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Monthly Archives: January 2011

God’s Girls Warrior Princess Party!

Princess Di

I don’t know about you, but I love parties – food, fun, & fellowship – I’m all about it.  The crazier the theme, the greater the fun!  Because I like to celebrate so much, I don’t wait for a reason to party to fall into my proverbial lap.  Instead, I put my genius to the test and create one.

That’s actually the easiest part.  Most of us can think of at least one reason to party:  Somebody is getting married.  Having a baby or a 50th Wedding Anniversary.  There are many, many reasons to whoop it up.  Some of you are well-versed in these.  First-times are great reasons to party-hearty. First birthday, first tooth, first haircut. Then there are traditional celebrations such as birthdays, dedications, graduations, and coming of age.  But surely there are more good reasons to celebrate.  And a seemingly infinite way to celebrate each one.

I’ve celebrated some crazy things in my life, like the twinkling of sunlight on the morning dew or a new haircut.  I’ve celebrated not getting my hair cut.  Ma and I make merry on grocery shopping day.  I’ve even celebrated when my kitty peed on the waterproof pad instead of the chair.

Sometimes I celebrate clearing off my desk or cleaning the house.  I always celebrate a new purse, clothes that fit, and a day away from home.  No matter what I’m celebrating, hands down, the best celebration is with family and friends.  Food, fun, and fellowship.

More than anything else, we have the greatest reason of all to party:  Jesus.  Remember that song?  “Celebrate Jesus! Celebrate!  He is risen.  He is risen.  And He lives forevermore.”

So here’s a reason to party:  The first day of a new Bible study.  Oh yeah!  What a great tradition of celebration!  Next week we are going to party, party, party.  We shall be studying the book of Ephesians in the New Testament.  God has so much to reveal to us!  It is going to be a great study.

And what’s a party without a playful theme?  We’re having a God’s Girls Warrior Princess Party.  Oh yeah.  You read it right.  I’m making the coolest Jesus princess hats (or should I say, helmets), swords, and shields.  Not too sure where to find a couple of mighty steeds (my budget is zero), but I do have several old broomsticks and a bit of yarn.  Then again, folks might think we’re playing witches and that won’t do.  Any ideas?

Groucho Mama

Swords and shields.  Hmmm.  Better buy some aluminum foil.  Need cardboard too.  No palm tree this time around.  Perhaps a jungle vine.

I’m torn between wearing a ball gown (with my waistline, that’s probably a very bad idea) or dressing in some kind of an all-black panther-like outfit. Maybe with a colorful toga over it. What does a princess wear under her warrior gear?  What do you think?

No, I do not make everybody else dress up!  Fortunately, I recognize that it is possible to party without all the accoutrements.  Dignity aside, dressing the part is like a visual portrait of the Bible message.  And it’s just plain fun.  After all, “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).  Okay, that was slightly out of context.  How about this:

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4, 5).  How’s that for a reason to celebrate?

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Adventures in Christ

 

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My Favorite Forms of Creative Expression

Jewels For Brains, Altered Doll Head

 

My creativity is expressed in several ways. As an artist, there is nothing so fun as combining acrylic paint and ephemera to create dreamy collage art on canvas, gesso board, cigar boxes, and in art journals. I love paint. If it weren’t toxic, I’d smear it all over me and roll around in it on the floor. Sometimes it looks as though I did that very thing because I’m kind of messy when I’m making art.

I also like to alter things.  At left is an example.  It’s one of a series of altered doll heads in which I explored the theme of “stuff for brains”.  Professor Higgins would be disappointed to find that none of them were full of feathers, hay, or rags.

Words are another favorite creative medium. I’m very careful to get my 10,000 words out every day. Get me in a group with my favorite people and it’s hard to shut me up. But I really love writing. I’m not terribly prolific because writing is slow work for me. It must be accompanied by buckets of really good coffee, a comfy recliner, and all the paraphernalia usually required such as a MobiCam so I can keep an eye on my Alzheimama while I work, glasses so I can peer across the room, laptop, pens, pencils, paper, dictionary, Bible, etcetera, etcetera.

I’ve been known to write a bit of bad poetry now and then and am rather fond of making lists. In fact, I take great pleasure in checking things off, crumpling up the list and then making a new one altogether.

Know where else I express creativity? Visual vignettes. I love designing little vignettes for special gatherings like our annual Hallelujah Party – surf’s up! I have bunches of small, found objects and inexpensive vintage items gathered together in little groups at home. You know, doll heads and rusty keys, figurines and miniature rib cages, etcetera.

