Wordless Wednesday

Cheesin' with Daddy in the Morning

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Me and My Guitar

Last night, I went out and bought a new set of strings and a pegwinder. It wasn’t exactly in the budget right now, but sometimes you just need to do what’s right for your soul, and it can’t matter what’s in the bank. For the first time in… YEARS I wanted to pick up my guitar for me. Not because being around someone made me feel guilty about not having picked it up in a while. Not because I saw another musician and wished I could jam with them again. I did it simply because I wanted to. I found a song I wanted to learn, and I picked it up and I learned it.

My fingers will get over it. It’s been too long since I’ve even felt worthy of playing my guitar, so this was a good thing. $14 that will pay me back for the rest of my life.

 

Fingers on the fretboard

 

Let the healing begin…

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Community

A few months ago, my husband and I made the difficult decision that it was time to leave our church, where we had been members for over 5 years. We had put a lot of love and energy into that church, but some things happened, some things DIDN’T happen, and we realized that we had arrived at the place in which we could no longer call it home.

When that happened, I was left with a very lost and sad feeling. I wasn’t sure what would happen next, what God could be doing in all this, and how we would be able to find a new body that would allow us to grow in our Walks in a way we desperately needed.  I was scared about how long we might stay there, what it could mean in relation to Scott’s job (if we were to move closer to his job, could we still stay at the church… probably not), or how well we would mesh with a new group of people for a potentially short time.  Simply put, I was lost, terrified, and feeling intensely aimless.

Enter Image Church.  My mom was encouraging us to try out this cool little church nearby.  My parents had tried it once in their recent church, but it wasn’t the right fit for them.  She knows us very well, however, and I have to believe that God was giving her a big, gigantic arrow pointing at Image because that’s where we needed to be.   So we went to check it out.  And we loved it.  The teaching is dead on, the worship is loud and proud, and the people are so warm and eagerly welcoming.  But I was still scared.  I didn’t want to let these people in if we were looking at the chance that we could be moving soonish.  You NEVER know!

I guess it’s a good thing that God knows what He’s doing.  I know I sure don’t!  After 5 months of “testing the waters,” we went to our first Pod (small group) meeting tonight.  I guess it’s a good thing we love our Pastor (check his blog out here), because this dude’s in charge of our group!

To those who know me, “shy” isn’t exactly the first word anyone would use to describe me.  “Crazy B,” maybe, “take no prisoners,” but not “shy.” But when I’m first introduced to a new groups of people, a new surrounding, that’s exactly how I am, and sometimes it can take me a while to warm up.  You know, I guess that’s where Squish gets it from.  She takes it all in, takes some time to observe, and then dives right in, heart wide open.  It’s inspiring!  But I digress…

Tonight, I was a little reluctant to open my mouth.  I’m in a new group, IN MY PASTOR’S HOUSE!!!!! (Nevermind he REALLY IS a very cool dude!)  And most of the people in the room don’t know me.  I really don’t want to look like an idiot or an arrogant twit in front of them.  It’s funny how pride can do that do us, huh?

Instead, when I had the opportunity to say something, I was humbled and amazed by how I was encouraged and encouraging in my response.  For the first time in probably many years, I felt like I actually had something to offer.  It made me so grateful for this group of people that I’m having the opportunity to get to know, and I am believing more and more that God has placed us here for an incredible time of blessing and rest.  It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this kind of peace…

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So There’s This Dress..

In December, my mom and I became mall walkers. We walk at least 2 miles a day, 6 days week. It’s actually been great way for me to get motivation to work out a bit, and I’ve finally started seeing a difference in my body. Finally!!

One negative side effect of all this walking, however, is all the window shopping I end up doing. On one hand, I pretend to play dress up. On the other, I get some major fashion envy.

This is the moment that I was hoping to show you a picture of said dress, but the interwebs seem to be oblivious. Tragic! I have been eying this dress since it was in the window display at Benetton before Christmas. It is blue (or purple, or black), and the fabric has been knotted in a very cool way in the front that kind of reminds me of when we would all tie our t-shirts off to the side in the 80s. We were sooo cool!

Yesterday, I went into the store because I noticed the window had been changed. There are still some left, AND they’re on clearance for 50% off! Sadly, it’s still $40, but I so love this dress. And my poor little wardrobe needs all the help it can get! So, I begged my husband, and he said yes!! So now, it’s time to go try the darn thing on and pray to God it fits right! Because, really, I want to wear it tonight. I would feel so fashionable and cool. And if you know me, you know how badly I need my fashion to lie for me. Ha!!

If I have any luck, you will see pictures soon!!

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Excuse Me While I Have a Moment Here

Every once in a while, I have a day when  Autism Awareness affects me more than it does on other days.  It’s something I deal with on a fairly regular basis, and I know many beautiful people who have made me more patient, more understanding, more knowledgeable, and yes, sometimes more frustrated than I ever could have imagined.  Today I’m having one of those days.

If I were to design a bumper sticker or t-shirt for Autism Awareness, it would probably say something like, “Autism: Get a Clue!”  Or perhaps, “Yes, I/he/she have/has Autism.  What’s your point?

