|picture taken by windchime|
My screen name is "JayLeigh," a name I made up when I was a little girl who loved to dream. Back then I thought it was such a beautiful name, one I'd love to have as my real name, and I remembered it when deciding what name to go by on my blog.
I'm a Christian mama. I'm a pretty conservative Christian, but I grew up in a legalistic environment and try hard to flee from the legalistic mindset as much as I can, and, though I struggle with being gracious to myself, I desire to rest in God's grace and share His grace with others.
I live in the lower Puget Sound with my family. My husband and I have been married for 20 years, and we have four wonderful children, ages 6-15. We homeschool, and we strive to parent our children with gentleness and grace. We live on about 4 1/2 acres of land. We have a lot of trees and native plants, plus too many blackberry bushes.
A few years ago I started going for daily walks in a nearby park to try and get more exercise and in hopes that it would lift my spirits. I began taking pictures with my camera along the way, and I began to observe nature in a way I had never done before. I enjoyed bringing my children with me, often a different child would go with me each day, and they began to notice special things in nature, too! We wanted to know what the plants and animals we saw were, and I began to look things up on the internet and checked out books from the library. It was so fun to discover all these new things, and we have grown to love being out in nature and seeing the beautiful changes the various seasons bring.
What we do is usually pretty simple. . . we do a lot of walking and go to a lot of parks and beaches and enjoy the zoo. We don't walk on difficult hikes, climb mountains, or go out in canoes. But that's okay! Going out in nature doesn't have to be difficult in order to be amazing (though someday I'd love to learn to kayak, and yes, I sheepishly admit that would be difficult for me). One of my goals for this blog is to help encourage families get out in nature, and to show that even small steps are good! There is so much beauty to be found even at the local park or nature center, and even in your yard if you are blessed to have a yard!, and, though it would be awesome, you don't have to be an amazing athlete or expert on birds or bugs or plants to enjoy it. I encourage you to take those small steps and take the time to observe and explore the beauty of nature around you. If at first others in your family aren't all that interested, don't give up hope! I've found that enjoyment of nature can be really contagious!