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Daybook: 12 February 2015

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Thursday, February 12

Outside my window… The sunlight, wide and warm across the field, mixes with patches of darkness from the clouds. The atmosphere has that clear, hopeful brilliance of coming spring but the snow, which gives the appearance of melting, belies the thermometer: it’s a mere 22 degrees!

In the kitchen… In the evenings I’ve been making hot chocolate for mum and myself.  When your work is always nearby, it’s the perfect incentive to call it a day and pick up a good book.

I am creating… copies of Pauline Baynes’ style of pen and ink, practicing my own style of miniature drawings. Her thoughtful details on such small scale are captivating!

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I am reading…
“The Bird in the Tree” by Elizabeth Goudge
“Morning and Evening” by Charles Spurgeon
“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown

I am thinking… about adding color to my blog design

I am visiting (online)…
The thought-provoking Audio Library at the CiRCE Institute
The oh-so-delightful Read Aloud Revival Podcast
and
Karen Andreola’s blog, “Moments with Mother Culture

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Around the house…
Dad is finishing up remodeling the bathroom, and mom has started the spring cleaning.

I am looking forward to…
a St. Valentine’s event this weekend with the girls!

Everything beautiful in its time

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The first week of July we were able to fellowship with dear friends, visit the Gettysburg battlefield, and see the Civil War Museum.

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After recovering from from a nasty bug, I worked on sketching and drawing the cover of the story book Bible cover.

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A bit of nature keeps itself occupied on my desk while I work.  Except George.

He’s really high maintenance.

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Now that I’ve finished the cover drawing for the story book Bible, I’ll be spending this next week painting, and then Emily Rose will get it ready to send to the publisher.

What gain has the worker from his toil?
I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart,
yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful
and to do good as long as they live;

also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil
—this is God’s gift to man.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13

Spring happenings

A couple weeks ago I finished up a new chalk art print!  It’ll be in the shop soon as a print and as boxed note cards.  But more importantly . . .

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This Saturday, our precious friend, Sarah, will be getting married, and she’ll be moving far away to NC with her wonderful, godly husband, Jordan.  This week we’re enjoying hosting his family and getting ready for the big day!  It has been beautiful to watch the Lord weave Sarah’s and Jordan’s lives together.

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Spring in the Studio

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Glimpses of Redemption

Autumn–this season always seems to surprise me. Woodsy, lush landscapes of green shift from living to dying, then dead, and it’s all somehow quite mesmerizing. It’s a reminder of the story of redemption, played out before our eyes year after year. We are dead in our sins, but when we die with Christ we are made alive with Him in His resurrection.

These Dahlias are from a dear friend.
They are loving the cooler temperatures!

— * —

My family and I are enjoying this new release, Music Inspired by The Story. Wow. This is Beautiful. It’s a series of songs based on people from the Bible (such as Adam and Eve, Job, David, Esther, Abraham and Sarah, etc.) sung by various Christian artists. The lyrics, the music, the artistic quality–just Wow. This gets ten out of five stars. Go buy yourself a copy. (Note: Not all the music styles are to our taste, but there are some songs that we really appreciate) ; )

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While I neglected my studio over the summer, the second law of thermodynamics made itself very evident. Peace and order are now  being restored, and the top of the bookshelf is already looking quite nice. I was so pleased with the results, I had to share a picture:

And here’s one of the pear trees in our back yard. We harvested quite a few, and they’re sweeter this year!

“All things were made by Him;
and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”

(John 1:3, ESV)

Summer Sweetness, part 3

As I wrote this post, I realized that there’s much to be said about fields and clouds and sunsets. They become a surprisingly large part of a person’s life. Since I’m sure you all can relate, I’ll be as concise as affection will allow and let these few humble pictures tell the rest of the stories for themselves.

↑ The Southwest view from the back yard. This is where we watch storm heads roll over us.

The North, north-east view from the backyard. It’s spacious for everything from large gatherings and a garden, to walking the dog and general delightfulness.

This next view is the North, north-west sky from our front porch. From there, one evening last summer, a dramatic sunset (not pictured) looked like a fleet of Viking ships sailing up to a rocky shore. Yes, it did, and it was probably the most grand cloud scene I’ve ever mentally recorded in my life so far (does anyone else do that?). This is also a good spot for watching local fireworks.

So that’s a glimpse of what the summer sky looks like around here. The weather’s always changing and therefore the clouds, but it’s always beautiful and it’s always home. : )

 Now, let’s welcome Fall, shall we?

Summer Sweetness, part 2

‘Bout time for part two, eh?
Here’s a look at our garden over the summer —

Raised beds have been working well for us. They are so easy to weed!

Earlier in the summer we had lettuce for salads. More vegetables have been coming on — onions, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes. We have yet to see how the Brussels sprouts and cabbage will end up. The green beans and zucchini didn’t do well, but everything else has been a lovely addition to our diet.

These little dears are trying as hard as they can to get on, and brave they are! The cosmos towered beside them but didn’t bloom very much, so I think we come up with a way to set things right. ; )

And the spaghetti squash has been a bit over-eager and seems to really like our lavender. (The lavender has since been set free.)

Thanks for stopping by our garden! God has blessed us with good earth, plenty of sunshine, and rain,. Part three will be a snippet of the beautiful sky, our beloved expanse above what we call home.

Summer Sweetness, part 1

One of the things I love about drawing children “from my head” is not only imagining them up, but putting the first simple strokes on paper and finally getting to “meet” them. Seeing that their little personalities are really real. At least to me. ; ) These two rosy-cheeked dears make my heart go pitter pat — meet Georgie and Henry.

 

What's the place of Journal-Keeping?

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Life is such a patchwork, I can’t believe I wanted to record it all in journal!