In the moments that I am able to be still and really learn from one of the Auties I get to come in contact with, I am usually left with the distinct, glorious feeling that I am the idiot in the room.  And that it’s certainly not that some don’t know HOW to communicate the way we “neurotypicals” do, with specific speech and writing patterns, they probably can.  They just don’t see the point.  And quite frankly, there are some days when I don’t either!

About a month ago, I found out some very interesting information about the Spectrum.  I’d never had any idea, and have had many questions for a couple of years.  It turns out that AD/HD (ADD or ADHD) is on the Spectrum!  How many out there knew that?  Admittedly, I am not raising a child with an ASD, and I’m not in ASD education, but it really was an eye-opener for me.  And a relief.

I’m no idiot, I know I’m quirky.  And I also discovered, in my Freshman year of college, that I have ADD (what I believe would now be referred to as AD/HD-Predominantly Inattentive Type).  No, I’ve never been diagnosed, and yes, I realize that everyone and their mother claims on one day or another to have AD/HD, but let’s be serious.  The truth is that only about 4-6% of adults struggle with AD/HD.  If you do your research, and you know the different struggles that you have to deal with from day to day, and there are certain parts of your educational journey and life that seem particularly more difficult for you than they appear to be for others, then it may be you do have AD/HD, and maybe more research could be helpful.  For me, finally understanding that I do have a learning disability wasn’t a crutch.  I was the Valedictorian of my High School class.  To me, that means that I was and am capable of doing what I need to in order to succeed.

I also know that when I hit college, learning was suddenly a much bigger struggle than it had been before.  My focus was gone.  There were times when I would try to read an article for a class, and the words would just run together.  I couldn’t concentrate, and nothing made a lot of sense to me.  But that’s not all.  I’ve noticed a few other traits and ticks I have that I couldn’t explain.  I would sometimes wonder if there’s something “wrong” with me.  If maybe I am just too weird.

So now I know.  I’m not weird.  There’s nothing wrong with me.  I’m on the Spectrum.  It’s not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.  It’s a badge to wear with pride.

If you are someone who has more information about this, I would LOVE to see your comments.  It’s honestly not a topic I’ve done an enormous amount of research on (yet), and I believe there is no better place to start than with those who walk it every day.

“I know of nobody who is purely Autistic or purely neurotypical.  Even God has Autistic moments, which is why the planets all spin.”

~Jerry Newport

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Dare You to Move

For those who haven’t heard the Switchfoot song I mentioned yesterday, here’s the video!

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next?
What happens next?

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself, 
to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before

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Like Today Never Happened Before…

I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection as we’ve approached the New Year. It’s been a bit of a process, full of pitfalls and brief moments of clarity. I know many of you have noticed that I’ve done little writing over the past several months. Some of you have even been so amazingly loving as to send me little messages and comments of encouragement. I thank you deeply. As much as for myself, it is for you that I am writing this.

Pregnancy and motherhood brought with it a set of challenges that I somewhat expected, but not as fully as I thought. My depression threw me to depths I couldn’t have imagined and had not previously experienced. Today, I’m having a good day. I’ve done laundry, done the dishes several times, and even made a couple of business calls that I haven’t been able to make in over a month. 4 days ago, I was an emotional wreck and barely functional. I can tell that much of it is hormonally triggered, but not all of it, and none of it is nearly as manageable as I feel it used to be.

This is all a topic that I can at least somewhat talk about, but this is the first time I’ve ever written it down. Perhaps you’ve experienced this. You can talk about something all day long, but the minute you write it down… it’s inescapably unavoidable. There’s a moment of heartbreak that you can’t describe, and you suddenly don’t know what to do next. For months I’ve gone back and forth about whether I can overcome this naturally, or whether I will have to finally give in and take prescription meds that I REALLY don’t want to take. I’m still praying that I’ll find the right supplements that will help me conquer this thing, and the anxiety that has recently added itself into the mix.

I have also discovered that, in the middle of battling off this depression and anxiety, I’ve also been in a pretty mega pity party mode. Maybe that seems redundant, but there really does seem to be a separation for me. It’s as if I’m having a pity party over struggling with my moods, lack of interest and motivation, and my anger. At times I feel completely at the mercy of my emotions and I start to feel sorry for myself as a result. I guess it’s just more to add to the crazy.

So, as I began, leading up to this year, I’ve started to feel a little smacked around. In a good way. I’ve started to recognize those pity parties for what they are – NOT part of the depression, but in fact, something I CAN control! – and I’m tired of living that way. My life was not meant to be lived at the mercy of my hormones and emotions. There are so many things that truly excite me about life, and I’m tired of feeling such intense apathy towards them. I’m tired of how quickly I get irritated with my daughter’s babyness. Guess what, folks? SHE’S A BABY!!!! I’m tired of being angry all the time at things that I have absolutely no control over. And I’m tired of saying that I own my own business, but I’m doing absolutely nothing to create success for myself and my family. I have utterly failed myself because of one giant pity party!!!

