Monday, December 10, 2012

Every once in a while I come across a book that leaves me, I wouldn't say new or changed, maybe just blessed.  Where the vastness of its story and the depth of its meaning can't be absorbed, or even quite understood, with just one reading.  And the beauty of the thoughts and language in A House Like a Lotus left me close to tears.  It is one of those books

" "Lo, now we must sing Saranam," His voice was breathless, and he looked to Millie, who started singing. 
In the midst of foes I cry to thee,
From the ends of earth, wherever I may be,
My strength in helplessness, O answer me,
 Saranam, saranam, saranam.
Make my heart to grow as great as thine,
So through my hurt your love may shine,
My love be yours, your love be mine,
Saranam, saranam, saranam.
"What does it mean, 'saranam'?" I asked.
"Refuge," Norine said.
"God's richest blessing," Millie added.
Krhis said, "There is no English equivalent."
Frank laughed.  "There doesn't need to be.  Saranam says it all, loving, giving, caring."
Omio said, "I think it is like a Bakian word which mean that love does not judge."
Vee added, "Love is not love which alters when alteration finds." "

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

(Blurry photos at my friend's cabin)

My head is so full, I forget what I've been told the moment the speaking ends.  I can't seem to let go of weights I have no business carrying, weights that aren't my responsibility.  And they crush and paralyze, speaking lies of laziness and inadequacy.  It's scary how the dragons you thought were dead come back, or maybe they just had children you didn't know about.  The words that were said and the preasure that was placed now have ghosts that are harder to fight then they ever were before.  And I suppose that makes sense.  For they slip into your mind, pretending to be thoughts of your own, and they root so deep you're often unsure if you're fighting ghosts... or yourself.

Friday, November 30, 2012

"And thinking about life as a journey reminds me to stop trying to set up camp and call it home.  It allows me to see life as a process, with completion somewhere down the road.  Thus I am freed from feeling like a failure when things are not finished, and hopeful that they will be as my journey comes to its end.  I want adventure, and this reminds me I am living in it.  Life is not a problem to be solved, it is an adventure to be lived." -John Eldredge

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Last week my sister and I went back out to camp to help with a few meals for a retreat that they were hosting. 

Do you have a place that feels like home?  Maybe even more like home than home does?  That's how camp is for me.  There are so many poignant memories on what feels like every square foot of the place that it almost hurt to be there.  But at the same time, it filled me with joy.  A joy that shouldn't even belong, if you look at it realistically, but it was there all the same.  Of course I felt like crying, turning around and expecting to see people that aren't even in the state.  Sure I was hearing the ghosts of songs from the dinning hall, worship practice from the pavilion, shouts from the field... even though the whole place was silent... silent in the way only falling snow can be silent.  It was strange how natural it looked blanket down for the winter, the lake frozen over and snow collected on the tether ball, but I think it's because the beautiful Spirit never leaves, even after the kids and summer staff are gone, it's just waiting and blessing those who stop by.   And that's why the joy meets you there, even when you want to cry, even when it held everything you wanted, and everything you had to leave. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

I got a job, I'm now a part-time teacher's assistant at the Montessori school in town.  It's a wonderful job, in fact I wish I could work there more than I do, which is only ten hours a week.  But it's okay.  I have lots of time for other things and that's nice.  Baking, reading, thrifting, writing, cleaning, knitting...
I just finished Beauty today, it was my second time to read it and I loved it this time, instead of just liking it.  It's one of those books that casts a spell over the reader in the very best way. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Here's my tattoo.  I got it back in July, which is beginning to feel like a life time ago.  I love it.  It says "live freed" if you can't read it.  There is so much meaning that it holds for me, with so many verses that it brings to mind.  Matthew 6:25-27 & 12:28-30, John 14:27 & 15:9-17, 2 Corinthians 3:17, Galatians (yes, the whole thing), Ephesians 4:31-32, Philippians 4:6-8, Psalm 84:1-4,and more, but the verse that seems to sum it all up the best is this one:

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death."
-Romans 8:1-2

Friday, November 2, 2012

One of the most beautiful things I've heard in a long time.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What hights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled and strivings cease
My comforter, my all-in-all
Here in the love of Christ I stand

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave he rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost it's grip on me
For I am his and He is mine
Bought by the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus comands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

Friday, October 26, 2012

 "The truth is, we all ache.  We all have growing pains and wonder if we are okay and enough loved.  The thing is- we are.  Really.  Without the silver shoes and the leopard print sheets.  We are enough without all the things we buy to make us more than we are or need to be.  We are simple and complex and rare as is."   -Sabrina Ward Harrison

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


We have snow.  I think it's winter here for good.

