Friday, January 17, 2014


I need reminders.

I am forgetful.

It is one reason that I create art.

To solidify something in my brain.

Things that are true, noble, good, excellent, praiseworthy.

It's easy enough to remember the thing that cause me to grumble.

But there are things that I want to always remember.

Moments that matter.

With people that matter.

Creating memorials.

Of lessons learned and happy moments, miracle moments.

Surrounding myself with words and pictures and color

that reminds me

what I believe and how to live.

~ * ~

Monday, January 13, 2014


New year.
Sharing 3 things with links today.

What is helping me lately?

My brother gave me Ann Voskamp's latest book The Greatest Gift for Christmas.
Although it is a Christmas (December) devotional,
I am making it my January daily devotional.
And it is good in the quiet, whiteness, newness, and cold of January,
because my mind is quiet so that I can hear and linger on the messages.
You can get your copy here: The Greatest Gift
She leads a scripture memory journey on her blog too!

Click above to read her post if you find yourself needing to heal.
In the few years before I discovered Melody Ross,
I had found that there was a war between truth and lies
in my head and heart, 
and my belief and life was all wrapped up and tangled up in this war.
As I began to identify truth through Bible study, prayer, and journaling,
and then receive truth upon and within myself, I found healing and freedom.
Melody writes about this kind of healing in this post.
She reminds me of Esther.
That her role (as is each of ours) is for such a time as this.
And like the book of Esther, the name of God is not printed in it,
but the evidence of His hand and His Spirit is all over it.
It is work.  No doubt about it.
The next one here below supports this journey of finding truth...

Beth Moore:  If and Then
Oh how I have put conditions and criteria on my prayers and faith for God to meet . . . 
This video series is SO HELPFUL for my heart.
You can watch them on Life Today by clicking the links below.
Also is immersed in Queen Esther.

What am I learning lately?

Here are two places I am going to be learning to grow and refine my writing and art:

Connecting our writing with others through connection with the land.

(2) Studying Under the Masters by Jeanne Oliver and amazing artists
Becoming an apprentice ~ learning from the masters.

If you are up for learning something new, click the links above.
They begin TODAY and TOMORROW respectively.
I hope to share more here as my learning journey moves forward here.

What am I creating lately?

In the immediate future, as in a week from tomorrow,
I will be heading to our state capital, Pierre, South Dakota,
to have a Made In South Dakota display
at the South Dakota Governor's Conference on Tourism.
It is an honor to me to be selected.
Below are just a few of the pieces in progress.
Lots of travel, journey, adventure, and honoring the place of South Dakota
going into these pieces.

What is helpful to you lately?
I'd love to know.  Sharing with each other helps.
What are you learning lately?
What are you creating lately?

{I'd love to read, see, hear.  Happy new year.}

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Snowflakes On My Shoulders

Snowflakes.  Oh my.
When they come soft and slow,
their crystalline beauty is unmatched.

Common knowledge tells us that no two snowflakes are alike.
We can let that sail in one ear and out the other
and completely miss the significance of it . . . the miracle of it.

But, did you know that man-made snow machine snow is globular?
It is not crystalline and unique.
And in that, there is an arrow toward the sacred.

Just as no two snowflakes are identical, neither are any two human beings identical--
even identical twins.

In that also, there is an arrow toward the divine.
Planned, purpose, intention.
In all our normal-ness
In all our strengths
In all our weaknesses
In all our quirkiness
In all our fine points
In all our coarse points
In our youth
In our age
In our victories
In our defeats
In our triumphs
In our tragedies

We are known and we are designed in the image of God and that is marvelous.
{Psalm 139 and Genesis 1:27}

Saturday, we shared a time together celebrating and honoring
uniqueness through snowflakes and art and storytelling.

I shared the story about three little mouse friends
 by Kevin Henkes called Chester's Way,
which beautifully illustrates in word and pictures,
why we are unique:  because we need each other.

We were each created with one-of-a-kind-ness
with the purpose of helping each other, supporting each other.

Why is this important?
I spent many years comparing myself and wishing that I was more like other people.
Often, I thought there was something wrong with me
because I was quiet, slow-to-speak, introverted, and interested in birds.
I wanted to be outgoing, bold, confident and courageous, colorful, and make friends quickly.
If only, I was this or that...

Some people may not struggle with those feelings or questions.
And so perhaps this message is not for those.
But for those who do question themselves and their value and worth
thinking their lives would be better if they were more like others.

But what I found
is that when I embraced my interests and passions,
and accepted that I was introverted and a bookworm
and contemplative,
I began to thrive as a person.
I began to share from my heart.
I began to offer what I had to give others.
I became myself.
I became and began to live who I was meant to be.

It certainly doesn't mean that I do it perfectly.
Or that it is always easy.
Or that I don't get called out of my comfort zone.
Because it's not about being comfortable.
It is able listening to the real and true and deep whispers of your heart.
And living from there.
I believe there is a place deep within us that was intended by God.
That is being shaped and guided by Him
with love and truth and joy.
I believe that when His Spirit is within us,
we are on the journey of becoming our true selves.

Snowflakes and wildflowers and individuality remind me of all of that.

And at the heart of it all . . . 
is the body of Christ.
We are all made differently with purpose and intention.

I believe that.
Not to make us arrogant, proud, or boastful,
but that we each were given uniqueness
for the benefit of all.
Not to be used and trampled,
but to come alongside in love and relationship.

When I read Chester's Way,
a story about little mice named Chester and Wilson and Lily,
I am reminded of the body of Christ.

It is simply good

that you are you

and I am me.

I like to say,

Be you. It takes all kinds.

Because it does.

It is not just sentiment.

When it comes right down to it,

it is biblical

and it is live giving relief and security

instead of jealousy and insecurity.

"The part you have to play is as unique and beautiful
as a snowflake
and one only you can fulfill." 
~ Jane Lee Logan

It is a beautiful thing to fit together.

Chester and Wilson were so much alike.
Lily was so different than them.
And they needed her strengths that were different from theirs.

We can be who God made us to be.

And that will be most honoring to God,
beneficial to those around us, 
and fulfilling to our own hearts.