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Two girls by the river

Allowing others to see you

I had a wonderful chat catching up with a friend a couple days ago about life and things we’re facing at the moment.  The topic of authenticity came up – how real we are with people and ourselves – and it has spurred me on to share another dimension about my life at the moment that I haven’t known how to broach in this space as yet.  And actually I still don’t.

My family are going through a point of huge loss right now, and although its not appropriate to share the details yet –  or maybe ever – via this blog, I thought it a good thing to say at the least that all is not well.  Actually my world is turning upside-down as we speak because relationships are severed and some things are broken that will never be the same.  Some of you reading this do know the details and I thank you for your understanding and support.  But to those for whom this is sounding more cryptic as I go, I just wanted to be real in this space, especially for you.  Not only for you, for myself and those involved.  To talk about Etsy and little Julien and not say anything about this feels unfair.  Life is not only knitting and hamsters…its much more and I want to be real about all of it.

Anyway, this is not a plea for sympathy – although that’s always nice too : )  I’d been thinking for a while now about how I want to share all of my heart – not just the pretty bits – everything.  This space has been a refuge and I want to treat it well.  So, thank you for reading – it means a lot.

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Smell the roses

Asking questions to bring a story into full bloom

Do you ever feel like you have more questions than answers?  Well, when it comes to the Bible – I always have more questions than answers…  And actually, that’s what I sat down to do today.  I asked some questions about the book of Ruth.  I didn’t really ask anyone in particular but rather opened my mind to the details behind this intriguing story.

A dear mentor of mine challenged me a while back to read the word of God with questions: Why? being the main one.  I find that when I start with that simple question my mind goes very quickly to many, many more – and before I know it, I’ve got a real hunger to know more about the people in Bible times.

I think that one challenge we face in our culture is whether its ok with not having all the answers.  Is it ok to be open-minded about God’s holy word?  I have found that asking questions is an approach to life that I want to incorporate more regularly in each day – because I know I certainly don’t have all the answers.

So, without further ado – or rambling – here are the many questions I thought up whilst reading the first verse in Ruth 1.

Ruth 1:1

In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him.

Question Time
Judges?
Who were the judges and when did they rule? Who could be a judge?
Why were there judges? What areas of life did they judge?
What did the judges do? Were they like the Kings who were appointed because of the peoples’ desire for human authority?
Why do we need to know about this for this story?
What were the cultural implications: What was the structure of the judges in terms of authority over the land?  What areas of life did they judge? What would have people felt about the judges?  Was it only the Jews who were under the authority of the judges?  Would others have respect for them?  Were there those who agreed with the judges and those who didn’t?
Famine?
How severe is a ‘severe famine’? What did a famine mean for a normal, middle of the road farmer? What did it mean for poor or wealthy people? What action did people often take to survive a famine? Spiritual actions or practical or both?  What is the geographical location like? What type of life were they used to in normal times with moderate weather and conditions?
Moving?
How far is Bethlehem from Moab? How often did people move house, village, city or nation at this time? How far in advance did they have to make this decision? Would they stay somewhere along the way? How would the journey have affected everyone in his family? Did his wife take care to bring all the things they needed for the journey – or was that someone else’s job? How would they have been accepted in Moab? Would it be easy to find/build a new home? How would the man find work? What would be the normal load of responsibility for each member? How would they have felt being moved from their home – relief to be away from the famine, or afraid of the new/foreign territory and whether they’d assimilate well – or both – or more/different? How would the man have dealt with the feelings/fears of his family? What could have changed his mind to keep them in Bethlehem? Would he have ‘consulted’ God – committed it to God – what was the perceived view on decisions as these? Did he depend on the law, practicality, feelings, fleeces, or lots – or something else? How old were his sons? Did his sons have an understanding about how this would affect their lives? What did their parents tell them to help them accept the move?

That was just from one little, tiny verse.  And only the questions from one little, tiny person.  I am sure you or anyone else would have different questions when looking at a text like this.  I hope, however, that these questions provoke you to look for yourself about what significance the story of the Bible has.  Feel free to use mine for your own study…but I challenge you to find your own questions and let the story become alive through your own unique questions.

I realise that this title sounds sarcastic…but I don’t mean it to be at all.  Mostly I hate headaches…but there’s a small part of me that loves them…and I’ll tell you why.

