September 30, 2012

31 Days...

Aaah yes! It comes as no surprise to those who know me 'in real life'! 
Fall (or Autumn) is my Favorite!
I am expecting that as I count out 31 Days sharing how I love Fall,
the Lord will stir up deeper truths 
& reveal some unexpected reasons!

Tomorrow starts the fun...
Come back with a cup of coffee, and let's Fall for Autumn together!

September 26, 2012

Pondering a topic for 31 Days...

I am in prayer and feeling up for the challenge of blogging every day for 31 days in the month of October!  The challenge at first is intimidating because, well - first off - EVERY day? Secondly... I have a lot of words... so that feels like a big commitment!  However, I am finding I want to learn to write saying more while using less.  So  I embrace this challenge with the freedom of knowing less will be more (and less will be - theoretically anyway - easier to stay on track!)

There are a LOT of topics I could write about forever... but I am listening for Him and His direction because as much as I love to write just to write... I hope to write to make a difference.  I have two 'themes' in mind... and conveniently have two blogs (although one is more geared to fellow creative scrapbookers than it is to creatives who are thirsty)... check back to see what is coming... small(ish) thoughts on the topic chosen for each day in October.  I am looking forward to learning and growing and allowing a shift within me as I write as He leads.  I hope you will join me!


September 21, 2012

Spreading the Love... brace yourself...

So - I am little late with this discovery - but she was worth the wait!

This woman - who writes so powerfully, raw, and authentic writes as if she knows my inner most thoughts... she uses words like weapons that cut straight to the heart - but not like a knife, more like a scalpel that brings healing and restores!

I am just starting (I know, I know... I KNOW I am late on the bandwagon!) to read her book One Thousand Gifts! I am trying to pace myself... but I can't seem to keep away from her blog, A Holy Experience.  Every post (no - really - E-V-E-R-Y post!) is powerful and you feel something(s) shifting deep inside... so I am sharing the wealth...

Click here to experience Ann (with no 'e') and feel the love!


September 13, 2012

Dear Me... a letter to my teenage self

Dear Me... a letter to my teenage self:

The first thing I want to tell you is... to just breathe!  In the future... as in right now - present day now, as a 40something year old woman - you are content and happy!  Happy - in your own skin, even - and it had nothing to do with all the worrying and wondering you do at 15 and 17 (and 20!)  You always were a thinker... a poet and a ponderer... those tendencies never leave you.  They are a part of who you are and you do learn to embrace them - while allowing your natural bent that goes to worry and fear to be reshaped and reformed!  I can assure you that years from now - Worry and Fear are not so close to you.  You all aren't such good friends anymore - and you are healthier for it! As an adult - your new bent is positive... full of Faith and Hope, and they make MUCH better friends!

Speaking of friends... it really is true that you will reduce to the lowest common denominator and you have been blessed with some great circles of friends.  As much as it seems impossible now - in just a few years - you will have an entirely difference circle... life moves on, college happens, jobs come and go, and these friends who you have literally grown up with, as well as some of the circles just around the corner, will not be a part of your daily life.  Years from now you will hear of places like MySpace and Facebook and Twitter.  You will try out all three... but it is Facebook that will help you reconnect with many of these great friends from childhood!  One thing will be in your favor... by the time Facebook comes around - you have come to know and actually love who you are and those high school temptations to try to fit in are long (long) gone! Be yourself sooner... no apologies... live out loud!

While you were right to stick to your guns about NOT wanting to meet and fall in love at 14... of wanting to grow up and be independent and know who you are first... you DID in actuality technically meet your husband at 14 - but you won't remember that until after you are dating... and while he is not what you think you want at 16, he is exactly what you need and an amazing man... he is worth the wait (and you won't have to wait much longer really!)

The things you value now at 16 - the things you are striving for and find vital to happiness will turn out to fade quickly and are not vital or important in the big picture of things - which, by the way, you begin to discover that Big Picture at 21.  What you think of as success (a perfect body, lots of money, and to get out of this little town - just to name a few) and the goals you have set right now will not come to pass... but don't worry - your life means something and you are successful in many of those hidden, undervalued ways that often seem to go unnoticed.  Trust me - they are not unnoticed - or unappreciated!

There are soon coming a few split-second moments that can (and will) alter the way you live your life... don't hesitate - go with your gutt... your first instinct is right!

