<![CDATA[Inksprout]]>http://inksprout.com/Ghost v0.4.2Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:29:33 GMT60<![CDATA[A Lost Art]]>I’m afraid I cannot write, that any skill or talent I once had is gone. The creative well I once drew from seems to have all but dried up. Thoughts of dirty laundry and dishes, meal planning, and a litany of house projects that await reckoning have crept in and dominated an already cluttered space.

When I put my mind to writing, I used to be able to see what I wanted to evoke. Wrestling through how to portray my thoughts was common, but I at least knew where I was going, what I wanted to say. Now I’m not so certain anymore. I can’t see things as clearly. They are bleary and half formed and I don’t know how to finish them. It’s like trying to draw a landscape from some half remembered mountain trail. The billowing dells and lofty peaks return with ease, but the colors aren’t quite right anymore. They are off, a little muted, a little gray, overcast by newer memories. Gravel sent skittering in the wake of footsteps and the flight of birds from leafy branches have dwindled to a blur in the corner of a frame. The joy of the trek remains, but where it began lies just beyond recollection. What I am left with is a fond shadow at best.

My need to write once flowed from a darkness I harbored. With words I could cope with what I feared would consume me. Page by page I wrote prayers I dared not voice and words I could barely stand to think. Paper became a sacred space where I could meet with God, where I could let go and wait. In the waiting, I learned to see the distinct in the familiar and the glory in the mundane, where rain carried hope and shadows cast grace. It was then I could hold my pen a little less tightly and leave the notebooks closed a little longer. My words did not need to be captive to be safe.

Now, more than anything, I miss the intimacy that art afforded and the reminders it assured when fiery memories dimmed to embers. So perhaps it doesn’t really matter whether I am good with words or not. If they are my mementos of God’s faithfulness, then refined, muddled, or broken, I will gather them again. My need now is not to escape or cope, but to remember where I have been and how God was there too, to remember how to just be and breathe in the silence with pen in hand. Ready and waiting.

http://inksprout.com/a-lost-art/9a6d3d0a-6074-4653-9021-96cd4714b8a4Wed, 20 Jun 2012 16:00:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Welcome home]]>Thanks to my amazing in-laws, the oh-so-floral wallpaper that was taking over the walls AND CEILING in the kitchen, upstairs bathroom, and downstairs half bath is already gone. They even finished cleaning, patching, and painting the upstairs bathroom in addition to tackling a big chunk of the work in the kitchen and half bath. Amazing in-laws indeed.

There’s even been a bit of remodeling thrown in the mix since Philip opted to mow the lawn the other night and left me and Lori alone with the toolbox. We successfully liberated a couple of 70′s era speakers from the wall and made at least a few boards of wood paneling disappear in the process. Ah, the sweet catharsis of demolition. Next on the list is taking down some kitchen cabinets and I think Philip might be just as excited as I am to see them come down. Before and after pictures are in the making and I will certainly be posting them. What better way is there to celebrate a completed house project?

http://inksprout.com/post-2/973b1d36-c8f1-4eb7-b561-39a95937f705Mon, 02 Apr 2012 16:00:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Reasons to be]]>Lately I’ve been giving a good deal of thought as to why I chose to try my hand at this blogging thing. Being the nitpick I am, posting has been more of a challenge than I anticipated. There has been many a draft ravaged by the delete key and subsequently hidden away in a folder on my desktop. A blank page with all its undefined space has been surprisingly intimidating. Once I start filling up that space, I question whether or not my words amount to little more than silliness.

But then, I suppose we could all use a little silliness now and again. And while it can be a bit daunting to fill open spaces, there is a freedom in the unknown, a freedom to fail, to learn, to grow. And I think that’s what I hoped to find in this little corner of the world. This place with no walls, no expectations, no definitions. Somewhere I can be my messy, unrefined self complete with odd quips, fragmented sentences, and the occasional sound effect.

So why inksprout? At first, I wanted the name to reflect a melding of my interests in writing and attempting to live healthly-like. And with that notion, I put myself in a box and limited what I would write about. Now reflecting my self-imposed constraints, I’m trading them in for a less structured approach, because it’s through these fledgling efforts in ink that I hope to really see and experience life, celebrate and wrestle through what God has given me, explore the uncomfortable, and ultimately, sprout.

http://inksprout.com/reasons-to-be/1366dfb6-2fc6-4da8-b12f-9fd82cac4078Mon, 12 Mar 2012 06:31:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Do Overs]]>Needless to say, at least one of the things on my Before I’m 29 List isn’t going so well since I haven’t ventured round these parts in a while. Sadly, I’ve made very little progress on any of them. I have a terrible habit of being all or nothing when it comes to making more than one change at a time. So without further ado, I am declaring a “do-over”. Tomorrow is my first day not working in a little over three and a half months and I see some great potential for at least churning out a blog post (or two, if I’m feeling ambitious). So while I sift through the thoughts churning around in this noggin of mine I suggest you go check out Sarah Markley’s latest contribution on A Deeper Story. After reading that, I’m definitely feeling overdressed.

http://inksprout.com/do-overs/9703c592-7a84-422c-a30f-d3eda25fe0b7Sun, 22 Jan 2012 17:00:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Before I’m 29]]>It’s official. I’m 28 years old.

