Friday, December 31, 2010

Packing away "Christmas"









As I trudge through the week after Christmas, resenting the fact that it is now time to take down the all too dry and not so fragrant or noble fir, the twinkling lights that have brightened my evenings for the last month and the icicle garland that reminds me it is cold somewhere….. it is that clearing process that helps me to see the full beauty of my surroundings and all that I am blessed with every day! I actually look forward to the fresh look of clean surfaces and a home back in order after packing “Christmas” neatly away for another year. But I must remind myself that I am only packing away the beautiful things that remind me of this blessed season, not the saving grace that was born to us all so long ago!!
In looking for a scripture fitting for the new year and new beginnings as we face or welcome 2011, I was blessed with this from Malachi….
But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. Malachi4:2 ESV
And thankfully then came across this bit of commentary….enhanced blessing!

You that fear my namethose who look for redemption through the Messiah----THAT WOULD BE ME!

The Sun of righteousness - The Lord Jesus, the promised Messiah; the Hope of Israel---MY SAVIOUR!

With healing in his wings - As the sun, by the rays of light and heat, revives, cheers, and fructifies the whole creation, giving, through God, light and life everywhere; so Jesus Christ, by the influences of his grace and Spirit, shall quicken, awaken, enlighten, warm, invigorate heal, purify, and refine every soul that believes in him, and, by his wings or rays, diffuse these blessings from one end of heaven to another; everywhere invigorating the seeds of righteousness, and withering and drying up the seeds of sin. The rays of this Sun are the truths of his Gospel, and the influences of his Spirit. And at present these are universally diffused----DON’T YOU JUST LOVE THIS PART!!!

And ye shall go forth - in all the occupations of life, but particularly in the means of grace; and: Grow up as calves of the stall - Full of health, of life, and spirit; satisfied and happy---LONGING TO BE A CALF?!!



My prayer for all is that we don’t pack Christmas away, just the reminders! As His light continues to shine, may you all welcome 2011 leaping like calves from the stall, full of health, of life and spirit, satisfied and happy! Joyfully leaping myself, b

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Carol…Elizabeth

Born this day 76 years ago, my ever beautiful, ever moving, ever loving Mom!

A woman who adores Christmas, it is only fitting that she be born on Christmas Eve!
The baby of the family, she was born Elizabeth Carol Dixon, in the tiny town of Egan, Texas, moved to Ft. Worth at 11 or so; the only one in her family to move any further… Houston, with her young family of 5 in 1968. And, to say the least, she has been moving ever since.

She is never idle, hardly sits down and still at the youthful age of 76 can almost work circles around someone half her age. She is truly a stunning strength to reckon with!

In her 76 years, she raised three kids, much on her on; and now spoils 10 grandchildren and 5.5 great grand children. In her early years, she worked a full time job, did the lawn, painted the house (with a little help from an aspiring child decorator), made beautiful Christmas dresses and managed on a very limited budget. In her later years, blessings much deserved, she doesn’t have to work, can dance to her hearts content, enjoy her beautiful garden, wear beautiful Christmas dresses and shares her life with a wonderful husband who finds joy in giving her an unlimited budget, that she often exceeds, according to him!

I thank God for her today, that she is here, healthy and happy… making her infamous holiday cornbread dressing as I speak!

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:25-29

The blessing of spending another Christmas Eve birthday with her is more than I have words or time express! Joyfully singing Happy Birthday to my Mom, b

Friday, December 10, 2010

7thJoy Bloggett for 12/10/10

Just some of the things I love about Christmastime….

Precious, innocent, beautiful, rosy cheeked babies in warm fuzzy clothes!
Small gifts reminding us of God’s most wonderful One!
Sweet tiny Quinn, growing too fast, changing too quickly!!


Two becoming young men, off to a Christmas Band Concert in their RatPack look!
Sometimes gifts, reminding me of God’s Grace for sure!
Blessings I didn’t deserve, I know!
Cameron and Garrison, what would I do without their joy?
Growing even faster, STOP!


