Monday, December 31, 2012

{I've learned | Personal}

I wrote this back in November this year.. but I think many people related to it.. so I'm going to share it again...
It's been a tough year...

I've had to make tough decisions that I never wanted.
I've had to face moments that broke my heart.
I've learned who my true friends are.
I've had to learn what I tolerate. What I do not.
I've learned that self-respect teaches respect.
I've had to sort lies from truth.
I've learned you are never as alone as you think you are.
I've learned that sometimes a road less tak
en is necessary.
I've learned to walk forward anyway.
I've learned to ignore misinformed opinions.
I've accepted that sometimes people just don't know.
I've accepted that I answer to only ONE. The One.
I've learned to be less quick to assume others circumstances.
I've learned to be less quick to judge another's decision.
I've had to forgive and I'm still working on forgiving.
I've accepted His grace to be forgiven.
I've had to accept that the world is full of broken people.
I've had to accept that I am one.
I've learned that churches are hospitals healing the broken.
I've learned that no one is without issues.
I've learned that choices bring consequence.
I've accepted for Him to carry me during the lowest points.
I've learned to be thankful for new things. Small things.
I've accepted the fragility of trust.
I've learned the importance of honesty.
I've accepted that He knows the plans He has for me.
I've learned to pray harder over my kids than ever before.
I've learned to let go, in more ways than I wanted to.
I've learned that even the best laid plans require faith.
I've learned that God can use many an unexpected catalyst.
I've learned that silence is necessary to hear.
I've learned that self pity doesn't pay bills. Hard work does.
I've learned that accolades don't match a child's love.
I've learned that pain is not optional... but growth is.
I'm learning that night doesn't last forever.
I'm learning that beauty can come from ashes.
I'm learning to trust Him in all circumstances.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

{I am a Mom | Personal}

I am a mom.
To two amazing kids.
I juggle a more than FT job and two busy kids with busy lives.
Basketball games and concerts. Practices. Overnights.
On Sundays I cook them a super amazing meal.
They laugh at me when I photograph it.
On Friday nights we get pizza.
Sometimes I give orders.
Sometimes they talk back.
Sometimes they dust when I don't ask them to.
Sometimes they leave notes on my desk.
Sometimes their "I love you mom" makes me cry.
When I look at them I think they are the most beautiful kids ever.
And I beam ear to ear with pride.
Often they surprise me with a hug out of no where.
I fold never-ending laundry on the dining room table.
I tell them every day that their rooms need cleaned up.
I remind them twice to brush their teeth.
Every day I pick up shorts in the bathroom and water bottles in the living room.
Help them with their homework and sometimes have to check myself on the math I don't remember.
Pay bills and edit pix when they sleep. Jam out at my desk.
Have to remind myself to take a break - they are growing, moments are fleeting, this job is not as important as them.
Laugh our butts off with whoopie cushions at Dollar General.
I jokingly blame them for my gray hairs.
I photograph them - even when they are sick of it.
I post photos of them and tell them they are the cutest kids ever. They smile because they believe me.

Having children changed my life.
They are the best thing I have ever done.
Supersedes any accolades or degrees or awards.
They ARE my best work. And the work that matters most.

They are my anchors. My inspiration.

“The Greatest Gift Is A Portion Of Thyself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love my portions.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

{It's Christmastime...| Thankful Thursday}

I can't tell you how much I pride myself in my card every year. Being a graphic designer for 14 years - it was my thing. It was my photos, my design.. all from scratch. It was a representation of me, my life. Every year I enjoyed it so much, the concept from start to finish. It was a big deal. This year has been much harder. For many personal reasons... I procrastinated on the card and knew that designing it this year would be different - 8 hard months, so many lessons learned and growth I didn't ask for, but obtained. How to do something that now represented what was so broken in my life and put it out there on display. I cried. And I smiled at my beautiful kids. How proud I am of them.

When things were hard in the past I kept a book of blessings. That when I was down I would write things I was thankful for. Thankful Thursday also was another way for me to remind myself of how very blessed I am.

And just today after a very tough night, my best friend reminds me.. "tell me 5 things that you are thankful for, that you are blessed by." Thank you Vincy. I needed to be reminded that there is always a blessing as much as there is a weight.

This year my card is beautiful. It is just my kids - and they are blessings, they are beautiful blessings. I am so very thankful for them. SO with that said.. after a very tough year, I am still very much a thankful girl....

1. Thankful for ability and freedom. To dream,  design and discover. I live in a country where I can design a Christmas card, that shows my belief in my faith, in Christ's birth, in love and giving. I can sit in a coffee house on a Thursday morning and upload a picture of the card I designed, front and back and enjoy coffee and the warmth of a fire nearby.

2. Thankful for family. My kids. My brother. My mom, my dad. My grandma. My aunt. My cousins. My sister, even though she's in heaven. I know she still talks to me in her own ways. Thankful for these people - they have all individually done their part to help me through one of the hardest years of my life.

3. Thankful for friends. New and old. "Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." Gal. 6:2. Thankful for relativity and kinship. What would we be with out it?

4. Thankful for health and prosperity. God is so good to me. Beyond measure. My health, my kids health. He pays my bills. Every month, month after month. This alone has been one of the biggest ways I have seen Him care for me. He is so faithful.

5. Thankful for a future. I was told that you can't build a future out of the past. You have to step away from yesterday and leave it where it was in order to take the next step into tomorrow. Even into today. There are so many seasons in life. We ALL have our ups and downs. Our summers and winters. Thankful that joy comes in the morning. That each day is a new beginning.

To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Isaiah 61:3

Holidays are difficult for many, for many different reasons. I have been more sensitive to that this year. That for many... holidays are dreaded and not anticipated. This is a hard concept to grasp until it is you in that situation. That's when we step back and count our blessings...