I have recently begun writing in a paper journal again, since Jesse gave me a beautiful one for Easter. I haven't been consistent about journaling since we got married, which leaves a hold of 1.5 years in my written memoirs. I find that I am much more distracted and have to verbally process the same information and stresses repeatedly since I'm not writing them out. Thankfully, God knew what He was doing when He gave me to Jesse, since along with any good thing, he also got all my annoying habits, like repeatedly processing the same topics. No one bears it as well as my Jesse could, but I should still probably try to spare him a least some of the chatter. So I wrote the other day, wrote about all the things making me feel weighted down and burdened, along with some of the joys and beautiful things about our life right now. It helped me to rest in the Lord's peace, just getting it organized and on paper.
I've been reading a few really wonderful books. One is a re-read, Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer wife of the renowned Francis). I checked the book out about a year ago from our church's library, read most of it, and returned it. I loved it - she has a chapter dedicated to many different areas of what I think of as "mundane art," or daily art. Or, as she calls it, "Hidden art." She talks about home-making and decorating, painting, poetry, music, baking/cooking, etc. It was an inspiring read, and I have thought about it often over the year. I might even have checked it out a second time. A month ago, I found it used- the same old hardback copy, in a bookstore up in Bellingham. What a treasure! I decided to really read it this time instead of skimming the interesting chapters like I did last time. I recommend it highly- I love her attitude of giving (she helped found L'Abri with her husband) and serving and diligence. It reminds me of all that is written in Proverbs 31.
I've also been reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I found out I could download a copy temporarily from our local library, and while it expires after 21 days, I can re-check it out digitally. Since I'd been hoping to read this for months now, I decided to try it out, even though I typically don't read "well" on the computer. It's a great book and has kept me engaged through the first 100 pages, even in a digital copy. It is coming out soon in paperback and I am planning to pre-order it. It's the story of her family's first year trying to eat (almost) completely locally. I never really stopped to think about how far the food we eat must come, especially fresh produce in the winter! Things like oranges and lettuce don't grow here in the winter, so it has to come from somewhere. That travel guzzles gas, driving the cost of gas up. I know we're only one little household, but we've been thinking and talking about trying to eat locally for a year now. It's pretty tough and expensive to do when you don't have a garden of your own, but there are plenty of farmer's markets around for us to choose from, and during the summer months are comparable to shopping for produce in the grocery stores. And since the food is locally produced, it's typically very fresh and the quality is usually excellent. So we're going for it. We're also considering joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for next winter to continue with our quest. We would pay a set fee up front and receive local winter produce all year (squash, some greens, potatoes, etc). I think we can do it, and I'm creative enough in the kitchen to make up recipes for whatever we have in our pantry. It's a fun challenge and an artistic outlet for me to be creative in the kitchen (Hidden Art!) We'll still probably buy (some) meat at the grocery store, but we already eat a lot of vegetarian meals, and even more in the summer. As long as I know I have a few meals planned each week that are fast on the nights we're really busy.
On one last note- we went to the first two Mariner's baseball games of the season, and I don't think I've ever seen my husband look so much like a pleased 3 year old! :o) His birthday present this year was a 16-game set of tickets for this season (plus another set for me or whoever he wants to take), which was pricey but worth it for all those fun dates! Neither of us had ever been to an Opening Day game, and the energy and crowd was fun - and we WON! I'm looking forward to a season of fun games together.