…favorite things friday – mary

I was thinking about what I could post was my favorite item this Friday. A piece of holiday swag or a great gift. I started to reflect on some of the traditions that I’ve been intentional about in my own family. My kids are now 9, 7 and 5 and they get it.

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Whether it is their ages or the age that they live in, they know what is going on around them and they don’t miss much. If there is one way I’ve tried to treat these three children, it is with respect. Respect for their feelings and ideas and thoughts and tantrums. I want to know about the things that make them happy and what makes them cry. I do believe that if we show these little humans serious respect, resepect that we often reserve for adults, they will make smarter choices and feel better about themselves. I want to honor my kids in this way and I believe I see the fruit of it in the way that they in turn treat others, feel about themselves and are able to be creative and thoughtful in their own small world.

In this light, I want to introduce more that just Elf on the Shelf at Christmas time. I want to talk about Mary. Who is this woman that we put in our little manger on our counter top. She is wearing dull pink and covers her head but we know very little about her. Last week I introduced The Nativity Story. (Note: the actor that plays Joseph is in the new Star Wars movie – in case that fact makes you more interested.)

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If you have not seen this movie, I would encourage you to sit down with your family or yourself and take the 90 minutes to view Mary and her whole story in its real light. It will change the way you think. It will bring to light the shame that this young girl felt being pregnant before she was properly married. It was scandelous. It  was something that could happen this day and age that would seiously cause a family to reject their daughter and disown her; throw her out of the house and shame her in many cases. Oh, how perfect. Her pregnancy cast her in a really negative light to her religious family, one that in most cases would have caused her to be executed. And this is how God chose to have it play out. He wanted it to buck the norm, to challenge the super-duper religious people and to make the statement that even the most righteous, church-going people have got it all wrong. They were clueless.

What does that say about those uber Christians today? The ones that shame and make others feel badly and judge and criticize? This story tells us that they are all phonies. That is does not take church and rituals. It just takes faith in believing in the impossible. And those that do not show love and kindness will be brought down and be put in their place. HA! Take that!

Mary means that the rules are wrong. Mary means that love, kindness and faith are the only things that matter. And even if everything looks backwards, judgement is never the message. The message is always love. Thank God. Because if Mary was judged and almost executed for  carrying the Son of God because others did not get it –  then maybe there is hope for me. Maybe it is not what others think or how things seem. Maybe it is only important what God thinks about me. And what I know about God is that the greatest message is and will always be love. Phew.

Amen.

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…favorite things friday: a chat

I had a scheduled drop off for a client one afternoon this week. I have worked with her before and she and her family and just lovely.

Here are the twin nightstands that you will be seeing soon in Aubusson Blue.

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You also may remember the black console I refinished for her.

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We actually had a chance to sit in the dining room and chat a bit while my Littles tore up the house around us. Alisa told me how she felt like we were friends through my writing and business and she knew that other readers felt this way too, but she also wanted to always respect my boundaries. Tears grew in my eyes. I thought of all of you that have loved me like a best friend and I need you to know that you all are my dear friends too. If I could have you all over for tea I would!

I have had the pleasure of getting to know you through your furniture; your past and your family geneology. I remember every piece that has passed through my door and I think of your grandparents that owned these pieces or the care that you gave to finding a perfect piece for your own home.

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I had the chance to get to know a little bit more about Alisa on Wednesday. I truly, truly am interested in your lives. I heard about her annual tea party, her interest in desgin, and her daughter’s uncanny connection to my celebrity crush, BW. Brian Williams.

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Thank you for trusting me with pieces from your lives. It fills me up and creates joy in my life. It makes me want to encourage you to find a connection to the world out there through what makes YOU you. The world opens up when we are ourselves and connect with others that appreciate and understand.

…favorite things friday – a book

I am always interested in women helping women. I think so often women get distracted by competitiveness. And what is worse is that it is a silent competition, but we all know it’s going on. Who is wearing what? How skinny is she now? Look at how messy her house is? Look at how clean her house is. Is her marriage stable? Are her kids thriving? Did she get another new handbag?

I love having the contrast of a little boy in the midst of my little girls. I could watch his mannerisms all the live, long day. As long as no one swipes his toy of the moment (typically a weapon of some kind) then he is content and happy in his world.

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(I can appreciate that you tried to use your body as an art form, Reid, but I must insist that markers go on paper.)

I have a sneaking suspicion that the unease between women is more about us and what makes us feel better about…us. I don’t think we mean to be hurtful. I think we are just trying to make ourselves feel okay. Are we okay? Have we made it? Hmmmm. Are we okay just because we have been born? Do we really need to work so hard at it and try to gain approval? Can’t we just mind our own business and feel at peace? Is that even possible?

Equally as important as women helping women to me is writers helping writers. It is so hard to really make it as a writer. The problem is that a writer needs to write! NEEDS TO. A writer also NEEDS an audience to respond to that writing to keep the momentum going.

What is even more important to me that women helping women and writers helping writers? Mothers helping mothers. We are all in the trenches and if one of us can give a boost to another then it should be our pleasure to do so. Motherhood needs to be a community of women that encourages, loves and lifts each other up. We are trying to keep our children alive! We are trying to make these little people happy & successful! How can we do that if we don’t lean on each other?

My SILs emailed me about a dear, old friend & writer that has a new book out.

Motherhood Realized

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I have not yet read it, but I’m always up for some mommy-encouragement. The book is a stones throw away from making the New York Times Best Sellers list. We can help with that, can’t we Blue Egg readers?

http://www.amazon.com/Motherhood-Realized-Inspiring-Anthology-Hardest/dp/1939629071

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