Friday, December 19, 2008

Just checking on you guys . .

I hope you are all enjoying the pre-Christmas festivities. I have been happy with the arrival of Christmas cards in the mail box and hearing Christmas songs in the stores. I love that this time of year encourages us to reach out to connect with others. It is a perfect time to pause and reflect on the blessings we have, and think about how to help those who may not be feeling so fortunate. As you go about the extra effort that goes into the holiday season, remember to take time for filling yourself back up. And yes, you can do it with Christmas cookies, See's candy and homemade fudge! But I hope you will also include time to take a walk and breath in the clean, crisp air. Listen to the birds chirping and the happy sounds around you. Remember to take time to pray for those in need and for yourself. Read passages of inspiration. Snuggle with your four footed friends. Turn off the TV, light the candles and just bask in the glow of being secure in your home. It is a good life we live.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Its cold (for So Cal!), rainy and I think we need cookies . . .

Today was one of those rare days in So Cal with lots of rain and wind. It was the perfect day for starting the Christmas cookies I love to make only at this time of year. So I lit all the candles in my living room, got the mixing bowls out and and turned on the oven - yummy!! The house is toasty warm, good smells are in the air and my nest feels cozy and comfy! This is a big part of what Christmas is about to me.
Then I had a most unexpected surprise in the mail today. The house next to us had been abandoned by the former owners many months ago, such a sad sign of the times. In the interest of keeping things looking as normal as possible I would mow the weeds when they got too high. J. would go over and pull the weeds growing up in places we couldn't get to with the lawn mower and we would take in the newspapers that continued to be delivered in spite of my calls to have them stopped. We just generally kept our eye on the place. Well, a couple of weeks ago it was bought at auction and the lovely man who bought it totally fixed it up to sell. He sent us a check for taking care of it before he even owned it! I was blown away! What a nice man! It makes my heart happy to know this man fixed this house up right, and he cares about us wanting to have nice neighbors move in next door. I was very humbled and happy. The real estate situation has so many people feeling callused and cynical these days, and it just made me feel warmed to know it wasn't going to be that way for the house next to us.
Here's another story that warmed my heart and humbled me. I am teaching a class in January using tins to make altered art. I have three class samples in the store and this weekend a customer really wanted to buy one of them. It just so happens that it was my first one and my favorite one, but something told me to let her have it. When I asked if it was for her or someone else after she purchased it, she told me it was for a friend of hers in Colorado who is battling cancer. She bought it to send to her as encouragement. My heart just immediately melted. I am blown away when something from my heart and hands touches someone's heart. It really makes me believe in the power of the Spirit, and man, how that humbles me.
So today I wish you the peace of a quiet, cozy day, filled with your favorite smells and sounds, candles adding gentle light and a heart touched by the Spirit of the season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It is the busy time of year . . .

We are all in our busy mode these days. Things to be done for Christmas rather it is presents to give, items to make for shows or just the internal need to create, we are all doing it! This morning I was reading this:

"You are blessed because of the love you give forth. In coming days such blessings shall you have that you will feel you have no more room in your heart to receive them. Go now to the tasks that await your hands and I will work with and through you as you fulfill your daily portion of work."

This really speaks to me. I am reminded that the creations we bring forth with our hands, starts in our hearts and brings that love to the people we share our art with. And it's not just our art, it's the way we go about using our hands throughout our day. We drive, do chores, we touch and hug our family, friends and pets, we are cooking and cleaning, planting and writing. Our hands are there to express the love that flows through us in all the actions they take. I don't know about you, but that offers me great comfort as I go about my day today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home, happy and hopeful . . .

I am home and had a great time with my family for the Thanksgiving holiday! We ate turkey (and many turkey sandwiches!), played lots of Scrabble games, and enjoyed each other's company. A good time was had by all!
I am happy. I cleaned house yesterday, washed windows to let the sun shine in, filled bird feeders, caught up with friends on the phone, and in blogland. Putting order back into my world.
I am hopeful and letting the excitment and anticipation of the Christmas season start to flirt with my thoughts. I am going to a Christmas party this Friday, which is called Craft-O-Rama!! It will be my first time attending and I've heard wonderful things about it in the past that I can't wait to get to go play there this year!
I love this time of year. The season is about hope, love, the promise of good things to come and appreciation of the good things we have already.