Monday, January 30, 2012

Sometimes, Ya Gotta Trust.

           Sometimes, ya gotta trust.

                       Almost 17 years ago My husband and I got married. We met while he was in the army and I was living in new york working and going to school at night. Even though we were both Christian; we grew up in completely different churches. I attended a Roman Catholic Church. I remember my mother pinning a delicate white lace veil on top of my head to go to mass. I remember My Dad working tirelessly painting the church pews.

My Husband attended a Brethren Church, and he remembers his mother making sure all the kids were dressed in their Sunday best, and his Grandmother lovingly talking about God.

               We figured that once we were married we would find a church to call home.

The problem was that I loved my childhood church and found it hard finding another to attend that we both liked.

In 16 years we attended off and on 5 Catholic churches

               a Methodist church once

                         and one Episcopalian church for a short period of time.

The last one welcomed us with opened arms and seemed to have everything.
The problem was that it didn't feel right.

It wasn't that the church was lacking.

It was that it was not Home for us.

A church has to feel like home.

Because in a way...that's what it is. The people there become a family. My Childhood Church was that for me.

I wondered why if this place was so great ( and it was) why then did I struggle so to get myself to go? Sunday mornings became a battle of wills with me pushing my Kids  to go when I myself didn't have the urge. We went anyway.

I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me. "Maybe," I thought "This is just the way it's it going to be. I just have to work through this feeling  and wait for it to feel like home.

It didn't

After a while we stopped going and I became really sad about it. The feeling that I was failing my kids was even more daunting. Having a Church to call home had become a quest and after 16 years the fact that It may never happened made me feel like I was a failure.
 We started to read the bible as a family at home. ...But it wasn't enough. I mean how could I teach my kids when I myself needed to learn so much?

It saddened me that Sundays would come and go and we had no Church family to share that day. I began to think that maybe there would not be a place out there that we could call home.

I prayed. We prayed ....and asked.

Last year I asked my husband if we could try a church that I had passed every day. I remembered he himself had suggested it a while back.

"Alright" he said.

I didn't want to get my hopes up. But that light deep inside me (that is given to us all ) flickered with hope.

We entered and felt that feeling you get when you're the new kid at school. The Pastor greeted us and smiled. I guess we stuck out like sore thumbs. We probably looked like lost little puppies.

The music played and instead of a children's choir or organ music a band played contemporary music loud and clear.

"OK that's different." I thought. I had never heard anything like that before. They were joyful and happy. Not somber and quiet.

Then the Pastor started to talk about the Word.

It was as if The word of God was turning that key to my heart. I listened and I understood. Later in the car I remained quiet as I waited for my family's reaction. I hoped beyond hope that they felt the same.

They did. My Husband turned to me and said " Well, I think we found our Church."

We have attended ever since. The people there have no idea what a blessing they have been to me and my family. I hope that as we continue to grow that I may be a blessing to them.  I am still trying to find where exactly I fit in. I am quiet, I stammer and I'm never ever able to eloquently verbalize what is in my heart. I find that I express myself more with my writing. At the few prayer meetings that I have attended I was in awe of the heart felt prayers that people were able to speak out loud.  I stood there wanting to speak out loud too, but I knew that all I would probably muster is a childlike "Thank You God" I spoke in my heart...God hears me I know that.

Throughout my life I have had periods of searching...wanting to be closer to Him, and I thought that once we found a Church to call home that the feeling of searching would end. It has turned into a hunger. A hunger to learn more. A hunger to read more. A hunger to be closer than ever to God.

For months now I have contemplated whether or not to get baptized. I was baptized as a baby. I have pictures of my God parents smiling as they held me while a priest with 60's styled glasses blessed and poured holy water over my bald head. My faith was a gift. As far as getting baptized now I decided that I would wait for a sign from God. I figured when it was right I would see or feel a sign from Him and that is when I would begin my new life. I would take that gift that my parents gave me and bring it with me here.

About three weeks ago I got up during the service and walked up to the Pastor and told him that I was ready to make that commitment.

I bet you are wondering what was the sign that I received from God.

                                 There was no sign.

That morning I had no idea that I would walk up. In fact the mere thought of walking and standing in front of a Church full of people makes my heart pound in my chest with fear.

