Tuesday, February 28, 2012

La Petite Chienne.

So, my friend donated some craft magazines to me (so kind!) and I was reading one of them just the other day, called Mollie Makes. Soooo fabulous! It is from the UK, and it consists mostly of knitting/sewing crafts, but includes a few other forms of craftiness as well.

I am not a knitter and have never tried my hand at sewing anything beyond a loose button, but in the magazine they had the most darling patterns for miniature felt dogs. And by miniature, I mean 2-4".


Right away, I tell my friend that one of the projects on my 'to-do' list is to create one of these felted canines. We discussed having a time to craft together (Um, D: I know you are reading this, and we must pick a time for tea and crafting!), we bid each other a great weekend, and we went along our merry ways.

On Monday morning, at work, she nonchalantly hands me a tiny giftbag and said she made one of the dogs.

BAM. Just like that, like some sort of genie! She is so talented, and let me tell you, I am dying to collect all of the pups!!

Allow me to introduce: La Petite Chienne (The Little Dog):

I know, right? Absolute cuteness!

Thank you, D! I love the little pup!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Just One of Those Days.

Have you ever had 'one of those days'?

It's a silly question, I realize. Everyone has had those days.

Today was one of mine.

Let me elaborate (I'm pretty sure you'll find it amusing):

I have started attending a new church (the Rock) in Point Loma. It's such an amazing, large, ecclectic, friendly group of people. And by large, I'm talking thousands of church goers.

With 5 Sunday services to choose from to boot. I have been going to the 10:00 service, which is generally the busiest. As in, overflowing outside from a sanctuary that seats (roughly) 3,000 people in one service (don't quote me on that, I got the stats from a 3rd party website). Regardless of the number of people inside the church, there is typically 60 + people milling around outside the church: going in for the service, leaving the previous service, talking, drinking coffee, praying, etc. It is one busy, bustling place. I have to give you all of this information for you to truly appreciate this story. Just saying.

Anywho, I planned to go to the first service, but stayed up to late and opted to go to the 10:00 service again. I got up and decided to take a quick shower. It was cold this morning; foggy, and overcast. And, the ongoing water heater issue at my place is still in full force. I get blazing hot water, or freezing cold. This morning = freezing. It was rather dreadful.

I dressed, got ready, and totally spaced out on the time frame I needed to travel to the church.

I left late. I arrived late.

I was so flustered, because I hate being late, and naturally the volume of people at the church also meant traffic, and having to park really far from the building.

I began the trek, cursing the shoes I had chosen (cute, semi-high heeled wedges with a buckle back strap). They were pinching my toes, and for every 10-15 steps, I had to stop and fix the strap that kept slipping off my heel. I finally made it to the front of the sanctuary, and decided to remedy the shoe situation before proceeding into the church, where I was already about 10 minutes late. I moved out of the way of the surging crowds of other late comers, removed my shoe, and tightened the strap.

I began to replace my shoe, while balancing my purse and Bible in one arm. In my rush, I failed to notice that my balancing foot wasn't on the sidewalk, as much as it was in the outlying, uneven mulch. You see where this is going?


My foot teetered, my ankle twisted, and down I went. Like a big, clumsy bafoon.

I went straight down on my rear (thankfully it is well padded) in the middle of a huge crowd of people.

In a dress. Wearing one shoe.

Sure enough, I heard a resounding gasp, and I was surrounded by very kind, concerned strangers.

I blubbered out "I'm fine, it was my shoe!" and began laughing, and feeling my face burn with embarrassment. I quickly put on my shoe, and a gentlemen offered me his hand. He helped me up and a girl scooped up my purse and Bible for me, declaring that she has done that quite often. Everyone asked again if I was alright, and we walked into the church.

If the ground could have opened up and swallowed me, I would have been relieved.

Additionally, thanks to my tardiness, I had to go up to one of the balconies, nearly in the nosebleed section.

It was alright. I prayed and asked God to help me focus, and stop being so flustered. I enjoyed the worship and the sermon, took deep breaths, hoped that nobody remembered the fall, and was extra cautious on my sojourn back to my car.

Lessons learned:

1. Leave early.

2. Where cute, yet sensible shoes if I have to park far away.

3. Wear underwear that blends in with your clothes (check! I had a black dress on, with black undergarments!) Why? While not always eliminating the possible panty-gate exposure, it will lessen the shock value if it all blends together.

4. Don't fix a shoe in a crowd when it clearly can wait until you've made it to your destination.

5. Just laugh. Nothing was hurt (though I can feel my sprained ankle now), and it was pretty hilarious.

Today was just 'one of those days'. In a randomly funny way.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I don't know what is up with Blogger today, but it has been driving me nuts.

I finally added my custom header, after uploading it over and over, to get it not to look pixelated.

