Thursday, August 18, 2016

When You Step On A Hornet's Nest....


"The most wonderful thing about putting your hand over your mouth is that your foot can't get in..."

Good heavens.
Have you ever been part of a conversation where people are chit-chatting and someone says something and it's like...BOOM!

No names need to be said. No meanness needs to be implied.
But without realizing it, the hornets nest opens and the stingers are flying?

And it's a super big deal.
And sometimes, no one really knows what is going on, or how this wounded a tender heart, but it did and now you are cleaning up a big, emotional mess?

~*~*~*~

Tuesday at dance we had a great practice.
We danced hard, sweated hard, learned hard.

9pm struck, class ended and we all gathered around for our group meeting.
I know we are all adults or older teens, but hey, circle time has always been a good thing for us.

The conversation started by one of our sweet "veteran" dancers expressing her love and appreciation for our class. Our studio is very much a "family" and that was expressed.
But somewhere along the lines, as group discussion ensued and other (well-meaning) themes were pursued, hurt feelings suddenly popped up.

Without anyone realizing it.

It was as if someone pulled an invisible trigger.
And the ensuing shot startled everyone.

And it was so, so sad.

And the hornets started buzzing and everyone was just caught there.
In the middle.

Feeling the sting.

Most people not knowing what was going on, and only a few clued in to what might be.

So, after recollecting,
I have some thoughts on what to do (I hope!) if I ever find myself in such a similar situation.

Because it can all happen suddenly. 
And clean-up should not be messier than it needs to be. It will, no doubt, be messy enough.

When You Step On a Hidden Hornet's Nest

1. Identify what just happened. Before anything else happens, before anger or tearful responses start flying out of your mouth, mentally realize that you stepped on something sensitive. 


 2. Pray silently over the situation. You just recognized this is a tricky, messy situation, and now you need wisdom. It can be a quick prayer, but pray for God's help in resolving this. "Help God!" is not without benefit.

3. Think about what the other person says, before you respond. Really try to hear their point. Be attentive and listen to the other person's heart. Maybe not what they actually say, but what they really mean. It is going to be more uncomfortable to do this, but you will probably regret any immediate outburst on your part.


4. Keep your words few and keep them kind.  Acknowledge where the other person is coming from, and clarify if need be. Depending on the situation, you may need to say certain things. But keep it Christ-like. You are working toward reconciliation. If you are in the group, but not part of the initial discussion, I recommend keeping quiet unless what you have to add can help de-escalate the matter.


5. Be patient during the uncomfortable bits, but try to work towards closure, not toward a deeper argument. I hate conflict. And my family can attest to the fact that I will speed up the closure part in order to exit an uncomfortable situation. I just hate messy conversations. I actually held my head in my hands while listening to this play out. And I squirmed. But sometimes these things take time. However, hashing other problems that might have arisen during the discussion should probably be avoided at this time. Be moving toward a conclusion. 


6. Apologize for the misunderstanding, and your casual words. I realize some people do not believe in apologizing unless you are blatantly at fault, but sometimes (such as in this case) it helps to apologize for a misunderstanding. It is almost a curtesy to the other person. If you are at fault, apologize for the fault. Someone actually did this, and it was so impressive. I have never seen a 16 year old act so calmly and maturely. Responsibility taken is a marvel to watch. 


7. Try to close on a positive note and then take some time alone to chill. If you can give the person a smile or handshake/hug, do so. Then, get yourself some place where you can have quiet time. Take a walk. Or go to your car (like me) and call your mom for some extra prayer. If you can, get yourself in a place where you can read scripture and pray again over the issues.

I would love to say all these things come naturally to me. Or that if I had to deal with this type of thing alone, I would not blabber myself into further confusion. But I can only say that I want to hone these skills. I want to be a peacemaker. And, as hard as it may be, one has to live through these things to learn how to navigate them. 

It is true I was mighty uncomfortable even though I was not really part of this discussion. Also, I was super impressed by how the main people responded to help the injured person. I see that it is a true GIFT to have the composure to not respond in emotion. My hope is that I can someday handle a situation like this with similar grace.

So anyway...a lot of life lessons on the blog lately!
A lot of stuff to pray about too.

