Organic Living

I made a few more changes in my online presence that I wanted to be sure you knew about. I changed my Twitter handle to @OrganicHSL. I feel it fits me better with where I am at in my life now. If you already followed me before, no need to re-follow. We’re still connected. More below..

 

Some might be wondering what I mean by ‘organic’ and I have mentioned it a bit from time to time, but for those who are new I’ll give a recap. I use the term for ‘organic’ for a few areas of our lives.

In our education: After we made some changes in how we home educate, we weren’t sure how to describe our homeschooling approach. We aren’t traditional homeschoolers, yet we aren’t unschoolers either. We have some books that we teach from, but in other topics we go for the more natural approach. We don’t like to test, but see the need for it in Math and Spelling. I found that if I don’t schedule Math and Spelling it won’t get done and I have yet to find a way to be organic with those two subjects.

We have our serious subjects in the morning then taper off into the natural methods of education toward the end of the day. I love the inquisitive minds of children and how their own interest leads them to learn without them thinking about it being ‘school’. We utilize documentaries, Barnes and Noble, the Library, field trips, and meeting with people in specific fields our children show interest in. We do everything we can to allow them to have exposure with a variety of things in life and then watch their interest level. We don’t want to force them into a box, instead we nudge them and then see where they gravitate to.

In our spirituality: We believe in organic church, not so much the ‘movement’ called organic church, but rather the flowing of the organic nature of the Church herself as she walks this earth in Christ. We have open house fellowship once a month where we cook together and discuss life, offer support, and have question/answer time about spiritual living. We aim to keep it as organic as possible so it doesn’t become repetitive or boxy. We do attend a regularly scheduled time of music and inspirational speaking in a town near us that we adore, but it’s not a traditional ‘church’. It’s a great group of people who are developing a community together and we love what they’re doing.

What is a Spiritual Gypsy? My daughter came up with this term and we discussed what it meant for both of us. We have different views about a few things, yet even in those differences we have so much in common. I decided I liked the term for myself as well. For me, a spiritual gypsy means I have my own soul liberty. I have chosen to believe in Christ, but I follow the leading of the Spirit in a way that more resembles the organic life Jesus lived when he was in his skin. He traveled home to home and sometimes to temples to love people. He spent time with doctors and various religious leaders, while also making ample time for regular townspeople from gluttons and  drunkards, to tax collectors. I’m a lot like Paul too. He knew the culture of his day, the various religions, and the customs of the people. He knew how to blend in, respect those traditions, and even participated in some of them so he could have a chance to share the good news with them.

I’m an avid theological student and I find enjoyment in learning about how other people believe and appreciate how each of them choose to worship. I look beyond the initial appearance of their practices and look for their heart. Sometimes I see people who see a ‘blurry image’ of God that has been misrepresented to the world by imperfect humans and yet their hearts still ring true to the melody and rhythm of his divine love. I don’t worry about their blurry image, I just love them where they are. I may not write a whole lot of theological point by point type of articles, but I know theology very well. I just choose to live out my love for God organically.

Living Organically: All of this combined is our organic living. I’m not a crunchy-granola type of person, although I do buy from the Farmer’s Market and Natural Food Stores. My daughter is studying to be a Holistic Practitioner so we practice herbal remedies to ailments as much as possible. We enjoy being outdoors and since we live by the beach we get to walk on the sand barefoot and soak up the sea moisture. Love it!

Organic Spiritual Practices: I believe in earthing (some call it grounding). It’s when I connect with God through his creation by meditating on his goodness and love through nature. I do a lot of visualization such as imagining the sea breeze is his breath, my feet are soothed in the sand, and the sun is his warmth. There is so much positive energy that comes from God and I can feel it in this gorgeous earth he gave to us. Some charismatic types of Christians like to seek the sense of his presence in a different way in their church services, I like to sense him in the nature he created. Here’s an example from Psalms.

In my Photography: I love my camera and the images I can capture are all about my love for God. I love to see the world from all different angles, whether I zoom in to see a close up of his tiniest work or I pan out to get a view of a majestic landscape. I experience organic spirituality through my photography. Here are some examples:

dragonfly by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

mini daisy by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

canyon by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

coast by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

blue ocean by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

In my business: I am a co-owner and the founder of our photo community for families, Pix-O-Sphere. It’s where families can host their photos in a safe environment. We also allow for photo sharing so bloggers can not only see your work, but use what you share in their blog articles. Not everyone is confident in putting their own images online and with the rising prices of stock photos and the unstable economy, we wanted to provide an alternative to the other popular sites. If you are confident in your work, you can choose to sell your images there as well. In addition to the main portion of the site we also have a blog (which is being redesigned this week). On the blog I am coordinating a lot of fun for the families of the blogosphere. I’ll update you more on that as the days go by. I follow an organic approach to this business in that I listen to the bloggers to see what they would like to have in the community. We’re building the site for YOU! So we want to know what your desires for the blogosphere are.