I want to live a lovely life, a selfless life; want to bless and give and give and bless.  And to be a sacrifice, an offering, something broken and made beautiful by God, while in the bloody middle of the suffering.  I want to live beyond myself, I want to break and see the beauty.  I want to cry and not be ashamed, I want to love and not deny it, even if that love is never returned or was never meant to be.   Maybe that’s why.  Maybe that’s why I’ve never been loved back.  Because isn’t that what He feels?  Maybe that’s the piece of God’s heart that I get to share.  At least for now. 
Yes, I know what it is to love and not be loved back. 
But I'm just now realizing that maybe it’s not something to be ashamed of.  Maybe it’s a bit of a treasure.  A bit of a sight into what God’s heart feels, only on a much larger scale. 
Is there any end to what can be learned in pain?  I find that suffering is like the ocean.  There are small breaths between the waves, but they never stop and when they hit it’s harder than you remembered them being before. 
It's so much.  So, so much.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"To be alive at all is to have scars"  -John Steinbeck

"Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how you have always loved to swim." -Tyler Knott Gregson

"There are far better things ahead that any we leave behind." -C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What do you know, I got an award! The same one twice actually, so I have two sets of questions to answer.  But first I have to tell eleven things about myself, so we'll see how this goes...

1. I have very long brown hair and eyes that change.  Sometimes they are blue, sometimes green, sometimes grey.

2. I am terrible at trusting, letter correspondence, public speaking, giving up, and thinking of things to say about myself.

3.  My room is a mess.

4. I desperately want my own garden.

5. I can't stop listening to Ghosts That We Knew by Mumford and Sons

6. My favorite art supplies are: black ink, graphite, acrylics, masking tape, gold glitter, mod podge, and brown paper.

7. This quote
8. I have filled almost 19 journals.

9. I've never been loved back.

10. Buying new music, eating a scone, going for a long walk, drinking hot chocolate, reading an old favorite, drawing, re-arranging my books, knitting mindlessly, tending plants, getting mail, visiting antique shops, and watching the stars are all things that help me step a little lighter.

11.  This tag has taken me a bit over two weeks to complete I think.

Here are Jo's questions...

1. Do you have a passion or a dream?  
Yes, I think I do, but I'm not brave enough to say.  Except that my passion is life.  All life.  Unborn life to barely hanging on life.  All life.

2.What's your favorite place?And why?
I think I'm still looking for a most favorite place, but I have two right now that are close.  They are the Haystack Mountain, where my best friend lives, and wilderness camp where I was the girls counselor at the camp I worked at this summer. 

3.Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
I talk like I'm an optimist, and in truth I really do try to be, however I don't always succeed at this in my head or in print.

4.What music do you listen to? 
Currently it's Mumford and Sons all the way, and I'm shocked to say that I think I might actually like Babel better than Sigh no More.  I can't tell yet though, but it does feel a bit like they wrote this right out of my soul...

5.What books do you read? 
Well, I read a lot of different things, but lately it's been a C. S. Lewis and L. M. Montgomery time I think, along with reading a chapter or two of the new John Green book when ever I'm at Barns and Noble.  It's super good but I just can't pay the nearly $20 with a clear conscience

6.What do you like most about yourself?
Probably my hands, if I couldn't use them I would probably go insane, and I really mean that.

7.Which countries have you always wanted to visit?
England, Ireland, Turkey, India, Germany, Italy, France, The Shire, Rohan, Narnia...

8.What are you proud of?
I really don't know.  Hardly anything I guess.  Except, I am rather proud of resisting the normal "this is what you do" things and taking my own path.  For example, not attending college right out of high school and buying the whole "success" delusion.

9. What do you prefer: Town or countryside?

10. What's you favourite fairytale?
I think I'm going to have to say The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye.  It's flawless.  With a spunky, believable, free-spirited princess that runs away to live in the forest.  It's the best.  Every time I read it it's like going home. 