This year, I’m going to attempt something a bit different; I’m going to tackle the year head on. If asked where I see myself in one year, let alone five, I couldn’t really say. I don’t tend dream in the long term and that is something I want to change. Not so I can spend my days flitting about between what-ifs, but to be more intentional with the time I have. Inspired by the ever lovely EmilyO, I have made a list of things I would like to do before I’m 29. These are in no particular order, mind you. And if you should be so inclined, feel free to ask for an update on any of them. I’ll answer you honestly be it good, bad or ugly. Accountability is one of the reasons this list has made it past the drafting stages. Now, off we go!

1.) Write at least 3 short stories and 12 poems.

If I want to be a writer, I need to start doing it more regularly. Period.

2.) Submit at least one of the aforementioned creative works for publication.

Web, magazine, or other, the form of media isn’t as important as just taking the risk. It’s been way too long since I’ve submitted anything.

3.) Take more pictures.

I’m certainly not a photographer, but I have a camera that fits in my purse and one on my phone. So really, there’s no excuse for me to not have pictures of the awesome people and events in my life.

4.) Run a 5k.

I signed up for a race last year, but chickened out the day of. This year I want to actually finish a race. Even if I’m dead last.

5.) Read more.

Again, if I want to be a writer (and I do) this is something I need to do a good deal more of.

6.) Post on here at least once a week. Ideally more.

I don’t know why I don’t already. I’ve got this cozy little corner of the interwebs thanks to my husband and I’ve barely moved in. That’s got to change.

7.) Go camping.

We’ve had a tent since last summer that hasn’t been used. Time to break it in.

8.) Go back to school.

This one kind of scares me. It’ll take longer than just one year, but I think I’m ready to go back.

9.)Get out of debt/pay off school loans.

We could be doing better things with our money than paying interest on my school loans. Like saving for an adoption.

10.) Be more intentional with relationships, new and old.

Moving has made me lazy. I’m not reaching out to people like I want to and I’m not praying for them like I need to be. I have an abundance of amazing people in my life and there’s so much more I can be giving them. Including my husband.

11.) Attempt a veggie garden on our balcony.

This is already in the works thanks to some five gallon buckets, but there aren’t any veggies yet so I’m not totally cheating. I’ll have to fill you in on the start up details in the near future.

12.) Try a new recipe at least once a month.

And take pictures. And blog about it. Oh yes, this will be fun.

13.) Be in the Word consistently.

Lately I’ve averaged reading 4 out of 7 days in a week. Not good. And I don’t say that in a “I really ought to do this” kind of way. I need it. Desperately.

14.) Memorize Psalm 1 thru 12.

Memorization is another area I’ve been slacking in. I can quote more song lyrics than I can verses of scripture. I don’t need the words of other people tucked away in my mind. I need the words of God.

15.) Send actual mail.

Yes, I’m referring to snail mail. There’s just something special about finding mail in the mailbox that’s not junk or a bill.

So there you have it. The aspirations of one 28 year old Buckeye turned Hoosier. What is something you would like to do before you’re another year older?

http://inksprout.com/before-im-29/db82f77d-3813-41ec-84a0-885074a30358Fri, 27 May 2011 16:00:00 GMT
<![CDATA[What Boxes Can’t Contain]]>Finally…

I’m back.

Now that a thin layer of dust has settled on the moving boxes, I’ve made some time to steal away for a bit and write. Not that it’s been entirely busy here. It’s more that I’ve been avoiding thinking about some things. Like home. Like work. Like you.

And perhaps you’ve been wondering where I’ve disappeared to and what’s been going on in my neck of the woods. There’s really no short answer. Well, I guess if I just said, “We moved,” that would be a short answer. But it leaves too much to the imagination, in particular why it took me over a month to finally post again. Sure, there were boxes to unpack, pictures to hang and furniture to situate. But I wasn’t as ready to face what was left behind as I thought. So I tried to ignore how much I missed my family, my friends, and everything I’ve come to know as home.

