Tag Archives: faith

Circle of Gratitude

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We have been so blessed on this journey, I wanted to record some of the specifics in a meaningful way.  It has been the little things, the “coincidences,” the prayers, the perfect gifts, the comments that have been the overwhelming signs of a gracious maker and provider.  It seems this is the moment he has been building my faith, family and friends for.

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.  Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

When I saw this gratitude wreath from one of my paper stores, I knew this was how I wanted to display my blessings accrued over the last three months. Each leaf is small but together they create a beautiful story.  I am thankful I am not in this alone. Continue reading

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foundation for a legacy

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This past week we celebrated at the annual SpringHill Christmas party.  It is always such a treat to gather all Michigan, Indiana and Daycamp staff and volunteers together and fellowship, something that doesn’t occur often as we are usually the ones serving from several location.  I love this group of people, for the shared vision and commitment to Jesus and kids.

This year our party coordinator/detail extraordinaire Dina, included us on the fun!  All the centerpieces were made by staff/volunteers and were part of a game.  Guess that Christmas Carol…  Mine I  bet will be obvious to you.  I was so excited to put my ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ votives together I was literally the first one to decorate my table, and one of the first ones to the party.   I tried to leave my hands open as to who would join us at our table and prayed that Jesus would bring the right people to the spots.  Well you can imagine my disappointment when after 35+ minutes of mingling not a single person sat at our table!

 

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A little crushed and dinner almost ready to begin, two couples discreetly entered in.  Chuck and his wife, one of our creative duo at Site and Enoch and Joan, our Camp founders.  My fears aside, He brought just the right people, I am so thankful.  Even though we were the closest to the buffet line we were the last table called.  I didn’t mind,  I was in awe of the conversation taking place with Chuck and Enoch talking shop about the dining hall renovation.  Of all the conversations I hear around camp about kids, numbers, revenues… these two were talking about details of the building, specifically floor tiles.

Enoch recounted the 8000 tiles he personally laid in the original dining hall and still exist today in the space.  Talk about laying a foundation for a legacy!  I love that such a dynamic and personal leader was willing to get on his hands and knees to serve a place that reaches so many.  What a great example of humility to all who aim to serve.  Being willing to do even the most redundant lowly projects, that get walked on every day, not for recognition because it’s what needs to be done!   Not delegating just doing.  Something both of these men know a lot about.

I don’t think I could have hand-picked two better couples to sit with.  What a delightful evening it turned out to be, plus the girls crushed at family feud!   To pass on the fun, can you pick out some of the carols?

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“And there, in the stable, amongst the chickens and the  donkeys and the cows, in the quiet of the night,  God gave the world his wonderful gift.  The baby that would change the world was born.  His baby son… And they gazed in wonder at God’s Great Gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.  Mary and Joseph named him Jesus, “Emmanuel” – which means “God has come to live with us.”   – Jesus Storybook Bible


the silent stars go by…

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My obsession with the Christmas hymn “O little town of Bethelhem” continues

This year I made some votives in varying sizes for an art fair in Midland.  After creating my ancient city & star roller stamps, I  hand-built these guys.  I glazed some all-blue, all-white, and just a few mixed.  After adding a few battery powered candles they flew off the table at the fair,  I have just a few left in the shop.   I am currently making a few more and a few special ones for a Christmas centerpiece. I also made an 18 inch platter, which sold before I even got a picture!  It is always so humbling to make something and sell it, these especially because I feel so connected to the inspiration behind it.

I just LOVE how these turned out!

mixed bethelhem kate husttall votives kate hust


massai & magic

It has been a GORGEOUS fall here in Northern Michigan, so we have been taking to the tree house in our back yard for reading time.  Fitting as I was reading a “Magic Tree House” book with my kids the other day, I started reading out loud chapter books with them when they were very young.  As we read about the bees, lions and masai warriors my kids were fighting to see the pictures first, so I turned one of the five pictures in the book and then I thought to myself, wait a minute…  I’ll show you a picture of a massai warrior!  I ran inside and grabbed my photo album and leafed through our safari pages and there is my beautiful first born daughter held by two massai tribesmen.  What a neat thing to be able to  1. read to your child,  2. let them get wrapped up in the story line, and 3. personally identify with it….  I turned to S,  “you have  been to this exact place” this book is talking about.  It didn’t take magic, just a little following Jesus.

