Sunday, September 17, 2017

creative catalysts

Erika Hayasaki has written a fascinating article entitled in The Atlantic entitled "How Motherhood Affects Creativity".  It refers to a mother as "bolder than before... more direct and lethal... she does not have time to waste.... she is more efficient, making fewer errors... she finds new and unusual ways to get tasks done- problem-solving approaches she had not considered before giving birth."

And this is in reference to a mother rat.  (Read the article)

Honestly, the notion that creativity would decrease with motherhood had never crossed my mind- of course my children have made me more creative- but then I remember the sleepless nights and the exhaustion and maybe I can see it- culture would measure creative contributions in gainful artistic employment which would decrease with staying at home with littles I suppose.

But what a world of creativity a house full of children brings!  I can't imagine anything else enhancing creative energy more. We are indeed more efficient and we find unusual ways to get tasks done- we are mothers after all, the most creative sector of society if you ask me.

We carry and deliver new life.  We nurture tiny humans to become grown up humans, intelligent and kind.  THAT takes ingenuity.  We do all the things help our people learn and grow in as beautiful an environment as we can create as we ourselves are learning and growing and how could we NOT be creative?  With all we have on our plates, we simply could not stay afloat without creative effort.

And most of all, as mothers, we cherish our children- down to the smallest freckle, the funniest little idiosyncrasy.  Our minds eyes are sharpened and our hearts more aware of beauty because of our motherhood.

So yeah, we are bolder than before.

We have creative catalysts like no other.  We are mothers.

Friday, September 1, 2017

August 2017: the gifts

another school year begins!
missed the solar eclipse - a little under the weather

took full advantage of this summer

all from my mom's garden

two great girls who love life and each other 

family movie night - "please wear your pj's and bring one blanket, 7:15ish"

lots of fun with light and photography

and we welcomed my brand newest nephew, Samuel Owen Dent, into the world yesterday!
my little brother meeting his newest baby boy

my mom holding her 9th grandson, 10th grandchild - AG is still the only girl among all the Dent cousins

All the gifts in August - so grateful.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

two claps

"It is not so much a matter of traveling as of getting away; which of us has not some pain to dull or some yoke to cast off?"  George Sand 

When Asher is really happy- like really really happy- he claps twice quickly.  It's a two clap kind of happy.  And that's the beach for us Chaneys- two claps.  Hours and hours saunter by and we love every one of them - our evening after glow to prove it.

The kids have plenty of distraction-free time to play in the waves and I have plenty of time to sit back and think about them and be thankful for Asher's golden year of childhood and Zeke's growing brain and kind heart and Anna Grace, my woman-child growing every day in what grace means and who she is and how much she's loved. 

Like I said, Two. Claps. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

to my listening ears

"This is my Father's world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres...

This is my Father's world,
He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere."

Malthie Babcock

What was Babcock's 'music of the spheres?' It was an ancient observation that the mathematical harmony and proportions of the universe- the dance of the celestial bodies like the planets, moon and sun- is so orderly and beautiful that it is like a song, each natural law an instrument in a symphony of creation all playing to the glory of God. 

And for my friends for whom the beginning of August has been and will always be difficult because it's a reminder of loss and what's been broken, here is the beauty that comforts:

"This is my Father's world:
Oh let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world,
The battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav'n be one."

Monday, July 31, 2017

don't give up the ship

When life's storms come in wave after wave after wave of loss and stress, family life can kind of seem like navigating open water with an unlikely crew working together to keep going, despite having gotten knocked around and beaten up.  You've even lost a few captains, so who takes command of the ship?  What's a crew member to do?  Do you go port or starboard, bow or stern or maybe you should just abandon ship?  Those clouds look pretty ominous over there, after all.

Really, those are your choices when it gets hard:  adjust or abandon ship.

We recently went to see Christopher Nolan's masterpiece of a movie, Dunkirk which chronicles the miraculous rescue of hundreds of thousands of British troops during the eponymous WWII battle.    Owen Strachan's review on The Center for Public Theology's blog aptly notes, "Perhaps Nolan, in studying men afresh, gave us this fleeting shot to remind us of our task.  All around us, young men flail and struggle... But they are not alone.  We must stand fast; we dare not leave the wall.  Our battles are within and without, from outside our homes, but also inside them."

Of course, I don't mean to be dramatic or insinuate that our struggles equal that of the British soldiers on the shores of Dunkirk, France in 1940.  But life in family and community in 2017 still has its struggles and we must press on, waging war on the unseen forces that try to rip apart the grace laden glue that holds us together, that keeps our ship afloat.

We must not give up the ship, but keep our eyes fixed on the Lighthouse that guides us home and stay the course... together.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

No Waste

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."
―John Lubbock, The Use Of Life