River Memories

I remember this time I was probably 8 going to the river and just going for a swim. The hole was pretty deep and we were near a small dam. Always having an old funky pair of sneakers to wear when you got in.

        The water is always freezing when you first touch it. But it’s one of those colds like water out the hose after mowing the yard… freezing, yet the most refreshing, alive feeling you felt in a quite some time.

         I remember being 14 and staying with nanny and Papa’s that summer while we were getting work done on the kitchen. I walked down to the bottom, through the fence and right past those cows to their drinking hole. Next thing I did was jump on in. Swam around and found a rock to hold onto to I could “float” and not get taken off. There is something adventurous and freeing about swimming in a crick or the river. Feeling the water flow over your feet as you walk. 

        I hadn’t felt that feeling in quite a while, so recently when my mini human asked me to join her in the river. Join her I did. It seemed like such a good idea walking down that hill, climbing down those rocks and walking into that freezing cold river water for just a few moments I forgot any part of me hurt. I wasn’t thinking about how different I appeared. I was laughing and enjoying the water with my girl and my nephew. Then I came home and I’m laying there trying to sleep reminded that I’m not 14 anymore. Happy moments and memories don’t come so easily any longer. I am still fighting for my health. I am still fighting for my new normal. But for a few moments that day I was simply enjoying the freezing flow of the river.

     Just remember big things, my friends! Big things are coming! So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and love hard.  As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

Big Love,

Randi

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Residual

Hearing those words “It is cancer” is hard. Hearing the plan for treating said cancer is hard. Receiving treatment for cancer is hard. Chemotherapy is no walk in the park. These are statements of fact based on my experience. 

          Residual side efforts, three weeks post chemo, are strong. Chemo brain is in full effect…the forgetting is real. The pain I feel when doing simple, everyday tasks like washing dishes, has me to the point I can’t do them. Walking begins the day painful, yet manageable. Then comes evening and it is hard to walk to the bathroom. There is no exact timeline for any of the side effects to go away. These are the things I have the biggest struggle with…the cancer I can deal with. Upcoming surgery I have no problems with. I’m not even too nervous about radiation. But the side effects, that I have no control over, no guarantee when they will pass…those I have some struggles with me. The struggles have me looking like this some evenings. 

          

             At the beginning and end of each day I remind myself of all the things I have that are blessings to me. Another day to see the sky and spend with those that mean the most to me. The hubs and mini human a close second. Their complete health. The rest of my health. The strength to fight another day. Framily that stand with me has my pack. There is so very much that I am thankful for during this hard season, including this season itself. 

            Just remember big things, my friends! Big things are coming! So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and love hard.  As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

Big Love,

Randi

Banner of Love

Giving up is easy. But when you give up, never realize what could have been. Whither it is a dream, a person or a thing. Jesus did not give up on anyone of us. If he had there would be no resurrection story. There would be no grace. There would be no forgiveness. We were created in the image of God, that truth says to me that we will be given the tools necessary to walk with people through their crap. During the crap most people will push you away. They will be ugly. They will hurt you. Because hurting people hurt people. (This is a truth that has resonated with me for most of my life. At times like a mantra pushing me to love through the hurt. Other times as a reminder to myself to let people love me through my own hurt and not to cause any more damage.)  Often they can’t help it. Because they can’t see past their moment. Sometimes they don’t care to help it. That is where grace comes in. But know it is never about you. I have done my share of pushing people away. I have also done my share of waiting for someone to be there. In those moments all I wanted was someone to see the hurt, damage, yuck and just be there. Sometimes all you need to do is be there.

I have been bought through enough muck that I believe in my heart of hearts, that I am to fight for the weak, the broken, the scared and the misunderstood. I will fight. And when I get weak I will lean into my Jesus, for it is there that my strength will be renewed. I have been called a defender of the weak. I have been teased when I have stood up for the “persecuted” but I do it because no one should ever be picked on. No one should ever feel like their missteps or mistakes or bad choices make then less than a person. I have to really pay attention to myself in this area. I am sarcastic and come from a long line of hurt…it, often times, is far too easy for the venom to flow. Sometimes even before I realize it. I am working hard to do better. I want my words to speak life. I want them to bring life. I them to be encouragement.

I remember this amazing woman of God praying over me and saying the Lord was giving her a picture and the banner over me was love. My verse was Proverbs 20:6 Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find? In that season I did not have the knowledge I needed to fully understand what was being spoken to me. At sixteen it was almost more than I could comprehend. Recently the Lord has brought that back to mind. He has spoken to my heart that the banner was His love through the mucky places I have walked through to get to where I am now. The banner also represents the love He has placed in me for others, particularly the broken, hurting, damaged, scared and misunderstood.

Giving up and letting a person walk through their muck alone robs each person of their gift. One needs the gift of support and companionship. The other needs the gift of seeing their gifts and talents used for a greater purpose then one’s self. Let’s begin the ascent into Fall walking in love and grace. I challenge you to reach out and love someone today. Encourage them to press forward.

