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Posts tagged ‘prayer’

Drum Roll please!

brrh brrrh brrh brrh brrh brrh brrh brrh…

What? that’s my attempt at a typing drum roll.

Yesterday was a crazy day. Something thing that made me look like this:

oh boy am I excited. (This photo is entirely staged, and it took me about 14 tries to get an 'excited' expression that seemed semi-acceptable

oh boy am I excited. (This photo is entirely staged, and it took me about 14 tries to get an ‘excited’ expression that seemed semi-acceptable

What could induce a sane person to stick a photo of themselves like that up on their blog?

have a guess?

go on….think about it for a little and make a guess…

….

….

….

Alright alright. I’ll tell you.

It was a long and busy day. It started off with two hours at the salon, where I got some brief training on what I’m going to do everyday. (It’s a lot to learn)

Then I hurried next door where I did a lot of framing, etc. It was a relatively slow day customer wise until around 2. Then we were swamped.

First, a customer came in quickly. She had to catch  a ferry to Fisher’s Island in just a few minutes and quickly ordered the most expensive glass, said she’d be back to pick it up and tossed her credit card at me to ring up a deposit. While waiting for the card to process she explained she was a new principal on the island. I couldn’t help but say congrats, and then state that I went to college to teach art and am certified in the state of PA. She was excited and said she would actually be looking for a long-term sub, actually she didn’t know how long of a term it would be because the art teacher was expecting and she didn’t know if she’d come back, it could be an open position. My mouth dropped open and she signed her credit slip, said she’d call, and ran out the door to catch the ferry. Did I just get told someone (who had never met me before) was highly interested in hiring me as an art sub? On Fisher’s Island? WOW. That would be cool, but would require a 40 minute ferry ride every day, so while it’s encouraging, it probably isn’t something I would pursue. It was a happy feeling though.

But wait, there’s more. (best infomercial impression ever)

Infomercial pose.

Infomercial pose.

Was I right? Or was I right? I’m channeling my best Billy Mays here.

Twenty minutes later or so an older woman walks in with black and red striped capris, tan crocs, and a gray sweatshirt. She’s pleasant and had never been in the shop before. We wander around and I tell her bits about the artists whose work she seems interested in. She thanks me and just keeps browsing. I go back to work and after a little while she asks me to ring her out. She’s holding some ‘lobster claw ornaments’ (real lobster claws bought by a lady on social security who eats the meat out of the claw, washes them, puts them back together with hot glue and paints brightly colored seaside scenes on them) that she wants to purchase. I write-up the slip and ask if there is anything else today, she wanders off and comes back holding a painting and an easel.

My painting of the Ledge Lighthouse that has been in the shop for sale since December. I gulp and say, “are you going to buy that?”

"Storm off Ledge Light" 8x10 Oil on Board $250 SOLD

“Storm off Ledge Light”
8×10 Oil on Board
$250 SOLD

She says, well sure, unless it’s not for sale.”

“Oh no, it is. Sorry you caught me off guard, you see, because that’s my painting.” I probably was practically stuttering at this point.

“Honey! No way. You are not old enough to paint this well,” she said before rushing on to continue, “There have to be 5 other paintings of this very same lighthouse in here, and yours is by far the best.”

“Th-th-thank you.” I managed to get out while inwardly flipping out in excitement, but working so-so hard to stay calm and professional in my demeanor. “I hope you enjoy it very much.”

Before she was done she’d added other painting, and a hand-crafted wooden wagon with terracotta flower pots and walked out spending a mini-fortune.

Thankfully, at that point I was able to go back to the back room where I could relax and share my excitement with my boss. And, I’m also thankful that I was raised not to let someone appearance change how I would interact with them. If I had treated her under the assumption that she couldn’t afford to buy anything there wouldn’t have been any sales. Instead I treated her as a person, and a customer. Hoorah for respect being drilled into my head at a young age.

….

So that was just part of yesterday. I worked a lot of hours. I started a new job. I met an influential person that could get me into subbing in a very wealthy school in NY. I sold my second painting.