Looking back on the weeks leading up to the move, they were infused with a sort of excitement, a bittersweet one that came from mingled anticipation and sadness. Those weeks hurtled by and Philip and I were off to a new place filled with new people. My mind hummed with ideas of adventures ahead, but these were slowly overtaken by a longing for home. While in Ohio, I was looking forward to some of the things that were coupled with moving across state lines and the promise of change. My eagerness wore off a little more quickly than I expected as my husband soon began his new job (the reason for the move) and I was left to do the exploring on my own. For someone as directionally impaired as myself, navigating in a strange town alone without a GPS can take the fun out of a great many things.

Since then I have learned my way around the area and where the local health food stores and farmer’s markets are tucked away. And the libraries too. Can’t survive without those. Philip and I have visited a couple churches here and I think we’ve found our “home away from home” so to speak. It isn’t the same, but I’m learning it doesn’t have to be.

Settled into the chair next to the sliding glass door, I’m watching the last bits of daylight fade from the horizon and leave ruddy-hued clouds in its wake. The nearby trees are white with blossoms and the newness of spring. In such subtle ways I am reminded of the hope that I have and that it wasn’t left in river valleys of Ohio. Though I have stifled it with fears and worries, hope still remains. And it has begun to flourish again with the realization that this time is a gift. If nothing else, I have opportunity and reason to lean more fully on my Savior, to better learn that He and nothing else is more than enough to satisfy. The days ahead can still be an adventure because my hope lies in the hands of the One who made them.

http://inksprout.com/post/bcf2869b-79eb-482f-91d9-3c90076847e0Sun, 08 May 2011 16:00:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Ambient Words]]>I have a confession…my husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.

We’re just odd like that.

But before any actual feeling of surprise settles in, I will admit we are inclined to do a little something the day before. Or on the 13th of any random month for that matter. Philip proposed on the 13th (of December) and so that seems as good a reason as any to set aside time for just the two of us. Unusual? Perhaps. Being normal isn’t quite as much fun as the alternative.

So, February 13th rolled around, and we decided it would be a good night to go out to dinner. It was shaping up to be a pretty nondescript evening. We were waiting for our table and talking over blog posts I had read on homeschooling, what it is that makes road trips exciting and how it is that a love of learning might be cultivated in a person. In the midst of this seemingly trivial conversation, something unexpected began to seep in. Something deeper.

Our attention turned to potential changes on the horizon and how we can live in a way that is an outflow of our adoration of Christ when we find ourselves in the heart of uncertainty. Do we try to preserve bits of ourselves by tucking things away into dark corners, for the security of knowing they are there? Are we reassured with the knowledge we have something familiar hoarded in the wings if we need it? We think we do not have to fully rely on God and His goodness if we’ve got a Plan B at the ready. What does it look like to let go and rest in Christ alone, not in our own fail-safes or resourcefulness? What does it look like for all we do to be motivated by the hope of glorifying God?

We posed hard questions. We wrestled with them. And most still linger in my thoughts. I look back on that evening and remember little of what we ate or how attentive the waitress was. That night was marked by good conversation. The kind that requires something of you. Vulnerability. Honesty. Effort.

I can’t help but wonder how can we spend our time talking any other way. Sometimes I struggle to remember what it was Philip and I used to talk about when we were dating. And I can begin to see how even in marriage, two people might one day realize they have become strangers. When your heart is left out of communication, it’s empty. If it doesn’t cost you something, it’s cheap. To know someone requires sacrifice and asking good questions is an art that is undervalued. I am grieved at how often I have wasted my words and settled for flippant exchanges. I am too easily satisfied by the superficial.

And so I am left wanting. Wanting to speak with wisdom, with truth, with hope. But more importantly, wanting to listen.

This life is meant for more than just filling up the silence.

http://inksprout.com/ambient-words/f013433a-6b59-4abb-8d57-17ea88e2b85cTue, 22 Feb 2011 17:00:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Hi, my name is…]]>I really can’t say how many times I’ve wondered, “Where should I begin?” in the past few days. Yep, I’ve postponed my first post for a few days now. Beginnings can be such funny things, intimidating and exhilarating all at once. I finally sat down and decided today was the day. So here we go!

First things first. My name is Robin.

I married Philip, a truly amazing man, this past June and my life has not been the same since. Marriage is an adventure, in the best kind of way.

Robin and Philip in the snow.

In the midst of adapting to this new phase of life, I strive to live in a way that pleases my Lord and Savior and mirrors His heart, but I have certainly made mistakes along the way. I’m still trying to figure things out, one day at a time. And so begins this foray into blogging. I don’t know much, but I’m wanting to learn. Learn what is means to be a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend in light of loving at a cost and letting go of what gets in the way of it. With that said, hang on to your hats. It’s bound to be an eventful ride.

http://inksprout.com/hi-my-name-is/80af5cd8-a4c3-41d2-afd0-6ffdf8e47918Wed, 02 Feb 2011 17:00:00 GMT