Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Be Your Own Hero

It's probably ridiculous coming from someone my age, but it's true.  I've been waiting for someone to save me for a very long time.  Practically my whole life, really.  It had to be those fairy tales and the old Disney movies before Mulan and Brave.  Even Batman, Speed Racer, and Mighty Mouse followed the same general theme, right?  There's a damsel in distress of some sort.  Someone (perhaps a small rodent) swoops in at the last minute, cape flying, and saves the day?

I'm not a helpless person.  My parents raised us girls to be self-reliant.  I know how to change the oil in a car (a 1976 AMC Pacer, at least.  Don't test me on something made in this century).  I can start a lawn mower and use it the "right" way.  I can drive a manual transmission. With enough time and frustration, I can move a couch up the stairs and over the landing by myself. 

My dad had a common response when I said I couldn't do something.  He said, "Can't never could."  On the surface, that might not make much sense.  But to me it meant, "work harder", "stop complaining",  "just do it".  Henry Ford may have said it just as well, if less succinctly, when he said, "The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can't are both right. Which one are you?"

I bought this awesome tooled leather cuff from Becky at FarmGirlPaints.  I've been wearing it pretty much non-stop since it arrived in the mail.  It helps me remember.

Starting a handmade business is not for sissies.  Feeling called to do something different that what you are currently doing and feeling periodically that it's really never going to happen can be defeating and exhausting.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I was flinging myself around about being a damsel in distress.  This is the result:

The original is viewable and available for purchase in my Etsy shop here.

Shortly after that, God spoke to me through Facebook (Ha!! I know!  It's crazy. It happens more times than I care to admit) when I saw a scripture scroll by on my newsfeed.  

"Say to those with anxious hearts, 'Be strong, do not be afraid! Here is your God— he will bring vengeance, he will bring divine retribution, and he will save you."  Isaiah 35:4

I might have disputed that statement yesterday.  I might have said out loud, "THAT'S NOT TRUE!!"...a couple of times, actually.  I'm pretty sure He'll forgive me for that.  It was a momentary weakness.  If you have issues even bigger than the ones I wrestle with, He'll save you too (just maybe not in the way you have in mind or might prefer).  Ask Him.  Through Him, all things are possible.  

But we both have to forget about waiting around for some human with a cape to make things right.  

Pray about it.  Decide it can be done. Then do it. 

Be your own hero.

<3 Lori

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bigger Things

Saturday was little Micah Andrew Brown's funeral.  He was five years old.  I didn't know him or his family or anyone who knew him, his family or any of his friends.  Someone I follow on Instagram (and now I'm not even sure how I ran across her) posted about the accident that his family was involved in...the one that took his life.  I clicked over to the link she provided and something clicked over in me.

I looked at the family's photos....a mom and a dad and four little light skinned kids and two little dark skinned kids.  Then I found the mom's (Ryann's) blog. There hasn't been an entry since last October. That was shortly after they brought the little dark skinned kids home from the Dominican Republic.  Her blog is all about the history of their international adoption and how they became the parents of six kids under the age of eight.  I'm sure they've been a little busy since then.

 Source: GoFundMe.com

This past Monday afternoon, their world changed.  Little Micah was lost and his older sisters were critically injured.  Rebekah and Sarah remain in different hospitals 100 miles apart in Alabama both having sustained traumatic brain injuries.  Friends of the family have established this GoFundMe site. There's also a Caringbridge page for the family. 

As I was reading the family's blog "becauseofhisgreatlove" about their call to adopt, their decision making process regarding from what country to adopt, and the struggles they faced in the waiting (which I've come to learn is the hardest part about any kind of adoption, domestic or international) a scripture Ryann quoted caught my attention.  She was talking about being far from home waiting for the process to run its course in Dominican Republic.  They were missing their friends and family and their church family.  She wrote, "We were thirsty for community. We were experiencing fatigue, persecution, hardship. But God did not intend for us to go through this alone. He sent good news from a far country. This came in many forms through visits from friends and family, through care packages, through encouraging notes and prayers."  She said they were thirsty for community.

As cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Prov. 25:25

God has called us all to hep orphans (James 1:27).  This call has been weighing on my heart for a while.  Ryann's post was just another tap on my shoulder.  I've been able to contribute to an adoption fundraiser that was hosted by Hannah of Hello Grace Blog, who I also ran across on Instagram. She does them regularly, and I look forward to participating again. But I want to do more.  Ryann's post inspired me to make this art, which is just the beginning of an art ministry for adoption support.

The original can be found in my Etsy shop here.  I'm also offering 11 x 14 prints here, which are $20. Ten dollars of every print sold will be donated to help fundraising efforts of adoptive parents. I'm not sure yet exactly how that will work, but one way I will start is by searching the #adoptionfundraiser hashtag on Instagram.  Along with Hannah (who I talked about above), my friend Kate from The Adopt Shoppe is also experienced both as an adoptive parent and as someone who donates for fundraisers. I know they'll help me.

Did you know it's estimated there are 153 MILLION orphans worldwide?  I can't help them all, but I can do something.  I've known from the beginning this art business is not just about me. It's about bigger things.  It's time to get to it.

Please pray for the Brown family in Alabama.  Check out their Caringbridge and GoFundMe pages using the links above.  They've gotten a lot of support and prayers already, but they will be needing them for a very long time to come, I'm afraid.  So please add them to your lists.

Is there a quote or scripture that speaks to your heart about adoption?  If so, I'd love for you to share it in the comments.  It might inspire the next installment in this ministry.

Until next time, may the good Lord speak your calling to your heart, too.

<3 Lori

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I haven't been here in a very long time.  I didn't realize it had been this long, though.  I hit a dry patch in my inspiration after the holidays. It's strange really.  I've noticed in the last few years the change of seasons between winter and spring is especially turbulent for me.    There are always end of school activities, schedule transitions, the busy season at the real job, the spider webs and dust that become more visible after a long gray season. A few years ago, I realized I had an urge to run away every spring.  Oddly, there is some comfort in knowing the restlessness is cyclical and would eventually yield to a more peaceful summertime ease.  Maybe a creative pause will also be part of that.

During my creative lull, I bought a bunch of books and began to read them all at one time.  I don't know why I do that.

I ditched all bready, sugary, yummy stuff from my diet (full disclosure: except one or two Lindt Sea Salt dark chocolate squares a day.  I believe in the sanctity of life, which would possibly not be preserved without chocolate...so..there's that.)  Then I gassed up my fitbit and dusted off my treadmill. 

I saw my artwork on national television.  That was pretty cool.  I cannot for the life of me find the Youtube video in Blogger's Youtube search function, so here's a photo and a link to the video which (thank goodness) I saved to my art board on Pinterest.

I also spent some time on the porch.

And started to feel some rumblings of inspiration.

Both these pieces and the other small things I've made in the last week since my inspiration came back are being added to my Etsy shop this week.

It's nice to be back.  Thanks for being here.

<3 Lori