Don’t forget where you have been friends, it grounds you for where you are going in the future.  Falling in love with reading, adventure and mommy time is great but it is nothing compared to trusting and obeying Jesus and the plan he has for you.


winter/spring book list

These are the books that have been accumulating on the little woven chair next to my bed.   At certain times they are scattered about the house, lost for a time, until peeked interest goes looking for it again.  I have been rotating chapters over the last few months, unaware of the growing pile.  Each has its own little place and time for this infrequent and “the atmosphere has to be just right” reader.

Mercy, love, thankfulness, gratitude, redemption, fullness, shaping, forgiving, transforming – If I could just finish them I would be a better person.

There is one more book that I should have added to the stack. It is not one that can be checked off the list but is the foundation of the pile.  Yet,  it too was misplaced this week, lost under a pile of papers, but unlike the others it did not yield an organic search but a rather frantic one.  It was very apparent to me without MY bible I felt very lost.  Somehow this worn book with creased pages, coffee stains and underlined portions feels like a passport to my soul – my ticket to travel/ move.  It is quoted in every one of those books pictured above, they aim to explain and grasp it’s principles and promises.  To the one seeking it will never disappoint, to the skeptic it is not revealed.

I’ve been happily reunited with MY book,  if I read it daily for as long as I live I know it will transform my heart, mind, marriage, children, attitude, everything I hold dear.


a few more feathers


I am still in awe of the weather – am I old if I talk about that?  Last week we went on our last ski day with the girls and they were going down black diamonds – seriously at 5 and 7 years old!  This week has been steady 75- 80 degrees everyday – seriously Northern Michigan in March!  I expect a few rogue days here and there in spring but this is just too wonderful!  We don’t have any official spring break plans and I am really not regretting it at this point.

So all that to say,  I have continued to play outside more and “make” less.  There’s just no way I can focus in my basement studio when all my spring bulbs are emerging and the kids are running around the yard and begging to go on bike rides.  There is just this beautiful peace about enjoying what’s around you and taking it all in.  I really was not expecting for such a dramatic change in my schedule this year, I find myself pacing and waiting for that comfortable “routine” to emerge one of these days. I have been in two studies this spring, the book of Acts and James.  I am feeling bathed in the word and my mind is almost saturated to the fullness, which is slightly glorious and overwhelming all at the same time.  It still seems too intense to completely process and share, I have to soak in it a bit more to grasp all that the spirit is leading.


exposure of earthen vessels

Watching how fascinating this “earthen vessel” rotates in the light makes me wonder what the almighty sees and views as his creation turns.  Do we leave a pure mark or are we changed from exposure?

Making of a Blueware Vase from Glithero on Vimeo.

Blueware collection is a series of ceramic pieces by designers at Studio Glithero. Inspired by a long tradition of blue-and-white pottery (Dutch Delftware, Chinese porcelain, British Jasperware), the London-based studio applied a more modern technique: they used cyanotyping, a proto-photographic process, to capture images on ceramic tiles and vases.

 


provisions in the waiting

 
 

Ever sick of waiting?  Wondering what else can possible go wrong?  We have been looking for a second vehicle, after 9 years of sharing one car – it’s time.  After months of looking through used cars we decided that it made most sense for us to sell the car we currently owned for a larger family car plus buy that second car.  Uggh what’s worse than going car shopping – looking for 2 cars!  Luckily after narrowing the search for 5 months… we found something modest for my husbands short commute just before our car sold. Back to one car.   A few weeks later we FINALLY found the second car but have been waiting a few weeks for the title  before it can officially be ours… waiting.

Meanwhile our 15-year-old washing machine broke.  Being fixers we tracked down some you-tube videos, to see what the problem was.  We ordered the $4 part, plus $8 shipping. And you know what – it just didn’t work.  Is it worth it at this point to pay for a repair man?  Lured by holiday adds, we are diving into a new machine, which is currently sold out but they will be able to deliver after Thanksgiving – waiting.  Here’s a photo from the local laundry mat, $10 a week to wash clothes, drying is even more expensive but I just take them home, my dryer works fine.  Feeling empathetic for those that do this every week – how we take this for granted.

Last night, my husband was driving down to the city to get a early start on a trip to a meeting in Ohio.  His work car began having mechanical problems.  I called 5 car rental places in the area he was for him, they were all sold out.  God provided another way.  He went to go fill the borrowed car up with gas and his work card was declined because his number had been compromised, by someone across the country?  He is supposed to be home later today – Lord willing.

