Monday, February 09, 2015

Velveteen Rabbit, Billy Ocean, and A New Tattoo (trust me I'm going to make this work)

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

- Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Yesterday afternoon my oldest daughter and her choir put on a concert for a 90 year old woman who has been an active influence in the world of art and music here in Reno for over 50 years. It was an awesome event to celebrate her life and while I watched her play on stage with the other band members I started to think about the above quote.
I absolutely love the above quote. 
It really applies to life as a human being as well as life as a Velveteen Rabbit.
I miss the days of reading the Velveteen Rabbit, but when I was a child I never even knew the depth of this quote.
One of the main reasons I love that quote is because it reminds me that life is a process. There is no final, or test that you take to say you have graduated, or you have now become who you are going to be. 
You just become.
It really does take a very long time to become.
In watching the 90 year old woman last night I thought to myself, not even this lady has become.
She still has more memories to make and more lessons to learn, although it seems hard to believe but I bet if you asked her she would tell you that it's true.
You never stop learning.
You never stop becoming.
 It really does take a long time to become.
Upon turning 40 years old I thought if a person was ever going to be done with the whole becoming process it should be about half way through this life don't cha think? 
But no, as it turns out, it's really not even close.
I mean, sure it's closer than it was when I turned 20 but still so much more becoming is needed.
I look at older ladies in my life and see how secure they are in their skin and how confident their voices are and  I think I want that even more than I have it now, but I'm pretty sure its wrapped up in... you guessed it... more becoming.
It really does take a long time to become.
I don't want to be one that breaks easily either. 
There's a scripture in Proverbs that says, 
 "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small." 
This scripture has always reminded me of that old Billy Ocean song, When the going gets tough the tough get going!
I think we should listen to that song and have a little dance party at the end ... 
What do you say, who's with me?
Let's get back on topic for now though... 
The wisdom in that proverb is that in this life there are going to be days, weeks, maybe even months or quite possibly years of adversity but that is when we have to push through and keep looking up, or  work on those tough muscles or get going like Billy says!
Speaking of looking UP, this past Friday I finally got Carl here, from the Disney movie UP tattooed on my inner arm.
Can you say OUCH!!
He (Carl) is a perfect example of this becoming business.
He thought when his wife died his becoming was over... but OH what joy awaited him when he started to become someone else, someone he always wanted to be.
I'm going to move on because even just thinking about that movie gets me weepy.
(Because remember when Isaiah turned 5 and had an UP themed bday party?)
I'll be honest, one of the reasons that scripture has always stood out to me is because I don't like adversity. I don't do hard or complicated or tough very well. 
I like happy, sunny, champaign wishes and caviar dreams, (only minus the caviar... bleh!)
But real life is not like that. 
We have to go through the bad that makes the good that much more betta!
It really does take a long time to become.

And let's talk about sharp edges. 
Have you ever noticed those grumpy old people with so many edges it's hard to be the same room with them?
Kinda like Carl before he met Russell.
Don't cha just love that Russell kid?
Oh wait, sorry I keep getting distracted all I know is that
I don't want to become... like that.
I know for me there is still so much more life ahead and rather than being worn out and leathered by the storms of life that come my way I want to be like a fine wine that only gets better, not the kind that turns to vinegar.
So that being said, let's become well together and don't forget to DANCE!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


"I want you WOVEN into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God's great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else."
 Colossians 2:2-3 

I read this, a few days back and I immediately thought of the new women's group that I get the privilege of being a part of once a month at my home church Hillside Foursquare. The reason I thought of them is because we have named our group Woven with the idea that our purpose should be to weave our hearts together with acts of love. We feel that all of God's women here in Reno, NV and across the world are stronger, better, more courageous when we stand together as a unified force. 
I'm sure it makes a lot more sense now why this scripture that was on my desk calendar would shout out to me then. But, as I took a closer look I realized that God has been weaving a reoccurring theme throughout my days and that is unity. 

I have been studying the book of John with the SheReadsTruth ladies and a while back we read in John 5:19 that even Jesus was apart of the infinity circle. In this portion of scripture he talks about how he did nothing on his own but only moved always with the Father. 
It got me thinking about how every soul that ever was or ever will be desires closeness, oneness, unity with someone. 
When we seek out this unity our lives are richer, deeper, fuller and we are more in tune with our true selves. 

Every soul longs to know and be known by at least one.

God made us to long for this.
He made us to long for Him. 

