Monday, November 29, 2010

Another prodigal story

I wrote this several months ago. Today I finally have the courage to share it. I think after reading Michelle Weibe's of story in her blog, I let go of some of my fears of what others think. I believe that because our family has been through so much, we can show that much more love to those going through similar circumstances.

This may be one of my most personal blog posts ever! Watch out! Do Not continue reading if you are not a fan of emotional stories. If you dare go further you may find a thing or two out about me...

I want to begin with an example from the Bible. This is from Luke 15:11-24

"11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.t22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began."

I think that is one of the best verses in the Bible there in verse 20 it says "and while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him" ~it doesn't say he waited inside the house to beat his butt for ruining his life and his fortune, nor does it say he scolded him angrily and told him to go back to where he came from.... He ran to meet him, hugged him and kissed him and then threw a big party to welcome him home.

Now this story is personal to me this week because my brother came home. I don't think he would mind me telling you just a bit of his story. He was in rehab for over a year. He is my baby brother. He's only 22 and already been in and out of rehab a couple of times. We nearly lost him this time last year. Last Thanksgiving we weren't sure if he would live or die. This Thanksgiving we were sure that he like the prodigal in the parable was dead but has returned to life! I can't explain to you all the emotions I felt over the past few weeks. There are so many of them jumbled up. Joy, pain, sadness, excitement, worry, fear, regret, heartache, relief, happiness, I mean that is just a few that I can express and they were all jumbled up at all different times.

I am so Thankful that our story worked out this way! I know many families who haven't been so lucky. Their stories end in a very different way. Unfortunately it seems to be an epidemic lately that isn't going away. I don't have enough room to tell you the whole story or to explain all the details you may be wondering about. It isn't about those heartwrenching details anyway. This is about the joy of welcoming someone you love home, who has been gone, and has made mistakes, yes, but how we can choose to show love and grace instead of anger and bittereness and resentment. The rest of that parable is a warning if you want to read on. I hope I never judge anyone the way the brother does in the rest of that story. I was once a prodigal myself, and hope that before I ever judge anyone I will remember how much my God has forgiven me.

Now more than six months later, I have so many good stories to share about my brother. He is now working full time for the ministry that helped him recover. He is in fact on tour with them this week seeing New England. Telling us that he is amazed to see how God is moving when they share their stories. Teen Challenge is a wonderful ministry and anyone who loves some one struggling with addiction, I'd highly recommend checking out this program. I know that God put them in our lives at the appointed time to save my brother's life. I'm so thankful he is now sharing his story and changing peoples lives for the better!

Andrew is his name.... Pray for him. I'm sure all the extra encouragement is greatly needed!

May grace, peace, hope, love and faith find you where you are today and may Christ be the light that shows you the way....

Friday, August 27, 2010

Are lady bugs lucky?

Sultry August afternoon in GA on the front porch of my house. Looked up and saw this lovely lady bug! Grabbed my camera and took a few shots. I've always heard lady bugs are lucky.

I love thier polk-a-dots in red and black pattern.
Thanks for the inspiration Wanda S. Horton (@WandaSHorton) and Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo (@abcddesigns) who both have beautiful imagery and words in their blogs!
Posted by Picasa

Tom & Ace our cats adventures on the front porch

I wonder which of these baby tomato plants gave me the fine tomato sandwich i had for breakfast this morning?
This spider had a big lunch that day!

"What is it?"

Tom His Royal Fattiness!

Ace reminds me of a lion sitting like that...

what do you think Ace is looking at?
good night!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Writing a bio

Have you ever sat down and tried to write a bio about yourself? If it's the first time for you it might be as hard for you as it was for me.
So, take a deep breath and look at the computer again or your favorite piece of paper and begin. Keep in mind your positive qualities. This isn't a time to share all your flaws. We all have them of course but when you are telling the public about yourself it's not the time to let all that hang out. Take a couple of deep breaths and think about what you like. I started with a simple set of Who, What, & Where, questions for myself, about myself. I had to actually just pull out a piece of paper and a pencil to compose. I've found that if I get the pencil out my thoughts seem to form easier. Maybe my muse lies inside the pencil lead.
So once you answer those questions pretty simply, begin to expound on them just a bit. If you are like me it will probably take about a hundred revisions, but keep at it and the thoughts will eventually turn into sentences that actually make sense to someone other than yourself. I like to talk and I write like I talk so I tend to go on a bit. If you are afraid of having too much to say like I am then ask a friend to be your editor. I already asked Suzanne Chace (@suedaisy of and my business partner to be my "ruthless editor". She said she would be happy to help.
I feel much better about where I am now with the bio. I have a good rough draft and can revise a couple of times before emailing it over to see what her response is.

So why am I writing my bio you might be wondering? Great question! I am thrilled to be the next host of #IDZinechat on Twitter coming this September 16th at 8:00 pm.