(I painted the sparrow image in acrylic on illustration board. The lettering was added in Photoshop).

Then, I had to switch my post editor to the old editor option just to type a post.


Regardless, I had fun creating the header, and really like the new blog look!

I'm slowly getting back into the blogging routine, hurrah! I've realized I kind of missed it.

Do you blog? Follow me here! Comment and let me know what your blog is, too!

Until next time...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Forgotten? No.

Oh, hello lovely readers.  May I share my heart with you?  I’m trying to be real, and honest.  It’s harder than I would have thought, but I want this blog to be a place of openness. 
Because, this past week, I’ve never felt more small.
More lonely.
More single.
It started with the birthday.  Oh, friends, how I was dreading it.  In absolute anxiety over it.  Because, this birthday was to be my first, alone.  My dad had to work, my mom was getting over a heinous ear infection (she still took me out for coffee for 30 minutes after work, which was so kind, considering how poorly she was feeling), my friends were busy.  My coworkers cheered me up with some yummy homemade cupcakes, and lots of well wishes.
After coffee, I bought myself some take-out for dinner.  I had no appetite, so I tossed it into the fridge when I came home.  I wrote this blog post.  I had a cupcake.  And I went to bed.  I wanted to sleep, and be blissfully unaware of the day, or my longing to have been with people, or my childish wish of a surprise celebration. 
I felt like Alice, falling down the dark rabbit hole.  Only at the end of it, there was no Wonderland.
I felt so alone.  Heartsick.
As the days have gone by, I’ve been crying out to my Savior for strength and healing.  I have been leaning on Him for comfort.  Asking Him to help me remember that I am not alone. 
And then (cue the ghastly ‘dum, dum, dum, dum’ music notes here):  Valentines Day.
The single girls nemesis.  Oh, why, why must my birthday fall so close to this day?!? 
The day was busy, with Valentine parties for the kids in my class.  I was showered with cards, flowers, and candy.  They had such fun passing out their treats to each other. 
I didn’t think much about it.  Then the day ended, and I went to the gym.  I went home, cooked some dinner, and checked in on Facebook.  And then, it hit me.  How happy I am for all the people sharing their Valentine excitement:  the dates, dinners, balloons, flowers, love notes, and romance.  And yet...How much I long to celebrate this day with someone special.  To be showered with attention.  To feel like a princess.
Rather, I simply ate dinner, ate some chocolate, and went to bed.
I felt so alone.  Heartsick.  Forgotten.
Would this week.never.end?  I woke up every day in a funk.  I would lay in bed and just say ‘Jesus help me.  Give me strength.  Forgive me for feeling...funky.’
I would go to work, and enjoy the mental break.  I laughed with the kids, with the staff, and went to the gym regularly.  But, driving home, the sadness and anxiety would creep back up.  I couldn’t shake it.  I would just cry out to Him.  'Help me not feel alone.' 
At last, the week has come to its end.  I feel raw, and exhausted.  Emotionally exhausted.  Because, all week, I’ve fought  the autopilot need to masquerade.  To smile through the loneliness, to keep my heart protected.  I’ve walked the fine line of wanting desperately to share with people how I felt, so that I wouldn’t feel like my head would explode with my thoughts, and wanting to push it away and press on.  Remember here, where I mentioned the me that fights anxiety?  Yeah, did I mention occasional depression?  No?  Oops...
Regardless, this week it wasn’t a fight.  It was a battle. 
And Team God and I?  We kind of kicked the 'funk's' booty.  I'm taking it one day at a time. 
Regardless of how I felt, I know this truth:  with Christ, I am not alone.  I am not forgotten.  And He will heal my heartsickness. 
And for you:  you are not alone (Jesus is always with you).
You are not forgotten (Jesus holds you closer than you could ever know).
Heartsick?  Do not be down trodden.  (Jesus will lift you up).
Please, readers, I want to close with this thought:  this blog is my place to share my life experiences.  This weighed on my heart all week.  I am not seeking sympathy, or trying to diminish the serious issues that others are facing.  I just know that I, personally, feel like I am quite often the only one in the world who feels the way I feel.  But I know that’s not true.  I want to share these small stories, such as a lonely birthday, or a sad holiday,  because I have a sneaking suspicion that somewhere, someone has felt the same way, or had a similar experience.  I want to be the voice that is willing to speak on behalf of the person who may not want to share.  That’s what this post is about.  Helping someone, anyone, who felt alone this week, or any other time.   
Also, I am not 'dissing' single-ness.  This is the stage that I am at, where God has me.  Generally, I am okay with it.  But, sometimes, it hits harder than others.  This week was a prime example of one of the tough times.
And, lastly, I'm anticipating my next post to be more cheerful. 
Thanks for sticking around to read my posts! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Heart Flow: The Real Me.

