Friday, September 18, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 9/18/09

Wow! I missed a week...want to know what is really sad? I didn't realize it until today! Life has been a whirlwind of activity over the past couple of weeks.

I spoke at a women's retreat last weekend, forged a new friendship with a couple we just met, helped prepare a women's banquet for 160 people (with Michelle Duggar as the guest speaker), oh and debuted my budding business at the Northwest Arkansas Business Women's Conference. All of this while fighting off a pesky cold. I rock!

Seriously though, the push through the first part of the week seriously drained my physical energy, and I spent Wednesday and Thursday recovering (this is not such a good my house looks like a trade show exploded in it and I am existing in survival mode with the laundry....are you familiar with the survival mode setting on the washer? It's the one where you HAVE to put a load all the way through so the family will have clean undies in the morning.;)

Today is the first day that I have felt up to par and I am struggling with the overwhelm of all of the chaos. So I am starting with Small Things (thanks so much RachelAnne for your blog and your inspiration) and going from there. I hope you all have had a wonderfully productive week (minus the cold!) and can't wait to see what everyone is up to!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"I will look up..."

"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
Matthew 14: 28-31

Ever have those moments (I call them “God Breezes”) when you witness- and are able to recognize an event that is a direct application of a Bible teaching? When something in life so closely mirrors what God was trying to teach us through His story that everything just clicks into place? They happen to me often these days, and more and more as I spend daily moments in scripture. I wonder sometimes if that means I am closer to God, or more open to His teachings, or if I can see more because I know more. Or perhaps a combination of all of these things. No matter, I am blessed by the God Breezes that sway through the branches of my life.
One such God breeze came just a few weeks ago when I was ice skating with my children. My son had been begging me all summer to take them ice skating, and I had, regretfully, kept putting it off. But it was (literally) the last day of summer vacation, so I decided to make good on my commitment to take my kids and laced up my skates.
None of us are stellar ice skaters, but I did spend most of my formative years on a pair of roller skates (I could roller skate before I could officially walk), so at some level, ice skating comes naturally. My son has inherited that ability I think. After one time around the rink, holding tightly to the wall, he took a deep breath, let go of the wall, and began skating on his own. “Look, Mom! I’m doing it!” he exclaimed, and was off. My little man…wow, how they grow up so fast.
My six year old daughter was not as brave as her brother and still clung, white knuckled, to the wall and to my hand, not really skating, but more pulling her self along- kind of swinging herself through like she was on crutches. After, Xander’s second time around the rink, her competitive spirit began to overtake her apprehension and she decided it was time to let go of the wall. After a lap around the rink, holding tightly to my hand, she said, “Mom, I want to try to skate to you. Go out to the middle." So, after she adjusted my position several times with a few directions- “a little closer, no too close, no too far…good right there,” she took a deep breath and a step away from the security of the wall. Immediately unsure of herself, she turned back.
Mama Cari went away and Coach Cari immediately stepped in to support her (as I do with my clients when they are trying desperately to forge a new path in their lives.) “Ok Lizzie, I am just five steps away. Keep your eyes on me, push off and skate to me. You can do this! Just keep your eyes on me!” Lizzie took a deep breath, centered herself and pushed away from the wall. One step, two steps- she was completely out of reach of the wall now- three steps- oh I was so proud of my brave soldier- four steps- suddenly, you could see doubt slip in and replace the ecstatic look of accomplishment that had been in her face just seconds before. I saw it and immediately rushed to catch her focus with my words, “Almost here, come on baby…you’re doing it!”
But just as I said it, her doubt overcame her and she looked down, instantly faltering. Her weight, shifted by the motion, threw her forward. As she fell I, leaned forward to catch her just before she landed on the ice. “You made it!” I exclaimed…but she was not as happy with her accomplishment. “No, I didn’t, Mama…I took my eyes off you. I looked down.”
God tapped me on the shoulder, “does this remind you of a Bible story?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied, in a sad small way. “Peter looked down, too. He didn’t have the faith that Jesus would protect him, I guess I didn’t either.”
It’s so true. You know looking back on my life, most of my failures have come when I am so close to victory I can almost touch it, but I take my eyes off Christ for just a split second, and find myself face down on the ice. It is not Christ’s fault. He is still there, cheering me on, holding the space for me…it is mine, I doubt and look down, forget that He won’t let me fall and begin to rely on my own feeble balance to hold me up. And while that is a lesson I continue to learn, and one that my daughter learned that day, I also find a more important lesson in this story.
God will be there to catch us. Even when we doubt Him and try to do it ourselves. He will pick us up, brush us off and send us out to try again. Just like I did for Elizabeth that day. “You did great! You almost made it! I will catch you if you fall…let’s try again!” and she did. It took her three tries to make it to me without falling. Three times she looked down and tripped herself up. On the fourth, she said, “Mom….I will not look down this time…I will look up.” And so she did, and thus achieved her mission.
She is now off and circling the rink with her brother. “Look, Mom! I’m doing it!” she exclaims, and off she goes. Wow, they grow so fast….