I want to be a peacemaker.
Not an emotional responder.

How about you?

Much love,
~Peace to YOU~

Lexi




Sunday, August 7, 2016

Memories

 
"Summer is most beautiful to people, after the fact."

When you look backwards. It is then you really can see it.


And when I look over my shoulder...this is what I see...


Two girls, curled up on a white iron bed.
Hair blowing from whirling fan.
Comforter lopsided. Pillows strewn. Feet kicked up.
Laughter, deep discussion, serious planning, determined ideas, tearful prayers.
Swirling together in unison.
Parting later, not knowing if one will choose the right path yet hoping the other said something to help.



Long drives, crammed in a long van. 
Infant child tasting her first of  many future summers trips.
Church camp beauty. Rain splattering. Thunder cracking.
Wooded forests. Mountains Peaking.
Long walks up gravel paths, lugging bibles and pushing strollers.
Children coming to you with dripping eyes, and searing questions.
A speaker with powerful truths and a kind voice.



First motorcycle rides. Zip lining upside down and Christian Rap concerts.
Witnessing like never before over food never tried before. 
Gathering up your guts, and spilling out the truth.
Decision-making and  hard path choosing.



Drawing closer to sister. Learning what it feels like to unite.
To kneel on hotel floors and cry and laugh and cry some more...
 and then be safe in the silence.
Finally feeling like one. 
Not sisters in name only...but in spirit too.



Close friends getting engaged. Wedding dress shopping, and diamond ring admiring.
Toasting and blessing. Glad hearts, and hopeful planning.
Relief and excitement. Thankfulness to God.



Vacationing and TV sabbaticals.
Feet wading in river streams.
And hot coco in July.
Car rides with blaring music. And fluffy dogs panting.
Fireworks and baseball stadiums. Huge revivals and fireside conversions.
Tea dates and card making. 
Book reading, and porch-chilling.
Long chats with out-of-state friends----
remembering times past...and dreaming of times still yet to be.
 

~*~*~*~

I am finding things of the familiar are more precious when times change.
And what matters becomes clearer with age.

I see that some expectations really aren't important after all.
That perceptions can change overnight. That the blinds can be lifted, and focus shifted. 
In an instant the things you once insisted were vital, matter very little indeed.

That old hurts turn petty, and though they still ache, you do not tear scabs off and rehash the past.

That letting a comment "slide" takes character. And being a gracious woman means making that split-second decision to smile and not speak.

That hurt can be half as much what you make of it as what actually happened.

That good feelings must be watered. And forgiveness spread generously. 
And the change always starts first.... with you.

That growing in Christ, though painful at first, yields peace and rest latter on.
That the struggles under gone even 5 months ago, prove now well worth it.
And what God speaks as truth, you must hold fast to.


With Much Love, and Great Joy,
(and relief that I have as much nostalgia to hoard up from this summer as last summer)
~Lexi~

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Life-Lesson in Decision Making

 "Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you GREAT and WONDROUS things you do not know"
Jeremiah 33:3 (emphasis added)


Decision making---also known as "What I hate most in life."
Seriously.
I fully applaud you if you have the "making God-guided decisions" thing down pat.
You are truly my super-hero!

I am learning a lot about decision making, specifically as it applies to hard choices, that go contrary to advice.

After a little episode in my life recently, I am convinced that good-decision making is more a learned skilled than a natural talent.
Amen?

Let us just say that I made some plans for next summer, which everyone in my life was really for!
These were really awesome plans! Really, ya know, good plans!
I was excited...
until I prayed, at which point uneasiness took over.

But my prayers for direction were mixed up with a lot of fear.
Fear of not making the right choice.
I was never at peace either way.
So I went with the advice of others and made the plans.

Months went by.....

Still no peace.

I struggled until I could bear it no longer...
What can I say?
I like being at peace!

I had to back track.

I had to pray some more, and ask for clarity and boldness.

And I know in my heart of hearts that for many people these plans would be awesome!
But for some reason, which I can't explain, I just feel a really big
"no."
To the whole thing!

I can't say what will happen next summer, and if there is a reason to stay put here in town.

Maybe something big, like a family crisis or something, will hit.
Or maybe just being there for my annual church events is the reason.

