Friday, September 30, 2011

{important giveaway update}

life is complicated.

sometimes things arise that we cannot predict.

but God is good and in control.

but due to a family emergency in the lives of one of my upcoming Esty sponsors, i am currently having to rearrange things for October's giveaway.

actually, i am currently searching for another esty shop to enter this next month's giveaway.

the next giveaway will now be starting on October 5th instead of tomorrow.


i have five days to find another jewelry/photography/art shop willing to enter into this giveaway on intensely short notice.

prayers are so richly appreciated. if you or someone you know would like to take this position, please let me know as soon as possible

UPDATE: Alana has graciously offered up a product from her shop for next month's giveaway. God is so good. Please check out her blog and shop; she is truly wonderful!


however, on a positive note, this means that the current giveaway has been extended.

a difficult situation into a blessing.

be sure to enter September's giveaway here

thank you all so much for understanding and for your patience.

-blessings abound,
rachel

amigos



five minute fridays. we write for five, and only five, minutes. no editing, no overthinking, no backtracking. linking up with the gypsy mama.


the word
FRIENDS

now GO...

i wonder where i'd be without them. 

these people who have radically transformed. touched. caressed and pushed and held and gripped my wrist so tight as i slip beneath the surface and pulled me up again.

man was not meant to be alone.

each one of us has the one partner with whom we are meant to spend our lives. 


and i have found my precious true Love and life companion, and my life would not be the same without him to hold my heart. my true best friend is him, indeed. 

but there are those others. 

those other lifeguards that watch your shore, those other hands to hold as roads are raced, those other heads of hair to blow in the wind from rolled-down car windows as music flows through each strand. 

so much shouting. laughter. wisdom. precious ones. 

{via pinterest}
{those tissue bearers. those shoulder-lifters. 


those warm blankets for a wounded soul, those comforting wraps for laughter at the fireside. 


those sisters. those brothers. 


those dearhears that can look back at the page and say, 


yes, we were there. but we overcame. and we sang and laughed and wept and danced and leaped for the pureness of it all. 


together. 

companions. 

my precious ones. 

my sister. my Abby. 

my soul sister. my Alex.

my tender mother. my sweet mother-in-law. 

my loyal father. 

my brothers. my sisters. 

lists too long to name. but i love you. 

my team. 

champions all.

survivors all. 

His all. 


{the fantasy giveaway ends TONIGHT! be sure to enter here before midnight tonight}

Thursday, September 29, 2011

the wire {writer's blog}


down to the wire now, i suppose.

less than thirty-two days until the madness of nanowrimo starts up.

and i'm starting to breathe this story, i think. so little is compiled, but i have a grasp.

so little is known, but i've figured this path out.

{won't you join me here for the rest?}

patient wait

{via pinterest}
i'm not patient. 


i may seem to have a better grasp on waiting for things that matter


but in truth, i cannot bear this thing of wait. 


it's agonizing, to know something could be and is not yet. to know that what i want cannot yet come to pass. 


to know that His answer is always there. 


but sometimes it is wait. 


i'm learning to discern. to hear. to listen. to recognize His voice and leap like a lamb to His feet. 


but oh, how hard is this thing of wait. 


but when He speaks, it pours like water, like rain on the parched soul. 


it is worth this thing of wait. 


it takes such faith to sit under this rock, in this long-standing shade, with the only goal to hear. oh how i fight myself here. 
{via pinterest}
i despise waiting. 

i want now. this now here now. instant. 




but His will is not mine. why is it not? i have been His for years. why do i still reach out with impatient little girl fingers, stomping my petulant foot with pouted lip and crossed arm.


now, Daddy. now. 


but He knows more. 

and so He touches my cheek and whispers


wait. 


and so i learn to unfold my arms and raise them up.


waiting here. 

we're waiting here for You
with our hands lifted high in praise
and it is You we adore
singing Alleluia 
{christy nockles}


from now until the beginning of May 2012, i have embarked upon a study: discerning the voice of God by priscilla shirer. i do this in company with a small group of women from our church, including my mother-in-law, led by my dearest mother. 
this walk is new to me, this concept of truly being still and hearing Him speak is familiar but oh so foreign. 
each week, i will be pouring His voice here. 
expect Him here.
 {pray for me.}

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

hermana

{my sister}
i've blogged about my sister before.

my hermana. my best friend. this beautiful fellow artist with whom i have tangled paintbrushes and inspiration for the past eighteen years.

i wrote about her just this morning. my blonde-turned-violet companion.

she photographed me for my birthday just last week.

and now she joins me here in this world of blogging.

i spent the afternoon teaching her. designing for her. smiling and laughing with her. 

i could not be more delighted. more honoured. more excited for her as she begins this new process.

would you join me in loving her?

you can mingle with her heart here.
she pins here
she photographs here

she's just starting out. just testing this waters for herself. 

so please

love on Abby with me. 

my best friend. 

my sister. 

fellow blogger. 

hermana.