Just remember big things my friends! Big things are coming! So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

Big Love,
Randi

 

Disappointment and Delight

Disappointment is hanging over me like a cloud today. I did not expect to get accepted into that art show…but I was also really hoping I would. So when the email came in last night and it was a “you have not be chosen” letter it was a slam. It came on the heels of a not chosen email last week for an event I really thought I had a shot at.

Rejection, let’s call those emails what they are…rejections. Rejection cuts like a knife. When we expect it or try to prepare ourselves for it, we think when it comes in I’ll be fine. Then it comes and we are reminded we are not made of stone.  I know that I am not what they are looking for, or that one qualification is not quite met so I should know quickly that they don’t want me…just a few of the thoughts I tell myself to “prepare” for the rejection to come.  Then it comes in and BAM slammed. Because at our core we believe in fairy tales and wishes come true.

Maybe I am alone in this thought. I’m ok with that, but I wanted to let you know in case you are feeling alone in your rejections and “not chosen”ness, that I am right here with you. I spent two years looking for employment that met my needs and my family’s needs. Two years getting form rejection emails or no acknowledgement at all. Two years applying for jobs just to say I was putting in applications. Positions I could have done in my sleep. Yet, still the rejections came. I am working through the damage that was done. Because God loves me too much to leave me damaged. Working through it can be hard too. However, I am excited to see what is on the other side of this season. Until I get to the over side I am going to press in and get out of this season all that I can.

I have learned that getting the answer we want to the prayers we are praying does not always turn out how we picture them. I am learning that it is ok to not be ok. I am allowed to struggle with moments in my season. Some days are easier to walk through. Other days, like today, are harder. Is it just not getting a place at an art show for my small business…no there are other things on my mind. But I am going to tell this disappointment where it can go. I am going to read and reread this verse until it sinks deep into my soul and strengthens me…But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalms 1:2-3 NIV

That’s what I need today friends, to focus my delight, my mind, my heart back on the Lord. He has a plan that I cannot even imagine and so I am going to wait right here with my coffee.  He never leaves us, never forsakes us and never stops loving us. Even on days we are stuck in our feelings. He loves us too much to leave us there.

We can do this together. We were created for relationship. Just remember big things my friends! Big things are coming! So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

Big Love,                                                                                                                                                       Randi

Beginnings of 2016

Hi there and Hello Friends! I hope I find you well enjoying a big cup of your favorite pick me up beverage. Friends, I have not been at the bench in quite some time. I have been starting a new out of the house job. My pack and I have been moving. My mini cave-girl started kindergarten. The hubs started a new job. The last six months or so have been full of lots of new things for us. We are so excited about where 2016 is taking us. I hope 2016 is starting out wonderfully for you and your pack.

MickyAnn finished off the year well. We had several opportunities to participate in events ranging from outdoor concerts to church bazaars. I am really excited at some of the opportunities that await us. With our pack’s move I will be getting my own studio space. I cannot wait until it is all setup and ready for me to get back to the bench. I have so many ideas and just have not had the space or time to focus on making them happen.

I have so many thoughts running around my head. I am trying to decide which direction to take the blog in. I have been spending a lot of time searching scripture, listening for the Father’s voice and seeking to be challenged in every way He sees the need for a challenge. I want to share the thoughts of my heart with you. I pray they bless you.

One such thought is why are we so hard on ourselves? We believe untruths about ourselves, we talk ourselves into places that only make the hurt worse…we have been created to be amazing beings. We have purposes and talents and tasks to do that only we can do. That is such an encouraging thought for us. I had my mind blown on this thought. If I believe I was created for a purpose and I have been given a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)…Who am I not to seek out my tasks. I am prayerfully seeking out my task. I am so excited to see what happens as we journey forward.

First step is getting the studio all setup. Then get some of the pieces in my head out and made. All the while basking in time with my pack. We have more of that lately and it so wonderful!

So there it is my friends, my thoughts, my heart and maybe even a little rambling. Big things my friends! Big things are coming! So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

Big Love,

Randi

Lies

Hi there and Hello Friends! I hope I find you well enjoying a big cup of your favorite pick me up beverage. I am going to continue taking the blog in a bit of a different direction, as I did last time. I have been spending a lot of time searching scripture, listening for the Father’s voice and seeking to be challenged in every way He sees the need for a challenge. I want to share the thoughts of my heart with you. I pray they bless you.

Do you ever have one thought that runs off into another seemingly unrelated thought? I think about 99.9% of my thought do this. Recently, I have been seeking God about life, the future, parenting, marriage, finances, jobs, heart healing, alone time with Him…and other things. My never seems to turn off. Lately however, when I am reading the Word or listening to Jesus music, as it is called in my house, I am finding my mind and thoughts quieted in a new way. And it is causing me to want to be in those places more and more. But I had to this thought about a kind of round table discussion video I came across on youtube the other day and wanted to explore it. The discussion was about the book The Naked Truth about Sexuality by Havilah Cunningham. I have not yet read this book, though I hope to get my hands on it Very soon. During the discussion Havilah mentions this thought of saving virginity for marriage and how God (there is a whole story there, watch the video) tells her that virginity for marriage does not complete the calling. But rather we are called to be and remain virtuous. I found myself rocked by this thought. And I started to realize there is a whole long list of lies I have been believing and belief in them is and has been tearing me apart. It is destroying who I have been called to be. These lies attempted to destroy my marriage.

