Friday, October 30, 2015

Take My Breath Away

Have you ever heard a piece of music or seen a piece of art that took your breath away?  How about one that moved you to tears because of its beauty?  It sounds so sappy and cheesy, and I didn't really think that people were being real when they described experiences like that...but come to find out, it's real.  It happened to me.

Last Friday, I talked about my trip to Seattle with my hubby.  We had a great time just being a couple and seeing the sights.  We held hands and walked and saw and visited.  One of the sights we went to was Chihuly Garden and Glass.  AMAZING.  Simply amazing.  Really beautiful.  I loved it!  (Can you tell?)

The exhibit features the work of Dale Chihuly, a glass blower.  But it's not your typical glass blower art.  It almost feels alive and glowing...pulsing almost.  Now I'm sure that not everyone will have the same reaction that I did, but I could have spent days in there just looking at all the different pieces. Other people might just say, "Wow.  That's neat.  That's pretty.  Next." I don't know why, but the colors just spoke to me.  Perhaps it is part of my journey.  This journey where I remember what I'm good at.  This journey where I am in awe of God's creativity and the creativity that he has given to us, His creations.  What an amazing gift!  He told us that we are created in His image--and He is the ultimate creator...that means we are creative, too!  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

 Chihuly Garden and Glass

What inspires you?  Who inspires you?  When you feel that inspiration, what do you do with it?  Do you ignore it...or do you let it flow?  You were created to create.  Your creativity may not be glass blowing, but it could be a whole lot of different things: painting, writing, graphic design, mechanical, photography, and the list can go on forever.  Own your creativity.  Use it.  Grow it.  Comment below about what your creativity is.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

I Have to Eat Again...

I'm going to venture from my normal here's-my-insight-about-my-life format today.  I apologize if I sound a bit more whiny than usual, but I'm kind of stuck on this one and don't have the mental energy to figure it out.

Ugh.  I don't dislike eating.  In fact, I quite enjoy eating.  I even like cooking...most of the time, but, oh mylanta, we have to eat 3 times a day??  That sounds so ridiculous to even whine about (and, yes, I know I'm whining).  It just seems like sometimes in an effort to plan healthy, balanced meals, I get bogged down with wanting it to be perfect that I end up giving up because we're so hungry that we just go out to eat.  It's so expensive to eat out and makes it really hard to stick to a budget.  Ugh...again.

So this is my cry for help.  What do all you healthy eating, busy, busy moms on a budget do to keep your family fed??  I don't want to end up eating a bunch of processed food and I don't want to spend my whole weekend cooking for the week (nor do I have time to).  What do you eat for breakfast and lunches?  We usually do leftovers for lunch, which I'm fine with.  Breakfast is cereal or eggs during the week.

 UL electric pink & royal blue

What I'd like is to have a personal chef that picks food from my garden, cooks it fresh for my family and we eat around the table.  However, that is not exactly in the budget at this point.  My kiddos can help some, but I don't feel like they are quite comfortable with that idea yet (and I don't want spaghetti or tacos every night).  

So I ask again...what do all you fabulous, health conscience, budget minded moms do to feed your family every day?  I love my crock pot, but my hubby gets tired of soups and stews.  He does help cook, but he is not often the first one home, so it seems silly to wait for him to cook dinner.  My kids aren't too picky, but their repertoire is limited at this point.  I'd love to hear about different meal plans and/or services that you have used, loved, and felt good about.  I'm hesitant to spend money on something I haven't heard much about from real people.  I'm a Pinterest junkie, so I have a ton of recipes, but I need a plan that lasts longer than one meal.  Aaaaaaand...GO!  (This is where you fill up my comment section with all sorts of fabulous ideas.)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Chivalry is Dead

Or is it?  It appears to be.  

I'm sitting in the SeaTac airport with my hubby waiting for our flight. We scored some super cheap plane tickets, so we decided to have a quick getaway...just the two of us.  We had a lovely time!  On our arrival, I noticed a sticker on the window of the bus:

It is federal law that if there is a disabled or elderly person who needs your seat you will be asked to give them your seat.
Seriously?  Yep. I'm not even kidding.  I said something about it to hubby when I saw it.  "Isn't that automatic? If you see a person who needs a seat, shouldn't you just do that?  A person shouldn't have to be asked, right?" He agreed, but there wasn't opportunity for it to be tested, so we let it go.

Fast forward to the return trip.  We stepped onto the shuttle and it was full of men. Literally, full of men.  I was the only woman.  Another woman boarded just before we pulled out.  Not a single man offered their seat.  I get it that we were both in t-shirt and jeans.  We were both able bodied and healthy, but that's not the point is it?

 UL lemon chiffon & Valencia orange

If my son had been with us, I would have made him get up and give his seat to a woman.  These men were old enough to know better.  I was embarrassed for them.  They should have been embarrassed themselves.

