Monday, June 15, 2015

Our True Colors



All of us start fresh, like a new crayon in a brand new box.

Pristine, new..perfectly shaped, wonderfully made.

Different in some ways.. yes, but still quite similar to each other.

And then.. a funny thing happens...

LIFE

It hits us all at different angles. We're rubbed, bumped, bruised.. We get mixed with lots of people and things who can for a time change us slightly. Some things make us brighter for a time and others make us dingy and dark. Sometimes in the darkest of times things weigh so heavily on us that we literally break under the weight.. we crack and we crumble.



Sometimes the things that change us make us unrecognizable. Layers of us might be seemingly ripped away until someone who cares enough has to scratch at the surface to see the boldness and the color underneath. But none of these things have to stop us.



In a culture where we can become so wrapped up ourselves and so trapped in our own little bubbles of Facebook and Instagram we lose sight of the beauty that is already around us. We lose sight of the treasures we ALREADY have in each other. We throw a filter over our lives and sometimes we don't let people see what's really beneath them. We forget how beautiful it is to be raw and real with someone; how putting yourself out there often leads to the closest of friendships. Often we don't ask how people truly are. We tend to toss aside a casually thrown out answer and take it for fact.. and in doing so I believe we often lose the opportunity to be something BIGGER. To show them that they still have beauty & color.



We may be broken, and bruised.. we may be dingy and discolored but the
fact is that somewhere beneath all of that our true colors can still
shine through.We may no longer be the brightest or boldest crayon in the
box but we DO have color. We have purpose. And usually all we need to
shine through that darkness is each other. When someone cares enough to
pull back the layers and dig deeper.. let them.. and make a point to be the kind of person who picks up that broken, dingy crayon and discovers what beauty is hiding underneath the surface.


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Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's A WonderFULL Life

 How is it possible that it's been a year since I have blogged?! I suppose that as it is with so many other things, time tends to get away from us. It's surprising how days can turn to weeks and weeks can turn to months so quickly, but I consider myself blessed to have a life so full that I let things such as this go forgotten. However, I truly do LOVE to blog and along the way I have collected lots of little things that I haven't yet had time to share! I hope to make some time for this blog on a more regular basis so that I can put all of those little things to use. :) If you were reading before I hope that you will again!

Life surprises us.
It's truly as simple as that. I've never considered myself to be someone that takes what I have for granted and I think (I hope) that most people would agree... but every so often life gives us a little push. Over the past year (and even more over the past couple months) I seem to be continually reminded of how blessed I am and how much I have to be thankful for.

A few weeks ago 17 people crowded into our tiny one bedroom apartment to study the bible. I scurried around grabbing chairs and finishing the dinner I had prepared and I will admit that for a moment I panicked at the turnout. As people began shuffling through the line and finding a comfortable place to sit I looked around hopeful that all had found a place to land and let myself take it all in. It's easy to look at a crowded room and lose yourself in the worry that it is far too crowded or that the food won't stretch quite far enough... but in that moment life pushed me. God pushed me; and for once I let myself stop and feel the joy of the moment.

A few years ago I was browsing a local art show and came across a magnet that I instantly fell in love with. It very simply stated
          "May our house always be too small to hold all our friends".
To the people who know me well, I'm sure it's no surprise that I cried when I found it. And yes.. I cry easily.. but, how fundamentally TRUE is that statement? May our lives always be so FULL and so rich that we struggle to fit everything in. Isn't it really just as simple as that? I'm am endlessly blessed by the people in my life.. and sometimes life is insanely busy. Sometimes I fall into bed far too late for the early morning ahead of me.. but that's me. I love the FULL and overflowing life that I live an all of the people in it. I wouldn't trade those things for the world.

 A week or so ago my sister tagged me in an Instagram post from my favorite blogger.. Carrie Grace and the post talked about having the kind of friends who were "late nights and coffee in the morning" and I thought the sentiment was beautiful. I hope that I am always the kind of person that people will reach out to in that way. I truly believe that our lives are most beautiful when we live them to the fullest... and when you are brimming with GOODNESS and happiness it's much much harder to be brought down.



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Monday, May 5, 2014

Hindering Helping Hands


Our culture tends to preach independence. (Doing your own thing, being your own person, taking care of yourself, etc.) Women especially are thrown an array of "suggestions" to take life my the reins and live their lives on their own dollar.

I'd like to make it clear that I have no disrespect for any person who can effectively take care of themselves. That notion in itself is not a bad thing. My concern stems from the fact that it seems independence is forced upon us to the point that having help from someone who (in my opinion) should help you is looked down upon. We complain when things are messy, we grumble about how we feel sorry for ourselves and we make lists of the overwhelming set of tasks we must accomplish as we smile and proudly deny any offer of help. The truth is we can likely accomplish what needs to be done on our own.. but I think we should all ask ourselves what we are missing out on when we don't allow others to help us. No one should have to be alone in their efforts and goals but how often have you backed yourself into that corner? What is so wrong with being taken care of by someone who loves you?

