July 31, 2010

savoring Gilead

I know I promised a proper post, but I just had to share this. Finished this gem today. Read the entire last half in one sitting. You know how some times books are described as "one to be savored." I never understood that until I read this one. It is one of the most beautifully written books I've read in a long, long time. I filled up pages of my Moleskin with quotes and passages from its pages.

I literally read it slowly, so I could enjoy each word and each sentence. It's that wonderful. Here's one of the dozens of parts I loved...

"And memory is not strictly mortal in its nature, either. It is a strange thing, after all, to be able to return to a moment, when it can hardly be said to have any reality at all even in its passing. A moment is such a slight thing, I mean, that its abiding is a most gracious reprieve."

It wasn't on my summer reading list. That list is filled with young adult novels, you know. I rarely read Pulitzer prize winners. But a friend recommended it, and I'm so glad I gave it a chance.

You should too....

July 30, 2010

movie minute

I saw a beautiful little movie this week. And by beautiful, I am referring to both set, costume and story.

Just look at these photos...

Paul Bettany is one of my all time favorites. This character reminds me of his character in Master and Commander (one of my top 10 movies), maybe because they are both scientists. His wife in the movie is his wife in real life.

It is the story of Charles Darwin, writer of The Origin of Species. It is sad, sweet and thoughtful. I saw several bad reviews of it, but decided to see it anyway because I love Paul Bettany. I was pleasantly surprised by it. It's definitely one that I would like to see again.

I'll be back this weekend with a proper post. I've been writing posts in my head all week, but haven't had the adequate time to sit down and pen them. It feels like the words are just spilling out of me!

See you soon....


Cottage Girl

July 24, 2010

oh, the cuteness

I managed to squeeze in a quick 15 minute photo session with some sweet, camp friends that were visiting this past week. I got to meet their adorable kiddo for the first time.

Oh, the cuteness.

I also fell back in love with my 50mm.

Hello, beautiful bokeh. I've missed you.

Week 6 = finished.
Only 2 more to go.
Where did the summer go?

July 22, 2010

100 sponsors in 100 days

An Orphan'sWish

An Orphan's Wish, whom I am honored to volunteer for, is offering a really cool intensive if you sign up to be a sponsor in the next 100 days.

You can get one of these fantastic shirts to help spread the word of AOW. FREE!! That's right.

It's really beautiful. I have one and get compliments on it all the time, which of course is great cause I can talk, talk, talk about AOW and the wonderful work they are doing in China.

They are changing lives and loving children. Little cuties like Shannan....

She's the little one I sponsor. I just love getting my reports on how she is doing, how she is growing and just staring at those adorable chubby cheeks!

If you have any questions about AOW, what sponsorship is, how long it lasts or anything else, just leave me a comment. I'll happily talk about AOW forever!

And if you do sign up, be sure to let me know. I'm praying that a few of you, dear readers, will feel a tug on your heart to help these precious ones.

Could that be you?

July 21, 2010

sea creatures

This morning...

Standing on the beach watching the Junior campers (7-10yrs) ride the banana boat. Chatting to the sailing instructor about the day/weather/crazy clouds. Look up and see fins. As in fins in the water.

We actually have skates in our river, so I thought it was just a couple of them flopping around. But no, this was different.

We had dolphins in our river. A small pod of about 20. They were headed out of the river back into the bay.

The boat driver slowed down so the kids on the banana boat could get a good look as they swam right by them. Dolphin sighting banana boating. Our newest activity.

I was giddy and super excited. Dolphins are incredibly cool. Love them.

Then everything went downhill. The jellyfish have been super horrible the last few days. The junior campers on the banana had a major freak out because of said jelly fish, and needed to be rescued from our floating pier. The morning ended with about 15 jelly fish stings up and down my legs. It was like walking through a sea of angel hair spaghetti that burns when it touches you. No fun.

Sea creatures of every type today. Some sting and burn. Some are beautiful and majestic.

I'd like more of the majestic if possible.

