Friday, August 31, 2012

The Sparkle of Vegas ~ Part 2

We arrived in Vegas close to midnight. I had been on the plane pretty much all day, I was tired, I was grumpy, all I wanted was to get to our hotel and climb into bed and sleep.
And then we hit the Strip...
and the dazzling lights were enchanting, even in the late hours that stood before tomorrow's arrival like guards shepherding in a princess, and there were still people walking about in every direction.

This is the city that never sleeps, nestled in the desert, filled with nightclubs and lights. This town is where anything is possible, where the tall, luxurious  buildings and the bold entertainers dare you to dream big. It is where the hot sun beats down on your back long enough and you begin believing you can do the impossible.
Even at midnight this town is far from losing her sparkle. Even at midnight her lights beckon you to come a little closer, to fall into their trance, maybe stay a while.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vegas part 1

I just got back from Vegas...
It's going to take me a couple of days to process my thoughts, and to get everything down. I've been on the computer for almost 2 hours already this morning, just catching up on emails and blog postings. I feel like so much has happened while I was away, but I also feel like I've taken a much needed break from the 'real world.'

I hope to, over the next few days, post about my trip. I had the most amazing time at the GSD convention, and in Vegas, and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

* I listened to this song almost a dozen times on the plane ride home yesterday. I feel like it's my theme song this summer. I'll explain more as I post more of the pieces.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I was writing a letter today to a friend of mine. It was just silly notes, scribblings in an old notebook, but I came across a very interesting surprise.
My friend is amazing. Only after having one conversation, I knew we were going to be close. And we are. We're kindred spirits. My friend has gone through a lot. Our stories are so wierdly similar it's crazy.
I was writing this letter, and I was writing it for both of us. I wrote that people like us, we've been handed everything. Every little blow, it seems to happen to people like us. You know the kind of people I'm talking about? The ones that seem like, when you hear their story you wonder, "How the heck did they survive ALL that?"
Yeah, there's a special club for people like us, and you're not in it 'till you're in it. You can try to understand, and sympathize, but until you feel that loss...
I was thinking, about her, and about me, and I was thinking we've lost a lot. And then, I came to this realization: "We've had the worst crap happen to us. But we overcame it, and we continue to overcome it. We're resilient."
It took me a minute to realize that I was talking about myself too. My friend, yeah, she's resilient. But me... well it's harder to see that.

1. Marked by the ability to recover readily, as from misfortune.
2. Capable of returning to an original shape or position, as after having been compressed
I paused for a moment. My letter stopped there. Resilient. The word resounded in my head like an echoing chorus.
I want to ask the question, "Really, me? Me, who can't seem to get it right, and who feels like she's failing at a lot, and who is unsure about where the future is taking her and feels so incredibly messed up? You sure you're talking about that girl?"
And then the silent whisper answers back - the whisper that is both myself and not me- saying, yes.
Yes you, because you got out of bed this morning. Yes you, because you are still here, still breathing, still hoping, still encouraging, still loving.
You, you are resilient too. You are still here, still feeling and breathing and being alive. You, and me, we're resilient.
 "You can get over a bad childhood. You can have the worst crap in the world happen to you. You can get over it. All you gotta do is survive"

Friday, August 10, 2012

Taking a moment...

How long has it been since I really sat down and blogged? I feel like all the posts I've written have been rushed, incoherently put together in those rare moments of spare time. I feel like I haven't actually sat down and blogged for a long, long time.
Tonight, though, I want to blog. I want to put out of my mind all those things I could be doing (Writing my novel, for instance) and just write here, and be here right now.

I'm exhausted. I've been exhausted for days. Not necessarily physically exhausted (Though there has been some of that too) but mentally exhausted, emotionally exhausted. Just drained, running out of steam exhausted. Apparently once you start feeling better it's not a good idea to try and go conquer the world. I still have to be gentle with myself.
Today I took a time out. I went out for lunch, shopping and pedicures with my mama.
I feel like my body is just saying, "Ok, Alisha, you can't conquer the world. You do what you can, when you can with what you can, and when you can't nobody can fault you for it."
I think it's so easy sometimes to become wrapped up in everything you should do, or that you want to do, or that needs to get done that you forget to take a time out.
Maybe that means taking 5 or 10 minutes away from the time I would normally work on my novel to blog, or just breathe and be mindful of breathing. Maybe it means taking a day to hang out with the ones you love best.
Sometimes it means actually listening to God when He whispers to your heart, "Hey, I got this. Let me help you."

So here's my 5 minutes. Hope you all had a wonderful Friday, and wishing everybody a great weekend. And hey, remember to slow down and actually breathe this weekend! (Good advice for me to remember too!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

An Interview with Fawne

So recently I had the privilege of interviewing Fawne over at Beauty in Weakness.
Fawne is an amazing woman, and I get so much encouragement out of reading her blog and hearing her story. I was so excited when she said yes to doing this interview, and I know you'll love hearing what she had to say just as much as I did.

So, tell us a little bit about you and about your life:
Hello friends. My name is Fawne and I’m an ordinary girl who likes simple things. I love to read, write and talk to friends. Truth is important to me and I’m learning to smother it in grace. I like fresh doughnuts, being warm, roses and dark brown eyes. I’m not very good in a crowd but I love small groups of people and one on one is even better. I’ve lived in seven different homes in eight years of marriage and I’ve learned to do a lot of things I never thought I could do. Most of my days consist of taking care of children, cooking and cleaning. I find little spaces of time in the early mornings and evenings when the kids are asleep to do all the things that are so necessary for my emotional and spiritual health—spending time with God and my husband, reading, writing, studying, thinking, etc.

