Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"On Art, Fear, & Lady Gaga" by Emily Freeman

I read this post last week, and I loved it. The title drew me in, but what she had to say has kept me there. The following quote is my favorite, in which she quotes the original quote.

Watching American Idol last week, Randy Jackson called a performance pageant-y. And I realize for this show, pagenty is not meant to be a compliment. But what if you are in a pageant? Then pageant-y might just be what you’re going for.
And if you’re playing at the Blue Bird and someone says you sang that song American Idol-y, you probably wouldn’t take that as a compliment, either.
You just have to do what you do.
Whenever I feel the familiar tug of fear about myself or others perception of me and my work, I remember Seth Godin and Lady Gaga:
“Do you think it bothers her that I don’t listen to her music and wouldn’t recognize her if she stopped by and said hi? It shouldn’t. Even if you’re a pop star, you don’t need everyone to be a fan or a customer. And especially if you’re not a pop star, worrying about whether everyone laughs at your jokes, buys your product or even likes you is counterproductive.”
Don’t let fear push you around. Accept that what you do might not always be what they expect. Let your work be your best and your own.

art and fear

Read Emily's Entire Post Here:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sparkly Green Earrings

I finished Sparkly Green Earrings written by Melanie Shankle, aka, Big Mama. This book was hilarious, I laughed out loud constantly. Melanie is a natural born story teller and her stories are unpredicatble yet totally relateable. She jokes about motherhood yet ties every chapter back to God's word. I loved it so much I rationed myself on what I could read daily, I wanted to savor it over several days. I had to share this little section:

I think I'd been living under this illusion that I could give Caroline a perfect childhood. But perfect doesn't exsist in our world. I can give her love, I can give her laughter, I can instill values and morals in her, I can teach her about Jesus and how he loves her more than she knows, an I can hopefully give her more good memories than bad. And I can pick the nits out of her hair, one little larva at a time. But I can't give her perfection, because I'm fresh out. That's where the grace of God enters, and I exit quietly thorugh tthe back door, allowing Him to fill the gaps.

I know as a new mom I was/am filled with ambitions and hopes and plans to do everything for Knox, Justin and I want him to have the world. But,we are still human and we struggle and fail and fall- sometimes several times in a day. (Staring with the incredible baby book I WAS going to make.) It seems there is this current push to be this excellent awesome mom and do all of these things for your babies to perfection. These ideals come with guilt if you can't (and you can not) do it all. Sparkly Green Earrings is a gentle reminder, I can do my very best, but I can not do everything. I can love my God and my family and the Lord sees our hearts and fills in the spaces. Afterall, He is the perfect parent. For lots of laughs and lots of truth, check this book out.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Numbering Our Days

Today my sister-in-law buried her grandmother. Standing graveside, I looked reality straight into the face. Amazing Grace was played. It's a song which reserves the right to move a heart in any setting, with or without music. It's not uncommon for it to stir emotions but today I experienced it more powerfully than ever before. The chorus hit, I surveyed the hundreds of graves on a blackland hill, not all that far from where we laid my grandfather fifteen years ago. I was moved with realization of the magnitude of His grace.( I dont think we can ever completely comprehend His grace but there are rare and blessed moments when it washes over us as a wave.) Every tombstone represented a man or woman, whom he took to Calvary for. Whether or not they accepted, His love was offered to every last one.Forgiveness, and hope, extended to all of us; a chance to live a life that matters, one lived for something/Someone greater than ourselves.

Death has a way of leveling the playing field. You realize your pride is deceitful and your youth could serve as a false indication toward Your remaining number of days. Only He knows. Today reminded me of the big picture-which is a true gift.

As we rode home, I opened my book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp. This is my umpteenth time to read it but its to powerful to read once. Chapter 4 coincidentally opens with a graveside service. She quotes J.R.R. Tolkien saying, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." I want so much to capitalize on the time given to me. I want to steward it well. I heard a preacher recently say "It's true ya know, we write our own funerals." Mrs. Miller lived well, therefore she wrote well. It was evidenced today.

Teach us to live well, God. Teach us to live wisely & well! Psalm 90:12

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ann Voskamp-25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013

Ann Voskamp. I love her. I love her words, her heart, and the depths from which she writes. I love that she risks her own vulnerabilities & insecurities so she can reach the hearts of women, everywhere, from every walk of life. Some friends say she is entirely too flowery, wordy, and emotional for their tastes. Ha, what does that say about myself?! Oh well, at least I can own it. This post to me is refreshing, renewing, and encouraging. Its simplistic nature reminds me of what I want to be a big deal in 2013, the little things.
Number 19 is something I have been doing for a few months now, with a simple reminder on my phone. It's been a blessing. Number 15 is one I agree with wholeheartedly. A little walk will do every part of your body, mind, and soul good. Number 3 is new the past couple of days. I love the symbolism of the reminder and the simple beauty of a candle. Not to mention the fragrance that thankfully overpowers my diaper-filled trashcan. And finally number 4 is what I'm going to work on. What is my soundtrack? How do you blend hymns & Garth Brooks? Ha. Maybe a shuffle. Which point speaks to your heart?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Freeing of Our Soul, excerpt by Ann Voskamp

What do I need more than His love and what do I want more than His will and when I am my own master, don’t I have a fool for a master?

What do you have to fear? You were born for freedom. You deliver into it through obedience.

No one ever entered into the full rest of God by giving Him only half of themselves.
You may wrestle, but in Him you have won. You may regret, but in Him you will rise. You may suffer, but in Him you are secure. You may no longer be free to live the easy way, but you will be free to the liberty of doing everything for love.

The soundtrack for misery always is “I did it My Way.”

Complete abdication to Christ is the only way to complete liberation.

That hole in me, the one I see in the mirror, the one between my fingers — it is the mark of the bondslave to Christ and it is the keyhole to freedom and my days and my times and my life are not mine but His.

Kids will upend and barge in and spin everything. The phone will ring and the computer will crash and the dayplanner will short circuit and spark and blow a fuse. God will call and God will command and this is the thing:

Knowing every interruption is a call from your Master — is liberation.

When you named Him your Lord, you gave Him right to your life on His time: Every interruption is a new work order from God.

That tearing of my ear — breaks the chains of my heart and I could be a slave to Christ Jesus and the most freeing place for a soul is in the abandonment to the will of God.

- Ann Voskamp, "When You Are Weary of Vanilla Christianity"

To read the entire post, click the link below:- So good.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jan 15th S.M.

Pour out your hearts like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.                                                                                  Lamentations 2:19

I was sharing with my friends how most of us have young ones around us whether they are ours or not. What a prayer on before of the young children living in this day. I do not remember ever reading this particular verse before, but I have thought of it over and over the past week. I am confident it is a prayer the Lord hears and acts on. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Heart-wrenching yet Beautiful

Today I read a story of a very brave girl who decided not to abort her severely disabled son, contrary to medical opinion & encouragement. The 3-D scan of his beautiful smile made the decision for her. She held him for 9 hours before he went back to heaven. Nine hours she will cherish for the rest of her life.