Friday, April 11, 2014

holy week...





I'm feeling all sappy this morning.  We're getting ready for our Spring Break (home to Illinois) this year.  A long car ride awaits, but on the other side is a week with all things familiar.  Mom and dad hard hugs. That overwhelming scent of my childhood home as soon as I walk in the door.  Foods I grew up.  Streets that I could drive down with my eyes closed.  Sharing my people with my PEOPLE.  Going home isn't an exciting adventure, but it sure does fit the bill for a week of unconditional love and rest.


This year will be different.  My Grandma June is gone (read about her here).  Honey's mom sold his childhood home and moved to Florida.  Will it be sad?  It will definitely be different.  Time marches on and change inevitably takes place.





Thinking about Spring Break made me reflect on last year.  We did a whirlwind tour of San Francisco and Yosemite National Park.  It really was a trip of a life time (read about it here, herehere and here).

My favorite part...and the one I keep reminiscing about was our time in Yosemite.  We rented a "river house" right along the Merced River. You could hear the race of the water roar even on the inside.  We were completely unplugged...no cell phone signal.  No outside world.  It was peaceful and remote and just what our little family needed.







My girl has definitely blossomed and changed this year...


But her interests haven't;)  










I think breaks are just as holy as holy things are holy if that makes any sense it all.  Walking away from everything.  Dedicating and setting apart your time to give to each other.  It's a beautiful thing.  It's a GOD thing.  We need to tread softly.  To soak it up.  This fleeting life.  These stolen, consecrated moments with our loved ones.  They are gifts.  Here's to a week of holiness on so many levels.  May you and yours bask in the goodness of each other...bask in the goodness of His selfless redeeming love for us.



*If you want to follow along. I'm @farmgirlpaints on Instagram:)




Be a blessing.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

more LOVE less HUSTLE



 Lissa and Jeanne

You know how when you take off your bra at the end of the day and you put on your comfy sweats and fuzzy slippers and all just feels right in the world?  Yep that's a little teeny bit of how last weekend felt.  It wasn't the physically comfortable that made me feel that way however.  I was super nervous inside.  I didn't know what in the world Hope Spoken was.  I had absolutely zero expectations.  I didn't know how all the friendships that were meeting up would meld.  What if I met someone who knew me and I didn't know them?  Would that be weird and uncomfortable?  Or what if I met someone I'd long admired and they weren't what I thought? That would be disappointing. What if tripping with my Tamara girl went whack and all of a sudden we couldn't stand each other...uh that would be BAD!!!

Joy, Sioban, Rachel, Stephanie aka Honey, Carissa...Just a few of the sweet faces I met this weekend.

But the funny thing about fear is that most of the time all those things that you think might happen never do and the things that actually do happen aren't nearly as terrifying as you played them out to be in your head. Hope Spoken was beautiful. God's presence was there!  His anointing filled the conference rooms, the hallways, our hotel room.  My expectations were blown.

All my old and new friendships melded together without a hitch.  A few people did "know" me and it was wonderful and humbling and exciting all rolled into one:)  I didn't pass out from nerves.  I didn't wilt under the pressure.  I met SO many amazing women.  SO MANY and they were just what I thought.  Beautiful inside and out!  Hugging them.  Hearing their voices for the first time.  It was beyond surreal...it felt like providence. These girls are my family.  We are sharing eternity together.  It was a sliver glance into what Heaven will be like...one giant family reunion of love, grace and common ground.

Even the little details like where we sat in the conference (front row) and who are small group leader would be (Stephanie Holden) were worked out.  We really don't need to spin our wheels wondering about those things.  His hand provides.  He knows just what we need and miraculously steps in.  Even Tamara and I hunting for leather all over Dallas...  We found our shops without a hitch and came home with goodies.  We didn't get lost.  We didn't wreck the car.  Phew!
 middle pic Tiffini, Tamara, Tracy, Jeanne, Lissa

There were several separate words from the Lord that really touched my heart during the weekend.  One was Shauna Niequist's talk.  I mentioned her a few posts back.  I've been reading Bread and Wine and I just knew I was going to connect with her.  We were on the front row remember.  Her words covered over me like warm butter.  She shared about her life and how at one point it was more or less spinning out of control.  She was traveling, writing, speaking and multitasking to the extreme.  Her life was careening and she was missing it.  She was missing the joy.  She was missing dancing in the kitchen.  She was missing who she used to be.  The girl who used to have fun.  She talked about MORE LOVE LESS HUSTLE.  She talked about not caring about impressing others or looking capable.  She talked about relearning how to rest...more slow, more sleep, more unplanned moments...about self care.  About being present, whole, brave...about laying down words like "busy" and "should".


