Sunday, September 30, 2012

Forgiveness

It's the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don't deserve

It's the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have to say the word...

Forgiveness

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It's always anger's own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
 Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It's the whisper in your ear saying 'set it free'

 Forgiveness

 Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness

Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness

 It'll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what its power can do
So let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

 Forgiveness

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what
Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me

Forgiveness

<i>lyrics by Matthew West</i>

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bug Day

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Somehow today became "Bug Day" in the DeMotte household. Remember John the frog? Well, we let him go because Mom was tired of driving to the store to buy crickets. His tank has since seen several temporary residents. Today I woke up to find a cricket and a dead butterfly. I got the butterfly out, but the cricket was a stubborn little guy who held on for dear life to the screened top. So I left him in there, which turned out to be good, because later that morning I found a praying mantis. Mom score of the day. I got on my big girl pants and with Carter's help we got him safely inside his new home. Complete with tasty cricket goodness.

Later that day, Elizabeth was picking up little pieces of garbage and bringing them to me. It always cracks me up how toddlers bring everything they find to you. Yes, I did need that piece of lint! How thoughtful of you!

I wasn't paying attention, just holding my hand out for her, when she suddenly exclaimed, "Bug!" I looked into my hand and saw a red cockroach squirming around. Everything I was holding went flying. I ran to the laundry room to get some carpet spray. We don't own insect spray and I don't squish bugs if there's any potential of a crunching sound. So I usually resort to carpet spray. It foams up so the bugs can't get out, and that's the end of that.

When I turned around, Elizabeth was right behind me, holding the little critter up to me.

"Bug!" she said.

I swatted it to the ground and sprayed the living daylights out of it. Satisfied, I returned to the living room and back to what I was doing.

"Bug!" I hear for the third time. Elizabeth had pulled the cockroach out of the foam and was showing me. Again.

"Elizabeth. Drop it!" So she did. And then there was a half dead cockroach on the ground. Unsure of what to do, I looked at Elizabeth.

"Elizabeth. Go throw the bug away," I instructed.

"Bug?" She pointed at it.

"Yes. Go throw the bug away in the trash."

Some incoherent babble, then she picked it up, and ran into the kitchen.

A few seconds later, she's back, roach still in hand.

"Bug?"

"YES, Elizabeth. Throw the bug AWAY."

She ran off and I heard the garbage can lid open and slam shut.

In conclusion, we have a dead butterfly on our doorstep, a praying mantis and a cricket in our tank, and a half dead cockroach in our garbage can.

Like I said. Bug Day.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Balancing Act

It's always a good day when:

-your computer gets a memory upgrade
(yay for a blazing fast computer!)

-a wide angle lens comes in the mail

-grocery shopping gets done

-Elizabeth comes home from her weekend away

-you get butter croissants from Costco
(I'm fat just thinking about them)

-you get a nap


Let me tell you about naps, man. They are God's gift to mankind. I used to feel guilty about taking them, but no longer! It's all about balance. Work hard, play hard. Or take a nap. Whichever suits your fancy.

I've been thinking a LOT about balance lately. Something to do with trying to have a photography business while also being a good mom to three kids? Yeah. That's rough. There are days where I think I need to abandon photography completely and devote my entire self to my kids. But then a little part of me gets sad thinking about letting that dream go.

Yesterday I went to a park to think about it and I came across a helpful little article by M. Russell Ballard called Keeping Life's Demands In Balance

*click* You can read it here! *click*

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sorry People!

We took a break this last week.

We also like to refer to ourself in both plural form and third-person.

Be back Monday!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

If You're Not There Yet...

Trying is the always enough.

Maybe we're not being the parent we want to be. Perhaps we're not as toned as we'd like. We wish we had greater scholastic accomplishments. Or our start-up business isn't even close to what we'd hoped for. It's easy to get too hard on ourselves, especially in a world where all we have to do is go on Pinterest and be bombarded by perfection. Perfect houses, perfect moms, perfect bodies, perfect this, perfect that.

My last post has been on my mind continually. It took lots of courage knowing that people would mistakenly conclude, "Oh, she doesn't love her children". That is simply untrue and very far from the fact. My goal is to love them all equally. Because that's the responsibility of a parent. I'm not quite there, but I'll always be trying. Actively and wholeheartedly.