{untitled for love}

{found this via my dear rain. artist anyone?}
so little is sure.

and so we clutch planners and calenders and count days on our fingers and toes and say 

i will. 
we will. 
this will.

and then it comes and all has changed. 

twenty one years can change a lot of all i thought i knew. 

here is not here sixteen years ago. dreams were not these, and life was not these cobblestones. 

it was all me. not this. 

i dreamed of perfection of jots and tittles. of smooth roads and transplanted potholes. 

i never dreamed of free thoughts or casting capitalization away and making rational thought from these fluttering butterflies. that university would fade into a "maybe someday" and i would consider dreadlocks from this smoothness. 

i never dreamed in peeling paint and bare toes and paintbrush bristles and jewel tones. 

i should have. 

a conversation with my sister. her eighteen to my twenty and one. us both shaking heads and laughing.

did you see us here? as artists? 

neither of us did. 

so little is sure. 

i like this new me, i think. no, i know i do. i didn't know how hard it would be. but that's alright. because He knows. and i'm learning this dance of trust and 

yes, Lord and Thy will

so now we're sister artists. photographer, writer. long hair swept up in scarves and learning to touch Heaven from earth again. 

and we bury our dayplanners and say, if He wills. 

we follow now. 

these sister artists. 



{again linking this imperfection with love}

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

painted

{via pintrest}
every artist's tools have a story.

look at the old pen and inkpot, stained with fingermarks and blots of this novel and that world's creation. there was life born there.

the pointe shoes, tattered toes and dirt-marred satin. what leaps speak novels in these wrecked canvases?

and then there are the paintbrushes. 

flecked with paint and primer and so many colours that the layers have become one upon another.

oh, what mysteries of tender caresses and angry slashes are found here amid the horsehair and bamboo?

see this is what i desire

no more sketching with my charcoal that can be

 rubbed 
and washed 

and faded down 

to nothing with just a bit of pressure. 

i want raw. 

no more scrapping my brush across the surface of the palate, just covering the tip.

sleeves rolled up, arms plunged in up to the elbow. 

{via pintrest}
blue dripping to a puddle on the floor.

a single strand of hair brushed across a forehead results in a streak

of yellow 

and purple 

and red 

and aqua

skin once bare made perfect. 

no more surface living. no more sketches of me. no more maybe this or perhaps that. 

i want deep. down to the bottom where the richness resides. 

this is what it is to be used for glory. 

for so much beauty, for all this majesty. 

take me deeper. 

i ache for You to hold me.

melt me. 
mold me.
fill me. 
use me.


{linking up with my beautiful sisterhood. this place of real.}

Monday, September 26, 2011

sparks {102-117}

today is cold. wet. rainy. so grey and oppressive.

the kind of day that makes you want to curl up and just shut the world out. no more noise or cold or wind and rain.

nothing good. only the dark.

but i find this crackling hearth in my soul. and i sit beside the soul-glow and find the warm from blessing upon blessing.
  • 102. cableknit sweaters and knitted scarves
  • 103. letters from friends. hand-penned words in lavender pencil, even from growth comes love. 
  • 104. acoustic guitars 
  • 106. friendship
  • 108. peace. the chance to slow. to rest. to be still.
  • 109. hot chocolate
  • 110. Ravenclaw. 
  • 111. discovering i am more than i can see, worth more than i might think. 
  • 112. Him. what greater blessing is there than my King? 
  • 113. warmth.  
  • 114. touch. 
  • 115. surrender. 
  • 116. family. 
  • 117. light. 
again, small things. 

my little things.

but on these days of darkness, of grey, of cold and damp

these are my sparks. 

my flames to melt the ice.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

wonderful

{Dorothy and Toto get to know the Scarecrow}

i am currently seated in my overstuffed leather armchair. 

hair back in a bit of a ratty ponytail, toes bare. my grey t-shirt speaks my weekend to a t.

defying gravity. 

this weekend, i walked down the yellow brick road with a fantastic cast of 45. 

we made magic. 

in this world we created, scarecrows can sing and men made of tin can wander through the woods. lions can skip and little girls can become puppy dogs with the help of a little black makeup. 

poppies are dangerous. trees are fierce. witches can be good or bad...well, only two. giant mystical wizards might be a little less than they appear. 

and ruby shoes have magical powers.  

we also made a family. 

i sit here, a green t-shirt drapped over the arm of my comfy resting place. 