This list is not complete by any means…but these are the ones I being called to deal with here and now.

*I will arrive and life will be fixed with marriage.

*Having a perfect home

*I am incapable of doing anything

*Being completely organized and put together like so and so

*Doing stuff

* If I did things like so and so

*Making more money

*If I was/ had what so and so has

*If only the hubs lived up to my teenage list

*If I could just look at my mini cave-girl and she becomes instantly obedient

*Having certain relationships function in certain ways

*Having a child

*Having more children

Somehow if these things were a certain way my life would be better. We have got to stop comparing ourselves to what we see in pictures on Instagram and Facebook. Or anywhere else online. Here’s a though about Instagram…that picture is just an instant/moment in that individual’s life. Our online lives are edited with the highlight reel making it to publication.

These lies I have believed and even told myself to try to get through a day have only taken me farther from the Father’s heart. I have been doing this for years. I believe God is speaking truth into my life. He is telling me to stop believing the lies. To silence the enemy. To know my worth and value in Him. Psalms 18 tells us He saves us from our enemies. John 8 tells us the Devil is a liar. Colossians 3 tells us not to lie to each other. It also gives us a list of how to live together and what not to dos. We have to take care of each other, the first step in that is taking care of ourselves. Guarding our hearts from the lies of the enemy. Stop lying to yourself. Stop believing the lies of the enemy.

So there it is my friends, my thoughts, my heart and maybe even a little rambling. Big things my friends! Big things are coming! So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

Big Love,

Randi

Ramblings

Hi there and Hello Friends! I hope I find you well enjoying a big cup of your favorite pick me up beverage. I am taking today’s blog in a bit of a different direction. I have been very inspective lately. I don’t say introspective because it has not all been internal. Yet, mostly it has. I want to share these thoughts of my heart with you. I pray they bless you.

Life: The actual plan never works out like the plan on paper. It does not always turn out like how your list looks. But that is ok.

Loss: When we feel hurt over losing someone it is because we allowed ourselves to love. We got close and let someone know us and we knew them. There are memories and stories, lessons learned. Losing isn’t fun no matter how the loss occurs, however I would rather “have loved and loss, then to never have loved at all.”

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Love: The love you grow up with, the one you walk through the hard stuff with, the one that allows you grow into yourself is the very best love you can experience. Sometimes love breaks your heart…and that is ok. You will learn some great lessons from a broken heart.

Two are better than one,

Because they have a good return for

Their work:

If one falls down,

His friend can help up.

But pity the man who falls

And has no one to help him up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered,

Two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Family: They are going to teach some of the most important lessons. They are going to hurt deeper than you can even imagine. They will also be there for you when everyone else walks out.

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 1:8

Friends: Sometimes you have to choose who your family is going to be. And sometimes those people do not share your DNA. There will be those that you think will never leave you and you will wake up one day and realize that time has pulled you in different directions.

The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

God: His promises are real. Every last one of them are real! He has never failed me, just like He promised…even when I walked away. Even when I told him I was done and turned my back, it was then He promised He would be right there waiting with open arms. And He was!

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 1 Thessalonians 3:3

Truth: Must be spoken in love. But it must be spoken. Telling people what you think they want to hear is not enough. They need to hear you speak the truth.

Reckless words pierce like a sword,

But the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

Therapy: Can work, if you do the work. You CANNOT just say you want things to be different. You have to make them different. Sitting on a couch and having someone telling how to change isn’t going to make it happen. You have to get up off the couch! No one can do it for you!

Dance: loves my very soul. I spent years being strengthened, healed and loved by this art form. Then I just walked away. I don’t know why now, but I know as I walk my mini human explore this form of expression I am reminded how much I love it.

Parenting: is NOT easy. It means I have to make a choice every day, sometimes every minute. It makes me feel like the biggest failure most days. Then there is this one moment every now and then that validates every times I have been consistent, was worth it. Being momma is the greatest honor I have ever been blessed with.

Jewelry: Wither I get to build a career out of making jewelry. Or it continues to be more like a hobby with occasional pieces ordered and bought, jewelry making has been an incredible learning experience for me. I love making rings, setting cabs, cutting jump rings and making chainmaille. I love the look on someone’s face when they open a piece of jewelry I have made has a gift. I love the lessons I have been able to teach my daughter through jewelry. I look forward to seeing where jewelry and I travel in the future.

So there it is my friends, my thoughts, my heart and maybe even a little rambling. Big things my friends! Big things are coming! So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

Big Love,

Randi