Monthly Archives: December 2012

a vicarious route with a pocketful of promises

I finally managed to get up early on winter is 5:30
I think it appropriate on the last day of the year to rise early and reminisce…after all a new year brings
with it promises of new beginnings and aren’t we all in need of a few of those?


“The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.” – By Dave Weinbaum

as I look back I’d have to say this has been a powerful year for me.  Traveling with God over this last year has allowed me to see myself and my story thorugh a new pair of eyes. Eileen Caddy once said when you feel that you have reached the end and that you cannot go one step further, when life seems to be drained of all purpose; what a wonderful opportunity to start all over again, to turn over a new page.

you can read the some of my beginnings here here here and here

so here I am at the end of a page and the end of a powerful year and the horizon looks pregnant with possibilities.  I look out over the horizon and can only make out what appears to be many roads but this time with a new vision instead of looking at a land if full of giants…which it will be but instead choosing (key word) to focus on it as full of possibility!  expect the miracles..expect God to fulfill His part of the covenant.  EXPECT God–

a vicarious route to some essential part of herself that she does not yet fully recognize or understand yet …. Sarah Ban Breathnach “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – By Carl Bard

I am learning through a daily practice of slowing my heart down to really listen–then talk with God.  LOTS more listening than talking if you know what I mean?

I am traveling through each day with a suitcase more full of peace- a child like trust- knowing i am loved for who i am and not what i do or don’t do- a sense of belonging finally-acceptance of who i am and what i am called to do within all of my insecurities, quirks and weirdness


at the dawn of 2013 I possess a greater sense of vision..a pocketFULL of powerful promises and as I lay my hand over them I know they are living words and they are what will get me through the valleys that will be low and the mountains that will be high.

“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” – By Margaret B. Runbeck  

so if you have been feeling like life is one series of false starts….why not make this beginning of 2013 the year to get started
oh I know…everybody starts at the new year and a few weeks down the road it is back to the same ol`routine.  well…i began and quit many times but no matter how many times life knocked me down ( and I do my fair share of causing myself grief ) grace pulled me back up again.  Mark Twain has a good point–
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.” – By Mark Twain

“When you feel that you have reached the end and that you cannot go one step further, when life seems to be drained of all purpose; what a wonderful opportunity to start all over again, to turn over a new page.” – By Eileen Caddy

so let’s turn over a new page together–blessings and love to each of you who have taken words out of your busy day to leave here on my heart.  You have each had a part in writing my story over the last year.
while my route maybe vicarious I wouldn’t have it any other way because deep down that girl I know is becoming more and more recognizable.  I am humbly uber excited over the coming months..for the new things that are coming and that I am surrounded by some pretty amazing warrior women..I am thankful at the close of 2013.

what is ONE..just one promise that you can put in your pocket right now to take with you in 2013?

xotiff —  “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” -A popular Chinese Proverb


Christmas 2012 – seeing through a new pair of glasses


how was your holiday?  did you get to enjoy family?  take a a book..snuggle with the kiddos?  Did you way over eat? Ack!! me too!!  I can feel the spread but I refuse to think of diet until January 1!

remember my plan for the holidays here?   it SO didn’t happen that way.  Christmas eve dawned with Nikki and I working long and hard days playing catch up due to my hospital stay over Thanksgiving and while we have the best most grace filled understanding customers EVER..there have been a couple who no matter what excellent customer service given..were being a tad scroogy.  It threatened to ruin my Christmas..I was on the brink of  tears and a chocolate cake!

enter into the story a pair of glasses.  These glasses showed me a whole new perspective.  I was able to sort through the truth and reality separating it from the lies and emotions.  The old pair of glasses were put away for the rest of the day..and gratefully so!

and for these recovering people pleasers it was making Nikki and I literally sick.  With that being said, we got 6 more orders shipped on Christmas Eve before the 5pm closing time… ( insert big ol happy dance here ) and took the remainder of the day off to go spend the night at my sisters house with my family!  We also decided to take Christmas Day off and just forget about business for one day.  It went waaay to fast but it was pure heaven–

We took long naps…ate pot chili…watched Netflix..pinned on Pinterest..and INSTAgrammed…

My grand babies came up on Sunday and we celebrated with our favorite local BBQ place openëd some presents and made some reindeer food before packing them up to go to their granny and pappy’s for Christmas.