My parents raised me in a loving, Christian home, where we were taught to give thanks to God for the many blessings poured out on us each day. When we lived in Germany, and were far away from any family my mom really grew in her relationship with the Lord. That’s where she fell in love with rainbows, as a sign of God’s promise of deliverance and hope (as well as never flooding the whole Earth again) and ‘rainbows’ have become known as ‘God sightings’ in our family. I see one and I not only think about God’s promise to Noah, but I am reminded of the many blessings I have, the infinite goodness of the Lord, my mother’s strong testimony,  and am just in awe.

I didn’t actually see any rainbows yesterday, but through all of the major events, every single thing made me literally picture a rainbow, and feel as though I given with a gift-a shining of His favor on my life, that in spite of the craziness of the past week, I’m still able and striving to discern His plan for my life and am trusting in Him, and with His help I’m doing ok. I couldn’t have used that at a more opportune time. I had felt led to make the choices I did, but yesterday was like a fleece, that I didn’t know I had laid out.

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Welcome 2013!

How did you ring in the New Year? After a quick jaunt up to Hartford to see some friends we had an impromptu gathering at out house to usher in the New Year. And our gathering was only 2 additional people, but we still had a blast. Literally! After enjoying some apps, we danced our tails off fora  couple hours to Just Dance, watched “Live and Let Die” one of the 23 bluray Bond movies I gave Bryan for Christmas, and started the year with a bang thanks to one of the friend’s fireworks collection, and my ever present sparklers. Did you go out or stay in?

New Year’s Day I bucked typically PA traditions of having pork and saurkraut. We had chili instead. Oops. The only way I like pork is when each tiny bite is smothered in a huge pile of ‘kraut, so I certainly didn’t mind and Bryan liked everything I cook, but a ‘traditional’ meal of our own would be nice. I have a full year to think about it, but what did you prepare?

After 12 glorious days of having Bryan home from work on the longest vacation of our year (longer even than the amazing honeymoon to St. Lucia) it was time to say goodbye this morning. Thankfully it’s a short week 🙂 Happy New Year!!

I’m Sensing a Pattern Here!

First off if you’ve made it this far then hopefully you’ve noticed the changes in design on the blog! It’s not perfect yet, but I think it’s much more eye-catching! You will have to read the “Meet the Artist” page to find out more about it….I’m not stealing that thunder here.

Back to being on topic…lately in life I’ve been noticing the things I set out figuring I want turn out to be nothing like what I actually end up with. And I’m much happier with what I have than what I thought I wanted. For example, in July of 2011 I was shopping for my wedding dress. I had done some research (mostly watching Say Yes to the Dress, and trolling pictures on Pinterest) and had decided I wanted something vintage-y, lace, sleek, and definitely not sleeve-less.

I can’t find the original source, I found it on Pinterest though!

I only went to 1 shop, I was in and out in under an hour(with a dress on my arm!) and even though I tried on those ‘dream’ dresses I left with a strapless dress, with some body in the skirt, a bit of lace around the bust, and along the fluttering hem, and some sparkle. It had a hint of vintage. But really it was an updated silhouette, inspired by vintage qualities.

Isn’t the back of that lace dress so gorgeous? But in reality, the dress I wore was perfect. And the picture of my dad and me is one of my favorites.

If I’d had sleeves on that 85 degree May day I probably would have passed out during the ceremony. All the lace dresses I tried on were ridiculously heavy and I felt like I was wearing a tablecloth. Even though they were gorgeous in pictures and online, they just didn’t cut it on me. The dress I bought was the best shape for my frame. It took the essence of what I wanted and made it possible without dating it, or getting too fussy.

Of course this isn’t the only thing where what I thought I wanted has become entirely different from what I ended up with. My degree/job prospects (I’m not utilizing my teaching degree!) And most recently houses!

Photo from Zillow.com

As we started daydreaming we really gravitated towards Victorians. The sweeping front porch, pretty curb appeal,  the character and space inside, one even had a secret passage…I could go on and on…we’d found a dream house with a gorgeous kitchen but it needed tons of work elsewhere. We didn’t know about the insulation, and as we took a thorough look discovered too many problems that we wouldn’t feel like paying for. Here was the ‘ideal house’. Of course the color yellow helped, the big area for my art studio, lots of off street parking, and a two car garage, not to mention water views were a major plus. Alas the problems were a reality check, and the fact that the house had been empty for more than a year meant the paint was peeling a lot. I had no desire to spend weeks on my back working on a ceiling so we moved on to more realistic but still traditional designed homes. I fervently did not want a contemporary styled home.

