Slow death



I had several really fun posts planned for this week, including the promised announcements about on-the-road teaching gigs… but then I got hacked and my laptop had to be reformatted and I had a kind of mini-meltdown and pity party for myself.

Laptop-Reformat

In the middle of weeping and feeling sorry for myself and utterly overwhelmed, I stumbled across this amazing blog post by Ann Voskamp. (If you don’t regularly read her blog, you really and truly are missing out.) And some of what she wrote just jumped right off the screen and slapped me in the face like Cher in Moonstruck.

Life is Pain — and you get to choose: either the Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Disappointment. Nothing happens without discipline. No music gets played without discipline. No games get won. No finish lines get crossed. No freedom gets tasted. And you want that…

Brilliant doesn’t matter, if you can’t get out of bed. Talent doesn’t mean a thing, if you let Fear be some terrorist that takes you hostage. Potential doesn’t add up to anything, if you get addicted to perfectionism because perfectionism is slow death by self.

And then I had a conversation with my sweet husband, and aired the things that were dogging my spirit, and we made some decisions and found ourselves in agreement and a kind of fog lifted. Then a dear friend checked in with me today and we found we are walking a similar path, and I came face to face with this uncomfortable truth:

I’ve been undisciplined about a lot of things since I got sick in September, and it’s created a perfect storm of unhealthy consequences. The result is that I have had kind of an internal crisis going on – emotional, spiritual, mental, and creative. I have been very much affected by some circumstantial things, having nothing to do with being hacked or having to reformat my laptop (which were just the last straws) – and I was becoming much too focused on the provision instead of the Provider. So… discipline, starting with lots and lots of time with Father, and patience, and taking little bites instead of big ones, and one day at a time.

And grace.

Because in the end, that’s what He wants for us. Love and grace and redemption. Anything less is not His best.

So I’m rebooting more than just my computer this week. If you’re interested in joining me, I’ve started a new 30-day reading plan on the YouVersion app – accounts are free and completely private, though you’re welcome to “friend” me or drop me an email if you want to share anything along the way.

“Fun” posts will resume next week, God willing and the creek don’t rise. Enjoy the weekend!

It’s going to the birds!



When we first moved into our new house, I bought two hummingbird feeders for the back porch. I had grand plans for sitting at the kitchen table and watching them while I had my morning coffee. Unfortunately, I learned it was too close to their migration time to make it worthwhile to put them up, so I set them aside until spring and put up a bird feeder instead.

cardinal

Apart from this single photo of a cardinal (on a frosty morning), I haven’t been able to get clear photos of our visitors, which have included blue jays, doves, black crested titmouses (titmice?), and a small greyish bird with a faintly green breast that I think is the Texas state bird, the Northern Mockingbird. I don’t know anything about birding or even how to go about identifying the ones I see, other than just googling the various color combinations. But it brings me great joy to watch them all as I sit here working on the week’s computer tasks.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Rain, rain, go away!



I sort of can’t believe it’s Friday already. The weather has been cold (for us) and very rainy – torrential, some days. The combination of cold and wet is tough to be out and about in, but I confess that I’ve enjoyed the couple of times I’ve been able to curl up on the couch with a blanket and listen to the rain on the roof.

Over at Roadhouse this afternoon, our neighbors were thrilled when the clouds lifted long enough for them to come by on a hand-out run. Unfortunately, we weren’t prepared for their visit and they wandered off disappointed.

Donkey

 

This past weekend was three full days of soldering with a terrific group of students – there is very little that’s more fun for me than having someone look at their project at the end of the day and say, “Wow! Look what I did!!”

Soldering-Recap

We had dinner with friends this week to celebrate one’s remarriage, and I nearly flattened Daniel Baldwin with the restaurant door on my way out at the end of the evening (yes, Daniel Baldwin of the Baldwin Brothers). I didn’t realize it was him until he was walking away, but in the meantime I had spotted a huge, black SUV with a Malibu Films logo on the side and launched into my fake movie voice-over voice. “Malibu Fiiiillllmmmms. MAL-I-BU Filmmmmmmmmms.” Mortifying and bizarre. What was I thinking? No clue. Cross that off my bucket list.

So…. life is good, in spite of the rain. Big news coming about my on-the-road teaching next year. Seriously, so exciting that I’m kind of pinching myself – I should be able to put out an announcement next week with more information (though I promise to do it without the voice-over voice). And I’m working on new class offerings for Roadhouse – it feels really, really good to be creating and planning and experimenting. So here’s a question for you: what class would you want to take if you could take anything at all?

Ready?

Go!

Getting it together…



Earlier this week, I wrote a post over at Art Jewelry Elements about my reflections on 2014 and some things I want to do differently in 2015. I suppose I could sum it all up with one word: planning.

Planning Photo

This month is a time of recalibrating for me – I am so very pleased with so many of the things I accomplished last year, not least of which was the successful launch of Roadhouse Arts. That said, there are things I want to do better and things I want to be able to focus on and at the top of that list: more time making things and developing my “voice.” Towards that end, I temporarily pulled all my things out of the Roadhouse gallery so I can evaluate each piece of work and decide if it really represents my current skill level and aesthetic.

Inventory

It was a scary step but an oh-so-necessary one. A little judicious editing is necessary from time to time, so that I am putting my best creative foot forward the majority of the time. Along those lines, it’s way past time for an overhaul of this site – it’s nearly three years old and I’ve neglected it badly. In the works: new photo galleries of past and current work and an online shop, in addition to a new logo and blog layout.

And now my sweet Nick is retired, so the overall shape and pace of our days is dramatically different. The truth is that I love nothing more than hanging out in our new little house with my hubby, chatting, sipping coffee, reading, watching the news. The draw of being home with him is tough to work against, and it’s much harder to maintain the discipline of a schedule when the only one enforcing it is you!

So…. yes. Busy. But “good” busy, and grateful for a renewed sense of focus and purpose. Happy 2015! What does your year hold in store??

Time Flies



26 years ago today, I married this handsome man.

Nick-Anniversary

The ceremony was supposed to happen at 1:00, but when the justice of the peace hadn’t arrived by 1:15, we told the 30 friends and family who joined us at the beach condo we’d rented that we were just going to have a great party and Nick and I would go to the courthouse when it opened on Monday. There was nothing to be done – cell phones were not yet ubiquitous and calls to the JP’s home went unanswered. I had a beer and my dad put out the pate and hors d’oeuvres he’d made for everyone and all the nerves went away.

The JP walked through the door with his wife a little after 2:00 – there’d been a bad accident on Highway 1 and they’d been literally stuck at a standstill for nearly two hours. The next thing I knew, we were standing in front of our laughing friends exchanging vows – it was so wonderfully simple and direct, no nerves at all, just relief and gratitude and happiness and looking into Nick’s eyes and having no idea what the future would hold except him and that’s all I wanted.

26 years. Time flies. In many ways, in feels like it could not possibly have been that long. I could not be more grateful for everything he has taught me, for the patience and love he has shown me, for the child we raised together, for our life and everything it has stood for. I love you, babe. Here’s to another 26 times 26 times infinity.

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