my point?  it is good to have a ”plan” but know that life has a way of handing us lemons but it really is my choice as to whether I make lemonade or not.  I can control responses my choices..but I cannot control other people and their responses or reactions. Any more than I can control getting sick.   Nothing is worth our health or letting something or someone ruin a holiday or any day for that matter.

and that is really a place of power isn’t it?  knowing we can control ourselves and rise above circumstances all by changing what we are seeing through.

oh and yes…we will have all orders out by December 31 and we will be ready to start the new year fresh and just in case…I have my other pair of glasses.




do you have a little Peter in you?

have you ever said, ” I feel like I am talking to a wall?”  I smile when I think – I wonder if God feels that way with me?  I hurriedly open the Bible or a devotional..while simultaneously flipping through my phone..writing a few important things down in my journal and call it good ALL without really listening.  UGH! ( STOP – do not beat yourself up here..DO NOT!  I can almost see Him smile knowingly.  We are flesh.  We learn slow:)  He knows this.  He LOVES you!!  The point is we learn and are teachable )

 Years ago I had a dear friend who told me I had a lot of Peter in me — I didn’t know whether to be offended or not:) Looking back –  I would have to agree.  Peter had such a heart for Jesus but his impetuousness .. thinking with his head and opening his mouth without first thinking of the consequences..coupled with some stubbornness got him into some tight places didn’t it?

Sitting still for some quiet time (where I have a dialogue with God) I was reminded of Peter and myself - connecting the dots if you will.  Over the years I am learning to be intentional in slowing my mind my heart and as a result my days letting go of my loooong list of to-do’s – people’s expectations and mine – the fear of people getting mad – the doom of not checking it all of my list but most importantly and what is making the most impact is while doing the slowing –  is the  listening.  This is called dialogue. Jesus Calling the well loved devotional — taught me this on a deeper level.  So while America will not be slowing down in the near future there is hope WE CAN..and I believe instead of me asking to get off this crazy train pace and while I cannot control the country I can control ME.

With my recent illness – my business – my family and all that entails I am finding peace within each day by simply having a two way conversation with my Abba.  Learning from impetuous Peter not to open my mouth to speak but to also take real time to LISTEN and to SEE what is around me..and I am finding all sorts of sacred special little miracles each day.  Lovingly gifted to me.

So what does all of this mean to YOU? well–this is the busiest loudest time of the year and all sorts of things can get lost .. mainly our minds. It is not worth losing the JOY of being with your loved ones…being thankful for just being alive and thankful for what we do have. Since Sandy Hook I think our whole country is more aware of what we do have don’t you?  I know I am.

I pray for each of you to gift yourself with TIME..take time to talk….AND LISTEN.  God really does love to share His heart with you.  I pray for little miracles along your journey this weekend as we lead up the Tuesday.  May the gifts you open not only be material but also JOY – peace – KINDness – LOVE – gentleNESS – FORGIVEness – restoration – REbuilding – FREEdom – healING just to name a few.  These are free.

What are little ways you are learning to do to slow down this busy season..or anytime of the year?  Do you struggle with hurrying your time with God to get on with your busy day?  are you wanting to do something different in 2013?  I would love to hear things you have found to be helpful in slowing down to listen….xotiff


I forgot to tell you about our planked walls!

dark ~depressing ~ dirty
my 3 adjectives that described this room when we moved in a year ago last month

last Christmas we had painted the walls and it looked like this


a little paint, ripping up the carpet and our most recent project

::: planking the walls on either side of the fireplace :::

 completely changed the vibe of the room

and we didn’t even fill the nail holes!
we painted the planks Benjamin Moore’s Whispering Spring

in which I TOTALLY stalked Ashley and stole the color from one of her favorite’s…couldn’t help myself
and you would do the same thing!  she has a happy home!!  and I love her…and her home:)
isn’t it amazing what little projects .. over time .. can do to change the heart of a home?


what little projects do you
lurking around in your heard?

have you planked any walls?
I love it so much I am going to do my whole bedroom!

you can click here here and here for planking tutorials
and remember…a little bit at a time makes a big difference a year later!!

oh..don’t forget to follow along with us on INSTAGRAM as we connect the sacred in heart ~ home and handmade


giving the gift of ourselves–the real church

“Church isn’t where you meet. Church isn’t a
building. Church is what
you do. Church is who you are. Church is the human outworking of the person of Jesus Christ.

