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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Hard Seasons

Hard seasons have their time. Sometimes they arrive and you see them coming. Those hard times are rare. More often than not they come out of nowhere. Like at 714am when the phone rings. Or 8am when the tech says have you been referred to a surgeon. Or at 2pm when the surgeon calls and says Ms. Bryant it is cancer. Hard seasons are handled differently with each of those calls and questions. The 714 call caused me to come completely unhinged. I made choices and did things I am not proud of in the name of being hurt and lost. Hurt and lost I was. Hurt I still am. Healing takes time. It also takes work. Work my 24 year old self could not have done. Work my almost 34 year old self is more than ready to begin doing. It is a journey I have been on for a couple of years now. When you get to a place where you know you are the one, the thing standing in your way, you start to make changes. At least I have. Setting boundaries. That has been my first step. It has been the hardest step for me. Putting me first in a healthy way feels very unhealthy and unnatural to me. Thus the hardest part right now. Accepting, not just realizing, but accepting that I cannot change another person. No matter the person, no matter the thing that I deem needs to change. I am the only one I can work on. The only thing I can do is love the people. That can be hard. People suck. People are selfish. People are rude. People are hurting so they hurt other people. But love them I most. It is how my blood flows through my veins. The desire to love people. I don’t like to make complaints, even in all the complaining about people sucking because I don’t want to get people in trouble. But I truly believe if we all just loved each other with the understanding that we don’t know everything the other person is walking through or dealing with and just love them in the moments we encounter them they entire world would turn ever that much smoother.

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

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

 

Heart Hurt

Today my heart hurts. The hurt makes me sad. But I have decided to try a different approach…today I am thankful. I am thankful that my heart hurts because it means I had the opportunity to be close with someone. I had the opportunity to know and be known. I was afforded the opportunity to love and be loved in return. I had the opportunity to make memories, mistakes, to take chances and be vulnerable.

Once we get older it becomes harder to do any of those things. We don’t want to make mistakes and be seen a fool. We don’t take chances for fear of missing up. We are too often too “busy” to make memories because we trying so hard to “keep up appearances”.  Today I am going to try to take chances. I am going to take time to make a memory or two with my humans. I am going to tell my humans that I love them.

Because I don’t know if I will have another chance to make sure they know that I would go to the ends of the earth for them. I am not wake up tomorrow. I may not even make it to bedtime tonight. So I am going to take the moment I do have make sure they know I love them.

Nine years ago today my very best friend was taken off of the machines that were helping sustain her life. A week before that day she was involved in a horrible accident. My heart will never be the same. Her other humans will never be the same. Today I choose to remember the good times…all of the memories that were made before that fateful day. The carnival night. Too much sparkling grape juice. Six hours in Walmart. Joy riding through the county we loved. All of the memories that our friendship was built on.

Take time today friends to tell your humans how much they mean to your heart. Chose vulnerable or closed off. Hug someone a little tighter. Sit at the feet of Jesus and let Fight for the people you have neglected. Most of all love, completely, without expectations.

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

345

345am is not the same when you are working third shift versus being awoken at the hour. Having worked third shift my heart hurts for those who work that shift then try to do life on a “normal” schedule. Kids activities when the sun is up. Planning times to gather with family and friends. Something always seems to be sacrificed. Friends, I pray you are able to find balance.

On the other hand being woken up by my mini cave-girl at 345am because she needs to snuggle, then having a full on tantrum occurring that results in both of us not going back to sleep, makes for a very long day. Tears have been shed. Were in fact shed before 7am.

I spent a year working 12am to 8am. Six months of that working 12:30pm to 8:30pm, then 12am to 8am. My clock is all messed up. For the last two months I have been working 8:30am to 4:30pm…over here just living the dream. Ha. Ha. Now I am finding it harder to keep my eyes open. Balance is hard in the transitions.

Mini cave-girl doesn’t want her own, super cool room after sharing a room with mommy and daddy for over a year. I on the other hand like that we each have our own space to make our own. She will appreciate it soon. I am struggling with being able to see my new studio space, tools and supplies just sitting there waiting for me. But unable to break away from all of the demands of life, work, child, husband, organizing and purging a new house…transitions, my friends, are hard! Finding balance is the goal. I’ll get there. So will you. We can get there together.

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

 

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