Since I came home for the summer Mom and Dad decided to make the room that Holly and I share more comfortable for 2 girls so they bought a bunk-bed and told us to have fun putting it together.
Okay. I'll try.
Holly and I managed to get the thing put together and it was fun. Except we had to use an allen wrench to put the whole thing together and quite honestly my thumbs are not used to using one of those things that much. It made my pansy fingers tired and sore.
The new bed setup is really nice and has me sort of motivated to reorganize and clean the whole room. Wish me luck on that.
One of the things I found inspiring in China was how much my classmates would draw and paint. Some of their sketchbooks were works of art in and of themselves! They painted pictures of things and then would paint them on their pots or incorporate some theme from their drawings into their pots. I'm learning how important it is to draw and sketch your ideas. And how fun it is too.
I've been having fun messing around with this bird idea and have put it on a few cups. I've never been good at drawing so it's been good to play around and sketch ideas and pictures since I don't have access to clay right now. I want to develop my drawing skills and hopefully that will translate into better decorated pots and perhaps some fun little drawings too.
While I was in China this past fall I found myself listening to my ipod a lot as it helped block out distractions and allowed me to focus on my work. It also helped me to focus on Christ more. I was in a totally secular environment and some of the songs I had on my ipod really ministered to me while I was there. And it is amazing how being completely out of your environment helps you to think about things in a different way so in some ways even though I knew a lot of these songs by heart it was almost like hearing them for the first time. One of the songs was by Phil Keaggy. It is called And On That Day and it was about the proclamation to Mary that she would carry the messiah. The verse Luke 1:38 was referenced and it made me stop and think about it in a new way.
Here is the actual verse:
And Mary said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." And the angel departed from her.
So I've read that before but for some reason it surprised me this time. Mary's humility and willingness to be used in whatever way God wanted to use her is amazing and somehow I never caught on to it before. Can you imagine being in her position? She was a young virgin who was engaged to Joseph. An angel told her she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit and he would be the messiah.
Who was going to believe her when she explained her pregnancy that way? Almost no one. Her reputation was basically going to be stained, she almost was divorced. She must have suspected these outcomes when the angel talked to her, but she still said "be it done unto me according to thy word." And not only that but before that she said "Behold the handmaid of the Lord."
I was sort of awed and convicted when I heard those words. Because that is not my attitude most of the time. "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word." At the expense of my comfort, reputation, relationships, dreams...
However, I think I should also say that while this was sure to make Mary the subject of a lot of gossip the angel told her when he greeted her that she had found favor with God. I'm sure that her response shows why she found favor with God. Because she trusted Him and wanted to serve Him. And what a huge honor God gave her! He found favor with her and chose her to bear his Son. He was in no way punishing her...He was blessing her.
I think this also shows us how the opinions of others really are not important in comparison to God's opinion of us. Why should we care about how others view us when what truly matters is what God thinks of us? And who knows our hearts besides God?
I am a handmaid of the Lord too. I should view all circumstances given to me with the same humble and accepting attitude that Mary did.
A few nights ago I sat outside with my sister Holly until 10:30 pm. The next morning I realized my legs were covered in bug bites. I have over 50 on my legs/feet and a couple on my hands/arms. They feel just like fire ant bites, but I didn't see any on myself the night before and I didn't feel myself get bitten either which I normally would feel. Anyway, rather than take a photo of my legs and post it here (that would be weird) I made a drawing of it to post here. Cause that's not weird at all, right?
I am studying ceramics in college. This will be my third year of ceramics. I can't believe I'm already at year 3. Anyway, I LOVE it. I switched my major as a junior from nutrition to art because I took a non-major ceramics class and fell in love with it. These are a few photos of pieces I made this semester. Since going to China I think I can see a definite asian influence in my pots. A lot of celadon and cobalt. And porcelain. Oh how I love porcelain. It throws so nicely and looks so beautiful. This last photo was from Easter. It's at my apartment at school. Some of my friends came over after church to make brunch and play games. The table is set with handmade dishes. I love it. :)
Someday I hope to have my own place that I can decorate. Among the ideas I have for home decorating (it would be SO fun!) I want to have handmade dishes from friends and classmates displayed on an open cabinet/shelving unit for people to see and grab for use. I think the handmade dishes I have been given from friends are beautiful and make excellent artwork that should be displayed and used.
I think Ayumi Horie said that using handmade vessels is personal. That when you pick a handmade vessel for use you are choosing who you are going to have your coffee with or eat dinner with. I like that idea. When I drink out of a mug that a friend has made and given to me I think about them and it gives the vessel an intrinsic value. I think that is why I enjoy handmade so much.
