Category: Art and Soul (page 1 of 2)

“She Pondered Them in Her Heart”: A Year in Reflection

Recently in our young adult Bible study, Dustin read about Jesus’ birth in Luke 2. In this account, there were shepherds who heard about Jesus from angels and went to see Him. Verses 18 and 19 say, “And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.” There was great hoopla!

And yet, “…Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Google defines the word “ponder” this way – “think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.” It also provides synonyms, which include contemplate, consider, review…and overthink. Mary really was just one of the girls, wasn’t she? Isn’t that so like us normal moms? Some major stuff is going on, but we find ourselves over in the corner overthinking.

All joking aside, this struck me as Dustin was reading. Truth be told, I was pondering, and probably missing the point of wherever the lesson was leading. All I could think about was the past year, and how quiet I’ve been about it all. I tried to write more, but I found myself in wonder most of the time, trying to wrap my head around it all.

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April 2016 Update

Greetings! In the last month, the main focus around here has shifted primarily to preparing for Baby Dummel #2, whose arrival is just around the corner! We’ve made a lot of progress on the house, making it more functional and cozy. Pictures and artwork have been hung, and we created a pegboard wall for the kitchen that I just love. The majority of the credit for the projects goes to Dustin, who is truly selfless and wants to see this momma happy with her nest. My dad lent tools, supplies, and a helpful hand, as well. I’m so thankful and blessed!

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Although I have slowed down making jewelry, for obvious reasons, I was still able to make this custom set. I love, love, love wood burning, and I can’t wait to learn more over time.

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I was also able to get a lot more organized, while fostering creativity, through Bullet Journaling. It has really changed my days for the better, and I have a place to save little treasures like the quote below. I’ll likely write on this in more detail in the future, but for now, check out bulletjournal.com.

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Josiah and I made the best of the warmer days, although they were fewer than we’d have liked. A little piece of wisdom…if your life feels too chaotic, go throw rocks in a river with a kid. Instant calm. Also, invest in “squeaky boots” (rain boots). I plan to buy myself a pair, because they are useful in all seasons.

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We also got to explore the Creation Museum with friends from church. I learned a thing or two, but mostly enjoyed watching Josiah. He loves animals and learning about the Bible. I hope that is something we can continue to foster as he grows.

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Resurrection Sunday is the BEST holiday, if you ask me. It is the celebration of our victory, our hope, our future in Jesus Christ, who rose from the grave! This year, we were blessed with a warm, sunny weekend to celebrate.

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That week, my very talented sister took time out to take some maternity photos for us. She is such an artist. I’m so thankful for her talent and her willingness to do this totally last minute, since I’m not on top of things lately!

Resurrection Sunday 3

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I completely understand why women do maternity photos closer to the beginning of the third trimester. I felt as big as a house and slow as a turtle while she was taking these photos. But I love how they turned out! I can’t get enough. They capture the love of my husband and son, and the joy that is found in growing life! I am blessed beyond measure.

Goals for April 2016

  • REST.

My next monthly update will include newborn baby pictures. Eek! I hope you have a blessed month!

March 2016 Update

February passed by like a flash for us! I know a lot of people struggle through February, and a I can generally relate, but we were so busy that it felt like a blur (by our standards…I know a lot of people are far busier!). The random warm days were so uplifting, and we soaked up as much sun as we could.

I took Josiah to the park to explore, throw rocks in the river, and play on the playground. While at the river, he randomly said, “Mom, you’re the best!” I’m pretty sure playing outside is that boy’s love language. It’s sort of mine, too <3

Josiah and Momma at the Park

Josiah Climbing

It’s nice to have pockets of energy to do fun things with him. Pregnancy has taken more out of me this time around. At the beginning of February, I felt like my iron levels must have been low, because I was even more weak and tired than before. However, I figured out that I wasn’t drinking enough water. Dehydration is no joke! I was already drinking “enough” for an average person, but I apparently need much more. Drinking a gallon of water a day is a lot of work, but my body responds really well when I do. So I have been feeling a lot better. My stomach is still not a fan of pregnancy, but at the seven month point, I’ve come to terms with that.

We also started another semester of our homeschool co-op. This is only my second semester teaching. I’m nervous a lot of the time, but I’m learning a lot. One of the things I’ve discovered is the power of enthusiasm. At least the preschoolers respond well to it. They are happy little campers most of the time, and they still mirror the excitement of their teachers. This semester, I get to teach their art class and assist in an elementary age art class. It’s so good for my soul! I get to share my love for creating and hopefully encourage students to embrace their own creative sides.

Preschool Art

This picture cracks me up! This is an accurate depiction of what it’s like to teach seven little boys, aged 3-5 years old. They are all in the picture, so it’s a win! Here they are modeling their “coats of many colors” 🙂

One of the things I love about homeschooling is that creativity isn’t limited to “periods/bells”. Josiah loves to make art and crafts, so we do that at all hours of the day. Through drawing, painting, cutting, and gluing, his mind is being stretched and grown. His handwriting has dramatically improved since the fall, and his fervor for learning has also increased.

Dustin and I have been having lots of heart to hearts about God and ministry, and we are striving to learn all we can in the hopes of some day being in ministry again. The focus of the last few years has been inward, and that has paid off. Our family has grown together in unity and stability. We feel ready to continue our growth in Christ beyond the walls of our house. If I’m being honest, these are some of the moments when my husband is most attractive to me. There are so many ways we are opposites, but our mutual love for the LORD is what brought us together, and it’s the reason we fall more in love each day. Bless.

