Monday, January 25, 2010

Make new friends...keep the la

I got invited to a Nerd Party. How appropriate ...I did not need to think of what to wear I was ready in flash. My sweet Sophie had to work a little harder at it than me...she was still the coolest nerd there.

I encountered these two lovelies ( lifelong friends) at the Barn recently and they were so charming and so lovely we hit it off like buttah! They instantly knew a fellow Nerd upon meeting and asked me to join in the festivities , as it turns out...we attend the same Church and share lots of interests- first and foremost- Love of our families, laughing anything chippy or old..sparkly...and just being Nerds.
Not to mention...the bodacious one in the pink has a son who was in "New Moon." *GASP* Sophie almost fainted.

In all seriousness, I so appreciate natural connections, authentic women able to laugh at themselves and with others what a JOY!

The intensity of playing spoons can hardly be projected in a pic...

A special shout out to our gracious hosts and especially hubby of the year for being a good sport, and rocking his Bronco fan gear with such panache.

This is Fanny. a.k.a. Melissa. She is a crack in the head. I love her joie de vivre...she really has lost a lot of weight and looks hot! It must be rewarding to get to play by stuffing it all in for a night and laughing at herself. She was "looking for love"... she had her wet and wild red lip gloss and a box of valentines all saying 'call me'.

Another lovely vision of Fanny playing Just Dance.

I got in on the festivities and whooped my hubbys behind to the song "you got to move it move it"...I have no pics because I was too busy frolicking, good thing- I don't think it was pretty.

Alas, Chloe was monitering the activities I am sure she is a little traumatized today, she may need your prayers.

Coming soon... we had such a riot-we are getting together tonight for round two...Girls Night at the Rockyard Brewery, Nice little church ladies getting together. To be followed by lunch tomorrow with my bestie since 3rd grade and my mom...(I sorta love when Curt travels)- and I am rich in relationship this week... stay tuned for Silver and Gold part two...

Now go have fun today, and keep your eyes open for meaningful connections.!

Happy day.

Friday, January 22, 2010

ode to a quiet night home...alone. Selah.

(Jeanne D'Arc Living is available at Coming Home~ at The Barn in Castle Rock

Shopkeeper~ Friend~ Claire Roberts.)

Tonight is one of the rare ones with no one home...all night. How I fantasize about these nights...most of the time. They are probably overrated there is nothing like having the people you love in the next room. Even if they are flippin channels and playing wii...they are there.
A good soulful evening with Norah Jones and favorite mags is necessary to make it clear how irreplaceable your family is.
Sweet dreams friends, and hug your family.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tree of Life...

Mark 10:15 (New American Standard Bible)

15"Truly I say to you, (A)whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."

In the oldest story we hear of a young lovely couple being told... not to eat of the
Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Hmmmph. Why not? Isn't it good to know what is evil and who is bad and who is just plain selfish?
Wouldn't we be able to navigate this world better if we just knew... who was good, who was evil, and try - really try to be good ourselves?
Not really.
We were never intended to navigate anything OURSELVES. We were intended to be so close to the source of all love and all good that we would not be burdened with having to know.
We were intended to be reflections of LIFE. ~ not the knowledge about life ~ we were intended to be vessels of LIFE itself.
I have a dear friend who uses the phrase Judgy Mcjudger...I love that. It sums up the absurdity of one of us taking on the role of deciding with finality what is and what should be! Come on... we all do it!
Yes- discerning and wisdom and prudence are noble and important...ask me about politics some other time...BUT...ultimately it is small potatoes compared to being a conduit of Life to someone who needs a little air. On your tombstone do you want it to say-
" she really knew right from wrong and was glad to tell you about it!"
or would you like it to say
"She was a force of love and life and generous of spirit."
Powerful isn't it?
I believe this is the main challenge from day to day as we inhabit this earth. The divine tension between recognizing real evil and fleeing from it and being ensnared -trapped- by offense, judgement and pride.

I have heard a few stories of various opinions about different responses to Haiti...people using it as a platform to pontificate and critique. REALLY? Now?

I want to live from the Tree of Life.

I desire to be a vessel for that which brings life ~ not that which can articulate the rights and wrongs about life.

Something to ponder...

Proverbs 18:2 (Amplified Bible)
2A [self-confident] fool has no delight in understanding but only in revealing his personal opinions and himself.

Happy Day, Wishing you Tree of Life moments.

I just recieved this email please help if you are so inclined!
What a way to make a difference.

