Archive for February, 2011

I’m just a hillbilly

Hi friends,

This will be quick.  But I just wanted to clarify something just in case a few of you read my cowboy church post the other day and perhaps felt a bit :(.  My thoughts about what church is like… “professional and polished” were not intended at all to be criticism.  Neither of the people at church, nor of the church itself.  The statements I made were more about my own insecurities in these areas – that I have never felt very professional looking, and I am pretty unpolished.  Because of that, I can feel uncomfortable in professional polished situations.  Weddings, banquets, church, work places… you get the picture.  I am just a country bumpkin and the post I wrote was meant to share how wonderful it was for this country bumpkin to be feel so comfortable at cowboy church, where all things unprofessional and unpolished are embraced, while at the same time worshiping Jesus.

To clarify further, I really do love the church I have been attending the last few years.  I have had some amazing times of worship there, and some awesome encounters with the Lord.  A few people have gone out of their way to reach out to us, and we love them very much –  you know who you are.  We have made no definite decision about church right now, but either way, we love the folks and the service at our church.

The main idea you should come away with from both of these posts is this: Lacy is nothing more than a hillbilly and a redneck, and she hopes you will all love her anyway.  🙂

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The First Days of Spring… this must be like Heaven!

Judah's blue skirt with ribbon trim 🙂

Judah's new blue skirt

I made Judah a second skirt this week.  I am really enjoying making them, and she LOVES them.  I have some fabric that has been given to me, so I have been using that.  Free clothes!  If I tried to buy Judah a long skirt, I wouldn’t be able to find one.  They just don’t make ’em!  So I made one myself, and she looks beautiful in it.  I like that this one is blue – she can play in it even outside and it doesn’t look dirty.  But I’m making a pink one next, which she’ll love.

I am learning to crochet this month.  I bought some yarn and a needle, then I asked the older lady next door if she knows how to crochet – she didn’t.  😦  Of course my mother could have taught me – she has made beautiful blankets for all her grand-babies… but she lives 7 hours away.  So I consulted the internet, my pseudo-mentor, and found a few pages that were clear enough to get me going.  No picture yet – I’m still on the 2nd row.  In fact it might take a few months before I get a picture up on that one.  Crocheting is a delayed gratification project, unlike cute little girl skirts.  Both have their place in life.

Judah in Grandma Lois' Pink Satin Dress

What a treasure to hold onto! Thank you Grandma Lois!

My grandma Lois and I spent an afternoon elbow deep in pink satin fabric, picking out and cutting out the perfect princess dress for Judah.  After we cut it out together, Grandma made the dress in time for Christmas.  Isn’t it beautiful?!  Thank you Grandma Lois!  This will be a keepsake for many years to come!

I thought I’d end today’s blog with some precious pictures of my children.  This week of spring weather has been like water to our thirsty souls after weeks of cold and snow (even here in Texas!).  We had a picnic a few days ago and the kids really enjoyed it.

Picnics are fun!

Enjoying being outside together!

She melts my heart...

To you and yours… if the first days of spring weather are outside your doors, don’t miss it!  These are the best days of the year!  And they’ll fly right by before ya know it.  Get outside and laugh together, watch the birds, sit in the swing together, and drink it in.  These are the best days of my life!

Lacy

A healing 32 years coming… at cowboy church!

Today Keith and I discovered a new church and visited their service.  It’s called Cross Brand Cowboy Church, north of Tyler.  It’s a growing church with over 1200 attending last Sunday.  Today they baptized 4 new adult believers in their service, in a horse tank up by the stage. They sang country style worship songs, including hymns and some modern worship songs.  The preacher was enjoyable, and preached some good truth.  We had a great time.

Cross Brand Cowboy Church

Cross Brand Cowboy Church

But here’s the thing that touched me.  I have been in church my entire life in many different churches in various places.  And today, for the first time in my life, I put on no pretenses when I came into the building.  In most churches the service and the people are all so professional, so polished.  You have to stay up tight and “don’t ever let ’em see ya sweat”, or better said, “don’t ever let them see the real you”.  Hats are not welcome, and jeans are discouraged.  Fancy dresses and make up are encouraged.  In that context, in the unspoken realm, it seems embarrassing to be a country person.  All my life dressing up has been a burden.  I do NOT like it.  Sunday mornings I usually have a clothes crisis moment, and decide to wear jeans and tshirts, even though I feel out of place.  In that church today country folk were not only welcome, but country life was celebrated.  It was as if a piece of me that has forever seemed inadequate was validated today (the farm girl who doesn’t give a rip about being fancy).  I felt more at home in church today than I ever have in my entire life.  Even though I didn’t know all of the songs, and didn’t know a person there.  I was at home, and amazingly, so was Keith.  Man, that felt good.

This was in the back of the "sanctuary"

On the way out as we passed the church’s rodeo arena we told the kids we might come to the ‘kids rodeo’ planned for next Sunday.  Jeremiah was bummed he couldn’t be IN the rodeo.  He wanted to get in the ring!  I said, “We don’t know how to wrestle a cow or nothin’!”  A friendly cowboy passing by interjected, “When they’re comin’ at ya, get outta the way!”  Then leaning on the side of his truck he told us all about a rogue cow coming right at him who almost took off his truck door that was wide open.  He had jumped into his truck bed to narrowly escape the cow’s wrath.  The lesson learned, said the cowboy, was to never drive a red truck!

