Broken Hallelujahs

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There is this song I love, 
You probably know all the words, too.
It played from my speakers recently as I drove, and I hit repeat on my phone each time it ended.   
The song always feels troubled and beautiful to me all at once.
And I've heard it dozens of times.
But it got all the way into my bones and heart that day.  
And then I knew why.
From the single line:

Love is not a victory march
It's a cold 
It's a broken

 I think I will look back on this year as my broken Hallelujah year.  

1. Praise ye the Lord!
2. a shout of joy, praise, or gratitude

I've spent so much of my time trying to put my thumb on God.  
Pin Him to what I think He must be.
Just hold Him steady for a minute to get a good, clear look~ 
But the more I've squirmed and shifted and adjusted, 
The more mystery He looks like.  
And there is less and less of what I imagine Him to be
And more and more of Him inviting me into a dance.
The kind in the movies where the camera spins and 
Everything is blurry and good and lovely.  
A movie-dance where the girl is holding desperately onto Someone, 
But her eyes are closed and 
Her head is back
And she is laughing. 
Nothing is very clear, 
But everything is right.

I don't like to dance. 
I'm actually terrible at it.
And completely awkward...
The kind of awkward where I really feel the need to shove my weird arms down into pockets.
Because pockets are an awkward girl's best friend. 
It just feels lately like I've been spinning and
My hallelujah feels broken. 
Because I'd prefer to see my Dance Partner for everything He is.
Know His next move.
See the big picture, all the way zoomed out.
But that isn't the dance I've been invited into,
And that makes my 
A choice;
My praise song, 
A struggle;
My Hallelujah, 

But I keep uttering it anyway. 
Even if all I'm seeing are glimpses into 
What I search for.  
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One of the best paragraphs I've read in a very long time is from
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (by Donald Miller):

'The next day, when I was walking with my cousin Carol, she asked me where I thought my uncle was.  She knew he was in heaven, but she wanted me to tell her what I thought he might be doing, what heaven was like.  I told her I thought heaven was outside of time, and perhaps we were already there with her father.  She seemed to think that was nice, but I could tell she wasn't comforted.  And later that night I pictured Uncle Art, and I could see him in heaven, and he was sitting at a table and there was a celebration.   There was dancing and bottles of wine, and there was music.  I could see him at a wedding, and I realized that's what I should have told Carol, that her dad was at a wedding.'

I am a figure-it-out-person. 
I liked word problems in math class. 
Which is probably in some way tied to my awkward dancing and need for deep pockets, 
But whatever.
I like learning. 
And thinking. 
And most of all, getting the right answer. 
But for all the reading and thinking and all-out-nerding-it-up that I do, 
I learn the most about God
At the table.  
Surrounded by friends who somewhere along the way morphed into family. 
Food, beer, laughter, strings of lights, way-too-loud kids, inside jokes...
It all feels a bit of familiar heaven.
Like I am totally sitting at a table in heaven, outside of time and space,
Yelling back to my awkward-ass earth self, 
This. Is. It. 
It is all in the glimpses
And the fleeting, but perfect moments.
It really is a Wind in my soul.
And I see it, if just for a second.

This is what matters.
This is what I am created for.

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So even if I feel less than settled in 
My theology at times,
Even if I feel dizzy
And all my straight lines get blurred
And all the black and white turn into shades of a thousand colors, 
(Because I assumed somewhere along the way my Creator could be solved like a word problem), 
My Hallelujahs are still whispered,
Broken as they are.
Because His love is not something I win.
It will never be a victory I claim.
It is an invitation. 
To learn more.
To know, for certain, less.
To eat and laugh and love others 
Around a table
Or a borrowed firepit.
Under stars.
Sitting on blankets and beach chairs.
And somehow, 
Beside heaven.

I think my broken Hallelujahs 
Have led me closer to the wedding feast.



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There is a special blog hop going on if you'd like to join in and maybe win a $40 gift voucher to my shop (click here!).  Also, there are 5 new stamps in my shop -->here<--. 

Thanks for stopping by on your busy Friday!
Here is to a good start to the weekend!



Coloring Contest~

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You must be a follower of this blog.
You need to use one of the listed digis as your entry.
Post a project using the colored digi(s) to your blog.
Share on social media with a link to the coloring contest (here).

You may enter up to two times.
You can only enter projects that *YOU* have colored and made personally.
All entries must be completed and added to the linky on this post by July 21st, 11:59pm EST.

Coloring Winners:

Best Color Combo
Best Coloring

Social Media Winners:

One tagged photo from Instagram (must tag me in it @kristacanary)
One photo loaded to our Facebook page (you must already be a member there).