Headaches are annoying because they never come when you’re ready for them.  They hurt.  And they make some people grumpy {not me of course}.  But most of all they slow down progress and sometimes obliterate momentum.  And that last annoyance is the reason for my bittersweet relationship with headaches.

I probably just slept in the wrong position, or had too much humous…or chocolate…or fun…  But there’s also the bigger picture: would I ever slow down if it weren’t for headaches?  Some people are naturally slower…and methodical and gloriously sorted.  But I have a mind that whirs at a million miles a second with all sorts of ideas and feelings {mostly ideas} and not a very methodical or conventional means of channelling them into the real world.  Which is partly why I have this blog space {to sort out my existence}.

I am very glad that something or someone has the grace to put a brick wall in front of me when I’m running way too fast for my own good.  I needed it {even though it puts my beloved cleaning schedule on hold…} and I want to use it to {again} point out the fact that we are not meant for perfection or production but for love and relationship.  And I see that now that my world is very still and quiet again.  I now have the space to pray.  Let me know if I can pray for you today {as that’s how I’ll be spending a lot of my day}.  Just leave a comment…or email me at littlewoodbirdmailATgmailDOTcom.

This morning I totally woke up on the wrong side of the bed…!  We’ve all been there I know…  So you’ll understand why I have to post this amazingness that totally cheered me up…  I don’t know why…but all I can say is…let’s squish our fruit together.

Congratulations to Lizzi and Liz who will each be inheriting one spectacular envelope bundle each!  Now aren’t you both glad you joined this crazy giveaway?! Will see you soon Lizzi…so will present yours with great pomp and ceremony then!  And Liz, I will look forward to sending yours all packaged up!  Thanks for playing! : )

Thrifted book envelope

Here’s a peek into what I have been sewing up lately!  This is an envelope taken from a vintage book called ‘The Everyday Game Book’!  The text is so fun and festive, it would be great for party invitations! I especially like the stitching – everything is better with a little stitching… I think I’ll use this design for my Christmas cards this year – a great companion to this, I’d say!  Fun +frugal!

Looks like a fun game!

In fact I have a fresh bundle of 6 envelopes to give away if I have any takers!  Just leave a comment with a link to your blog {if you have one} and I will select, at random, a winner to have these little gems!  I will close the giveaway by announcing a winner when I wake up on Wednesday morning about 8 am UK time, Tuesday at midnight US pacific time.

Today I’ve got sewing on the brain… {a big surprise, I know…}  I am working on 2 projects for friends and family but both are in the prepping stage and not the sewing stage…so I just need to keep at it and soon I can whip out my Silver Sewer! : )  For the time being, here’s a little bit of today for you:

Green tomato and material

Green tomatoes my dear man picked this morning from the garden, and the fabric I can't wait to start snipping into for this project here!

I found my sister-in-law-to-be’s blog and new etsy shop {see her folksy shop too}…and I am so excited for her so I thought I’d show her off here! : )

The project that's keeping me sane as I prep the others...thank you purl bee! : )

Ooh!!!  I just got a tip from my husband that a nice parcel has just arrived in the post…and its addressed to me…! ; )  I think some of my waiting’s over because {if I’m right?!} I believe that’s my rotary cutter and ruler {among other lovely accessories} for my quilting project…  I can start cutting + piecing today – yay!

black jack lovin' these letters

I like the new fonts I’ve picked up…  Black Jack {above} is only one of the many to choose from at dafont where there are all sorts of festive flairs to meet anyone’s lettering fancy!  Thanks also to How About Orange for the many free download links ~ thanks for pointing in the right directions!

all those 3hrees

There are so many amazing artists out there on Etsy!  Go check them out, and start with this little love over at all those 3hrees who crafts recycled + eco friendly metal jewelry.  Stunning!

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1. Block Party Press ~ Fly Away Home Dangle Earrings

2. Jessica Simanowski ~ Everything is Humming, original painting

3. Rock and Gold ~ Aqua Chlacedony Textured Chain Lariat

4. Red Yellow and Blue Ink ~ Repurposed Bird Feeder

5. Euphorian Chic ~ Queen Anne’s School Day Summer Illustration Print

Our Little Family

today at the nest

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Pattern Challenge