Sharon McKeeman Blog » Blog

Masthead header

 

“A child should be brought up to have relations of force with earth and water, should run and ride, and swim and skate, lift and carry; should know texture, and work in material; should know by name, and where and how they live at any rate, the things of the earth about him, its birds and beasts and creeping things, its herbs and trees; should be in touch with literature, art and thought of the past and the present. He must have a living relationship with the present, its historic movement, its science, literature, art, social needs and aspirations, In fact he must have a wide outlook, intimate relations all around, for it depends, not on how much is learned, but how things are learned.”

– Charlotte Mason

Yes to all of that.

Fourth grade brought the California history float parade and David’s landmark was Mount Whitney. His brother has climbed it, David has been at home on mountains and met their trees, rocks and creatures. All school year we dive into the stories of past and present, the history of landmarks, natural phenomena, and great explorers. So last week David dug his hands down into wet clay, felt its texture and made a mountaintop – a mountain atop a boogie board atop a skateboard that he marveled at and prepared to walk around his school in the annual 4th grade float parade. I’m thankful for the time to attend to how things are learned and to marvel with them instead of just marching through a test of how much is learned.

For more real life inspiration this June head on over to Childhood Unplugged

CU_June_Sharon-1IMG_1842IMG_1843IMG_1840

 

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

– Scott Adams

I like paper. I love how it looks and feels and smells. It’s simple, doesn’t need batteries. I like how there isn’t a delete button to push easy and start over. I love that you have to build up the layers and make it all into something together. Nothing makes me happier than to see my boys with a set of paints and a piece of paper.

For more unplugged inspiration this May head on over to Childhood Unplugged. Oh and don’t mind our Christmas decorations, I took these photos a few months ago – I’m not that behind haha.

CU_May_01CU_May_02CU_May_03CU_May_04CU_May_05CU_May_06CU_May_07CU_May_08CU_May_09CU_May_10CU_May_11CU_May_12CU_May_13CU_May_14

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Some of my best friends are books and they live on a wall of bookshelves my husband built for me. There is one section on those shelves where my very best friends live, the ones with the dog-eared pages and every-other-word underlined – the books that I pull down off the shelf weekly or daily to be reminded of what I truly believe about life. A new friend has made her home there this month – a new friend reminding me of truths I had forgotten and calling my eyes to open to God’s beauty, goodness and love in a whole new way – Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs.

I have gone through several pregnancy losses, one was during birth on my son’s due date and I found that searching for beauty in my everyday was what kept me going, let me know God was real in the midst, and brought healing. I have lived through hard seasons when in order to just get through the day I desperately searched for one good, beautiful thing to hold onto, reminding me that God was still present and at work.

But as life normalizes and days are full of the usual disappointments and difficulties, it’s easy to lose sight of the beauty God gives – to think that clinging onto a whisp of wind or a flower petal is something only crazy, grief-stricken people do. And so I got busy, and so I got dry.

Until I was honored to receive an advance copy of Annie Down’s newest book Looking for Lovely. I had no idea what a powerful gift it would be, bringing me back to gratitude and hope in a whole new way.

In her book, Annie tells us of her experience with “broken crazy” and how God guided her into “looking for lovely.” Each chapter is a heartfelt story that leads you into seeking out and celebrating the simple, miraculous loveliness that God infuses our days with.

So I’m looking again now. The treasure hunt has begun, and I’m searching along with friends – with this book in hand, with Annie and with all the women who I know are seeking along with me. Knocking so He will answer. Seeking to find. We are looking for lovely, and once our eyes are opened the hunt is easy because loveliness is one wave after wave cascading over us. Sunrises and sunsets, spring flowers and dew on the grass, painted nails, pancake breakfasts, dinner with friends, a long walk, the comfort of a good book… endless blessings. His loveliness surrounds us, surrounds me, and I am so thankful for this kind friend’s call to seek it out, to open my eyes and my heart to beauty again and trust that in doing so my heart will be healed and awakened.

So wherever you’re at today… If you’re reeling in the wake of loss or you’re numbed by endless laundry and diaper duty… This book is your call to find the spectacular in your everyday, seek out stunning beauty and revel in the simple loveliness that God gives us with every breath. You can find it at your local bookstore, on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

  • ~Karrilee~ - Just so much this: “We are looking for lovely, and once our eyes are opened the hunt is easy because loveliness is one wave after wave cascading over us.” Yes and Amen, my kindred-book-loving friend!ReplyCancel

    • sharon - Lots of love to you Karrilee – this book just opened my heart up, so thankful for it 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Hello, fellow launcher!