11.Are you happy right know?
Happiness is a bit like the sea side, waves go in and out the tide rises and falls, but I think yes.  Right now I am happy.

And here are Roselie's...
1. Would you like to be a mythological creature and if so which?(mermaid, fairy, dragon)
Oh I like this question! I'd say it's a toss up between a Pegasus and a Phoenix, don't think I can narrow it down more than that, though I'd love to be a Dryad or a Nyad too...
2.What’s in your purse right now
Let's see... phone, keys, journal, bible, hand knit cowl and hat and mitts, camera, old RealD glasses (probably back from Hugo... wow), thrifted wallet, and a pen.
3.Which is your favourite Alice in Wonderland character
 Hmm, I'm really not sure.  For now I'm going to say Absalom the smoking caterpillar, I can't really say why, just that I think he's great.
4.Would you like to be forever kid like Peter Pan
No, being a kid is hard, being an adult is hard too, but I like the freedom I have as one.  However if I lived in Neverland like Peter Pan, and could Fly like Peter Pan then yes, I would like that.
5.Next to which natural phenomenon (aurora, lagoon, grand canyon) would you rather live
 The ocean
6.Do you like cooking?
Yes, I do! Few things feel better than turning up the Ameile sound track putting on a apron and making food.  (This of course involves some dancing while gathering ingredients, because how can you not dance to French music?)
7.What is your favorite book?
Oh man that is an impossible question.  I'm going to have to just give a list, and in no particular order either.  The Blue Sword, The Chosen, Rose Daughter, Deerskin, To Kill a Mockingbird, Taliesin, The Blue Castle, Jane Eyre, ah there are so many more! Maybe I should do a post that's just a long, long, list of books that I find amazing.  I hate leaving anything out, it should be noted that I did not include full series, only single books.
8.Would you paint your house an unusual colour like orange or blue (inside or outside)
As far as the outside of my house goes, I really haven't the slightest clue, on the inside I certainly would.  In fact I've been planning for several years to have a wall in my future home that's a dark turquoise.
9.Do you watch series?If yes what kind (drama, fantasy) and give an example
I don't have TV, but my sister and I are in the middle of re-watching all the Harry Potters, does that count?  It's been pretty great, every time a dementor shows up we eat chocolate, cause it helps, it really helps, actually it kind of becomes every time something remotely scary happens we eat chocolate.  Because it's an excuse to eat chocolate.  It's been fun.
10.Do you play a sport?If so, which?
I dance a little, but that's it.  I love to be active though and play sportsy games with friends like volleyball or soccer. 
11.Do you (still) watch anime-cartoons?
No I don't, and actually I never really have.  Just the good ol' Disney classics.

Thank you both so much for the honor of picking me! It was very sweet of you, I don't know who to pass it on to though... so I guess this part ends here.  I'm very sorry.

Love, Clara

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sometimes it's good to just stop.

And look at the clear sky as it darkens during the sunset and remember that you're on earth.  And that the earth is in the universe and that the universe is in God's hands, but mostly it's to remember that God is infinite.  Infinite in beauty.  Infinite in wisdom.  Infinite in love.  Infinite in power.  Infinite in grace. 

And He's got it.

He's got it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just let go.  Trust.  Try to find a rhythm.  Trust.  Don't wonder.  Just move on.  Embrace now.  Let go.  Breathe.  Smile.  Don't be afraid.  Trust.  Hope.  Don't dwell on the past.  Let go.  There is no "might have been."  Only today.  Only right now.  Let the absence of rhythm be the rhythm.  Breathe.  Love.  Give and give till there's nothing left.  Pray.  Let go.  Forgive.  Trust.  Remember it all.  Be thankful for it all.  Cry.  Trust.  Curl up in thick blankets with eyes closed tight.  Let go.  And Grieve for letting go.  This will not be for ever.  Now is still good.  Embrace it.  All of it.  The pain and the peace.  Let go.  Don't carry someone elses' burden.  Don't carry any burden.  Just pray.  Just breathe.  Just let go.  Keep hope.  Don't fear.  Don't wonder.  Just breathe.  Let go.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on.  I hope you never think about anything as much as I think about you."
-Jonathan Safran Foer

