Sometimes You Need a Do-Over

My 8-year-old has been wanting her ears pierced for two years. When we stop at Claire’s in the mall, she admires the pierced earrings, longing for the day she can wear them.

That day finally came this past February. She got brave for a moment. She found the courage to endure the pain of ear piercing. Also, she was lured by a pair of sparkly teal dangle earrings.

Two days before the 6th week mark, when her earrings could be changed out, one of her ears became infected. She had to remove the piercing. Four weeks later the one remaining earring needed to be removed to clean the backing. She refused to put it back in her ear. It was too painful.

She thought she was ready for the responsibility of pierced ears. All her friends have pierced ears, after all. Having pierced ears looked like fun. And, they are pretty.

Sometimes you need a do -over.

We all do things because “everybody is doing it”, it looks like fun, or we do it because we think we are ready and we jump before we think it all the way through. And sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know about the situation. Then, that decision becomes a big fat mistake.

Do-over time.

tips for a do-over

Background image source: Death To Stock

Things happen that we never could have anticipated and we just need to pull the plug and start over. We need a do-over.

There is no shame is a do-over. It’s an opportunity for a clean slate. It’s an opportunity to exercise the lessons we learned from the previous mistakes. And, hopefully we don’t make the same mistakes twice.

Sometimes you make horrible choices, you hit ‘rock bottom’, life is kicking you in the butt, and you have no choice but to do a do-over. Who couldn’t use a good do-over at one time or another?

When life is kicking you in the butt it is helpful to remember for a few things:

  • Hard things happens, but suffering is optional. We are not promised an easy, carefree life. Bad, sad, or scary things will happen. How you react to it is your choice. Choose not to suffer through life.
  • Ask for help. No one can do it alone.
  • Talk about your mistakes. Talk about it with a trusted friend, family member, health professional, whatever. Admitting you made a mistake is the first step in making it better.
  • Give it some thought. Take time to think about what changes you really want to make in your life. Then…
  • Make a plan. Write down your plan for your do-over, and stick to it.
  • Baby Steps. Change takes time. Do one thing, then move on to the next. Don’t try to tackle your list all at once.
  • Let the past go. You can’t move on to the next chapter of your life if you keep reading the last chapter.
  • Focus on what gives you joy. Take time to do more of what makes you happy. Spend time with those who you love. Reconnect with joy in your life.
  • Break old habits, make new ones. Break your old, destructive habits that lead to you needing a do-over. Replace them with new, positive habits.
  • Practice saying “no”. Say “no” to the things that are holding you back in reaching your goals.
  • Say “yes” more often. Say “yes” to the things that scare you, the ones that will get you back on track.
  • Stop trying to make everything perfect. Perfect is an illusion perpetrated by society. It’s unrealistic and leaves no room for change.
  • Remember it’s only a moment, not a lifetime. This rough patch in life is short. Make changes to make things better, and it will get better. Usually not over night, but over time it will get better.
  • Have faith everyday. You don’t need to do this life alone. He is always walking with you in your time of need. Pray, talk to Him, unload your fears and ask for guidance.

So, do you need a do-over? Go. Do it. Wake up and be awesome. Make your own rules.

5 Bible Verses for When Life Gets Complicated

Lately, I have felt that life is really, really complicated. That mostly centers around juggling bills, healthcare paperwork, family obligations, work, family stress, car repairs, so, basically life in general. I’ve wondered why can’t life just be simple?

life is simple quote

I half-jokingly tell my husband that we should just sell everything and move to a tropical island. We could spend our days selling trinkets and seashells to tourists, and nights walking on the beach. We’d live the island life, slow and easy. In my head, that sounds wonderfully simple.

But, we can’t do that. Just check out. Although it’s tempting. Really tempting.

What do I do when I want to quit this and move to a tropical island in the middle of nowhere?

I open my Bible for comfort. I admit I haven’t been doing a lot of that lately. It’s an old habit of trying to do it my way, or the world’s way, instead of His way. It’s an old habit to break.

As believers, we aren’t promised an easy, simple life free of complications. We are promised, however that Christ will be with us in our time of worry, stress, and anxiety. That’s easy to forget in this world.

Sometimes we just need a little reassurance that He has our back. I’ve rounded up 5 Bible Verses: When Life Gets Complicated for this very occasion.

