Friday, November 11, 2011

All is Well

Dear Friends,

Many of you have been asking about us, some concerned that we are not well or something is wrong. I assure that everything is fine at the Laurence household....I'm finding myself so fulfilled that blogging has not been on my mind for some time now. I apologize for being remiss in posting this sooner and thank you for your concern.

I'm not sure I'll return to blogging but I'm on Facebook daily for those who would like to keep up with us there. Just send a friend request.

Blessings to all!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

If you're weighing college choices....

...watch this video. Breathtaking!



Friday, March 25, 2011

Madonna & Child Sculptures

UPDATE: All sculptures are taken. Thank you! If you missed this running, one more round will be available soon.

More Madonna and Child wall reliefs are now available over at Mrs. Laurence. Due to the life-span of the mold and my time currently needed in other areas, only one more round of sculptures will be made after these. For those of you who have been waiting on them for a while now, my humble gratitude for your patience. :)

Updated to add: Robina shared pictures of her sculpture hung in her daughter's (soon to be daughters') newly decorated bedroom. So lovely! And Mary and Jesus are perfect there, right in the center of the room, watching over little ones.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Love Captured

Through a lens.



Blurry, but oh!...those drunken eyes, that goofy smile, all those teeth...pure joy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Soul-Carving

Life is full right now. Very full. I'm sorry it's been a while since I last came here. So much has happened these last few weeks, months really. I'm not really sure where I should start and do I share everything or keep most of it to myself? Probably a little of both?

We were very nearly chosen to adopt a new baby...a brother for Kilian, due in May. They would have been a year apart, so close. It seemed perfect in so many ways. You can imagine my joy at this possibility. But in the end it was down to us and another couple, and the birthmother chose them. The outcome was hard, but it brought us some pretty weighty blessings....holy and beautiful graces, the real gifts of life and the best kind.

I was packed and ready to head out the door to visit my grandfather one morning. I phoned my dad who had been caring for him the last six months, to say I would be there shortly, when he told me he couldn't feel a pulse. I went immediately, and was able to kiss my grandfather before he was removed from the house. He lay there still, his forehead cold, but what a grace it was to be with him. Such a grace. My family has been here for weeks now settling his matters, selling his belongings, preparing the home I've known and loved my whole life for sale. It is just a home. They are just things. I'm not even sentimental. But this has been harder than I anticipated. My grandfather lived ninety-four years, full and accomplished, but as I sat by his bedside I only reflected how short life is. Even his. I'm still reflecting this. And I miss him.

I've been in and out of the doctor's office due to some strange things happening with my body. I'm waiting on results from blood work now. Please don't worry, the doctor insists it's nothing. I'm hoping it's something, however, so I can explain away the strange behaviors and the emotional rollercoaster ride I've been on for the last six months. I think my husband would like an answer for those things too.

We traveled to another country. A trip planned long ago, only now understood to be a needed reprieve from these highs and lows. I have been perhaps too emotional lately. But through all this I am being pulled closer and closer to Jesus. I have experienced the deep and profound joy only known through the cleansing grace-waters of suffering. Ann calls this the hard Eucharisteo. I hesitate to name mine this....in the scheme of things my little crosses are so very small, my blessings huge and innumerable. But I am beginning to understand the inextricable links of suffering, joy, pain, grace, purgation and....wholeness, in a very real way. And that submitting wholly to any and all He gives is wondrous.

Life in my home is very good. Perhaps more wonderful than ever from one perspective. I think the Lord is working change in me, the kind that can only happen through pain. Sometimes He takes us, His raw and formless slabs of marble, and He carves out all our imperfections with the cutting of the chisel, the tool which can really make of us a masterpiece. Parts of me are being chipped away now.....ideas, attachments, my clinging to safe and comfortable fault....and I am just beginning to see the woman He has wanted me to be for so long, and I want Him to keep carving because what is underneath the formless in all of us is more beautiful than we can possibly know.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Made this yesterday. Light and fluffy. Positively scrumptious.

Recipe here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Casseroles

It's cold here and I'm dying to make a new casserole dish this week. But I only want to make a really yummy one. So instead of flipping through my cookbooks or the internet, I'd like you to give me your BEST casserole recipe ever....something that makes your mouth water everytime you think about it. Would you share? For me?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Every Post a Grace

If you only have time for one post today, perhaps this should be it. I hope you aren't getting sick of me linking every time she writes, but something compels me. Every time.

"Strangers eat at our table, bathe in our showers, sleep in our beds, share our everything. And I fleetingly wonder if it wouldn’t be better for my girls if I maintained some semblance of normal, but He shows me that HIS definition of family is not at all limited by my own."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Digital

Patrick loved this picture of Kilian from our Saturday afternoon, so I edited it a bit so he could replace the outdated one on his office desk at work. Everything about the photo was good except three things. Do you see them?
Love digital photography!