Friday, September 21, 2012

"I don't know why I'm here, but I know it's where I'm supposed to be.  I don't know what my ministry is, but I know that God's using me.  I don't know what my realm of influence is, but I know that He's it's ruler.  I don't know what my plans are, but I know my future is secure.  I don't know what my dreams are, but I know that they'll come true.  I don't know where I'll be in five years, but it'll be the right place.  I don't know if I'll ever get married, but I know that nothing can compete with His love.  I don't know what I'm looking for, but I know that I'll find it.  I don't know what I'm doing, but I know it's the right thing.  I don't know where my choices will take me, but I know I'll get where He wants me to be.  I don't know what seeds I've planted, but I know they'll grow.  I don't know where God is leading me, but I know it'll be the best place I can go.  I don't know what's waiting for me, but I know there's no place safer than in His arms."

I wrote this sometime last year, and it all still holds true.  See, I know all these things, but figuring out how to live that way, how to just let go, is so hard.  Even when I think I've done it it's just a few days later and all those burdens are back on my shoulders again and I'm fighting to get them off.  The freedom is a constant battle.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I met with a few friends last night and got rather confused on where we were meeting, ended up driving quite a bit out of my way and having to backtrack a good amount.  Normally this would be a bit frustrating, (waste of gas and all) but I decided to take it as a blessing.  I got to witness the entire sunset.  You know, I don't think I've ever seen a picture that could do it's sunset justice, I've certainly never taken one. 

I like it that way though, you know?  It makes them that much more dear, something that you just have to feast on while it's there and, if you can, hold it in you memory- your heart for the times in-between. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.  Then you will overflow with the confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."
-Romans 15:13

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Baked scones last night.  Wore a dress and knee socks.  Have gotten lost in art-journal-making.  Listening to lots of music, I think I might be finding that old rhythm again.  The air is so chilly outside, I think it's going to be an early winter.  Some how I don't mind. 

Two weeks ago I was up above the arctic circle with two friends for a night.  That's where I took this picture.  The evening we were there we were planning to hike, but we ended up just walking our way up the highway.  I'm glad we did.  It was beautiful, the sun was shining through the clouds, the mountains were all around us, the wind kept saying hello, and the pavement was warm on our backs as we lay in the road. 

I couldn't help but feel alive and free there, but mostly just filled with an insuppressible joy.  It's good to be where I am, even if it's lonely, even when it's hard, it's good.  It's really good.

Monday, September 10, 2012

a new space

I've decided to move on, but I'm leaving you with the link :)  I won't be deleting this blog, so we can visit back whenever we like.  It's a bit of a new start, a fresh season.  So we'll just have to see where this goes.  Here it is, Saltwater Eyes

It's a bit sad, a bit exciting, but definitely time.  Bless you all!  I'll miss this ol' space.

Much love,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Work at the greenhouse is over for the year, all the plants are cut back and wrapped up for the winter.  It's been raining a lot and freezing at night.  I just picked my herbs, lots of sage and chocolate mint, I bought them in the spring because I loved their scent, now I have to figure out what to do with them.  But I'm not worried. 

This blog is going to be different.  I'm not sure how, but we'll see.  My goals have changed so much, along with my perspective and hope, so this just seems right.  This winter is going to be a curious time, a lonely time, a just God and me time.   I have no idea where it will take me, but I'm excited to find out.  It isn't going to be easy though, but the best things rarely are. 

"Let all I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him."  -Psalm 62:5

