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Oh my friend, the beauty here is manyfold! I read through the story first, then rushed off to share it with my girls, who were still eating their nuts and chocolate coins. Phew, just in the nick of time! So thank you for that gift, first. Then, I came back and finished reading, and it was like the layers of a heart opening to reveal grace. Thank you for sharing your journey in that moment, and for illuminating the soul of this work, this season, this life. I'm so glad to have your light shining in the window here at storymama.

Lesley Austin

You are wise to see so quickly.

I remember a "beautiful experience" I created for our sons and their friends long ago, with a handmade mama and child dolls placed at the edge of the woods, candles and lanterns carried on the walk to it, and songs around it...and how upset I was when little Ben started singing a Santa song that included underwear in the lyrics. I can still hear his chuckle now, but at that moment, I remember feeling so annoyed, as tho' the spell was broken.

With my boys nearly grownup at 20 and 24 and (from what they have told me!) knowing their memories are quite vague on all of those lovely experiences their young lives were filled with, I learned what you have expressed...we must do what we do for love and let go of expectation. At least *my* heart is still warmed, remembering what I created back then.

Now I am learning to create them just for myself...it felt a bit hollow in the beginning, but I am getting comfortable with it now.

Sending warm Advent wishes your way,



I don't think there is a limit to the forms in which we can learn this lesson of open-handed loving, service for the sake of service, love for the sake of love, making beauty for the sake of making beauty. We must learn it over and over, mustn't we? But it penetrates more deeply each time on the turn of the spiral.
I'm laughing because this reminds me of a couple of nights ago when I was putting lights on the Christmas tree (with the sort of passionate focus and precision that one might use to engineer a skyscraper) and a couple of the family and friends here started teasing me for being "OCD." I faltered for a moment, a little stung. Did they think that creating beauty required no attention, no patience? Was my effort not valuable to them? And then that melted away as I realized I do things with that kind of attention because I LIVE to make beauty and that is just a pure, free act of love and joy for me-that's the open hand of the love. Eye-rolls are welcome! I am blissed out that I get to create and experience beauty, period. And we all agreed in the end: Dang, is that tree pretty.

Rebecca Kunz

Dear Brenna, Horray for your beautiful new blog! How lucky we are that you will be sharing a little piece of you and the wonder you create. I so look forward to many more wonder-filled blog posts. Look out Waldorf bloggers!

Emily Rothschild

Dear B,
how awesome to see you make a space for yourself in the blog zone & for finding an outlet for this raw expression & honest evaluation. Reminds me of the Leonard Cohen lyric " Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That's how the light gets in."
looking forward to more of the stories to come...
love, Em

Dove Woeltjen

Dear Brenna,

Thank you for sharing your story, such a familiar one to me! I always imagine a project with my children to turn out a certain way, and then when it is different, I feel so disappointed. I'm just learning to roll with it - but I feel like I've already passed on the idea of desire for perfection and beauty in an experience to my daughter. Now she gets so mad when someone acts in a way that changes the atmosphere she wants! I guess we'll both have to learn together!

I am very happy that you are blogging! You're one of the mamas that I admire greatly, and I would love to hear more about what you are thinking about!


Jennifer Schulz

I love Saint Nicholas! Still trying to figure out how to integrate everything with celebrating Advent/Christmas but St Nicholas Day is very much a highlight in the season!

My family took time over THanksgiving to go around the room and each share something that we are grateful for after reflecting over the past year. One of the things that came to mind that I am reminded of after reading your honest "admission" is that I am slowly starting to believe that I can let go of some control and the need for everything to be perfect. God is perfect and I can trust in Him, rather than myself (my own devices, etc..).

Thank you again for sharing!



What is inside the walnut boat? Is it wax? Just trying to see if we can plan to do a sweet craft like that, wondering what you used?


Thank you all for your supportive and thoughtful comments!

Mendy, we poured melted beeswax into the walnut shell. It doesn't take much (as you can imagine), so we melted down the unmelted portion of an old beeswax pillar candle. The wax holds the mast and string in place and also gives the walnut shell weight, in case you want to try to sail it. We didn't sail these, but we have sailed walnut shell boats in the past and it actually works.

Lesley, thanks for sharing your story! I love hearing from mamas whose babies are all grown-up- what a wonderful perspective.

Yes, Jennifer, I agree that trust is the antidote to perfectionism. An ongoing thread in my life!

Scout, your Christmas lights are a thing of beauty! You always remind me that a job done well and thoroughly is a prayer.


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