This year, it’s time to give a shit again. I’m not sure if I even remember or could pinpoint the last time I did that. Not really. I remember that there WAS a time, I just couldn’t tell you when it occurred. I’m not sure if I’m exactly making resolutions this year… perhaps that’s what they are. But really, they all revolve around me remembering that I actually matter. That I’m worth caring about myself. I’ve already starting walking 2 miles about 5-6 times a week on average. Next, it’s my teeth.

REALLY embarrassing confession here, but at some point, I kind of gave up on my teeth. They’re bad anyway, and I have soft enamel. You would think that would make me work harder to keep them as clean and strong as possible. But something happens when you stop thinking you matter. If you don’t matter, neither do your teeth. So now, my mouth is a horrifying mess, but it’s time to start caring about it again. Pray for me on that one… good habits have always been agonizingly difficult for me to build.

I’m also embarking on a lifelong endeavor to get my life more organized. I require massive, obsessive organization in order to function, right down to tedium and minutia. This explains entirely why my life/room/ house is such a hot mess. If that organization is remotely taken out of balance, as unstable as it is, it’s like a bomb going off, and there’s no going back. I want to reclaim that. I knew it once… for about one semester of college. It was wonderful. I’d like to see if I can get it back.

Next, this blog. I’d like to see if I can post once a week. Daily would be amazing for me, but maybe right now I just need to take baby steps. I’m bad at that. REALLY bad at that. I either take on my ventures at full speed, or not at all. Baby steps is a practically foreign concept!!

Finally, my guitar. That poor dear has been waiting so patiently while I try to sort out my drama. I’m grateful that she is so steady a companion, silently there, knowing I’ll come back when I’m ready. She knows I love her, but I really do miss her. Part of me wonders that if I could get her back as a regular part of my day, maybe things would make a little more sense in this world. Maybe some semblance of peace would return.

My upline manager with Gigi Hill has given our team a challenge this year. We have been asked to come up with a one-word theme for ourselves this year. I struggled for a few days to really get what mine needed to be. I knew I wanted it to be motivating and something that would make me feel the little kick in the but I know I need this year. While watching Tuesday’s The Biggest Loser with my family last night, there was one particular scene in which Bob and Jillian’s team has to push a truck around the Ranch. At at moment, the underscore starts playing, and it’s Switchfoot’s “Dare You to Move.” In an instant, I knew. That song has always spoken to me, and I hear it screaming a little more loudly right now, exactly when I so desperately need it. And so, my one-word theme for this year is this. MOVE!

Who knows. I guess we’ll see in a couple of months how well I’m doing with any of this. BUT, for today, I can at least be proud that I did that laundry and kept the sink clean for a decent part of the day. Some days, it’s the little things.

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Seize the Day

So, I do actually have a post I’m working on, but this one kinda knuckled me today.  Consider this my semi-wordless Wednesday. 🙂

 

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The Best First Mothers’ Day

I have to say, I was pretty excited to be celebrating my first Mother’s Day this year.  I have my baby girl, who is the most incredible angel, I really don’t think I could ask for a better baby.  Honestly, there are so many days when I think someone’s going to hit the “Gotcha!” button and she’s going to start acting like a “normal” baby.  Well, I figure I’m grateful for as long as it lasts!!

Back in April, I started my business with Gigi Hill.  Great handbags and accessories, and I am so blessed and grateful that God put this business in my path.  The DAY after my Launch Party, I was scheduled to do a fundraiser for some dear friends of mine who were participating in the AVON Breast Cancer Walk.  As I’m sure you remember, that was where I met my fabulous friend Koryn.  She is a hero in my eyes, not only for the fight she put up with her cancer, but with the way she continues to fight DAILY, giving other women the information that could have saved her the misery she experienced.  Read my post about her here.

Shortly after our first meeting, Koryn told me about another mommy blogger who was hosting a giveaway of one of Koryn’s beautiful The Taffy Box designs.  Christine from A Mama Stork Knows featured a necklace of Koryn’s that I had already picked as one of my favorite designs, and I was very excited for the opportunity to enter.  MUCH to my surprise, I clicked on her blog to see who had won, and found my name listed!!!  I was THRILLED!

On the inside of the locket is written the word “Blessed.”  As a mother, I do feel so much so with my beautiful baby girl and an incredible husband at my side.  After I received the necklace, Koryn provided me with something even more amazing – a stamped plate with my daughter’s name, and a peridot crystal birth stone.  These are nestled away inside the locket, like my own special little secret.

Of all the jewelry I have ever owned, this necklace is admittedly my favorite thus far.  I plan on wearing it to my daughter’s wedding and she WILL like it, thankyouverymuch.

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Writers’ Block or System Overload?

Blogging has never been an easy thing for me.  I go months between posts at times, and then I have some sort of avalanche of information and opinion that comes crashing onto this poor web page and all my unsuspecting readers just don’t know what hit them.  I’ve been afraid of the latter recently to such an extent that I’ve ended up avoiding the keyboard for too long and now I have such a major backlog of thoughts and articles that I’m afraid of the outcome!

I suppose the best way to get it all out of the way is to just spit it out and let you all decide for yourselves how much you want to read all at once.  Of course, don’t blame me if you get 10 posts in one week and nothing again for a couple months.  Oh wait… I just did that.  Riiiiiight.

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