Saturday, March 21, 2009

houseguests, galore!

It's true; we love to have people in our home. And not just the occasional dinner. Yes, we're a bit obsessed. In fact, for the past two weeks we've had 5 different people stay over night (Matthew - 3 nights, Jay - 2 nights, Clifton - 1 night, Amy & Tracy - 4 nights) plus several dinners mixed in there (chicken enchiladas, black bean curry), and 9 college kids sitting in our living room floor asking us about our lives here in Memphis. There's been lots of dance-partying, dish-washing, laughing, coffee-making, special K bar-eating, and onion-growing (more to come on that.)

And we (Jeff and I) crash in bed every night and say, "How did we get this good life?" These folks are gifts from God. There's so much beauty breezing in and out of our doorway, that I can hardly keep up. What we learn from others, what we get to share with them-- Ahhhhhhhhhh!!! that was a scream of delight.


So the Pates/Forlines/Kizzee/Walkley Neighborhood Garden is officially underway. She's been tilled, and the indoor seeds have been planted now for 2 weeks (onions, mini-bell peppers, and tomatoes.) They've all sprouted, particularly the onions (which are at my house). They're growing so quickly... I'm so proud. :) It's a lot of work from the seed up... watering them once or twice a day, keeping them fairly warm, putting in the sun for a few hours a day, making sure they're draining, keeping them under a lamp for warmth, etc. Phew! But when those little guys began to peek through the soil... man, oh, man I was one happy mama! Maybe I'm just going to raise vegetables instead of children for the rest of my life? :)

The potatoes go in the ground either this weekend or next weekend, which I'm COMPLETELY PUMPED about. I love potatoes. My grandma used to call me a potato head, and it's totally true. I think I could have them for every meal!

More to come on the garden... and the house parties.

If you're in town, we're playing music (Matthew Clark, Jeff, and me) at Christ Methodist (4488 Poplar Ave., 38117) tonight, 7pm! Fun times lie ahead...

Grace and peace, Family..

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daffodils... the bravest of flowers. At least 2 weeks ago, we noticed a little patch of daffodils growing next to our broken sidewalk. They're not strategically placed or growing in a neat sort of way, they are just there - bold and beautiful in all their splendor of yellow and green!

Then it snowed, 3 inches in our front yard, we are sure. Winter snuck up on us again, despite our glowing smiles as we saw Spring approaching with all the 60 and 70 degree days we'd been having. Then the snow, which might I add, actually stuck around for a few days!

But as the snow melted away and the ground underneath made its reappearance, we stepped out onto our porch only to notice our yellow and green, proudly welcoming the warmer days to follow. They made it; they survived! Our daffodils - so strong and brave. And they're everywhere, all over Memphis it seems! I don't know much about daffodils. Do they grow wild? Did some seed happen to fall there at one time? I seem to find them in odd places all over the city.

At our house, as I said in earlier in the post, they are next to our broken sidewalk, which says something meaningful to me. They're adding such beauty to what seems kind of sad and in need of repairs, not unlike Jesus; not unlike how we are to be living as followers of his Way.

Daffodils... making beautiful what is broken. I feel today like we should be like these daffodils. Coming out and braving the world, even when it seems to be against us. Risking life for the cold. Choosing to bloom where it's planted (or wherever it happens to fall), favoring the broken and forgotten places where people need to see beauty the most.

Christ in us is at work. Let's make beautiful what is broken.