Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to the future- Love Yourself Link Up

Growing up I've always had amazing role models.  These lovely, strong,  intelligent, ambicous,  classy, passionate, God-fearing women.  My Nonna (grandma), my Mom, small group leaders Becca and Channing,  my mentor Elise, my younger sister and many of my friends.  I knew who they were at their worst and best.  They shared their life with me and allowed me to open up and be myself with them. They were loving,  accepting and encouraging to me.  They all played a role in my life to help see something in myself that I didn't see both good and bad.  I always said when I get older I want to be like that,  have that characteristic, carry myself like that,  be that someone for someone else...
In the past few years I've realized that I am at the age or already passed the age of these older wise women.  But I'm not who I said I was going to be,  I'm not doing the things I wanted to be doing when I got older,  I'm not them right now. What happened?
Recently I realized that I thought I was just going to become these women and obtain these characteristics just because I was older and because I wanted to.  I had to learn 2 things:
First, that I am not going to be anyone else but myself. I am unique and one of a kind and that's a gift we all posses. I want supposed to be them, I'm supposed to be me. I have  characteristics that I need for my life and to be influential where I am at. I have learned that being who I am is so important and being the best me I can. God has formed me, taught me and made me, just me.
Second, I learned that I can't just become something because I want or because I am getting older. If it's important to me I must work at it, learn it, mess up a few times, gaij experience and practice it. I'm not going to just become wise, I must learn.  I'm not going to just have knowledge, I must gain it first.  I'm not just going to become a prayer warrior, I must pray. I'm not just going to become a great chef, I must cook. The list could go on. But most importanly my life has become more purposeful,  passionate and  inspired. 8 have things to develop and cultivate that make me excited. Something that is hard to get is always worth the work,  not just for the end goal,  but for the process of getting there.  I know there is hope, and I have something to work towards.
I know that I am me just as I am supposed to be right now and I will continue to change. I am going to focus on learning and growing in Gods time as He teaches and refines me. But also be thankful for who He has made and be used where I am at right now.
Now go back to the present and live as you are to change your future.
Are there things you aspire to be when you grow up? What are you doing to work towards that?

(Picture #1: 4 generations of women in my family)

(Picture #2: from pinterest)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Choose Beauty Link Up

I'm joining in! Thoughts by Natalie blog kicked off a Choose Beauty Link Up. Talking about true beauty is one of my passions. I love helping other ladies realize that they are truly beautiful because they have character and an awesome personality. But this is one of the things I struggle with as well.
This is my story of finding my own true beauty:
I didn't realize that there was such thing as fashion until I was in middle school and my friends made fun of what I wore because I had none.  I wore overalls,  patches on my pants and a sweatshirt of my brothers inside out. This kicked off a long season of learning and eventually a down spiral in what I thought beauty was. I started to care too much.  It was a hassle having to keep up with my friends and figure out style and my body wasn't like any of theirs. I had no boobs, no figure,  crazy hair, and braces. I thought I was fun, I had a lot of friends and a lot of fun with them.
As the years passed I suppressed who I was for what I looked like. Not completely of course but I can definitely see where being so self-concious changed who I was. I want confident unless someone else told me I was good at something.  I didn't think I ever made it to being a fashionista. I tried not to care but it was too hard. 
When I was 16 I had a wonderful group of girl friends that in being honest with one another we had a series of conversations about beauty. Who we really wanted to be,  what guys thought and what beauty really was. Our senior year we went without makeup and mostly wore sweats to school. Enabling us to focus on who we were. I thought this was the change I needed because I didn't enjoy caring. I wanted to belive I was beautiful. And in some ways and sometimes I did belive it. But high school ended and so the pull between the truth and lies got stronger.
Into college I had roller coaster moments, when I was on top of the world and believe the truth of who I was is the most important. But so much of it depended on who I was with. When I was around people I judged and ladies I compared myself to,  I would be down. But when I was encouraged by those around me,  I didn't even think about it.
Then I hit rock bottom my sophmore year of college. I was so involved with so many people and doing so much that I had to be the best at everything I did. I had to keep up with it all and keep a smile while doing it. Though I may have been tired or sick I had things to do and people to help, I couldn't falter. In the fall I decided to study abroad in Spain. Being away from home, family, and friends I was with one person and myself for 3 months. Though this sounded good it ended up being the lowest point for me.  I didn't have accountability or people to please. But I also didn't know myself well enough and I wasn't secure enough to just be me. I suffered with anxiety, depression and an eating disorder.
One day, months after I got home my sister looked at me and said, "You're so skinny its gross. You need to eat more." I thought skinny meant beautiful, I told myself she didn't understand, but I knew that she was right.  It took me 9 months and a lot of counseling to realize I was sick. I blamed it on so many other things because I was too embarrassed to admit my own faults and weaknesses. I thought that if I admitted to everything I wouldn't be loved or good enough. But to my surprise the healing process brought more love, true friendships and a deeper relationship with Jesus. These were all the things I was seeking before. This is what truly changed my life.
I found that the more I belived the truth and loved myself the more others were able to do the same. The more I loves others for who they were, the more they were able to do the same. Our love for ourself and others can change the world. They change our attitude and our actions to more loving amd therefore we want to spread this love. Working with high school girls and leading at a college group this became my passiom and goal. That girls would know I loved who they were and that I even thought they looked cute no matter what.
I don't think I am perfect and I still struggle with this concept at times but I know this truth: I am beautiful. I have a family,  friends, husband, and heavenly king who tell me and show me so. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

