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Monday, April 29, 2013

random miracles


Happy to report our heartbreak over the neighbors moving didn't actually kill any of us.  Despite the crazy crying and sadness...we are still kicking.  Miracle.  Sometimes it feels like it will though right?  We've all lost people.  All dealt with disappointment and tremendous sadness.  Remembering the "in crisis" signs on the Golden Gate...people really do feel like their lives are over and the pain will never subside when faced with trials.  But it does subside and life goes on. Tomorrow is always a new day.  Hopefully a much better brighter day.

When little chick brought home a redbud seedling from school, on the night we had our final goodbye, I couldn't think of a more fitting farewell memory.  Together they planted that little hopes that it would take root...that it would continue to grow.  I'm praying the same thing over their lives.  That they will make the tremendous effort it takes to keep their friendship alive.  Even in this day and age of technology it takes a valiant two sided effort and sometimes even the best intentions fade with time.  It's definitely not easy. 

But Bree is a special little girl.  She's determined and relentless.  I know she'll do her part.  I feel it.  The friendship WILL grow.  It just will.  In one of the last conversations I had with her she said..."You never know where God will take you..."  Out of the mouths of babes;)  I just love it when children speak truth.  Speak God's wisdom.  Love her.  Yep you never know girl where God will take you.  Trusting His perfect plan over you and your sweet family and ours:)

In other random news I had a strange spot pop up on my hand literally over night a few weeks ago.  It was on my palm.  It was small, but really really dark.  You can barely see it in this pic.  It bugged me.  It was weird, and it just made me something wasn't right.  On vacation I vowed to get it checked out as soon as we got home and I remember shooting up an arrow prayer.  Hey Lord...can you get rid of this thing on my hand??  It bothers me and I don't like it.  Thanks:) 

We were sitting on the plane getting ready to fly home from vacation when I looked down and noticed it was gone.  Completely disappeared...couldn't even tell where it had been!!  I whooped and hollered and high fived my peeps and deep down I felt like I had a little miracle happen.  He did that just for me.  He was listening.  It was a special and my Savior.  He cares about the teeniest tiniest details of our lives. 

The miracles don't always come right away.  The signs aren't always flashing that He's listening...that He's present...but He is.  HE IS!  And I know that He's not only got the little things covered, but those big, sometimes unspoken things are being pieced together as well.  The puzzle is taking shape.  The pieces are being picked out, and one by one He is placing them right where they are meant to be.


One of my favorite Shane & Shane songs:

**Linking random with Carissa today:)

Be a blessing.

my honey's 40th
hope springs new
miracles do happen:)
truffles in a sweet fox easter basket
belts sent my way...thank you mary!
birthday wishes waiting to be opened;)

friends that come and go, but stay in the heart...
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013



This is the post I shouldn't be writing.  The one where I'm at my computer weeping as I type.  Wishing I was less emotional.  That I wasn't a complete basket case all the time. Wishing I could care a little less.  Not hold on so tight.  Wondering why I'm wired to feel so much...
Our sweet neighbors across the street are moving.  I can't even believe that I'm typing this.  It all happened SO fast.  Boom!  They are leaving us today.  Heading to Texas.  I'm really surprised that I'm taking it this hard.  That it hurts this bad.  I'm horrible with goodbyes, but more than anything I'm dreading the hurt and longing that is coming my little chick's way.  The summer without her constant companion at her beck and call.
They have three little girls and Bree was my little chick's bestie.  From the second we drove into our new Virginia home Bree was at our doorstep.  Asking to play every single day.  She was the perfect distraction.  The perfect transition to leaving Minnesota behind.  In one gallant swoop the Lord provided just what my girl needed.  What we needed.  Their sweet Christian family instantly provided a feeling of safety...of not being alone here. 
I sat in their living room last night visiting with the mom.  It was the first time I'd ever sat on her couch:/  We had gotten together for dinner a few times.  We'd walked the neighborhood as a family at Halloween, waved daily across the street, chatted at our mailboxes...borrowed sugar etc...  But nothing super close and every day. 
And as I sat there I kept wondering why I didn't make the time to invest more in our friendship.  Why didn't I pursue her more??  Why did I hole myself up in my studio so much when we could have been sipping sweet tea on my porch swing??  I took her for granted and now she's leaving:/  Have I stopped trying?  Am I guarded?  Is the time investment, and possibility for pain and heartache too much for me anymore??  Why are the online...long distance friendships so much easier?  Am I too busy?  I don't know.

I'm constantly reminding myself that we are in a season.  That God knows just who and what we need.  That there is a bigger picture.  That He is holding us tightly in the palm of His hands.  And I know that I know that I KNOW it's all true.  It will work out.  It always does.  I'm just in that place.  In the middle.  Wanting to know the end.  Wanting to feel that safety net.  To know others. To be known and loved and to have lots of people...wondering if this is where we belong.  That's it.  Belonging.

Be a blessing.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

riding the unicorn

I really should be working, but it's the first time I've had the house all to myself since we've gotten back and I'm missing my people.  Missing last week.  So I'm being a little self indulgent and reflecting a bit.

