Whatever Craft Weekend

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I am still in shock that I flew to KANSAS and got to sleep at the craft house!!!  It was everything I had hoped it would be and more!  There is still part of me that wishes I walked a little slower through the house and let myself really soak up how beautiful every detail was.

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We seriously sewed and crafted till 2 in the morning each night.  We ate the most beautiful and mouth watering food you could imagine (Kimberlee makes a cheesecake that ALONE was worth the whole trip)!!  We made new friends and shared stories about life and family.

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Right away I realized how fast this Jersey girl talks and how programmed I am to want to do everything so quickly.  I literally kept waiting for a schedule to be passed out, when in reality there was one rule  ** You were not allowed to clear your plate, ever**.  At one point I realized we were all still sewing our aprons when we were supposed to be getting ready to leave to go shopping.  Looking around the table, I realized no one cared.  No one was in a rush.  Everyone was perfectly content just sitting and crafting.

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I felt God reminding me, in so many ways, to SLOW down, and to enjoy the freedom to be creative, to chat, and to just linger a little longer.  It’s so hard sometimes to really linger.  To let the schedule disappear, forget about the demands of life, and get lost in a project.  To tap into a side of your brain that often gets passed by because we don’t have “enough time” or “enough energy” to really let our creative juices flow.

 

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My greatest take away from the weekend was realizing that I can make this kind of time a priority in my normal life, away from the magical craft house.  As beautiful as this craft house is, and as endearing as Meg is as she empowers us to tap into our creative juices; the weekend really just gave us freedom to make being creative a priority.

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I don’t want to think anymore that I don’t deserve that freedom, or that I can’t have it.  Being creative is so fulfilling for me, it fills a cup I forget is even empty to begin with.

The value of that lesson is priceless, friends.

Now go right now, and get your name on that list for Craft Weekend!  Right now people, I mean it!

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And yes we had to leave some “Lovely Mosaic” swag for Meg while we were there!

Courage

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Courage to share your whole heart- be who you really are.

Courage isn’t something that comes naturally to me, actually not at all.  Growing up I was not someone who acted like – who I really was.  I was constantly trying to morph into who I thought people would want me to be.  I think deep in my heart I knew who I was but struggled with the confidence to be that person.  I watched this ruin some long years of my life when I was a teenager.

I often wonder if I could go back and just be myself, how differently situations would have panned out.  I remember getting to college and I finally could act like myself thinking I had overcome my confidence issue.  It probably helped that I was around more people who were like me, and had the same values as me.  But sometimes our struggles have a way of hiding for a season, and creep up on us when we least expect it.

After having kids, when I thought my self confidence would be stable, I quickly discovered it began to crumble again.  I was easily persuaded by people with how they choose to raise their kids or even how they dressed, or how they lived.  Consistently feeling that if I changed one more thing about myself or the way I lived, then finally I would feel complete.  Like the thing I had searched for all of my life – suddenly would be found.256272e24a8be61d0fdec20843f3c872

Over the years, the lack of self confidence literally bled itself throughout my life.  Ever since I can remember I always felt like my brain was constantly thinking about new ideas, always desiring to be creative in some format or another.  Creativity though requires courage – and for years that was just something I didn’t allow myself.  Without even knowing it I had become chained by my own fears, held back by my lack of courage.  Things I would think of doing, would instantly be shot down by myself.   In the back of my head was the haunting thought, “what would people think?”

 

Wouldn’t it be great if I could say, I never think that anymore., but I do.  That I don’t really care what people think, that I don’t let it consume me.  It usually creeps up right before my best work comes out.  Right before I allow myself permission to just be me.

4fcea79892142cc1f76510d0a765acc2It is then I am forced to look at myself & truly accept the flaws and the cracks and remember that God loves this broken vessel that I am.  He is the glue that holds all these pieces together.  He is the reason that I have confidence.  He is greater than my fear, and He is the gentle push that reminds me that He created me to have freedom. Freedom to be who I am–at every second of every day.

 

 

 

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my creative cup

Been spending my days doing a lot of this…

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which leads to this….

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and this…

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and this…

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Falling in love with how every piece of wood has its own imperfections.  Discovering how powerful words can make a scraped up, worn piece of wood look beautiful.   I’ve been spending every moment thinking about the next words that could be drawn and how it would all come together.

Today will begin the laundry that didn’t get done, and the food that has to be bought, and the rooms that need to be cleaned.  It won’t be as tough though,  because the memories of letting it all go and just being still and creating are still so vivid.  I spent the past couple of days making sure the few small moments I had to myself were well spent filling up my creative cup.

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Fell in love with this piece, now to find the words to fill the space…any ideas?

what truly matters

For me the struggle with writing a blog is does anything I have to say matter or even have value?  This is something that I have been wanting to do for years but yet the fear of not wanting to be rejected has paralyzed me.  It got me thinking into how much fear really paralyzes me from doing things that I love.  How many times I am more concerned about how others will view me than pursuing my dreams.  Its something I have struggled with all through growing up, and although even though I have told myself that I’ve grown out of it, here it is still staring me in the face.

what will others think…

Ahhh I just get so frustrated at myself that I still care about it.  I have read books, prayed and talked with people about letting it go, but yet this may be the first physical thing I have down in awhile despite my inward fear of rejection.

letting go of fear

Noah and I on his first day of first grade last year

As my son began school last year he had a lot of anxiety about starting at a new place and meeting new friends.  I prayed over and over for him, Joshua 1:9; “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” How ironic it seems now that a verse I prayed for my 7 year old son would speak so loudly to me.  Here God is telling Joshua to listen to his heart and follow God’s prompting to lead the people to the promised land.  How many times I sit and overanalyze decisions and promptings from the Lord because I am so filled with fear to step out.  Clear as day God urges us to not be afraid because thank you Jesus, He is with us wherever we go.

Turning thirty this year, has forced me to analyze what I am doing with my time and how my own anxious thoughts still have a steady hold on me.  Yes I am a mom and and a wife and I run this crazy house, but who am I beyond that? Is that all that I am?  I mean I love my kids more than they’ll ever know and I adore my husband and love watching him grow and pursue his dreams.  But my secret fear is that I will get swallowed up by all of it and ten years from now I will be turning forty and be wondering what I have done over the past ten years.

I want to do more than just plop in front of the tv each night, folding laundry and looking at pinterest, thinking I wish I could be that creative or envying people’s pantry organization skills.

Although —- truth be told that will still be my life majority of the nights.

I am committing to begin to carve out one or two nights a week where I give myself the freedom to reconnect with my creative side and the way that God wired me. Whether that’s by writing here or sewing up a storm or learning to cross stitch or even tackling my long list of DIY projects.  Life with kids is so much shorter than I even realize and I desperately want my kids to grow up in a house where creativity is pursued by everyone, even their mom.  How can I expect them to pursue their creative outlets if they aren’t seeing that example even in small ways by me.  So I am giving my self freedom to walk away from the mess and the dirty clothes and the cluttered dining room table.    I am pretty sure that I will be the only one who knows the sink was the only thing that got wiped in the bathroom this week and that the wet clothes stayed in the washer overnight.  I mean lets be honest folks it was only this one time!!  I never do those sort of things on a regular basis!

I am pretty sure that 98% of the time my kids, my husband, and my house responsibilities will come first, but I am going to fight hard to not let that 2% slip through my fingers just because I can’t have any more than that.

Step one in pursing an authentic life for myself is first admitting that I am in no way perfect, and removing the pressures I feel to have all things looking like they are perfect!  Thank goodness that we are loved by a God, that despite our fears and failures His mercies are new each morning.

-Tiffany