Monday, July 27, 2009

Doing unheroic things heroically

Not too long ago I watched Valkyrie, a depiction of the amazing true story behind an attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler. See it yourself. It's an incredible piece of history that I previously knew little about, and I am definitely intrigued to find out more. I am especially compelled by the moral conflict that faced the conspirators: is it right to commit one sin (the murder of a tyrant) that many more sins might not be committed? It's a challenging one.

What I only discovered just today, however, is that the pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was also implicated in the plot to assassinate Hitler. It's fired me with a desire to learn more about this great man of God. I've had his Cost of Discipleship in my to-read pile for a while now, but I'd love to read a really good biography about him first. Any recommendations?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The creative wardrobe :: part 1

When I ponder matters of clothing, I tend to swing between two extremes. At one end of the spectrum, I declare that fashion and trends are decidedly superficial, all clothing is going to rot someday, and we are more than what we wear. On the flipside, I decide that, since clothing is a necessary part of all of our lives, it is right and good that I should be creative in what I wear, choosing pieces that are not only feminine, modest, and affordable, but are also expressions of my personality.

At times, my attempts at wearing clothes of character have been hampered by finances (or a lack of them), my awkward sizing, and an absence of personal styling skilz. But in my internet wanderings lately, I've come across some lovely resources which inspire me in all sorts of ways.

The Uniform Project is one very cool concept: "as an exercise in sustainable fashion", Sheena Matheikin is wearing the same black dress (well, one of seven identical black dresses) every day for a year. She redeems the project from boredom by improvising around her classic piece with vintage odds and ends, new items, and recycled fashions, documenting her daily ensembles to raise money for educational needs for children in Indian slums.

While many of the outfits require a lot more courage and a lot more skin than I'm willing to offer (though the outfit in the top picture, particularly, is gorgeous), I think the project is creatively amazing, and brilliant from an ecology/thrifty perspective. I'm definitely inspired!
Stay tuned for more of my creative style-related finds!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

3 exciting things to do with words

Those five weeks of school holidays I mentioned a while back? Vanished, in the mythical puff of smoke. I don't know what happened to them -- or to the half million things I was going to do during them -- but nevertheless, after this weekend it's back to school for me. I wish I could have achieved more during my break, but I'm excited about starting back to work, too. So many delightful things to learn!

I may have completely failed to do any writing work during my holidays, but that doesn't mean exciting word-related things aren't afoot -- because they are!

For starters, my smart, talented, creative, and cute sister Lauren features in the latest issue of the charming publication, Peppermint. As part of a special feature on the world of DIY craft, Lauren shares about our little etsy store, Love JanieLou, and how it all works. Peppermint is a quality publication focussed on looking after the resources we have and being ultra-creative with what we've got, so it's an honour to be a part of it. Excitement! PS. I should have done something about my chipped nailpolish before I took those pictures but... alas.

Yet again, I have fallen in love with my local shire's council. Last night, Lauren and I attended the launch for a new program called Authors in Action. The program, sponsored by the council to encourage the development of local writing and creativity, introduces a series of workshops and author talks available to the public (and usually for free) regularly over the next few months. The concept is a fantastic one and I applaud the council and the local libraries for coordinating such a brilliant project. And I can't wait to learn from all the braininess that'll be on offer.

Last night after Bible study at my church, a bunch of us gathered to discuss the beginnings of a brand new book club. It's all very random and organic but at this stage it looks like we'll be meeting three-weekly to chat through the chapters we've read in the interim, and the book we're starting with is Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper. I'm thrilled because I've wanted to read this book for so long, and I love the accountability and meatiness of getting together with a group of friends to talk over what we're learning. Book clubs YAY!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

All there.

Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.
Jim Elliot
[I haven't forgotten how to blog -- I think. Will write more soon!]

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ten years...

Ten years ago today, a thoughtfully silent, fat little bundle of boy came to live in our family. I remember sitting outside with him, in the grass by the swing set, and thinking something like, "This is it. This is what it's like. He just comes home and he's here." The adoption process had been a long and drawn-out one with some devastating dead ends. But it was only a matter of days from when we found out Tain would be joining our family to when he actually came, no strings attached. It is probably one of the most surreal and one of the happiest experiences of my life.

Since that day a decade ago, the laughter quotient around our home has increased by massive amounts. I don't know what we laughed at before Tain came along. Even his less, uh, angelic moments provide fodder for amusement -- albeit usually after the adventure has been processed (remind me to tell you sometime about the fire he lit in our under-stairs cupboard). It's terribly cliche, but I really mean it: our lives have not been the same since he joined our family.

So, Tain, here's to you.

Here's to your laughter, your cheekiness, your creativity, your handwritten notes, your thievery of every official-looking piece of paper in the place, your raucous singing, your immaculately-curved eyebrows, your passionate love of books, your inspired and entirely imaginary political campaigns, your violent hugs, and your sparkling blue eyes.

You are my favourite middle-sized person in the whole wide world.
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