{A Glimpse into an Intentional Life}

Being intentional is easier said than done. It’s easier imagined than executed. So here’s where we inspire you every week with a simple picture and a few words. Think of this as a chance to help you realize the simplicity of intentional.

It’s all too easy to stay inside until the rain is over.  Next time, step outside and don’t be afraid to get a little wet.  You never know what you will find.

Be inspired. Allow gratitude and joy and beauty to sneak in with every intention. And then won’t you come back and share your moment with us? Or leave a link in the comments to your blog where you celebrate {A Glimpse into an Intentional Life}.

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual.   A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

{A Glimpse into an Intentional Life}

Being intentional is easier said than done.  It’s easier imagined than executed.  So here’s where we inspire you every week with a simple picture and a few words.  Think of this as a chance to help you realize the simplicity of intentional. 

The world is so full of tiny little wonders.  Look around and notice some today.

Be inspired.  Allow gratitude and joy and beauty to sneak in with every intention.  And then won’t you come back and share your moment with us?  Or leave a link in the comments to your blog where you celebrate {A Glimpse into an Intentional Life}. 

 

 

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{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual.   A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Shopping Locally: An Intentional Means to Support My Community

My childhood summer memories are filled with the smell of acrylic paint and ceramic shavings.  Even now I sometimes dream of bottles of paint and electrical wiring and kilns burning hot.  My fingers still ache to clean a piece of greenware, to feel the rough texture beneath my hands.  These things permeate my memories because of the summers I spent in the beautiful City of Oaks with my grandparents.

They were hardworking, self-employed folks who rose long before the sun came up.  Grandpa loaded his produce truck and drove off into the sunrise while Grandma headed down in the dark to her workshop.  She’d spend the first few hours pouring slip into molds and preparing her ceramics.  I’d stumble down hours after she’d awakened and joined her in her shop where she’d put me to work cleaning and painting all the ceramics I’d chosen to work on that summer.  Sometimes Grandpa would pop in during the afternoon to wire the lamps and make the music boxes sing beautiful songs.

I have beautiful memories of those summers.  Her shop was busy, her till was full, her ceramics were beautiful, her art and classes were therapeutic.

Now Grandma’s shop isn’t the bustling place it once was.  It could be said that Grandma aged and worked less, but that isn’t true.  Even at 86, she still gets up before the sun rises and heads to her workshop.  No, sadly, it isn’t the bustling place it used to be because of a number of reasons.

Maybe I could argue that ceramics are a dying art.  Or at least doing ceramics from start to finish the way she does, is a dying art.

Or maybe her shop is failing because of the giant shift to a bigger America from the small-town America it used to be.

Now we have the world at our fingertips.  Why go pop in to a local shop when I can just as easily order the same thing online (and probably for a cheaper price)? Or why shop small business when I can go into Mega-Mart and buy a cheaply made version of whatever it is I’m looking for?

Why indeed?

When we travel an hour and a half from home and visit Goliad, we are greeted as if we’re old friends, despite the fact that no one knows us there.  We pop into the local sandwich shop and in the fifteen minutes it takes for them to prepare my order, I listen to the lady behind the register chatting away with all of her customers on a PERSONAL level.  She calls out to the young people leaving, “Hey, tell both of your mamas I said hey,” and to the customer that just walked in, “Hey sweetie, how’s your granny feeling these days?”  The next guy walks in and she asks, “The usual? How’s life out at the Presidio today?”  Everyone is a friend and everyone is welcome.  They bake their bread fresh and take pride in their sandwiches.  I suppose I could chalk it up to amazing customer service, but the truth is, it is the EXACT same in every store we go into there.  There are eclectic shops filled to the brim with quaint, unique items.  No mass-produced China made products lingering about.  There’s salve made by a local herbalist using local plants.  There’s salsa made by a local mom who is able to stay home with her kids because of her sales.  There are clothes made by a talented, local seamstress.  There’s even a cookbook boasting of local recipes, gathered together by the people there.  And those are the products that are the first to be recommended.  There’s a sense of community.

It used to be that this city of mine boasted of a few locally owned book shops.  Now they’ve been run off by corporate America. So I grab my Starbucks and get lost between tall organized shelves of books at Barnes & Noble.  The booksellers don’t recognize me in the sea of faces that frequent their stores.  The employee turnover rate is high.  There’s no personal connection with the people there.  I miss the charming armchair shrouded with piles of books at the locally owned shop.  I miss the personalized recommendations.  I miss the community.  I miss the deeper purpose to all this buying and selling.

But that’s what happens when we stop supporting local.  Big business moves in.  Small business gets crowded out.

So why indeed?  Why shop local when the world is at our fingertips?  Why frequent the places close to our homes and get to know the folks behind the products, the goods and the services?  Why make a connection with the folks behind the register at the bank and the grocery store and all the other places we frequent?

Because people matter.

I miss the community.  I miss the idea that shopping and browsing are less about what I’m buying and more about who I’m buying from.

Aside from the necessity of food, most of our purchases are superfluous.  We have a choice about what to shop for and where to shop for those wanted items.

That’s why I first try to shop small business local.  I openly admit I don’t do it all the time.  I don’t have a bank vault with coins to swim in at my disposal and so I do have my budget and my bottom line to consider.  You’ll still see me grab my cart at our big chain grocery store and do some price comparison shopping.  And sadly, I have been known to haunt the aisles at some of the mega-stores in our area in an effort to buy cheap.  But when I can, I prefer to shop with the folks who are the backbone of this community of mine.