Maybe the money involved for these plans (which I had saved up), needs to be used elsewhere.

I don't know.

If nothing else,  I can say that I have made a tough call, on my own convictions, through prayer.

That in itself is worth more than any fun plans!

I am blessed to have supporting parents who don't give me a hard time about missing
"opportunities".
And friends who, when they heard my concerns, said to do what I felt was best.

I am blessed to have a nice instructor who I came back to,  and who is now attempting to get me untangled from the commitment.

So, hopefully, if all goes well, my plans can be undone.
My Padre was wonderful and told me that either way, I am in the center of God's will and will be taken care of.

And that of course, is what I needed to hear!

Overall, my final thoughts from this dramatic life-lesson (which probably is not at all as serious as I think it is!) boils down to this:

Decision making is a part of character building for Christians.
It's a tool that God uses to strengthen our faith in Him, and hones our personal discernment skills.
It is good for surrendered Christians to be able to stand with boldness upon what they feel the Holy Spirit is saying.

As I learned from a speaker at church camp, the best decision for me, might not be the same for you.

My hope is that this lesson, (regardless of how next summer pans out), enables me to make the best choice, the FIRST TIME, when I am again faced with this sort of situation.

I was great encouraged by these words at Proverbs 31.org
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.MXT29nM9.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf

Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.MXT29nM9.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.MXT29nM9.dpuf
"Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
God wants us to learn how to choose well. That may be why, when we look at the Bible, there is no chapter devoted to "How to know God’s will for your life.” Paul doesn’t write about “6 Steps to Determine If He’s the One” or “5 Ways to Discern God’s Best Career Path for You.”
What we do see are statements like this: “If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you” (James 1:5, NRSV).....
So the next time you face a difficult decision, instead of asking God what His will is for your life, begin by asking for wisdom."

So there you have it!
I beg of you, if you have to make big plans, please make sure you have prayed carefully and received peace.


~Yours ever trying to make up her mind!~
Lexi


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Style 4//Sewing India

Hello Dear Readers,

I come to you with the final pictures of my India dress!
I know some of you wanted to see it, and after some wait, I am happy to share.

The dress was made from a long, very large, lounge dress, which I thrifted some time ago for around $6.
I unpicked the entire dress, and then cut out my own pattern pieces.
 I used (a greatly altered version of) this old pattern from the 90's. The main thing I liked was the princess seams and the cap sleeves.

This whole project started over a year ago when I began obsessively browsing traditional Indian clothing websites. 
I just love the fabrics and details on many forms of ethnic clothing.
Indian clothing is no exception.
However, tunic styles do not look very good on me, and even though I would love to own some traditional Indian clothing of various styles (I actually do have some) I wanted something I could wear everyday.
I decided I wanted a regular style dress (i.e. fitted bodice, gathered skirt) with some serious Indian fabric and flare.
After Princess Kate went on her India tour in April (2016) and styled her Anita Dongre dress into a more contemporary style, I was all ready to start sewing.


The only other things I needed for this dress besides the original dress, was some piping, a zipper and some single fold bias tape.
Oh, and a bit of red braid for the hem. ;)

~*~*~*~

This dress should not have taken me so long, but I worked really slow and unusually carefully on it, as it means so much to me.
I was very pleased with both the fit and the final look!

The cap sleeves, the neck detail and even the use of the bias tape as trim and piping were inspired from my online browsing.

The piping is continuous up the front, and then down the back!
The fact that it is not split at the shoulder seams is probably only a detail I will know, but it is, at least, a small matter of pride!

I added a nice gold belt and thought it pulled everything together.
However, the show-stopper of this dress is (as it should be!) the epic border print!
Look at the hem!
Glorious, no?

So anyways, there you go!
I hope you enjoyed it.

I am heading up to church camp this weekend, so this will be my last post for a while!


xoxoxo
Lexi



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Creativity Lately

Hello Lovely People!
The last 6 months I have compiled some miscellaneous photos of recent projects and artsy stuff,
so it's time to share!

Hope you enjoy!