A couple of weeks ago my family went on our first family vacation in about 6 years. We went to
Myrtle Beach and it was most of our first time being down there. It was super relaxing and we got to go with my sister and her husband, my brother-in-law's family and my godmother. It was so good to see everyone again. We went the day after school let out so my brother and I drove 8 hours down to NC and then the next day we drove another 3.5. I have decided I'm not a huge fan of the idea of a road trip. If I ever go on a major road trip I think we will have to make a lot of stops to stretch and sight-see. Plus being gluten intolerant makes traveling even that more
complicated because it's hard to pack gluten-free food since a lot of it is perishable.
Regardless of traveling woes (which really weren't anything to complain about anyway) it was wonderful to finally arrive at the beach and not have any classes to go to or anything to do at all actually.
After the tide would go out we would see so many starfish. I'd never seen any live starfish. I felt bad for them so I threw a few back in.
I hadn't been to the beach in quite some time and it was beautiful. There is something so powerful and mysterious about the ocean.
Some of those mysteries include the things that inhabit it. We saw a lot of jellyfish along with the starfish. My older sister and I went out to play in the water and saw one floating around where we were swimming which prompted a lot of shrieking and us running out of the water. I'm sure it was a sight. I've been told before that I run funny. I'm sure that I looked really funny running
out of the water. Jacqueline not only saw the jelly fish, she also caught sight of a shark swimming below the pier and an octopus.
After that I mostly stuck to walking along the beach and wading. I did manage to get one good swim in with the boogie board. It was fun. But since it was early May the water was a little cold and I was happy to just enjoy it by walking in it and by it.I also enjoyed being with my family. This is my younger brother (Adam) and sister (Holly). There is a 4 year age difference between them and they're pretty funny together. It was also fun to see my niece's reaction to the water. She didn't like it. Or the sand. She is only just 2 years old and when we asked her if she wanted to go down to the water she would say, "no-ooo" like "are you crazy?" We took her to a little amusement park where she rode on the carousel and she LOVED that! She actually rode it twice. We think that with all the times she has seen Mary Poppins she was expecting to ride off into the country side. She was so upset when the ride was over.
Jacqueline and Olive are just so beautiful. So is Holly. My sisters and niece are really lovely.
So was the carousel.
And now we're back in NC. Job hunting. Right after I had filled out a bunch of applications we got our phone numbers changed and I've been going back to the places I applied to update my contact information and I've been re-visiting my online applications to update.
Dear NC Employers,
Please give a broke art student a summer job!
I promise to use part of it to stimulate the local economy!
Mom's dogs Abby and Jude had puppies about 6 weeks ago. They are miniature Havanese and they're teeny tiny. As in about 7 pounds tiny (the grownups that is...the puppies are even tinier than that).
We took them outside to photograph for Mom's website. They're pretty cute and they're just at the age where they are becoming very curious and feisty. They're rascals. You want one? We have one left.
(look at that sweet face...don't let her fool you, she's really feisty!)
My parents have been breeding dogs since I was a little kid. About 6 or so. I remember getting so attached to our puppies and crying each time one went to their new home. I'm much better about that now. I've learned to no longer become attached to our pets. Between having parents who breed dogs and all the times I've moved I've had to say goodbye to some canine buddies rather frequently. I've decided to write a country song called "All the Dogs I've Loved and Lost" and it will be such a tear jerker. The last line will be "but as they say, 'tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.'"
I know it's corny, but I really enjoy writing parodies to songs. My roommate and I wrote a love song to Nutella to the tune of "I Will Survive." It was a hit...in our own minds at least. ;) We are undiscovered wonders I tell you.
Speaking of dogs, I really want one of my own. Not a teeny tiny teacup dog like my parents have (although they're really cute and much easier to take care of than some of the larger dogs we've had) but a big old mutt who will sit in the car with me and hang his head out the window as we drive down country back roads together. He can be my best friend. I became pretty good buds with Sagger the studio dog in China last fall and I miss him sorely. Whenever I needed a hug Sagger was there to cheerfully oblige me. He was a snuggly dog who didn't realize how big or strong he was. He loved to try to get in our laps even though he was way to big to do that. He liked taking naps with us on the studio couch and even would sneak into my bed at night when my roommate and I would bring him back to the dorms with us (in China you can do that). Sneaky thing!
Speaking of China (when I get on a rabbit trail I don't get off) the first set of summer students leave tomorrow to head out there. Part of me wishes I could go back. Perhaps someday I will. This fall I'm taking Chinese 1 at school so just in case I do ever get to go back maybe I'll be better prepared. I'm also considering getting an English partner so I can get to know some international students. One of the things about China that I found inspiring was how incredibly kind and hospitable the people were toward us. I definitely want to be more aware of the international students on my campus and try to treat them with the same hospitality and kindness that was shown to me.
this is not my first attempt at blogging. Or my second. Or even my third. I have been blogging off and on for quite awhile now and while I really like the outlet it provides I have a hard time keeping up with it during the semester. Fortunately, I'm an art major and make things regularly so hopefully I'll have things to post, talk about, etc., and maybe I'll be able to find the time to write about it.