July 17, 2010

the sweetest message

My review of Inception:
Ummm...speechless, really. It's just that good. Go see it immediately. I won't say anything else. It would ruin it.

The actors:
I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt even more, if that's possible. I'm also in love with the brown leather coat he wears and pretty much his entire wardrobe. And Ellen Page's wardrobe too. And then there's Leo. He has always been one of my favorites. This seals the deal.

Now, you may remember that yesterday I posted about my want to see this movie with my brother. Kind of whining. I do that sometimes. Sorry...

Anyway, a friend read that post and texted me the sweetest message. It said "we aren't your brother, but would you like to see Inception with us (he and his wife)?"
How sweet is that?! I, of course, said YES! They drove all the way up to the theater near me, and we got to share the wonder that is Inception together along with my roomie.

Thanks so much, Rob and Kirsten. That meant the world to me. You guys are so wonderful. And Kirsten, I'm diving into the wheel of time books on vacation next month.

July 16, 2010

discuss the cinematography

Dear little brother of mine,

Will you please come home and see this movie with me this weekend? I feel that you would be the perfect person to share this big sci fi movie with. You won't mock my choice of movie, nor will you scoff at the 5 other sci fi movies that I will want to see (Tron) after viewing the previews at the beginning. You will boo along with me at the romantic comedy preview that is sure to be in the mix. And you will want to discuss the cinematography and key plot points for this movie in the car ride on the way home. Or at least listen to me as I ramble on about them.

Please? I know a plane ticket from Utah is a lot to ask, but I'll pay for the movie. And maybe some snacks.

Love you,

your big sis

ps...on a totally un-related note....has anyone else
watched this trailer 50 times since it was released? Again, please come quickly holiday season movies. You will be our saving grace in movie world this year.

pssss......I really miss my little brother.

July 14, 2010

washed up grass

Sometimes there are parts of you that just refuse to be quiet.
They are so deeply a piece of what makes you who you are.

Not just the way you look.
Your hair color.
Your height.
The curve of your nose and your lips.
Those are a part of you too, of course.

But traits of what build your personality.
What makes you laugh.
The thoughts you share only with your friends.
How you share your heart with those you love.
The words you write with.
The way you see the world through a viewfinder.
Those types of things.

Yesterday and today, I realized that a part of me had been missing.
Missing because I haven't really had time for it.
I tried to fit it in when I could,
but time is so precious right now
that this part was shoved quietly to the back of the line.

But thankfully, it wormed it's way to the front.
I sat on the beach yesterday,
watching over the kids,
making sure they weren't drowning
or fighting
or swearing at each other
or throwing rocks at the boats.
I looked down,
and there, washed up on the shore
were a few pieces of sea grass that had died.
I reached down and ran my fingers over them.
After playing with them for a few minutes,
not even thinking about it,
I braided them and turned them into a bracelet.
I wore it all day.
And then made another one today.

And I have to admit that
yesterday I felt a little better about life.
It felt a little more like...
A life that I live and am a part of.

Ministry is very outward focused.
It MUST be.
It MUST be consumed with others for it to survive,
and for you to survive in it.
God can't use you if you are inward focused.
I'm 100% for that.

But I don't think that we are supposed to lose who we are.
I don't think that God wants us to become robots.
He created each of us uniquely.
He, himself, is a CREATOR.
He is the most creative being in the entire universe.
He MADE the universe.

So, I'm going to make sure that I take moments to be me.
I'm going to keep making headbands for the girls I love
because that's the way I can show them I do.
I'm going to make bracelets out of sea grass.
I'm going to write notes with markers
and fun paper and old books.
I'm going to do this thing that God has placed before me.
And not only do it,
but do it in a way that only I can.
Because Jesus loves ME.
The person I am.
The one He forgave and died for.
Yup, that one.
The one that makes bracelets out of washed up grass.

July 11, 2010

anxious heart

(my favorite flower is in bloom all over the place. yes, it's technically a weed, but just look at those flowers! Queen Anne's Lace, you melt my heart.)

