Ever noticed how ridiculously embarrassing and painful it is to be in the middle of a season of reshaping/ molding/ correction? I am walking around with a knot in my stomach, and I cringe at every pending conversation because I just never know what's coming. Am I going to say something that's going to ail me later on? Is someone else going to involve me in something that I want no part of? It's funny how we do this- how we make our own situation out to be this one of a kind disaster, the likes of which the world has never seen or heard of before. When in truthfulness, it's more like a bad gas pain, your yearly pap, or realizing you've been walking around all day with your fly unzipped= slightly uncomfortable at best, but just a fact of life for everyone at one time or another.
Now for a quick background.... I am a creature of habit. Despite my longing for change and spontaneity, I always return to some sort of routine- it's just who I am, I guess. These days my schedule consists of lots of craziness in the mornings and afternoons, but in between- that's when I find rest. After lunch the kids go down for a nap and I rejoice :] This is my time to turn off PBS (which is the background music of our kid-friendly morning) and turn on TBN while I sew, it's the only thing worth watching from noon to three, since we function off an HD antennae and nothing more. I usually do this only to have something interesting to watch while I'm changing the foot on my sewing machine or threading bobbins. I mean, honestly, there's only so much big hair and silly contemporary songs that one can truly enjoy.
And so, this brings us back to today... I changed the channel to see none other than my hero, Beth Moore. Ouch, Jesus. Really? Ouch. Beth Moore is like a punch to the face for all the ugly things in my heart that I'm just not totally ready to part with, ya know? The woman is a power house of Biblical smarts, and I absolutely want to BE her when I grow up. Today's topic- Thriving in a Season of Chastisement/ Coming out of a Time of Chastisement Victorious. I kid you not, there were moments in that 30 minutes that I found myself wondering if she could look right thru her camera and see me sitting on my couch with my notebook- scratching out every word. Cause whoa. She was totally all up in my business, you know what I'm sayin? I should clarify a little, I'm not coming out of any massive life mistakes or anything, I'm just really getting a good spanking about my unwillingness to change. There comes a point when you have to get over all the "stuff" that's not in your life anymore and realize that even without it, you're still a gazillion miles from being the person God's shaping you into. I am a mess. My motives are shady and Jesus is showing me that, and it stinks. It's not fun to look at my black heart in the mirror anymore. So here's what good ol' Beth had to say about it. She said- if you keep finding yourself in the same situation, then you have to look at the thing that puts you there, and don't look at it as just a fault. Every fault line is a broken place in need of repair. And God's not interested in just correcting it- He's interested in healing it. And the best part... she said that's He doesn't want to heal that "lame thing" just so you can walk, but so that you aren't tripping other people with it anymore. Thanks, Jesus, cause I am so down with not taking the whole world down with me. My favorite thing she said "God looks at you and says 'I love you so much, I delight in you. I just wanna help you be a delight to others." Agh! I love it. More than anything I recognize that I'm not always delightful, but I wanna be. Change me, Jesus. I'm all Yours.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
So I went to some training this weekend. It was put on by Teen Mania, with all the usual TM jargon and pausing and awesomeness (any former intern would appreciate this.) Justin and I got to take our team to do the worship, which was pretty much amazingly fun to do :] All in all, it was a wonderfully weird weekend, if that makes sense. The teaching turned out to be the same exact stuff that we got at the conference last year- for youth pastors and their teams. Here's the really whacked out part- I totally needed to hear it again. Ugh. Jesus forgive me. You ever get the feeling that you are "over" something in your life, like you've heard from God and been instantly transformed never to look on that version of you again? And then, by some ugly twist of circumstances, Jesus takes you back to that place and your reflection is still the same... not a good feeling. That's totally where I am right now. I would not at all call my life stagnant, because God's working crazy things out for Justin and I and I can see the fruit of it- good solid change. But wow, am I still that girl? The girl that won't do anything too risky for the sole fact that its just too risky?! What the heck? I am thoroughly annoyed with myself. Two things were screamed into my brain this weekend- and by screamed, I mean gently whispered by the Holy Spirit with such force that I literally had to pick myself up off the floor. One of the speakers talked about being like hardcore amazing women in the Bible (remember, I heard all of this last year- even took notes.) Esther and Mary were on the list. Be like Esther- not afraid to do the hard things. Be like Mary- not afraid to do what's never been done before. Why oh why, am I so concerned with what I CANNOT do? And why oh why can't I get it through my head that I CAN do it? Cause