Need to Create

I recently started working at a store which sells all sorts of good supplies for creating stuff – mixed media pieces, planner decorating, scrapbook pages, cards, and a myriad of other things. I am surrounded by creativity 12-15 hours a week.

I also follow people on Instagram, read blogs, and see Facebook posts containing massive amounts of creativity. I love seeing all the creativity. And I love to create things.

Last night, my coworker asked me what my style was and what kind of things do I make.

I realized that I pretty much make nothing. No. Thing. Ever.

I have sewn. I sometimes dabble in doodling and hand lettering. I photograph. I’ve learned mixed media techniques. I’ve scrapbooked. I’ve journaled a few pages in a Bible. I’ve stamped. I’ve attempted watercolor. There’s probably more, though they escape me now.

But right now? Not a darned thing. I create nothing. I have no style to describe what I don’t do.


I even scrolled through a ton of photos on two phones to see if perhaps I had created something which I forgot.


So apparently my style right now is blankness.

And sadness.

I need to start making things.




But God help us, born to this canvas and paint, if we do nothing with it, sign our name on its empty off-white surface and hang it on the wall, after a long succession of lookalike days leads us to our graves, content merely not to have made a mess of the canvas. Who will gaze on that unmarked rectangle on the wall, next to the million others, all of them differentiated only by the names scribbled in the corners, and do anything but sigh? Perfectly safe. Tragically wasted.

~from David DuChemin’s post Fill Your Canvas


Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, there are things or people in which we hope. Some may be for minor joys, others for something more significant. When I become disillusioned and frustrated with certain matters, I can sometimes step back and remember that my hope is not in any person, event, or thing; my hope is in Jesus Christ. This thought brings me peace and a better perspective.

But the other day I was listening to Day 3 of Emily P. Freeman’s Seven Days of Still Moments in which she speaks about waiting for healing (John 5:1-15) and where we place our hope. While I may be able to both say and believe that He is my hope in some matters, I realized that there’s quite a list of other things in which I have unspoken and misplaced hope. But the reality is that my hope should not be in:

  • a successful photography business

  • mature children

  • less stuff and clutter

  • debt-free life

  • less weight

  • a simpler life

  • living pain free

  • more fun

  • a prettier home

  • fewer potholes

  • less traffic

  • kinder, smarter people

  • or anything else I wish for or which frustrate me

Sure, those things would be nice. They could make my life more comfortable or enjoyable or easier. But my ultimate hope is in Jesus and Him alone. And that brings more long-lasting peace, joy, and comfort than any of the things on my list ever could.

psalm 31-24 v2 copy

Change of Season

Here we are, three days into June 2016. Supposedly summer. Well, meteorological summer, anyway. Until the last couple of days, that was questionable, given the rain, clouds, and cooler temperatures. I’m not sure where the previous five months got off to, but the time it sure does fly.

I started a new job in May. I’m working part time at a local scrapbook and paper crafting store, which is pretty fun and right up my alley. I’m finding that it’s causing me to want to do more creating at home. Even though you would think it might not be all that busy to work in that type of store, there is always something to do – and no, it’s not creating things. More like unboxing, checking in, pricing, putting out merchandise, tidying up, pulling empty hooks, returning unpurchased items, putting back tags out, and answering the phone. Oh yeah, that’s when you’re not answering questions, looking for products, or ringing up a customer’s purchase. Or learning the new POS system. Or running into an old friend. Or any number of other things. Kind of like how time flies by, the tasks quickly fill my 4-5 hour shifts. It’s a good thing.

John closed down his business of the past seven years and has gone to work for a local RV dealership. I’m not sure either of us saw that one coming yet, but it turned out it was time. Ironically, it’s because his business was too big and too profitable. Things you usually want to happen. Go figure.

Our youngest son started a new job this week, too. It’s pretty tough on him right now, as the physical demands are greater than he knew. We’ll see what happens with that. He’s still looking around for something not quite so tough.

Our oldest is finally about ready to test for his driver’s license. At 22 1/2. After years of not wanting to drive, he’s coming around. I think he secretly likes it. Sometimes, anyway. There are still times, though, that he would live without driving, if at all possible. Next steps will be a job and a car. He’s been working part time with John, but that chapter has ended, too.

My niece is starting a job at Starbucks in a week and a half, following in her mom’s footsteps. My brother-in-law is soon to begin a new job, too.

A whole lot of change. New chapters in life. Sometimes it’s just time.

And on a completely unrelated note, a photo because I can’t not. It made me outburst laugh.




The Gift of Friendship

I was so excited to be a part of the book launch team for my friend Dawn Camp and her new book, The Gift of Friendship.

The Gift of Friendship is a collection of stories highlighting the beauty of those valuable relationships with those we call friend. Just as each of us is unique, with various backgrounds, life circumstances, and needs, each of the brief stories is unique and tailored by God. You’ll find stories about community, hospitality, vulnerability, and so many more.

GiftOfFriendshipI am so blessed to have some wonderful friendships with a lot of overlapping circles amongst them. Even sweeter is that two of my best friends are also family – my mom and my sister. We are all in different seasons of life and there’ve been times when I got together with my friends regularly and often. But right now it seems that we’re in a phase where everyone is heading in myriad directions and it has become too easy to let those relationships slip to the back burner. I think about them and think about planning something, but then I get busy, or else I know that they’re busy, so I don’t.

