Monday, April 9, 2012

Dreaming Big

I updated my list, removing some of the items that either didn't seem feasible or make sense anymore. My new goals start with "action" and more attainable at this time in life. I revise to include a Yo Yo Ma concert, Madonna, NYC, new work, adoption, tithing, volunteering for a non profit that means something to me, spending time with my parents. I need to revise it again to include more health related area as I need to improve my health. I shall consider to dream and determine how to put it into action.

I'm also dreaming about what to do for my birthday. No definite plans at the moment but I'm starting to grow ideas. Part of the fun is planning.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Servant's Heart

For awhile now, one of the spiritual muscles I've been wanting to flex more is serving (volunteering) on Sundays (or where needed) at church. I've been struggling between my selfishness with time and the desire to give my time in some way. I've started serving at church in two ways.

Small Group.
The first way I serve at church is as a co-leader of a small women's group. We meet each week on a regular basis. Our time together is spent getting to know one another and living life together. It's not just about what we did that day or the work we do in our jobs but we are able to connect at a much deeper level. We share what is making us joyful in our days, what saddens us. We discuss what life struggles we are experiencing right now and how we can support one another. We study the Bible and reflect on our pastor's message from the Sunday before. We pray together. We pray for each other's lives and we pray for the community beyond us. We pray for those who are sick or struggling. We pray. We praise.

When Loving Hearts Come Together.
I took this photo as part of my 365 Project (a photo everyday of my life for one year). It's one of my favorite shots I've ever done because it symbolizes what "community" really means. Every heart is different but together it's beautiful!
These are the hands of the women in my group.
Helping lead these women week in and week out is such a special time for me. I get to see how God is transforming them in their lives, building deeper faith in them and watching them love upon each other. It's a place of healing and feeling uplifted. It's a safe place where we can share life.

It took some courage for me to be a leader. Considering the time commitment and being in a leadership position (my natural tendency is to be a follower) is character building. But, learning how to be one is a life lesson. It is a blessing to be here.

Good morning. Welcome!
One of the other ways starting out as small step, I dipped my toe between two ministries; the Welcome team and the children's ministry. For one Sunday each month or so I'd serve on one team and on another the other team. Back and forth, back and forth I'd volunteer my time never really dedicating my efforts in a meaningful or impactful way. Where is God calling me to serve? Why does the time spent between the two ministries still leave me feeling empty? I prayed about it and felt He was asking me to be more focused with my time and not so scattered so that the time I do spend there can be used really getting to know the people who crossed the doors, meeting and knowing them.

On Sunday mornings, if you bring your child to the children's ministry, twice a month you will find me at the entrance checking them in and simply saying "Good morning. Welcome! I'm so happy to see you." What a joy it is to be around young children. I don't have any of my own but to see their vibrant, smiling faces brings a little bit of joy into my own heart. My role seems small and easy but really I find it to be important. After all, it was that first warm, friendly "Hello" I received when I first visited this church that had me coming back again... and again... and again. May I just be a piece of that "Hello".

Tomorrow morning when our church opens the doors at our new location I will be there to welcome the little ones and their parents.

I am humbled.
Serving is a humbling experience. It's getting outside of yourself, your own needs, your own desires to serve something so much greater than one person can possibly be. I'm humbled to let go of precious time where I sometimes would rather be using to fulfill my own needs but instead I use it to be available for another. Serving doesn't come naturally to me. I'm a selfish person. I am humbled.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Year of 40

My birthday isn't until July. But I consider my list to be valid for the entire year that I'm 40. Haha! The list is continuously revised as my "think bigger" dreams evolve.

I haven't been good about keeping up this blog but I plan to do better as the special milestone year kicks off. Why celebrate a birthday for one day when you can celebrate the entire year of being that age.

My latest check off of this list is starting my own artsy business. Last November I signed up to be an Independent Demonstrator with Stampin' Up!. I hosted my first workshop in February and am planning another in April.

I would have had one in March but I caught the flu bug and am still recovering from it so unfortunately that workshop was cancelled. Being and ID with SU is bound to be an interesting experience. It's life consuming even when you don't want it to be. I realize I need to be much, much more organized to make room for conducting business. So, I'm taking my time getting it rolling and doing it one workshop at a time for now.

40 is bound to be interesting. In discussion is a trip to Italy with my BFF Kim. Hopefully finances and timing will work out. Our goal is to hit the mediterranean country within our big year. Can't wait!

What shall I check off next? I have a lot of work ahead of still to do.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Less Than a Year

Since my last post a year ago, I've gotten busy with getting my craft on! 

In November 2010 I bought myself a dSLR camera.  After the photography class I couldn't wait to pick up a "fancy" camera and start shooting.  So, when the sales started up for the holiday season I jumped in and got myself a camera kit.  A new obsession began. 

In January I started a new project called "365 Project" where you take a photo of your life each day for a year.  You can see it on my 365 project site.  It's been a transformational project, bringing more peace and creativity into my life.  It's tough thinking of topics day in and day out (which is why I have tons of photos of Lucy on there) but often times the result is worth the time.

Through the year I've started getting more involved in a scrapping/crafting group.  We'll be planning our first retreat in November with a beach house in northern California where we will craft all weekend.  Very excited!

The year has taken me on a trip to Banff/Jasper area in Alberta, Canada.  The views were stunning.

And now, it's September.  It seems as I get older the days pass by faster.  It amazes me that we can see Halloween on the horizon with the holidays just beyond. 

So, it makes me wonder why does 40 have to seem so "final"?  I need to set goals beyond 40 because when I reach July next year, I want to celebrate it with joy and excitement.  I don't want the "over the hill", black balloons, tombstone reminders.  Middle age is right in front of me and I don't think I'm ready.  I need to travel through a couple more rites of passage before I get "old".

Wait, 40 is the new 30, right?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Time after time...


I can't believe it's been months since I've blogged here.  While things have changed, nothing has changed as well.  The niece and nephews are growing and maturing.  Work, home are constant and not changing.  I've done a lot of stuff and I've done a lot of nothing.  My 20th High School reunion just passed by.  Where has the time gone?

I've reignited or maybe it's more like I've begun to focus more on my creative self.  Recently, I took a photography class and have been getting more and more into card making.  Fancy papers, adhesive, punchers, stamps... it's my meditation.  You can find me at Studio Julz.

Off I go to get my craft on!

Friday, October 30, 2009

New York City

New York City! It's a wonderful town. I finally made it there and spent several glorious days eating, watching Broadway shows, seeing Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig in "A Steady Rain", shopping, touring this fantastic city. I heart NYC!