In my Home: The Home is my castle..my cabana..my place of solitude. It’s where I spin my life and nurture my family’s lives. After being out in the craziness of So Cal traffic and high paced community, it’s where we rest. This is the reason for the name of my blog, The HomeSpun Life. I make my home as comfortable as possible for my family so they can feel at ease here. A place where they can kick off their shoes and be themselves. It’s where they can be nurtured and healed from any chaos that comes their way in this life.

Bringing my home to my blog is my way of welcoming you into our lives. I want you to feel welcomed here…as if we’re sitting down for coffee together. Pull up a chair and introduce yourself. Feel free to leave a link to your ‘about me’ page in the comment section so I can come visit your ‘home’ on the net.

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I Include You

I’m forty years old and just this year discovered who I really am. Looking back on my adolescent years I could see who my parents and teachers wanted me to be. As I look back into my teen years I saw who my peers wanted me to be. In my young adult years I saw who religious leaders wanted me to be. I honestly tried to work within the framework that each group wanted for my life. I wrestled with who I am as a wife and as a mom. I thrashed my way through trying to figure out who I am as a blogger.  I battled my way through who the religious leaders claim God wanted me to be. Listening to the array of voices in the world is quite confusing.

I needed to know who I am, because of who I want to be.

I’m not sure why I danced a jig with this concept for so long. I have no idea why my journey had to be filled with so much confusion and uncertainty, but I know what I learned from it all. I learned compassion.

Although I figured out that God was working out a unique form of compassion in me, I still bantered back and forth between my voice and the other voices out there. Deep inside I knew what my fear was,

rejection.

I saw how many times Christians would reject people once they saw who they really were. Rejection causes people to recoil into loneliness, depression, and fear.

Is this the affect we, as Christians, really want to have on the world?

Taunya shared this quote in a conversation we had on Twitter,

” I feel uncomfortable, because I’m insecure about who I am.”

This quote is such a mind blowing truth that not many want to admit. We are such an insecure people and if we find our security in Christ then what have we to worry about?

Sometimes our actions, words, or even silence can convey a message that further damages an insecure soul. I wonder if we can practice saying this when we’re uncomfortable;

“I’m not sure how to respond to this, but I’ll meditate on it. In the meanwhile, you are a valuable person and God loves you. We’re all a work in progress.”

A response like this can alleviate our own insecurity and affirm the person we’re speaking to. It doesn’t mean we are agreeing with them. It simply expresses a willingness to think about it and extends love and grace at the same time.

I now know my spiritual purpose and am confident in God’s calling for my gifts. When I began walking through this journey, I lost a lot of friends. So I’m rebuilding my circle of support and would like to invite you in.

I believe that God gives us freedom to gather supportive people around us who can be a ‘Jesus with skin on’ Church to us. This kind of group is not intended to remove our already existing ‘in real life’ fellowship. This group is to create a safe space online where we can love each other even though we’re different.

Some might be hesitant to become a part of my support circle, because they may not feel secure enough to be inclusive to others in my midst. That’s ok. I’m not asking you to be. This isn’t about me telling you to be inclusive, it’s about ME being inclusive.

I include you. 

With this inclusive love, I want to begin sharing how we live our lives with an inclusive heart. I want to share our personal family boundaries and yet love others who have drawn different lines. You might wonder how I interact with pagans, those in the GLBT community, or even with Christians from different denominations. The short answer is;

with grace.

But what that kind of grace looks like could be different depending on the situation.

If you have questions about how to respond to certain things with grace while remaining steadfast in your own unique view, leave a comment below or contact me via my Facebook page. Let me know if you want to remain anonymous. I’ll be approaching some tough topics from parenting, to marriage, to society at large.

Last year the Christian community had quite a few chaotic storms and I have no doubt there will be more. How we respond to those storms says a lot to the world about the God we believe in. May we look forward to more years of growing in wisdom and in stature, as well as in knowledge and understanding.

You’re invited into my circle, my ‘church’….. I include you.

How can we help lift one another UP?

Sisterlisa

 

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My Holy of Holies

Life can become so busy and even though that busyness is filled with all kinds of good and noble things, life can pass me by and leave me feeling like I’m still missing out on something. In southern California, we can easily be caught up in traffic for hours and get home to a list of chores, correcting school work, and meals to cook. Oh yes, and lets not forget laundry. Today, my husband had a very busy day of work planned and has job sites in a few different cities that are at least 30 miles apart from one another. He called me not ten minutes after her left to ask for help because his truck had a problem. It was going to need to be in the shop until 3 this afternoon. This meant I needed to get him to all his appointments and there was no time to get me back home. I needed to assist my husband, so I took one of the children with me while my adult daughter kept eye on the home and my son.

