Monday, October 26, 2015

Take Heart

On my way out of my brother's house this morning dreading the day of packing and getting sick from the mold air in my house, I find a pot of coffee and a note that the sugar is organic. 

The early morning quiet and empty house are too enticing to resist, I have not slept in my own home or my own bed for nearly a month and I am exhausted, so I reach in the cabinet and pull out the first mug. 

This. Message. Waiting. For. Me.

"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

The mug says the author is unknown, but I'm pretty sure it's Jesus. 

Yeah it was Jesus:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

He comes in many forms and many ways to remind me. From a pot of coffee and a note about sugar, to the offers to help pack, and the many many email messages from friends and strangers.

Take heart. I am with you today.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Today I am unpacking my suitcases of the supplies from my last several workshops and getting organized to begin packing my studio and new home after discovering the air is filled with mold spores that I am having a severe allergic reaction to.
I felt overwhelmed by the task when I walked in the door this morning and alone in the world. But this is a lie designed to cripple and defeat me. So I reached out to a few who know me and who each blessed me with their words and prayers. I am now bolstered in the spirit and ready to face the task at hand.
I know where I am going will be good. Not just good, but very good. I also know that this first move was not a misstep, but part of the plan God has for my freedom.
As I cried out to Him on my last night here, asking why He would lead me here and let this happen to me, He reminded me of the Israelites finally finding water on their way to the promised land only to discover it wasn't suitable for drinking. The lack was not evidence of a lack in God's leading or His provision, but it did uncover the lack of trust in God on the behalf of the people.
As they journeyed they had opportunity to learn a moment by moment abiding and trust in Him and in this place, I am learning the same. I am being freed of fears that have plagued me my entire life. I am learning to love and care for myself even when others may not see or agree with what I need. I am learning confidence in the voice God gave me and my ability to use it in an assertive way that does not harm another, but will not allow myself to be harmed. I am learning to hold others accountable for their responsibilities and speaking up when I would have hidden my needs and felt shame for having them in the past.
These things are break through moments for me and the impact will be life changing. And so as I unpack my bags in preparation of repacking my studio, the symbolism is not lost on me. I am unpacking the worn, used, and no longer useful behaviors of the past and leaving behind what no longer serves me. I will repack these boxes, and though they may contain the same supplies and dishes and items I came with, the load is much lighter then it was when I arrived.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Retired Works (or happy birthday to me sale) Are In The House!

I've been overwhelmed and encouraged by the loving responses to my current living situation you have all been sending. It is a difficult turn of events, but I am heading in such a good direction as I see the doors opening before me that I can hardly wait to tell you! 

Meanwhile, I have been toting my retired works from workshop to workshop this past few months and sent many of them off to new homes. As my daughter pointed out to me today, it is the very last day of my 40s, so what better way to celebrate than to list the rest of the works that I am letting go and send them all off to you? 

These are carefully selected works from the past 5 years that I am very fond of and proud to offer to you. In letting them go at greatly reduced prices, I am welcoming the next decade of my life and all the possibilities it brings! 

Head on over to the shop here and click on the Retired Works tab and grab one while they last!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Not Everything That Glitters Is Golden

"Grown Ass Woman" Collage on Canvas by Crystal Neubauer
Confession: I have slept in 8 different beds in the past 2.5 weeks and not all because of travel related to workshops.
Astonishingly, the home I just moved into has a mold issue! Once all the unpacking and decorating was finished and I finally had time to do more than fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day, it hit me that the health issues that were flaring up were being triggered by the air I was breathing – inside my home!
The landlord responded to my call and took the initial action I asked her to, but it did not resolve the problem, so she took further action on a trouble spot that had been previously water damaged and the most likely culprit of the offending odor, but an air quality test has come back showing a high percentage of spores in the air that are known to cause the reactions I am having. I can no longer spend any lengthy period of time in the house without a serious flare up and I am growing discouraged.
There are deep seated internal lies being uprooted through this experience. I see God working on me in amazing ways. Good ways. Healing ways. Not at all what I was expecting from this season, but it is what it is.
After the long process of packing my home and my studio, moving to a new location, all the unpacking on my own and maintaining a teaching schedule on top of it all – two workshops in the past 3 weeks, one of which was 2000 miles away- I am worn, and I just want to crawl into bed and recuperate. But I can't stay in my own home.
I don't know what the next step is. I am allowing myself to have all the emotions and all the exhaustion and all the uncertainty that this sort of thing can bring. Will the landlord be able to sufficiently deal with the spores in the air so that I can breath healthy air and live in my home? Will I be putting my things in storage and starting my world teaching tour early? Only half kidding- but will I be putting it all in storage? I don't know.
But one thing I do know for sure. I have a God who leads me. He has spoken to me in the wee hours of the night and I know He is using all of this for my good. I am leaning in and listening and trying not to let the stories in my head, or the lies being unearthed in my heart, get the better of me.
I am learning a moment by moment existence and trust in Him. All is well with my soul.