45 Sharpie-scrawled signatures. 

who knew that yellow bricks could cement hearts like this? 

this technicolour magic lingers still. 
{melting...she's melting}

i'm crying now. i miss them already. they took my heart and painted it silver.

i have brains, a heart, and courage aplenty.

it was wonderful. 

to my incredible cast and crew: 

who can say if i've been changed for the better, but because i knew you, i have been changed for good.

{i promise that there are more pictures from the show coming soon. these are just two of my favourites that have been posted so far, and i wanted to share them with you.}

Saturday, September 24, 2011

autumn

autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  ~Albert Camus

it's autumn now.

for a day and a half, it's been autumn. and already, i'm in love.

i'm in love with cold toes and fluffy sweaters. crackling bonfires and the barest tinges of red and gold brushing their fingers over the emerald leaves.

yesterday was the first day of autumn. the first day of my 21st year. opening night of my show, photographs forthcoming.

it's so funny how one day can change the course of an entire train of life.

autumn makes me random. 

summer makes me full, but autumn scrambles my circuits

in the best of ways.

there is so much here to take in, so much restoration found in this fading of life.

autumn is effortless. it feels like summer takes so much work, so much strength to endure. yes, it is the time of vacations and topsy-turvy schedules. but it's work to stay out of the loop.

it's beautiful. 

i like this so much better. i like this feeling of sweet richness that the fall months bring. 


this kiss of apple cider, of pie and cinnamon, this bundling quilt and cute boots weather.

i can't stop falling in love

with fall.

Friday, September 23, 2011

growing

five minute fridays. we write for five, and only five, minutes. no editing, no overthinking, no backtracking. linking up with the gypsy mama.


the word
GROWING

now GO...

how fitting that this would come today.

today i am 21. 


as of my waking, i am another year old.


it feels like the strangest of emotions all wrapped up into a simple time frame of 24 hours. 

but today this step has been made, whether i wanted it to come or not.

i'm in the eternal process of aging. but what about growing?

am i growing? i suppose it depends on what you mean by growing. i stopped physically growing at the age of 14 and have not risen an inch in height since then.

i suppose that makes me feel small. 

no, not suppose. it does.

honestly, it's hard to feel super confidence at a minuscule 5'0. 

{photo by PinkStudios Photography}
but that's not what matters, is it?

it's not the height or weight or eye colour or the consistency of my hair that makes me grow.

it's this heart of mine. this soul that aches and craves and sings out the strangest of songs as i learn and figure things out for myself. 

i'm growing on my own. maybe it's the life circumstances which i have endured at a very young age. those things mature you, they say.

or maybe it's just the lifting of my King. the turning of His weights, gentle and tender, speaking



grow

to my little seedling heart. 


in Him, it's okay to still be growing. this tiny work in progress.




21 and still growing. 




Thursday, September 22, 2011

{photo shoot ~ 21}

tomorrow i turn 21. it's almost impossible to believe.

for my birthday gift, my amazing photographer-sister {Abby of PinkStudios Photography}did a photoshoot of me.

the results?

 1. i have strange ideals of beauty. i generally never wear makeup or really do any sort of fashionable shopping. it takes my sister a lot of convincing to get me to put on something super stylish or wear more than mascara and lipgloss. also, i'm continuously in the same pair of flip-flops from March to about mid-November {or until it snows}.  

2. i have dreamed my entire life of being the first plus-sized "mini-model" to be on America's Next Top Model. but then again, i realized how much that would change me. and so that dream died. but somehow, i think i'm okay with that now. i can change the world from my little corner. right here. ordinary me.




3. i dream in black and white with only the occasional pop of colour. seriously, it's like an old noir film in my head 24/7.




4. my sister and i never dreamed of being artists. we never saw ourselves here when we were kids. and now we're living out dreams we never even knew we had.




 and so this is me.
turning 21 tomorrow.

i promise a post of more sustenance with my dwellings on the day tomorrow.

but for now

picture this.

lamb's ears

{via pintrest}
some of you may know that i'm on a journey.

a journey to find my voice in Him. a journey to seek the sacred.

this week, both of these journeys have met in a merging of roads that caressed my soul in ways i never could have comprehended.

