Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dance With Me

I feel like every moment spent with God is like a dance.
A back and forth movement...an exchange.
I move one way, and he is there.
I move the wrong way, and he leads me back.
I am thankful that with every step I take, I am never left alone.
And I am grateful that He knows the dance...
Because I dont.
I just know the song...
 
Behold You have come over the hills upon the mountain
To me, You will run. My Beloved, You've captured my heart


Won't You dance with me, Oh
Lover of my soul,
to the song of all songs?


With You, I will go You are my Love You are my Fair One
The winter has passed and the springtime has come


Won't You dance with me, Oh
Lover of my soul,
to the song of all songs?
Romance me, Oh
Lover of my soul
to the song of all songs.
(if you want to listen, don't forget to turn off the player at the bottom!)
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My 30th birthday!!!!





















I had an AMAZING birthday! I felt so loved by all my family and friends. I started out the day with a precious gift from my husband and pancakes with my girls. Then some ladies from church came over for pizza. There were 7 kiddos here, all girls ;) I can tell you that yellow paint and carpet was envolved.

I got some boxes in the mail from my mom and opened all my birthday cards. And my girls were so tired from their friends over that they napped. I just sort of sat here and thought about the last 30 years. And then I thought about then next...

The day ended with a teary phone call from my dad and a great dinner at our favorite restaurant, Texas Roadhouse. My husband still doesnt understand why they call it "Texas" Roadhouse in Texas. What a joker.

I was thinking about the parties my mom used to throw me when I was a kid. She always made the day feel so special. She would make posters and put them on the front door with balloons so everyone driving by would know it was my day. And she would always fill huge real flower pots full of dirt cake and worms and deliver it to my class..it happened every year and I looked forward to it. She just made me feel special. I guess thats why I do it for my family now.

The funniest part of yesterday was talking to her on her way downtown Chicago. She said she was taking the train downtown and riding her bike along the water and going to the beach. She said she was doing something for her to celebrate my day. At first I thought she was joking but I guess after 30 years of having babies, you kinda need to celebrate being a mom. My birthday is actually her day too. Its her day, its my dads day and its Gods day. I am just what happened on that day. They are all the ones who have kept me alive for 30 years!

I think Im gonna go get a mani pedi on Grace's birthday.
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Reflection: Divine Disappointments



 Pastor Ryan was on vacation so Pastor Mike gave the sermon today. He is the youth pastor at the church we have been going to since we moved here. He and his wife Susie (who I adore!) spoke on
divine disappointments. 

He started out by giving the definition of disappointment:

Disappointment
 The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest. Similar to regret, it differs in that a person feeling regret focuses primarily on the personal choices that contributed to a poor outcome, while a person feeling disappointment focuses on the outcome itself.

There have been many times in my own life where I felt great disappointment.
 In my marriage
 in my finances
with my family
 in my personal goals...

As I sit here reflecting on the last 30 years of my own life, I  see how God uses the disappointments in my life for good. Places I didnt want to move to, turned out to be the biggest blessings. Lost jobs or opportunites turned into bigger and better opportunities. Financial troubles have drawn me closer to God and my trust in Him like no other situation could have. Physical disease and waiting for healing has taught me patience and compassion.
Sometimes disappointments in our lives aren't even for us. Sometimes God uses them to bring change in someone else...open up a way for God to work in someone elses life.
 Now thats a heavy thought.

Some disappointments are small and some are big. As I am writing this I am watching a funeral prosession go by my house. Disappointment is not even the word for whoever is on the other end of this loss. I have had many friends lose family members suddenly and people get cancer. I dont have all the answers to all the bad stuff this world can put out but I do know I serve and love a God who is only love. And some answers we will have to wait on to be revealed. But I do know one thing for sure.
If we had no hardship, we would need no God.
It has definitly taken me 30 years to understand that no matter what I see, God sees bigger.
He is the author of this story and I am here to make sure the credit goes to him.
I have set my thoughts on an expectation and been disappointed, but when I open my heart to him fix my eyes on him alone, He never disappoints me.

Disappointment is just a feeling we have when things dont go our way. But what is our way, anyway? But we can never be disappointed when we allow God to move in His way.When we make a choice to live in His space, in His will. Nothing could ever come between God and his love for us and no one could do a better job at writing this story.

One more day and I am 30!!!!!



   
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Just start


 


This is a screen shot of what my kitchen looked like the second time I painted something, 5 months ago... Do you see that bird painting in the window, that was my first painting. And the plastic garbage bags protecting my kitchen table, and the cheap paint? And my children? They are always there. Oh, and my IPOD. When I first started this whole thing, I could only paint listening to music. Now, I am adorned with:


mommy, I have to go potty!
mommy, I need milk!
mommy, I pooped.
Can I have some goldfish???
I need to watch Little Einsteins!
A B C D E F G...
H I J K keeto meeto pee.