Let’s not go to Church, let’s be the Church.”

Bridget Willard

will the real church please stand? The building is becoming an idol drawing people into just another place to fuel their sense of guilt,  shame and  perfectionism.  A place where fear is a motivator and guilt gets things done.  It takes much to keep up a building.  I often think lately all that money that goes into maintaining, new building, programs that just keep families from time could be better used to put into our communities …just sayin.

Last week I was overwhelmed and broken by the flesh of the “real” church.  His church, not the building.  The flesh..rose to a cry of nakedness. They clothed me with prayer, grace, words, truth, strength.  They went to war on my behalf…  I love and value each one.

This is what “church” is…it is Jesus living through us…building aside.  This is what He’s about. It happens out in life – in the livingPeople are LOCKED up in prisons of all shapes and sizes.  They continue in their rebellion, the whole head being sick, and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot to the head There is nothing sound in it, only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, Not pressed out or bandaged, Nor softened with oil.  ( Isaiah 1:5-6 )

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Isaiah 58: 6-7

Our country is littered with broken families. Raw wounds infested with lies that are eating like a cancer. Cries are going up and the call has gone out. Friends, is it time to go? Is it time to go out amongst the walking wounded carrying the hurt medicine and allow Him to use our flesh…freely.  Leave the results to Him.  We just dispense the balm.  The comfort words.  Let us press out and bandage and soften with oil.  Much like an animal that is wounded will just go off and die.. so are people.  Many are dying..covered in their clothes of “normal” but inside all is falling apart.  They are to exhausted, depleted and worn to come into a building.  Families are desolate…let us pray where they are and go to them.  Let us do it for free…with no strings attached.

If we pray for God to open our eyes to not only our own nakedness but that of those around see they have facades up.  People don’t trust … it takes time to build… it takes God working for someone to be naked .. to be vulnerable to one another.  Often those wounded the worst are the scariest to  touch.  If we look at it that way?

It is putting in time day in and day out.  There is a call going forth.  A call to be on the front lines of the war to set our captives freestarting with ourselves…

These warriors aren’t super spiritual these are real everyday people. These are women who have hearts to see restoration, rebuilding, repairing and raising up.…they listened with no judgement.  They know God is the judge.   God will work what need to be worked.  They just lifted me and the kids up in prayer…and still are.  I have a long journey ahead and they know that.  Their prayers went up and God came down. They and others like them…like YOU are what God is raising up in today to do battle tomorrow.

You see - we can’t experience what others are experiencing in their journey most of the time. We have not walked in their shoes. We might not like it, understand it or ever experienced it.  We could never imagine ourselves doing that but flesh takes each its own way as a child when broken is raised in brokenness.

Let us continue to pray to our father to stir the waterto stir our country to battle  a war of setting people freeWe are being seduced with other country is so chained.    That we want nothing else before experiencing and knowing Him…in all his fullness. He is the SAME God…maybe He is desiring us to cry out to Him like Hezekiah did…and so many others before and after did.  Let’s take His Word and believe it…America is the new mission field.   The call has gone out.  Let us focus more on loving the broken..being real with people…no strings.  If God sees fit to bring them to Him…yes!  People know when we are just ” helping ” them to get them to come to church just to convert.  We must tread very humbly and carefully.

Here is how it is starting for me:

It starts with ourselves. To live in  humbleness, no room for pride, self abandonment, some comforts, real intentional time with HIM…not in a building…with HIM in words and space…find others who will encourage you…that you can be ” naked ” with.  It won’t work without that…and let’s start praying and watching.

Will you stand? Will you accept the call to be a warrior?  Have your experienced the outworking of Jesus in others when risking be ” naked ” ? Has someone clothed you lately? Have you clothed someone else?

:::::::::::::::::::::::my heart is so heavy with the tragedy at the school…i join with you as we gather at the throne and ask for God’s presence to be known and felt among everyone.  how to pick up such shatteredness…praying for flesh to come alongside the families and care for them..cook..clean..listen..hug..hold.  nothing can change what has happened but we..can do what we can..if from afar we continue to pray as the Spirit leads…i am undone