We've passed the half way point. 4 weeks done. 4 weeks to go. How in the world have we gotten this far already?!

As I was in the Word this past week, I found this verse...

"Say to those who have an anxious heart,
be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God will come with vengence
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you."
Isaiah 35:4

"He will come and save you" makes me think of Aragorn. A mighty king that comes to save the kingdom of people who are fearful and shaken because of the army that about to annihilate them. Helm's Deep, anyone?!

There are so many things in my world that make my heart anxious. Camp craziness. The constant life guarding, making sure kids don't drown at the beach, making sure my boat drivers are being safe. This crazy schedule I keep. 12 hour work days. Little sleep. Not enough free time. Trying to keep connected with my family and friends amidst this crazy schedule. Thinking about the fall season and how busy it will be. Friends who need prayer. Trying to fit in normal things that need to get done like getting the oil changed in my car, doing laundry, paying bills, cleaning the messy Cottage. Editing photos for AOW.
And I'm a worrier too. Pessimist. I tend to automatically think of the worst scenario. I expect the worst and fear it all at the same time.

So, yes, I have an anxious heart. And I have been constantly reminding myself that God will come and save me. I have no need to fret. I have no need to panic.

You won't beat me, anxious heart. My God is bigger than you or any of the things you throw at me. I stand on the Rock and know that my foundation is sure.

Whew....I feel better already. Let's go 2nd half of the summer. I'm ready to see God do some amazing things!

July 07, 2010

topped out at 105

We survived today. Barely. When the temperature topped out at 105 degrees, I wanted to cry.

Actually, I wanted to cry when I walked out of my house at 6:45am to drive the boats and it was already 80 degrees with 97% humidity. I was sweating before it even got to 8:00am.

During the hottest part of the day, I pulled out the hose next to the Cottage front door and hooked up the sprinkler. Camp has a pool, boat rides, a beach, a lagoon, still nothing compares to a good old fashioned back and forth sprinkler when it's hot.

All is wet and hot here at camp. We are doing our best to ride out this heatwave with a smile. But, please, Lord! Send us some cooler temps and a breeze or two!

July 05, 2010

melting in grand form

(this, of course, doesn't factor in the horrid humidity. Add about 5+ degrees for that.)

Please send all the ice cream, ice tea, pools, umbrellas, fans, air conditioners, ice water, popsicles, tank tops and sunscreen you can part with. We will be melting in grand form over here at camp. And by melting, I mean trying not to die of heat stroke.

When you live 95% of your day outside, the weather is suddenly much more important than just filler conversation. It's life and death. This week, it's death.

See you on Friday....maybe....

July 04, 2010

red, white and blue

I love The Big Picture. It makes me want to be a better photographer. It makes me see the story behind a photo. It gives me chills and makes me cry.

I saw this image last night as I was catching up on the many posts that I've missed lately. It immediately stuck with me. I've pictured it in my head constantly for the last 24 hours. Its emotion hasn't left me. I think it tells such a beautifully, hard, tragic story without using any words. And it is the image I'm thinking about on this Independence Day.

I don't hold our country above everything else. I think that sometimes we can over-do patriotism especially in the church. But I am VERY thankful for where God placed me on this earth. I believe that it gives me much responsibility for all that I have been given. Just like my money and my time, it is something that God has given to me to use for His purposes. It doesn't make me better than everyone else. It doesn't give me a golden ticket into heaven. It doesn't mean that my part of the world is better or more advanced or more anything than any other country in the world.

But it is the one I live in. It is the one I am thankful for. It is something to be celebrated with fireworks and picnics. (and naps and Friday Night Light marathons and 24 FULL HOURS OFF!)

Happy Birthday, America.

July 01, 2010

Thank you so much, my sweet friend! You have no idea how much that meant to me. God sent you at exactly the right moment.

I miss you and can't wait until life slows down so we can get together. And maybe do some shopping...


Cottage Girl