    Oh, my! I have the same feels for my favorite “book friends” too, just like you wrote about. I underline and draw stars and hearts and write notes inside the back cover. It’s like the Velveteen Rabbit: I love my books into raggedy “realness.” Yes!ReplyCancel

    • sharon - Hi there Elizabeth! Yesssss when I loan friends to books they get quite a shock when they open them up 😉 I love that – we ARE loving them into realness!ReplyCancel

  • Faith R - I LOVE your book shelf. So many treasures there!! A million little ways – yes! Blue Like Jazz – wrecked me for everything else, and Looking for Lovely – SO good and so needed.ReplyCancel

 

“The goofy thing about the Christian faith is that you believe it and don’t believe it at the same time. It isn’t unlike having an imaginary friend. I believe in Jesus; I believe He is the Son of God, but every time I sit down to explain this to somebody I feel like a palm reader, like somebody who works at a circus or a kid who is always making things up or somebody at a Star Trek convention who hasn’t figured out the show isn’t real.

Until.

When one of my friends becomes a Christian… the experience is euphoric. I see in their eyes the trueness of the story.”

– Donald Miller in Blue Like Jazz

This weekend I was with a group of women worshipping and learning and being silly together, and I saw it. And I see it in these people that sprung from my body and I have no idea how they are who they are, but they know Him. I see it in them and in the world our Father made. So we take long walks on the pier at sunset and he brings a saxophone along, because we want to catch a glimpse… We want to look deep at the trueness of the story.

For more images of time spent outdoors in this amazing world, head over to Childhood Unplugged

Sax-15Sax-16Sax-17

  • Monica Calderin - Such truth to those words. The Christian walk is a funny one, but definitely worth it. These images are just lovely Sharon. xoReplyCancel

 

Every year we begin with a climb. Right up the hill and back. We’re joined by crowds making the pilgrimage to a better self, and a new calendar. We don’t find a better self, but the calendar pages keep flying by, and each year we remind ourselves who we are on this hike. We are together and we are lovers of the sky and sea and wind. We are stragglers just walking weary and awestruck. And we are journeying hand in hand through every dark challenge and across magic shores lit pink by setting sun. This is a new year, beginning anew right where we left off. Click over to Childhood Unplugged to see more adventures.

CU_Feb2016_001CU_Feb2016_002CU_Feb2016_003CU_Feb2016_004CU_Feb2016_005CU_Feb2016_006CU_Feb2016_007CU_Feb2016_008CU_Feb2016_009CU_Feb2016_010CU_Feb2016_011CU_Feb2016_013CU_Feb2016_014CU_Feb2016_015CU_Feb2016_016CU_Feb2016_017CU_Feb2016_018CU_Feb2016_021CU_Feb2016_022CU_Feb2016_023CU_Feb2016_024CU_Feb2016_025CU_Feb2016_026CU_Feb2016_027CU_Feb2016_028CU_Feb2016_029CU_Feb2016_030CU_Feb2016_031CU_Feb2016_032CU_Feb2016_033CU_Feb2016_034CU_Feb2016_035CU_Feb2016_036CU_Feb2016_037CU_Feb2016_038CU_Feb2016_039CU_Feb2016_040CU_Feb2016_041CU_Feb2016_042CU_Feb2016_043CU_Feb2016_044CU_Feb2016_045CU_Feb2016_046CU_Feb2016_047CU_Feb2016_048CU_Feb2016_049CU_Feb2016_050CU_Feb2016_051CU_Feb2016_052CU_Feb2016_053CU_Feb2016_056CU_Feb2016_055

CU_Feb2016_057CU_Feb2016_058CU_Feb2016_059CU_Feb2016_060CU_Feb2016_061CU_Feb2016_062IMG_0392CU_Feb2016_064CU_Feb2016_065CU_Feb2016_066CU_Feb2016_067CU_Feb2016_068CU_Feb2016_069CU_Feb2016_070CU_Feb2016_071CU_Feb2016_072CU_Feb2016_073CU_Feb2016_074CU_Feb2016_075CU_Feb2016_076CU_Feb2016_077CU_Feb2016_078CU_Feb2016_079CU_Feb2016_080CU_Feb2016_081CU_Feb2016_082CU_Feb2016_083CU_Feb2016_084CU_Feb2016_085CU_Feb2016_086CU_Feb2016_087CU_Feb2016_088CU_Feb2016_089IMG_0497CU_Feb2016_091CU_Feb2016_092CU_Feb2016_093CU_Feb2016_094CU_Feb2016_095CU_Feb2016_096CU_Feb2016_0971-2-2016