Friday, September 07, 2007

My "typecasted" self...

I owe several people heartfelt thank-you's for some really fun and thoughtful gifts and cards in the past couple of months. Something as simple as a blog has resulted in me taking on a sort of 'identity' and it's almost as if I have typecast myself in a cute way. I really appreciate the random mail and gifts I receive and today I thought I'd share some recent goodies and give a big Nitty.Gritty. thanks to some of you nice readers.
Seems that when people think of me a select list of 'things' come to mind...cupcakes, Starbuck's, Hello Kitty and owls- just to name a few. Yesterday I got two packages- one FULL of Hello Kitty and cutesy treats from {SISmetrochic!} Heather, and another envelope full of all things "owls" from Mahlin...all the way from Sweden!! How crazy and thoughful is that?! Thank you SISters... you know I will have fun scrapping and playing with all the fun things you sent my way. My girls were loving my mail too! =) I also have been enjoying a pound of Starbuck's coffee beans and some select items from Nikki who I know through SIStv too. I love that scrapping has brought such neat people 'into' my life and that there is so much generosity and goodness among the people at this unique website. It is a wonderful community of people- sharing life and inspiring one another- but also encouraging and just having fun together. You can join us there anytime!
That funky owl necklace/earrings set came from the Allisons in MS earlier this summer. I've had a few emails asking where I got them...I really can't tell you precisely, but I bet you could find some cute sets on eBay or through Then there was the giant Hello Kitty stickers from 'Jiggy' and some more Hello Kitty love and sweet card from Christine. Our lives have connected at a time when Christine needs lots of prayers and good thoughts coming her way. She inspires me with her scrapping and I appreciate so much, our new friendship {you can check out her blog and pray for her too!}.
Besides all the fun mail and cards and links online to fun sites and products, I also get a lot of letters from some of you sharing your struggles, your hurts and your questions about faith and getting through hardships. I am following several peoples' Caring Bridge pages, even now, and I know that there are a lot of trials going on from day to day for many of you or your friends and families. My heart aches when I read such notes, but I also am humbled that you share so openly with me.
I have come to see that the more I write about my pain and the journey I am on in my own life, that it resonates in different ways with others. I see that as a gift of grief- that I can learn and grow through it is amazing, but then to be able to share my experiences and perspective with others is truly the blessing of embracing pain. In a couple of notes recently I was asked about the 'peace' I seem to have- even as a result of living with tragedy in my life. It is real to me- I DO have peace and contentment in my life, and it truly is a miracle and gift that I do not deserve.
Some time ago I heard this beautiful description of 'peace' and I think it maybe will explain the peace I claim each day. An art institute asked individuals to submit paintings depicting the idea of peace, using the local mountains and lake as the focal point. It is said that they received several artists' renditions of this beauitful landscape. The paintings showed calm waters, or a glowing sunset just behind the mountains casting warm colors across the waters at the base of the mountains. Another was of a valley and stream, where the wildlife ran free and the water trickled along toward the glassy sea. All were beautiful and serene. Except one. The artwork showed the mountains and the waters, only they were dark and fierce with storm. The trees were bending and the waves were tossing violently. It looked anything but peaceful! In one part of the mountainscape, however, the artist had painted a crevice in which one could see a large nest. There inside the nest was a mother bird, and in the midst of the violent storm she had her wings spread and was covering her tiny babies. They were warm and had no idea that a storm was even raging.
That painting was the one chosen for it's beautiful depiction of the idea of peace. It has been one of the images that comes to my mind so often, and truly how I see peace in my own life. My life has had several 'raging storms' and continues to have struggles and challenges that seem overwhelming at times. Yet in the midst of these trials, I have sensed God surrounding me with His presence and His peace. I'm like the baby bird tucked under the strong wings of the mother- who is protecting her young with her life. I have come to trust in God in such a way that I know no matter how hard the winds blow, or how violent the rains come, I can simply rest in the shelter of His wings. It is a peace that transcends all understanding, yet it is unmistakeable and real. I can't help but share this reality with others, because I know some of you are in the middle of the fiercest storm of your life, and maybe you are wondering how you will survive. Peace to me then, is not the absence of uncertianty...but the knowledge of knowing that I am safe and secure. I pray for the reality of peace in your life- which I have found can only be found in trusting in the One who holds all of us in the shelter of His hands- every single day.


shawnna said...

I so needed to hear the NEST part of your post

Thank you so much for your encouragement - it is such a BLESSING

metrochic said...

hooray! i'm so glad you and miss ava enjoyed the package! have a great weekend, jody! and thanks again...for just being awesome.

MsGrace said...

What great goodies you got.
I love the image of the painting & peace.
I truly love coming to read your blog.


christine said...

You're so welcome dear! Trying to catch up with your, some very powerful words being shared here these last few days..I'm so moved Jody..couldn't of come at a better time.