"We are sponsor-free as our interest is in creating an open-forum, in order to engage with consumers and to educate about all things related to the world of design. It keeps us unburdened with being beholding to any manufacturer or product. Why do we do this? We are interested in what you want to know about us, about products, about design problems to be solved, and to offer you great decision-making tools, regarding your projects."

~Wanda of Interior Concepts by Wanda S. Horton

I hope if you are struggling trying to pull together your resume' or a bio for your web page that you will remember one thing from this blog: Remain positive and list your strengths and the things you enjoy!
As always would love to hear your thoughts on this.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Never trust directions provided on an event's web page... and if you do...

Be prepared for the most unexpected event location you might ever want to see! I'm telling you! Suzanne @suedaisy and I were bound for the @startupchics social media event in Atlanta. Well let me tell you... Always double check your directions. When you are headed downtown especially. There are some not so savory parts of town, like any large city I've ever been to... So being lost in certain sections of downtown Atlanta is not a good idea for anyone. Luckily there is strength in numbers. Alright, I'll get to it already...
5th St East Point GA
We ended up in East Point GA. We found ourselves in a residential area and at first were like OK we will get there after we get out of this part... Then @suedaisy said hey it's looking nicer over this way. We kept following the directions she had copied down from the event's web page. The one's they had provided. We hadn't used our GPS or anything up until this point. So I pulled out my iphone punched in the address provided and found there were three options... The one we were at (WRONG) and two others. Guessed the 2nd one on the list. And off we go... @suedaisy driving around, looking for the meeting. Telling ourselves "we will make it and they will have saved the best speaker for last right?"... At this point we ask ourselves "do we keep going or go home?" Hey, we were two moms with kids already taken care of for the evening. We didn't find the meeting...
5th st Atlanta GA
We found... That if two friends choose to make lemonade out of lemons, then neither one freaks out, neither over reacts, or jumps all over the other. Instead you find the comedy in the evening and have fun anyway! We decided to grab some dinner... There was this great smelling BBQ that was filling the air with such an aroma. I realized how hungry I was! We hit 5th St BBQ and then found our way to the Barnes & Nobles ( down the street. Right smack dab in the middle of  GEORGIA TECH campus. Yeah, I might have overdressed for a college town adventure, but @suedaisy and I made the best of it. We grabbed our new books to inspire us for our new adventures and then like the super moms that we are headed home to tuck our little boys in for the night...

Have you ever made lemonade out of lemons like we did? We got to know each other better. Not such a bad idea! We are creating a small business empire together. Learning about one another kinda ranks up there on importance don't you think?
Let me know your thoughts. I love comments!

Monday, August 2, 2010

goto grls 4 social media marketing

I am pleased to introduce to you a new blog from @suedaisy and @swaygrl. Our efforts combined bring you a new approach to marketing for the 21st century!
We are YOUR "goto grls 4 social media marketing"


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

N. Topsail Island Family Vacation

While missing the beach and looking through my vacation photos, I decided to share some of my favorites with you! Enjoy! Sure makes me want to go back soon! How about you?

Family tradition sand castle building ~ love it

ah! heaven

the end of N. Topsail Island NC



Sean can make the funniest faces
that color is my favorite ocean color!

looking at a million tiny crabs on the surf

Surf City NC

hubby's shoes look so at home there! no crowds to bother 'em either

playing w/the camera in the evening~ love the pier in the distance all lit up

heading out to search for crabs on the surf at N. Topsail Island NC

"where are all the crabs?" "it's not dark enough yet son"

did you find anything yet?

one of the many blue crabs found, caught, and released!

Hope you enjoyed a small sample from the NC coast! There is nothing like it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The ugly truth about insecurities

Insecurity what an ugly word! Yet it follows me, it haunts me and often plagues my life with doubt and ruin. Focus on your insecurities and it is a sure fire way to make you and everyone around you miserable! To tell you the truth I am good at it. I want that to change. I would like to be more self confident. I would like to not let every little down moment make me feel as if the end were near. I know the truth about insecurity so why then do I let it creep into my life and make me into an evil monster.

This morning for example, I was feeling low and like my husband doesn't really love me. This is a big no no! He loves me, for sure! He married me after all and puts up with all my shenanigans. He takes good care of me and my son. So why is it that I concentrate on thinking that he doesn't care?

Today is Follow Friday on Twitter. It is one of my favorite days because everyone show's their love to their favorite tweeps. After feeling low when my hubby left for work, I jumped on twitter and began to show love to my favorite tweeps. They in turn show me love back. Something small maybe but it turned my day completely around. Encouraging to say the least! To think that these people are willing to say such nice things about me. WOW!