  Can you tell us a little bit about your son, Wyatt, and what God taught you through your experience being his mom?
Wyatt was born on October 30th, 2005. Shortly after he was born we discovered he had a genetic disorder called Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. The doctors told us that he would probably remain a “newborn” for his entire life. And in many ways he did. He had trouble eating until we had a G-tube put in. Then he started getting sick a lot and his little body worked like clockwork. Two weeks sick, two weeks well. It was hard—really hard.
It was through the pain that God took me to a place deep, deep inside myself and to be completely honest….I didn’t want to see what was down there in the depths of my heart. It was ugly. But then the miracle happened. As my brokenness was exposed and I dealt with all the junk…I began to see God’s love in a way I never had before. I began to believe with every ounce of my being that God was madly in love with me and that there was nothing I could do to change that fact. He will always love me perfectly. God’s love is so different than human love. He uses the most odd things (odd according to my human mind) to demonstrate His love….brokenness, pain, weakness, impossible situations. I love that about God. To think that He can take something broken and ugly and transform it into stunning beauty! When you understand this concept you can’t help but want to kneel at His feet in complete surrender.
Wyatt died a couple months short of his 4th birthday. (On July 18th, 2009) We are happy that he is free and jealous that he gets to be with our Heavenly Father. He left a big empty hole that no one can ever fill but we are at peace because we have seen the goodness of God and we know that the joy He gives overshadows any amount of pain.

How did you become a Christian?

My dad had just finished family devotions and my parents asked me if I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart. I can’t remember what our family devotions were about but I remember what the room looked like and the couch that I sat on. I told them that I “did want to ask Jesus to be my Savior.” I have so few memories from my younger years but that is one moment I can distinctly remember. I was six.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

I’ve never really had a favorite verse or a “life” verse. But one passage that I find myself returning to time and time again is II Corinthians 12:7-10. I love it that Paul says, “I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties…..” What perspective! I can’t ever remember hearing someone say something so bold and wonderful. That is my prayer too—I want to learn the secret of being content in any situation. I think it’s only possible when you believe that God is completely trustworthy and are confident that whatever He allows into your life He is using for good.

Can you tell us a little bit about your family? Both the one you grew up with (parents and siblings) and your husband/kids.

The old farm house where I grew up still sits on a little corner of“heaven” in Northwest Oregon. I love it there…not because of the house or the land but because of the memories. My family has lived there for a quarter of a century. The old farmhouse that was once bursting at the seams with my mama and daddy and eleven siblings now feels quite empty with only my parents and a couple of children left at home. I loved growing up as the oldest of twelve children and I’m so grateful for parents who loved Jesus and taught us to love Him too. I had many responsibilities from an early age and I’m thankful for the way that helped to prepare me to take care of my own home and family.
I was 24 when I married Ben. Life with him has been an adventure and I’ve loved every minute of it—the good, the bad and the ugly. Having a best friend to “do” life with is something that I’m sure I take for granted way too often.
Wyatt was born 1 ½ years after we were married and he was followed by two boys, Skylar and Raine. It wasn’t until after Wyatt died that we had our first girl, Miracle. We’re excited that another little one will be joining us sometime early next year.
What is one of the biggest things God has taught you in your life?

Right now I would have to say it’s about the beauty of weakness. As I mentioned I grew up the oldest of twelve children. I had to be self-sufficient from an early age and I began to view weakness as something to despise. In fact I hated it…especially in myself. Then when God took me on a journey that was too difficult for me to handle He taught me that weakness is one of His greatest gifts to mankind. It’s through weakness that I see myself for who I really am. Needy. Broken. Unable. And until I see that truth, I can never be fully healed. I long for God’s people to see and understand that it’s often in the valley of the shadow of death that God does His most magnificent work. It’s there that we discover the miracle.

What is your passion, and how has that played a role in your life?
I want God’s people (the church) to understand how much God loves us. I want believers to know the joy that comes from intimate relationship with God. This is my passion. My calling. To encourage Christians (especially women) to believe that they are fiercely loved by the God who created them and to experience the freedom that comes when you know deep down that you are perfectly loved.

If you could say one thing for everybody reading this to remember, what would it be?
That is a tough question.
The thought that keeps coming back to me over and over is this:

Jesus loves you. Yes, Jesus loves you!

Once you grasp that truth it changes everything…..

Thanks so much for doing this, Fawne. It was a privilege to have you on the blog.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sooner or Later I'm going to make it

Can I tell you how many times I've tried to write this post, and how many times I've erased everything I've written?
As I read back through my blog entries (I went back as far as this Spring) I wanted to cry. I've noticed how things have changed, and looking through my writings I can see how every post fit with the place I was in. Even when my blog entry had no mention to what I was going through in life, I could see it there, hidden between the lines, winking at me.
I've tried writing about my life, and it just wasn't happening. If I try to tell you where I'm heading, that's not going to happen either. But I can write about right now.
Right now, the house is quiet, and I'm sitting alone at the kitchen table, the only sound being that of my fingers hitting the keys.
I feel like I have nothing to write about, like I lost all honesty and boldness and the ability to actually say something worth reading.
I'm going to be ok, though. This long period, of losing my words, it's been good for me. Good, and also very frustrating.
Sooner or later, I am going to make it. I am going to find my voice again, and find out how to say everything that I am holding so tightly up against my chest.
Sooner or later, I am going to figure out this thing. I'm working on it, I am.
Sooner or later, I am going to make it.