Monday, October 29, 2012

multitudes on monday ~ october twenty ninth

this is my list of gifts...
not that i want,
those i already have
given by the giver of all

440 safety in the midst of storms

441 those who put themselves in harms way to help those in danger during the storms

442 the selfless men and women heading to the areas where their gifts will be used for recovery

443 being an intercessor

444 on line connection to know how to pray

445 the bread of life broken for me

446 a quiet day 

447 God's voice in the quiet

448 conversations with a sister who understands her ministry is in the world

449 holy moments at bedsides

450 visits that end with plants

451 realizing those things with which i struggle are "normal"

452 serenading on a porch

453 trips filled with laughter

454 changing seats to protect one another from danger

455 blooms

456 sharing holy places with sisters for the first time

457 da baby in a fire hat

458 sharing lessons from the journey with one just beginning

459 and of course the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series!

Friday, October 26, 2012

studio sneak peek ~ friday october twenty sixth

it is friday...
time for peeking into studios...
yours and mine...

feels good to be consistently back at work.  those backgrounds i began last week became these:

and this piece from last week?

made it home to the author who inspired it.

and i found some amazing letters and punchinella 

from skybluepink...they have some amazing things at great prices.

and my fifth favorite day of the year happened this week...

my 2013 calendar came full of new hopes, dreams, and visions.  but it was a boring black.

and now it is not...

won't you share what you have created this week either here or over at Jennifer's studio?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

card games and gifts

At a recent gathering I watched a group of children playing a game that taught eternal lessons...  

Each child was given five cards.  If a matching card was drawn by the dealer, they exchanged their card for a gift.  This continued until all the gifts were distributed.  

Once the gifts were all handed out, if a child's card matched the drawn card they were able to take a gift from another child.

The game was initially fun and there was  laughter and happy voices and clapping.  There were a few, “she has more than me” and “oh I wanted that one” but mostly there was joy.  

As the second phase of the game began things changed.  It was gradual and body language showed an increasing reluctance to continue the game.  There were tears, “but it is mine!” and there was no more laughter.  No encouraging words were spoken.  No clapping.  

Each time a card was drawn you could hear the intake of little breaths and the sigh of relief when gifts were safe from hands that meant to take them.

One little one had pulled her gifts close to her body so they were not all visible.

Another little one hunched his body over his so others couldn't see his at all.

Still another put hers in her lap so they were not found.

One child (granted a wee bit older or perhaps aware of the end of the game) proudly had his gifts on the table and even offered them to other children when they were able to take from another.

The game ended as tears flowed and the melt downs began.  And then….

The children could exchange gifts.  That didn’t begin well as the concept of trading was foreign to a few of the youngest.  Once there was understanding, it ended well and all left the table with at least one gift they really wanted and most with two.  

The smiles, laughter, and clapping returned.

Am I the only one that has those times I see something and  know that God is going to teach me something?  It is when I need that smack upside the head God usually brings it to mind.  I wish I could say it doesn’t happen that often, but I wouldn’t be telling the truth.

In this game I knew a lesson was coming…

It was in the hiding of gifts, the protecting of the gifts, the tears, the meltdowns, and especially in watching the openness of the one willing to put his gifts out for all to see.  

Even in that moment, I knew I wanted to be like him. 

I want to put my gifts on the table and say, “here they are God, use them.”  Instead I more often am guilty of hiding or protecting my gifts, somehow thinking if he can’t see them God can’t use them.  Silly in black and white, but sadly too often true.

I find myself wanting to hoard my gifts or hide them until I choose to share.  

When I do that not only do I loose, but so do those around me and so does the kingdom.

I want to be strong enough to say yes when my figurative card is drawn or when someone else is in need of what I have.

I want to be braver about sharing my gifts, about putting them on the table, letting others see them and benefit from them. 

Rather than hiding them, I want to be able to use my gifts to further the kingdom of God. 

Lord help me open my hands and let go of my "cards".  Give me the courage to lay my gifts on the table and remember they are your gifts not mine.