It’s a neat thing that is happening in Keith and I this year.  We have lived in rural Oklahoma, super urban Taiwan, suburban Minneapolis, and small town Texas.  It seems this year we have been longing to part ways with ‘city life’ and to reconnect ourselves with rural country life.  We are hungry for time spent outside, for the warmth of country folk, and the shared family life of country livin’.  Cowboy up, partner.  It’s gonna be a good ride!

After such a fulfilling morning, we couldn’t help but top it off with barbeque.  It was goooo-ood!

Bodacious BBQ for the perfect Cowboy Church morning!

http://www.crossbrandcowboychurch.org/

Snow Day Projects

The last few days have been too cold for this southern woman, so I have burrowed in my warm house.  I have spent time doing a variety of things – baking bread, doing crafts with the kids, reading alone and also to the kids, cooking meals, doing laundry, cleaning, etc, etc.  I also tackled Judah’s right of passage in growing from a todder into a preschooler:  POTTY TRAINING.  🙂  She has done great!  I am excited about her success, and so is she!

I have also been working on my circle quilt.  I am really pleased with the way it is coming along.  The last few days I spent some time laying it out on the felt “wall”, which was really a huge job.  Tonight I stitched the top row of blocks together.  Things always look so different in pictures than they do in person, but here are the photos!

Tuesday I made a little skirt for Judah.  It was a simple pattern I found at http://grandrevivaldesign.typepad.com/photos/ruffled_skirts_tutorial/index.html.  I bet some red rick-rack would really finish this strawberry skirt out.  She loves it! (Can you see the snow outside?)

Here’s my favorite photo from our sledding adventure Tuesday.  Snow days are thankfully rare treasures ’round these parts! These two had a blast sliding down the big hill!  Judah loved it too!  She’s so brave!

I have been thinking some more about learning the old ways.  I have a list going of skills and crafts that I would like to learn to do.  Some of these things are:

quilting, knitting, sewing clothes, baking bread, pie making, canning, gardening, raising animals, soap making…

I have various levels of experience with each of these and with a few of them no experience (knitting, soap making, canning).  But there are also things that are not necessarily skills, but more just ways of life that are to be learned.  I’ve been thinking about these areas and doing some reading.  It is easier to blog about the things I am doing.  Blogging about the deep thoughts I’ve been pondering is not as easy.  In time…

Lacy

The Comfort of Fabric

February 4, 2011 was a snow day in Hideaway, Texas.  We got almost 4″ of snow, which in Texas is enough to keep everyone home.  So our family of four spent the day here in our cozy abode.  Jeremiah and Judah made cookies (with a little help from Mom), we went sledding down a hill, and the children danced while Keith and I played songs on the guitar.  I also spent some time in solitude today elbow deep in quilt squares.  I made a lot of progress and enjoyed every minute of it.

After the quiet of solitude set in, the sound of the sewing machine to keep my company, my mind thought of the women who have set their hand to quilting over the years.  A mother in her early 50s passing the time trying not to think about her son who is off at war.  A resourceful grandmother using her husband’s old shirts to make a quilt.  A young mother stitching pensively on an Oklahoma homestead wondering how they will make it through their first winter in their small cabin.  My own great grandmother making a beautiful quilt with turquoise backing that her great granddaughter now treasures… I wonder where she sat and what she thought about while she made that quilt.  Though I will not know until I hopefully meet her on the other side of eternity, piecing this fabric together one square at a time has brought me a little closer to my roots, my heritage, my history.

The quilt I am working on needs a large space to match all the colors together, so I hung up the only big piece of flannel I had.  😉  It is working beautifully.

Enjoying an evening of solitude and quilting…

Lacy

Learning the Old Ways

Come along with me on a journey to learn the old ways.  There is great satisfaction in returning to the enduring ways of the generations.  Kneading bread dough on my wooden counter tops, it seems as though I could share that space in life with my great, great grandmother, though I know her not.  I imagine her standing next to me, teaching me, investing in me, taking great joy in sharing this time-honored tradition together.  I knead my dough and I smile back at her.  Cutting out the fabric to make a skirt for my daughter, I hear the scissors of my grandmother, whom I lost when I was 14.  We cut together, and smile together when my daughter prances about testing out her new treasure.  In these moments I have escaped the emptiness of the twenty-first century.  I have rocked on the porch an hour or two with those before me, without speaking so much as a word, yet sharing together the silent conversation of life.  For these tasks are not simply burdensome chores, but as the pieces of a puzzle make a picture, they form a way of life unique in itself.  A way of life that is not too busy to take time for the things that matter most.

I long for this way of life where evenings are spent rocking on the porch or singing with the family.  A place where mainstream culture has not sunk its venomous fangs into every aspect of life.  We are lonely from the isolation of our lifestyle, we are fat from inactivity, and we are tired from the frantic pace that we keep.  Our children are disrespectful, our jobs are unfulfilling, and our lives are filled with indulgence to help keep the discontentment at bay.  We run about in vain searching for that perfect job that will fulfill our longing hearts, when what we need is not another job, but another way of life.  I want to find fulfillment in the daily tasks of life.  I want to experience meaning as I make the bread or tend the garden.  I want to make that which matters most the focus of my life, not the thing I try to fit in after everything else is done, and I am spent.  I have known the emptiness of a way of life common to many, and have set out to learn the ways of old.