So back to my original question.  Is chivalry (good manners!) dead? No. As long as there are people willing to teach their children, especially our young men, how to properly respect another human being, then we'll be ok.

What do you think? I'd love some feedback on this one.  Is it antiquated to think a man should give up his seat for a woman? Or is it just good manners? Please comment below.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Contribute to the World

I mentioned a few weeks ago how an amazing opportunity has come into my life.  I'm really excited about it.  That much you already know.  It comes with a mentor.  That much you also know.  

In order to acquaint myself to this new mentor, he sent me a series of questions.  Discovery questions they were called.  I'm always intrigued to learn something new about myself (at least when it's a positive thing...).  Here are a couple of the questions:

     "What are 3 goals you want to achieve in the next 3 months?" Typical coach, goal setting stuff.  I get it.
     "What are the 3 biggest changes you want to make in your life in the next 3 months?" Starting to dig a little deeper.  It's not just goal setting, but admitting that something needs to change in order to grow.
     "Who am I currently mentoring?" This one was tricky for me because I don't feel like a mentor to others, but I'll delve into this one another time.  There are a few more questions, and then this little beauty pops up.  Big one, really.
     "What would you like to contribute to the world?"  Oh mylanta.  That's a really big question.  It's very different from the typical "What do you want to do with your life?" or "What do you want to be when you grow up?" It gets the focus off of me and puts in on the world around me, or even the whole big, wide world.  In other words, what did God put me here to do?  That's really heavy.  

If you ask me why I am here, it is to bring glory to God in all that I do. (I'm so glad that God offers grace because I do not reflect Him near as much as I'd like...) This question, is still different, though. What do I want to contribute to the world?  What do you want to contribute to the world?

 UL bright white & concord grape

I'll give part of my answer, but I'd love to hear your response to the question.  Really.  Please comment below.  Here's a portion of what I said:

It would be easy for me to think that I am too small to contribute anything to the world, but my God is bigger than that.  He can use anyone.  He has used some of the most humble and awkward people to do great things.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
 I want to be used by God to influence those around me in a positive manner.  I want to help empower them to believe in their God given potential.  I want them to understand that the only limits on themselves are self-imposed and that God has a plan and a purpose for each of them—and God doesn’t have limits! 

Your turn.  Go!

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Know You Are Appreciated

Someone sweet and genuine told me that yesterday.  I was in my car at the drive up window at the bank.  She was in the lane next to me.  I don't care where I am when genuine compliments come. They always feel good.  It wasn't just that she said she liked me work that felt so good.  (I'm not knocking that, but it wasn't what really caught my attention this time.) She appreciates me for the vision I have and that my talents are different than hers.

We all have different gifts.  Even if you and I are both artistic, it might look like very different things. You may sculpt.  I paint.  You may paint, too, but completely different style of painting or different medium (type) of paint.  It's really beautiful.  I heard someone talking today saying that if we could appreciate each other more that our lives would turn into a symphony.  Isn't that a beautiful picture?  Each of us playing our own, separate and distinct part, but when combined it becomes a moving song.  

 UL bright white & electric pink

My husband is creative, but in a very different way than I am.  He can build things and see what needs to happen to make the pieces fit together.  His creativity compliments mine.  He appreciates my creativity, and I appreciate his.  My friend appreciates my creativity, and she told me.  I almost did a fist pump right there in the drive through at the bank because it made me feel so good.

Who will you let know that you appreciate them today?  Has someone done that for you?  Now it's your turn to pay it forward.  Go let someone know how much you genuinely appreciate them.  Smile.  You just made someone's day.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

How Will You Be Remembered?

Recently, one of my high school teachers passed away.  She was always a very healthy, active person, but within the last year or so, she developed a brain tumor.  I do not know the details of her death.  In fact, I prefer to remember her how she was.  She was kind and firm, always smiling, and a good teacher.  I still remember things she taught me my freshman year of high school.    I was saddened to hear of her passing.

Something bothered me about her passing, though.  She was a really good teacher for a long time. I'm sure I was not the only student she impacted.  Here's what bothered me: she requested to not have a service of any kind.  Part of this was, I'm sure, because she was very humble.  She wasn't a fussy kind of lady.  I'm sure she didn't want people making a big to-do on her behalf.  I'm sure she didn't want to put people out by taking the time to do a service.  I really don't know all that went into her decision to not have a service.  I hadn't seen her for several months, and I didn't know she was ill when I did see her.

What I'm trying to say is that I don't expect a large and formal to-do when I die.  What I'd like is for my friends to gather and tell stories of all the dorky, silly things I did.  Feel free to make fun of me, because certainly I do.  Have a BBQ and laugh and have a good time.  Really and truly, this is what I want.  I have one friend that told me she attended a fun-eral.  Fun being the active word.  I have enjoyed my life with all its ups and downs and hard and silly spots.  I know I will be in a heaven because I know my savior, Jesus.  I know I'm not perfect in this life, so it's okay to remember my lumps and bumps, too.  I'd like to be remembered for the positive impact I had on those around me, but more than anything for the way I hopefully made people feel.