I sat there with my Husband, I was thinking about this sign that I was waiting for. Then I thought. God doesn't have to give me a sign. . I had to trust Him. He has always been there for me

Through my Dad's death when I was so angry at God and I yelled in frustration "Why?"... He was there. He waited patiently as I came back to him.
He was there when I was alone with two children while my husband was away in Iraq. He took all my worries and turned them around to start this journey to Him.
He was there when I had Cancer and I thought my heart would break with thoughts of leaving my kids and Husband.
He has been there with me since before I was born.
So why then am I waiting for a sign?

He is waiting for me to take that first step. I have to trust Him. My sister-in-law later said " The Red sea didn't part until Moses trusted and stretched out his hand over the sea; and then the LORD caused the sea to go back."

So I stepped out of my row. My husband didn't know what I was doing. I walked up the aisle and the pastor gave me a welcoming hug. I didn't realize that my husband was right behind me. He supports everything I do.
I couldn't help the tears as they streamed down my face and I was happy, scared and filled with joy all at the same time.

So on Sunday Feb 5th I will go into the waters of baptism and when I come out I will be taking my first breaths as a new Christian. It will be the birth of a new me and my Journey with God will continue and strengthen. I am excited and scared and happy and joyfully awaiting. . .

Friday, January 27, 2012

Artsy Fartsy Friday~~~"Goldfish Salvation"


        Hi Everyone! I am soooo excited about this art piece I found. This artist's name is Riusuke Fukahori and he does something that I have never ever seen before. He paints with acrylics and then encases layer by layer of his painting with poured resin. The effect is stunningly three dimensional. When I first saw a picture of his work I thought it was real fish!


Wasn't that just incredible?!

                     I am wishing you a wonderful weekend!
                                              Blessings, Joanne


Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Quiet Place


            I sit in my car looking out onto the lake near my home. It is quite an interesting lake. It is the topic of ghost stories around Halloween and theories are numerous about the origins of its water and it's exact depth.  I sit here looking out and I feel peace. I come here to clear my mind of all the clutter and sometimes I even write.

I pray here too.

It seems that this is one of the only places my mind is at rest. Usually throughout the day it's pushed to race through "have tos" and "Gotta Dos". Lately, more often then not it's hard to concentrate on one thing at a time; all important and non important things are in a mish mosh and there I am trying to weed out the nonsense..sort of like untangling christmas lights.

So I sit and listen to classical music and  b-r-e-a-t-h-e

I let my thoughts flip quickly through my brain hoping I can somehow slow it down to concentrate like when a hand quickly skims a book or magazine trying hard to find a page to settle on and read.

I breathe deeply and find that moment of clarity where I write poetry in my head or find a spot on the lake that would make a great painting. There is no noise or stress of limited time. I am free of all distractions of the day....


         my mom calls with a question about a doctor's appointment.

My Daughter calls to remind me that she has basketball try-outs

and my husband calls to say that the car needs 1,100.00 worth of repairs in order for it to pass inspection.

I click a few pictures.

        I breathe deeply again.

                    Goodbye Peace...checkya later

                                         Hello Life....I'm back.

Do you have a place that you go to once in a while to get away from it all...even if its just for a few minutes?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wednesday's Fashion (a bit early)~~~Ring-a-Ding Ding

I am BACK!

Our computer was on life support at the Computer Hospital ( I'm not kidding about that name either!) They called me today and told us our dear antiquated computer still has some more miles on it. They cleaned and smushed all the bugs in it's system and it is far like new. Cross my fingers!

OK, since it's Wednesday, lets just dive right in shall weeeeeeeee?

Today I want to write about....rings...

                               Cocktail rings to be precise.

Cocktail rings have been around forever but in recent years they have made a comeback in a big, huge, gigantic, enormous, bada bing, bada boom way. They are everywhere!

They are no longer just a big honking stone to wear to a fancy schmancy place.


They come in all different styles

These are adorable! True "cocktail" rings. Check out the little lime wedge and straw!


                                              This is for the avid bird watcher

This one is so big; it's made for two fingers!


              Beaded rings for the hippie chick


    When I first saw this one I said "oh what a pretty stone"....then I said  "akkk it's looking at me!"