Wouldn’t you know it, my van dashboard dings and the ‘change oil’ light came on. We arrived at his first appointment which was supposed to be twenty minutes, which turned into an hour. So I took my daughter with me to get our haircuts done. I was trying to kill two birds with one stone (the salon was right next door). I made periodic calls home to check in and let them know why it was taking so long. I could hear my son’s worrisome voice in the background asking if we’d be back in time to take him to ninja school. Sigh** All I could do is affirm that his class was definitely a priority while in my mind I prayed that God would work out the timing.

My husband, daughter, and I stopped for lunch then headed back home. We got home for just a few minutes to check in before leaving again to get the oil changed in the van. Thankfully we could get that done at the same place my husband’s truck was at. We got there and his truck was done early, but now he had to get back to another town (another 30 miles away) to another job site. So I waited with the van, although the smell of tires makes me nauseated so I walked across the street to Starbucks. I checked in with my Facebook and answered a few emails then headed back to get the van. Next, I had to get back home and pick up our son for ninja class. I was literally home for 5 minutes before racing back out again.

My husband called while we were on the road and our son answered for me (I am adamant about not talking on the phone while driving). He needed me to pick up a house warming gift for a friend’s wife (which was my idea in the first place) and I hastily gave the response that would get me the Wife of the Year Award, “Yes, honey. I’ll get something on my way home.” Now I was frantic and wondering how I would pull all this off and get home in time for him to take the gift over by the time he said he would be arriving at their home. I know one of the instructors at the school and since we were a few minutes early I asked if I could leave for a few minutes and thankfully he said yes. I drove right around the block to Target to get a gift then back just in time to wrap the gift in the car and walk through the doors just as class was starting. Phew*

Two moms introduced themselves to me and we had some small chit chat when one of them jumped right in (loudly), “Do you go to a church?” (The other mom quickly avoided this conversation.) Here was the test of my patience and grace. I really wanted to watch my son, but knowing I would be seeing these women so often I didn’t want to be rude so I let her know that we do have a place to go and are very happy there, but she insisted further that I should go to her church. Not wanting to rock the boat in front of my son’s class and make it more uncomfortable, I bit my tongue. What I really wanted to say was kept on hold. I shared a bit about our recovery ministry and told her that my husband is an evangelist. I never know what to expect when I tell people this, since so many churches have different views on ministry. The class seemed to fly by during this conversation and before I knew it the class was over.

I didn’t want to bog this woman down with the story of what happened to us a few years ago and how we only just recently found a place where we feel safe to grow spiritually with a group of people. Settling into a group was a big decision for us and I don’t want to venture away from that. She doesn’t need to know all of this. I am at the point in my life where my faith has become something deeply personal (although I speak about it on FB quite a bit) I’m just not comfortable talking about my journey with strangers in person just yet. Least of all if I think my views are going to get me enemies at a place that is supposed to be for my son to enjoy having friends in.

I want to make friendships in this new community, but I don’t want my friendships to be based on their beliefs about church, theology, or even what kind of worship music they prefer. Most churches reject women being ministers anyway so I’m pretty sure I’ll leave that bit about me out for now. I don’t want there to be a stigma in my conversations. I don’t want to make the other moms feel uncomfortable and discussing religion in a public setting is exactly what would set most people on edge. It was a good thing the class is only 45 minutes long.

We got back into our car and headed home just in time for me to get home and wash the van windows. The marine layer here can get quickly moist and with the sand blowing in the wind, the windshield can get so cloudy. I didn’t want my husband to drive and not be able to see. I got the windows cleaned and just as I was walking back inside the house, he got home to prepare for his night at our friend’s home (Lakers games are a high priority around here). We quickly tried to catch each other up on how everything else was going in our day when he had to skeedaddle and I stayed home to enjoy leftovers from last night’s barbecue.

Now the kids and I get to relax tonight and it’s a good thing because my youngest two are exhausted from the long day and all the driving in traffic. Every single thing I did today was important. But do you know the one thing that I want to do is enter my holy of holies. That place within where I get to sit with my Lord and maybe lean on his breast and just breathe. It’s not that I don’t want to be there for each individual family member when they need me, but I need time to be me. I want that quiet time when I can hear his breath over my ears and his heart beat on my cheek. This is my very personal and individual spirituality that I can’t find the words to express quite as vividly as my heart feels it. It’s that place where only he and I can meet and have quiet conversations about my life and my hopes. The place where I can express my doubts without fear of being rejected or making my son and his little friends feel awkward. It’s where I can get angry about the road rage drivers that cut me off and I don’t have to worry that I’ll make a bad impression as an evangelist’s wife and embarrass my husband.

Oh…… to hear his soul. To feel the pounding of his heart on the palm of my hand. This is where I find it…on the cool sand. As I lay my face down on the edge of the sand dune that witnesses the sunset, I can feel his heart beat as the waves pound the shore. I can feel the hush of sea mist over my ears like his breath on my soul, the salt of his tears on my lips. He cries with me when I shed my own tears over the longing in my soul for that quiet moment in my holy of holies with the lover of my soul. This is where I want to be.

beach by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

Sisterlisa