Dream within a Dream


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A Dream Within a Dream
BY EDGAR ALLAN POE
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

This is my piece for a group Art Show inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. The elements used are encaustic medium (wax + resin), oil pastel, paper, encaustic paint, photograph, plastic and spray paint. I have been doing a lot of experimentation in encaustic and I am thrilled in the process which is a very visceral and deliberate yet suprising ,still, process because of how the elements change on their own and you can expect varied outcomes from the same application. I hope to explore it more. Join Kenny and I, we will both have pieces on the show, for the Edgar Allan Poe art show: https://www.facebook.com/events/1132736970088374/

Created to Create

We are created to create. In the beginning God made all things, and he created Man from the dust from the ground. We are the image-bearers of a Creator God thus we bear his image in creating in our own limited capacities.

In my mind it is an obvious extension.

Somehow, though, the creation of art has caused a lot of confusion over the years in Christian circles:

What is the place of art in the Christian life? Is art- especially the fine arts- simply a way to bring worldliness in through the back door? What about sculpture or drama, music or painting? Do these have any place in the Christian life? Shouldn’t a Christian focus his gaze steadily on “religious things” alone and forget about art and culture?…

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Plans and Priorities 2015

I’m slowly getting back into blogging this year after a whirlwind of a holiday season and one post last week and one this week kicks it off. I have been a bit busy organizing the new Charlotte Mason Living site and IG, and am really excited about all the wonderful Charlotte Mason ladies participating and contributing. Please check it out if you home school. Like I mentioned last week I was going to review my plans and priorities from last year and discuss my progress and then set my plans and priorities for 2015.

Over all, I think it was a really good thing to set plans and priorities last year, I was able to accomplish a lot of what I set just by naming the desire to do it and working toward it slowly. It’s not about checking everything off the list, it is more about the process. We all know resolutions most times can be pointless but if we write down the things we want and think of practical steps to get us there, the elephant doesn’t seem so big. I do like to cross things out, still. No, really, it is nice to check things off the list, I sometimes put things I have already finished on lists at home just so I can cross them out, we all know that accomplished feeling. There is reward in even working toward a goal. Well, we all know that I am a procrastinator at by nature but not wanting to be as I get older my inner self starter is emerging. Thank God, truly, because I think we can only live like uninterested college students for so long.

So, like I mentioned in my last post I have my plans and priorites set into three categories; Faith, Art, and Family.  I post all these here every year for accountability to myself and from others, so please ask me how these things are going and share your priorites as well. The key word for us this year is Resolute. It’s not about resolutions but about the resolve to do what we set out to do.

Here it is:

Faith- The only two things that matter when it comes to my priorities for Faith; Study and Pray, Study and Pray, Study and Pray. Last year I had a long list of priorities when it came to Faith and through listening to those wiser than myself and learning through last year, I know that all things faith really should spring forth from those two things. Here’s a great article on reading the word in 2015: Desiring God.

Family- My role as Wife and Mother is a priority. I am praying that I continue to make my family a priority above other trivial things, social media, etc. I am learning everyday a little bit more about how to maintain a household and care for a family. It is not easy, and even though sometimes there is an illusion of easy or perfection, the truth is that it is the hardest job I have ever had. My number one plan and priority for our Family is that we learn to show Grace and Love like Christ does to us.

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Homeschooling is of course a part of our family life and as I pointed out we are Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. Charlotte Mason says that “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.”. This is true for anyone not just CM families. We teach and learn and live each and every day.  As part of my plans and priorities I am going to flush that statement out more this year and try to create an atmosphere that breeds good habits, learning well and broadly, and encompasses our family values and faith. Homeschooling for us is not “doing school” at home. It is life. We do Liturgy every morning, We read aloud, We learn about artists and poets and nature. It is a generous education and I am learning so much as we progress too. We really just enjoy the time spent together and it has been a lovely experience for us. I hope to help all these to thrive even more in 2015.

Edited to add Health is very important this year for our family and will pursue it with family, I hope to write more about that later.

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Art- This of course is last on my list of priorities but it is not unimportant to our lives. While we continue to work on exciting things for bensonbenson co. and for ourselves, I hope to not let that creative part of me shrivel up. I feel like doing art is like learning a language, it’s a “use it or lose it” sort of thing, in a way, but it is also like “riding a bike”, I guess if I have to use all the cliches. What I mean is that though some things are forgotten, some always remain, I am learning to keep myself focused on art in a way that motivates me to create. I am working on a book cover and some other small projects right now and it has been really great putting to good use my Art background.IMG_1510

A pattern I made for the Book Cover project. Im really loving it.

Pray for me as we start the year, 2014 was a tough year for us and with the grace of God we kicked it’s butt, I pray the same and more for 2015. What are your Plans and Priorities for the year? Share them here and I will definitely ask you about them when I see you.

 

 

 

 

2014, you’re gone now.

I am very blessed to have an avenue to convey some of my thoughts and feelings through writing with a prayer and a hope that it is used as a gospel lens for myself and anyone that may want to join in. 2014 was a really hard year yet we were abundantly blessed by God despite all the seemingly bad, hardness. He just showed us his sweetness in so many unexpected ways, we can’t help but be thankful and give him all the credit.

I was able to start working more on art and projects and I am so happy to say we have some exciting art things happening in 2015 with Benson Benson. We have a new site up with recent work here: bensonbensonco.squarespace.com

Thank you anyone who reads these words, I am blessed by you. I will continue to write for myself in 2015 and invite anyone interested to read, comment, pray for me, etc. For obvious reasons last year was a bit of a serious year and if you know me in person, It’s not all work, I love to play. I promise to inject some lightheartedness (like the unrelated image above of my recent thrift haul) back into the blog and talk a lot more about art.

Here are your favorite posts from this blog in 2014:

This is a Post about Depression

From All Tribes and People and Languages

Be Wary of the Flag You Fly

Sorrowful, Yet Always Rejoicing

You may also know that we homeschool and particularly in the Charlotte Mason persuasion. You may also know about my @charlottemasonliving account on Instagram but one cool recent thing is that we now have a site and will be posting Charlotte Mason inspiration in blog form as well by myself and several lovely ladies: Charlotte Mason Living. I am very excited about connecting with Mom’s that educate at home. It has been such a beautiful and centering experience for not just Emma but for myself as well. I am pretty excited for the rest of our home schooling year and for next school year. I can see how God is using our experience to prune Emma and I. I am so thankful that this way of doing education is so in line with how God is revealing that we should lead our own family.

If we have to pick one word for this year for our family to embrace, it would be Resolute. Not only will we make plans and resolve to do them, we will pray that we can be resolute in accomplishing them. We are procrastinators or we can be, we just don’t want to be, so we’re praying for perseverance.

I will talk more about being Resolute in a future post, I am usually far from that but as we grow as a family there are things I want to do, learn, be and I am praying for guidance and perseverance for those things. For me, the subtitle of this blog pretty much sums up the overarching themes for me for 2015; Faith, Art, and Family. I’m excited to outline all of those in my 2015 plans and priorities and to review 2014’s plans and priorities, see what i hit and what I missed.

Either way, I think 2015 will be a happy year, I am trusting God to provide where we have need and that we will cling to him for the ability to do the things he has tasked and gifted us to do.