If even Jesus needed this connection with the Father how much more do we need it as well.
When we fill our lives with other things it may temporarily fill that hole but it doesn't fulfill us for very long.
I believe this to be the reason that social media's have become so prevalent in our day and age because they are a way of staying connected.
The human soul is constantly seeking connection. 

We look with eyes of wanting to see at least one face in the crowd who understands and fully gets us.
That's what is so nice and comforting about old friends, they know you. The you that TP'd a house at age 13 or the you that got bit by a dog when you were only 14 or the you that married at 20 years of age, or lost your first baby to a miscarriage. 
They know you.
But only God knows the real you.
He's known you since you were in your mother's womb.
Doesn't that just trip some of you out right now?
That's a lot of knowing.
The truly awe-some thing about the fact that God knows us and sees us is that as we get to know Him he reminds us over and over and over again that He only ever wants to love us. Often times we think how could God loves this? Because we see through eyes of darkness we think that's all He sees.
But oh beloved reader, HE sees through eyes of light. 
He can only see the good in you.
What an amazing God we have.
Truly He adores you.
As we begin to know, really know this love of Christ we walk a little taller. 
Our head is not hung in shame for every mistake we have made.

This is the great mystery... the LOVE of Christ!

In seeking a greater level of peace this year I have realized more than ever how crucial my connection, my umbilical cord, if you will, to Jesus is a vital and necessary part of that peace.
Anytime I try and cut that cord the life just drains right out of my soul and I'm left tired, weary, and discouraged. 
Staying constantly at his feet in this busy, chaotic world is not easy.
I have found over the years that if I surround myself with scripture everywhere I look there is an opportunity for God to speak to me in my decor. 
And He does.
And almost on a weekly basis I'm wooed back to his feet by a simple word or reminder that, that is where my soul will be fed and my heart will stay in full, surrendered peace.
But even more than being surrounded by God's word I can honestly say that it is the LOVE of Christ that draws me, beckons me to come, because without the daily dose of Jesus I am not quite the same.
I function, but at a level that isn't my best self. 
My true inner soul needs Jesus the living water that causes me never to thirst again. 
His voice is still and small but if you listen, really listen He will call you too.
If you are the girl who's waiting by the phone and it never rings, or more likely these days waiting on your IG pic to be liked by a certain someone, please know that you have already been called, you are already liked, and you are beyond measure loved by the Lover of your Soul.
Focus on Christ and let Him weave you into this tapestry of LOVE!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year, New Word

You know the moment when you are barely awake in the morning, snuggled in your bed with your favorite pillow and blankets tucked around you just right. The moment when you realize you are awake but your mind drifts back to slumber and the air is cold because it's the middle of winter and you know that the warmth that is blanketed around you will quickly leave the moment you step your first foot on the floor? 
That is the best description I can think of to try and explain how God's presence blankets his children with PEACE.
It is a peace that surpasses understanding because even though the world around you is cold and barren, chaotic and often even devoid of life, you are blanketed in this warm feeling that everything is going to be alright and you don't know how to truly explain that you know this except to say, that God has given you 

"Peace I leave with you; My own peace I now give and bequeath to you. 
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do NOT let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Stop allowing
yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful
and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled."
John 14:27

This peace that Jesus has left those of us that follow in his footsteps can blanket us everyday. 
Even in our darkest moments his peace doesn't leave our sides.
He walks with us to those dark places and shines the light in every corner and every crevice.
He reminds us that when we open our eyes and we do step out of bed into the cold, dark world HE will be there to help us. 

When I began praying about what word I wanted to choose to remind me of something all year, the word Peace just kept coming to mind. I kept thinking of people that I know and have known in my life that have exuded peace. I thought of a counselor who My Giant and I recently went to for a lil marriage tune up and how one thing that Moses said he noticed right away was how peaceful this man is. 
It made me long for that to be a description someone might use about me.
And then I had a conversation with my sister Jen and we were talking about how we both really want new habits in our lives. And I was reminded of something a friend of hers once said that never really left me, 

"When did Jesus stop being enough?"

It left me a little weepy as I realized all the idols I have allowed in this temple, and I longed for Jesus to be that peace once again.
I longed for my peace to come from the source of peace and balance, and goodness. 
I wanted desperately to take back all the years, all the moments, that I had given someone or something else that very special place that should have only been reserved for him and him alone. 