Monday, February 7, 2011

While everyone else watched the Superbowl

....we were here.

I love being married to a man who doesn't care about pro-football (the college variety is a different story).

Madeleine is quite charmed by all the attention she gets at this place, everyone telling her to stay away from apples and such. She did meet the evil queen, who reflected in a rather magnificent malicious tone, "Why, Miss White, you look so different with your ginger hair." The girls loved her.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Everything changes....

....when they call you Mommy, doesn't it?

"Maybe I will never sleep past 7:00 in the morning and maybe I will never have time to brush my hair and maybe I will never be able to eat a full meal without getting up anddown a million times. It’s worth it. Maybe it will always take me twice as long to do everything and maybe I will never have a really clean house and maybe my days of staying out late with friends are over. It’s worth it. Anything I have togive up is worth just that one minute when they look at me and call me, “Mom,” when those little hands grab mine and those big eyes look at me as if I hold the keys to the world. It’s worth it."

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just a Picture

....of an afternoon walk on a lovely day. How I love these three. How they adore each other, the younger admiring the older, the older guiding and protecting and loving the younger. Not so long ago I asked God for at least ten children. I couldn't imagine being happy or feeling fulfilled with any less.

But I saw with my first child, my one, only child was enough to fulfill. Then two....even more wonderful. And now three? These three? It is perfect. It has always been perfect. His will for us. I'm so grateful He didn't let me plan this life...this sublime, even on hard days, life.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

For the "Quiet" Seeker

"Impatience renders us hard, unkind, masterful, and in some circumstances, violent. It always implies a loss of depth." ~ Dietrich von Hildebrand

ht: my friend Pia via Facebook this morning

Friday, January 14, 2011

Perfection...

....the goal of one Chinese mother for her daughters, will never, ever be as beautiful or awe-inspiring or life-changing as this perfect Lily.

(You may want to grab a few tissues.)

"Mom, they're blooming glorious!"

Last bloom before pruning. I've never really respected the later blooms of the season...they're typically thin and limp and pink-spotted. But I rather like the way she says it...makes me appreciate them all over again.

Monday, January 10, 2011

In a number of years...

...when I'm not watching my grandchildren frolic about my grey and white, shingle-style, cape cod beach-house-with-an-oval-window-on-a-marvelous-plot-of-land, I'll be here....

...and I'll be wearing that hat, too.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

To Be Loved

I walk through the door to inspect her bedroom. All is tidy for company expected, the floors cleared of dolls and blocks and blankets. Little crimson-haired, sapphire-eyed girl tries hard to smooth her wrinkled bed and looks up at me, "It's not like you do it, Mama. I can't get all the crumples out." The doorbell rings and company is here now and I tell her how pretty her bed is, just the way it is. But she is disappointed.

I know just how she feels.

Isn't this the way it settles in our hearts....that old, rotten, all-too familiar sense of discouragement. Someone else does it better than we do and so our efforts seem futile. Then our sunken, disheartened soul wonders why we should bother at all. So we give up.

Her upside-down mouth and that crumply bed were in the back of my mind all afternoon. Did she think someone would love her less on account of a few wrinkles? Me?....Her father?....Her friends?

To be loved. Surely it is what we strive most for in life. When I was a teenager, for years I used to read one small part of my then-favorite spiritual book over and over again. The section I would read and re-read, on Defects of Nature, encourages one not to feel grieved at one's natural inferiorities. To be content with the gifts we're given because they are the only gifts we need. God gives us those qualities which are in accordance with the designs He has for us. Nothing more, nothing less. The chapter further suggests that we should consider ourselves fortunate to be lesser than others, blessed to have mediocre talents, because superiority often engenders pride and vanity, and more is expected of those who have more.

That book saved me when I was younger. To realize that I had everything I needed to become perfect one day...in Him...for Him. Not perfect for friends or brothers or even my mother and father. As much as these people love me they'll never Love like Him. Perfectly.

One day in the not so distant future I know I'll find myself explaining all this to my little girl and her siblings: Seek Love only where it truly can be found....in Him; and strive to be perfect only for God, because friends and family will fail you. And that's okay. They're human. They're fallen. In those people you will never find complete rest, unbounded joy, or whole love, my dear. But you will find everything you desire, and much, much more in Him.

The promptings are beginning already.

Lord, help me to teach You....and only You. All I want for them is You, because You are all any of us really wants.

Friday, January 7, 2011

For the "Quiet" Seeker

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. ~St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reliefs Available

I have fifteen Madonna and Child wall sculptures available over at the Etsy shop now. My deep and humble gratitude for your interest. May these pieces bless your homes...

...and Happy Epiphany!