let's face it, we've all heard it since Sunday school, but we never really believe it- I can do all things thru Christ that strengthens me, yada, yada, yada. It hurts. I am not new to this whole shenanigan. I have been saved a long time and it's so frustrating that I keep returning to this place, of just... Trust. One word that eludes me on a regular basis. I have trust issues. Dumb. Yesterday I read this amazing passage- James 1:21-25. Read it. I won't quote the whole thing. But here's the bulk of what it spoke to my heart: Don't be just a hearer of the Word, but be a doer. The dude that hears but doesn't do it, is like the guy that looks in the mirror and walks away and forgets what he looks like (BINGO! That's totally me.) But the one that hears the law of liberty and lives by it, what he does will be blessed. Newsflash. I need Jesus more today than I did yesterday. I am so tired of walking away from the mirror and forgetting how ugly the reflection was, I really want the Lord to just make me over everyday. I am totally broken when it comes to trusting that He will do what He says He'll do. And recognizing it is the first step to overcoming it. I know that big things are on the horizon, but I cannot get past being obedient in the tiny things, and so He pulls His hand away... again. God, help me.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I think... a lot. It's what I do, think and people-watch. So today, while sitting in the eternal line of cars to pick up my second grader from school, I got to thinking about Tootsie Pops. I was eating one at the time, a last minute stash in my purse as I ran out the door. I LOVE Tootsie Pops, and so I analyzed why. #1 The idea of chocolaty goodness waiting in the center is too hard to pass up. I guess I'm a sucker for suspense, or surprises, or knowing what's coming next. I don't know. #2 Then there's the fact that it's on a stick. I mean, come on, who doesn't love a lollipop every now and then? It takes me back to my childhood in some creepy 70s commercial sort of way #3 How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? One, a-two, a-three... CRUNCH... a-three! This commercial is engraved in my remembrance of yesteryear. So I guess, to sum it all up, it's the best of both worlds- hard candy lollipop for the kid in me, chocolate delight for the almost-30 adult hormonal version. And here's the best part- somewhere in this thought process, my mind wandered to quilting. What a surprise, right? And I think I love it for the same reason. My kids inspire everything- my boys, my nieces, and nephews- I see the world through their eyes. My quilts take me back there for a bit, while still letting the mother in me create something amazing, and feel all mushy inside when I see the finished product. Wow. And now I need to engage in something a little more mentally normal: mindlessly watching TV while curled up in my favorite quilt. The END :]
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Today is our anniversary. 8 crazy years :] I can't say that time has flown by quicker than I thought, because it hasn't. Don't get me wrong, there have been times that passed quickly, but all in all- it's been a pretty consistent steady flow. We got married and got pregnant soon after. So our life has literally been an adventure for both of us, new territory all around. Justin and I used to joke that the very first year must have been a thousand times harder because he never knew me as an un-pregnant wife, not really anyway. I was throwing up and cramping from just a couple weeks into it- awesomeness. We've known lots of good times. And we've known our share of rotten ones. We have two little people that totally rocked our world from the get go- that's been some of the best part. I know "they" say not to have kids right off the bat, and I'd probably say that too. But I know that the closeness we share as a whacked out family of four, is because of the growth Justin and I have had as parents. Justin literally grew up that year- the year that he went every day to his mediocre job that we were elated for, the year that we lived in our first super ghetto apartment, the year we had our first real Christmas tree and had to clean up mud and pine needles for weeks, the year we didn't go on dates because I couldn't get more than 3 feet from a sink or a trash receptacle for all my throwing up, the year we had our first baby. Wow. When you look at photos from David's delivery, Justin looks like a kid. I look the same, minus a few of the intense laugh lines that are ailing my face these days- but Just looks soooo young. Three years later when we had Matthew, he looks like a different person. I'm thankful for it, for how far he's come, for the responsible husband and dad he's morphed into. We are officially adults- feels weird to say. And in a couple years we'll hit the decade mark for married folk. Wow. Wow. Wow. I can honestly say that in the last couple years we have had a turn around. I love Justin to bits, and even though we speak entirely different dialects, we understand each other really well. That's a great place to come to :] Happy Anniversary to Us.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
As promised, I opened the store today, technically Saturday still counts as "then end of the week," right? So, these are the quilts I finished this week. I love them both, and I'm super stoked about the one I'm starting today :] I'm trying desperately to get it cut out before football games and get togethers take over the afternoon. We'll see....