As I have gotten older and the world around me has too, I need the peace that Jesus gives now more than ever. 
I have always been a bit of worry wart and the only medicine for my overly anxious heart has only ever been Jesus, but sometimes I look to people, or my circumstances or a glass of wine to be that blanket of peace and without fail I'm left wanting.

"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
And GOD's PEACE shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of it's salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with it's earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that PEACE that transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:6-7

This year marks 20 years of marriage.
17 years of being a parent.
40 years of being alive.
The year my brother Greg will get married.
10 years of marriage for my sister Gina. 
70 years for one of my life's greatest examples of peace, my Mom.

And those are just the moments I know will happen. 
For all the unknown moments are what can weigh my heart down with anxiety, and worry.
I need that blanket of PEACE that God gives, and I want to look to him before anyone or anything else.
I want to walk out knowing fully that Jesus is enough!
The only way I know how I can do this is to spend time with the Lover of My Soul and he reminds me that he really does have the whole world in his hands. 
I can leave it all at his feet and he will carry my burdens. 
When I'm in that blanket of peace I think of a saying my beloved Gram(the most peaceful person I've ever met) used to say;

"All this and Heaven too!!"

What a truly beautiful life!

Here's to a 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

On Turning 40

Today is the first day of my 40s, and so far I have to say it's going pretty well. 
And just in case you were wondering,
I'm not giving up on ducky lips in my 40's, but I do think I should buy a legit pair of glasses.
Maybe Not!!

No mid-life crisis in sight, unless you consider having ducky lips at 40 a crisis?
But seriously, I know I'm only a few hours into this 40's gig but I have a whole life time of stories to tell you that led up to this moment.
And maybe, just maybe some wisdom even though I don't have the grey hairs to show for it! 
Where are those grey hairs? 
I may be the only 40 year old woman you know who has plans to put some fake grey hairs on my head and still pull off a damn good duck lip, but that's what I feel the 40's are all about.
There is no rule book on what this is supposed to look like and so with that being said, let me tell you some of my thoughts on turning 40.

I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day and it made me feel a little bit better about turning 40.
I love a good story and if I could only approach this birthday with the attitude that now,
I have 40 years of stories then I think I won't feel so old.

I wonder what the title for this chapter will be?

I think I'm heading into this decade with a few heavy duty life notches under my belt like; getting married, having 4 children, moving away, owning homes, a miscarriage, having surgeries, getting degrees, changing jobs, losing loved ones, greeting new loved ones into the world. 
But, there is still SO much of life that I haven't experienced yet and so I find myself in this in-between stage.

The chapter called the Middle. 

When I look back over my life I realize I really do have a lot of great stories to tell and I'm truly grateful for each and every one of them. 

I have that one story of when I married a Giant man named Moses.
Gosh, I love that story.
It's been over 20 years now that, that story began so over half my life has been spent with him as opposed to without. 

If I had to choose only one person to spend the rest of my life with it would still be My Giant.

But before that story I have 19 years of stories that didn't involve a Giant.
And you can't skip those ever important formative years. 

I have the story of my first day in kindergarten when I cried ever so sweetly because I didn't want to leave my momma's side.
I was kind of a momma's girl.
I still am a momma's girl. 
The older I get the more I appreciate my momma. 

Being a good mom truly is a role that will forever be my goal.

She has led the way of what it looks like to grow old gracefully, and I'm happy to follow in her beautiful footsteps.

I have the story of when I met my first best friend at school. We became friends because some bully's where picking on her, and I came to her side and told her that I thought she was perfect. And I kicked those bullies asses... No, No I didn't! But, I wanted to. I probably didn't say anything at all that eloquent either because I was in Kindergarten,  and I'm fairly certain I didn't even give the bullies a dirty look but man was I ever angry on the inside. 
I love that story because it's still ongoing. I'm still friends with this child hood friend.

Old friends are the treasures in this life that nothing else can quite compare to.

I have the story of waiting outside of a retail store that said they would have the popular Cabbage Patch Dolls in stock, and I thought all my childhood dreams were going to come true, only to have my hopes and dreams dashed by a frenzied crowd that snatched up every doll in sight, and an announcement that they were all sold out.
My dad took me out to breakfast afterward to cheer me up and that's when I realized he would forever be one of my life's heros.
 My dad is still one of my life's heros because he has consistently showed up like that when it matters most.

The simple truth of what it takes to be a good parent is somehow wrapped up in the "showing up"!

