‘Tis the Season

A few weeks ago I was thinking about how holidays can be pretty painful for many and last night our Community group touched on the topic again and it brought me back to this post where God has been sitting… and waiting… the October thru December is a time where many focus on thanksgiving. This year I was presented with Ann Voskamp’s one thousand gifts – a study to embrace gratitude and allow God to weave it into the fabric of our daily lifestyle.

As I’ve shared before, for me I’d much rather focus on the blessing of cancer instead of the hard parts… but the thing is, it’s the hard parts that I believe bring about the blessings… which begs the question, ‘if cancer was easy, would I be as grateful?’ – good question, right?

And that thought brought me back to those whose “grief bucket” may be overflowing this time of year and Ann’s FaceBook live video that touches on gratitude and grief (around the 14min mark) Ann Voskamp – one thousand gifts

Are you desperately missing a loved one this season? Is this time of year a stark reminder of who or what you don’t have? Most likely. Ann suggests writing out traits of or experiences with that special someone that brings a smile to our hearts…. and in doing so, perhaps the bitter will become sweeter.

Last year my stepdad passed away the day after Thanksgiving. And even though the head knows a heavenly promotion is coming, rarely is the heart ready. Grief during holiday season last year was sidestepped by the busyness of an upcoming move. This year? Not so much. I watch my mom in her silent sadness and my heart breaks for her – there is nothing I can do that will take away her pain. Only God can fill the void in her heart, but I can do as Ann suggests… counter pain and sadness with sweet, precious memories.

Is there someone in your life struggling this season? Or perhaps you find your heart overwhelmed with grief or sadness? I encourage you to seek God and reach out – it doesn’t have to be some grand gesture – a simple “I see you” can do more than you imagine!

Blessing y’all!

God’s Guiding Hand

It’s still mind boggling to me to think back ten years ago….to a time when God was barely on my radar – thankfully, He never lost sight of me!  And I f you asked me five years ago how I expressed my faith, art was the last thing that would’ve come to mind – and yet, here I am today…thriving spiritually by creating and sharing faith art!

As a child (and adult!) I loved to color – it provides such a calming effect – the cares & concerns of everyday life melt away allowing my spirit to quiet and open the door to hearing God.  What started as an effort to help me relax and remain positive through chemotherapy, quickly developed into an untapped passion. Today, I combine my love of God’s Word with fun art supplies like watercolors, markers, gel pens, and my trusty iPad Pro.  

But as much as I enjoy the process of creating faithart, it’s sharing that really makes my heart smile!  I’m so blessed to share God’s promises through both social media and homemade items like bookmarks and small cards.  What does tomorrow hold? Only He knows, and my confidence lies in His Word as I  open myself to learning new ways to share God’s love. 

God’s Growing Me….and my HAIR!!!!

I’ve been meaning to post pics of my hair and just haven’t gotten around to it…as if I’m SO busy! Luckily, I was diligent to take snapshots over the past few months to show progress.

roseanne copyFor those that don’t know me, my hair is naturally curly…very curly and I have spent the better part of adulthood trying to change it…rarely will you find a photo of me w/my hair natural.  The best way to describe the natural state of my hair is from the original SNL cast Gilda Radner’s “Roseanne Roseannadanna” – as we say in the South, “Bless Her Heart!”

With the help of numerous styling products & tools, I could pretend my hair was straight…pretend…in no way shape or form is my hair remotely straight.  But that’s the way it goes, isn’t it? We all seem to want the exact opposite of what we’ve been given – why is that, I wonder???

When I started chemo I thought, “well maybe my hair won’t fall out” – HA!!! I wasn’t two weeks in before the clumps of hair began falling, and quite frankly, it was kinda creepy to me – I was eager to have it cut and promptly ordered a precious Raquel Welch wig from Headcovers.com (they are SO nice and local!) – with all the yuck of chemo going on, I loved my hair! It was straight and spunky and all I had to do was put it on – a huge perk since I didn’t have the strength to fix it anyway:)

My family and friends would joke wondering…will it come back curly?  As curly? Not quite as curly? AND the super big question, “what’s my real hair color?”  Yes, my hair’s still curly as ever (you’ll just have to take my word for it!) with plenty of gray!  As the Texas heat and humidity is upon us, I’ve since set the wig aside and opting to go au natural  – funny how God eventually gets us back to basics – even with hair!

Before I worked up the courage to go without the wig, I sort of used it as a crutch and rationalized that wearing the wig gave me the opportunity to witness to others – when women would comment on my cute hair, I’d say, “Thanks! It’s a wig – a huge perk of chemo is that I don’t have to fix my hair!” and then proceed to witness about God’s faithfulness – especially during storms.  Well, let me tell ya folks, you don’t need a wig to witness – shocker, I know – funny how I failed to see that without the wig, others could see the real me and see God working through me by my actions and attitude without ever saying a word 🙂

God gives us opportunities to witness regardless of how we look or where we are in our journey of faith – all we have to do is be a willing vessel – with or without hair…

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Out of Order

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A couple of weeks ago, my employer began construction in our workspace. As a result, a bank of elevators which directly accessed our floor from the parking garage were no longer available. Instead, employees now use the main garage elevators.

At first I thought, “well geez, this certainly is inconvenient” – I soon discovered God’s purpose for re-routing us (me!) – I now have the opportunity to witness more frequently! Granted, the witnessing may come in the form of a smile, a “good morning!” or simply holding the door, but they are witnessing opportunities all the same.

One morning as I approached the elevator, I greeted a woman with a “Good Morning!” and a smile. Once we entered the elevator she said something along the lines of “It is so nice to see a friendly face! – Often I get on the elevator with women and they look as if they are ready to bite someone’s head off! They are angry about traffic or time or something else!”

Wow…what a timely reminder to step out of myself for a moment and engage others with the love of Christ! Continue reading