Saturday, December 31, 2011

This New Year... This New Beginning

Happy 2012

This is a brand new year... 
the world celebrates and we all get a new start. We make new years resolutions with expected success and are often disillusioned  by February. No matter how disciplined we are, we have honed habits that are sometimes too hard to change and then we are doomed for self condemnation.   And if you happen to be like me, discipline is just not in my make up. So before I even start I fail. Oh, I strive for discipline... focus... routine...
but if you know me, you are laughing right now.

This year, (if you have read my prior post) has been anything but disciplined and for the last few months I have been struggling with myself.
 On discipline. 

I tend to be hard on myself. I am better now that I am older but self condemnation and guilt comes and creeps into my thoughts too easily. I have to keep guard and even then it sometimes rules my actions.
 Did you know that any condemnation is not of God for those that love Him? Romans 8:1

I like to move... I do not like to sit. That song from Madagascar is in my head... 
I like to move it, move it, move it.
 I like a good project, I like to put as many irons in the fire as I can fit and then juggle a few more in the air. Now, I do not do this intentionally but it just seems to be my lifestyle. 

I keep saying I am going to slow down and I do at times, usually when I am too tired to move or stressed. Stress is one of those foxes that rob... stress and worry is just plain lack of faith.  Stress and worry is the opposite of faith. Think about it. It is not only not trusting God that He will do what He says, it is hard on the body. It robs you of good health. When that occurs it is usually because of one thing. Me, not spending enough time with the Lord. Faith comes from hearing the word of God.

 And that brings me to what I have been struggling with. Just sitting and reading the word. At least that is how I think it "should be" now I have many many "shoulds". 
 I should be up in the attic praying... I should have a set time for scripture... I should start the day off by sitting and reading the bible instead of checking my email. I should have a certain day to do my laundry... I should cook more...  I should spend my time more wisely... 

Just like all those lists of  New Years Resolutions 
that are being made out this very minute.

Ok, you get the picture. When I don't do my "shoulds" after a time, a stubborn door slams shut in my brain and I rebel. It is self propelled, I now have no control at this point and I am struggling with a whole new problem. My rebellion. 
Rebellion turns into running... running away from God, running away from the problem. In my case I will have a million things to do so I won't do the thing I am struggling with.

For those of you who are new to my blog... I bare my soul now and then, but please bare with me.

Of course, during this time I always have an on going conversation with the Lord... sometimes it gets real needy. It goes something like this, "Ok, I am doing my best here...I just can't do it, you are going to have to do it. You do it Lord, I give it to you."
But all the while "I" am struggling with it.
The Lord is so good, because He will sit back let you chase your tail for only so long, usually until you get so tired, you now have to sit still and listen. Although in my case he talks to me on the go. 

This morning I had a revelation, 
not a new one or at least one that I hadn't heard before, I had head knowledge of it. You see when you go through times of struggle you are actually bringing what you know in your head and planting it into your heart. Once your heart gets a hold of it,  you will have peace.

This morning my heart heard
There is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.
Now, I have read the eighth chapter of Romans a hundred times and know it. This morning , the Lord showed me it wasn't the thing I wasn't doing that was hurting me, it was the "shoulds" or the self condemnation. If God doesn't condemn me then who am I to. The self loathing does not come from God. 
God waits for me and kisses my cheek and tells me I am his. He doesn't give us once a year to become new again, as the world tells us. 
He gives us every morning.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.
Lamentations 3:22 

Every day is just like New Years Day... according to our creator.
Every morning is a clean slate.
Every morning there are new mercies to cover the "Shoulds" the falling short of what I think I should be or do.

So today this New Year day - this New Morning day,
I give you God's steadfast love - mercies and...

And my love.
Thank you for a year of friendship, inspiration, encouragement and support. 

Happy New Beginnings


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking Back at 2011

Well, we are winding down 2011... are we not?
To tell you the truth, this year has shot across the sky of my life
 like a shooting star and I only hope 2012 does not pick up speed or I will be looking at my ninetieth birthday sooner than later. 
 I have been fighting time this past year and whenever that happens... I will loose, for sure. 
So have I lost really? 