Each winner receives a $20 voucher to the Saturated Canary shop.

Good luck!!

**Contest winners have been announced HERE on August 20**


Stories, Not Here.

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This season of our lives has been filled with relational living. Inviting people into our home and day; being invited into the hearts and homes of others.  Occasionally, in it all, I think about blogging or sharing, but I love it too much to turn it into a post or 'share'. 

Somewhere back in the near past, Phil and I talked together about living on mission-- life on life.  Being part of a bigger family; a bigger story.  And then it happened, and it's exhausting and exciting all in one breath.  I'm thankful for dear friends, for laughter and late nights, crowded homes, and brimming hearts.  I'm happy for a calendar that fills with dinners, conversations over coffees, and tables needing more chairs to be pulled up-- all of us squished and happy-- talking over craft beer about love languages and old stories.  

So here is a full 4 months of pictures...and the realization that I suck at blogging consistently. 
But I'm kinda okay with that. 
I think there are seasons where I'm going to want to tell a story,
But it will be in my backyard under the stars and twinkle lights.
And that is okay, too:).

You are more than welcome to show up.
I always have a full pot of coffee brewed.


Bookmark and Coloring Contest Winners.

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Here is a fun bookmark project.  

Niamh just finished her first Harry Potter book, and she wanted a special, magnetic bookmark like one I was using.  (I have a thing for bookmarks.  Especially the cute magnetic bookmark packs.  I have a drawer corner full of them. Yikes.)  

But, they are super easy to make, too.  

Two magnetic stickers on the inside flaps, and you have a bookmark that doesn't budge. Mine is 3.75" x 8" (folded in half of course).  

I used this new stamp for the front.  (Coupon code MAY30 will get you 30% off any order through Saturday!!)

And now Niamhy has a Harry Potter-esque bookmark for the second book...and all the rest. 

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We have also selected the winners of the coloring challenge.  I am late announcing them (by, oh, just a month).  April was just too full for me.  Darwin (our cat) died during a routine vet appointment (that was a rough few days), I worked through a major illustration project, and I also worked on a couple manuscripts on the side for an upcoming writer's conference.  We homeschool and intentionally try to live on mission with our friends and church family, too.  Needless to say, blogging never made it on the radar.  I am hoping for some quieter months ahead.  And who knows.  Maybe a blog more than once every two months during the summer;).

Here are the four winners:

My DT selected Zoe's project.  
Most votes goes to Lotta's project.
Niamh's favorite is Collette's project.
My favorite is Zara's project.

I am also going to give an extra winning spot to share to the two sister projects here and here... If you girls can come up with a character together, I'll draw that extra one for you both:). 

Thanks to everyone who played along~ as always, it was a difficult decision to narrow down to only five winners.  I'll plan on another contest soon:)!

Happy Thursday!


Good Friday

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today is quiet, dark, and rainy.
i think the way every Good Friday should be.
in the midst of working on artwork and homeschooling,
meeting with friends over coffee and evening church services, 
dinner out with family,
and sneaking in a little reading, 
my heart seeks stillness.
listens to hear this familiar story anew. 
with thankfulness,
awful discomfort,
and especially

i hope that our weekend is filled with
rolled away stones,
grace too beautiful to understand,
and Life.

Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford & Sons on Grooveshark


Coloring Challenge~~

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I thought it might be fun to host a coloring challenge...Something to get us in the mood for summer.
Please read the rules carefully.  If you do not enter accordingly, you will be disqualified.

Color either this stamp or this stamp.  
(**Use code COLOR for 50% off these two stamps).
You may enter up to two times.
Post it on your blog as part of a project/card.
Link to THAT blog post below.  
**Please be a follower of this blog. 

The challenge ends on 3/28 at 1pm EST. 

Four finalists will be chosen:

1.  Based on the number of "Likes" earned under the entries (most votes wins).
2.  My favorite coloring.
3.  My Design Team's favorite coloring (they will vote and let me know the winner).  
4.  Niamh's favorite coloring.  Because she colors ALL.THE.TIME.  and I just want to include her:). 

These four winners will get the chance to help design *one digital stamp and receive that stamp for free. 

Please note:
-- the stamp may not be designed after a photo of any child, parent, grandchild, etc... I am not going to draw or create anyone's child or friend into a digi
-- only one character can be created...no pairs
--the stamp should be creative and unique
--I have the right to decline any character I do not think will fit my shop or vision...so that means the winner would need to rethink their design
--stamps will be drawn for release mid-April

Feel free to add your creations to the Saturated Canary Facebook Group.  
Also, remind your friends to vote for your creation.



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