"My sister, Rose Sliepka, started a non-profit to support the troops back in 2004. Her efforts were entered into the Hero Next Door contest. This grassroots project supplies engraved dog tags to our military in the war zone. The military parent then sends the tag back to their child so that the child will be able to hold their parent close to their heart until their parent returns home.
The nominee that receives the most votes in the Hero Next Door contest wins.
The deadline for the contest is Feb. 26, 2010.
To vote, please go to: Look for ROSE SLIEPKA and then PLEASE cast your vote for her great endeavor,
Be sure to complete the voting page by clicking on the directed animal. You should get a confirmation back in your e-mail in- box.
One vote per person. However, more than one person can vote on the same computer. After voting, click at the right top where it says LOGOUT.Another person then can vote.
The Dog Tags for Kids Project’s website is:
Rose does all the fundraising and engraving herself. Your support would really be appreciated!!!
Please pass this on to as many family and friends that you can reach.
Thank you "

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A tribute to the military, my brother - one of my heroes!

Below is a little bit about one of my amazing brothers... Jesse. I have three- of whom I love and am very proud. ( I am proud of my sisters too...)

This is just dedicated to him this time.

At home with Dad, ( Denver fireman...and his oldest son David ... future difference maker!)

My sweet daughter Sophia with his youngest, Asher! ( He has a little girl- Izabella- on the way now too!)

C 17 Globemaster...this is the plane that he flies which was used to bring home Haitians to family in the United States.

The C17 Globemaster dropping food and water to the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

This is a video of the missions my brother and his fellow airmen are making.. they are making one heck of a difference in peoples lives.

Victims were picked up in Haiti and flown to Orlando...

He says the devastation is unimaginable... thank God our brave men and women are there to do this, I am so humbled and inspired to love irrationally!

Please watch and please pray for our military and for the precious people of Haiti.

I am just so proud of him. I am always inspired, challenged and blessed by his and his sweet wife's sacrifices....

I sware soon to get back to home and design and loveliness ... but this is so huge, it can't be ignored.
PLEASE POST A COMMENT or ENCOURAGEMENT... I will forward to his wife at home...
to offset the burden of holding down the fort. ( she would never call it that- but you and I know!)

God Bless our troops and God Bless the USA!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Broken, but not abandoned...

It is at time like these that the most natural questions are asked.
What could we have done?
What did we do?
Where is God?
Why these people?
What can I do?
one person?
I challenge you... What can one person do?
Mother Theresa
C.S. Lewis
Martin Luther
Martin Luther KING
Jesus ~ behold I have come to make all things new.
What can one person do?
Bin Laden?
one question recently posed to me... Why not you?
Are you immune to trial tribulation?
What is your response to your affliction?
I challenge you to ask yourself... these questions... and ultimately not necessarily answer them but not be so quick to dismiss them.
the Where is God...
I believe He is the fresh water being shipped.
The food being delivered.
The tens of millions being donated....
the thankless hours that the volunteers give carrying the dead, wounded and debased.
He is the airplanes delivering the supplies...
the shovels digging for life... He is in the ray of hope the separated are resting on.
Is it a perfect response to an imperfect disaster... no.
Is it a outpouring of brotherly love, sacrifice... irrational comfort and generosity?
I think so...
the question is what do you think?
Love you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


2 Corinthians 1:4 (New Living Translation)
4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

Pray for the people of Haiti.
Please do what you can to help the Haitians. At a minimum, please text the word “Haiti” to 90-999 to donate $10 dollars to the American Red Cross.

Also Visit Etsy... Angela Harris, Rebecca Sower and they will be donating to Haiti!

Fresh...and clean.

There is a lot to be said for Oh -so- fresh and uncluttered.

The soft simple light of natural linen,

the utilitarian texture of burlap... the pop of lively green touches. I am enjoying this new week, year, decade already... time to lighten up and unclutter.

I am so excited about these handmade beautiful linen panels so muted and soft, so fresh.

I am prepping my little shop "Magpie" for outdoor/ indoor nesting and living already. Lots of organizational treasures too! Thinking streamline!

Enjoy this season of purging and nesting!

If you are near by come by The Barn in Historic Castle Rock and visit our amazing 20 shops of great home decor, one of a kind found and altered objects... a ton for you to freshen your home
and find treasures to personalize your organizing.

Feeling Good.

Birds flying high~You know how I feel

Sun in the sky~You know how I feel'

Breeze driftin' on by~You know how I feel

It's a new dawn ~It's a new day It's a new life~For me..

And I'm feeling good

Fish in the sea~ You know how I feel

River running free~ You know how I feel

Blossom in the trees ~You know how I feel

It's a new dawn, It's a new day, It's a new life~ For me

...And I'm feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun

You know what I mean,

don't you know~

Butterflies all out having fun ~You know what I mean

Sleep in peace~When, the this day is done

And this old world ~Is a new world

And a bold world For me

...Stars when you shine~ You know how I feel

Scent of the pine ~You know how I feel yeah,

freedom is mine~ When you know how I feel

It's a new dawn ~It's a new day~ It's a new life For me...

yeah, ooh Oh, ooh...Ooh,, free loving you... Ooh, ooh Feeling good

Sometimes it's an act of will... sometimes its a grace being freely shared,
but it is my hope and intention to remain feeling good.

2 Corinthians 8:1-3~They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Renewal...Change of season

The Winds of change are beginning to whisper.
They are swirling and humming ever so softly.

January has always been a bittersweet time.

I begin to purge and evaluate... there is demarcation between what was and what is to is time to refresh and regroup. Put what lies behind in that precious bin of sentiments or just plain forget it.
I tend to be hopelessly optimistic. No matter what happens I Find something to look forward to, some person to delight in, some project to start or loose end to tie up. Admittedly this has been more of a stretch recently, but that is about to change as well.

I am sensing deep in my Spirit that a burgeoning season of simple delights is at hand.

I recall- in November reading my friend Jeannes beautiful post Big Dreams. ( I was undone. I have been sleepwalking .

I don't know exactly when it happened, but I know for sure that I needed to wake up so I could dream again.

Since that day I have been praying for the courage and strength to dream. Real dreams, ones I can share and ones I can execute. Dreams I can pass on to my daughter, and share with my husband.

In His infinite kindness the message at my church yesterday was..."God will give you a dream!"

I almost fell out of my seat. Not that this is a particularly shocking or unusual message but that it is so top of mind for me -this minute -and I was so surprised by the palpable gift I was being given, I could feel the paradigm of murk shift to one of renewal. ( Thanks Brawna!) Just like that. No goosebumps or bolts of lightening, certainly no phone calls saying all your troubles are solved. Just a solid shift. A release of significant proportion. I look forward to sharing and rejoicing as these new and wonderful changes unfold.

I watched as my sweet puppy eagerly looked out this morning with enthusiasm and curiosity...I want to start everyday with that same attitude. Don't you?

Happy Day.
Exodus 17:9 "Tomorrow I will stand at the top of the mountain..."

Thursday, January 7, 2010


As I eluded in the reflections of 2009, there has been a deluge of turmoil not only for us but all around. No one seems immune.

I mean it has been some of the toughest weeks-months of my life. I wont belabor the details but I will submit it has made me dig really, really deep.

For this season it is sometimes hour to hour grace. It is a place, I believe, none of us would willingly go to, but now that I'm moving in this ' desperate for grace' existence, I can't imagine not having the deeper assurance that All really is Well. Whether it feels like it or not.

The frigid temperatures outside remind me of how lucky I am to have a place of comfort and rest, for now.
I saw a poor soul yesterday being escorted from the library because he was more or less a displaced person. I was overwhelmed with tears at the thought of him having nowhere warm or safe to go. I was humbled by my circumstance that just moments before appeared really desperate, perspective is everything... please let me remember this.

I believe we are all looking for comfort. Not over the top lavish existences, just the real definition of comfort...(actually now obsolete definition -verb: to aid, support, encourage.)
An existence that really lets us know "hang on-it will be o.k."
What I think I'm learning is that we are like Dorothy... we have been in Kansas all along. We just need to wake up!

Wishing you all comfort and warmth in this really exceptionally cold season.

Ps. 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The "thinking chair..."

I will never forget my daughters first day of kindergarten. I was so sad that it was an all day program. I was ready to release her a little more gradually than that.
None the less, I accepted it and walked in the shiny new classroom, looked at the tiny chairs and tiny tables...and my heart warmed. A world just right for her. Custom created for her and her buddies. New posters and crayons, a window that let all kinds of light in.
One of the posters read "the Thinking Chair." Below it was one singular little chair seperated away from all the others, a little distance from the desk and other tables.

Below was a laminated poster that read ( paraphrasing )
Are my actions respectful?

Are they safe?

Are my words helpful or hurtful?

How does the other person feel when I ...say/do ( fill in blank)?

What can I do better?

This was the designated space for somebody who was probably acting with out thinking. What a geat idea. Giving the child the discipline and place to stop and think! Brilliant.

I was so relieved to know she would be with a teacher who would give her such a fine example, and the opportunity to excercise wisdom.

I- to this day see people and think, they could use the "thinking chair" right about now!
I am commited to stop and think on a regular basis and act with more purpose and intention.

Proverbs 29:20
"There is more hope for a fool than one who acts/speaks with out thinking"

Happy day. Think on!

Monday, January 4, 2010

On the seventh day...

"On the seventh day you shall rest."

My question is what is restful to you?

I find the opportunity to create, be still, ignore the ticking clock, ringing phone,
the chance to revive a tired old rejected treasure into something useful and beautiful, imperfections and all...VERY refreshing. I come away relaxed. Pleased. Satisfied with being in step with my created purpose.

What brings you rest?
I challenge you to find out then, step in and relax.

Happy day.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Broken Jesus and a little trust.


"Mel, that was in your shop...better go check."
As I ran upstairs to check the noise in my shop at The Barn I was greeted by the cutest couple...who asked if I worked there, " I do," ...
they sweetly wanted to let me know that her fashionably gigantic purse had accidentally knocked our chalk ware Lord and Savior from his precarious perch.
@#%$/I was cringing... another shop owner/friend had just been chastising me because he was priced too low.
"We want to pay for that..."
hmmm. I am in business to make money not win nice contests. He was valuable.
Then I gazed at His sacred heart and pierced palms and quickly I replied " no, no."
"I had him in a vulnerable spot, it happens. Besides He paid for all our mistakes so this ones on Him..."

I left them upstairs to retrieve a broom and when I returned they were still there discussing the purchase of a really dapper little ottoman and chair combo that I had just delivered the day before.
Then they proceeded to pick up multiple other accoutrement and wares all from my shop!
Shortly after that I sold 3 more major pieces of sweet.
I was so blessed that in trusting the outcome in such a silly way that I was able to receive a wink from heaven...

Moral of the story: Place your chalkware Jesus' up high! ( wink.)

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010...New beginnings...dare to dream again.

Goodbye, 2009.
Thank be gone.

Suffice it to say I am eager to look ahead and forget what lies behind.
The year was one of extremes, not the quite babbling brook type- more like a rapids ride with quiet spells. The highlights that naturally come to mind are the birth of Magpie...A little shop of reclaimed, revived treasures from days gone by, a dream I'd had in my heart for years and quite by accident was allowed to pursue.
Watching the very last trace of "little girl" wisp a way from my daughter to be replaced by young lady.
There was the death of our Durango... my first car accident and a weird blessing. We could no longer afford it but could not find a way out of it...I would love to claim extreme financing capablilities but really it was just a terribly dramatic wreck that left my daughter and I cold and scared but fully aware of Gods protection in our lives. (I did kill a hydrant, though.)
There was also the sweet surrender of my 16 year old cat COCO. He was loyal well behaved and sweet. We mercifully released him from breaths ceaseless tides after realizing how noble he was in his suffering. A loss but necessary.
There was a "derby party" I fondly remember and then a blur from May to October, only punctuated by Paris Street Market and frenzied creating, painting, hunting and borrowing a vehichle form everyone I knew to haul a junkstore treasure to and fro.
A year marked by material lack ... we have been sustained by grace and incredible generosity of others... more to come in future posts on that.
I recall "amusing" conversations to be sure betweeen my husband and I and our need to negotiate one car, two very strong wills. A season of stretching and remembering how to share.
Being convicted to the core at the need to honor my husband and and give thanks for who God made him not what he does, or can provide, just to learn to delight in him. My friend and Partner.
The women I have met through my venture with Magpie are the rich reward I will have loads to say about this as well. I am humbled to be surrounded by such wisdom, grace, humor and talent. I had no idea how awesome so many women could be.
I faced the very reality of death with the passing of my precious aunt ...only 4 years older than me... her untimely death leaving her 8 year old son, young daughter and devoted husband speechless and bruised. Sometimes we don't get the why questioned answered.
I watched with trepidation as my youngest daughter entered the halls of middle school, pinching myself that it was not happening... Actually understanding baby withdrawals.
I met my "grandson" for the first time too... my eldest stepdaughters precious wee one. I raised her and could not be prouder of her mothers heart.
I delighted in my nephews who are 2 and 1... I have a great sense of protection and devotion to both of them, their father is my "baby" brother and I used to ask my mother if I could "keep him, " I meant it.
There were chapters closed... I'll leave it at that, and new ones opened... with traces of things to come.
My prayers and desires for the coming year is to walk in acceptance - peace and assurance.
To be gracious of speech and generous of spirit. To quit comparing my self in everyway to anyone or anything for good. A very subtle habit with insidious results.
I pray for a change in our material circumstance and invite you to join me if so inclined and I ask for patience as we walk through this desert season.
I desire to delve the depths of creativity without fear of failure or even mediocrity...
To mother my girl in such a way that she is a force for love and goodness.
To take it all in with my eyes wide open, and heart exposed.
I am hoping this change in the calender is also a change in season one of quiet simplicity and much gratitude.
Happy 2010.


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