I have the story of my first kiss that was actually stolen from my lips from a skater kid named Mikey.
That story still makes me angry. What a shit bird that Mikey was.
Girls, don't let that first kiss be stolen or any kiss there after.

Be mindful of where your affections are given. 

Shortly after that, I remember the story where my life would be forever changed by the Lover of my Soul. That story hands down, is my favorite because it has made every story there after better, richer, deeper, and more eternal. 

Make sure your life's story is building for a better eternity.

I have the stories of High School where I lived in the Choir room. I was that geeky choir student.
If my life where the t.v show Glee I was most definitely Rachel, maybe not as snooty, and probably not as confident.
I didn't care that it wasn't cool to be in choir back then because "singing loud for all to hear" was and still is my favorite. 

In this life you have to do what makes your heart sing, no matter what.

I remember that one time I changed my hair color and got tattoos that was a fun chapter. 
I'm kinda over the chapter of caring what people think about me and as I've gotten older it's been easier to live my life for an audience of ONE.

Live YOUR life, there will only be ONE.

I have had the chapter of little people who depended on me for everything. 
To cloth them, feed them, bathe them, and tuck them in at night.
Where every word was repeated and every moment was precious. 

Now I have big little people
who are so independent and capable that it's almost frightening sometimes. 
And every moment is still precious, but the words ...
well they have a changed a bit is all I'm gonna say about that!

Words are important, use them wisely.

I woke up thinking that turning 40 is so strange because in many ways 

you are too young to be old 
too old to be young anymore.

It's an in between age.
Here's to the in between stage of life!
Thanks for sharing it with me beloved reader.

Friday, December 12, 2014

We Have A Winner!!

If you haven't already found this amazing lady Bernadette

who has an amazing blog 
Go check her out!

Shes' the winner of this lovely apron that I made from a vintage pillow case. 
You can find more of these aprons for sale here;
NoDots Shop
While you are out and about on the internet today 
 You should check out what's going on over here;
Reno Tattoo Mecca
It's my new lil writing project that I started with my sister and I'm pretty excited about it. 
Have a great weekend beloved reader. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The True Christmas Spirit

The above painting is one My talented Giant created a few years back. 
It used to bother me SO much, but I have come to really appreciate some things this painting now means to me.  I like it so much so that I leave it up all year long now.
I'm not sure what Moses inspiration was for the above painting, but I have an inkling he was trying to make a statement.
Moses ... make a statement?
Psh...  that's just crazy talk!
(insert a huge dose of sarcasm)
Now that I have gotten over my offense of the above statement I  have some thoughts about this Creepy, Crazy-eyed Santa as well now.
The first of which is the very obvious fact that
this is the face of a man/Santa who does NOT have the true Christmas spirit. Or what we have come to know as the peaceful, joyful, and loving face of Santa.  It actually reflects quite the opposite of the that.  This Crazy- eyed Santa reminds me of the frenzy we can all put ourselves in come every December 1st.
Enter Buddy the Elf quote,
"You're not Santa. You sit on a throne of lies. You smell like beef and cheese!"
Oh, how I love me some Buddy the Elf... Rut roh... I feel myself getting distracted from the point I wanted to make here.
I suppose why I wanted to write this post is because often times by the end of December that face up there may as well be MY face.
Ok... maybe my eyes aren't blue and I'm not a man but whatever you get the point!!
I need a few reminders (just a few), and maybe you need them too, that Christmas is about SO much more than the temporal high of retail therapy. 
There is something magical about this time of year no doubt about it, but I'm left wondering why it doesn't last?
And why is it that this "spirit of Christmas" comes over us all, and the world becomes kinder and people seem more at peace?
  I'm going to try and answer some of those questions.
At the same time, I'd like to relate to you Beloved reader, what I think the full portion of the beauty of Christmas really is all about.
Bare with me as we follow down Dickens road of Christmas Past, Present and Future. 
Not really... I just added that for dramatic effect!

I woke up this morning with this deep thought about Christmas and the true spirit of Christmas.
We have all heard it said that the best things in this life are free, and while I completely, whole heartedly believe that, why is it that every Christmas season I work myself right up into a full blown tizzy about what to get for who, and how much money it's costing, and how there isn't enough hours in the day to get all the crafting, baking and gifts done, nor all the memories jammed pack with my Fab 4 kids,
and so on and so forth.
 I literally wasn't sleeping the first week of this month because of all the thoughts running through my brain. 

