Monday, April 25, 2011

A Passion for Simple Things

Today's special guest is one of my dearest friends. Ragamuffin Gal and I met over ten years ago at our district's teacher orientation. Her first impulse was to take my hand and pull me over to meet some people she'd met already; to take me to make new friends. That really sums up her character. Anytime you see Katie she will be smiling, ready to take your hand, and not only make a friend of you, but introduce you to other people who will be just as ready to become your friend. She's an artist, a teacher, an encourager, and a gift. Oh, you are going to love her.

My passion is finding joy and beauty in the simple things of life! As I pen these words I am reminded of the first set of curtains I made for our first tiny, one bedroom apartment. In the kitchen we had open shelves (before open shelves were fashionable) and our meager kitchen ware was by non means something we wanted to show off. So, off I went to buy $1 a yard calico material to fashion curtains for our shelves.

After a day of stitching and gathering, Mark arrived home, saw them, and said, "You have made something beautiful out of those scraps!" And that seems to fit what I've been doing all my life.

I think I have always had a passion to create something just a little better that what it was when I first found it. Growing up on a Midwestern farm provided lots of opportunity for this sort of practice. Whether it was coloring the pecked wings of young chicks with white shoe polish (so that they could go back into the pen with their assaulters), stirring flour and milk into thick chicken gravy, or growing and picking greens from Mom's simple garden patch, all were done with joy and made into something beautiful.

I spent a lot of weeks each summer in my grandmother's care. She was a seamstress who had sewn her was through the Great Depression. By then, she owned apartments and designed and created clothes for her daughters and granddaughters. How blessed I was to grow up in a place where I could wear whatever I imagined because my grandmother was so creative that she could make anything!

I sat by her and together we dreamed and sewed. The hum of the sewing machines was the background music of my early life. How I loved sitting at her feet, sewing with scraps. Or, painting the walls of her apartment to brighten them up. Making cakes and picking flowers from her garden were all a part of beautiful daily life with her.


From decorating my home, to cooking my family famous chicken enchiladas, writing for my blog, creating for others, learning a new way to use an art medium, or serving others in joy, I have carried with me a passion for seeing joy and beauty in simple things.

A favorite author of mine, Fredrick Buehner said, "The place God calls you to is where you deep gladness meets the world's deep hunger."

I believe that where we are this very moment is the place where we are called to bestow a touch of beauty and joy! The world is hungering for a touch that only you can fulfill.

Life, to me, has always been about what you choose to make with it! I will choose beauty, and I choose joy always! May you be blessed this week to bless others!
"Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace." ~ Buehner

13 comments:

dulcy said...

Oh I'm SO happy that I'm the first to comment. I've been checking her to see if you would appear.... What a lovely, lovely story... and the amazing art! I'm so inspired today from reading this.... and so lucky to have you as my friend! Have a beautiful day. xoxo

One Woman's Thoughts said...

I am a little happier just by reading your post.

It's such a lovely memory for me think on and I can see you spreading your creative beauty dust everywhere you go.

Meri said...

A maker of pretty bits -- an artist for certain. And life is a fathomless mystery, isn't it?

Rita said...

The simple things in life are so good! I so enjoyed reading your post. Thank you Relyn, for having her to post for your wonderful passion series! I've so enjoyed visiting with each one!

Anita said...

A very nice post and I love the quote at the end. Relyn, I like these quest posts because you have so many creative friends.

Jennifer Richardson said...

making something from nothing
is beyond beautiful
..so touches my heart.
Thanks for this wonderful share:)
-Jennifer

meandering pearl said...

yay!!! this makes my heart spin with joy!!! so true, so beautiful, from the first word of the introduction, to the last quote shared, loveliness!!!

christinelaennec said...

A beautiful post that's a great start to my day today. And I really like the quotes - thank you for the introduction to Buechner!

Tracy said...

What a BEAUTIFUL spirit shining through these words and art. :o) ((HUGS))

Amy said...

Oh, I love that Buehner quote!

Yoli said...

She sounds like a lovely lady and I enjoyed reading her words with your lovely music dear Relyn. I have to remember to pass by here more often.

summersundays-jw said...

Katie always lifts my spirits & I especially needed it today after cleaning water from my basement & garage. Thanks, Katie & thanks, Relyn, for inviting her to post her story. Jan

Jaime said...

You create such beautiful whimsical pieces!

And that quote at the end...I must write that one down...

Oldies, but Goodies