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
So, as I mentioned before, I am opening bekalicious this week- my new store on Etsy. To say that I'm excited about it would be the understatement of the century. I am elated. I've only been quilting for a month or two shy of a year, but I think people will buy them :] The decision to open the store, to make quilts for money, it was completely not my own. I have always had a knack for teaching myself things and making do with what I have and what not. But God's really been transforming me lately. He's transforming the way I think about myself. People always assume that someone who is slightly different from the average everyday joe- that somehow they just automatically know they're amazing. How untrue. I can honestly say that I have never met a truly gifted and amazing person that felt that way about themselves. Usually, the ones that brag about amazingness are anything but, right? Well, I'm not saying I'm awesome. I'm so not. I am flawed in so many ways... and saved by grace :] I have long been told that I'm creative and I should use my craft to make money- cakes, purses, quilts- anything. And if I'm honest, I'll admit that I toyed with the idea once or twice but could not wrap my head around the particulars of it. This is different. My heart is set on being a blessing to others, and I have limited means to do it. I really believe that God is setting me up to see His promises come to life in our life. I'm coming to terms with the fact that acknowledging God's giftings in me isn't cockiness but just a sweet way to honor Him. I have been in constant conversation with Jesus on this whole thing- just making sure He's on board, and He is. Yay :] It's not about money, just about obedience. I want Him far more than I want anything else- just the overflow of more of Him in my life- that's what I long for.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Friday. This is the day I use for cleaning, laundry, etc. So I packed up all my quilting garb and put it away. We had dinner on my sewing table :] I usually focus all my energy on NOT sewing over the weekend, because I never want it to overtake our lives. You laugh. But really- I have a 4 year old that's home with me during the day, and I keep a friend's little guy as well. I overheard them during their usual pretend playtime saying "what should we do? cut fabric?" Yikes. And it doesn't matter what I'm doing, but if I look slightly busy, the first thing they ask me is "R U working on a quilt?" I strive for balance, trying to keep my evenings and weekends free. But I have to be honest, I have two projects that were begging not to be shelved today. Ugh. I basted the house party quilt, I soooo want to quilt it. And I started another quilt, it's completely pieced, back and all- just waiting for some birdies to be sewn on, then I can sandwich it. Being so close to being finished- that is like torture to my compulsive nature. I thrive on the end result, which is probably why I love it so much. I read another blogger talking about a friend that she lured into quilting because of her addictive personality. It stung- how true for me too :] So, good news, I'll have two, possibly three, finished quilts to post next week. Bad news, it may be the end of next week because I will try my darnedest all weekend to wait till Monday to work on them again.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Today is the first day of October- breast cancer awareness month. So this post is dedicated to my momma. She's a survivor :] This pic was taken April 2008, when my sisters and I joined her for a shave party (that's me in the glasses). We video taped the whole ordeal and laughed hysterically at each other. None of us looked super amazing bald, but collectively we were beautiful. For anyone who hasn't gone through something like this with a woman they love, I am overjoyed for you. If you have, then you know how precious such memories can be. I still remember exactly where I was standing when my mom gave me the news... leaning on my sister's kitchen island. I remember the look on her face when she returned from hearing the biopsy results, the look that spoke to me before her words did. I remember the way she seemed so unshaken and confident... so strong. Stage 3 triple negative breast cancer, undetected for years on her mammogram. Wow. I remember the first person I called, and how the reality of it hit me only as I was hearing the words come out of my mouth. I remember choking on them and crying. Immediately my sisters and I discussed shaving our heads when mom lost her hair. She was adamant that we didn't have to. I remember it like it was yesterday, a couple weeks into chemo she called me from work, her hair was falling out. My heart broke for her and I quickly responded- time to schedule a shave party. Probably one of the most fun nights of my life, we all took turns in her tiny bathroom, shaving and being shaved. We took before and after pictures, texted pics to our husbands, even went to wal-mart for fabric scraps to make wraps for our bare heads. Then we ventured to our favorite resturaunt- 4 baldies! It was a night I'll never forget. Sometimes the smallest things resonate the longest. Mom spent the next day emailing everyone photos of her girls, bragging on what great daughters she has. It was my Uncle that first told her that it spoke more for how great she is. How true :] My mom was given the all clear- thanks Jesus! And after many months of awful in between dos and growing out insanity, my hair is shoulder-length again. If I had it to do over again, would I? Of course I would! She's my momma, the most amazing, ridiculously strong, super-womanish mom in the universe. And it's only hair, y'all.