My Oldest Pride and Joy, graduating next week from UofH, with a precious family of his own!
Tyler, God’s way of correcting my path...
all the while showing me His Love!
Couldn’t be more proud of this young man!
Grew to be a man before I could blink!!

Precious time of the year, passing to quickly as usual….

Breathe Belinda, Exhale & B Joyfully Thankful!

1 Timothy 1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (NIV)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Peace on Earth & Everywhere Around 7thJoy

NOT!!!

PEACES of fabric, PEACES of parchment, PEACES of old books and vintage jewelry….
(don’t you just love the English language!)

You name it, it is in PIECES; steadily being re-purposed to something spectacular, or so we believe!

In this world of disposable everythings, we have found much joy in creating with a plethora of things, that until recently we might have just tossed aside. Fun we are having, peace we are not…But soon, we’ll be ready, finished, pooped but peaceful and looking forward to two wonderful days with friends as we host our 3rd Annual Trunk Show!

How fitting that the scripture presented in church on Sunday was the following!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.   And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

He knows just what we need…and I pray for you all, this peace that passes all understanding!

Staying joyful amongst the pieces,
 b...
Lifetime Member of the Untangled Tinsel Club!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Unnecessary Worry....

I can’t believe it is November…and I left the house yesterday without a Christmas CD in my car! OK, ok, it’s a bit early, but as you know, my favorite season is upon us. And I consider it my overanxious, Christmas anticipating right to play the music I love as soon as it becomes “almost seasonally acceptable”. Off again today to work on our much too close 7thJoy Trunk Show projects….caught up in the urgency of the jobs at hand and the many things left to be done, I’m worrying unnecessarily and neglecting the things that make me smile!!



So I’m stopping today to rest in the moment and share with you, my friends, something we all need to remember or attempt to live by.

Daniel 10:19 says "God loves you, so don't let anything worry you or frighten you." That's a comfort to me. When I don't have to worry or be afraid of anything, then I am free to give love to everyone around me.

The best advice, I know, but so hard to follow! We all do it, worry, unnecessary fretting over things we cannot change or time spent thinking about what to do with something that is out of our hands…or should be!  I’m just sayin’, that when I am able to truly give it up, it is almost funny how the “thing” that worries me becomes smaller and smaller as I focus on loving the ones around me. And unlike last year at this time, my worries pale in comparison to most, thank Goodness!

I have so many friends and loved ones around me that are worrying, and NOT unnecessarily!

So this is my reminder to myself and all of you; slow down, remember God loves you, do not worry or be frightened… And as impossible as it may be to unclasp our hands and let him take it from us; it is the only way our hands are free to hold on to each other. You see, it is working already!

No matter the season you are in, may today be the day that you feel the comforting hands of God and the joyful hand of a friend in yours! B




p.s. Christmas music helps as well! Try It! I'ts almost time.....

Monday, October 18, 2010

ALMOST FINISHED

ALMOST FINISHED CHANGING THE COLORS IN THIS OLD CHARLTON HOUSE…
ALMOST FINISHED WITH 7THJOY’S NEWEST CREATION PROJECT FOR 2010…
ALMOST WHERE I WANT TO BE HEALTH WISE, WELL….ALMOST!

SO I’D SAY IT’S ALMOST TIME TO START GETTING READY FOR MY FAVORITE SEASON!

But first, I must apologize to my 7thJoy Blog followers because I haven’t stopped to write much lately. Excitement is building around here for our Annual Christmas Trunk Show. With many goals and deadlines set for ourselves, Robin and I have been busy beyond busy trying to finish our newest creations. Problem is we keep coming up with and finding new ideas. I’m not sure who feeds off of whom, but we work well together at overwhelming ourselves…Birds of a Feather!
just a peek!!
Add to that my 10 years too long in one place need for change and preparation for holiday guests; my home is a buzz of paint and re-decorating as well as stacks and stacks of half finished projects for the trunk show. I think overwhelmed is an understatement.