Sunday, August 26, 2012


 To be perfectly honest, I wasn't planning on coming back.  And I don't know if I really am back or not.  Camp ended three weeks ago today.  It's been hard.  It was, without question, the best time of my life.  I don't think I've ever laughed that hard, ran that much, climbed that high, worshiped that often, felt that loved and uplifted, played that hard, or gotten so at the end of everything that I am and known and wanted God to take over.  It was amazing.
 Filled with so many firsts, conquered so many doubts.  Learned to laugh at myself and just  move on.  First time backpacking (twenty-seven miles, absolutely amazing), first time jumping and then diving off the high dive, first tattoo (!), first time hiking, first time praying a child to Christ (it was all Him, I did absolutely nothing, I was just there), and so many other things.
 Walking everywhere, being in God's glorious creation 24/7, with this constant sense of wonder at the knowledge that I was where he wanted me to be.  Without any doubt.  It was so right, to perfect, so pure, so completely Jesus.
 Able to love and love and love my girls, and when my love ran out I let His love run through me and keep loving.  Even when a twelve year old is throwing a tantrum or an eight year old is trying to turn her bed into a taco. (true stories) Learning to trust Him at the end of the week when they went home, they're His girls, in His hands, and He's taking care of them.  Better then I ever could.
 But it didn't end once they went home, and it's not over now, the prayers for these precious girls will continue as long as they reside in my heart.  So much laughter.  Quite a few tears.  But He is faithful, he's faithful to the end.
 It's really been the best summer.  The best season of my life.  Amazing co-workers, amazing friends. 
 It's so hard to let go, to move on.  I feel like Frodo a bit, at the end of LOTR when he says "how do you pick up the threads of an old life, how do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand, there is no going back."  I'm back from an adventure and I don't know what's next.  There's two more weeks of work at the greenhouse, and then...? 
I don't know if I'll keep posting here. But I'll be perfectly honest, I won't be responding to comments. I appreciate them, that you guys care, and I do feel bad about this, but I just don't have time. I'm sure you understand.  It'll be interesting to see where things go from here, to see where God takes me next.

Love, Clara

"When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.  Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God."
~ Ephesians 3:14-19

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

the journey

Wow, it has been a long time.  Sometimes life just takes over and it's all a girl can do to hang on, you know?  And sometimes everything seems impossible and confusing and frustrating and God just brings it all together perfectly, in ways that a girl could never have put together herself, but it still manages to be exactly what she wanted, she just hadn't believed it to be possible.  And sometimes it goes by so quickly, sometimes it's so exhausting, sometimes it feels like there isn't even time to breathe... that she forgets the journey.
Because that's what it's about, isn't it?   It's about the journey; the steps, the days, the breaths, the thoughts, the fears, the needs, the worries, the triumphs, the joys, the tears, the questions, the pains, the bruises, the excitement, the anticipation, the nerves, the sights.  Everything.

Work is ending in a few days, for a few months at least, and after the longest work week of my life (ten days) it is a most blessed relief.  Then it's the second and final weekend of the dance show, which I'm excited about, it's been a ball to be apart of.  And Sunday night I'm off to camp.  That's right, I'm gonna be counseling at a summer camp for all of June, July, and part of August!  And after that?  We'll just have to wait and see, for now, I'm trying to embrace each day and remain grateful that I know where I'll be for the next two months.  God is good.

Blessings to you all... enjoy the journey,


Thursday, April 12, 2012

a new craft

For Christmas (already over three months ago, wow!) I got a very exciting present.  A drop spindle!  And I got started learning and practicing with it almost immediately, and I must say I've fallen in love.  The whole process is extremely relaxing and the result is, of course, thrilling, because it's yarn.  :D  And you all know my feelings for yarn.
This is my favorite fiber I've spun so far, a alpaca merino blend.  And oh is it delicious!  Plus the color is lovely, and it's soft but strong.  I dragged it everywhere while I was spinning it because I just didn't want to stop.
An up close on it's woolly goodness...
As soon as I'd finished I cast on a little scarf.  I didn't want the magic of it to end.  It's not finished because I didn't have enough yarn, which really is okay, because that means I get to get more fiber and spin more up and then knit it more.  It's a good process.

Love, Clara

Friday, March 16, 2012

I made a sweater, this is not my first one to complete, but it is the first one that I will not rip out. It's from a free pattern at Knitty, one I've been wanting to make for a very long time, it's called Thermal, if you were to look it up. For some reason blogger isn't letting me link to anything right now.

My photo plans didn't work out so well, so I hope you'll forgive the lack of a complete view of the sweater. But in other news I'm back at work! Yesterday was my first day back in the greenhouse for this year and I am thrilled to be there. There's already dirt under my nails (and my hair, and nose, and most likely ears and neck as well) from filling pots and planting a wealth of wonderful growing things. Ah yes, it's good, very good.

Friday, March 2, 2012


(photos by me)

I miss the sea