This is one for that girl who can't get enough of the beach


For the girl whose motto is "More is More"


                                                        I love this one

     For the Disney Fan


                    This is it! This is the perfect one for me...YUMMERS!
                                                                       source you wear this fad? Which one is for you?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday's Fashion---Grey hair

Well it is official my computer has kicked the bucket....not only did he kick it; he stomped on it, rolled over it and threw it off a cliff.

It's dead.

I am currently using my daughters iPad ( thanks sweetie) and I will post as usual.

Well, I'm going to try.

Today I'm supposed to post something about fashion. Now if only I can figure out how to paste pictures on this darn thing!

Soooo here goes!

I have noticed a bit of a trend lately....young women with grey hair

Recently young hollywood has gone grey. Hmmmmmmmm I guess the older generation is now cool?
It's is a bit unnerving to see a young person sporting a grey do. When I first saw it I thought there must have been something wrong with the printing of the magazine. So after all these years being a blue- haired lady is finally "in" ....who would have thunk it!

Picture source

my opinion? I'm not sold on it. I mean they have their cute young little bodies and all the energy in the world AND smooth unwrinkled their have the audacity to take the grey? Not on my watch sista, I say we take it back and place it where it belongs...on the heads of mature wrinkled women that have earned their grey from living life!

Some of them do look a bit cute though...I wonder when cellulite will be all the rage!
How do you like this trend?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hiking in the Catskills...Almost

    Soooooooo  the Hubster says to me....

             "Hey what if we all go for a hike this weekend?"

              "Are you saying I'm FAT?!" I respond


              "What?...No I just thought it would be nice to go for a hike."

              "Oh, OK." I respond.

              "I found this new hiking trail...and we can even bring the dog."

              "Sound cool." I say.

              "It's about a four mile hike up and down hills. It'll be good for everyone especially you."

              "Hmmm, whats that supposed to mean! Are you saying I'm FAT?"

              "No, I thought you loved long hikes.  Whats your deal anyway?."

              "Oh, nothing,...where is it?" He didn't know I had just come from weighing myself and finding 5 extra pounds displayed.

              "It's in the Catskills." 

               "What?...isn't that about a three hour drive?"

               "Yep, but we can leave early."

OK, my head is going into overdrive. I see the whole day laid out before my eyes....
Getting up at the crack of dawn.

Groggy cranky kids.

Our dog in the back seat of the car nervously farting away because he'll be convince that we're going to the groomers or gasp...the vet.

The temperature was going to be freezing and my hiking boots were thrown away after 12 years of faithful service. The day before will be spent trying to find cute yet functional hiking boots.

The night before I would be the only one up 'til all hours making sure everyone has what they need and lunches and snacks would have to packed. 

I will be nearly in tears to find that nothing fits me anymore and will be convinced that Hubster purposely planned this outing to show me that fact.

I will pack everyone's stuff and they will have what they need except for me....My gloves and hat will inevitably be left behind adorning my bureau.

 My teenage daughter will complain that the whole trip is lame and will take it out on her brother; this in turn will push him to call her stupid and an idiot.

I will yell that "We all need to get along or else we will turn the car around and go home!" which will be what I want to happen anyway!

I decided to skip over all that crapola

             "How about we stay local Hon?" I suggest.

             "Really? I thought you'd enjoy it. You are always complaining that you want to exercise more."

             "Are you saying I'm FAT?!!!"

             "You know what?... lets stay local."

             "So you DO think I'm FAT!"

             "Ugh, I can't win!" Hubby sighs.

               I pour myself another cup of coffee and place a few more cookies on my plate.  Wha?....are you thinking I'm fat!!!???

Friday, January 13, 2012

Artsy Fartsy Friday~~~Tilt Shift Vincent Van Gogh

            I love new forms of art. Have you ever seen tilt shift videos or photography? It is awesome. The videos make everything look like miniatures. ..and the photography make the familiar  have a whole new feel. This was created by an art student named Serena Malyon.  It does not take away from the original art by Van just allows you to view and appreciate the pieces through different eyes.  It is breathtaking.

                      The description of this piece reads  "A collection of images by Vincent Van Gogh that have been processed by Artcyclopedia using a simulated "Tilt-Shift" technique. To quote the original article, "Nothing in any of these paintings been added or removed or had its proportions changed. The effect is achieved simply by manipulating the light in the scene and adjusting the areas of the image that are more and less in focus."                                                                            

Sooooo what do you think?