Your love of words lives on and I would encourage you to keep at it! You will be a life-long journaler, note taker, list maker, day planner follower... but there is more to your writing than that! Stick with it.. and don't shy away from things when they seem hard.  Life (I have discovered in my 'old age') is to be an adventure - and risk is needed... don't be so afraid of trying... so afraid of change and failure... without risk of failure - you will find little success... Success will come in ways you cannot plan for - and yet in ways you would never trade in a million years!  I encourage you to step in to who you really are... don't be so shy, so reserved... people love you for who you are - your love, your tenderness, your dry sarcastic sense of humor... use it to reach out - not to tear down... it reveals the inner strength and resolve that many are surprised to find in quiet little you.

I remember how unsettled you were at the thought of being a Mom... you would worry about shortcomings and not doing it right... let me tell you - you DO have shortcomings, and some days, you DON'T do it 'right'... but you are an amazing Mom and together with your husband, and God, you are madly in love with this creature that looks like the best of you and the best of him.... this woman (yes - she is nearly a woman now!) amazes you every day... to have your heart out and about and walking around is risky... and sometimes it gets broken, but she is the best thing you have ever done! She is your biggest success, greatest risk, and deepest joy.

Remember how Mom would tell you all the time of the miracle surrounding your birth and how God had a plan and a purpose for you... that He used you to share love.  Well - as cheesy as it sounded back then, it turns out it is true!  You have always valued friendships and family and even when it seemed like you were the only one - you made relationships a priority.  You still do that... and God still desires to flow through you and love on those around you!  Let Him... it requires being vulnerable and honest and it is risky... but do it anyway!

Be Love,
from your future self,

(Oh - yes... eventually - you decide to grow into your FULL name!  Turns out it's meaning is "a cool restful place beside still waters" and you really liked that!)

For more Letters... check out Emily's blog, Chatting at the Sky .

September 5, 2012

Standing (... in my own way!)

...not as in 'I did it my way' but more as in a "breaking your own heart" sort of way!

It's in the midst of the discovery that you (well... me, anyway!) have been the obstacle on your own path that has been blocking you from moving forward that He shines His light gently through the trees and you begin to see the sun rising up to light the way once again!  Aren't you just so thankful that He is not an "I told you so" kind of God?  I am so humbled by just how patient and kind and long suffering He is with me! He is - first and foremost... always and eternally - LOVE!  That has become my mantra over the past few months... to (re)learn and to remember and to actively walk out the call to BE Love!

So when the light hit just right, and I had inched forward just a enough to glance back and see where I had been parked for way too long - all the reminders and gentle words began to flood my memory and I saw clearly... it's been me! I am the one who has been in the way!  I have been standing still waiting... when I had been given the next step years ago! No coincidence whatsoever, my 'Word' for the year is Releasing and so with this revelation, comes the on purpose releasing of regret and disappointment in myself!  And with that letting go - I once again find forward motion and a renewed focus!

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently stumbled upon Michelle Perry and her blog series (The Inspired Life) One of the Session activities was to draw/sketch/paint what it looks or feels like to be Blocked (creatively speaking - in context anyway!)

 and then you were told to destroy that... bring it to Jesus and give it to Him.  Next - create a painting showing what it feels like to be UNblocked, using some of the pieces from your previous artwork. 

 Then... write about a "heaven spot" and create something from your journaling.

It was towards the end of playing with this session that it hit me... God told me to do this years ago and I put Him off.  I assumed I either misunderstood Him, or He surely meant something else, or it would require years of training and to be honest - I just really didn't WANT to do it!  And yet here I am, years later, playing - literally PLAYING - with what He told me to do that I was too intimidated to even try in the beginning!

I am finding when I feel stuck - or hesitant... when my path feels dangerous, treacherous, or blocked... I simply need to step back into His perspective rather than my own! His is always truer than mine anyway!

I pray that if you are standing in your own way... these words will take root in your heart and you will feel Him gently pull you to His side, and cause you to see things from His perspective! He can make your path clear... sometimes it's our own shadows that we see and we assume there is something outside of us that needs to change when all the while it is a shifting on the Inside that is whispering for our attention!  Lean on Him... I love how the Amplified Bible reads...
"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
 Lean in... open your eyes... see where He wants to take you!  Once you have His perspective... no obstacle can really stop you! 

It's blue skies... nothin' but blue skies...

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