5 bible verses to lift ou up when you are down

Isaiah 41:10
[9] You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. [10] ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ [11] “Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.…

Luke 12:25-26
[24] “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! [25] “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? [26] “If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?…

Philippians 4:6
…[5] Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. [6] Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

John 14:27
[27] “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. [28] “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.…

1 Peter 5:7
[6] Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, [7] casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. [8] Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. [9] But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?” That is the million dollar question in Luke. What is all this worry and anxiety getting me? An anxiety attack?

I don’t know how I will fix all that is worrying me today. Only the Lord knows. So, I am letting it go. Right now as I type this. [Letting it go…letting it go…letting it go.]

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RELATED READING :: Read Life is Hard over at {in}courage. I read this post a few days ago and just feel in love with Jennifer’s words.  I used BibleHub took up the verses above.

You Don’t Need to be Called ‘Creative’ to Create

“Creative” is one of the words people use to describe me. I’ve heard it from a very young age. I had a wonderful aunt and mother who encouraged my creativity. I went to art school. I have a creative job. I create all.the.time. It doesn’t occur to me that others don’t think they are creative.

It always surprises me when I hear a friend or family member say something like, “Oh, I am not that creative.” [Sigh.] I always respond, “That’s not true!” I don’t say this to be polite. I am saying it because it is true! You don’t need to be called ‘creative’ to create.

“Creative” is one of the words people use to describe me. I’ve heard it from a very young age. I had a wonderful aunt and mother who encouraged my creativity. I went to art school. I have a creative job. I create all.the.time. It doesn’t occur to me that others don’t think they are creative.  It always surprises me when I hear a friend or family member say something like, “Oh, I am not that creative.” [Sigh.] I always respond, “That’s not true!” I don’t say this to be polite. I am saying it because it is true! You don’t need to be called ‘creative’ to create.

A work in progress…

The Brain Theory. Science tells us the left side of the brain is where language, logic and math happens. The right side of the brain is dedicated to creativeness, among other things. Although both sides of the brain do a little bit of each, picking up slack for each other, there is a definite job assignment for each side.

Presuming you still have your right side of your brain, you are creative!

Also, we create everyday, because all human beings were made to create. That is because we were created by the great Master Creator. Some humans are naturally more creative than others, this is true, but that does not negate your own creativeness.

Being creative is more than painting a masterpiece written about in history books. As one great painter once said, “Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” That was Edgar Degas speaking truth.

Everything we do requires creativity. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this: Have you ever made up an excuse as to why you couldn’t, or didn’t, do something? You are creative.

Have you every started a business, or dreamed of starting a business? Do you sing in the shower, in the car, at your desk at work? Can you sense the mood of others? Do you have a hobby? Do you laugh at jokes, or tell jokes? You are creative.

Do you forget where you parked your car at the mall? That’s not forgetfulness, it’s creativity at work. That’s what I tell myself every time it happens!

Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts or having some kind of important career.” –Madeleine L’engle

So, forget that old saying, “I am not creative.” Never say it again. Want to get in touch with your creative-self? Try this…

TIPS TO SET YOUR CREATIVE-SELF FREE TO START CREATING:

  • Give up comparison. Your art is yours. Don’t compare your art to others.
  • Give up comparison, seriously. Just stop. Don’t compare your beginning to other’s middle.
  • Do draw inspiration from others. Notice I said ‘inspiration’, not ‘comparison’. Pinterest is a great place to start finding inspiration.
  • Focus on the process rather than the final results. Creating should be about expressing yourself not producing gallery art. Enjoy the process.
  • Gather supplies in one place. Nothing derails the creative process faster that having to stop and look through the junk drawer for a pencil!
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try something new, even if you fail at it. And, maybe it’s not paint on paper. Maybe your art is music, dance, or acting.
  • Have fun. If it is frustrating, or forced, then stop it, or at the very least walk away for a little bit and come back to it later. If it still isn’t working, let it go and move on.
  • Play. Play with a medium you’ve never tried. So what if you have no clue what you are doing. Do it anyway.
  • Let go of the negative thoughts that your ideas are stupid, or silly, or nobody else gets it. You get it and that is all that matters.
  • There are no rules in creativity. What you create is all from you. There is no right or wrong way of creating.

Everyone is an artist, and our materials are all about us. To use them, you must see them, and to see them, you must accept that they exist.” –Bill Kenower

All of us can create something wonderful, whether we think of ourselves as ‘creative’ or not. Our creativeness is inside use, just waiting to be expressed. Go ahead, try it. Go create something.