But then we found a house that ticked almost every list on our wish list. Updated kitchen, open floor plan, master suite, attached garage (2 car!), new enough house we didn’t have to worry about insulation, space for an art studio, room to grow/entertain guests.

Not a flattering picture of the poor house. Don’t judge it too hard!

Of course being a contemporary home the curb appeal is questionable, due to it lacking any semblance of a front porch it’s hard to have curb appeal (I’m biased towards porches obviously) but we’ve found contemporary homes that had porches added and really improved the exterior. The last thing it’s missing is a fireplace. Where are we going to hang stockings? It’s quite a conundrum, but I’m sure we can make due.

The really amazing thing is the house has things we didn’t even dream to hope for in this budget. It has beach rights, which means we would be part of a small group of people who’d have access to a private beach on Long Island Sound. Views of 4 different lighthouses would be afforded from a chair on the beach, and I’d take beach rights over water views any day. Who knows what will happen with this house, but we are going to pursue it contemporary facade and all.

Just looking has been an exercise on patience and prayer. We don’t know what the future holds, but are excitedly looking forward to see what’s next.

The one thing the houses we are looking at can guarantee are a short commute, and life will be lived in Connecticut. Even considering buying a house is hard. It definitely is a harder decision than getting married was. Marriage was all “to death do us part, in richer or poorer, etc” House buying is more like getting married knowing divorce in the future is a possibility. You may move, grow out of the house, decide to upgrade or downsize. There isn’t the same sort of commitment. It’s a finny comparison but it works, at least in my head!

So glad I was blessed enough to marry someone who has the same beliefs, and commitments in life so the confidence in God and our marriage can stand!

What choices have you made that were different from what you expected you take?

First Day: Check

Well, the first day at the gallery wrapped up well, and I sunk onto the couch tired after a long day. Long, but good. You know how when you start something new the first few days you are tired out, drained, even if the day wasn’t really that strenuous? Well that was me today.

I fit right in though, the youngest by 40 years it seemed across the board. The owner S, reminds me of my grandmother, the bookkeeper J, only works a couple of days a week, and is a grandmother. The two guys, both J, are either the 82 year old molding cutter, (who has never been in the hospital a day in his life and reminded me of Dick Van Dyke), and the second J, the previous owner (mostly retired), and a man half a foot shorter than myself, who hand cuts the mat. Granted, all of them but the owner work part-time, and I really have no idea who else works there, but it did crack me up that I’m so much younger. The amazing thing is they all are Christians. And with each new Christian I met today, the owner first told the story I told you all about last week, when I walked into the gallery because of a fish on a sign, and walked out because of a job. What a way to meet people, hearing over and over again it was all God, what a day at work!

I was tasked with tidying up shop after the big weekend show and though that went pretty well. It was a fun day, a busy day, but a good one. For now I’ll be working two days a week, but only until the lady I’m filling in for recovers from her surgery. Of course I’m praying for her to heal quickly, but then again, I don’t want my time here at the gallery to wrap up to soon either. The good news is I’m gathering my knit-wear and will most likely be selling that at the gallery once I’m organized. So, even if this doesn’t turn into a permanent thing like I’m praying, it still will give me a foot in the door in the local art scene. I’m feeling blessed.

On a very different and unrelated note, our wedding pictures are up on the photographers website, you can see them here. What do you think?

What do you remember from entering a new job?

Unexpected Answer to Prayer

The humorous thing is I just wrote a post on courage.

