Saturday, March 9, 2013

Here and Now

I'm enjoying my word this year! Really, is there anything better than now?  It's what it's all about. I used to wallow in the past and hang everything on hopes for the future. Maybe it's a sign of maturity?  There ought to be something fabulous about getting older. My cracking bones certainly can't be it-ha!
I've been having great fun being involved in church in a meaningful way again. I was just attending for quite some time at my previous church and I didn't even know how much I missed it!
I've been doing a take home for the congregation each week of lent and also sharing those with the women I meet with on Wednesday mornings for prayer and breakfast. This week's is a set of beads to use as prompts for prayer this week. I printed a poem and prompts and they can choose a set of beads. The group of beads is beautiful (thanks Sue for the beads- I used all of the ones with larger holes).
Just an FYI- spilling a Christmas tin full of beads of all sizes is a lot like finding pine needles endlessly after Christmas.....
Are you being fully present in the now? Even when it's painful it makes for meaningful living. On not so good days I try to be fully present in the not so good so I can let it go when the good moments come along. Let it filter in and feel all of it, then you can place it somewhere for safe keeping. Maybe hand it over to God- that's what I'm learning to do in the wilderness of Lent.
I'll leave you with the take away for church tomorrow and some pictures from the new walkway at the Big Four Bridge I spent time on today.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Staying in the "now"

I'm doing something arty with my one little word this year. I joined in a class on Big Picture Classes (link in my sidebar) for One Little Word with Ali Edwards. There are prompts every month. True to myself- I'm a tad behind but not much. I still need to do my visioning board which is February's prompt but I plan to do it Friday- so really only a couple of days late, right?

So here is my overview of the year I put together using 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 cards and sleeves for an 8 1/2 x 11 inch binder- I chose red! I wanted gray but there wasn't that size in gray. Every color in the rainbow is available in 12 x 12 but my choice was lime green, red, brown or black. My nature leads me to green. I carried the black around a bit and went back for the red it seemed "now".

I'm also doing Praying in Color with my lent calendars and they are looking pretty. It's been a meaningful, fun and different way to do prayer.

So, lots of creativity going on NOW.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Now is Lent! I've been visioning on the Worship Committee at church for this season and have had the best time. Like teaching- I'm getting the most out of it I'm sure!
I've found great ideas for kids and adults and adapted them for my personal use and for use at church.
First let me say that being on a worship committee had me a bit intimidated- awesome task to feel responsible in any way for others' worship experience. But, I was reassured when in our first meeting our focus began by remembering who we were planning for- the congregation- and calling them by name. I'd say we remembered just about every single one- now let me say, it is a small church.  But that was powerful and I knew all would be well.

So here are a few of the things we have on tap! Oh, and I should tell you I come prepared with lots of visual aids to meetings so: the first thing I brought was this photo I saw on Pinterest! I just loved it and it summed up what Lent was to me this year.

So we are using burlap up the aisle and also down the front wall flowing onto a table with rocks.
Our theme is different aspects of Journeying in the Wilderness.
We are also doing a Wilderness Packet with several items, which will be added to each week or mostly each week with more the first week:
A small square of burlap for texture and reflection, a smooth stone, a finger labyrinth (above)-also adapted from the internet which I think may be our bulletin cover, some questions to ponder -this week's are :When have you been invited into the "desert"? What one thing would you like to take with you? What surprise would you hope to find there?, and a Lenten path to follow, one for adults that I hope they will journal, color, or do something with besides x off and one for kids also adapted from the internet. The one on the internet only had 40 days and didn't count Sunday on the calendar. That just didn't make sense to me so I had to redo it with the 46 days and one for Easter! There will be some poetry, and I got little peat pots and seed tape. Ooo I'm excited already!

Kid Version

For the adults

I'm so excited about Lent and think that doing these things is accomplishing my goal of getting closer to God in a way different from what I envisioned but successfully none the less.
Enjoying Lent NOW.
I'll update you on my rocky path journaling soon.
Hope you are enjoying the moment.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The good feeling of not procrastinating

I own my own business in addition to being a part-time dental hygienist. The great thing about dental hygiene is that you don't take any work home. The bad thing for me is that it ruins my hands that I like to use for fun art projects. 
My least favorite part of business ownership is bookkeeping. UGH. Math is my worst subject and I get no pleasure out of balancing and comparing figures at all. Did I make enough to do it another year? Great-that's all I need to know.
But, my CPA insists on bookkeeping and not anything simple. She wants double entry blah blah blah.
So I do it. Every year I put it off until I can't live with myself anymore because the 4/15 deadline is looming large.

I start off the year well enough- folders, stuff appropriately put in folder but at the end of the year it looks like the above photo. All the stuff in the front is receipts that are not in the proper folder. 
UGH again.
I also pay a lot of business expenses with my personal main credit card which sometimes I pay off with my personal checking and sometimes with my business checking. So that requires separating everything out at the end of the year.  I should have one credit card for business and one for me. But, of course not.
This year I decided to start early, rewarded myself with a latte and went to Day's Coffee shop with computer and file folders in hand. I organized and balanced my checkbook, went through all of the credit card statements and separated business from other and then sat down yesterday and did all the double entry bookkeeping starting with March- I had the good sense to keep up a little at the beginning of 2012.
Today- I'm done. Everything is ready for the CPA except for two items that haven't arrived yet.
I'm going on a trip next week, leaving Jim in charge here and I go with a sense of peace knowing that task is behind me.
Living in the here and now and happy for not procrastinating!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

For love of a baby

Babies are so sweet and mysterious, almost magnetic and yet for some, unreachable.  I love any reason to celebrate, it is a kind of fun that is almost transporting to me. I like planning events so this weekend's baby shower for Robert and Da'quisha at church was super fun but a little bittersweet for me.
I got to recycle my ideas from April's baby shower (scroll way down this LONG post) and use up some party favors, too!
We party-planners hoped for about 20 church folks to come, which for our sweet little church is a pretty substantial turnout. So most of my plans were with that in mind. To my great joy Robert and Da'quisha practically brought their own party in family members! There was plenty of punch and cake, mints and nut, to go around but I was little shy on activity sheets. But, maybe God knew how many little blessing beads I needed for the mother's necklace and I had just the right amount. Perhaps they were multiplied in that little bag like the loaves and fishes when the number of guests were counted!
I bought a little blanket zipper pouch that goes over baby already dressed in sleepwear for everyone to sign with blessings or well-wishes.

