Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How I Pray

When it's too much, when I'm scared outta my mind.. I pray. Not the pretty eloquent prayers of, "Dear Jesus, I believe you will come through for me in this moment..." oh no... it's the "Please-Lord-Please-Help-Me-Help-Me-Help-Me-Help-Me-Help-Me-Help-Me-Help-Me-Help-Me-"..

Sometimes I just can't find my breath. Sometimes the day is taunting me and laughing at me behind my back. That's when I just have nothing left and I turn to Jesus and I just pray my desperate pleading repetitive prayer.

It's not pretty, or sweet.. but it's effective. Within minutes, I am calm and ready to face the challenge. If God be for me, who can be against me?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Birthday Letter #33

This is actually the first birthday letter to myself  (#33 reflects my age.)
I love Cheryl Richardson.  Each week, she sends out a newsletter with a take action challenge and all of them are thought provoking, funny, witty and an overall good 5 minutes to spend with her.
I once wrote her an email telling her how much she inspired me and wouldn't you know she replied to me with a hand written card and sweet little gift! I was soo astounded for two reasons: 1. She would actually handwrite a card herself, 2. That she's actually real! Touching. sweet. Love her! Wanna be her...

Anyways, she challenged me to write a birthday letter along with writing down "intentions" for the next year. She suggests 10!! I can hardly keep one New Year's resolution much less 10 intentions for the next twelve months...
I'll modify it to 5 and see how that goes.

This year I'd like to:
1. Read "A Life Well Spent"
2. Learn to draw portraits
3. Maintain a healthy weight and not obsess over it; accept my body and be thankful I have enough to eat. Enjoy food.
4. Have an active routine that gets my heart pumping and my muscles defined. Use favorite music to build yoga and pilates routines that I can memorize so I don't have to use recordings.
5. Be more giving of my heart / time. Stop being paralyzed by the fear of hurt. Start with my marriage.

6. Finish learning a Canon in D on the piano. (try an easier arrangement for goodness sake!)
(#6 came to me while writing the birthday letter)
7. Create meal plans that provide a feast of healthy meals.
(I thought about #7 when I went to fix my lunch)
8. Adopt a more minimalist lifestyle.. first order of business: CLOTHES
(#8 came to me while driving)
9. Finish painting the furniture to complete the master bedroom. (I was going to do this anyways...)
(This post has taken a total of 14 hours... and I know I thought of something else for #10, but it's escaped my mind right now... I'll remember it soon... )
#10. Learn to write with my left hand.
(This wasn't what I thought of, but I had to get to ten!)
#11. Build a style file that is easily accessible.
(I'm glutton for punishment!)

Birthday Letter:

Dear You:
This was the year wasn't it? God came through in a BIG way for you and answered your prayers from the 40-day fast you did 2 years ago. He came through at the right time. He's so perfect. Let this year be the year that you leave the past behind. Hit the reset button and forgive all past transgressions. You need to for your sake and the sake of your marriage.
Drewbie has taught you so much about the joy in the small things. Remember when he would get so excited about the paper towel roll? He would spend hours speaking into it and marching with it and enjoying the ride of his imagination. Isn't it great to experience childhood again, through your child's eyes? Isn't it amazing the gift of children? Just how, when and where did he come from? One cell? One thought? One dream? And life came to be. Wow.
Drewbie and Seve deserve the best you. The one that doesn't harbor grudges and resentment. The one that is joyous and encouraging at all times.
Sara wrote a great post which you really need to step into, experience and incorporate into your daily practice.

"Imagine if we cared more about them feeling happy than us feeling right.
Imagine if we cared more about them feeling known than us feeling superior.
Imagine if we cared more about them feeling accepted than us feeling righteous.
Imagine if we cared more about them feeling joy than us feeling envy.
Imagine if we cared more about them feeling abundance than us feeling security.

Maybe sometimes it's not so much about being who we are at all costs. Maybe sometimes it's about letting go of who we are to see who we might become. "

The rewards are astounding.
Quit thinking about what your next goal is and what you want to catch up on. Be in the moment. Here. Now.
See you next year..


That letter was a little harsher than I intended... maybe it was necessary.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Linking up with Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday!!
Today's prompt: OLDER.

I've been avoiding this one for a couple hours now.

Here goes nothing..