FOLLOW MY PINTEREST CREATE::365 BOARD

I will be starting our Summer Art Journaling Series next month…stay tuned.

LINKING UP at Holley Gerth’s Coffee For You Heart. She is an encourager of faith and words. Check her out and other encouragers linking up today.

For the Moms Who Have Been Called The ‘Meanest Mom Ever’

By now, everyone has watched the viral video of the yellow clad Baltimore mamma slapping and yelling at her son in the middle of a street protest.

Some have hailed her ‘Mom of the Year’, others call her an abusive parent. No matter what side your opinions fall on, I bet you five bucks, in that moment, her son was calling her the ‘meanest mom ever.’

Because there are two things that are guaranteed when you become a mother…you will catch your child’s puke in your hands, and you will be called the ‘meanest mom ever.’ Whether it’s in the middle of the street during a protest, or in the kitchen when you take away a cell phone. It will happen once, twice, or even more times than you can count.

Being called a “mean mom’ is just part of the job of being a good mom.

Happy Mother's day to the Meanest Moms Ever. Why being a 'mean mom' is a good thing.

Source background photo: StockVault

To the moms who have the guts to stand up and said, “Oh, no you don’t, son!”

To the moms who make the hard choices about what to do with their troubled teen.

To the moms who say, “no” when all the other moms said, “yes”.

To the moms who go find their underage-child drinking at a party, and drag their butt home.

To the moms who make the agonizing choice to let their child ‘learn lessons the hard way’ because they just won’t listen to your advice.

To the moms who toss their child’s bedroom looking for drug paraphernalia. And find it.

To the moms who have rules and follow through with consequences in their home.

Moms do it all at the risk of being called the ‘meanest mom ever’.

Because we moms know that being mean is done for the love of our children, that, and…motherhood ain’t for those with a weak stomach.

To my mom, who had the courage to be the ‘meanest mom ever’. Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks for being a mean mom.

LINKING UP with Simple Moments Stick. Go check wonderful women writing about their love for Christ.

Creativity Takes Courage

“Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse said that. Henri spoke truth. Why does creativity take courage? Because what we create is a personal expression of ourselves. Not everyone will like what we create. Not everyone will get it. Not everyone will think it is worthwhile.

It takes courage to put a piece of your heart out there for the world (or your little world) to judge. Showing your art puts you in a vulnerable position to be judged. And, let me tell you, it hurts when someone criticizes your art. It’s like someone calling your baby ugly.

Some of the greatest artists in history had their babies called ugly, too. Did you know Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting while he was alive? It was Red Vineyard at Arles (The Vigne Rouge). Yep, people just wasn’t into his art. They didn’t get it. But he had the courage to paint anyway. He painted for the love of his art that came straight from his heart.

Creativity takes courage.

I gave birth to two creative (and beautiful) daughters. When they complain they are bored I can pull out our art stash and they get to work creating something. We have a closet dedicated to creativeness (and the vacuum cleaner).

For the past three years we have worked in an summer art journal. It’s part art, part journal and it is a great way to document their childhood while allowing them freedom to create or write down whatever is on their mind, free from judgement. It’s more about the expression of creativity rather than a masterpiece ready for framing, and it teaches them to make the mistakes work.

Some of our past art journal page samples:

Summer art journal cover

summer to-do list, art journal ideas

favorite things collage journaling

journaling Ideas

It’s all about the process, mistakes and all. There are not rules. There is no right or wrong way to art journal.

This summer we will be working through a new art journal. I will be posting our projects, journaling prompts, free downloads, and creative ideas to get you art journaling. This isn’t just for kids! It’s time for you to get in touch with your creative side, too. Won’t you join us? Look for tips on getting started in the next few weeks.

Believe in Yourself For Real

I see this motivational quote pinned all over Pinterest: Believe in Yourself.

Three little words that are meant as an encouragement, but, do we really believe in ourselves?

Sometimes it is easier to believe the “bad” stuff others say about us, but the good stuff goes in one ear and out the other. Why is that? What would it look like if we believed the good things others said about us? Not just take the compliment, then swept it off with the broom of negativity.

What would it look like if we stopped waiting for others to tell us how awesome, fantastic, glorious we are and believed in ourselves, right here, right now? The heck with others say about us anyway!

It's time to believe in yourself for real

Background photo source: DeathToStock

What would it look like if we believed in ourselves and really mean it? Not just because it makes a great quote. Because if we really believed in ourselves we would stop listening to the negative things people say, and listen to the truth. We would listen to our heart.

