Long time

I’m not going to deny that I’m not a consistent blogger. I recently went back to work to pay off the debt we accrued after my surgery and we have been working on this time consuming project.

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I’m the fool who thought this would be done quickly. Very happy with the results and loving our original 1940s wood floors.

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Child of God. Working toward healing.

Today a friend sent me a message about a song and it reminded me that I have a bunch of podcasts I haven’t listened to.
So I pulled up the first one on the list, which was, “walking, leaping and praising God” by Kris Vallotton.
In it he was discussing physical healing and how it can be hindered by emotional and spiritual issues that have not been healed.
It peaked my interest because I am still in pain after my surgery and my miscarriage started chipping away at these awesome emotionless walls I have put up in my life. Walls that I had forgotten were even there.
It didn’t take me more than a second to come up with a list of things in my life that I hadn’t dealt with and people I needed to forgive. I’m very skilled at stuffing everything and not dealing with it. I prided myself on the fact that I went four years without crying. I just refused to let it happen.

So today I started at what I feel, and most people would agree is the root of most of my issues. And that is my biological father abandoning me.
More or less he found out that my mom was pregnant and left.

Now, I was raised pretty much from birth by my stepdad, but that didn’t fix anything. And is a whole other long story. And another chapter to my healing.

After church I went to my quiet hideaway and wrote a letter to my bio-dad. I just poured out everything I wanted to say to him. Everything I felt, how I blamed him for a lot of stupid decisions I had made in my life and how I harbor so much anger toward him because he couldn’t love me even though he loved and raised his other children.
I didn’t think I had a lot to say to him, but 6 or 7 pages later I finally finished. I sat in my car crying and prayed. Told God that I forgive him and that I’m giving that hole in my heart back to God to fill.
I’m closing the book on that chapter in my life. No longer will I let a man who has only met me once have that hold on me.
I will no longer let that hurt consume me. Especially since my anger was only hurting me and not the person it was directed at!

I am a child of God and that is all that matters in regard to this part of my life.

While I don’t know if taking these steps will heal me physically, I hope that emotionally and spiritually I find myself in a much better place.
I have so much more processing to do before I get anywhere near the end of this and I’m taking it slowly as I’m terrified of what 31 years of stuffed issues could result in if I go too fast.

I pray that through my process you find inspiration and hope. Next time there will be bible verses included that I have been digging up to help me through this. God is bigger, but unless you let go of the things that are holding you back, you can’t move on.

Let go and let God

Just a thought.

Been watching Ink Masters on Netflix and it got me thinking about some tattoo do’s and dont’s.

1. Think about what you are getting!!! Seriously think about it. Like spend a good chunk of time planning it, deciding if this is something you want FOREVER. Is the spot where you want it where you want it forever.
It took me 12 years to finally get my half sleeve. And I’m not saying it should take you that long but still, think about it.
I knew the day I got the drawing that it had to be on my body. I was going to do a large back piece with it but ended up with a disease that requires spinal taps, so having a tattoo on my back would not be good. Finally decided to get it as a half sleeve.

2. Pick a good artist! Get referrals. Look at their portfolio. The internet is an amazing place. If the artist you are looking at totally jacked someone’s tattoo, you can bet they posted about it online or will warn you if you ask.
I probably got several dozen referrals before going to Taylor and even then, the first ink I got from him was tiny. Why? Because I don’t want to spend 36 hours with someone I don’t like.
Thankfully, I did like him and he got to do my arm. And he did well. And we really did spend 36 hours (roughly) working on it.

You want to find an artist who is attentive to their client as much as they are their art.

He can read me like a book. He knows when I’m done and won’t push me much past that point.

3. Listen to the artist but don’t let them totally ignore you either.

This is their job. Their artwork. They don’t want to send you home with a crap tattoo anymore than you want to leave with one.

Now because you have THOUGHT about your tattoo, you should have a pretty solid idea of what you want. But if they tell you it will be too busy or too small to do the detail in, listen!!

You can’t complain about them doing a bad job if you refuse to take their advice. At the end of the day, they have three options. Design a better tattoo while you work with them, refuse all together, or do your idea and possibly end up with a bad tattoo. Most of the time is they tell you it won’t work, it won’t. Be a little lenient without being railroaded.

That being said, don’t let them tattoo you with something you don’t want just to get it done. You have to live with it forever, they don’t.

Cover ups are always going to be bigger and darker than the tattoo you want gone, so it is better to do it right the first time.

4. If they don’t card you and have you fill out consent paperwork, run.

DO NOT GET TATTOOED THERE!

I can not stress this enough. I made that mistake ONCE. Never again.

If they can’t follow the law regarding something as simple as paperwork it is certain that they are taking shortcuts in other places. Not something you want when someone is injecting ink into your skin.

(They got shut down just weeks after my wrists were done.)

4. Watch them open the needles. If I don’t see them open the sealed package in front of me, they don’t get to tattoo me. Simple as that. No tattoo is worth the risk of a disease.

5. Take care of it!! Listen to and follow their aftercare instructions regardless of how tedious it sounds.
I carried the ointment my artist recommended with me everywhere this last time and it healed fast and looks great. The tattoos that I didn’t do that with need a lot of retouching.

All this being said, I have no desire to get into a theological debate about whether God thinks tattoos are bad. I don’t care. If he does, I’ll have to deal with it when I die, so please don’t bother with comments like that.
I’ve seen so many discussions about that and no one wins.

Mine all tell about my life story and my faith and I’m proud to wear them. If you are going to get one, just be smart about it so you can be proud of them too. (And make sure to check what your employer’s policies are first. Tattoos also aren’t worth losing jobs over.)