His voice is sacred to me. 

and now we must discuss sheep for a moment.

in the days of Scripture's pen, sheep were kept at night in groups, enclosed within low stone walls and guarded by one shepherd who laid across the doorway to keep all univinted guests from harming the sheep.

and in the morning, the shepherds would come.

and one would stand at the gate.

and he would call. 

and from all those flocks nestled within the stone pen, only a few would step forward. his sheep would come forward. because they knew this voice that spoke to them. this was from their shepherd, their master.

and they followed him with love.

Rachel Lee. little lamb in the meadow.


{via pintrest}
i am a sheep, clustered in the pen with so many others. the voices of the universe, the crush of confinement, and the rush of life has nearly wiped my mental slate clean.

and then He speaks
and i know His voice. 

because i belong to Him. and i run to Him, crying Abba Daddy. 

because i am learning to know His sacred voice.

His way is not safe. but He is so good.

and i follow. 


from now until the beginning of May 2012, i have embarked upon a study: discerning the voice of God by priscilla shirer. i do this in company with a small group of women from our church, led by my dearest mother. 
this walk is new to me, this concept of truly being still and hearing Him speak is familiar but oh so foreign. 
each week, i will be pouring His voice here. 
expect Him here.
 {pray for me.}


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

bubble

{via pintrest}
little kids and blowing bubbles go together.

there's something so innocent about pressing your lips together to blow a steady stream of air, causing the world to expand and expand

come together and let go

that floats and floats on the breeze, catching light in a strange sort of glint that cannot be described right or duplicated right

until something gets in the way and

pop

in a glisten of raindrop beads as the beauty goes from high to shattered before these little ones even have a chance to react or try to save their perfect bubble.

and then they giggle and do it again. 

life is like that, i think.

it's a bubble that we strain to create as innocent children.

my world, my creation, my perfect bit of sunshine

{via pintrest}
all about us until something comes into the path of our sunny day and

pop

our beauty goes from high to shattered on the pavement with no warning to save our precious pieces.


but sometimes

we can't giggle anymore.

 because the giggle went away when we grew up and got cynical and hardened because life is just that hard and nothing floats the way it used to when you get to just that age.

but then, isn't it funny how we forgot our unchanging God?

this One without turning or shadow. this One who changes not and loves much.

this One who promised to carry our brokenness when the path just gets too hard and too much and all the bubbles have popped.

in these moments, i praise. win or lose, joy or pain, greatness or destruction.

there is no shadow.

and His change is never.







{linking this imperfection today. so much can come from being real}

{prematurely linking with Laura for
this playdate with the King}

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

egg

{via pintrest}
again, i am drawn to the small.

it seems in recent days that i have been pulled toward those things which are normally passed over or seen as insignificant to careless eyes. 

spoons and steps to the sacred.

i awoke this morning with a picture in my head. it was the photograph just to the left. 

a photograph of eggs. and for some reason, i could not get it out of my head, regardless of whatever i might do to dislodge it.

and then i began my morning blog readings. and the first one that i read was this one by Ann Voskamp.

and i realized that my glorious King was whispering in His own silent way that this mental portrait of an egg needed to be poured out and shared.

and so i pour. 

i pour this thought that an egg's sacredness has been lost. a gift from Heaven to remind us again and again of the holiness of God. 

more than just the picture of the Trinity here on earth, though that is indeed a glimpse of Heaven's gates.

it is the reality that brokenness can be restoring

that in our weakest state, when our shells are shattered and strewn about, that we are the most fulfilled. the most ready to be used for the benefit of others. for the benefit of Him.

{via pintrest}
for glory to come, brokenness must occur. 

for life to be seen, the shells must crack.

for Love to be poured out, the blood and water had to flow. the shell was crushed for life to be born.

the Stone Table must crack for death to run backwards.

the King must die for Death to die. 

this is life. this is love.

this is what it means to be an egg.

Monday, September 19, 2011

more and more {92-101}

these lists on Monday have begun to change me.

the book has changed me doubly still. 

the King has gripped my soul.

i never realized that this would be a transforming habit. 

i make lists as it is. a bit compulsively, i might add. grocery lists, to-do lists, wishlists and Christmas lists, gifts to buy and things to make. food to cook and dreams to fulfill. 

this is not a wishlist. not a collection of things i need or want or require to make my life a better place. 