As I reflect on the timing of all this, I am filled with a slight sense of humor and unforeseen gratitude.  God provides for us even in the time of waiting.  Our expectations not being met do not equal a lack of provision!   Let us not be disappointed in the simple trials, He is so good and worth the wait!

 

Lamentations 3:24-26
 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;  therefore I will wait for him.” 
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 
 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

roar


I have been reading out loud to my girls the Judy Moody series.  Judy is a moody little girl and I think my kiddos are starting to see the humor in her swings, in which she famously voices her displeasure by announcing “roar”.

It has been busy the last few weeks making extra pottery for the holiday shopping season.  This week I opened a glaze load which for most potters charges the “mood” of a child excited on Christmas morning.  After initially getting excited my mood turned sour when I recognized that the glaze flowed down the pieces onto the shelves making a “roar” of a mess.   This happens from time to time for various reasons, in college some blamed “kiln gods,” others blamed bad chemistry, but it is simply the mystery of the trade – pottery can be a craft of luck.  A lot of the pieces turned out just fine, some I will need to clean the bottoms of, but more than I like will be thrown out.  Nevertheless EVERY shelf was left with glaze pieces that need to be scraped off, which is like 100x worse than any spillage you’ve ever had in your oven… totaling hours of work.  Not exactly how I wanted to be spending my few moments in the studio – “roar”.

I humbly share these photos,  instead of beautiful finished pieces today because this was a good lesson learned for me.  Needing a little break and encouragement I turned to my lesson in Acts for a little reprieve.  Leave it to the Lord to teach me a few things about moods.  Paul and Barnabas had been teaching in Lystra and preformed a miracle, which sends the crowd in the wrong direction. The people begin worshiping the men as the gods of Zeus and Hermes,  Paul rebukes them and pleads his mortality stating “we are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.”  They were in danger of stealing God’s spotlight for the miracle,  setting the record straight that only God is the creator and ALL-mighty.  I love that our lesson linked this Acts passage with Romans 1:25,  “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the creator – who is forever praised. Amen.

Ugh – how important is it for my heart to hear that going into this Christmas season.  My desire to make things is in danger of diverting my attention from remembering God’s most precious gift that he gave us.  My gloomy “roar” must sound like a bitty kitty compared to the lion’s “ROAR.”   We are called to preach the good news that Christ has come, just as Paul and Barnabas had to the early church. Their road was laden with hardships but also glimpses of glory.   I can just hear the “ROAR about your little bitty pots Kate,  I am your creator who breathed life into you!  You make things that can be destroyed, but I made you a vessel that can bring me praise!”  I know that this all seems a bit dramatic, but isn’t this necessary sometimes to realign us in our place and focus our attention on the everlasting. I am very thankful to be able to have this gift of making things especially the ones that bring my attention full circle.  There is only one perfect gift!


the rising cost of food…

12 jars of homemade apple sauce all lined up.  I made these with some friends this week who cranked out dozens of jars,  I could only help out on the tail end due to the story below.  These jars of sweet pink-hued sauce came with a tough price for me…

Two weeks ago I went apple picking, last week I went back for a few more.  On this second trip I walked through a picker bush, that filled my clothes full of burrs.  They left these almost translucent pickers on my skin and one of those ended up in my eye.  I flushed my eye many times and did everything I could do to get it out.  I thought it would come out on its own but after 5 days, intermittent pain and sleepless nights, I resorted to a trip to the eye doctor.  After more than 30 minutes he found the culprit thorn lodged on the inside of my upper eyelid.  It was scratching my eye and causing me a great deal of pain.  I had no idea something so small could be such a huge irritant. I can’t explain the feeling of gratitude I felt toward my doctor who was so gentle in removing the thorn.

I had almost forgotten in that short amount of time what a normal eye had felt like.  How could something almost invisible to ‘naked eye’ cause such pain?  I could help but think about  Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  After this whole ordeal I shiver at the idea of a speck, not to mention a plank.  I am thankful that God is so full of grace and gentle in removing those irritants.  I remember saying to my doctor as he slowly drew near my face with a pair of blunt tweezers. ” I know you need to do this but I really don’t want you to…”  In the end my fear of how steady his hand was, gave way to my fear of facing the future in this condition, and the health of my eye.  I guess I’ll just put the question out there, is there something in your life that is obstructing your vision?  That is painful to think about removing but is absolutely necessary in order to restore sight and return to a peaceful normal state? Perhaps its time to schedule an appointment with the great physician, so the healing can begin.