So what if you don't have the body of a disciplined athlete? So what if your wardrobe could nominate you for an emergency episode of "What Not to Wear?"? And so what if your living room reminds you of every "Before" picture you've seen in home makeovers?

If it's important to you, don't beat yourself up because you're not THERE yet.
You will get there if you put in the work.
In the meantime, it's the trying that's important.
Trying is always enough.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The PNW

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Back from Seattle! What a wonderful trip. Basically the story goes like this:

Famous photographer Roberto Valenzuela was teaching a three day workshop for six students. Oh, and the whole thing was filmed and broadcast live to a few hundred thousand other photographers.
No big deal.

Having grown up near Seattle, I was in heaven. The scent of pine trees combined with salty sea air, Mt. Rainier towering in the distance, seagulls clamoring for dropped bits of food near the water, and the overall grunge/eclectic vibe that Seattle if so famously known for invigorated me. Oh, the Pacific Northwest. There's nothing like it. And if you haven't been, shame on you. Shame, shame, shame.

You know how they say "home is where your heart is?" Would it be a crime to tell you that on that first day in Seattle, I didn't quite know exactly where my heart was? It felt split between being where I grew up and being with my family. Oh, how terrible do I sound? But the nostalgia and beauty of a place can sometimes be overwhelming. I found myself wishing I could stay in Washington forever.

I mean, where else can you find a banana slug magnet, daily mustache collection, or salt-and-pepper shakers doing the hanky-panky?

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It's official. We need to move.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Just Do It

In our church, there's a program called "Visiting Teaching". Adult women in our church group are partnered up and assigned 2-3 other sisters to visit, watch over, befriend, and what have you. The expectation is that we visit these sisters at least once a month. One of the women that I'm responsible for is an elderly woman who recently had her leg amputated due to diabetes. She lives alone, except for her deaf and blind Pekingese dog, Sassy.

When I first met Lorna, I was touched. She was so warm and friendly and seemed to be in good spirits. However, she expressed that she'd been praying to Heavenly Father for help.

"I'm so lonely", she said.

My heart broke. I can't stand when people are lonely. I know from experience how it feels and surely you do, too. No matter how bad things get, as long as you have someone, it's not the worst it could be.

I made a silent promise to make sure this woman could find a friend in me. I visited her again, this time bringing my children along. We didn't stay long (the kids started getting antsy) but I felt I'd done a good deed, even if the conversation did feel a little superficial.

A couple of weeks went by and I found myself putting off visiting Lorna. All I wanted to do was hug her and be with her and tell her that she wasn't alone, but I didn't want to be overbearing. Then I was worried she'd think I felt sorry for her because of her leg. I didn't want her to think people pitied her. Mostly, I was afraid that my concern wouldn't be perceived as genuine. Finally, what was I going to talk to an 80-something about? What did we possibly have in common?

So I put it off. Even though I walked by her house every day on the way to Carter's bus stop. I felt like such a sissy.

Finally, I decided to just do it, as Nike would say. After Elizabeth and I dropped Carter off, we went to visit Lorna. She was so happy to see us and I instantly felt better. I may not have known what to say, but I could tell that the words I spoke weren't important. She just needed someone, and I was there.

Surprisingly, the conversation flowed easily. We had fun talking about all kinds of things: kids, sewing, DVD machines, grandchildren, and so on. After awhile, there was a lull and I took advantage of it. I didn't know how to tell her, so I just let the words come out.

"My job is to come visit you and teach you, but my biggest priority is that I don't want you to be lonely. I know how it feels, and I just don't want you to have to feel that way."

Tears came to Lorna's eyes and I saw the pain she was holding in come spilling out. Our relationship instantly became deeper and I felt the love of the Lord present. Lorna began to confide more of her feelings and trials to me and I felt that I was lifting her burden, if but just a small amount.

We continued talking on a deeper level and then I left, grateful to God for giving me the courage to reach out, past the social walls that we each construct, to lift another out of her sorrow.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Things have been busy around the DeMotte household. Extended family is in town for a wedding reception and a sweet baby blessing. Lots of Settlers of Catan playing and preparing for the upcoming week. Which reminds me...

This Wednesday, I'll be on my way to Seattle for the Roberto Valenzuela workshop at creativeLIVE! I can't wait!

See you from the Emerald City!