Low Key

I have celebrated big all along this journey. Hokey day just because I felt good. Trip to the beach when I finished the first round of chemo. A long trip to the beach when I completed Chemo all together. I was thrown a party just before I had a double mastectomy. 

Now here I am at the end of radiation. Done this intital leg of cancer. And I cannot think of any better way to celebrate than with my favorite two humans at our favorite restaurant. So low key it is. 

 Cancer will not defined me, but it won’t ever leave me alone. I will have more frequent doctors appointments then I did before. I will begin medication in two weeks that I will likely take the rest of my life. Some of my chemo side effects will be with me always. Those are just the realities. Cancer is a journey you don’t come back from the same. You don’t get to the end and move forward as if nothing happens. You and those closest to you, those that haven’t left your side, will be forever changed.

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

Advertisements

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

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

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

 

Journies: Old & New

Greetings Friends!

This past week is ending full of feelings of calm, peace, mixed with just a little nervousness. I have been preparing for a vendor event coming this coming Saturday June 27, 2015 at Glen Maury Park Buena Vista, Virginia. This event is very near and dear to my heart because it is a Rock’ N 4 Autism event to raise funds and awareness for Blue Ridge Autism & Achievement Center Buena Vista satellite school. I am excited to spend the day in Buena Vista listening to music, hanging out with my jewelry and being a part of this great event. Keep up with information for the event here: https://www.facebook.com/rockn4autismva.

This week has also brought with it the decision to begin the journey of consulting with Usborne Books & More. Literacy is of great importance to me. I hold a career certificate in early childhood development. One of my beliefs about development is that literacy begins in infancy. Usborne’s stance on literacy is one of the many reasons that Usborne appeals to me so much. I have 11 weeks to meet some goals, to get this journey started. Here is my website: http://j4729.myubam.com/. Check out our products and let me know if you are interested in having a facebook party or if you are local we can have a home party. I look forward to hearing from you!

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

Moving Swiftly

Greetings Friends! My oh My! How can it be six months since I have written. This journey continues to move swiftly.

Out of the house jobs continue to be a challenges for both hubs and myself. My mini-cavegirl has turned five and graduated from preschool. So much growing up; losing teeth, learning new tasks and becoming more independent with each passing day. How did she get big enough to get herself in the car and all buckled in? Many, many things my momma’s heart just aches over some days.

The jewelry just feels better every day. I have been working on the bezel sets. Rings are not where I want them…but that is why it is called a journey. But man, are they getting awesome. Chainmaille is really hitting it out of the park too. I have been comparing my jump rings to some of the first ones I ever cut and wowzers have they just gotten better too! I love being able to see the improvement within myself.

I have had one vendor event so far this season. It went amazingly! Another coming up in two weeks (I’ll get back to my every week schedule and share more next week). I am hoping to get a few more events on the calendar. Getting out and setting up my tables, then getting to meet people is one of my favorite things about events. Here are last year verses this year photos of my booth setup…talk about improvements!

Big things my friends! Big things are coming! I hope this first half of 2015 has started out with greatness headed towards much blessings! 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

Setup 2014
Setup 2014
What a difference a year can make!
What a difference a year can make!