The Cadence Collection

I have finally gotten The Cadence Collection started!

I had planned on starting a higher end jewelry collection featuring only gemstone and sterling silver/gold jewelry for quite a while now and never had gotten around to it. But this summer I miscarried and everything seemed to come together after that. 41 Stars Studio is named for my kids (their birthdays + my hope for them to fulfill the verse Philippians 2:14-15) and The Cadence Collection is in honor/memory of my little girl who was born into heaven.

It is a project in the making. Slowly adding new designs. The focus will be on small gemstone pieces that are hand-cut and micro-faceted (super sparkley) 

There will also (at some point) be customized pieces that can be made in memory of a passed loved one or birthstone necklaces. At shows, it will be similar to origami owl in the regard that I will have all the pieces with me and you can choose the chain, charm, gemstones etc.  It is taking longer to get this process started as I haven’t found the exact charms that I was looking for and the start up cost of buying all those items is quite expensive.

But I trust that other items will sell and give me the funds I need to do this. I refuse to have a debt funded business, so I won’t take out a loan for start up costs. (if you want a necklace before I get that far, email me and I can custom order the items needed for individual necklaces. 41starsstudio@gmail.com)

I have no ultrasounds or anything to remember my daughter by, so my necklace that I made for her was a huge help for me. Knowing that I can wear her memory close to my heart makes each day easier. I’m hoping to be able to share that little piece of healing with others.

 

Check it out at http://www.41starsstudio.com

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Grief is Exhausting

I’m so tired of crying, like about to quit drinking water so I’m too dehydrated to cry. I haven’t gone 24 hours this week without tears.
I’ve had to mourn a lot of loved ones in my life but this miscarriage takes the cake. (Weird expression, going to have to look up the origins on that one)
I feel like a bi-polar lunatic lately as one minute I can be laughing and totally fine and the next minute I’m sobbing.
I would love to blame it on hormones but I’m not sure I can get away with that for very long,
A lot, and I mean a LOT, of the songs that I have been listening to lately have been talking about God’s promises.
My kids start school after Labor Day so I’m looking forward to some very in depth quiet time learning about what God has promised us.
Sadly the only thing I can think of off hand is the rainbow when he promised to never flood the entire earth again. I wouldn’t doubt that I know way more than that, but like I said, grief is exhausting. Mentally as well as emotionally and physically.
There’s a verse that says something to the effect of, there’s pain in the night but joy comes in the morning” (it is also part of a song which is probably the only reason I remember it. If the entire Bible was set to music, I would have most of it memorized because it seems that is the only way I retain knowledge well. Too bad I didn’t know that while taking algebra and chemistry!)
I’m just straying to wonder when morning is coming, I realize it has only been a little over a month, but a month do crying makes for a really long month.
The problem with situations like this us that there is no set time to heal. I knew my both of my grandpas had cancer and were going to die, so I had spent a lot of time before they passed dealing with it, so after the funeral, I didn’t grieve for that long.
My cousin was killed in a car accident by a classmate of mine and most of the time I still cry when I drive by the cross that was put on the side of the road. It is becoming less often but I still get bowled over by grief from losing her so unexpectedly.
But this is was my child. It is amazing how much you can mourn over someone you have never met. And maybe that is part of the mourning was the fact that we never got to know her. It is a pain that no one understands unless they have experienced it and a pain you wish no one ever had to experience.

Pleas forgive typos and bad grammar. I write these at the end of the day to empty my mind of the things I have been dwelling on all day so I can sleep. My iPad seems to think it knows what I’m saying and autocorrects things without me noticing. Turning words like songs into dings.

Ephesians 4

Before I start writing my thoughts about Ephesians 4, I want you to meet a new friend:

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This little guy thought it would be ok to nap in my basement. I’m thanking God that he was sleeping when I found him because that was way easier than trying to catch him while he was flying.

Anyways. Ephesians 4. Where to start. I’m probably going to spend a week just in this book .
Verse 7: Christ has given each one of us our own gift.
Do you know what yours is?
Verse 11-13 he filled the earth with gifts for each one of us in the body so that we can work easily with each other, efficiently and gracefully.
*note… I’m paraphrasing a lot. Get a Bible and read it!
We are supposed to be working together as a team, moving as God moves us, doing what He tells us. Not fighting or worrying about who is doing what or how you can do it better.
Know what your gift is? Great! Do it to the best of your ability, but don’t let it get to your head.
I’m a singer. I know there is a fine line between doing my best and being prideful. It is a hard line to walk because when you sing well and people are moved by the Spirit, what do they do? They come to you and tell you how good you were. Sometimes they say the Spirit really moved them while I was singing, but usually just compliments. I’m sure it is the same for pastors, teachers etc. God gave us these gifts. We could not do them on our own nor should we take the credit.

Don’t know what your gift is? Ask people! Others see your gifts SO much more clearly.
Pray about it. God knows what He have you too and I’m sure He wants to reveal it to you. Don’t be afraid to ask.

I hope that what I’m writing is speaking to your hearts. And that it makes sense. I just feel this urge to share as I’m learning. Because I’m excited about what I’m learning!
I love to hear your comments and thoughts on what I’m writing. I love conversing about God.

My day in pictures

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Finally have some new inspiration for my jewelry line. Took apart several old pieces to make some new jewelry (way cooler jewelry at that. Opening a new store on a new site tomorrow as well)

Dropped off my daughter for camp today and on the way home was blinded by this gorgeous sunset. Made driving a little dangerous as it was right in my face but so worth it.