February 4, 2014 by Julia

Today is my birthday! Yes, that is the second time I’ve mentioned my birthday on my blog within a week, and yes, I am a grown adult, and yes, that is a little bit embarassing. But I only bring it up in this case to give you context for this post.

I’ve been inspired lately to collect art or poetry or quotes that (cheese alert!) feed my soul. (I apologize. I have yet to think of a more apt description.) I spent an hour at the craft store this past weekend, looking for something more attractive than your average bulletin board to put above my writing desk, so that I can look at these words and pictures that speak to me and uplift me. Finally I settled upon two small burlap canvases, twine, mini clothespins – and voila!

IMG_8600 IMG_8601 IMG_8602 IMG_8603

I’m still in shock that I managed to buy the supplies and execute this idea within one weekend. It was pretty simple, but still. And I LOVE having this here, where I see it every day. In case you can’t tell, my writing area is in our kitchen, right where all the family action is.

And just the act of finding words that are meaningful to me, and cutting out art from books or calendars that I find beautiful or interesting – well, it made me happy. How delightful it is to mindfully, intentionally curate our own space.

So, for my birthday, I would like to share with you some of the words and artistic works that make me happy, or inspire me to be a better person.

On Self-Acceptance:


Don't Shush Your Inner Voice by emilymcdowelldraws


rainer maria rilke


“When I am aware of my weaknesses – the things I’ve spent years wishing I could change about myself – and embrace them without being defensive, I can find ways to use them for good.” -Kelle Hampton, of Enjoying the Small Things, in her post 35 and a New Year. (A highly recommended parenting and gratitude blog.)

On Living Well:

"Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final" - Rainer Maria Rilke


When Life is Sweet Say Thank You & Celebrate, and When Life is Bitter, Say Thank You & Grow


On Love:

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” –Peter Ustinov

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment Quote By Henri Nouwen


I love Rainer Maria Rilke


Pablo Neruda


On Parenting:

Vintage Motivational Poster  Rainer Maria Rilke by vintagegoodness

– Rainer Maria Rilke, vintage poster by vintagegoodness on Etsy


It's our job . . . to raise children who . . .


Raise your words... W O W !!


“Our goal is to help parents tune in to their unique values and priorities so that decisions can be made based on joy, priorities, and instincts instead of ‘shoulds.'” – Christine Koh, Minimalist Parenting

I also want to mention the massively popular blog, Momastery. Glennon Doyle Melton first drew attention when her blog post Don’t Carpe Diem went viral. Many friends and I loved that post, and I continue to draw encouragement from her blog, which does not shy away from reality or love. Both are in full force, and nearly every time I read her posts I am reminded of what is important, and reassured that it is always okay to act with love towards myself and others, no matter what. She is good for my life.

Here is a post that recently inspired me, called Forever Tries:

“I am a mama of five (three kids, two dogs) and they need my attention. I’m also a writer, so ideas need my attention, too. Everyday ideas pull on my shirt and insist that I put them onto paper right away –  but I usually can’t because Chase needs me to watch him on his skateboard or Tish needs help with her book report or Theo needs a walk. So ninety percent of the time I have to ignore these insistent ideas and allow them to slip away and pass on to someone more available. I suppose that could drive me nuts, but it doesn’t. How lucky am I to be needed by ideas and children and animals? How blessed am I to love writing and motherhood so much that I’m constantly lovesick for one or the other?

If your hands are too full to grab that idea out of the air- let it go. To have your hands full is a ludicrous blessing. So if you must- if you must let go of the urgent to tend to the important then do it, you lucky dog. Let it go- smile and let that idea or opportunity pass onto another sister knowing that more will come. There is always more on its way – more opportunities, more ideas, more love. Think abundance- always think abundance. Belief in abundance is the source of all generosity and peace. Know that there is enough. Know that you are enough. Know that you have enough. Enough time, enough talent, enough love.

You can’t miss your boat. It’s yours. It stays docked till you’re ready. The only boat you can miss is someone else’s. Let them have theirs while you wait for the boat God made for you. God’s never early and never late. And know that love and life are patient. And that God is forever tries.” –Momastery


I don’t have much time left here! Ahhh – what else, what else?!

Art. I’ve only got time for one artist, for now.

His name is Brian Kershisnik and you can find everything here. I have loved his work ever since randomly finding a book of his at a yard sale over ten years ago. He is whimsical, lovely, deep, domestic, funny, and tender. Many of my favorite things, right there. Enjoy, and may you be uplifted, friends.

Climbing Mother - Brian Kershisnik

Climbing Mother – Brian Kershisnik

Dancing on a Very Small Island - Brian Kershisnik

Dancing on a Very Small Island – Brian Kershisnik

Burning Book - Brian Kershisnik

Burning Book – Brian Kershisnik

Night's Impossible Burdern - Brian Kershisnik

Night’s Impossible Burdern – Brian Kershisnik

Halo Repair - Brian Kershisnik

Halo Repair – Brian Kershisnik

Mother and Child - Brian Kershisnik

Mother and Child – Brian Kershisnik

Woman with Infant Flying - Brian Kershisnik

Woman with Infant Flying – Brian Kershisnik

Source – Brian Kershisnik Official Website


13 thoughts on “Uplifting

  1. Cary says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope you found a moment to yourself!

  2. Lisa says:

    Preeeetty great post. Probs in my top two. Looks like you need to make me a burlap bag cork board with twine and mini clothespins asap.

  3. Lisa says:

    Also, “Dancing on a Very Small Island” painting – best ever lol.

  4. Happy birthday, Julia – enjoy your day! I love the Rilke quotes.

  5. Happy Birthday!! Hoping this year is inspiring and lovely and brings you great joy and adventure. LOVE your craft, too! Might have to steal that idea! xoxo

  6. Lara says:

    Happy belated birthday! I turned 35 last month but didn’t write about it. I thought it would feel like some big milestone but the day sort of slipped away quietly and I tried to feel “big” things but so far 35 feels like just another year. Love all the quotes! I mean, Rilke. Sometimes I think he must have sat around all day just whipping up awesome, timeless quotes.

    • Julia says:

      Thanks, Lara. Rilke does seem like some sort of brilliant freak of nature, doesn’t he? I wonder if he ever suspected his musings would end up all over Pinterest? And 35 feels a little different to me…probably because mid-thirties feels oddly older than early thirties.

  7. […] been toying with the idea of making that first “Uplifting” post into an ongoing series – just a chance to share things I’ve found that have […]

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