Sunday, October 31, 2010

Savoring the Moment

savor - v. "to give oneself to the enjoyment of..."

Last week was not a banner week... In the greater scheme of things, nothing too serious was happening, but some times life just piles on and it feels overwhelming...  Like the current invasion of a mouse, or maybe mice, in our kitchen and laundry room ... 

So on Friday, I had a few minutes and I thought some Marshall's therapy might help (not very spiritual I know)...

Since March, I have lost 25 pounds and I've been working out regularly, so every once in a while, it's fun to go and see how clothes look on my newly emerging figure...

I tried on a few things, but just wasn't in the mood to buy, so I decided to wander around for a few minutes...  As I was wandering, a woman walked passed me with a stroller and even though I couldn't see the child, he was just chattering away to himself with those sweet baby noises...

We passed going in opposite directions, but then ended up on the same aisle...  And her sweet child just contentedly kept making his little noises...  I almost didn't say anything, after all, even the south isn't always the friendliest place to strike up conversation with a stranger...  But after arguing with myself for a minute, I walked up to her and said, "Those are the sweetest noises I've heard in a long time."

She looked puzzled for a minute and then she said, "Oh my goodness, I had completely tuned them out."  We talked for a minute, I told her that my oldest was 17 now and that the years flew by and I encouraged her to savor these moments...  As she walked off, she looked back at me and said, "Thank you."

Such a simple little thing that made a difference in a person's day...  It took me completely by surprise.  It's sad to me how we get so busy with our lives, so focused on our task that we don't take the time to speak into people's lives, I am so guilty of that...  But it also made me wonder, how much of my own children's lives have I just tuned out?

I've been reading Mary Beth Chapman's new book, Choosing To See, and it's wonderful!  It has made me realize that I need to be so careful to savor life instead of just gulping it down and barely experiencing it, especially where my husband and children are concerned.

Funny, but one of the greatest blessings that has come out of my new jewelry business is that I sit still, for hours sometime, in one place.  I have had some of the most wonderful conversations with our kids, Mackenzie especially..  And I'm so thankful that God found a way to slow me down for a season and relish the grown people that our children are becoming...  They're pretty amazing and I don't want to miss another second of their journey to adulthood...

Is there someone you need to savor a moment with today?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Photos... (Finally!)

So if you're new to my blog, I just recently restarted my jewelry design business as a way to earn money to continue going on trips to Africa (see the post before this one)... 

Well, we did the "Arts & Antiques Festival"...  But it turned out to be more of a flea market than how it was promoted... Oh well, live and learn...  But I thought I would still give you a preview of some of my favorite pieces of jewelry...  Before long I'll be making some of the designs available on my new website.

This first piece was one of my favorites...  A man and his wife came by my tent at the show and she loved the necklace but didn't want to pay the price.  It was made from dyed opal beads and I couldn't really come down on the price, so she decided not to purchase it.  A little while later her sweet husband slipped back over to the tent and purchased it for her...  It was one of the highlights of the weekend...  I love seeing love last! 

Rowan (54 of 152)

Here are a few other pieces...

Rowan (13 of 152)
Rowan (7 of 152)
Rowan (15 of 152)

Rowan (26 of 152)

Rowan (37 of 152)

Rowan (41 of 152)

Rowan (42 of 152)

Rowan (81 of 152)

Rowan (74 of 152)

Rowan (98 of 152)

Rowan (134 of 152)

Rowan (148 of 152)

Stay tuned...  Working on lots more!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Designing For Hope...

I can't believe almost a whole month has passed since I last blogged, where did time go?!  When I came home from this last trip to Africa, I realized that I had to find a way to keep going.  On every trip we've heard words like, "I know God cares because you came..."  "We know God sees us when you come..."  "She has hope because of what your team did..."  "I am encouraged because you're here..."  It struck me that somehow God uses our going to bring hope to others, whether it's going down the street to serve at a local ministry or across the ocean...  Simply going brings hope, so I had to find a way to keep going.

I thought about trying to find a job, but with 4 children who would cater to my schedule?  Years ago, I used to design and sell jewelry but with small children I just couldn't keep up with it.  So I started to pray about re-opening my jewelry design business...  And as I prayed for confirmation, people out of the blue would come up to me and ask, "Are you ever going to do your jewelry again?"  So I had my answer...  I have started my jewelry business again, but this time, for a purpose...

The profits from sales will be used to travel to Africa and if God should choose to really bless my efforts, then I will put the extra money to helping others travel...

So for the last month, I have been working like crazy!  My first big show is this weekend, a local Arts and Antique Festival (it was even on our local news this morning!!) and then I have several other shows scheduled after that...  Alexis, who designed my blog, is working hard on a web boutique for me, so hopefully soon I'll be announcing the grand opening!

I've got to get back to work, but next week I'll post pictures from the festival...  The whole theme of my booth is designing for hope and as I sell my jewelry, I'll have an opportunity to tell the story of Swaziland!

I've put together a collage of photos from Africa and I'm using photos from my trips to decorate the table.  And I'm really excited that I'll also be selling jewelry that is made by grandmothers in Kenya...  God blessed me with a prime location at the festival (a last minute cancellation), so I decided to donate one of my tables to HOW Jewelry, the line that Heart For Africa sells to provide income for the grandmothers in Kenya!
Next week I'll post some photos of my jewelry to give you a preview of what's coming!

But that's where I've disappeared to lately!