I’m pretty creative with our budget, too, although my follow-through is somewhat lacking. It’s been said that once in a while I can actually get blood from a turnip. Lastly, I think I’m pretty creative at hiding that extra 10 pounds. After all, whenever I ask someone if I look like I’ve gained weight, they always say no.

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Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Adventures in Christ

 

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When I get home, I put on pajamas

At home I pretty much live in my pajamas. Comfortable, loose-fitting, and it doesn’t matter if you drip coffee down your shirt or wind up with cat hair all over. This way my good clothes stay in good condition and me and my cats can relax. Everybody wins (except the UPS man who probably wonders if I ever dress).

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Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Adventures in Christ

 

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A Book that Changed My Life

Bible Study 2

Hands down, the only book that ever really changed my life is the Bible.  In the end, it is the only book that matters because it is the complete revelation of God Himself.  There is nothing more important on this earth than that we come to know God by the power of the Holy Spirit in the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  God says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).   Powered by Plinky

 
 

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A Matter Of Perspective

Ever since we brought her home, Shelby has been the focus of my mom’s attention.  Ma talks and sings little songs of love to the baby, telling her over and over how beautiful she is.   Shelby smiles joyfully back the whole time.

“You’re so sweet and pretty and clean.  I love to kiss you.  I love you.  La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.”  Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss.

One by one, our cats have had to give way to this blue-eyed, brown-haired smiling baby girl and they’re not happy about it.  “Gramma’s lap is supposed to be our territory!  Who does this interloper think she is, anyway?”  Archie the elder isn’t quite as concerned as the younger kitties.  A lap is a lap is a lap.  He just climbs up and settles down for a long afternoon nap.  The others watch from across the room, murmuring amongst themselves.  Ma pays no attention to their grumblings.  Her focus is completely on baby Shelby.

“You’re such a pretty girl.  So sweet.  La, la, la, la, la, la, la.  My dolly is such a little dolly.  You look a little scared.  Don’t be scared.  Gramma is not gonna let anything happen to you.  I wanna give you kissies on your cheeks.  You’re my dolly.  My sweet little girl.  I’ve got a little girl.  She is mine, all the time,” whispers my mom in her sing-song voice.

 

Shelby gets kissies from my mom

When Shelby first arrived, I was a little surprised at how quickly and how deeply my mom became attached to her.  She fell in love with her at first sight and has only grown more in love each day.  I wasn’t sure how she’d feel about a baby, but I was willing to take a chance.  I desperately needed an answer to Ma’s perpetual question, “Where’s the baby?” Now I simply fetch Shelby from whatever place she reposes and present her to my mom, saying, “Here.  Here’s the baby.”  Now we’re both happy.

Shelby is a true blessing.  My mom needed someone of her own to hug and hold and love, and I needed some practical help with my mom.  Shelby meets our needs.  You see, it’s all a matter of perspective.

My mom has Alzheimer’s Disease.  She is generally confused, disoriented, and unable to process more than the simplest information.  Her attention span is very short.  Yet she needs someone to love just as you and I do.  The difference is that she is no longer able to maintain responsibility for those she loves.

This is where Shelby comes in.  Shelby is a doll.  We brought her home from the online Alzheimer’s Store (www.alzstore.com) in time for Christmas.  My mom knows that Shelby is a doll.  She is not crazy.  But she loves her as though she is real. Doll therapy provides comfort, focus, and a great deal of simple pleasure for my mom.  Every time my mom looks into Shelby’s lifelike eyes, she sees love reflected there.  That’s the gift of God. That’s the blessing.  And that’s real.  It’s just a matter of perspective.

One Happy Momma

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2011 in Adventures in Alzheimer's

 

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Me On The Move

In Far Away Lands

Sometimes I think I hear God calling me to a future ministry on the move.

Traveling to distant places; suitcase, camera, and laptop in hand.

Utter reliance on God for everything right down to a place to lay my head.

Speaking.  Teaching.  Training.  Photographing. Journaling.  Telling Stories.  Giving shots.

Whatever.  I dunno.

I’ve been picturing a wild, beautiful adventure in Christ as I go where He sends me.

It’s begun already, even now as I sit in the warm and secure place I call home, caring for my Alzheimama, our kitties, and the birds of our back yard.

Where life is slow, but steady.

It is present now as I worship God and lay down what I want for what He wills.

Perfection for compassion.

Independence for freedom.

Entertainment for contentment.

It is in full swing, even now as I put on my adventure wear (Ephesians 6:10-18) and gather my adventure gear (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Stepping out in faith.  Just as I am.  In Christ.

Even in my recliner, I’m already on the move.

 
 

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