It's my birthday in a couple days. Another year gone by so fast. Another wrinkle I notice, another gray hair. My body slows down. It doesn't react like it used to. I have to really work exceptionally hard to lose some weight. There's been a shift in the stars. The earth seems to be going a different direction. The world getting wilder and scarier. I almost deleted that last sentence but I just remembered this is a practice of stream of consciousness. Each year we get older, wiser even. Each year we realize how little we really do know. Each year seems to be going warp speed ahead. I sometimes drown and forget to stop and realize - this is it. This is the good life. This is the life I've always wanted. The one I've always dreamed of. Funny thing about getting what you want and being content. You realize that all the money and riches in the world will never really give you what you long for intrinsically: the sense of wholeness. The feeling of belonging. The more you buy the more you realize that things actually hold you by the throat. You realize that all your desires are really slowly you down. The real freedom lies in giving it all up. Hence what Jesus said to the rich man about getting into heaven. The only way is to give it all up because it's creates a valley between you and the Lord. The only bridge is Jesus. Give up all those puppet strings and be free to be who you really are..

I'm three minutes past my time, but I couldn't leave that paragraph abruptly like that.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to clean your makeup brushes

If you have been breaking out all of a sudden, it's probably cause your makeup brushes need cleaning.
Here's an easy way to disinfect and get all the gunk off your brushes.

Get some rubbing alcohol:

Fill a bowl or cup with the alcohol and place all brushes in it and let it soak for a good 10-20 minutes.

Then use a paper towel or washcloth and dab the brush in a criss cross motion until there's no more residue.. or if you have diapers that your child has grown out of, use that.
Other uses for diapers:
- Use them to clean up spills.
-If you're moving, you can wrap up your valuables in them
-Chair gliders

Anyways, criss cross until the brushes run clear.

Then repeat process just to make sure..

Let the brushes air dry and you're all set! Good as new.

Also, go ahead and change out your makeup sponge. It's too much work trying to clean those.. Just trust me on that...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The sting of insignificance

The sting of insignificance hits me now. I am feeling .. sad, depressed. I try and play something inspiring on the radio. Disappointed. Yet again. Disappointed in myself.. in others. I work to impress and show my worth. She returns snide remarks that the alignment is wrong and it looks sloppy. I just saved them 3 days worth of work and she's worried about the forms being mis-aligned? A simple fix of the return key and we're fine.. but the criticism still burning in my brain.

I come home and it's still the same. Dark, dreary, deafening silence of morgue. No life here.

 No matter how far I've come, no matter how much I do, I still end up in the exact same place I was 16 years ago.  It's a frigid cold place. Inescapable.

I wasn't always like this. Once I was adored, loved, marvelous, captivating. Once there wasn't anything I couldn't accomplish. Once, a lifetime ago, I was whole.

Then, the door was closed. The rain came down. I split into a thousand pieces. Each day a new person emerged, a new character I played. Then one day, I realized I lost myself. She's still in that frigid tundra too scared to leave and unable to find her way out.

There's no one to blame here. There's only a cry for help. There's only the somber humble hope that someone come rescue me.  I used to find release in the flesh, but alas, how fleeting and fickle we are. How destructive we are to ourselves. I rationalize every addiction. I try to hide my deviant tendencies all the while still looking for the next high.

Now I look high above it all. I remember a dream I once had... Jesus on a white horse. Meeting him on a steep slope of a hill. We are discussing something but I can't remember what it is.. I just remember feeling at peace. It's white with snow everywhere yet I'm warm and content.

High above, none of this matters. I am exactly where I should be. I am doing exactly what I must. Surviving. I am learning to rid myself of this selfish internalizing. See life through the eyes of others. Bear their burdens. Suffer with them. Love through the grace only HE can give and.. allow others to see the real me. Stop trying to be the best, outsmart them, stop talking over them, stop trying to impress them and just be me: pitiful and lost and hopeless. Just like everyone else. The search continues for that piece of me.

In Heaven, we'll be our perfect selves and never stop laughing. For now, we learn to laugh in the midst of chaos and destruction and realize the battle is already won.

Friday, August 19, 2011


It's 5 Minute Friday with the one, the only, GYPSY MAMA!!!