I launched my art business at the beginning of February, and we are so pleased with how it’s gone so far. Even doing something you love is work, but it’s not the draining sort. I get tired, and I have to push through frustration just like any other job, but I always look forward to making more art. For so many years, I’ve questioned myself and my abilities, and the fears that sprung up always won. However, at the beginning of the year, I set out to make this part of me a priority, and it’s paid off. Yes, I’ve sold some jewelry, but what’s more thrilling is the joy it has brought into my heart and the energy it’s given me for everyday life.

March 2016 Goals

With just under two months to go until my due date, a lot of my energy is centered around preparing our family for our new addition <3

  • Continue to make time with God a top priority
  • Hang pictures throughout the house
  • Organize baby clothes (hand-me-downs are such a blessing!)
  • Soak up quality time with Dustin and Josiah
  • Increase jewelry inventory (I won’t have nearly as much time when this precious baby comes!)
  • Start planning our garden
  • Create a pegboard wall panel for the kitchen like this one I found on Pinterest:
Pegboard Wall

Blessings for the month to come! Thanks for reading!

February 2016 Update

Hi faithful readers! You guys keep me going for this blogging/making/inspiring dream I have. How have you been? Is 2016 treating you well? So far, so good in the Dummel household.

On January 1, I wrote about the year to come, including some goals/resolutions. Anyone else making plans or goals for this year? How is that going? As usual, I probably was too lofty in my goal-setting, but I haven’t fallen on my face completely. Quite frankly, I’m just too tired to do ALL of the things right now. That’s the fact, Jack. But I’m pretty happy with how this month turned out.

Because I’m reading so much for Bible study right now, I haven’t kept up on my other books, Desperate and Wuthering Heights. My study of the Tabernacle in the Old Testament has shed new light on my relationship with God, so I’m really okay with putting the other author’s on hold!

I did not do yoga 3 times per week. This is the one thing I really feel like I need to improve on. Tired or not, my body needs to stretch and strengthen. I love yoga and being fit, so I’m not sure why exercise gets the boot when I’m busy. I did exercise more in January than in previous months, but as this baby’s birth is quickly approaching, I have got to get in better shape!

I watched a lot less television this month. Yay! It really makes a difference in my attitude and level of productivity. I do turn on FRIENDS reruns when I need a little noise in the background.

After practicing spiritual disciplines far more consistently, the biggest accomplishment of the last month was making my artwork a weekly priority. If you’ve been on Facebook at all, I’m sorry-not-sorry for blowing up your feed with my most recent projects. My dad taught me to use his miter saw to make wood slices, and the rest is history. As my mom likes to joke, “I’m hooked. I’m hooked. My brain is cooked.” I’ve fallen hard for woodworking, and I can’t see myself going back! I love admiring God’s handiwork while adding my own unique touches.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” – Howard Thurman

Dustin will attest that Bible study, prayer, and creating works of art are what make me come alive. He said he hasn’t seen me this on fire in years. I’m hustling harder after the things that matter to me than ever before…and it’s in a time that clearly doesn’t make sense. I don’t ever do things the easy way…

I’m more tired and sick than ever (because, pregnancy), but I’m pushing forward to make my passion a reality for the first time. I’m fighting hard against fear. I’ve wanted to give up so many times I’ve lost count…just in the last month. But each time, I ignored those voices that tell me to quit, and it’s starting to pay off. I opened my online store, and have made agreements with TWO local businesses who want to sell my jewelry! I honestly can’t believe it’s real some days!

So my goal for February is to keep hustling for the things that matter, my relationship with God, my roles as Wife and Momma, and my heart for artwork.

What will you hustle for this month?

Cultivating Creativity: Wreck This Journal, By Keri Smith

At the end of 2016, I want to be able to look back and say I really lived this year. For me, that will mean three things…

  1. I worshipped God with my whole life.
  2. I was intentional about building relationships with the people I was given to love.
  3. I cultivated creativity and truly pursued my artistic passion.

I am not proud that it took me until I was 30 to figure out what was most important to me in life, but now that I have, I’m not looking back. I could rehash the last few decades and lament the time I wasted chasing after other things, but what good will that do my future? So far, that tendency has only left me depressed and unable to move one.

The struggle now is training myself to align my days, my thoughts, my energy with what I truly want to accomplish. My habits have to be re-calibrated so that I don’t slip back into my old ways of wasting time on trying to please other people or live up to some set of ideals I didn’t create for myself.

With that in mind, I am really excited about one of my Christmas gifts. Dustin’s brother and his wife are pretty awesome at picking out gifts, and this year they gave me Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. I’ve had this book saved in several places, because I found it intriguing and thought it would be a great gift. Turns out I was right. It was a great gift for me! And it came at the perfect time!

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What I love about this book is that it asks you to step out of your comfort zone and stretch your ideas about creativity. I think as we get older, we forget how to create with reckless abandon. We can find ourselves confined to a box of our own making.

Have you ever watched a kid scribble wildly? Why do they stop that? Because someone teaches them to color in the lines. But scribbling is amazing! Throwing paint on a canvas is a major stress reliever. Why am I so afraid to make a mess? This page was a reminder of how freeing it is to make a giant jumbled mess!

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And what about what other people think? Why do I spend so much time trying to avoid making a fool of myself? Pouring coffee on your journal in the middle of a coffee shop seems weird, but it was fun! It didn’t hurt anyone and I didn’t leave a mess behind for anyone else to clean up. It was a reminder that it’s okay to have your own kind of fun, as long as you continue to respect the people around you.

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Needless to say, I’m loving all the silly ways this journal is stretching me. It’s the start of learning to truly cultivate creativity in each of my days. Thanks for the gift Devin and Leah! You’ve helped me start something beautiful!

If you want to cultivate creativity, why not pick up a copy of Wreck This Journal? Or maybe go to an art class or start a craft group? What ways can you stretch yourself this year? Please share, as I’m learning, too!

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