We were blessed to be able to rent a beautiful house right on the Merced river in Yosemite for four glorious days.  From the deck you could hear the loud rushing of the rapids.  You could watch the water rushing over the huge boulders.  I miss that sound.  It was constant.  It was powerful.  It more or less erased every thought.  Except at the pitch black.  Standing on the deck listening to the water and not being able to see it freaked me out:/

All week long we had driven by these beautiful lupine flowers along the road.  I really just wanted to snap a picture with the river behind it.  Capture the beauty somehow.  Brand it into my brain.  The whole thing...the river, the pops of color...the joy in my spirit man.  The search for peace and calm.

It's the quest for relaxation that almost makes it hard find.  Does that make sense?  It never fails that the first day or two are usually a nightmare for us on vacation.  Honey and I are at each other.  We usually get lost...can't figure out where or what we should be doing.  Panic sets in that we are wasting our precious vacay time.  My little had a cold that popped up over night.  So sniff, sniff...SNIFF!  Living out of a suitcase is chaos for me.  I can't find anything.  I get grouchy etc...  SHAME!  We are supposed to be having fun.  Relaxing;)

And on this day we did.  We found it!!  We did absolutely nothing.  We walked barefoot around the property.  We laid by the pool.  We took a simple walk down "our" lane.  We found bliss in pinecones, tree carvings, wildflowers, birds tweeting...that never ending sound of rushing water. 

We walked slow.  We didn't rush.  There was nowhere to be.  No maps to follow.  No clocks to watch.  Just bears to scout for in the hills.  Which much to my disappointment we didn't see:(
The girls easily fell into step here...playing Barbie.  Role playing auditions.  Romping with each other;)  We did a little exercise routine in the living room every morning to get our blood flowing.  We ate poptarts on the deck.  We watched hours of The Voice curled up on the couch in a huddle.  We found our groove.  We captured the elusive relaxation unicorn and rode it hard.   

By the end of our stay in Yosemite I never wanted to leave.  I seriously never wanted to plug back in.  It felt right the four of us.  The remote location.  The lack of a cell phone in my hand.  The river rushing...beckoning me to listen.  To listen.  To see... to really SEE!  And that my friends is what it really is all about.  Now if only I could somehow incorporate those four days into my  It's high on my priority list.  Somehow...someway I will figure out:)

Hope you don't mind, but I've got soooo much more to share.

Be a blessing.

big bear hugs
gravel roads
the sound of rushing water
no cell phone reception
my people
nature in all it's glory
God's blessings

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

His grace is sufficient

Good morning sweet blog...sweet blog friends.  I've missed you!!  Feels like we've been gone a solid month. No exaggeration. We broke our vacation into three mini trips and wowza we were busy, and relaxed and BUSY, but relaxed;)

So I was laying in bed this morning, in a post-vacation fog, feeling completely overwhelmed, and instead of revisting the last week and how incredibly amazing it was I let the world crash in around me.  I got that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Dread set in.  Why God why??  Vacation is an escape.  I use it to leave everything and everyone behind.  I drop my brain off at the door and seriously forget anything exists, but beauty and fun and my sweet family.

Then reality comes flooding back in and there is a to-do list a mile long.  There are neighbors packing up and leaving us.  There are world events that didn't seem to touch us while we were in lala land.  Then there are the many in my life desperately in need of prayer.  It shifts the view.  It's a priority check.  Life isn't just fun, relaxation and the search of serenity, it's in your on your toes hard.  Too hard for me, but not for Him:)

I spent a good amount of time listening to one cd on the trip...The One You Need by Shane & Shane.  Seriously good stuff.  I drank in the lyrics.  Each one speaking directly to my heart.  This song keeps playing over and over in my head.

My grace is sufficient

What are you gonna do
When the doctor comes
Into the waiting room
Puts his hand on you
And says I'm sorry?

What are you gonna say to God
When all you do is pray to God
To take the thorn away?
And all you hear Him say is:

My grace, My grace
My grace is sufficient
My grace is sufficient

What are you gonna do
When your neighbor walks
Into your living room
And you to tell him
Who could deliver them
Like He delivered you?

What are you gonna say to God
When all you do is pray to God
For them to know His name
And all you hear Him say is:

My grace, My grace
My grace is sufficient

My grace is sufficient's beautiful. 
I'll be back at some point. 
After I edit approximately a million pictures and restock my shop;)  
It's reopening soon....eeeeek! 
Have a blessed week. 
His grace is sufficient!!!!

giant trees that touch the sun
waves crashing over and over again
warm sand that melts me to mush
poptarts for breakfast
water that sparkles like diamonds
crisp air that leaves me intoxicated
beauty that brings me to tears
precious time with my peeps

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Friday, April 12, 2013

pushing 40

I took these pictures exactly one year ago today.  We were in Palm Springs...staying in that glass house.  Remember this post??  The lighting was interesting.  I couldn't help, but take a few self pics.  I was getting ready to turn 39 in a few weeks.  I wanted to capture my face and freeze it in time;) 

It's a year later.  I'm 33 days away from the big 4-0.  If I was on the ball I would have written this post 7 days ago and entitled it 40 until 40, but I'm not that organized. Shocker;)  I had ideas of doing a 40 by 40 bucket list type thing.  You know 40 things I would want to achieve, by the time I'm 40.  That didn't happen either:/  Geesh the pressure I put on myself.  Why??  Like 40 means it's all over??  Throw in the towel...your time is up...ha!  Thank God that's not true.