Monday, October 22, 2012

multitudes on monday ~october twenty second

this is my list of gifts...
not that i want,
those i already have
given by the giver of all.

460  sharing art with one who inspired it

461  leaves dancing in the wind

462  times with a mentor who admits to making mistakes too

463  chasing God sized dreams

464  prayers answered that take my breath away

465  seeing colors in the audience that let me know i am in good company

466  trip tips

467  studying the first book ever studied again with a new community

468  lessons learned watching children play a game

469  being on the receiving end of grace

470  game six wins to allow a game seven

471  timeless words found in unexpected places

472  recognizing forgiveness isn't about "them" but getting my heart right with God

473  pondering life while in the pool

474  pumpkin pinatas taking each little hand to conquer

475  hearing heart wrenching sobs from a little one when i want to cry and can't

476  hard prayer words

477  chorizo and egg burritos (now that is comfort food)

478  cotton fields

479  butterflies dancing around the porch

Saturday, October 20, 2012

May the clouds pass over as you slow down and spend the weekend doing the things you love with the people you love.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

five minute friday: look


Leaves fall like rain from the sky
Dancing on the wind
A rainbow
Reflecting the pattern of life
To die to live
To fall to fly
Their dance a reminder
Of the shortness of a season
These eyes of mine
Have limited time
To see the beauty
All ‘round
May the most of it be made
As I stand here in the shade
Leaves fall like rain from the sky

It is five minute friday.  wanna join in?  go here for details .

it's (finally) sneak peek friday!!!!

phew...sometimes life just happens and i get so overwhelmed i forget to take that time to be still and create!  after way too long away i took time to play in my studio this week!

this piece is still drying so the finish looks off.  it was inspired by posts from Haiti and the book "Come Alive" by Elora Ramirez (which is hard and holy reading)...

these are new backgrounds i started and am impatiently waiting to dry...

not sure what they will become, would like words, not sure which words yet.  know of any good lettering tutorials?

remember to link up with jennifer at studio jru to see what our friends are up to....

and share here or there your creations this week.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

how are you?

do you ask because you really want to know?

is it safe to be honest?

because at this moment i am so un-fine.  it is so many little things that seem like a really big thing.  

i didn't sleep well last night because...well i just didn't.  

when i woke up i had a crick in my neck...

but do you really want to know that?  do you want to know...

that i went home and found a mess in the kitchen?

that the dog threw up (again)?

that the pants i hoped to wear to work were dirty?

that i feel like any moment i am going to come unraveled...shatter into a million pieces?

the mask comes out of hiding and gets firmly placed on my face.  the smile tacked on with the earrings.  

see i'm fine...except i'm not.  

i'm having one of those days my heart is tender and that look feels like a sword.  

that text undoes me because i think you are upset with me.  

i want to crawl under the covers and hide because there it is warm and dark and safe, but i can't.  

i'm supposed act fine...but i am so un-fine right now.  

i want to be held close and have a really good cry.  the snot slinging, use the entire box of kleenex, where is the visine kind of cry.  the kind of cry that is exhausting but lets it all out kind of cry.  

but there isn't time for that right i'll act fine for a little longer...

a text sent to a prayer warrior, a pm on facebook to an (in)courage friend, an email to another grandma, and sweet, sweet words that remind me, i am so not un-fine. 

peace falls around me like a blanket.  i just got lost for a little while and let go of Christ's hand.  thought i could do it all alone.  

how are you?  join us over at (in)spired and let us really know.