Monday, September 7, 2009

Our Labor Day Advenutre Story

Our Labor Day Adventure Story

Wow! It is Labor Day today! September 7, 2009….where has the time gone? It woooshed by in a seemingly endless flash of activities and accomplishments, sometimes marked only by the ever-changing height of my children (and width of my petushky;)...but that is changing as well- for the better…

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon running from odd location to location filming a short feature film about lava monsters and kings and queens. It started innocently enough as a request from my son to climb the rock wall at our local Lewis and Clark store. He is nothing short of a monkey and easily scales the “Easy” wall, but has been struggling to make over a large outcropping of rock that protrudes from the middle of the “Medium” wall. He would go back every day if we let him. Like a dog with a bone that one….laser focused on his goals. I love that about him. Anyway, in the midst of his request, I cried out, “So you would like to go scale the Cliffs of Despair, eh?” My daughter chimes in. “And rescue Queen Rosalina and Princess Rosie from the Lava Monster. He has kidnapped us and taken us to the Pools of Languish.” (Did I mention she’s six…languish, really? Man, her teacher, Mrs. Gartner must be working overtime in the vocabulary lessons!)

The entire story seemed to explode from that point! In a beautiful flurry of imagination and wit, our children began to storyboard what was soon to become a twenty minute short film complete with several props, five locations and a supporting cast that included their Grandmother! It was an amazing adventure and so very interesting to watch and participate in making a fantasy world come to life!

Charlie and I are online gamers in our free time (World of Warcraft mostly)- don’t hate on me, it was a last ditch attempt to understand a hobby of my husband’s and I got sucked in;) But yesterday we didn’t play at all- which is unusual because Sunday afternoon is when we typically meet his sister and brother-in-law online to play for an hour or so. They live cross country from us, so this is a way to stay connected at times. We were busy creating our own fantasy land and having an absolutely blast doing it!

We did learn a few things:

1) Our children are far better actors than we are! Chas and I are so cheesy….of course that adds to the fun of the film, I suppose.
2) My arms are very long and don’t look nearly as graceful as I think they do when I am flailing them about….no wonder people laugh at me when I get really excited!
3) We have an inability to quit….even if we should. We don’t know how to stop until something is finished. You know I am a Welch by birth and our surname motto is “Ne cede arduis” – do not give in to difficulties- so true that a motto written hundreds of years before me fits me to such an extent. This trait seems on the outside to be a good thing, but we have a tendency to take EVERYTHING to extremes, so it can get a little out of control.
4) My kids and husband are like the coolest people ever!
So the short story is that it was a fantastic adventure…not just an imaginary one, but a real one as well! We had a blast and truly worked well together as a production crew. I hope to post the video below, but it turned out to be about 20 min long, so I am not terribly sure if I will be able to…that is, of course, once Charlie finishes editing it and adding the soundtrack (his favorite part).

Now the children are up and rearing to go, so I must close….I am excited to discover our adventure for today! What’s your adventure? Do you feel like you are living in a dramatic trajedy instead of an action/adventure? As my son says, “The great thing about making up our own stories is that we CHOOSE how they will be….” And that piece of wisdom, my friends, doesn’t just apply to feature films, but to everyday life! So choose adventure and let’s go have some fun!

Friday, September 4, 2009

9/4/09 Company Girl Coffee

Wow! Another week? What? I am rushing out the door to buy some Xander safe "ice cream" (Rice Dream) for a school function and don't have much time...but I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all the gals who stopped by last week and commented on "Strings Attached."

I am currently working hard at the HOW Strings Attached is going to look and operate. I am trusting that God will take care of that (he has so far) and kind of trying to keep my preconceived notions out of the way.

I will be posting more about it soon....but I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who took an interest and expressed your guys rock!

Check back soon! I promise more is to come!