Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I'm an official Daisy now!
So my "secret" is out this week. I was invited to be on the design team for Cocoa Daisy! Cocoa Daisy is a fun scrapbook kit club and website full of great people and inspiration too! I have been so, so happy to finally be scrapping and playing around with funky patterned paper and lots of ribbons and stamps and so many other cute doo-dads too. Whether or not you are a scrapper, you are invited and more than welcome to come over and visit the site. There is a message board and I plan to be there with my thoughts and random chit-chat often. =) Stop by and say hello and get in on the fun, if you like. You just might find you are more crafty than you think. Or you might just have fun seeing what all this obsession is about. It has definitely lit a 'fire' in me again and I am thrilled to feel that happy feeling inside.
It feels like "the clouds have started to lift" around me. And even though nothing has changed- meaning we still have two rents to pay, I still have endless diapers and laundry to attend to each day, I still want to unpack boxes and settle into a house that feels like a home- but despite all that I am feeling such a peace and happiness again. Sometimes I wonder if we go "through the clouds" and have dark times in our lives in order to appreciate and relish in the lifting of the clouds that much more. Sometimes I wonder if we do through the darkness and come out of it on the otherside- notso much for our own sake- but to testify to others in the "dark" that the light is coming. To be able to say "hang on" to someone who is hurting and questioning and wondering and feeling overwhelmed...to tell them that the day is coming when they will see light burst on the scene again, well, I can't help but wonder if that is in part why we go through the muck and mire. If so, I am even more adamant about declaring to the world that there IS hope and light and days worth hanging on for.
I am holding on to this and documenting it for me as much as for anyone else out there. Because I know that life ebbs and flows. One day I will need the reminder again, that the bright days exist. That happiness is worth chasing. That Light is always on the horizon and is always worth the trek through the dark. I am just so happy to be embracing the light and the good right now. A happy heart is something to be celebrated. And I am overjoyed to be in this place right now.
So, the big question is 'how did I get here'? Right. I know. I wonder that myself. I wonder if it was me or timing or just the world spinning to the right place or what it is exactly. This is what I do know. Life is a journey and as I said there are ups and downs. Sometimes we just have to ride it out. I believe that. Sometimes we have to stretch out our hand and let someone pull us or lad us along. I look to God, my husband, my family and some special friends in my life for that many times. I am thankful they are always there. This time, the joy seems to have burst on the scene because I finally allowed myself to open up and receive it. What does that mean?!
Well, I have been missing this creative outlet in my life for nearly two years now. Between Wyndham's double-foot surgery and a new baby at that time and 4 other kids to mother and care for, well, it just got side-lined in my life. And once I was so overwhelmed and unable to make time or space for this part of me, I started making excuses too. Now, let me tell you about excuses. We ALL make them. Sometimes they are even valid! But, and here's the thing...sometimes we allow our excuses to drag us down, hold us back, or steal our joy. Did you hear that? Yes, I believe we let our excuses steal us of the very thing we are trying to go after or seeking in life. No matter what it is. From scrapbooking and being crafty, to having or wanting a baby. Or finding a mate. Or finding financial freedom. Or getting in better shape- physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I think we sometimes start believing our excuses and soon- even the valid points- these 'lies' start shaping what is happeing in us and to us.
Now, I don't want to sound all zen or preachy or whatever. But I do want to take responsibility for a lot of the unhappiness I have felt over the course of two years. What starts out as a little downward spiral and "cute pity party" can totally spin out of control. I desperately wanted to 'find happiness' and feel it again in my life. But at the same time I was looking at other people and comparing my life to theirs or wishing for time and space and energy to do things I wasn't doing. And in so doing my time and energy was going to my own demise! It's crazy how that works. And I'll tell you, it's hard to get off that train that is headed in the wrong direction.
For me, my "ticket" off that negative, hard train was the realization that I wanted off and that I had to just start taking steps to get off. Sounds easy, but when your mind is telling you that life is stacked against you....or each month that pregnancy test comes back negative...or your credit card debt keeps mounting...or those blind dates go awry every single week, well, it gets hard to even WANT to try again. I get that! It gets more and more challenging to see the light as the darkness closes in. That is where I found myself. Feeling overwhelmed and then starting to care even less. It's a dangerous place to be! And I truly believe that sometimes we have to hit our own rock bottom in order to find a starting point back "up". So I wanted off that train and out of the dark.
I finally had had enough. I was getting tired of seeing everyone else having all the crafty fun I was missing and craving. I was getting more and more sad at myself for not doing something about it. SO that was the first step. Recognizing that I was the only thing holding me back! I was the one stepping in the way of happiness. I was in the dark...but I could step away from it whenever I wanted to. What would that take?! Well, in this situation- which I realize is minor compared to lots of life "stuff". I don't want anyone to think I am comparing the lack of joy and happiness I was missin from being crafty to their personal struggle with infertility or anything of that magnitude. But happiness IS a big deal and when you miss it for almost 2 years that darkness just hovers and starts to smother and affect so many other parts of your life. So this wasn't just about scrapping anymore. But the way my kids were responding to me as a mom and person of influence in their life. It was affecting a lot of me and my world. I knew I had to find a way out. And as crazy as it sounds, I took a tiny step forward. I walked into a scrap store and purchased some new things to play around with. Not because I needed them. Because goodness knows I have boxes of product unpacked at my house right now! But that was overwhelming to me! So to spend $35 on new stuff and start to feel that thrill of happiness at the thought of making cards and other things, well, that was the step of action that I needed to start the spark in me again. I had prayed too.
I prayed a lot the past 2 years for God to show me happiness and joy in life again. I think He was waiting for me to do the searching and take the step. Once I had the "new stuff" and that spark started, I STILL had lots of excuses. "Crew and Teague will get into it all", I told myself. "They're going to wreck my new things." I tried scrapping a tiny bit here and there. Even with my reservations. And then I played the Dr. Phil game- the "what if game". The one where you lay your excuses out there and imagine what is the worst that could happen. So, what if Teague and Crew wrecked my stuff? Well, I could buy more, right? Or I could get over it and just let them play around with my paper scraps andhave fun too. I could use their interest and love of my new stuff for us to be together and have fun too!
When I started to see that evn my worst case scenario could turn into happiness I began to find a new freedom! And in the midst of my finding a tiny bit of happiness and fun in crafting again, someone took notice. Suddenly my happiness started to direct my steps! Christine at Cocoa Daisy saw a couple of things on my FB posts and she contacted me to be on the design team of her kit club. To say I was blown away and surprised is an understatement. Here I went from longing and wishing to be 'back in the game" to being asked to be on the front lines! It seems to good to be true.
But that is why I am sharing it here on my blog- the way it is. Because I think sometimes we all need to see someone else ride it out, get a break or see the clouds break open before we can believe in our own circumstance enough to want to have the light burst through our own clouds. If I can be the tiny spark for someone to believe in something that their heart is longing for...well then, it is abslutely worth all the darkness I have been in just so I can shine the light a bit brighter in the life of another. I am humbled that I am experiencing such happiness and joy in life right now. I do not take that lightly. I know I can thank God for helping guide and direct my steps and even open doors to such goodness in my life again. I am humbled, yet thrilled, to be able to pass a tiny bit of it on to all of you too.
If you are in a place where you need to believe there is a way out, or a future that holds beauty and happiness for you, let me encourage you today. Hold on. Keep fighting. Silence your excuses and expect God for a miracle in your life too. That is my hope and prayer for you!