I think of my Grandma and her dwindling business and I want to support the folks like her who put themselves out there and try their best to do what they love.

I like knowing the process that my end product has gone through.  Whether it’s coffee beans or bread or lotion, I like knowing where the ingredients came from.  I like the idea that I’m supporting the American dream of entrepreneurship. I like supporting small-businesses with real people.  I like knowing the products were made ethically and sometimes even with a far reaching benefit.  I like knowing that I’m supporting that stay-at-home mom in her business or that my dollar goes to support that family I hold dear.  I like knowing that the product I hold in my hand is a labor of love.

The truth is, there are times I’d rather pay more and buy less because I like knowing the people I’m buying from.

I’d rather buy locally made than name brand.  I’d rather buy products with local ingredients than ingredients shipped from halfway across the globe.  I’d rather buy from the folks right here who exhibit talent and love in the form of stuff.  I’m rather proud of this country, even this city, of mine and I like knowing my dollars support that pride.

If I can’t shop small business local, I make an effort to chat in all the local places I visit.  I pick the same HEB every week and the same checkout clerk and now I know all about Maxine and her husband and his wretched fight with cancer.  I know all about RJ, my bagger, and his homeschooling family that he supports with this extra job.  I don’t drive to the next big city seeking fancy stores or better places because these people and these places…they are my community.  They are my people.

There is value in supporting what we believe in.  I believe in community and people and relationships so I intentionally shop to support those beliefs.  The farmer’s market, the local artisan, the coffee bean roaster hobbyist turned professional, the baker.

Sometimes money has more value than just it’s face value.  Spending intentionally helps me remember that.

Daybook

Outside my window…four little readers have all found a spot to enjoy the beautiful sun and a good read.

I am remembering…Katie when she had all her baby teeth and those beautiful golden curls.  

I am thankful for…sunny days, blue skies and a beautiful bay nearby.

I am watching…Elementary again as we finished Outlander Season 2.

I am wondering…if this girl will always be all about glitter and pink.  This was her latest project from “the bubble store.”  Every week since September, on our way to ballet, we drive past “the bubble store,” a locally owned craft store with a pink storefront decorated with bubbles and every week since September, Katie has begged to go into “the bubble store.”  Finally last week, I acquiesced, not knowing what was in store for us.  Styrofoam, tons of glitter and adorable little crafty things were lining the shelves.  We did not walk about empty handed, obviously.  So Katie browsed and browsed and browsed and finally collected all the items to make this incredibly pink, glittery wall hanging.  It does fit her personality, though, and makes her bedroom walls look so fancy.  

I am hoping…for spring weather.  I am hoping we don’t go straight from cold, gloomy days to miserably hot days.  A nice spring interlude would be ever so wonderful.

I am pondering… busy-ness and how it’s an American epidemic.  All these thoughts are in my heart and I promise to share them soon on With Every Intention.  

I am laughing…along with Katie at the way the wind caught her hair.  

I am planting…weeds ; )  Because some weeds are beautifully useful and medicinal.  So I’m okay with weeds.  And that’s what’s going in the garden this spring.

I am reflecting…on this thought that I read on New Years Day this year…”Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

In the schoolroom…One more week and it’ll be the end of another 6 weeks (which for us means a week off as we Sabbath school…6 weeks on, 1 week off).  Lots of progress happening over here…from reading lessons to Plutarch and everything in between.

Around the house…lots of tinctures brewing and a new batch of water kefir rehydrating.  

In the kitchen…William begged to bake doughnuts one morning for breakfast and then Katie, inspired by the sprinkles on the doughnuts, made some delicious sugar cookies (complete with frosting colored pink purely by beet powder)….despite their extreme girliness, I have noticed none of the boys have had any trouble eating them ; ) 

I am wearing…jeans and a raspberry colored 3/4 length sleeve soft cotton tee.  My feet are clad in thick socks to keep warm on these chilly tile floors.

We are preparing for…a week of homeschooling in the woods soon.

Someday I am going to miss…all the excitement of losing a tooth!  Katie lost her first tooth a few weeks ago (well technically, she lost her first tooth a few years ago! but that was an accident…this was her first tooth to fall out naturally) and she was so excited.  It fell out while she was eating a bowl of ice cream and rejoiced in the idea that I, too, had lost a tooth just like that when I was her age.  She hid it in her tooth fairy pillow under her pillow and I was awakened around 2 am with a delighted little child.  She couldn’t believe that the tooth fairy had come to visit and “how did she get under my pillow?  I never felt her lift my head!”  Katie is now one tooth short, two dollars richer and has a heart filled with imagination and delight.  I.love.these.moments.

I am readingMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (it’s my first of her novels!) and the first book in the Wingfeather saga…Joseph is excited to go have tea and discuss it with me ; )  (I’m just excited that he’s excited about something beyond Beast Quest!)  

One of my favorite things…this kid and his bigger than average feelings.  When this kid is angry, he’s really angry.  When he’s sad, he’s really sad.  But when he loves, oh how he really loves.

A peek into my day

Please visit The Simple Woman’s Daybook for more daybook entries.