Today's prompt is.. NEW

I love the excitement of new things. I love new cleaning tools or supplies, I love trying out a new hairstyle, going someplace exotic, new to me. I love every morning that greets me with a new day. I get a do-over. Today I'll be more forgiving, loving and tender. Today I'll remember to pray and spend time with God in his Word. Today I will be the good wife. Today I will be a good mother. Today I will forget the past and move forward. I love each day because it's new. "This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Tomorrow may not come. Today I try to live as if it were my last. When I speak, I imagine it may be my last words. What I do now may be the last action I am remembered for. I need it to count. I need it to be significant. I need it to be blessed by the Lord. I need to remember these words every morning I wake up. Make it my theme song. If only that wretched alarm didn't jolt me upright and I hit the snooze only to wake up a couple minutes later and invoke the mad dash out the door. If only, I could sit still and remember.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My old patio table - A modge podge makeover.

Thank for you this inspiration Karen!

I dare not gross you out by showing you what this patio table looked like before.
Just know... it was ICKY!

This project took longer than I anticipated.
I originally had only the top of the table done and just spray painted the legs.
That didn't look good. Seve-O suggested I just do the legs and everything. Interesting.

It was HARD to do the legs.I finally figured out to just take whole pages, and wrap it all around. Use small pieces to cover up the exposed areas.

It's amazing what a little modge podge and an old dictionary will do. I feel kinda bad for the dictionary. That I'm treating it as a relic, an antique in this google age. This dictionary has a couple really cool things in it though. It has illustrations, pictures and even talks about each letter and shows you what it looks like in other languages.  I may have start reading the dictionary soon.

Idea that sprouted from this project: I think I want to find another old table and modge podge it in NY TIMES crosswords, finish it with a clear coat that you can write on and do the crosswords with grease pencil. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Or I could find all those old tickets that I keep and modge podge them a frame or board or something.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Belt of Truth

In our last episode we determined the weapons and armor of God are not being utilized. To forgive is an act of fierce battle.
So let's explore the first weapon:
"...Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist ..."
The truth is... I'm not sure what I'm still so angry about after 16+ years. Truth is, I've held onto this drama, this bitterness for so long it's a part of me.. like my favorite pair of flannel pajamas that keep me warm from the frigid winter.
Truth is, the person who's wrong me doesn't even care. Doesn't even know they're wrong. They're never wrong. Truth is, if they were not in my life I would not be the strong exceptional woman I am today. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ... So are they. They are God's child just like me. They are favored, adored, loved by God.. just like me.
I can no longer fight against myself.
I give up.
I let go. I forgive. all. of. it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

“For beautiful lips speak only words of kindness”

It’s 5 Minute Friday with Gypsy Mama!!!

Today’s prompt: Beauty

“For beautiful lips speak only words of kindness”

I’ve it said many times during the teenage years: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is on the inside. Beauty is skin deep. I rolled my eyes then as a vigorously applied eye liner.

I’ve been wanting a boob job and a nose job ever since I was 16. I finally had the opportunity to do it and when I sat down and thought about it some more I realized that I really don’t want those cosmetic surgeries. What I really want is the love and respect I THINK I’ll get from those close to me. Strip away all of it and I have to ask myself why I feel like I do not get those things. My words. My words kill. My words seek and destroy. My mouth is a wielding sword. The people I love somehow are always the primary targets. (I don't know why blogger wants to underline that...)
Regardless of my looks, what pours out of my mouth is what others will see. How I make them feel is what they’ll remember.
True beauty lies in your words. The outpouring of your heart.

“For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years."
Audrey Hepburn

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bleach Pen T-Shirts

I was so inspired by this post from Homespun with Love.

I usually make customized onesies using iron on transfers. I design them, flip them, print them on iron on transfer paper, iron them on the onesies and the new mom always gushes over them. But alas.. I haven't bough ink for my printer in... months.

So when I saw this, I had to try it.

I couldn't trust my own free hand drawing so I used masking tape to stencil out a tie design. Someone should have told me that you don't need to use gobs and gobs of bleach from the bleach pen.

Ohmygosh, I had this huge puddle of bleach in the middle of the shirt. Good thing I had cardboard in between the front and back of the onesie. Ok... onto the next shirt.
I had some stencils that I brilliantly placed on the shirt with masking tape and tried to lightly trace it..
Not a perfect specimen but I'm pleased with the results.

Kinda excited at my new skill... now.. what else could I make?? I'll keep an eye out for shirts that fit my Drewbie. I could make a BIG 2 on his shirt for his birthday in Feb. Cute little hearts all around... AND I could make matching shirts for EVERYONE... party favors!!! Awesome.
Oh... and this girl freehand "doodled" this... WOW.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On Forgiveness

During bible study at work last week I made a statement about how I hold unforgiveness and bitterness close to heart. Our bible study leader – usually a mild mannered man who follows everything by the book became slightly alarmed. We didn’t have time to discuss unforgiveness at that time but he took a special break from our current study and decided to focus on the topic this past Monday. Then I get a call from the daycare, Drew is running a fever.
Spiritual warfare kicks in. The battle begins.