What is it about 40 that freaks most of us out?  For me it's this giant number looming large.  Like I should have all my ducks in order.  I should have that book written by now.  I should have lost those last ten pounds.  I should have achieved all my goals!  I should've... 

And I'll be really honest.  I haven't.  I weighed this morning...for the first time in ages.  I'm right where I'm always at.  Dang this middle aged body;)  Like I thought magically, without any dietary restrain, those 10 extra pounds would've magically melted away.  That book...not quite started:0

And here's the kicker.  I can tell I'm approaching 40 because I'm getting to the point where the strive for "perfection" doesn't appeal to me AT ALL anymore.  I mean don't get me wrong, I'm not ready to give up and go all frumpy.  I'm not bowing out on my dreams...I couldn't even if I tried;)  It's just that I'd much rather walk than run.  I'd much rather have a piece of chocolate than a green drink.  I'm going to do what's there and not force it.  I just want to be a little selfish and enjoy myself more.  Is that so wrong??  (I'm also pmsing...can you tell?)  My 30's were about pushing...striving.  Maybe the 40's are about settling in and enjoying the ride.  And it is a ride...going very very fast.  If we don't enjoy it, and look around a bit, pretty soon it's all going to be nothing but a big giant blur. 

So that's where I'm at.  My random thoughts on aging.  I hear it's great...the 40's.  Unless all of you have lied to me!;)  At this very moment I'm heading somewhere pretty cool to enjoy some down time with my precious peeps.  It's part of my "enjoy every moment" campaign lol!!  Can you guess where we're going?  If you can't wait to find out follow along on IG...@ farmgirlpaints

Oh and I'd love to hear 3 things that you absolutely love about yourself...your body, your personality, your life!  We are all so blessed, but it's easy to point out the negatives.  Tell me what you LOVE!  I'll be back soon.  With lots of stories to tell I'm sure.

I'll start...
1.) I love my smile and that my eyes crinkle a bit:)
2.) I love that I'm creative.
3)  I love that I get to stay home and explore that creativity;)

Be a blessing.

adventure seeking family members
sleeping in
eating whatever...whenever
crisp fresh air
people watching
nature at it's finest
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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

when all seems lost

Life is weird.  I'm sitting on the good side right now.  Everything is going pretty smoothly. I'm not in a valley.  There isn't any major drama going on.  No one's sick.  We are provided for.  The bills are being met.  Happiness and joy abound in our house. 

I'm hesitant to even type that.  Like some giant shoe might drop, but I know better.  Each one of my immediate family members has something they are praying for...believing for.  But it seems minor in the big scheme of things.  We are blessed.

But it seems that most of my close peeps are in major crisis mode. I've written about it a lot lately.  SO MANY around me are struggling. We are talking major disappointments. Tears on the phone...not knowing what to say...there are no words...kind of phone calls.  

I found myself hesitate recently to say "I'm praying for you".  Shocker I know.  I just wrote a post about praying for my people...and I do.  But these closest to me have heard me say it over and over and over again. I'm afraid saying it again just sounds hollow and brings light to the fact that yes...we are STILL praying and it's apparent your situation hasn't changed yet, but...

I know they are feeling forgotten. I know there has to be feelings of why God why? Why are you allowing this? Why does everything have to be SO HARD? Why can't life be easier? Why can't it all just work out ONCE!!!!!

And I feel like my words have dried up. I feel like I don't know what to say anymore. So I listen. And I say over and over again...I know.  And more than anything I want to wave a magic wand and step in and fix every little thing. I want to play God. Wouldn't that be fun? To have the power to make all the pain and suffering go away. To magically make it all RIGHT again!

But in my heart...deep down in there I know there is a reason for that suffering. It doesn't make a bit of sense to me. It really doesn't, but I know there is a bigger plan. There are things going on that are only known to HIM and that has to be enough.

He promises in His word to work for our good. He promises to direct our path. He promises us a hope and a future. HE PROMISES...  And even in the darkest of moments. Even when all seems's not. It's never over. You are never forgotten. Never alone, because He never lets go!


And I know that I know that even when it feels like the other side is winning... That's not how it goes down for us!!!  We are HIS.  He is triumphant.  WE ARE TRIUMPHANT!!!! I don't need the right words.  I don't have to have a magic wand or crystal clear answers.  I can listen.  I can be there to love, but HE is the fixer.  He will do His thing.  He's got this.

Be a blessing.


 **All pics taken at Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, SC with this sweet family. Parts of the Notebook were filmed here, and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively recently got married at the Plantation:))

blessed assurance
picnicking with friends
exploring God's earth
cotton fields
a camera that captures
friends that share the same interests
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