Thursday, May 27, 2010

Prison Ministry

We have had some conversations about where the "least of these" are among us, and a prison might be a good place to look. Project TURN is a program started by a simplicity/new monasticism group (friends with shane clayborne) that is working to connect people spiritually through journaling. It is a class held at the Raleigh Correctional Center for Women, where people in and outside the prison are doing the same "assignments" together and sharing life.
I really wish I had heard about the program before and known it was open to everyone. (The website talks about it being a Duke Divinity Class). There is a breakfast June 9 at Blacknall Presbyterian Church from 7:30-8:30 if anyone is interested in learning more.
Here is a link to Project TURN's website.
I would also be more than happy to go if anyone wants to accompany me (and the babies!)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Local Strawberry Picking

Shelly and I picked strawberries with the kids today. Went to a cool place that had local ice cream as well:
The kids loved it! The plan was to freeze a lot of berries for later months, but the way we're eating them, who knows if that will happen! Also, found a good website for locating "Pick Your Own": --Peace, Tracy

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It Worked!

Simplicity for us today: Zendi enjoying our first loaf of homemade (bread machine) whole wheat bread. My mom had a bread machine under her counter that she said I can borrow for at least a year! We didn't have a book, so I was unsure if my on-line recipe I found would work, but it did! Good thing because I promised Zendi we'd have a tea party with the bread when it was done.


Simple Speech (posted by Shelly)

Simple speech isn't always the first thing that comes to mind when we're thinking of ways to live out our simplicity, but I think it's a good one, and one that I constantly have to work on. Jesus' instructs us to use simple speech in Matt 5:37 - "Let your word be 'Yes, Yes' or 'No, No'; anything more than this comes from the evil one." I guess to me this means:
- MINIMIZE WORDS - say what i mean (being loving and attempting to minimize harm, of course). be direct and to the point. don't waste words. for all who know me, i know i know, to say i'm working on this may sound laughable - i def still tend to talk too much! ok, i'm a work in progress! :o)
- BE AUTHENTIC - say nice things only when I really mean them. sometimes it's all too easy to shower others with praise, not even realizng that my unconscious motive may be to gain their friendship, approval, or love. if i can't think of anything "real" to say, it's good to remember that silence is very okay.
- LET GOD BE YOUR JUSTIFYER - it's interesting to realize how much extra energy we use with explanations to justify ourselves to others, subtlely mentioning things that i did that day that make me sound like a good mom, or a good Christian, or a good member of society. for example, if i decide not to attend a class playdate at jumpzone, I may be tempted to offer explanation of my thought process or other excuses to validate my decision among other moms. i may even be tempted to make sure that ALL of the other moms have the chance to hear my list of excuses. the real question is why do i even NEED these other people to understand my decisions or actions. sometimes it's productive and builds up the kingdom for me to be understood, but often, i just want to avoid being misunderstood so that i'll feel liked and enjoy the approval of others. ultimately, God's approval is all I should need. :o)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

one line simplicity posts?

i know many of you are doing experiments daily so i thought maybe we could share one line simplicity posts just saying what simplicity is looking like in our lives!
for example,
Simplicity was accidentally not going to the grocery store this weekend and now trying to make it through the week eating what we have in the house!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

just the beginning!

The wake of today left many many thoughts running around my brain. The hamster wheel is a little squeaky so i'm letting them out here so i can get some rest :)

1. Thanks for the discussion today! Matthew and I were so excited by our conversation and ideas for the future. We loved all the different opinions and ideas and loved the process of sharing and brainstorming together. Thanks so much for your participation in that.

2. We talked about a place to share free things (the free sale aside) so this is something to check out. You email this address and request to be added to the listserve. Then you will get updates on items people no longer want and can also post yours. You can choose to have the notifications individually sent to your inbox, or have them grouped together once a day in a larger newsletter type style. Happy trading!

X. I'm trying to figure out how we could do something similar on this blog, to do sharing type stuff or trade/give away. We could do meal swaps there possibly as well if we wanted... so if you know how to get something like that up, let me know (or just do it :) or if you see something funny on the blog but it doesn't work... it's just an experiment! Thanks for your patience, participation, excitement!

Y. Another idea that Kim and I talked about today, speaking about trading and sharing was how there were some great emails this week about sharing plants/produce from our gardens. We wondered if we could dedicate a table in the "fellowship" area to bring items like that and just leave with a little donation jar that we could donate to an organization like plant a row, etc. That way people other than the ones gardening could get in on the produce action and it's just something fun to share, trade, talk about, do! If a few more people like the idea, we can put it in the church newsletter and go from there :)

Z. Here's a little inspiration for getting rid of stuff... this kid in my class came up to me this week and shoved a well loved little doggie in my hands saying it was for Abby because she likes dogs. It was humbling to see her choose to give something like that away just because someone else (she doesn't even know) might like it too.