Inspiration

INSPIRATION :: Free C.S. Lewis Quote Printables

To celebrate the life of C.S. Lewis — he died on this day in 1963 — here are some free printables for you to enjoy. And take some time today to pull an old Lewis book of the shelf and read a chapter or two, won’t you? I promise it will be good for your soul.

The sweetest thing in all my life // 3 Free C.S. Lewis Quote Printables from Oaxacaborn
“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.” -Till We Have Faces
C.S. Lewis “The sweetest thing” free printable – Click here to download.

The scent of a flower - C.S. Lewis // 3 Free C.S. Lewis Quote Printables from Oaxacaborn
“In speaking of this desire for our own faroff country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter…The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.” -The Weight of Glory
C.S. Lewis “The scent of a flower” free printable – Click here to download.

Beginning chapter one of the great story  // 3 Free C.S. Lewis Quote Printables from Oaxacaborn
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” –The Last Battle
C.S. Lewis “Chapter one” free printable – Click here to download.

Life in Photos

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: A Deeper Country

3d cardboard letters spelling out HOPE, roses in glass bottles, and t-rex print from Yellow Heart Art
September 2013 - Florida rainstorm

“It is as hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different – deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more.” -C.S. Lewis

Inspiration

INSPIRATION :: Never a Reason for Fear

Yangshuo, Guangxi, China via Ata AdnanYangshuo, Guangxi, China via Ata Adnan

“We stand, when we are young, on the sunny slope among the pines, and look across an unknown country to the mountains. There are clouds, but they are edged with light. We do not fear as we dip into the valley; we do not fear the clouds. Thank God for the splendid fearlessness of youth. And as for older travelers whom the Lord has led over the hill and the dale, they have not been given the spirit of fear. They think of the way they have come since they stood on that bright hillside, and their word is always this: There are reasons and reasons for hope and for happiness, and never one for fear.” -Amy Carmichael

Inspiration

“The disciple living by grace…”

Image from August Photo Challenge archives - Slovene Bible“The disciple living by grace rather than law has undergone a decisive conversion–a turning from mistrust to trust. The foremost characteristic of living by grace is to trust in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.

To believe deeply, as Jesus did, that God is alive and present and at work in human life is to understand that I am a beloved child of this Father, and hence, free to trust. That makes a profound difference in the way I relate to myself and others; it makes an enormous difference in the way I live. To trust Abba, both in prayer and life, is to stand in childlike openness before a mystery of gracious love and acceptance. […]

To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace…There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.

When a man or woman is truly honest (not just working at it), it is virtually impossible to insult them personally. There is nothing to insult. Those who were truly ready for the kingdom were just such people. Their inner poverty of spirit and rigorous honesty had set them free. They had nothing to be proud of.”

-Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

Inspiration, Poetry & Words

Beautiful and Useful: Conquering Clutter

We had to move around some furniture this morning. Aveline’s crib had been near the wall of windows in our bedroom, but yesterday she discovered she could reach through the side of the crib and mangle the mini-blind slats (don’t worry, the cords have been safely tied up for a long time now.)

Swapping the position of two pieces of furniture seems simple enough, but now everything is all discombobulated. Cluttered. I’ve been on a mission to get rid of excess stuff, but honestly, I struggle with it. Not with the idea of getting rid of things, but with the actual sorting. If I’m totally honest, I would admit that when it comes to sorting, I am pretty lazy.

Image of Paper Ephemera from Europe Trip

I love the idea of minimalism. In theory, I hate clutter. In practice, I live with little piles of clutter. But I get so STUCK when it comes to sorting piles of small things — especially when they are interesting. For me, it’s the ziploc bags of ticket stubs and maps and letters and greeting cards that stop me in my tracks. I just really have a problem getting through the stashes of paper ephemera. I get bogged down, finding myself distractedly reading that one card my uncle wrote me for my high school graduation or reminiscing over the train ride from Barcelona to Paris. Gah!

Un tren de valores Renfe Barcelona Spain

And the stickers left over from addressing wedding invitations? The six pathetic pieces of cardstock left over from my last scrapbooking project four years ago? Get a grip, Gina! I don’t need these things to remind me of those memories. I’d rather have the space in that basket on the shelf for something actually beautiful or useful.

I am going to tackle the bedroom this weekend, with this William Morris quote in the forefront of my mind: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Because really, laziness is the only thing keeping me from a clutter-free house.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful