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Posts from the ‘Focus’ Category

Out Of The Darkness

I have heard it said that a messy desk is the sign of a cluttered mind. I say that a cluttered mind is the result of an unclear path.

I have spent untold hours and so much mental energy trying to create a niche for myself that is completely unique and could become a business. In the late 70s I thought about parlaying my love for words and calligraphy into a lettering/logo business. I bought the supplies, practiced, and moved on. In the early to mid 80s it was crochet; I dreamed of winning a crochet design contest that would land me in a magazine, thus launching a career. By the 90s I was happily married, had a job I liked and all my energy went into these things as well as my new again religious fervor. I jumped in with both feet and even took classes at a local Bible college. Then in 2003 my granddaughter was born and my world changed forever. I had a solid relationship with God, my husband and family. I entered the absolute happiest time of life. I was full and content. My entire life was spent wanting to be a wife and a mom and now I was living that dream I had a daughter by marriage and a granddaughter I was able to care for while her mom worked. Then, I made a decision which led me down an uncharted path.

By 2005 I had taken up knitting and felt like it was time to do something for myself, so I joined a social knitting group where I met the woman who would become my business partner. Together we opened a yarn shop. This sounds like an innocuous enough undertaking, but it altered me in ways I could have never imagined.

The details are not as important as the end result. The end result was that I began trusting more in my own understanding and slowly removed the light from my life. The farther away from God I got the more circuitous my path and the deeper my anxiety and confusion. So what is the answer? Light is the answer.

Most of us have experienced being in total darkness for one reason or another; it is natural to feel anxious and fearful of taking the next step. But put a flashlight in our hands and suddenly that step forward is clear…as long as we walk in the direction of the light.

But that light only shines for a defined distance. What is beyond that? We will never know until we take a step, then we are allowed to see a little more. Stand still, nothing is revelealed. Move to the right or the left and it could be safe but then again, who knows. That is where the anxiety is produced. It is only moving forward in the direction of the light that we can be confident and secure.

My word is a lamp to your feet; My presence is a light for your path. Psalm 119:105

When I worship God through reading scripture, praying and listening then I have a light for my path the rest of the day. Giving thanks at the end of the day prepares my mind and spirit for rest. And then, I’m ready for tomorrow.

So, if you are like me and put God’s lamp on the bookshelf or in a drawer, go find it. Let Him illuminate your day and your life. Let His peace wash over you and rest in His loving care.

Until tomorrow…

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Road Trip

We are leaving tomorrow for a seven day road trip to Sparta, North Carolina. I said yes to an opportunity to teach at a fiber festival in Sparta so that we would make this trip which has been on our radar for about five years. Thus the life of two procrastinators living together for thirty years.

Other than teaching, the purpose of the trip is to go through some of the towns where my in-laws grew up and to gather a bit of family history for my husband. One of those towns is Laurel, Mississippi which is also home to the HGTV show “Home Town” which I believe will have begun filming again. We will be there in the middle of the week so hopefully we might catch a glimpse of some of the action.

Normally I spend hours trying to figure out what project to take with me. Not this time. Simplicity and Focus are my guiding words which will be evident in my packing and my projects. Hubby is kind of nervous because he knows how I would get in the past if the project wasn’t right. I’m not that person anymore.

I want to be fully present on the trip and aware of everything around me. I want to really see the countryside, the people, the buildings, everything there is to see. My plan is to keep a travel journal. I will take pictures, sketch, write, and observe. I’m taking my iPad Pro because I am learning how to sketch and letter using it, but I really want to go old school: paper, pencils – sketching and color – as well as a mini watercolor set. I want to use my other creative abilities to record our adventure.

I will take fibery stuff for the class, and I am going to a fiber festival, so this trip is not going to be void of all woolly loveliness. It will just be in perspective with the excursion.

You see, when I work on knitting, crochet or especially spinning, I loose myself in the process. If we were traveling on a well known path and the destination alone was the focus, this would not even be up for discussion. But, we’re not traveling that way. Everything on this trip will be new to my eyes. I’ve been to parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee before, but not these parts; and I’ve never step foot in North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains just create a certain visual for me, I don’t want to miss anything. The beauty of my fiber arts is that if I capture the trip using these other methods, then when I come home I can translate those memories into fiber art. It really is a win-win situation. Hubby will have to experience it to believe it. He’s a perpetual skeptic.

Blue Ridge Fiber Festival here I come.

It’s going to be a grand adventure!