I started looking back on the year and thought I would share a little.
Starting a year ago January... I started the year out right by taking a road trip to Missouri to meet a dear friend. Here

Debra from Common Ground... opened her lovely home and heart to me for 3 days. We shopped, ate, talked till we were blue and shared our thoughts and inspirations. 
I found a most dear friend in her.

I also did a new years project. Here
The computer room. I had closed the shop a few months prior, so every nook and cranny was filled with shop stuff. My computer room had become a storage space. It started out like this...

and ended up like this...

I am in this room a lot now and really enjoy it.

February brought an exciting road trip to Arizona to visit my sister. Here. We followed that awful snow storm all the way down... but it was so worth it.

My mom was there also... it was a good 2 weeks with my mom and sister.

I also spent a day with my good friend Karen from
 My Desert Cottage. We had a great day together, she took me to her favorite shops and we had lunch together.

March came and with it brought sadness, especially for my two daughters as they lost their father.  We spent time In Minnesota where the memorial was but with that also came joy as they were reunited with their half brother. It was a time of healing. Here

In April I had the pleasure to travel to Virginia and meet so many lovely women as I spoke at their annual Prince of Peace luncheon. Here

It was one of the high lights of the year and I still am grateful to Connie for letting me share what God has been doing in my life.

May brought special visitors and so much fun!
My wonderful friend Donna from A Life Reclaimed came for a whole week and helped me get ready for the one and only FiFi O'Neill and Mark Lohman They were here to do a photo shoot for her new book that is coming out in March.  They also shot for the magazine Romantic Country which I am in the spring issue.

Mark, Donna and Fifi

June was my busiest month as the week after Fifi and Mark left, I left for the Great Pacific Northwest.
Road Trip, baby...
Yep, me myself and I took off for a month and headed to Washington where my daughter Jody lives. We had a date with Farmchicks. I spent a week with Jody of LeFaded Fleur finishing projects and hitting some antique shops. One of the highlights was finally meeting Kathleen of Faded Charm. We did a little shopping and a lot of chatting. She is a sweetie.

We then headed to Spokane and set up at the FarmChicks Show

July brought my daughter back to me for
 Horton's French Flea Market. Here.
Jody and I packed up and went to Indiana to stay with our beloved Donna! We set up our tent again and enjoyed a fabulous Flea market put together by the Horton's and the fabulous Miss Donna. We had great fun meeting new and seeing old bloggy friends too.

August was hot and walking through mud... as I put it. It was my biggest project of all... Studio redo. I completely stripped my studio of every last fabric and bauble and put it all under a tent in my back yard... and that started a long process  Here

 During this process, I also was doing the Kane Country Flea Market the first weekend of each month. My goal was to get out of storage and reduce my expenditures. Try to simplify my life. Here

September brought sadness again with the loss of my husbands brother and best friend, Jack Ersfeld or Kramden as he was affectionately called by my husband. He lost a 3 year battle with cancer on Sept. 25. Jack was born in 1943, served in the VietNam war and served on the police force in Chicago for 24 years. He was quick to laugh and had a gentle heart. He will be missed by Diane his wife and stepchildren along with many friends and very much by his brother and our family. May God bless those he left behind.


But mission accomplished!
Of course there were trips to Minnesota to see family and I moved out of my studio at the art gallery. All that went into the garage, which my son was so good to help organize and build shelving to put all my "stuff" on.
So that brings us up to November and December, which were filled with shows and etsy and family and friends.
I started off the holiday season by taking a trip back to Tipton for the Hortons Christmas show.   Here

Another fun fun fun thing I got to do was have a blogger party at the show. And I met some wonderful women and also saw old friends.
I was thrilled to see Patti of Shabby Chick 
and her lovely daughter Tia... love to you both!
And of course I got to stay with the whirling dervish herself 
Miss Donna.  Which is always a joy... we have fun, don't we girl?

Which brings me to December... decorating my house, my birthday and going home to Minnesota. My heart is always with my family, so I will leave you with pictures of my Christmas last week with my lovely family. God is good.

(Yes, the Ferret is real... his name is Zeus. She loves him.

I am Thankful...
This past year has been anything but lost...

I want to thank all of you, my friends for letting me share and chronicle my life with you.

Many Blessings in 2012
I will be linking up with
Debra at Common Ground Vintage Friday Inspiration