God is so cool. Seriously. So cool. I’ve been a job stalker on craigslist for about a week. I’ve applied to several jobs, and thankfully we have a bit of a flexibility money wise that I was able to stop pursuing several of those jobs as I realized the fit wouldn’t be great. Before I took to the web for a job I started to walk the local riverfront street that is filled with antique stores, thrift stores and a few art galleries. The first gallery I walked I didn’t have a sense of peace, so I simply walked out. A few stores down was an antique store I really enjoyed and just flat out asked if they were hiring. They weren’t, but she seemed interested anyways and took my number letting me know it would be part-time and sporadic. There was one gallery Bryan and I walked past but they were closed at the time. I had noticed a small fish on the sign though, one very reminiscent of the early Christian symbol. Since it was closed, and we were looking for a place to eat dinner I forgot about it.

That is until today when I was heading downtown to look for a room divider screen but the antique store was closed and I ‘just so happened’ to see the sign for the gallery again (thanks God!). Since I had time to kill (I had planned on going out) I walked in. The lady quickly hung up the phone and was friendly. I felt reasonable in asking about a job, though I was resume-less and in a tank and denim skirt. L. was really chatty and friendly and went off to speak to the owner. S, the owner, came in herself and had a chat. What did I think I could add to the gallery, what skills did I have, what sort of availability did I have, etc. Of course once I mentioned Messiah College, she asked if I’d seen the sign. I explained I had and it had led me to come in and ask, kind of how I felt the early Christians must have done it. After our chat, she asked me to send her my resume and I hurried home to do so.

No less than an hour later I got a call from L. The first lady I had met was inviting me to church where her and her husband lead the ‘life-builders’ Sunday School class filled with young people like Bry and me settling down. She also invited us to come over for iced tea, and invite Bry to her husband’s prayer group that meet at Bry’s work! I thought that in itself was an answer to prayer because we’ve really been looking to get plugged in and meet people our age and our stage. I thought that was incredible as I’d just been talking to a dear friend of mine yesterday about what in the world I was going to do with myself and how frustrated I was that I was missing my support groups back home. She encouraged me to just pray about it and reminded me that God has a plan and he’d bring me to wherever I was supposed to go. So now, we had a new place to try to meet young married people.

But it didn’t stop there. Then the owner got on the phone and said she was really impressed with the way I interacted with her, and my resume looked great (thank you Belgravia Gallery, for letting my intern there while I was in London) and wanted to know if I could come in on Monday (we’d already discussed I’d be out of town from Thurs-Sunday to spend time with family). So Monday, 10 am. I’ll be back in the art field. Exactly where I’ve wanted to be since I interned in London fall of 2009. I don’t have to spend countless hours trying to transfer my teaching license, I don’t have to give up my dream of entering the art world, and since it’s part-time, and only 5 minutes from home I’ll still be able to pursue my art. And the cherry on top? I could sell work there too!

The amazing-ness(new word!) of it all brought me to tears and happy jumps and reminded me of how I felt when Bryan got this job. It also made me wish I’d never forget how it felt to know with certainty because it is just so visible how God watches out for us. But I guess that just makes it even more poignant when he sweeps us off our feet in better ways than we could ever imagine. The closest likeness I can get to that is being a teen or young adult and picturing what a selfless husband/wife love would feel like, even as I was dating Bry, and then when it actually comes to pass (being married) it’s a million times better than you could ever possibly imagine.  Folks, I’m on cloud 999. Thank you God!

What has been something you’ve been praying for? Let’s pray together!

Courage

Courage
Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, to sleep in peace. God is awake. -Victor HugoCourage, patience and faith. It seems easy, but is deceivingly hard. Act in faith, and wait

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That’s a Wrap!

I’ve been told I’m neglecting you all. Sad to say I have, the last I mentioned housing in CT, Bryan and I had finished up a crazy weekend (March 17-18th! wow a long time ago) filled with apartment hunting and checking out some of the sights. All of this was thanks to a college friend of ours who let us crash for the weekend. He gave his opinion and was a lot of fun to have our ‘tour guide’ drive around with us.

Of course I mentioned what we were looking for, and that we had seen a house in a good location. This was the house with the pink tile in the bathroom. When we stopped by to see the place we were all (college friend included) struck by the landlord. Something about his looks, but definitely his humor has made him forever dubbed ‘Tim Allen’. For example: while seeing the basement I noticed the washer/dryer. Having gotten mixed up with which place came with what appliances (I’m not that organized after all) I asked if they came with. *Tim Allen completely straight faced said, “well, I don’t know, do you wash your clothes?” Such dry humor totally belonged on Home Improvement.