I love the idea of someone sleeping wrapped in blessings and well-wishes. (When I lay dying- do this for me!)
There were little paper buttons for baby blessings to go in a box and we wrote motherly and fatherly advice (I'm so old that most of my baby showers are female only- how nice that this one had several males!) and a favorite childhood memory of an adult in our life on little  cards. Da'quisha and Robert read a card before opening a gift.

 There were lots of gifts of diapers and wipes, you think you will never use this mountain of supplies but they will be gone all too soon I imagine, books, bottles, a pack and play, a gender neutral diaper bag (loved this for Robert!), but, who can resist adorable, sweet, baby girl clothes? There were plenty of them. Miss Eryn will be quite the baby fashionista.

Judah brought paper good and tablecloths, Sue made a deliciously simple punch, Cindy brought a sweet baby cake, and Sandy had us well-supplied in nuts and mints. Old-fashioned refreshments-I loved it! My former MIL supplied the punch bowl and cups.

Aren't they just the cutest couple?
Our last activity was to take a bead and give the mother a blessing for her delivery which could be made into a necklace or bracelet to take to the hospital. It was a sweet time with a sweet young couple.
I enjoyed every minute of the planning, prep and party!

But as I drove home my heart was breaking for my sweet girl and her partner who want a child so much they've spent years and lots of savings trying to have one with no success. No countries outside the US (and only private adoption here) offer adoption to same sex couples. Single-yes, heterosexual-yes. Openly gay, committed partners need not apply. Many states do not recognize two parents in a same sex couple family, only one so my girls are continuing to live in a state where a gay couple can both be legal parents hoping for this to be a reality. My state does not allow for it. Shame, shame, shame.

I hope the universe has a sweet child for them somewhere and that the three of them will be wrapped in this kind of community love.

Living in the juxtaposition of celebration and heartbreak.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Love getting things done

The beginning of the year brings thoughts of business, record keeping, taxes and the like. I'm Miss Organization in January and by April I wonder where she went!
So, true to my nature I'm at it making sure clients have scheduled training, I have accurate records of that schedule, reminding ones who need a nudge and staring at the mountain of receipts that need to be organized to attempt my bookkeeping for 2012.
My accountant- yes, I need one even with my tiny business- was in my office for other purposes yesterday. I stuck my head out of my operatory and said "My books will be ready in a couple of days!"
To which she responded "Really?" "Nope, of course not!" was my reply. But, she actually thought I might have turned over a new leaf! That's encouraging to both of us as I'm an April 1st-get my books to the accountant -kind of girl. Maybe this will be the year I can follow through. It would certainly make my Januaries so much merrier to sit down monthly and do bookkeeping. Can  you tell I really don't like that aspect of being a business owner?
So today, because I promised myself I would, I'm spending the best part of the day inside at my desk with a mountain of paperwork, a good cup of coffee- (have you had a Miele?- latte with honey and cinnamon) and even on a record breaking warm day, doing what I need to be doing,
feeding my sense of mental well-being. I've been doing a lot of that lately.

Work scheduled already for this year!

The incredible mess of receipts.
Okay, the commercial break is over.....

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Living in the basement

My heavily cluttered basement has been weighing me down mentally. There are a lot of reasons for the amount of stuff I walk around downstairs.  There was a family fire over a year ago and I've been hanging on to a table, chairs, kitchen wares and linens to help furnish a new living space for them.
I have a lot of hobbies and interests and since a lot of them include artistic stuff, I can envision a way to repurpose just about anything! So, it's hard to turn loose of some potentially fabulous piece of creativity.
I buy things ahead of time for my classes I teach and you gotta put them somewhere. I love clothing. I wish I didn't. I wish I just looked at clothes as something that's needed to cover my body.
Thankfully, I come across a lot of clothes for free or at goodwill. I also buy more clothes than I need. Since I have a terrible time staying at any one weight, there's a range of sizes, too. There's a computer that I don't know how to wipe clean that needs to exit that space and a huge monitor that I will never use. What to do?  There is a color printer that I replaced with a wireless one. Do you need it?  It's yours. I took a rocker to Goodwill and because the veneer was off some of it they didn't take it. I put it at the street- thank you, someone- it is gone. Now will someone take the 13 inch TV with a built in VCR that still works but I don't need? It, too, is at the curb. I hauled a truck load of goods to Goodwill and I hope someone enjoys the things that were just hanging out in my basement. Threw out a garbage cart full of trash and have overflowing recycling at the curb tonight. I'm feeling lighter, easier, and enjoying the task.  It isn't done and in truth probably I will never look at the basement and go "Ah, finally perfect" but for now it's a-ok and I'm not tripping over the rug in the middle of it- I listed it on Craig's list along with the oak chairs that need a new home. My hope is that in the next moment of temptation to bring anything into my home, only something truly beloved and potentially cherished will be allowed.
There was a time I was quite poor and I think I hang on to "things" because they seemed so important and out of reach for a time.
I'm wanting the freedom of less.
And grateful for where I am today. I makes me happy to have less, give more, free it up, give it up.
Growing up.