-Flan
Over the last two years I worked on perfecting the fine art  of "Flan", which is a custard in caramel sauce, commonly served in Mexico.
It is one of those things that can be a bit tricky (until you get your method down), and my family now expects me to make it for family get-togethers! This is one of the two I made for my Padre's birthday in February. I did my own garnish of raspberries and mint!



-Mystery Tea
At the end of March my friend Marie and I helped put on our tea-fundraiser at church. It was a team effort really, we two just put on the entertainment part of it---as Dr. Jane Watson and Sherlockiah Holmes!
We put on a skit and it was wonderful (if slightly crazy at times). We had a bunch of jokes and funny British lines thrown in. My "Watson" outfit came from the theatre I work at, and Marie's plaid "Holmes" dress was thrifted. We brought in sets (from our local homeschool drama play which we both helped put on early that year) and hauled furniture!
(Left, Me---Right Marie)


- Spring Scarf
Sometime during the early spring I found a remnant of semi-sheer floral from a local fabric source. So I fashioned a cute lace scarf. It has a cool design, maybe I'll show the finished thing sometime!


- Refashioned T
My awesome friend Samantha worked at a resort island last summer, and brought me back a cute "Mackinac Island" t-shirt! It was a bit too big, so I remade it! I took the sides in, cut the hem to be curved and added fun "bo-ho" trim. Ta-da!


-Journaling and Prayer Box
My sister went to a missions conference this spring and came home with "love" gifts (a small gift to show you love a person) for everyone. She is pretty awesome! And kindhearted. And maybe generous too? She gave me an owl prayer journal, and also a PRAYER BOX! You write one-liners (or one-worders) about things that are really troubling you, and you give them to the Lord, then close the box and let go!


- Pattern Haul
I hit a $1 pattern sale and stocked up!
Enough said!


- India Dress
In April came the bombshell news about the Royals visit to India! And I was super excited to see Kate's wardrobe! This dress has a very long story, but suffice it to say I was intrigued/inspired by  Kate's use of a traditional garment, turned modern. Here is a sneak peak of my "refashioned"  modern India dress!


- Polka-dot Cards
In late June I gathered with friends for epic card-making!
This is my personal collection called "Polka-dot Fiesta"!
Super cute!


-Redecorating
Also in June we weekend in our old family cabin. It's a mountain cabin, and my mother and I are redecorating (or trying to!) for the first time in 40? or 50? years!
I found that white shabby-chic dresser on the side of the road and it looks great with an old family mirror! (I also thrifted the old lamp!)



-Mending Beanie Boos
This is kinda funny, but I am now a surgeon for stuffed animals.
Six year old Kayla at church apparently knows I sew, so she came to me Sunday with Doggy and Turtle and I am now "vetting" them. Doggy just needed his back sewn. But Turtle had a fin accident and needs reconstruction. ;)


Anyways, in between there has been family mending, flower crown making and a bunch of other stuff.
But this is what I've got for now!
I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of beauty.

xoxoxo
~Yours Ever Creating~
Lexi



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Style 3//Secret Garden



“If you look the right way, you can see that the 

whole world is a garden.” 

― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden





“It made her think that it was curious how much nicer a person looked when he smiled. She had not thought of it before.” 

― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden




“There's naught as nice as th' smell o' good clean earth, except th' smell o' fresh growin' things when th' rain falls on 'em.” 

― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden



“As she came closer to him she noticed that there was a clean fresh scent of heather and grass and leaves about him, almost as if he were made of them. She liked it very much and when she looked into his funny face with the red cheeks and round blue eyes she forgot that she had felt shy.” 

― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden

~*~*~*~
Dear People,
If there is ever something I should not wish to hide from you, it is these two things:
1. My never fading fondness for children's literature,
&
2. My never fading fondness for flowers.

Never forget mind you!

*ah*
There is something enchanting about flowers.
My escapades in flower photography started young, but I particularly recall the summer of my 16th year.
It was very fortunate indeed the neighbors did not call the authorities on me for "trespassing". For I was very persistent and sly in getting all the best "shots".
Now a-days I still love taking photos, but the camera quality is better and my social boundaries are more developed.
Now I just hit the back of our church where we have those lovely flowers (pictured above) that set-off the mountain backdrop beautifully. And no one knows but Pastor...
;)

This outfit was made special by my first LIVE flower wreathe. My grandparents were throwing some bouquets away and I managed to save  the good clippings. I am sure my grandfather just wanted to get the trash out, but I could not throw good blooms away. 
The result was that after I came home, I bobby-pinned them into formation.
Easy peasy, and beautiful!