Now, the one down-side to this place was that it was currently on the market. They had been trying to sell it, so we had to wait to see if it would sell, or we would be approved to rent it. We felt resolved that we would wait to find out, and were happy to drive back to PA, already thinking of the cedar shake house as ‘our house’.

We waited a week, when good old *Timmy called us back and said he and his family would be glad to have us rent the house! We were and are still, so excited about this house.

Unfortunately, all of the photos I have of it that would give credit to the source also list it’s address (as they are real estate listings) so if you are interested, you will just have to wait for a photo tour once we get the keys!

*Tim Allen is a fake name. 🙂

Challenge: Pray Boldly

Today I attended Bryan’s parents church while he was home for the weekend (the second to last time he comes home before the wedding!). The message was about praying and praying bold prayers. Rather than ‘Dear Lord, please give me a good day.’ we were encouraged to pick big, bold things, things that would be impossible to us. Sure, you can argue that having a ‘good day’ isn’t entirely in your control. But what about having the chance to witness to someone? change your workplace? allow yourself to see a negative situation in a positive light?or as Evan from Evan Almighty prayed to ‘change the world’?

Currently I struggle with maintaining my sunny disposition in the face of a new work week. Sunday comes and I feel the pressure bearing down. In spite of only having two weeks left at my job I still find it so hard to go to work when many of the people are downtrodden and discouraged, plodding through the weeks slowly and wearily. I don’t want to be like that.

At a past job I was nicknamed ‘Sunshine’ because I never stopped smiling. My name references the brightening of one’s day. But I’m struggling. And I’ve been trying too hard on my own to make the smiles come and let the hard things roll of my back. It’s impossible for me at this point. So here is my bold prayer.

‘Lord, please reawaken in me my optimism, and my cheerful heart. Let these last weeks be good because I shine light for you, not because of the circumstances that go on around me. Allow me to leave with my head held high knowing I’ve honored you in my actions and words, and please make these past 9 months worth it for your benefit. Rejuvenate me as only you can.  Amen.’

How can you pray boldly?

This Day Just Keeps on Getting Better!

All day I’ve been planning a post for today. Because today marks double digits! We are now within 99 days to the wedding! It’s getting to crunch time ladies and gents! (Don’t worry, I’m not that neurotic with the calendar, I have an app for my phone!) It also tells me how many days until my last day of work (before wedding) and how many days of actual work! It’s great. But I digress.

We have now gotten several response cards and everyone is coming! I’m sure there will be plenty of people that can’t make it for whatever reason, but I’m glad everyone is coming so far!

But the real reason this day in particular is just so great: On the 30th of January Bryan got a call from an old college friend. This guy basically thought he could hook Bryan up with a better job than the one he currently has and wanted to know if Bryan was interested. Of course he was. Some of you saw my facebook post that night where I was annoyingly vague and all I said was ‘excited. and nervous. praying my hopes are in line with God’s will.” I talked to a couple close people about it, asked them to pray if it was the Lord’s will that it would work out, and if it wasn’t I wouldn’t get my hopes up and would be fine with it. We were both very excited and nervous about the prospect and by the 1st of February he sorted out what to apply for and the applications went in.

Today, Bryan got a call from the HR department and they want to fly him up for a full day interview! It’s only been 9 days! This wasn’t something we thought we might hear before several weeks had passed! I know this isn’t a job yet, but just knowing this has only even been something we have been praying about for a little less than a week and things are already moving is exciting. I just want to shout it from the rooftops how cool God is. He works in mysterious ways. I am also continuing to pray that I don’t get ahead of myself, but it’s hard.

Please join me in praying that if this is the Lord’s will that he will help Bryan to do great at the interview and that the job offer will come through. And pray that if it isn’t the Lord’s will that all of us involved (mainly Bryan and myself) don’t get over excited about it. Who knows where this will lead us…there might not even be a job out of it, but even so I can see how God works and that’s cool.

I really appreciate it!

Needless to say, this has been a great day, and tomorrow is already Friday! So the weekend is coming!

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