Friday, August 26, 2011

*Love&War&the Sea in Between*

"I’m holding on to the hope that one day this could be made right.
I’ve been shipwrecked, and left for dead, and I have seen the darkest sights.
Everyone I’ve loved seems like a stranger in the night
But Oh my heart still burns, tells me to return, and search the fading light
~Josh Garrels~

Speaking of my favorite things, this album which was released this summer means more to me than words can express. He has long been one of my favorites for the intricate beauty of his instrumentation but mostly for the transparency of his soul in that trembling, holy place between our raw humanity to redemption, to being made new. I love redemption stories. It's my story too, and his songs tell it over and over. I spent many nights drinking in the words to these songs through falsetto that makes one ache, strings and beats, to spoken word. I could not be more proud that my husband had the privilege of collaborating on this amazing musical offering and played the drums on several tracks. Have I mentioned lately that I'm married to the most incredible man ever?

I found a great review in Christianity Today. Here is some of what they had to say:
"Garrels isn't afraid to question life's murky mysteries: "Tempted and tried, I wondered why / The good man died, the bad man thrives / And Jesus cries because he loves 'em both" ("Farther Along"). He calls out unjust human institutions: "I was born into a system constructed for failure / It's a sinking ship manned by drunken sailors" ("The Resistance"). And he liberally draws nature metaphors and celebrates friendship, beauty, grace, and love both human and heavenly. It's hope and redemption that ultimately win the day in these epics.
In keeping with his true indie spirit, Garrels is giving away free Love & War & The Sea In-Between, along with any income it generates. "We were so provided for during the making of this album, by both God and men, that it seems appropriate to give away as freely as we received," he explains. That leaves no excuse to miss this gorgeous collection that will surely stand up as one of the year's best."
~ From Christianity Today Magazine~

This is poetry, humanity, truth, struggle and beauty put to music and it is way too good not to share. So go download the whole album for free right here:
I think Farther Along and Ulysses are my favorites but the album is gorgeous as a unified whole.
It needs to be listened to all by itself with out distractions. My suggestion is get a blanket, headphones, find some moonlight and be blessed.

Mason Jar Music Presents... Josh Garrels from Mason Jar Music on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

my new favorite thing

I have a new favorite thing. It arrived sometime last week and I've worn it everyday since. It was a gift from the man I love and I could not have asked for a more perfect thing. Every tiny detail of it bears meaning to me. I love how the rough-edged bird charm is offset by the single delicate pearl. The text is from Song of Solomon 8:7 and was used at our wedding. "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it."
Twelve years later and four children later, these words mean so much more to me. He's seen the scars and the flowers, the ugliness and the good and loved me anyway, unconditionally. I cannot describe the immensity of my love for my husband. It is something that has grown through our joys, pains and sorrows on this journey. It is broken and flawed but bound together by His Spirit. I love this tangible thing I put on every day that reminds me of my vows. It reminds me every day to die to myself and to look for ways to speak love to this man that was made for me, more than I even knew. I love that Harper plays with it while he nurses. I love how it looks, but it is just a thing. It's the love that it was given with that makes it a treasure to me.

It is made by The Vintage Pearl. They make beautiful hand stamped jewelry and heart-felt keepsakes and they are having a giveaway right now! Head over to their blog or you can join their facebook page for updates.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Tomorrow Ella Bella goes to school for the first time.
Tonight we had ice cream to celebrate.
We tucked them in then I sat on the porch with Josh and watched the day fade.
I put my head on his shoulder and had a drink and let a few tears slip.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

more beach pictures

* beach rewind *

Our beach vacation a few weeks ago truly was everything I'd hoped it would be. Josh's parents graciously took us to a lovely house in Seacrest Florida. I finally arrived there Sunday night fifteen hours after I left my mom's house in NJ. There were gorgeous beach homes, palm trees and bike cruisers everywhere. The next morning I couldn't wait to see the ocean. We wandered down straight out of bed. The beautiful blue and the warm ocean air on my face to greet the day. For some reason I always remember the first time I take my babies to the ocean. I loved dipping Harper's perfect pink toes into the great vastness. The kids, especially Juden were so excited to show him. That boy LOVES his brother. The whole time was an amazing blessing...such a break from everything ordinary and routine. It reminded me of a part of Shauna Niequist's book. She said of her families vacations,"It's all those things, and something else, the something that our family becomes when we are there. We're the best version of our family there, relaxed and connected and without agenda or schedule. We have conversations that unfold lazily and resolve over days instead of minutes. We tell stories that everyone's heard, and it doesn't bother us, because we have nothing else to do and no where else else to be. We're irresponsible, and we make up plans as we go...
We sleep hard because the roar of the waves keeps us sleeping like babies, and we wake up early, each finding our own spots to read and write and drink coffee before the mildness of the morning burns into the blaze of the day."

I love the way she puts that, and I have to agree about how meaningful this time can be in a family. With five kids and a baby in one house, mild isn't always the word I would choose to describe the mornings. Despite moments of chaos it was wonderful to be together. Here are a few of my highlights from our beach trip:
* the way our families meld and everyone just takes care of and loves everyone else's kids. I love that.
* the nightly skits by Juden and his "Grand- Artie"
* showing my baby the ocean
* listening to Juden read his grand- dad Little Bear before he went to sleep
* porch sitting, and my sis-in-law making us frozen daiquiris, and just being with her. She is just rad.
* sneaking in a late night date with my love on the bike cruisers
* making drippy castles
* flying kites on the beach
* making great big breakfasts and having them made for me:)
* the bookshop and chai breaks with the girls
* walking barefoot on the still-warm sidewalk with a restless Harper, singing him to sleep while watching the moonlight-drenched palm trees sway
* the way Mimi makes everything special, turning a rainy day into tea parties and pedicures
* going for an early morning date with Juden, riding bikes to the doughnut shop. When I smiled at him while riding he said, "Mommy, this is my rose today."
* walking down to the beach every evening when everything feels peaceful and the sky glows orange and pink... shell searching...castle building
* watching our little girls, so proud, learning to swim
* having a chance to look at this family God has built me into and how precious they are