Thursday, March 28, 2013

For the Love of Words and To-Do Lists

(Beware:  Somewhat mediocre home project pictures ahead.)

I loooooove words.  I do!  You can just ask anyone who's conversed with (or avoided conversation with) yours truly.  I come by it honestly -- I remember my grandpa profusely entertaining visitors over dinner, walking them out of the house still talking, walking them to their car still talking, asking them to roll down the window so he could finish his story as they backed out of the driveway . . . you get the idea.  An abundance of words is a family tradition.  At this point, I should point out what a wonderful fella I married in that he endures all those words with kindness and almost never falls asleep when I'm on a roll with an idea.  The kids have inherited my disease superpower, as well.  Why am I telling you this -- you already know it, and I'm already getting long-winded on what is supposed to be a short post.  Oy!

One more thing, I'm a sucker for a to-do list.  I've been known to add extra things to the list AFTER I've done them just so I can check them off.  C'mon, I know some of you have done this, too.  I need that encouragement and focus to get things done.  Constant reminders are good, and apparently necessary, for me.

Anyway, I say allllll that just to say that I firmly believe that words have power.  It was the words of our God that spoke the whole of creation into being.  Seriously powerful words!  As Image-bearers, we also hold power in our words.  Isn't that what we teach our kids -- to use their words wisely, to build up and never to tear down?

So really long story short, we're incorporating some powerful words into our decor at home in the hopes of inspiring goodness and beauty in our family and in those who pass through our doors.  (Props to Pinterest, of course, for all the how-to blogs that helped give these little projects legs).  Quick disclaimer:  Yes, my house is over-decorated.  We like color and "art".  That's just how we roll in the Hilde-crib.  :)  So here goes:

The welcome sign and the first sight inside the entry:

Words from Mother Teresa, the whole quote goes something like "We cannot all do great things, but we can all do small things with great love."  So that's the assignment for each of us as soon as we walk though the front door -- to do those small things for one another with some big, BIG love.  Within our walls, love in all things, no matter how small the activity.

Next . . . 
Once inside, we seek to encourage peace:  Shalom -- in big silvery letters, no less.  The Hebrew word implies not only physical peace, but a spiritual calm, peace with man and with our Maker.  That's our to-do once inside the home:  PEACE (although usually not quiet :)  ).  I'm just now noticing that "A" is a little askew -- gotta fix that.

Don't let the door hit ya . . .
Finally, the last assignment:  "Love God.  Love People" when headed out the front door,   As Jesus stated, these are the two greatest commandments and our family's intended focus when we leave the sweet little hub of love and shalom at home to enter the mean ole world.  Love God, love people.  A tough one to check off the list at times, but so very necessary.

Just a few words.  Just a simple way to "speak" truth and encouragement for good living into ourselves.  We need it -- EVERYday!  It's kind of like the whole Old Testament philosophy of writing truth on your doorposts.  It's always there, right in your face, inescapable, to remind you -- so the truth of God's words are impressed on the deepest part of us. 

And also, full disclosure, I stink at painting or drawing actual objects, so I really do need to stick to words if I'm doing the decor myself.  :)

Does your family have some words "on the doorposts"?  Let's hear 'em.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013



Go ahead, watch it!  This is greatness.  Every time I decide to give myself a challenge, I can see this scene in my head:  "CHALL-AUNGE!"  Man, I wish I could tap like that!  Honestly, pretty much all of my synapses link, in some way, to either old song lyrics or to The Cosby Show.

Anyway, since it's spring, it's time for some rebirth and rededication to the craft.  Usually when I decide I need a "CHALL-AUNGE", I pick a race to train for or pick up a new book/study of some sort.  This year, I'm feeling called to something different, something maybe even more difficult for me and my lack of stick-to-it-iveness (and a little more annoying for all those around me who must endure it).

"Truth sounds true-er in music."  I recently picked up this nugget from some great writers much further along in the game than I, and I love that principle.  It's been ringing in my brain for the past week or so -- now what to do with it?

 "Light bulb."

I also love the acrostic poems, songs and writings found in the psalms and other places throughout the Old Testament -- each line a successive letter from their alphabet.  The idea that the writer, guided by the Spirit of God Himself, could take truth and express it within a kind of limiting framework is a beautiful challenge -- excuse me, "CHALL-AUNGE!"  C'mon, say it with me!  (See what I mean by annoying for those around me?)

So here I go:  in an attempt to sharpen my song-crafting skills and force myself to work even when I'd rather tackle a new Pinterest project or camp out with some old episodes of Parks and Rec, a year-long assignment is taking shape. Between this Easter and next Easter, here's what needs to happen:  26 new songs, one title for each successive letter of the alphabet.  That's 52 weeks, one new song every two weeks (or so -- a little grace here on this part).

They don't even have to be really good songs, just an exercise in dedication to the craft.  At this point, some of you may be saying, "Well, you've already gotten that 'not really good' part down to a science," to which I would reply, "That's rude."  To which I would further reply (and remind myself) that you only get to excellence through dedication, hard work, and more dedication.  So perhaps by the time I hit letter W, I'll be a better writer.  It can't hurt to try anyway.

Why am I telling you all this when you're probably busy coming up with your own "CHALL-AUNGE"s for yourselves?  I need some accountability.  So if you would, please periodically ask me what letter I'm on, make me feel really bad about not staying on top of this thing (shame is a powerful motivator), remind me that something good might just be born out of this little (er, large) endeavor.

Can you tell I'm not very self-motivated?

I need you, people!  As a side note, I'm a bit of a nut job when I'm not writing -- it's the only therapy I can afford, and you would not like me when I'm un-"treated".

So for the next week or so, I'm scoping out titles.  I will be eavesdropping on your conversations and writing down the interesting words or phrases you utter. You may not even realize that lyrical gold has just dripped from your lips!  Then hopefully you will forget that you were the one who came up with those words so I won't have to give you partial credit.  Also, I'm thinking the letter X may be tough, so I'm just flat-out taking suggestions for that one.

There it is.  Keep me honest, friends.  If you need some accountability on your own "CHALL-AUNGE!", then by all means stomp your tap shoes and share it.  I'm more than happy to also help you feel badly about yourself for being a slacker in whatever it is you are endeavoring to accomplish.  Let's do this together. ;)

Acrostic album, go!