We would stop the negative talk that happens in our heads. We would stop comparing ourselves with others. We would be our best cheerleader. We would look in the mirror and see the truth. We would see how great and brilliant we really are.

What would we do if we believed in ourselves? Where would we go?

Let’s make a pact. Let’s believe in ourselves for real.

Changing the Game in the Fight Against ALS

It’s been eight months since the viral sensation #ALSIceBucketChallenge swept the nation. This is a hashtag success story with $115 million donated during the campaign, and $220 million donated to related ALS charities around the world. Because of this, we are changing the game in the fight against ALS.

It has been eight months since we participated in the Walk to Defeat ALS in Denver.

Team McCormick, the small but mighty !

Team McCormick, the small but mighty !

It will be four years on July 4th, since my step-father, Ron McCormick lost his 10 year battle with this disease.

My favorite picture of Ron before ALS changed his life

My favorite picture of Ron before ALS changed his life

Did you know it cost $2 billion to bring a new treatment to market?

ALS info graphic, we can't stop now

InfoGraphic courtesy of ALSA

Two Billion Dollars. That is some serious fat stacks.

May is ALS Awareness month. I know all too well how this disease can devastate a life and the lives of loved ones. Every year that we participated in the Walk to Defeat ALS, we walked under the name Team McCormick, for Ron. The money we raised may have been a drop in the bucket, but you can’t get a full bucket without many drops. So, there is no such thing as a small donation. One dollar can make a difference.

I can’t cure ALS but I can participate, write letters and donate. It’s the little things that make a big difference.

Because of the Ice Bucket Challenge, ALSA is on their way to $2 billion. We can’t stop now.

My birthday is Thursday and I can’t think of a better gift than a donation to ALSA.  ⇒ [HERE]

And cheesecake. Any flavor. I am not picky.

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Together we can make a difference in the lives of others.

Links: Ron’s Story | Denver Walk 2014 | #IceBucketChllenge | Donate ALSA

Dear Ladies, Your Story Matters

Dear ladies,

There is something that you need to know…YOUR STORY MATTERS.

Yes, you.

You, working two jobs to make ends meet, keeping your kids feed. You, caring for an aging, sick parent while working a full-time job. You, fighting some sort of addiction. You, mentoring youth-at-risk.

You, changing diapers, cleaning up puke, and doing laundry. You, facing the prospect of divorce. You, who spent years caring for a terminally ill husband.

You, missionary in your own hometown, helping migrant workers. You, struggling to care for a person with mental illness. You, in the fight of your life against cancer.

You, struggling with a defiant teenager. You, empty nester, raising grand-children. You, hanging on by a thread, one step forward, two steps back.

Maybe, you think your story isn’t interesting…or life changing…or nobody would make your life story into a movie. I am here to tell you that you are flat-out wrong! I used an exclamation point because I want to pay attention to this one:

Wherever you are in life…YOUR STORY MATTERS.

Inspiring Womens Stories

Cover Illustration, The Giver by JoDee Luna // Editor, Aliyah Jacobs

When we share our story with others it can become very a powerful thing, creating a community of women who care.

I want to introduce you to a woman who knows the power of sharing ones story.

Her name is Aliyah Jacobs and she has compiled an e-book entitled Windows Across Oceans. This collection of inspiring stories is “Written by women, who dare to care”.

“Dare to care” is the key words here because all the women in this e-book are daring to tell their story, right where they are.

* * * * * *

I am blessed to have been chosen by Aliyah to tell my story too. It’s a reminder that we are all growing in faith, trying to find who we are going to be in this world.

My story is entitled, Discovering Yourself.

Sometimes when I get frustrated, questioning the point of my life and where I am going, I remind myself of a few things.

One, it’s not my vision of my life…it’s HIS. Second, whatever I am doing, it matters to someone. Big or small. It matters.

Excerpt from my story:

I grew up in as small town in Missouri. As the John Mellencamp song goes, “Educated in a small town; Taught the fear of Jesus in a small town…”

Fearing Jesus? Yes, the church I attended, the same Religion my mother, and her mother, and her mother’s mother all attended, was strict on teaching about sin, but short of the love of Christ. Doomsday was quickly approaching, there was no time to waste.

Follow the rules, be good, and don’t rock the boat. God was to be feared. The Book of Revelations was driven home. I was taught to believe in Christ but not to know His love for me.

