Another Monday



Office supplies

I just went in for file folders…

It’s official: I can’t be trusted in office supply stores. I have a thing for pens and boxes, and that little silver file crate just jumped into the cart when I went down that aisle, so what was I supposed to do?

I am patting myself on the back for not forgetting the file folders altogether.

Our Easter celebration was quiet and just what I needed. After two church services in the morning, we (somewhat selfishly) chose an afternoon and evening at home over spending time with friends – it’s been a hectic few months and the last several weeks in particular have been challenging. A simple lunch, a nap, and an evening on the couch was the right choice. I should have packed a few boxes or done some laundry, but I didn’t do either. The downtime did me good.

Today is all about clearing up the pile of paperwork on my desk and placing some supplies orders for my next few classes. Not the most fun stuff in the world, but necessary. I did manage to get my first tutorial written for the B’Sue Boutiques Design Team page – like many things, I made it way harder on myself than I needed to but I’m happy with how it turned out. You can check it out here – and it’s free!

What are you up to this beautiful Monday morning?

The Rest of the Story



Disappoint: To fail to satisfy hope, desire, or expectation.

We’ve all been there. We work hard for something and it doesn’t materialize. Or we make plans and a key element falls through. Sometimes “disappointment” is an understatement for the devastation or anguish that results from dashed hopes or unmet expectations.

Photo by Jason St. Peter. Used under Creative Commons License.

Almost every year at this time, I find myself trying to imagine the experience of Christ’s friends and family on the day of his crucifixion. Disappointment hardly seems sufficient to describe what they must have felt. Horror for those who watched him die. (Among those was his mother. The bravery of her story, from beginning to end, is humbling.) Disbelief. Fear. Grief. Shame for those who couldn’t bear to see things through to the end, who hid themselves away.

I imagine the first night, as his friends and family mourned. What on earth would they have said to one another? Was any among them hopeful? I think about the women, whose job it was to clean and prepare his body but who had not been able to begin their work before the Sabbath. Did they dread it? Or were they grateful for the opportunity to serve him one last time? I think about the universality of human loss, how it is the same regardless of time or culture or age. I can imagine eyes burning from the tears they shed and the sick thumping headache that accompanies them. I have known grief so deep that anything beyond it seems improbable, unfathomable.

Photo by John. Used under Creative Commons License.

It seems ghoulish to dwell on the torture and murder of a man who lived and walked the earth more than 2000 years ago. In fact, my father once told me that Christianity was a religion of death, which was why he was so adamantly against it. But he was missing the point – as Paul Harvey used to say, “Now, here’s the rest of the story.” Christ’s death wasn’t the last word. We don’t celebrate his death – we acknowledge it, with solemnity and awe and wonder. What we celebrate is his conquering of it, against all hope and against all that “reality” tells us we should expect.

Detail, The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin. Photo by Lassi Kurkijärvi. Used under a Creative Commons License.

In the middle of the things that beset us, it’s easy to forget God is at work even when we can’t see how things might get better. In the dark of the night, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with grief and worry. When we suffer a grievous loss or the failure of a longed-for dream, it’s easy to believe God has abandoned us. And it can sometimes be easier to stay in that Good Friday place of sorrow and despair than to allow ourselves to trust and hope.

But Good Friday’s good because of what came after: Sunday’s coming. And he’s waiting there for us, arms outstretched, joyous. Death has lost, and love has won.

We celebrate that he did it for us.

But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of death.

Psalm 49:15

The End of the Day



Long day, but so worth it.

Roadhouse Arts

I taught a beginning soldering class today to four lovely women, all of whom were brand new to it. And look what they did! They layered and hammered and designed and laughed (there were a few tears, too) and watched and asked and explored and soldered and at the end of the day, they left with earrings and a rocking ring (or pendant) that they were happy to wear. And although the day was long and had its own challenges and frustrations, my heart is just… full.

Those moments… when that voice inside someone’s head is silenced. You know the one I mean. It’s the one that says, “You could never…” or “Why bother…” or “That won’t work…” That voice, the one that keeps us timid and afraid and coloring inside the lines. Sometimes, when she’s focused and doing the work, there’s an almost audible click when the switch flips off, and she’ll take a deep breath and meet my eyes and say in surprise, “I did it!”

And I’ll say, “I know!” And then we celebrate, and she’ll smile huge.

And sometimes, like today, I have to master tears of my own. I don’t want to scare anyone, how deeply I feel about all this, but seriously: who puts those voices in their heads in the first place? And how can I help in the work of turning them off for good?

I know the work isn’t mine to do, of course. And it will seem silly to some, I suppose, but this is ministry for me. This is feeding women’s spirits and encouraging them in something that can be uniquely theirs. And maybe this is the only time they’ll ever take up a torch and light the flame and create that alchemy of metal and fire… but one day, they’ll look at the thing they made and remember they are strong, and made for a purpose, and eminently capable of being taught and learning well.

I’m so grateful for my life, and the privilege of speaking into the lives of others. And I am even more grateful for the people who are willing to receive this love and this passion I have for them. So even while I’m deeply tired and the shadow of fibromyalgia wraps itself around my body and demands attention, it’s all worth it. Every bit of it.

Because look what they did!

Making Me



I’m working on a lot of projects right now… and one of them is me. Happy Friday.

March COM Reveal!



It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in one of Art Jewelry Elements’ monthly component feature – life has just been too busy. But when I saw Caroline Dewison’s gorgeous moth focal, I decided I needed to make time for this one.

 When she introduced this focal to the AJE team, we were offered the opportunity to make a color choice. I opted to be surprised, and I was just delighted with this gorgeous soft silvery grey. I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it.

 

I am very fond of those tornado links and I use them a lot. They seemed particularly appropriate for this piece, since they reminded me of cocoons, and I wired in some very small peach coral beads for just a touch of color and to evoke the idea of seeds. Something about cocoons and seeds and spring just seemed right for this focal.

I finished it off with two short lengths of sterling silver chain and a simple hook clasp. The colors are perfect for the outfit I’m planning to wear to a friend’s wedding on Friday, so it’s entirely possible I’ll be keeping this one for myself… at least for a while.

Thanks for such a gorgeous focal, Caroline! To see what everyone else did with this beauty, head on over to the AJE blog for the links.

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