Monday, October 15, 2012

multitudes on mondays ~ october 15th

this is my list of gifts
not that I want,
those I already have
given by the giver of all

480 good novels that make me think about hard things (Come Alive byElora Ramirez)

481 watching a community lift a worried mama in prayer

482 knowing my jay leno chin is not caused by a life threatening illness (it is the simple things)

483 being woke up for kneeling time

Photo Credit:

484 a sister who helps me find my God lenses again

485 pictures and words of others affirming a nudge

486 fall drives on back roads

487 beautiful quilts on these Tennessee mountains

488 Joshua Brayden beast snoring at my feet

489 chicken enchiladas made by da bear

490 hope found anew

491 text messages full of love
<3 <3 <3

492 watching a brother share miracles

493 little voices half a sentence behind big voices saying holy words

494 encouraging leaders

495 a sister’s answered prayers for her mama

496 seeing the stars as the clouds pass

497 old words made new

498 homeless art finding a home

499 yellow umbrellas

remember to join ann & friends at a holy experience.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

dark of night 
no peace found
tablet lights up
words about God lenses found
eyes close
alarm jars
vision fuzzy 
kneeling time
sister's says God words
becoming His hands
 and heart
 and hugs
tears fall
vision found
in old words

"Don’t be afraid. 
Just stand still 
and watch 
the LORD 
rescue you 
(Exodus 14.13)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

hope and mops

In the midst of struggles that muddy the gospel I am reminded again today of the need to have my heart broken to be made whole and the need to find beauty in the midst of tragedy.

Help One Now currently has a group of bloggers and storytellers in Haiti.  Please pray for how you might bring hope.

check these blogs (and watch for more):

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

(in)rl study

While looking for community in a new place God led me to this incredible place named (in)courage.

it was there i began to form relationships with
women who felt like sisters to me.  many of them
i will never meet IRL (in real life),
yet they helped me walk through a dark time.

along the way i discovered the (in)RL study.
i did it on my own and loved it!

now months later i am walking with another
group of women and we are going to do this study
together!  i am excited to see what God will 
do in and through us with this study.

interested in studying with us?
head over to (in)spired and ask to join us.

For where two or three 
gather together as my followers,
# I am there among them.”
Matthew 18.20 NLT

Monday, October 8, 2012

multitudes on monday ~ october 8

this is my list of gifts…
not that I want,
but those i already have
given by the giver of all

500 watching a big, new, God thing unfold

501 connecting with new sisters

502 care packages on my porch

503 hearing joy as a brother says yes

504 zalads brought home after an hour in line…that is love

505 cuddling with joshua brayden beast under the covers when i feel icky

506 a community beginning in a God way

507 making plans to see some important people

 508 seeing the end of a hard thing and making steps to move forward

509 remembering when community put me back together

 510 being on the “same page” as new sisters

511 cheese quesadillas for breakfast

512 posting the “wrong” memory verse

513 sisters who share their stories

514 new cozy slippers from da bear

515 making sure a dear one has a radio to listen to “the game” while away from home

516 bathing beauty on the beach

517 hockey novels

518 lazy mondays

519 shopping at mercy house!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

from the blessing jar...

The (in)spired ladies talked about a blessing jar and one even gave us quotes/questions to put inside.
so join us today as we pull from the blessing jar.
answer here or on our page.

Today's question:

The grace of God is indiscriminate, foolish, impractical, unrealistic, crazy and na├»ve.” 
(Michael Yaconelli, Dangerous Wonder) 

Which of these words describes the grace of God to you?

 Do you know that you are blessed???

Friday, October 5, 2012

five minute friday ~welcome

only thing happening in my studio this week...stay tuned next week

Welcome is...

those arms that hold me tight after the tears have been held in too long

the voice of my dear sister when i need to be brave no longer

cuddling with da beast and da bear on a saturday morning when it is too cold to leave the covers

the timeless words of a holy meal shared with beloved ones

floating on a pool with a sister when the world gets heavy

diving into study  in my daddy's Words

a new place to let my hair down and love and be loved on by godly women

it is reading words that make me brave enough to ask hard questions

it is sinking my hands and my heart into works that untangle the knots in my soul

it is finding that place i belong with women who capture what i see when i close my eyes and write words that are in my head

it is in holy notes that lift me to heaven sometimes in voices of two and sometimes thousands

it is my daddy's arms welcome begins and ends.

Those are the words that came when I set my timer...wanna join in?  Here's how...

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!

If you want to know more, visit Lisa-Jo's blog.  For you (in)spired ladies without blogs?   Post to our group page.  

And here you will find a free online timer.