Can anyone else out there relate? 
And then I read this scripture  ;
"Stop toiling and doing and producing for the food that perishes and decomposes(in the using), but strive and work and produce rather for the lasting food which endures continually unto life eternal; the Son of Man will give, (furnish) you that, for God the Father has authorized and certified Him and put His seal of endorsement upon Him."
John 6:26

Hmm... lasting food? 
A complete and utter stop of toiling, doing, producing?
Gifts that keep on giving?
Eternal Food?
Does that mean I don't have to grocery shop ever again? ;)
What does that even look like?
As I read this scripture I was reminded about the app I installed Nov 28th  on my phone called, Advent.
It consists of daily scriptures all about Jesus arrival to earth. 
It was an easy way to remind myself to be determined in having a different attitude this Christmas. 
I also really wanted to participate in Advent this year.
The word Advent is derived from the latin word that means, "Coming" 
So Advent is a time to remember "The Lord is Coming" 
Well, as a Christ follower I know the Lord has come,  and will come again, but as we approach the day we have chosen here in America to celebrate as his birthday I wanted to keep my focus on that phrase....
"The Lord is Coming"

This Christmas season I  wanted to be really purposeful to prepare my heart for HIS coming.
I wanted to treat Christmas day like a day that I would prepare my house(my house being my heart) for like a visit from the President. In doing this I realized my thoughts keep coming back to what the greatest thing about Christmas is. If I'm being honest I have to say it has been a challenge.
Refer to the paragraph above where I admit that I wasn't sleeping the first week of this month.
In my mind and heart I believe the reason Christmas is so special is because we celebrate 
the greatest gift to humanity.
That is the one and only fully man and fully God, Jesus Christ. 
But, in my actions and reactions I wasn't staying there.

On staying there.
His arrival to this planet over 2000 years ago is what we are all still talking about today.
 And his walk on this planet for only 33 years is what has eternally changed my life and the lives of so many other people.
I say all of this because 
whether you believe in Jesus or not you can appreciate the words that he said and the love that he gave to so many.
Unlike Santa Clause
You participate in the "Christmas Spirit" every year by doing what
You do unto others as you would have them do to you. 
You give more than you get.
 You love big and judge small.
These are all principles and teachings that are from the heart of God.
HE is the Father of Christmas.

Those of us who really truly do believe in him, we above all others should be getting that overwhelming sense of peace that some only experience around this time of year. 
We have been given that gift for everyday of our lives.
A peace that surpasses understanding is what we all long and look for. 
If you don't have it, then may I suggest you look to the greatest gift that was ever given.
He came as a baby.
He died as a 33 year old man.
He lived for you to know you are BELOVED.
He heals.
He restores.
He gives peace.



Thursday, December 04, 2014

HEY YOU GUYS!!! (a giveaway)

 Goonie fan's is this not THE most amazing picture ever?
Does that even need a question mark?

This past summer we got to visit Astoria, Oregon the town where the movie the Goonies was filmed.
We had SO much fun and can hardly wait to go back.
The town is as cute as it is quaint.
And I'm pretty sure we went around all over town shouting...


Thank you my Astoria Oregon living friend Tasha for your visit and for this T-shirt, and to Solomon for making my day with your FACE!!
Man that kid can make this momma smile SO big.
Now that I have your attention lets go beyond this epic pic.
 I want to take this opportunity to say that I truly am so grateful to you beloved reader. 
You make this blog here come alive, and I know that although most of you never leave a comment... ahem... I know you are reading, and that makes writing that much more fun.
Tis the season to give back, and have gratitude, or say thanks, and I want to say that I am thankful for this space here that I get to share life with you. And although I call you beloved reader all the time I don't ever want you to forget that to me that is not just a term I use to butter you up. 

I really mean to tell you, every single time I write, that you are BELOVED.

And not just because you choose to read here, but because you are loved by the Creator of the Universe more than you could ever know.

Thank you for always listening and especially for chiming in with your own life experiences when you can relate. 
I appreciate you, and so because I'm in the Christmas giving spirit I want to give you something....

An apron I made from a vintage pillow case.
You can buy one here;
No Dots Shop
you can enter the giveaway below to receive this package of love completely FREE!!

These aprons are my most favorite creations.
I take old vintage pillow cases, and turn them into something so cute, and so functional in the kitchen or for crafting, and then I hope I get to see people wearing them :)
That's where you come in, if you want one of these beauties enter as many times as you want below.

Thank you beloved reader
Have Fun.

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