Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Journey of Intention

Pretty, no?
Yesterday I was wondering around Barnes and Noble (as I so often do, it's one of my happy places), picking up this and that, venti americano in hand and peace in my heart. Something about being surrounded by books, all of those words and stories just waiting be discovered. Whole worlds in slim volumes of poetry and prose. I could wax on but I think you get the picture. The journal section is one of my very favorites. I have more journals than I could every possibly fill with my own words. I'm constantly buying new ones. I can remember being a child and getting my first diary. Having my own secret place to store my words - it was a sort of magic to me. I've collected words ever since. Scraps and stories and others peoples voices, I keep it all, or I try to anyway.

Anyway (you can see I have I a bit of a problem with words, excessive adjectives and commas that stretch sentences past the point of good grammar) a smallish, chunky like, turquoise book caught my eye, mainly for it's pretty design. Nothing like a good layout (in my personal opinion). The front cover reads 'Starting Today, a Journal of Intention and Change'. Inside each page has a place for the date and at the top is written 'Starting today, I will...' followed by blank lines challenging you to fill them with all your good intentions. The idea is to turn your intention into real change. And I absolutely love it. I also picked up (an even smaller, chunkier, adorable) another book called 'Think Happy, Be Happy: Art, Inspiration, Joy'. It's filled with gorgeous hand lettering and typography that form quotes of encouragement and love. The perfect accompaniment to my new journal.
A million times yes!!

The book was over with the journal, in the journal section, totally not where it was supposed to be. When I found them a light seemed to go on, that feeling when the Holy Spirit says 'yes, do it, go on, this is for you'. I've been feeling a lack of direction in my spiritual life. Don't get me wrong, I feel connected, but I also feel like I can not decipher what God is trying to do with me right now. A lot of negative things have been happening lately , and it truly seems as if there is a force trying to interfere with the Holy Spirit working in and around me. Now, I'm not sure exactly where I stand on the idea of Satan. But I keep getting thwarted as I try to truly step out towards The Lord. I just don't know. So all of this has left me feeling as though I need to clarify my intentions, my direction. 'Lord lead my feet to the path you want me walking'.
Because I'm happy :)

Having a place set apart to keep these thoughts makes it special, makes it an intentional step towards Him. My first intention is to be kinder to people. To be full of gratitude for his grace, so full that it spills out to those around me. I want to show his grace. To my family, friends, strangers on the street. Just writing and making this intention has filled me with his love. I know I'm human, and flawed. I know I will not always be kind. But I want to be a light - as Jesus called us to be.

I honestly feel different after doing this. And it's so simple. Grab a notebook and a pen, you don't need a special journal from Barnes and Noble, and write down something you intend to change. About your behavior, your connections, your attitude - whatever is weighing on your heart. You know what it is. Pray as you are writing, turn the words themselves into prayer. You can have all the good intentions in the world, but without The Lord and his grace that's all they will remain - intentions. No true change of heart will come of it. That's the piece that is missing from the little introduction in the beginning of my journal. And it's too bad because that is truly the crucial piece. I know that without His grace I'm just sort of fumbling about, running on my own self importance and pride. It doesn't work, I tried it for many years.

I'm not going to do an intention a day the way the journal is meant to be used. I think that cheapens the intentions, making them disposable in a way, like it's just on to the next one. I want to actively work on being kinder, allowing the spirit to work through me. I want to be so full of his grace that the Devil has no room to get in. It all starts with the intention. Let Him take it from there.

I'll probably be doing a series on these intentions, and I would LOVE if you wanted to join in and keep your own intention journal. I would be honored if you would share them with me, and if you want to keep it private you could email me. I can just sense a big change coming, and I just want to shout His name from the rooftops. I want to be an instrument for change, his change. It has to start somewhere, right? Why not here? Why not now?

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?"

So I came upon this poem. And I read it. And reread it. I took out my highlighter. I made notes. I decided I absolutely had to share it with you. I'm not going to muddle it up any more with my own clumsy words. I'll just leave it here for you. Read it twice, trust me. Oh and the added emphasis is mine. The poets name is Mary Oliver, and the poem is titled "Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches?". Please let me know if it resonates with you as well. I need to talk to someone about it!

“Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives-
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey,
hanging from the branches of the young locust trees,
in early morning, feel like?
Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over
the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life! 
Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?

Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left -
fields everywhere invite you into them.
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?

Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!
To put one’s foot into the door of the grass,
which is the mystery, which is death as well as life,
and not be afraid!
To set one’s foot in the door of death,
and be overcome with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle, that have opened in the night,

To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!
Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,
and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.

Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses: deny me not, but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them.
Maybe I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.

For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!
A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves,
and what’s coming next is coming with its own heave and grace.
Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.

What more could one ask?
And I would touch the faces of the daises,
and I would bow down to think about it.
That was then, which hasn’t ended yet.
Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.
I climb, I backtrack. I float.
I ramble my way home.”
~ Mary Oliver,
”West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems”

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A peak inside my studio

Signed and dated for when I become all super famous

I love you Patti Smith

'Blessed' sign still available in the shop
'Deer Woman' by the fab Paula Tamara Hoss
Trying my damnedest not laugh

All of the insanely pretty photos are courtesy of uber talented (and totally cool) Lindsey Mae Child of Lindsey Mae Photography who was so kind as to come shoot my space and do some product photography. I couldn't be more pleased with the results and our budding friendship! I just love cool people. And Lindsey is cool people. It sounds trite (yay we're so cool), but I just want to surround myself with creatives, people hungry for life, chasing after The Lord with all their passion, doing what he created them to do, and doing it beautifully! Filled with his spirit!!

The Lord created us for fellowship, and I just love his design!

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