The art of Chevron

Recently,  as most of you know,  Chevron has become a very popular pattern. I even like it myself. I decided to create a Chevron background for a friends growth chart and to my dismay it was a lot harder to creat than I thought it was going to be. But after hours of tracing,  measuring and painting very slowly I finished.  Happy that I was done but a little critical of my own work but no way was I going to redo it. I added it on the etsy shop and left it there.  In thr past week I have  received 2 orders for this growth chart and I thought there was no way I could do it again. Fortunately I love to solve problems so to Google I went to do research and figure it out.  And it reminded me that people are smart and very talented. There were many ideas and ways to DIY the Chevron pattern. You could create a stencil,  buy a stencil,  use tape ect.

Painters tape seemed to be the best option for me. And away I went last night to try it out with lots of hope...

And joyfully I jumped when I found out it worked!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Am I Purposeful? Love Yourself Link Up

For 4 years I felt as though my purpose in life was clear, defined by God and I was excited about it every day! I was working full time with high school girls. Playing with them, talking with them, counseling them, sharing life with them, meeting their friends and family ect. Then I made the very hard choice to leave. My husband went to a different church and we discussed before we got married which church we would go to. I knew I was supposed to join my husband and be his partner because I couldn't do both. We were married in October 2012 and I couldn't have been happier to join our lives together!

I left my job in January 2012 with lots of hope for something new and amazing replacements but with a heavy heart. I began acclimating to new life. Getting to know new people, trying to plug in and of course continuing to learn to be a wife. But after a few months I felt like it wasn't enough.  I wasn't doing enough, giving enough,  fulfilling enough.  So I tried to do more. I started to serve on the weekends,  hang out with the students, and meet more people. Bur it simply didn't FEEL like enough.

Realizing recently, in a new way, that it isn't about what I do. My actions, my responsibilities are not my purpose and cannot fulfill me. I was trying to do enough to fulfill myself. It's more about who I am, or more importantly who my creator is. Simply praising Jesus in life everyday for who He has created me to be and taking the opportunities with others that He gives me is more than enough. His grace is my foundation in life. I am to live by the faith that He has given me. That is my purpose and that is what truly fulfills me.

Do you feel like you know what your purpose in life is? Has what you thought your purpose was ever changed?

Monday, July 8, 2013

My first Etsy order!!!

This just in.....

Well I am more than excited. I'm ecstatic, thrilled, eager, because I received my first Etsy order!! I couldn't believe it. I was on vacation with some friends and wasn't checking my email often. I checked it one morning when I found service and couldn't believe my eyes- there is was "Congrats on your first Etsy order!" 

 Today I started working on my first order. I was so excited I couldn't wait another day. The customer order a pattern I had already created which was great I just got to change a few colors. Lots of pink and purple and more polka dots - they are just so cute!

And a few hours later I was done. I couldn't stop from painting it was so fun! Hopefully Giana will enjoy it!

Thanks for reading. Until next time enjoy your Joyful Steps in life, relationships and creativity.

What's new?

Hello all,
It has been a long time since I've written on here. Here is an update to what's new...

I created an Etsy shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/JoyfulSteps?ref=shop_sugg (if you want to check it out)
One day I randomly offered the lady I nanny for to  make her a growth chart for Claire. We had been looking at some but never found one to buy. She said yes. So to Michaels and Home Depot I went to get the supplies. 5 hours later I had this...

Yes she is so cute! I use pinks and purples with polka dots because that is Claire in design format for sure! But I was so excited to get to be creative and make something new. I posted a few pictures and I got great feedback. So the next day I created my etsy shop with so much joy! Since I already had a blog (this one) and loved the name I kept it!

I started right away making more for a few friends that were having babies. I love my friends so much and would love to share something special with them. I got right to designing so I could make something new, exciting and special just for them. First is the McDonalds. Sweet sweet friends of mine that are having a boy in September. I couldn't be more excited for them. I wanted to make it cool for him. I did a chevron pattern with Yellow, Grey and Teal.

Then I wanted to change things up a bit and get creative. My friends the Orefice's. They are having a sweet baby girl in October on the 14th but I'm hoping she will hold off another day so we can have the same birthdays! She is going to be a girl but with these parents most likely not a girly girl. Still sweet with Yellows and Greys and polka dots! This is what I came up with for Drew Lorraine!

 Stay tuned for whats coming next... Here's to having Joyful Steps in life, relationships and creativity.