Introducing flower journaling

Recently, while browsing the web in search of ideas for simple homemade journals, I stumbled across this gem–how to make a book with only paper, one rubber band, and a “backbone” of choice, such as a twig…

twigs

…a pencil

pencil

…or chopsticks.

chopsticks

{Check out the instructions here, from twowritingteachers.}

It’s too cool an idea, and adaptable for any age from preschooler to adult. You can use it for a notebook, a sketchpad, a journal, a love letter… you name it.

fingerpaint

You can finger-paint on the cover. Better and better…

I’m going to use mine for flower-journaling, which is, as the White Knight would say, a tune of my own invention. I stumbled across that too, and I love it.

Sometimes I just feel muddled, especially at this time of year–either by a task list, a complex sequence, or a boatload of conflicting emotions.

So I draw a circle on a piece of paper, and I write in it the topic at hand: What I’m Feeling, or Urgent Tasks, or Dreams for This Summer. What I Love About My Life. Ingredients Available For Supper. Frustration. Happy Things From Today.

I draw petals extending from the circle, and begin to write in them. If I’m assigning the project to one of my children (Things You Like About Your Sister), I draw 5-7 petals. If I’m making it for myself, I draw petals as I progress. Who knows how far I’ll go? Maybe I’ll start a second row behind the first and it will turn into a chrysanthemum…

flower journaling

I’ve found it a valuable way to condense what I’m feeling into a few key phrases; to separate the parts, and yet visualize the whole.

Try it?

Learning about dissonance

Confession: Tulips are my favorite flower, at least in the spring.

I love their shape and I wish my life were all yellow but it’s not. There has to be that d-rn red one in there, the one that shouts at you when you want to look at the rest. Sickness. Depression. Failure. My sister diagnosed with cancer. My children with questions I cannot answer, problems I cannot solve. City children I know by name and love and hold but cannot rescue. Our house in the process of a long and messy renovation. Old sorrows. Fresh pain. Ink on my walls. And the last egg from my refrigerator, the one I need to make soft pretzels, broken on the floor.

One thing I’m learning is that it’s okay to feel the red one, to cry. Let this cup pass from me.

The way I want to live is to tilt each cup to the sky, to drink it all, to let Him fill me with light.

Spring! Part 2

Confession: God has been so good to us.

A year ago I was packing boxes, preparing for our first move of three in eight months. I was dreaming of living in The Gray House someday, but felt like Abraham beginning a journey-with-an-unknown-destination. I put a time capsule note on the bottom of one of the kitchen items I knew wouldn’t be unpacked in a temporary place, not till we reached our long home… God keeps His promises.

One year later, after grief and loss and growth and distress, we are here, celebrating our first spring Home.

apple blossoms

buds on our blueberry bushes

growing violets and baby toes

a brand new bleeding heart

forget-me-nots?

filthy and happy--vive le snot!

God keeps His promises.