Sunday, July 22, 2012

Market Love!

If you haven't yet been to the Clarksville Downtown Market, you are sorely missing out!  I went there yesterday and must say I do love being a customer as well as a vendor!   I purchased this beautiful ceramic mug to have enjoy my coffee in!  I LOVE it!  Isn't it so beautiful?  They had so many more that I loved, it was so hard to choose.  I called it my "early" birthday gift.  Personally, I would like to buy something unique like this from every vendor EACH Saturday!  Remember, the Market is located around the City Hall building Downtown Clarksville and operates every Saturday from 8am-1pm (unless extreme heat, then 7a-11p).
My mom gave me my gift a few days early this year: a beautiful Indian wrap skirt (picture coming) from my favorite Arkansas hippie shop: For Mother Earth.  That store has taken some of my inventory and begun selling it there.  I'm so excited!!!!   That is also where I purchased my Utopian Rope Sandals which a lot of people ask me about.

Also, I've developed an absolute LOVE for Peppers this year!  They are plentiful at the Market and I'm not sure if my love extends from that or if it's the other way around.  My favorite thing to do with them?  Grilled cheese!  The sourdough bread from Evawood Bakery (sold at the Market- but must come early) or Silke's Bakery (sliced Italian) works best! Butter each side, lay down 1/2 slice of provolone cheese, slice up the peppers (be sure to remove seeds inside first) lay down the other 1/2 slice cheese.  SOOOO YUM!  *if I have a fresh tomato I'll usually add a slice or two after grilling is completed.  I also add the peppers to my eggs, kielbasa, spaghetti.....anything goes.  They are in season now so enjoy while you can!  
I like to be up on the hill at the Market and two times I've been near Pappas Peppers Pizza Oil (Mr. Pappas owns).  He sells peppers and makes great pizza oil (Josh is hooked) plus he's a super nice guy.  He'll give you free sample if you stop by!

More to come on my Birthday plans for tomorrow!!!  Stay tuned.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Why do what we do?

So okay, awhile back we were hanging out with friends and a question addressed to me was, "so I've seen people raising their hands when singing those songs in church and I'm wondering what is the point of that? Why do that?"
Hmmmmm.....Good question!
Well, why to do people clap or cheer? Why do they pump their fists at rock concerts? Shout for joy when they hear exciting news? Whoop & holler or jump up and down when they are excited? Bow their heads or kneel down during a prayer?
My answer was... "it's an expression? An act of worship."
Truth is: I used to wonder the same thing! I grew up in a very conservative church that sang straight from the hymnal- sans instruments. There was no act of expression, unless you count standing, sitting, or bowing your head (and we were instructed when to do so).
The first time I physically knelt while singing a song I felt a very humble way rush over me. I couldn't explain it, but there was a connection with singing a praise to my King while bowing before Him.
Imagine my surprise when I was attending church with a friend and full out dances evoked (involving long colorful ribbons), and people were raising their hands and shouting, "Hallelujah!!"  At the time I felt mildly uncomfortable, but intrigued.

Then, one day I was standing in my kitchen listening to a David Crowder Band cd I felt it. So, I thought, why not?  Singing this song, I raised my hand, and with my heart worshipped my King. I cried. I felt free. In public gatherings I have felt it since, this strong urge to raise my hands in praise to God the Father and our King. Initially, I suppressed it. Several times actually. I had never openly worshipped in a physical way like that publicly, and it went against what I'd been accustomed to.  I mean, we were made to run, jump, clap, sing, yell, play, and dance! Why? -no When did praising God and worshipping Him become limited to just singing to Him? How did that happen? Who exampled to us that that made the only sense ?  Time and time again, year after generations of Christians - sing together, pray together, and learn a spiritual message together. That has been the routine.  And that's fine if simpling singing is a person's way of worshipping.  I'm not saying it isn't!  It's fine. There is something very powerful about hundreds, even thousands, of people coming together and singing praises to the One King, Almighty God. I'm way for that!  But I can't believe that God, in His infinite CREATIVE wisdom, designing us all uniquely, created us to worship Him in only "certain" ways. 

My friend asked a good question.
Why DO people do what they DO?