So what does that say about me? Am I that shallow that I need constant approval from others? How do you find security in yourself? How do you feel confident even if no one is telling you that you are great? These are questions I need to find the answers to. I don't think you can answer them for me. I don't think a self help book or Dr. Phil show will magically fix this issue for me. I believe it is a life long journey to learn who I am and to love myself. First accepting myself for who I am and then learning how to be a better person.

I have always thought of myself as a depressive writer. I have always identified with Edgar Allan Poe!(not that I've ever written anything as powerful as him) You know the kind who only writes anything when they are down. I'd like that to change too! Perhaps blogging will help me with the discipline of writing and help me to learn to write about the happy times as well as the sad times. I'd like to share one of my favorite poems by Edgar with you:

A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away In a night,
or in a day, In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Edgar Allan Poe

My dear friend on twitter Jill (@jm_healy) wrote a blog recently about unconditional love. It meant so much to me. I think focusing on where true Love comes from is a good place to start. Seeing myself through God's unconditional loving eyes has a way of turning my frown upside down. She mentioned the love chapter in her blog from 1 Corinthians 13. That is such a powerful set of verses. Maybe I should begin my day there!

Again, Thank you for taking time to read my blog. I hope by the next time I write to have a happy story to share with you.

Do you ever feel like it is hard to write when you are happy? Are pain and sadness good muses or just companions I need to kick to the curb? Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think! I'm always interested to know who is reading and what you think.

Happy Friday to you all! May your day be filled with sunshine and good times!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Too much to say

I think blogging is difficult for me because I have so much to say. My head is full and my heart is overflowing. So when I sit down to blog my ability to get one done seems impossible.
I think I worry about having the "good content" that is preached about relentlessly on twitter by social media gurus. But, I desperately want to find my voice. I want to have something to say that will make a difference for someone.
Maybe you are struggling too? Perhaps like me you want so much to contribute and take part in the vast world of blogging, but you get stuck too? I have had so many friends give me good tips. Brandy (aka @the_write_girl) said sit down and write an email instead of thinking of it like a school project. She knows I always clam up on school projects, procrastinate, and then rush to get it done. Jason Sadler (aka @iwearyourshirt) the t-shirt wearing guy says he blogs every day. He also does a video and live web show every day. Sounds fun right? Well, it does to me!
So why am I struggling to get it going? What is it then that is keeping me from putting out a great blog? Why do I feel so lost? I know I'm in a sea of large fish, and I'm a teeny tiny minnow. But my friends keep telling me to try. They keep telling me that there is someone who will identify with what I have to say.
So I think keeping my blogs as short as possible will help. I don't think I'm going to try too hard with pictures and backgrounds at first either. I think I will just start publishing everything. Editing as I go and putting what I have to say out there.
Shameeka Ayers (aka @brokesocialite) says she wrote a blog for over a year before anyone but her mother read it. Mom are YOU even reading this? LOL I bet not since she barely likes to check her email.
So what are your thoughts? Do you struggle like me? I love to journal so I figured that blogging would be a natural fit... Maybe the key is letting go and not worrying about what everyone thinks? Dive in and go for it? That's what I'm trying out now...
Please let me know. I'm not giving up just yet! In fact I'm determined to get better and feel more confident with every post!
Thanks for reading! Please leave me a comment so I know what you think...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"the let down"

Have you ever done something that made you so proud of yourself? Then the next thing you know it wasn't enough? This event planning thing is amazing and exciting (which is part of the reason I love it) but I'm beginning to think it's a bit addictive.
I can admit I'm somewhat of a drama queen. After all I was a theater major in college. I do love the dramatic side of life... Events are dramatic and fun. Everyone dresses up and behaves nicely. We all enjoy a good party! But then sometime the next day or week a sudden plummet downward begins. That emotional roller coaster ride starts to hit the bottom. The let down of the party being over.
What's next? ...Is what I keep thinking. How can I do this again,bigger, and better? How can I actually monetize this new passion I have found... Don't get me wrong following my passion is thrilling and rewarding... But I gotta get paid too!!!! I can't keep giving out all this energy and time without some financial gain. I know others are capitalizing on the social media buzz being so hot. So what do I have to do?
My first event was a real learning experience. I didn't expect to make a dime... I didn't. I even had to pay out of pocket for using and some print marketing. I know big numbers help, but how do you have a free event and make $$$? This puzzles me, but I am determined to find out. Thankfully, I have some great friends on twitter and facebook that are ready and willing to help me learn. It's amazing to me how the community of twitter is so willing to help a newbie like me out! Its fantastic!

So whoever is willing to post a reply to this short little blog about events and the emotional roller coaster ride, I'm willing to give a prize to. I can offer my designer shopping service for one hour free to find something interior design related if you post a helpful hint for me on either how to make $ from events or how to get good sponsors for my events.
Thanks for reading this... Hope to hear from you soon!