Seve can pick up the baby at the daycare. Good. I won’t miss Bible Study at 11:45am.

Our 10:00 meeting is running extremely long today….. I get out of the meeting only to find that it’s already NOON!! I grab my  things and rush to the conference room but no one was there. Was it cancelled? I called a couple members, no answer. I checked my emails, nothing.

The war rages on..

Later on I learned that the meeting place had changed and they put a note on the door.. but… it must have been taken down.. the enemy was rampant, unrelenting, left no stone unturned. He didn’t want me to learn this lesson. If I learned how to forgive and let go, there would be great celebration in heaven. My heart would be free. I would no longer be held captive. Wow.

Forgiveness. What does it truly mean? To just forget, like it never happened? To rationalize – “forgive them for they know not what they do..”Do I still feel the hurt when I forgive? Do I just never speak of it? Act with grace and humility? Without sarcasm?

How do you engage this power? Why is it so easy for others?

And I continue fighting, failing miserably.

My spiritual weapons are not invoked.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6: 10-17

Looks like I have a lot of work to do.. be continued…

Friday, August 5, 2011


It's 5 minute friday at Gypsy Mama's!

Today's Prompt: Whole

Whole. Hole. Holy. Wholly.

Words and I have always been friends. I love words. I love that some are the same, some are different. What I love most is the complexity that some words sound the same but mean totally opposite things like “whole” and “hole”. Love it. It reminds me that in the LARGE big scheme of things it is all the same. If we look down lightyears from now on this exact location, we are all so very close together. We are all one dot. One sparkle. We are whole, together, all one.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Decorate your Trash Can!!!

Thank you Beth for this inspiration!!

So my garbage cans tend to get caught up in the wind and disappear in a neighbor's yard.. about 4 houses away!! Sometimes the lid is missing for a week and it magically turns up on my lawn.

I happened to find Beth's post one day and was inspired to paint the trash can. How cute is this!!!

I decided to make sure if they ever get lost again, the neighbors would know which house it belongs to.

I had acrylic paint on hand that I had bought at a garage sale a long time ago. She was a former teacher and she had gobs and gobs of great artsy stuff!!

I decided to go with white like Beth did.

I made my own stencils of my house numbers and the birds. Just printed it HUGE on 8X11 paper (one stencil for each). Cut them out.

Then I used masking tape to place the "stencils" and LIGHTLY dabbed the paint using a paper towel. LIGHTLY.

Let dry and VOILA!

Each trash day I'm delighted when I come to see my empty trash bins waiting to be carted back in the garage...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I met my sister for the first time about 4 years ago

I met my sister for the first time about 4 years ago.
She had never known about me. That her daddy was married before that he had another daughter.
She cried. She thought I would take her dolls away.

I stepped into my father's new home. I felt replaced. As if I was a defective product and returned.

I slowly opened my heart and found forgiveness in the midst of playing with Barbies and dancing in the living room with a small me. She was a treasure. So innocent so sweet. So much like me. How could this be? We had the same eyes, the same heart. She is a second chance. She is the shining light that leads us all. This small miracle that reads to her dolls on the majesty of outer space.

After two days, I feel I've overstayed. I am an intruder.

My stepmom remembers my birthday. My father doesn't. Too many more other important things in his brain to think on.

They bring me a cake, my sister laughs her beautiful glorious laugh of excitement. I blow out the candles and blow out the flame of bitterness. There is nothing here for me except good tidings and cheer. I accept. I accept the love.

My husband and I are on the plane going home. As we descend we are thrilled to see our friends come pick us up at the airport. We laugh on the way to their house.

It's on their front porch I see it. A rainbow. God's promise. God's glorious love. I feel it. All that is and all that was is right. I am exactly where I need to be. All is right with the world. I feel God's pleasure in the current state of affairs. So blessed we are. So loved.

I get the pictures back from our trip. I smile as I see a little me in her eyes. I am in love with this sweet beautiful girl I get to call my sister.

I am so glad to have known this love. How sweet to have a sister. That someone knows me so well without ever having known me at all..