I’m watching you on Survivor and I hear you crying out that you are too weird to be part of the cool group.
I know what you’re feeling. I was/am weird too.
I want to encourage you. You are a child of God. You have a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe! Here’s the cool thing; He made you the way you are for a reason.
When I was in my 20s I struggled all the time with the things I was told, both verbally and nonverbally, that was ugly, stupid and I would never do anything right.
It wasn’t until I was in my 50s that I learned that I was made the way I am for a very specific reason. And the same is true for you!
I hope you can get a grasp of this before you’re in 50s!
Here’s what I learned;
Saying, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” is not just a nice saying. It’s an absolute truth! Jesus knew who you were at the beginning of time and he loves you SO SO much! He loves you with a love that encompasses all of who you are. You are perfect in his sight. He says so! It’s written in the scriptures! He finds no fault in you!
I am a carrier of joy. So are you. I see it in you. Jesus has work for you to do that no one else can do.
There will always be people who don’t understand you. But if you understand yourself and how much God loves you you can do anything!
I love you sister! Fly!!
When I was 12 years old, a television show premiered that completely captured my heart; “The Waltons.” I watched it every week and sometimes dreamed that I WAS a Walton. (I still do sometimes!)
They had plenty of trouble in their lives but family always kept their heads above water and saw them through the most difficult times.
My family was so, so much different than theirs! It’s a fact of life that we cannot pick the family that we are born into. But if we could, my oh my!!
One of my favorite memories of that show was dinnertime around the table. My family, the one I was born into, never said grace. But the Waltons always did.
Also at that time a book came out that changed my life. It was called Foxfire. It was a nonfiction book that told the story of a group of 6th graders who went into the Georgia woods to collect the folklore of the people who’s families had lived in those mountains for generations.
The people who were interviewed talked about the traditions, practices and ethics that had come down through their families and how they used that information in their everyday lives. I’ll never forget the first article in the book was about an elderly woman who was cleaning out a hogs head with a knife.. (Not a barrel, but a real, pigs head!) As she carved bits off the head of that pig she talked about what she would do with all the various bits. The books are filled with household hints, DIY, ballad lyrics, musical families and on and on. I guess, in a way, it was my introduction to the world of preppers. These folks were set on protecting their way life. It was their choice to live where and how they did.
One of my favorite episodes of The Waltons was about ancient cousin Martha Corine and her family, who lived in the Blue Ridge and were losing their ancestral home in order to create the Skyline Drive, a national park that was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps, part of FDR’s New Deal.
I’ve been to the Skyline Drive many times and have books about the struggle families went through trying to keep their land.
So, all of this is written to bring me to my main point… remember The Waltons sitting at the table and saying grace? When it was Grandpa Walton’s turn he would thank the Lord for the trailing arbutus.
I didn’t know what trailing arbutus was but if Grandpa loved it it must have been very special
Now, the tie in!
39 years ago my husband, baby son and I moved into a house that was situated off the road and in the woods. In the front yard was a scruffy patch of evergreen leaves that in the spring put out beautiful and tender pale pink blossoms. And they smelled divine! Our landlord told us his wife called them May pinks. And he also told us that the real name of the plant was trailing arbutus!
I could not have been more thrilled! (It doesn’t take much to thrill me.)
25 years ago we purchased that scruffy patch and next month we will make our last mortgage payment and that scruffy patch will be ours, all ours!
THIS Is how much God loves me! He gave me trailing arbutus. And every year I visit that patch and get down on my hands and knees and stick my face right into it, filling my senses with that sweet, sweet fragrance!
Yesterday I had a space at the Red Bank Street Fair. I did this fair many years ago, trying to sell hand painted ceramics. Not a good idea.
It’s amazing how much better I feel about my art now that I’ve taken training. For the first time in my life I feel like I’m producing the best work I am capable of! I can stand by it proudly and if someone asks who the artist is I can say proudly, “I am!”
The weather was less than stellar. The wind howled all day. I was very grateful for my milk jugs filled with water that I used to weigh down each corner of my canopy! And I had a dickens of time keeping the table cloths on the tables! Then, during the afternoon, it started raining and right before we packed it in, it sleeted! That was enough for me! Many others had begun packing up around 4:00, an hour early, so we did too.
My wonderful hubby, Tom came with me to help me set up and tear down. He was seriously concerned that we wouldn’t have enough room in the Jeep and I, who mostly feels inadequate in terms of sizing things up, knew that everything would fit. And it did with even just a little space left over.
He was there most of the afternoon and periodically brought tasty treats. I’m so glad that he was there, not because I needed his brawn but just for company too.
The foot traffic was good considering the kind of day it was. For the first couple of hours I made no sales and my spirits flagged.
I’d worked so hard for so long, to have enough ready to sell and I have to say it, I didn’t think I’d do very well. But I was wrong. It ended up being a pretty good day for sales and many people stopped in to Oou and Aww over my paintings.
By the time we got home, around 6:30 pm, I was pooped! Tom emptied the car for me this morning. He’s so good to me!
Today I’m taking a long deserved rest. But of course, in the back of my mind I’m making plans for I’ll do tomorrow when I get back in the studio. It’s so nice to have a commission to work on! I love commissions! I know my customer will love the sunflower she as paid me to create.
I think maybe I'll sign up for Red Bank Street Fair on September 11.
Now, back to lounging!