             Have a beautiful weekend!!! Enjoy! Enjoy!
                                                          Blessings, Joanne

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Drive to a Dream


       A little over a week ago My Husband said...

                             "Lets go for a drive."

                             "OK." I said


We went  to a town nearby. He was driving quite slowly down Main Street and I wondered if he was looking for a particular restaurant.

       He wasn't

We drove around a corner and stopped to park. This area was very familiar to me. I held my breath.

My heart quickened...

                    and my palms may have started to sweat a bit.

As we walked toward this very familiar place I looked at my husband and he smiled back.

The jig was up. His sweet content smile gave him away.

We went up the familiar flight of stairs and I could not contain my happiness.

We were at  Dollhouse Delights a store that is owned by a sweet older couple and they sell miniatures and Dollhouses. Yes,...Dollhouses!

"Pick out one that you love." hubby said

So after wanting one all my life,  Marguerite ( she owns the store with her husband of 63 years!)  patiently showed me all of my possibilities.

She was like the real estate agent of dollhouses! she said things like

                   " Well this one has a basement." and  "You can add a porch to this one later on" and "Look at the huge rooms in this one!"

After all these years I stood in the midst of a fantasy and I couldn't decide; they were all so gorgeous.

The pre-made ones that were finished and furnished were obviously a lot more money. I wanted one that I could build....start from stratch... so I decided on a kit and this is the picture on the box

        Look there's a "J"on the who could have done that? ;0)

   What the inside will look like when I begin to work on my childhood dream
                                                      another picture from the box

Now every homeowner dreams of renovating and possibly expanding...

              This is my plan for the house...

We must have stayed there over an hour. After we left with the dollhouse kit in tow I gave my husband a great big hug and said..." Thank You for making my dream come true."

He just smiled and said  "I'm glad you're happy hon."

          I smiled all the way home as the little girl inside me leapt for joy

Monday, January 09, 2012

Sandy Saturday

 Saturday was a glorious day! The temperature got up in the mid sixties and it was like a God Kiss. Last year around this time I think we were shoveling out of three feet of snow.

It was rejuvenating.

We took our Dog Max for a walk and then the kids and I decided to go to the beach....that's right I wrote beach.

We don't live far from it and we got there right before the sun started to set. 

The kids collected some rocks and we all tried to soak the day in ....and it was magical. It was the kind of day with my kids that I wish could have lasted forever. Before we knew it we had to say good bye to our perfect day.


Just in time too.


Because before we knew it...


                        The sun kissed us goodnight.

Don't you just love days like this? 

Friday, January 06, 2012

Artsy Fartsy Friday~~~Alexa Meade Canvas is The Human Body

It seems that I am yet again late with Artsy Fartsy Friday ...ugh!
Please forgive me

Pretty please!

OK, no more begging. I did enough of that today when I saw how messy my son's bedroom was...

                 "Please God give me patience with this child!!"

I bring you today an artist who is quite creative. Her name is Alexa Meade and she paints on people! She makes the subjects of her art appear to be painted on canvas. You have got to see to believe...



Could you believe she's only in her mid twenties? I think she is awesome.

Have a magical weekend!
                                                  Blessings, Joanne

P.S. I am still having tons of trouble with my computer. pages take forever to load and so I have to borrow my daughters I pad to comment on all my favorite blogs. I will try to visit as many as I can this weekend!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Wednesday's Fashion~~~Earrings

 For Christmas two of my dearest friends gave me beautiful earrings. When I put them on I realized that I hadn't worn earrings in a very long time.  

                                   Earrings I received

    One of my friends was wearing feathered earrings which are very much in style now and were also in style in the late 70's. There is just something about wearing earrings that makes me feel super girly. I stopped wearing them when the kids were babies and when I worked with small children...the fear that a tiny hand would reach and pull one of my earrings was enough to make me stop wearing them for a while. Now I think its time to "girl out" and wear them again everyday and not just on special occasions.

Art deco type earrings 1920's


                            1940's silver and crystals

      1960's Bakelite clunky earrings


Big gold earrings 1980's style


The current trend can be described in two words Long and Flirty




Do You wear earrings?  Do you or would you wear the new style?