She told the story of a pier she liked to visit.  The owner would throw candy out at the boats passing by.  One day there was a LOT of activity...kayakers, sailboats, people in the water swimming. It was complete chaos.  She was standing there nervous and afraid someone was going to get hurt, and she kept wondering where the owner of the pier was...that he should step in.  That what was going on was irresponsible.  Finally he walks up and he pulls out his giant bag of candy.  And he starts throwing candy to all the people in the boats passing by...the kayakers, the swimmers.  And it hits her that she doesn't throw candy.  She doesn't know how to lighten up and enjoy moments around her anymore.  She started weeping and made a vow to start throwing candy...which she did right then in the conference.  She pulled out a bag of lollipops and threw them into the audience.  And I sat there weeping...because apparently that's what I do. I weep;)  And I could feel the Holy Spirit whispering the same things to me.  Lay down busy.  Relearn to rest.  MORE LOVE LESS HUSTLE.  Be present.  Impress less. More love. Less Hustle.


I'm not positive on how to get from A to B with that.  I'm not exactly sure how she was able to manage her deadlines, speaking engagements and travel.  I imagine the word no came into play.  That she turned her computer off and put down her phone more often.  That she had to make a concentrated, not always easy choice to choose slow...to choose CANDY;)  The things that really matter will get done.  I know that was a word from the Lord straight to my heart...and to a lot of other "busy" stressed out women in that room.  We have one very beautiful life, and I'm thinking putting love first and the rest next is a recipe for only good things.





Be a blessing.







barbara, me, lissa and tiffini

giggles with my girls
wisdom from our leader
Dallas birds...sounded like we were in the tropics
favor with new faces
kind TSA agents
sunshine
thrift store finds
hugs, tears and so much love
HOPE

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Monday, March 31, 2014

the scissors broke the dam...

I'm home!  I have so much to tell you, but I'm going to need a few days to process and chew on this past weekend at Hope Spoken.  I will tell you that I was blessed to my tippy toes and that God's hands were all over that place.  It was right where I was supposed to be and that gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.


On the drive back to the airport Tamara and I had a look that we shared in the car.  It was the cocky...Oh yeah, we did it!!  We rocked being independent women. We rented a car.  We navigated Dallas.  We found our way without a hiccup.  We thrifted in the unfamiliar. WE are savvy business women;) HA!  There was a high five thrown in and a "woot woot" I think and then we made our way inside to turn over the car, check in and get through security.


So we are standing on the other side of the carry on scanning machine and I see the TSA lady pull my bag off and my heart sinks.  All of a sudden it dawns on me that I accidentally packed my leather cutting scissors:/ For most that probably wouldn't be a big deal.  They do allow some scissors, but these bad boy's are 12" long and look pretty scary. No letting them go through:(


I had to make a decision to either turn them over or go back through security and check them on the other side.  I wasn't parting with them.  They were my deceased father in law's.  They were special.  They are an important part of my shop...my business.  Apparently these scissors meant more than I ever knew.  So I was escorted to another check in point, they hunted for a box and the agent tells me it's going to cost $150 to check it. My heart immediately sunk, and as I'm telling him my husband wouldn't go for that I start sobbing.  I'm not talking a little tear streaming down my face.  We are talking full on ugly cry.  The kind where you can't catch your breath.  I was making sounds!  It's official, I've done lost my mind.


The four male agents are standing there looking at me with disbelief and compassion and I'm trying not to make eye contact because I can't believe I'm in a grieving stage over a PAIR OF flipping SCISSORS! One of them makes his way over to another woman agent...he gestures.  I look at my feet in complete embarrassment.  She takes one look at the mess I am and okays whatever.  He comes over tapes up my box.  Gives me a pen to write my address and tells me it's all taken care of.  Sweetness.  Compassion. Kindness.  I'm moved again.  The sobbing continues.  I thank them, apologize over and over and I walk away completely overwhelmed by God's grace.




The tears didn't stop.  A dam was opened.  It wasn't just the pair of scissors that had me in a puddle. It's not just an emotion filled month or a beautiful weekend with sister like friends.  It's a life time of mercy. It's a love that goes so deep and grabs me in such an unexpected bear hug embrace.  He loves us so much friends.  He cares about the little things...the intimate details of our hearts.  He has a plan and sometimes it involves a detour for us to realize how important certain things are.  Sometimes it takes pain...it takes a period of panic, to fully appreciate the blessing.  But it's in place. The ball is rolling. It's happening right this second and the revelation of HIS hug is going to be worth it all!





Be a blessing.






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