"not of gifts i want, but of gifts i already have...this writing it down -- it is sort of like...unwrapping love." 

and so bit by bit

i unwrap this love. 

  • 92. respect. from peers is given, from position is earned.
  • 93. new cell phones, gifted for twenty-one years from my parents. phone calls that can be made, texts to be sent, and that doesn't turn off without a moment of warning.
  • 94. steaming mugs of raspberry tea. warming after the damping from icy rain.
  • 95. corner booths in old-fashioned cafes. 
  • 96. "calm. peace. be still."
  • 97. late nights in theaters, the smell of paint and sawdust in the air. 
  • 98. a word from His heart to mine. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
  • 99. plane tickets purchased to my best friend's wedding. less than a month, and the date is here. 
  • 100. the smell of new books
  • 101. the wisdom of elders, the calming of friends, the sweetness of children.
i love these gifts of mine.

no more demands or wants.

these are gifts i already possess. 

this is eucharisteo. 


grace. 
thanksgiving. 
joy.





{linking up with this one thousand step journey}

Sunday, September 18, 2011

phoenix stage

There is hope; there is a purpose to suffering. Art can create a place where the weight and reality of our darkness can be seen. ~Makoto Fujimuzo

i live for art.

really, i do.

they drive me crazy sometimes. i find myself sitting on the edge of the stage, gazing out over all the empty seats

and i wonder why i do it.

and then i remember. 

i do it for the nights like this one.

the nights where cue-to-cues flow better than they are supposed to and struggling lines turn smooth and rocky steps being to flow in unison again.

i do it for the beauty. for the composition. for the thrill and rush and the incredible feeling of satisfaction seeing months of hard work transformed into a symphony onstage.

today was the first day of Tech Week for OZ!


day one of five before the show. day one of five arduous days that will make my brain ache, my tears flow, and my legs ache with constant pacing and running and darting and leaping.

but it's a beautiful kind of pain.

it's perfect. 

it's this dance. this gift from Him to me. this pain that turns to joy.

this onstage phoenix. 

this quote from my precious Alexandria speaks my artist heart better than i ever could.

We tape up sore toes, 
play till our fingers bleed, 
stain our hands with ink and paint, 
deal with writer's cramp, 
and weep through countless sleepless nights
because without our art 
we would die.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

but not

for love of You
i'm a sky on fire.
and for love of You
i come alive. 
it's Your sacred heart within me beating
it's all for You.
~Audrey Assad

sometimes, the above truth is all you have.

the reality that life is complicated. and hard. 

but i am a sky afire. 

all because of Him.

and right now, i'm feeling extremely frustrated and defeated. 

but i'm not my own.

hard-pressed but not crushed

perplexed but not in despair

struck down but not destroyed.

i am in awe of Him. 

this girl is a sky on fire.

all for Him.

i live in this world of but not. 

i am in this world but not of it. 

i am His. 

all for Him. 

this sky afire.


{this playdate with my King}


Friday, September 16, 2011

joy

five minute fridays. we write for five, and only five, minutes. no editing, no overthinking, no backtracking. linking up with the gypsy mama.


the word
JOY

now GO...


both are precious. both are joy. 

they resonate with beautifulness and mercy and so much joy.

even in so much darkness or pain.

because this song is slow and rich, not the bubbly melody that we once leapt about to and sang in rapid-speed as children. 

but it is still joy.

because this post is written by a woman of all inspiration and glory. this dear one, beloved beyond this and that and all

currently making her graceful way Home. my heart is breaking at our loss, but rejoicing at her gain.

even in the tears

it is still joy. 

she is going home to Joy. her Joy, her Love, and her Lord. 

what greater joy is this. 

i think it comes from this place of realizing that joy is the bird that sings just before sunrise. still so dark, but this bird knows.

it knows what comes in time. it knows the Light. 

and Sara is that bird. this bird of joy flutters at her windowsill. and as it takes flight, Heaven-bound, it sings a glorious refrain.

death is swallowed up in Victory. oh death, where is your sting? oh grave, where is your triumph. 

Sara is flying home

on His wings of perfect joy. 


{dedicated with all the love in the world to Sara Frankl. her steps to joy have led me forward, along with so many others. she loved fast and deep and rich and hard. she loved her King. bless you as you take this path Home, sweet one. your King awaits you with a kiss for your cheek.}