             ( my husband is standing over me right now correcting me. It was HIS IPOD that I borrowed for many months...Poor guy had no music in his car because he knew I needed it. What a guy. )

And if your interested, I now throw on Pandora. Right now I am totally into Sia and Beethoven. I know, two totally different genres but it gets the job done.

I wasnt kidding about them always being there. I didnt start painting out of pure passion, I knew I had a small talent in the arts but never intended for this to be a "release" or a "way of expression." The truth is, we are a military family and we need the income. I havent worked since we had Grace 4 years ago. I dont have a college degree, I dont have work experience relevant to anything that would pay enought for me to send my children to daycare...my options were limited.

Moving to San Antonio really made things clear. And when I say that, I dont mean I knew I was going to do what I am doing now, I mean God clearly spoke to me the day we found this house and has been arranging all the details for me since then. You can read more about that beginning here. 


I want nothing more than to share this story with anyone who is struggling to find their life. I dont know if I would be ok today if I didnt understand that there was a clear and beautiful path for me to just, follow. If I would have known many years ago that I didnt have to make everything happen for myself, things would be very different.

My first piece of advice is...

JUST START!

A few weeks ago, Joyce Meyer wrote " you have to be moving for God to show you which way to go." There could be nothing more true than this. There is nothing that will produce failure faster than the attitude that you must have all the answers before you start. When I first started I had no idea what kind of supplies to buy or where to buy them. I had no idea how to even start a website. I didnt know how or where to sell the art. I didnt know much. But what I know NOW, is that there was an answer for all of it. The answers unfolded for me as I just tried things. If I tried it and it worked, I took another step. And if it didnt work out, I moved in another direction.

God has led me to people, stores, art suppliers and website tutorials in order to get where I am right now. And honestly, I still feel like I am wet behind the ears. I still dont have any clue where this is going but I know that I am on the right track! I have gone back and forth with writing about my experiences so far for a while now but I am confident in a God who loves me and wants to see me prosper. I have faith in a God who is responsible for the very passion I feel when I create something. I know that He wants to see me succeed, so I am going to let this story unfold for you...
and me.

Don't let the details of what needs to be done overwhelm you enough to give up when things get tough or confusing.

Just pray and take action in sync with the desires of God. Use the resources you have. Ask questions. Watch people who do what you want to do and be inspired by them. The best thing that has happened for me so far is the renewed sense of gratitued I have. None of this would matter if I didnt appreciate where it came from  and I could not have even arranged half the things that have happend in my life in the last 5 months.

I have a shop online.

My art is displayed at a wine bar in Chicago.

I have been commissioned to do lots of art which has paid for all my trial and error so far.

I have created  2 websites and my shop with absolutley no knowledge of how to do any of it.

All because of Gods love and grace.

All in 5 months.


Proverbs 3 : 5 -6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways, submit to him and he will make your paths
straight. 

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Pinterest!

After 2 hours and many diet dr. peppers...I finally have a Pin it button over at my art site!




I just needed to take a few moments today to really take in how much all of this has meant to me.

Did you know that I have never taken an art class?

Did you know that I never went to college, and never taken a business class?

And did you know that this all started because one day, I just decided to buy some art supplies?



I went to Michaels, and bought a 2 pack canvas and some paint. I came home and painted this.



I had always used charcoal and oil pastels. Never painted.
I had no idea what I was doing, and sometimes I still dont.
I actually never dreamed of being an artist.
I always leaned more towards music.

I wanted to be on Broadway.

But here I am. And I have a shop.

If you are so inclined, please share my art!


I am so grateful for all the love and support given to me by my friends and family. There are no words to express how full I am right now.

I want nothing more than to get my story out. To share with people that there is no time limit on your dreams. Where you think there isnt a way, God has one.

And sometimes those dreams aren't even your own.
You never even knew you had them.
Which makes it even better.

I promise.


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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fathers Day



We had such a wonderful day celebrating fatherhood around here... Something about my father that I will always carry with me is his desire to see people succeed. My dad never says no to people in need. I feel bad for him sometimes because he is pretty much the only one with the financial means to help but he NEVER SAYS NO. I am sure that he feels so blessed when he sees the seeds that he sows blossom.

For many months he helped my husband and I when we were struggling. He has bought me many cars and many computers and many printers...he bought me my elliptical when I couldn't exercise outside because of my skin disease. He understands the concept of giving people what they need even though they don't deserve it, to get them to the next level.

Laptops, computers, cameras, my eliptical, cars, airfare, groceries...

The list goes on and on and on, but what I am grateful for is him believing in me. Providing for me what I could not provide for myself. My relationship with my dad reminds me alot of my relationship with my heavenly Father. Hes just always got my back. He lets me make mistakes and picks me up when I fall. He gives me much Grace for the times when I am learning and figuring out what direction to go.