But reading The Gift of Friendship has reminded me of the value of my friendships and that they are worth the investment. Since starting it, I’ve scheduled coffee/tea dates, a girls night out for Mexican food, hung out more with my mom and sister, and am planning a couple get-togethers with other friends – all things that I enjoy with people that I enjoy, but have allowed life’s busyness to crowd out.

287949_GiftofFriendshipCamp_Posts38I highly recommend The Gift of Friendship with its short, engaging stories from women of all walks of life. I believe you, too, will find sweet encouragement and reminders for your own friendships, whether current and active, not yet begun, or in need of a little TLC.

February 2016

Where, oh, where art thou, fair January?

Well, there was the temp transcription job with all the typing, typing, typing in most every spare moment.

b - 4pix mo

There was the volleyball with its day-long tournaments out of town.

There was the bookkeeping, data entry, and tax gathering for hubby’s business.

Pretty sure I prepared some meals, did some laundry, and paid most of the bills.

Coffee with friends, dinner with family, and Bible study at Starbucks.
Air and space museum photoshoot followed by Mexican food.





Italian food and a downtown photowalk.

And in a flash it was gone.

Now February shows up with a bang.

Monday. Snow. More snow.





February 2016, leap year, with its extra day. A day that is not likely to slow down another sprinting month. But we’ll see. Only God knows what my future holds. Zipping past or dragging by, I will trust Him with this new month.

That’s now halfway gone. HA!

Volleyball, work, and a paperless society

High school volleyball season is kind of a crazy time of year for me. I shoot pictures for varsity since my niece is on that team. This year I also volunteered to shoot JV. Since they typically play twice a week that’s a minimum of two sets per game for JV and a minimum of three sets per game for Varsity, for a total of 10 sets every week. It can be more if there are more sets played in a match. But that hasn’t usually happened. On a good note, I’m getting better at shooting fewer pictures, culling them faster, deleting extras off my computer, thereby saving space, and doing what little post processing needs to happen quicker. Then it’s off to a Shutterfly Share site with them.

My niece proves you don’t have to be tall to get air.

Last night’s dinner following the Salida game ended up being Sonic, which would normally be fine. But this was a pretty sorry choice. The Dr. Pepper was pale and then they added an absurd amount of cherry flavor to it, rendering it completely undrinkable. Got it replaced with a Cherry Limeade, which was good. The BBQ boneless wings had a spicier sauce on them so I didn’t want them, either. My niece enjoyed them, though. The cheesy tots were funky. I think the tots were stale. I normally love their cheesy tots with ketchup and salt. Even that was inadequate to make them good. Then to top it off, my body decided that really wasn’t acceptable food, so I wasn’t feeling too great this morning. Fortunately, I seem to be okay now. Chance are that I won’t eat at that Sonic if I happen to be in Salida ever again.

Along the way to Salida, we stopped at this lovely place along the Arkansas River.

The Arkansas River


I’m supposed to be entering work orders for my husband’s business right now. And working on tax stuff. And I will. Shortly. I still want to get back to some sort of pseudo-regular blogging. I think about blog posts and images a lot, but it just isn’t getting out of my head and onto the computer. I may just do some random, here’s-what’s-going-on-type posts, rather than trying to come up with some particular topic. For now anyway.

I was thinking the other day that I need to have a better different perspective on my “job.” It IS my job to handle messages for John’s business (mobile RV service), schedule appointments that I can, enter his work orders, and take care of taxes (except the part our accountant does). But I sort of just try and fit it in somewhere and then it doesn’t happen. Since it really is my “job,” I need to treat it as such. That way I won’t get to the end of the quarter and be in a panic, entering 90 days’ worth of work. Once a week would be so simple and keep us up to date. Every Monday I need to enter the previous week’s work. Period. Just do it. Be all Nike about it. If I had some, I’d wear them.


Whatever happened to the paperless society we were supposed to be creating with all the technology and computers and such? Seems to me we have more paper than ever. It doth overwhelm. I think it’s worse than weeds if you don’t deal with it on a daily basis and have a good system for managing it. I kind of have a system, but I’m dreadful at using it well. Thus, the papers pile ever higher, threatening to drown me. Or at least make me crazy…er.


Just Once

I’m giving myself permission – just this once – to whine about my inconsistent blog posting. Why? Because every time I want to start a post, the first mental words I hear are along the lines of, “…I know it’s been a long time…” or “…Wow! Three months since I last posted? Sheesh!” and other such drivel.

Is it true? Yes. Does it matter? No. Not really. It doesn’t make me post more often. I have got to move past that mentality. I used to do it a lot at my old blog. But this is the new blog. And I hope to have matured – at least a teensy bit. So here’s my five minutes of commiseration (is that a word?) and then I need to put it away and move on. No matter the time gaps. I hope to get to a place where I post sort of regularly (2-3 times a week, maybe?), but I also need to give myself the grace to let it be what it is without the condemnation.


All done.

And rather than leave you with my whining, I shall leave you with peaceful waters and blurry chipmunks. Not necessarily in that order.