Being helpful and kind have never been things that are looked down upon. I feel certain that most people have someone in their lives who wants to take care of them to some degree and that is the kind of thing that should never be taken for granted. I fear that in being drastically independent we are inadvertently conditioning others to stop offering help. How many times would it take you to stop asking if you were always met with a bold refusal? I'd venture to say that the more we tell others their help is not necessarily the less likely they are to want to help. I believe people start to assume that you would rather do things on your own and that hinders them from an opportunity to help. How far fetched is it to say that by trying to take on everything alone you are teaching the world around that not kindly helping is perfectly acceptable? I think the two are very closely related

 The fact is that it goes both ways. I've yet to meet a single person in my life who does not have the need to be independent at times. It is also a true statement that I have yet to meet a person who has never needed help. To want both is human... to fight both is human.

Finding the balance... that's what is difficult.
It can start with something as simple as a smile. Don't let one end with you.
Open the door. Give up your seat. Help clean up. When you're able, go out of your way to do something nice for someone.. and not only that...

Allow nice things to be done for you!



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Sunday, May 4, 2014

35 Thoughts You Have While Watching Netflix


1. Come on, come on... load faster. 
2. Choose a profile... personalization is AWESOME!
3. How much time do I have? Movie or show? 
4. I've got a solid 2 hours.. I should watch a movie.. 
5. Crap.. Now I've gotta choose one. 
6. SO. MANY. CHOICES.
7. That looks funny.. but no. 
8. I should watch that.. but not right now. 
9. Wait.. lemme add that to My List.
10. I'm so excited to watch that at a later time. 
11. But what can I watch now? 
12. Seriously... How is anyone supposed to choose with this many choices? 
13. What are these catagories? 
14. Movies for ages 11-14...? That's awesome Netflix. I'm WAY older than that..
 15. Okay fine.. I see your point. 
16. Am I really still deciding? 
17. Maybe I should just watch a show. 
18. How much time do I have now? 
19. What's in my list?
20. Do I wanna just watch that movie now? 
21. No I don't have enough time... show it is. 
22. I love this show...
23. Play next episode. 
24. Play next episode. 
25. Play next episode. 
26. Wait.. what time is it? 
27. Just one more episode.
28. Wait... did I have plans today? 
29. I feel like I had something to do. 
30. This show is JUST SO GOOD!!!
 31. How many episodes have I watched?
32. I should get out of the house...
33. IT'S MIDNIGHT!!
34. I literally missed my whole day...
35. Play next episode.


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Legacy We Leave Behind Us


With a heavy heart I think back upon the life of a beautiful woman who left this world yesterday evening. Brenda was my boss at Star Academy for many years... but to call her "my boss" doesn't really do her justice. Brenda was one of the most loving and caring people that I have ever met and I considered her to be far more than just an employer. She was many things to many people but the role I most frequently saw her in was the role of a caregiver. When she got sick that was one of the many things that made seeing her that way so incredibly hard. Suddenly a woman who had cared so deeply for us and for the countless children who passed through her preschool was the one who needed the most care.
Since I have known her, Brenda has been the heart and soul of her business, the life inside a building that makes it much more then just a structure; the love and passion that turns the patrons and employees of a business into a close knit family. She has touched the lives of so many in her role as a director and has had an incredible influence on so many families. In my own life she has been at times a friend, a shoulder to cry on and in some instances, closer to me then parts of my family.

When I think about how Brenda would feel if she could see all of the people who are mourning her passing I tend to think most about all of the families from Star Academy that she has left behind. As a teacher at Star, these are the relationships I see most completely... the ones that make my heart ache the most. To those families and to the teachers who follow through with her dreams, I say this...

Don't dwell in the sadness of your loss, although it is great...
There are still children laughing in your presence..
Imaginary telephones ringing in the hands of small children..
A baby that needs to be rocked to sleep..
A wet glue, glitter scattering work of art that can so easily disappear in the mess of our lives...

The excitement of a simple mastered skill of a child that may go forgotten in the whirlwind of life's most devastating tragedies...

I am confident in saying that Brenda would have wanted us all to keep moving, keep living, keep learning and keep teaching. Continue to let her dreams live & grow. The smiles on those little faces will forever put a smile on hers.



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Monday, October 14, 2013

An Afternoon In Shelbyville

 
Next we relaxed at a local coffee shop along the strip and read silly books and had a goofy photo shoot in a random parking lot. :P


A glimpse of our girls day this past Saturday in Downtown Shelbyville. :)

 We begun our afternoon browsing through the Shelbyville antique shops. You can always find some crazy things in these shops.. but these Halloween decorations we found took spooky to a whole new level.

We finished out day at the historic Bell House Restaurant which was delicious!! :) I highly recommend trying it out. It doesn't require a reservation but they are happy to take one to get around the wait. :) 


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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Our New Home

As most of you know we recently moved!! :)

We've finally gotten settled and I wanted to show off our new place a little bit. We are loving our new space and we are settling in nicely! I've had fun decorating!! 
Our living room/office area :)
Block shelves... with paper backing! :) Just cut backing to fit to the size of shelf.

Dining Room
Floating candle jars filled with rice, dried peppers and black beans.
An old shelf I painted black for spices & aprons.
The kitchen
Our room

The bathroom!


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