God is always wanting to bless us, always wanting to advance us, always wanting to see is to victory!


 Thanks dad for being a great father here on earth...I hope you know how much I value your love and generosity.


We celebrated my husband too ;) It would be the one and only day I will allow my husband and daughter to eat donuts for breakfast. Grace was so excited to buy her daddy a donut at the store. Along with her 7.99 princess record a message fathers day card. Yes I said 7.99. But the kid was so excited to give her daddy this card, I just couldn't break her heart. And what a blast we had doing take after take after take recording her message... not really.




We went to church, ate lunch, came home and cleaned the garage. Not a typical way to celebrate him but recently we found a scorpion in our house so we needed to clean things out and spray. 

Here is the video clip that we watched at the end of service. Our pastor gave every single man a bullet for fathers day, to symbolize being "ready for battle."

Try to watch this clip from the movie, Courageous, without getting teary.I was sobbing. My husband calls it "turning on the water works." The lights come back on and he looks over at me with this little smile on his face. I hope one day he will just understand that I cry because I am so full I just need to let it out!  I guess because I have felt so much love from my dad, and my husband...and my Heavenly Father, I just am so grateful and so full. Full of excitement and joy when people meet Jesus at the Cross and decide to live for Him. I am just blessed beyond anything you could ever imagine watching people stand up for Christ.





What an incredibly challenging and important job fathers have. Its a good thing they have the most high leading them, guiding them, protecting them...into victory.

It was a good day ;)

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Some thoughts on thinking.





I took Grace to the park tonight. Just me and her. No phone. No Lucy.

We walked and talked and laughed, she is so funny I just cant get enough of her sometimes. We got there and there were some kids there so I just sat back and watched her play. I heard one boy say shut up and she screamed over to me, "mommy!! That boy said shut up and that is NOT a nice word!"

Oh my heart.

So here is this thing, I don't know what to call it. Its like a ladder, but then you curve around and your body gets all twisted and you have to put your feet right in the right spot so you don't fall. Its just weird and I can imagine very scary for tiny little people who don't have the right balance yet or big feet to plant firmly in those spots.

Grace one day a few months ago just decided to do it. I glanced over and she was at the top! I couldn't believe it especially since I am one of those moms who asks her to tell me every move she makes so I can "supervise".

ugh.

So she has done this thing many times, never fallen. And its so cute because she always gets to the top and yells, "yay, I did it! Now gimme a five five up her now!" haha!

Tonight, she got half way up and FREAKED OUT. I could see her head spinning and she got tense. I could feel her breathing and saw her start to shake. She screamed for me to GET HER DOWN! I kept guiding her up, I wouldn't let her get down. I reminded her of all the times she had done it before. I picked up her feet, every step and put it in the next spot. I grabbed her booty and hung on and just prayed. Just keep going Grace. You can do this. What in the world happened???

She thought about it.

She got half way up and stopped, and thought. Now I am not in her head but I can just imagine what she was thinking...

What if I fall? What if my foot gets stuck? What if I embarrass myself in front of the other kids? What if I get stuck and nobody is there to catch me?

The whole experience got ME thinking about my own thought life. Do my thoughts stop me from moving forward? Do I trust my feelings more than I trust Gods word? Do I base my own actions on the outcomes of the past?

Or do I keep moving forward, even when things are scary.

I hate to give another Oprah reference but I gotta say ever since she left her show, I really love her. She did a show with Deepak Chopra who gave the most inspiring revelation about thoughts. He said, we are just the observer of our thoughts. We are not the author. We chose what to do with them once they get in our head.

If you are a Christian, you know that satan is roaming around this earth looking for people on the verge of great success to just slam down with thoughts of fear and hopelessness. He will do whatever he can to convince you that you are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough or strong enough.

And I have learned this the hard way.

I hope that I can instill in Grace that when you are having a thought, you must first decipher who or where it comes from.

2 Timothy 1 :7


For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I have learned myself over the years that just because I think something, doesn't make it true. Do you know how powerful that scripture is???

A sound mind.

Peace, calm, comfort, hope.

Grace finally got back up and made it to the top of this thing. It felt good being able to be there and witness what was going on in her little head. And it felt good to help her get out of it! I see alot of myself in her these days. Alot of fear. Shes not afraid of bugs or skinning her knees...Shes not afraid of monsters or ghosts. But she is afraid of failing. I can already tell at only 4 years old.

Grace if you are reading this one day, just know that I pray for you. I pray that you will understand where your thoughts are coming from and what to do with them. And I hope you find out that you are in charge of where they go!

Its taken 30 years for me to understand and use this power. But this power is mine, and its yours too.




Philippians 4: 4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your

reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer

and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made

known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all

understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in

Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is

honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is

lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence,

if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
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