Folks. Blog readers. Friends. This is going to be a tough post, I’m telling you up front. But, I’ve been mulling over this post for…oh, I’d say, less than a week. And I really want to share it. But it's hard, because I'm going to let myself be vulnerable. So, I’m taking a cue from one of my favorite Bloggists (that’s not a real word, awesome as it may be) Summer. She is so honest and open. She seriously inspires me to share my thoughts, my heart, in a more honest, and real way.

Allow me to begin...

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to go to an amazing church (The Rock), and hear an amazing word.

And, can I just tell you? God was there. You could just feel an energy, a vibrancy, a presence.

The sermon was about worship, and how we can worship God wholly...uninhibited.

Pastor Miles M. eloquently stated that worship is akin to your heart flowing directly to God. Every.bit.of.it.

All emotion, fear, joy, love, worry, thoughts. We need to break free from the things that hinder us from worshipping our God, and have an open heart flow. Like a river of water, from us, to Him.

Personally, I take worship to mean more than singing praise to Him. It is prayer, attitude, thoughts, words. It is every part of every day. It's our relationship to God. This is what this post is about. Not just the act of worship in church, with music, and song, as important as those things are. It's about me, and my daily worship, and my heart.

Here’s where it gets real.

For well over a year, I’ve struggled immensely with my relationship with God. I mean, I have NO words to describe how deep the struggle and the pain has been. Anger, bitterness, frustration. It was Bad, with a fat capital B. I kid you not. As in, church was something I went to, to avoid feeling quilty, my Bible was MIA, I had no motivation for any spiritual growth. I could care less. Period.

And, as I listened to this sermon, and pondered his words, I felt my heart start to beat faster. I felt uncomfortable. We were led into closing worship. I stood. I raised my hands. I sang.

And suddenly, my heart began to break.

It broke for all that I’d missed. For all of my sin. For all of my anger that I refused to give to Him.

I closed my eyes. I imagined a brick wall. The bricks were made, one by one, from my own hand:

Anger, fear of being alone, resentment, jealousy, sorrow, disappointment, and on, and on, and on. Neverending. Disgusting. And as the music carried on, I kept imaging this wall.

Until, a beam of light shot through.

I opened my eyes, singing, amazed. I knew.

He was tearing down my wall.

Friends, I have to admit something. I am terrified of people seeing the real me. The me that I sometimes wish I wouldn’t be. The me that is vulnerable, raw, and broken. The me that I tell to ‘go away, you are worthless.’ The me that is frightened of being abandoned by those I love. The me that feels too deeply, fights anxiety, gets depressed, gets hurt too easily.

Oh, dear friends, I know I must not be the only one. The only one who hides behind humor. Who tries to be the best at everything (because God forbid anyone sees me fail). Who smiles when I want to cry. Who wants to make others happy, even when I can’t seem to be. Who gets tired of the great pretend.

I want to tell you, I have a blessed, wonderful life. I need to make that perfectly clear. A huge percentage of my days are filled with joy and happiness. But these feelings and thoughts sometimes linger under the surface. And when I peel back the layers and find them, I, myself, am often shocked to discover them.

However, I had convinced myself, somehow, that this wall I built around my heart, was my ultimate protection. That, if God were Superman, my heart could be his Kryptonite. He could never reach me. I could love Him on my own terms.

And now I see. I’ve been so lost, because I wandered away. I’ve been in the dark, because I turned off the light. I’ve been afraid, because I refused to be comforted. I’ve been walking through the motions, because I didn’t want to feel. I’ve been so weary, because I didn’t want to seek rest. I hid behind this wall, only to find myself in a war zone.

Yet...slowly, over this week, I’ve been allowing Him to tear down the wall, brick by brick. To change my heart. To romance me. To bring me back to Him.

The remnants are still there. There is loads of work to be done. Yet, I am so encouraged. I’ve thought all week about my heart flow, and how I can be right with my Savior again.

He wants the real me. That me that I sometimes hate. He doesn’t want the fake smile, or the flippant prayers and attitudes. He wants the raw, bruised, honest me.

"I've been wicked and wild and wrong, and I've wondered the price of my shame

I've been hiding my face for so long, it's a wonder that You know my name." {Saving Jane}

He knows my name. He knows the real me. And loves me the same.

My heart is beginning to flow again. To Him. To my faithful, loving, forgiving God.

I want to leave you with this, the greatest revelation, and sweetest encouragement I can offer:

After imagining that brick wall, and the realization that He was trying to reach my heart, I fought it. I opened my eyes, got distracted, and refused to focus on the worship. But, as hard as I resisted, I was pulled back.

I closed my eyes again. I felt the tears stinging, and the lump in my throat.

And instead of that wall, I saw Jesus.

Clearly, beautifully. Smiling.

You know what else?

He was dancing with me.

And my heart was happy.