I have never seen spontaneous African dance in person, but have you ever seen the videos? They are so expressive! They sing, they feel, they express it in dance. It's amazing. There are a lot more expressive ones that this:
but I just tried to imagine a dance such as this within the confines of a "typical" American worship service.
Well, today I freely raise my hands to praise God publicly, privately, whenever I feel compelled (or moved) to do so. I sit too and bow my head somtimes. When I am home I dance. Yes, I do. I sing, I write, I run, I pray, I ask, I listen, I smell, I see, I serve, I create, I love....all of these an act of worship. An expression. A response. Of the heart. Of the body. 
I even imagine a day when no one is questioned for using their art or expressions, in whatever form (morally conceived, naturally) to worship God --and when they truly feel free to do so. Because we all are. Free to worship Him. However we may choose.

Friday, July 6, 2012

To Market! To Market!

Tomorrow is Market day!  I'm super excited, despite that I was just there last Saturday!  The hours are  7am-11am, just like last Saturday, due the the triple-digit heat.
 My friend, Tiffany, was kind enough to take these market photos from a few weeks ago.  Most of you know that I sell Homemade Laundry Soap, Handcrafted Play Dough, and Hand Rolled beads that I string into various forms of jewelry.  I also roll coasters as seen below.  They take about two hours to roll & seal...whew!  But they are fun!  I wish I could produce more, more, more (of everything) but alas....
I have a family.  That means my full time job is with them.  Wife.  Mom.  It's the best job EVER, but to actually do well at it requires focus and attention...  to the people dwelling and coming and going around these the dishes and the bank account and the sounds.  The sounds are important.  So are the silences.  Because life with each other, while sometimes so full of joy and love, can also be messy.  I'm not saying it is my full time job to "work things out."  It's not.  But it is my goal to help guide and direct these not-so-little people in my life.  Thank God I have His help!  I'd screw it up on my own...and I know that from experience! 
Now, why am I talking about my real job?  I suppose because it is my most important! Another important job of mine is loving on a special certain five month old baby on weekday afternoons! 
But, I've also been working on restocking my inventory for the Downtown Market and that has been fun & challenging.  I have made so many new friends.  I have been amazed at the people God brings to my booth on Saturday Market mornings.  People are so supportive and appreciative of the work I do.  Some people have returned to find me!  It's so COOL!  My friends here in Clarksville find me and hang out chatting and I love it!
 I love creating something with my hands and seeing it move into the hands of its new owner and the admiration on their face--then I know it was worth the time and effort I put into upcycling that old calendar into something wearable!
The Market has been going so well that I haven't even touched my Etsy shop, despite that I've been giving out the web address to everyone.  I am going to try and blog weekly (I know I've made this effort before in the past and failed).  But I am really going to TRY!!!

Summer here in Tennessee is HOT.  I don't mind heat much.  I was born mid-July and had most every birthday party in my backyard (thanks Mom!) and in the pictures we were all sweaty. smiley happy little kids.  Today's kids are spoiled rotten with air conditioning.  I know, I know, mine too.  Me too.  But sometimes mine get out there, you know.  Like last night.  They have a new program here in Clarksville called "Summer Night Lights" and I encouraged them to ride their bikes down to it last night and they loved it.  Came back drenched.  Also, I am playing (and co-coaching with my brave husband) womens' softball.  It's far more fun playing that I thought, after playing four seasons of co-ed softball. 
As for the rest of our summer it has looked like this:  shuttling teens to church camps, preschooler to swim lessons, library programs, swimming, teen to kayaking, teen to basketball camp in Nashville, preschooler to tumbling camp, teen to football camp, swimming...  And of course the tragedy of loosing my mother-in-law of 17 years unexpectedly (she was 60).  She was my husband's mom who lived here locally the past few years with his dad (married 38 years?), who was close to her grandchildren, three of them being has been a shift in life for us all.
Then the truck quit Tuesday.  We are hoping it is fixable, and my ever-capable husband is attacking it in all his spare time.  I am confident that he will do everything in his power to restore it, as time is sensitive...
I have been trying to find reasons to pick up "Catching Fire" then reasons to put it down, and have taken to eating peppers from the market.  I have some made some Amazing Lunches!  More on that later.....  see you at the Market!