Flower button-up tank//pink tee//denim fitted capris
-thrift stores

I guess you could say it was all second hand, even the flowers!

Anyways, 
I hope this may have brightened you day a bit.

And do not fear,

I have many more flower pictures to share later on!

God Bless You and Keep You,
May He make His face to Smile Upon You!

~Yours ever blooming~
Lexi



Monday, May 23, 2016

Laugh at Yourself//Cat Ears and the Governor


Laurie, Me, Tracey

"Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused"
-Unknown


Friday night I got to meet our Governor.
Very charming woman. So kind and gracious.
She came by our costume shop at the childrens' theatre to rehearse with some of the young people for a special event.
I wore cat ears when I shook her hand. 

~*~*~*~
My boss Tracey and friends Laurie and Alima were there too, of course. 
Alima even had a vintage headscarf under her ears and Laurie and Tracey had their ears decked out as well.  I decked my ears out with colorful daisies.
See, 
when you work in our costume shop for long enough... 
you earn your ears.

For every major show we work, we wear our ears.
These ears distinguish us and the kids know that the "cat ears" are the people who work the costume shop.

And I mean,
com'on people.
When there is whirlwind after whirlwind of things to get sewn, mended, altered and handed out,
you gotta have some fun!
At the end we were wearing not only our ears, but anything else we could find.
At one point I had on ties around my neck (we pre-tie men's ties and wear them so we can quickly hand them to boys who need them done properly), a vintage apron from a pile I had been sorting, and my ears!
Thankfully it wasn't that bad Friday!
When I shook the Governor's hand.

~*~*~*~
It is a truth that I have had to learn to laugh at myself, because well, if I didn't know how to laugh at myself, I'd be completely mortified. 
All the time.

Yes. 

If you are one of the amazingly talented people who always watches other folks get into "ooopses" while you are standing there all dignified,
high five to you!

I will never ever be that way!
This is a little ensemble I came up with late one night after a show back in February.

My beloved sister, who is my total opposite in every way except essentials, told me that one thing she really admired about me was that I can laugh at my mistakes.

Honestly though,
this is more of a skill I have learned over time than a naturally bestowed gift.

Trust me, when your life is MY LIFE, you get plenty of opportunities to practice being amused by the crazy things that JUST HAPPEN.

Prevention or damage control is just not possible.
I've tried.
Things WILL go amiss.
That's just part of being Lexi.

And living life entertained beats curling up in the fetal position and groaning over that time you walked into the wall. Or put the TV remote in your purse. Or texted your dad's work associate a picture of you eating nachos in Civil War attire.
Yeah.
That picture was meant to be sent to my friend Lisa.
Not good.

I am currently proudly keeping a log of 2016's most awkward/embarrassing moments. I have limited myself to one per month.
Needless to say I haven't had trouble so far.
May's moment just got ticked off.

And guess what?
I wasn't really embarrassed by it. 
Seriously, this one wasn't bad. It was kinda cute and the Governor seemed to like our quirky "uniform".
It was fun!

And honestly, I thank God for the ability to laugh.
I laugh at things no one else thinks is funny.
I laugh when I am all alone.
My family sometimes thinks I've lost it.
And sometimes at dance I smile, not a "I'm enjoying this activity" smile, but a "oh man that was such a funny time when..." smile.

And it's GIFT.
Pure gift.
To laugh at yourself.
At your own mishaps

Don't take yourself so seriously.

Cause in  the end,
it's not about you.

And sometimes amusing things  JUST happen.

And when you think,
"Oh man, what a mess I am."

Just remember, you might be the light-hearted example that someone else needs to see.
So get up off the floor, dust yourself off and laugh with your friends.
Cause everyone needs a good chuckle.

And laughter is a Gift.


So put your cheetah ears on.
And smile!

Life's too short not to.

~Yours ever amused~
Lexi
 
Images by Freepik