I was the good girl out of fear. Fear of not being liked, accepted. Fear of going to hell. Fear of not being loved.

But, I was brave a few times.

When I was old enough to leave that misguided ideology behind, I did. I left the church and never looked back. I went to art school. I believed He had no room for me. I tried to live life “my way” with minimal results. Depression and anxiety gripped me for many years. I was lost.

I moved from that small town with little opportunity to the big city where the world was waiting. I dreamed of big things, grand adventures, and changing the world.

Little did I know He would change me.

Look, not all of us will have our name printed in history books or have Sandra Bullock portray us on the big screen.

“No, I am a woman of Christ who is doing what He has planned for me. His plan may not be my-name-in-lights kind. It may be a simple plan, share His love and compassion with other.” (excerpt Discovering Yourself)

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NLT

So, do you want to read about these women who dare to care? Good. This is where you click to get the e-book, Windows Across Oceans. It’s just $5. Five bucks, the price of a grande coffee. Also, the money goes to charity that helps other women. Women helping women. That’s a small price to pay in exchange to read these women’s stories.

Because, just like you, their story matters.

LINKING UP with brave and inspirational women, who tell their story everyday. Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart and Bonnie at Faith Barista. Jennifer Dukes Lee is also giving away an inspirational book. Please click over to read what these women are doing, and maybe find other kindred spirits in the link up. Also linking up at Literacy Musing Monday’s with Mary-andering Creativity with family friendly books review and links.

Art Journal :: Zentangle Art

Continuing on with my One Word, CREATE this week… Here is another new-to-us project we just discovered called Zentangle.

What is Zentangle? Basically, it’s doodling on steroids. But, it’s more than doodling. It’s structured doodling that is good for your brain, providing inner focus and relaxation.

Zentangle Design

Why Zentangle?

  • The designs we create with Zentangle are repetitive; and repetitive creative work is self-soothing. It’s a calming stress reliever.
  • It’s simple. No expensive art supplies are needed. All that is required is a pen and paper. And, anyone can do it! Even those of you who say, “I am not creative.”
  • Since you are using pen and ink, you will make mistakes. You can’t erase. You are forced to “Make it work.” Thank you Tim Gunn for that nugget of wisdom.
  • Create a state of mindfulness. In other words, instead of always striving to go-go-go, you stay-stay-stay in the moment of creating the next tangle and enjoy the process without an agenda. It’s zen art.
  • It can go wherever you go…carry a pen and small sketchbook in your purse for an instant stress relief.

 

ZentangleDesigns Zentangle hot air Balloons Zentangle Doodles

Need more convincing? Zentangle is an actual, copyrighted company. Check out their website here.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my Pinterest Board entitled CREATE: 365. Now…go create something!

Art Journal :: Mandala Art Project

A few posts ago I talked about a Spring Re-do…or starting over with my One Word, and although it’s been a challenge at times to commit to making time to CREATE, I am doing it. This week the girls and I bought a new art journal, and I want to share a new-to-us project we just discovered called Mandala art.

What is Mandala art? “The word “mandala” is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.” -Mandala Project

When I first saw Mandala on an art blog I had no idea the designs were based in Hinduism. I was just draw to the graphic-ness of the designs.

The Cross-Cultural of Mandala. Mandala Project states, “The mandala pattern is used in many religious traditions. Hildegard von Bingen, a Christian nun in the 12th century, created many beautiful mandalas to express her visions and beliefs.”

Mandala designs can also be found in Native American (medicine wheels), Taoist (yin-yang), Aztec (Aztec calendar), and Tibetan cultures. You can read more about the origins at the Mandala Project at your leisure…but let’s get on with the Mandala show-and-tell.

Looks complicated, right? Once I watched a few YouTube Videos, I figured out that the Mandala is pretty easy to draw using a compass. I put together a quick (i.e. lazy) tutorial in pictures for you below but this YouTube Video is a great how-to as well.

MandalaCompass

First, using a compass, draw all your circles in pencil.

Mandala Sketch

Next, I sketched out my design idea in one section of the Mandala. Then, repeated it in each section. This helps me stay on track with each piece. Then I use a pen or marker to freehand the whole thing.

Mandala Design

Once finished, erase the pencil…and, viola! You have a beautiful Mandala art that will impress your friends! What are you waiting for? Go create something!

And, speaking of creating something…I am linking up this week with Just Us Four Blog.

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