Do you keep a journal? I have for years now, but recently I’ve been rethinking the place of journal-keeping in my life.

Looking back, I wish I could tell my fourteen-year-old self, “Just go share your heart with Mom. No matter how silly it seems, get her godly counsel on how to respond to these emotions. Then come back and share the things you want to remember and pass on to your children. Embrace joy.” If I could do it again, I would put more effort into recording the truly good memories and lessons learned from a more sanctified perspective. I probably would have matured much faster.

Girls, this is my advice to you. Don’t dwell on your “complex” emotions and romanticism. Don’t dwell on yourself — life is so much more fascinating and joyful when we focus our attention on Christ and the life He’s given us to live abundantly. It’s good to evaluate your soul and root out sin in your life. But if you’re keeping a journal, let it be a place of praise and thanksgiving. This is something I’ll be working on. Will you journal-keepers join me?

More articulate and wise people have much more to say on this subject of keeping a journal and maturing into a godly adult, so I wanted to share their posts with you–

“Journal-Keeping” by Nancy Ann at Femina (Great follow-up posts here and here.)
Over the past decade or two, journal-keeping has been viewed in some quarters as a spiritual exercise, right up there with Bible reading and prayer. I realize that keeping a journal can be very positive, just like gardening or exercise or baking cookies, but it is not a spiritual duty or the key to super-spirituality. In fact, it may very well be a snare. . . .
continue reading

After you’ve rethought the role of journal-keeping in your life, read John Piper’s post:

“Letter to an Incomplete, Insecure Teenager”, on the Desiring God blog.
Introspection must give way to amazement at glory. When it does, becoming happens. If there is any key to maturity it is that. Behold your God in Jesus Christ. Then you will make progress from tadpole to frog. That was a great discovery. . . . continue reading

I hope this gives you a fresh perspective on handling emotions and maturing into a wise, godly woman. I look forward to traveling with you on this path of outward-, upward-focused joyful living.

A Day in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Daughter, and Response

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“Many of you are young mothers who one day hope to see your daughters joyfully living the life of a homemaker, even in your own home before they marry. But some of you may be apprehensively wondering, “What will that look like?”

Having a visual of what your daughter could one day be doing takes a lot of the “scariness” out of it. I’d like to give you a peek into my life as a “stay-at-home daughter,” but since I can’t have you in our home, I thought I’d illustrate it for you!”

Continue reading at Raising Homemakers

After I posted “A Day in the Life” at Raising Homemakers, I received a comment, inquisitive about “stay-at-home daughters”. I thought I’d share on my blog my response:

Dear ‘Daughter of the King,’

Thank you for commenting. I’d love to answer your questions, and I’ll start with the last: basically, Do we have any Biblical support for the “stay-at-home daughter” lifestyle? In short, yes, we do. :) You are right in saying that being a wife and mother is [one of] the most important and beautiful jobs. (See Psalm 128, Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3-5)

We would be taking the importance of the family and home far too lightly if we simply assumed that running a household was easy. It’s a gigantic mission to create a nurturing, biblical home, to disciple and educate your children, all the while helping your husband in his vision. Proverbs 31 shows that home life is more than solitary confinement with baking, knitting, and cleaning as the only permissible inmate activities. :) The home can be a beehive of economy, a fortress of the Gospel and Christian culture. Most of the women in the Bible were married and bore children—marriage and motherhood for women is the Biblical norm, and we ought to wisely prepare for this honorable position.

Ask any woman who was not raised to be a homemaker and worked outside the home—it’s not an easy transition from career to homemaker, let alone balancing the two.

“Why can’t they get a college education, a job, a place of their own?” Good question. We certainly believe that a young woman is fully capable of earning —and in some situations may actually need— a college-level education. But that education need not be solely obtained on a campus (a campus that, I believe, isolates people from real life). There are many avenues whereby we can further our education, through apprenticeships, taking online classes, and teaching ourselves. The culture has programmed us to think that a young person must leave their parents to discover themselves, their independent life calling, their freedom, and the world. But as a Christian, we can only find true life, success, and freedom in Christ and the order in which He designed family, church, and state to function for His glory.

In God’s design for the family, the husband is the head of the wife, and therefore the rightful provider and protector for the wife as well as the daughters in that family. If a young woman leaves her family before marriage, she is in an unprotected position. Sometimes this cannot be avoided, but it’s not the Biblical ideal. However, this doesn’t mean a young woman cannot work while she’s also learning to become a homemaker. The home (as well as working under her father) is the best place for a young woman to develop her talents, use her skills, and bless her family, church, and community in countless ways (and earn money, too). :)

If a woman finds herself single, those homemaking skills will still come in handy! God doesn’t leave out any of His children in His tapestry. There are many ways for her to labor beside her family (or church family if she has no family, Psalm 68:6), showing hospitality, helping young mothers, caring for the needy, etc.. We can trust that when we obey His Words, He will fulfill His promise to provide for us. There’s a good article by some friends of mine if you’re interested in learning more about this issue: “But What If…?”

You also mentioned Deborah who was a wise (and married) woman raised up by God for a specific time in Israel’s history. I honestly don’t know enough about the situation to tell you why this was so, but we do know from the rest of Scripture that Deborah’s position is not given as a normative example for women. We have many other examples to look to, like Sarah, Abigail, Rebecca, Naomi, Ruth, and Mary—and Deborah, too, inspiring us in sturdy womanhood.

I hope this has helped you gain a better perspective of what “stay-at-home daughters” are about. Basically, we’re young women dedicated to becoming godly women, preparing ourselves to be well-equipped for whatever God sends our way, His way, even when it’s bizarrely counter-cultural. :) Thank you for asking!

Blessings In Christ,
Breezy Brookshire