on the table, social life swingin', great marriage, eclectic taste, lover of beauty, church volunteer, all with a genuine, strong and obvious love for god. this is where i find my identity. this is who i want to be. yet, i'm insecure because i'm not finding the foundation of these roles in christ. i'm not defining my life as a follower of christ, i'm defining it through these particular roles i've given myself. he's working on me, and my impatience wants the work to be done. i want all of the things listed above, and i want it all to be because of god's doing, and i want it all right now please.

pretty sure my plan is not god's. he's working though. i can feel his love and his spirit, and i'm becoming so grateful for a god who sees christ when he looks at me rather than me. he's given me so many good things in my life, but it's all for naught if i'm finding my worth in those things rather than in his grace.


century old heirlooms

05 August 2011
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my uncle sandy and aunt pam, pictured below, generously sent me an incredibly special and sentimental gift today that will be in our family for generations to come; as i absolutely plan to pass it down to london when she has a daughter.

the beginnings of this gift came several months ago, when my aunt pam emailed and told me that she and my uncle sandy were planning to send me some of my great grandmothers ("gaggy's") clothing for our new baby girl.  since that email, i've been anticipating the package that arrived today! i thanked the mail lady, ushered the large box in, and quickly gathered my scissors and my camera.  i deliberately began removing the layers of tissue paper that protected and separated the vintage dresses, bibs and bonnet that my aunt and uncle had had restored from gaggy's early childhood. she was valerie davenport french (1898-1986), and is one of the girls pictured below. if i had to guess, i'd say she's the blond on the far left. and i think it also quite possible that the dress she is in, may be one of the dresses i received. (although, that could simply be wishful thinking!) regardless, i'm completely giddy to own such endearing pieces of my family's history.

the package as i received it. i was a little worried about the condition of the box, as it looked a little beaten, but everything inside was perfect.

 i needed better light, so i moved the box into the living room before emptying the contents.

 inside this initial envelope were pictures of each item of clothing before and after it's restoration, along with a card from uncle sandy and aunt pam explaining the items.

and here they are!



dress 1

dress 2

front of bodice

back of bodice

 card from uncle sandy and aunt pam explaining the gift

in addition to the heirloom gifts, they also sent gifts from their recent trip to ireland. noah received an irish penny whistle (which he instantly loved!), and london received adorable baby shoes and a sweet lamb (that noah also took a liking to).

noah, enjoying his new whistle!

i can't say thank you enough for these incredible gifts. i am blessed to have such a rich family history and sentimental items to remember it by. thanks uncle sandy and aunt pam for entrusting me with these pieces!