 UL lilac bouquet & cobblestone gray

How do you want to be remembered?  What do you want people to say about you when you're gone?  If you're not happy with what they might say, then change now.  You're not going to get another chance at this life.  Please comment below.

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Kid Bragged About Me

My son just turned 13-years-old last week.  He is officially a teenager now.  I had the privilege of accompanying him on his field trip earlier this week.  It was actually a lot of fun, not that I didn't think it would be, but that's a lot of middle schoolers and a lot of hormones...  (My hat is off to any teacher of middle schoolers!)  The kids were great.  Really and truly they were.  They even dressed up nice for our visit to the theater.  They were so cute in their fancy dresses, plaid shirts, and bow ties.

We were sitting at lunch, when one of the boys leaned over and asked me,
"How many times did you take your brown belt test before you passed?"
I smiled and told him.  Three.  I'm not embarrassed.  I'm proud that I didn't quit.  Three.  That's how many times it took me to pass my Brown 2 test.  It kind of sucked, but I learned a lot about myself in the process.  Now you might be thinking it's weird to think my son was bragging about me by talking about how I didn't pass my test, but it matters to know what the class has been studying: grit.  This isn't science class, and I don't mean sand or grinding of the teeth.  I mean John Wayne-stand-your-ground-determination-strength-of-character-never-back-down kind of grit. My son and I haven't talked much about it since it happened, and I've moved on and passed my black belt test now.  But he was watching.  Our kids are always watching.  

 UL electric pink

I mess up much more often than I'd like, but I also know that it's okay to apologize to my kids and try again.  I'm always amazed at how much grace they have to offer me.  I'm pretty stoked that my little-big man thought I was cool enough to brag about to his peers.  He even thought I was cool enough to sit by on the bus on the way to the theater.  THAT was a stellar day.

It's intriguing to hear about what our kids say about us when we're not around.  Have you ever caught your kids bragging (or complaining!) about you?  How did it make you feel?  Proud or maybe a reminder that you need to pay some attention to a character issue?  I've done both.  I'd love to hear about your experiences.  Please share below.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Be Humble...Not Awkward

I recently volunteered on a creative arts committee at my church.  As a group, we came up with several artistic projects to make our church feel more home-y and warm.  I'll be honest.  This awesome group of ladies worked well together and we came up with some a-m-a-z-i-n-g stuff!  (I love Pinterest in conjunction with creative minds!!)  

It was totally a group effort.  There wasn't a lone star person.  It was truly a God thing.  Here's the awkward part.  Last week during the service our sweet pastor asked us to stand up and just said thank you for the work we put in, and that it was really lovely.  I'm not sure why, but I suddenly became really embarrassed.  I could feel my cheeks burning and I sat in my chair.  It was so strange, and if it were one of my friends sitting next to me being recognized I would have made them stand up.  I honestly don't know why I just sat there.  I'm truly proud of the work we did.  Here are some pics below to show how cool some of this stuff turned out!

 efree church

 Efree church

 Efree church

In the back of my mind, I knew at some point that there would be mention of our work.  Why on earth was I so embarrassed?  Who knows?  Have you ever been recognized for something good you did and instead of accepting it graciously, acted awkwardly?  Have you learned a better response?  I'd LOVE to hear about it below.  Please share in the comment section.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Blood Moon Dreams

The super duper, red glowing, rarely seen blood moon was last Sunday.  There was all sorts of media hype, and since it won't come around again for quite a while, I decided I'd better go take a gander.  My kids thought it would be cool, too, especially my daughter, so outside we went.  

We could see it fairly well from my driveway, but the better view was from my upstairs bedroom window.  Snuggled on my lap, my sweet girl sat in the dark room watching the moon turn colors.  She watched and we sat quietly, in awe of God's creativity.  We weren't really saying much, and then my girl turned to me and surprised me with her words.

"Mom, I want to be the first woman to fly to Mars."
What do you say to that??

"Okay, Baby.  Go for it."
 UL navy blue and sunshine yellow

I'm sure she'll be singing all the way there.  Right now, that seems like such a wild and sci-fi movie kind of dream, but so was going to the moon.  In fact, plans weren't even started when JFK made the promise that we'd go to the moon by the end of the decade.  This is the girl that wants to be a beautician, an ice skater, a teacher, a principal, a musician, a fashion designer, a dentist, a mommy, and a model. I'm pretty sure she'll find a way to fly to Mars in the middle of all that.  You go girl.  Who am I to squash her dream?  No one.  I have my own big dreams.  I'm not going to squash hers.

What dreams did you have when you were young?  Did someone squash them or are you pursuing them now?  I might be a bit late at getting started, but I'm getting there.

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