Yet with all this busy..ness, I seem to be at my best. I work well under pressure, love the rush and the exhaustion that comes after a day of hard work, and always have! Not so my sweet friend and business partner, but she’s getting used to it!  I think??

So here it is Mid-October, Fall is in the air and then out again, you know Texas weather!!!
I’m ALMOST ready for, well, you know…..Christmastime!
Not just Yet….ALMOST I said!

And then in the midst of it all, I realize that life around me goes on, REAL LIFE, friends get cancer diagnoses, loved ones are lost, teen aged hearts are broken and hard lessons are learned. I am reminded yet again, that my day, no matter how busy, needs to start in one place….
With my Father, the One who holds all in His Hands, the One with all the Answers, the One who never gets Overwhelmed…the One of Miracles!
OUR GIFT, no matter what time of year! Starting today on my knees, b

Sunday, September 19, 2010

White Wagon Progress Bloggett for 9.19

St. Philip after my own heart!
This man, although he already has my heart, never seems to weary of striving to hold it even closer.
After almost 18 years of my sometimes ridiculously unusual or beyond difficult requests, he still hesitates only a bit before he agrees to try.  And then spends his weekend between non-stop business calls (lately), supervising teen boys doing yard work, and various other things, working on my project of the moment. 
Currently removing the carpet and grinding the cement floor in my soon to be 7thJoy Room!
How can I resist this devoted guy, not to mention he has great legs!
Now off to make him some much deserved breakfast!
Joyfully cheering him on!, b

Friday, September 10, 2010

Oh My Lands...

Things are wild around here…..

7th Joy is in high gear readying for our Christmas Trunk Show!  YES...already!!!

In the midst of my little white wagon work, we are sewing, shopping, preparing to bake, etc, etc, etc…..
And as usual, things start to fall apart around me.

It’s just a mess, take a look, but please don’t spread it around!


The only thing looking great lately is our beautiful website and blogspot; thanks to my wonderful, cherished, awesomely talented,
and almost lifelong friend (can't resist saying that),  Darlene of http://dirtroadheaven.blogspot.com/ Fame (check her out).  I just love her!

And just to make myself feel a little bit better about my mess, I found this scripture to rest in. Hope you do the same…

If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NLT)

So glad I found it! Applies to so many areas of our lives…with that said,  I’m off to spend some quality time with my sweet Mom.

Have a great weekend! Joyfully playing today, b

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I declare Monday...MOANDAY!


The Gris Bleu must be working because...

My little white wagon has slowed a bit this week. I was on a great wagon roll until Monday. You know what Monday usually brings, for some of us anyway….The Change!

















No, not that change; the end all be all, change my life change, getting healthy change, the big D WORD change. On Monday I started a new DIET, or LIFESTYLE, if you’re a positive thinker, like me on Tuesday!
















Here we go again, we know we need to take better care of ourselves, eat more fruits and vegetables, less fries and vanilla ice cream….be more aware of our vitamin D levels, water intake, bone health, cancer risks, etc., etc.! Especially as we hit “middle age”, don’t you just hate that? I say we, because I don't like to think of myself alone on this journey.  And even though, I’m relatively healthy, still have excellent blood pressure and exercise most every day…..it’s time I get more serious about my health. I knew it would come someday….it just takes too much of my concentration! I'd rather be creating!

So this week I’ve been working a little and WHINING A LOT! I know in my heart that it is for my own good and only benefits will come.  And I keep telling myself that soon I will have more energy , be able to paint tall rooms with a single hand! Look, it’s a bird, it’s a plane; it’s Super B!

And rolling along, I must remember this,

We don’t enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But later on, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right! Hebrews 12:11 GWT

So for now, I’ll live in willing discipline…looking forward to the Joyful fruit! But just know that when I hit 80, God willing, I plan to be a buxom, bulky, beamy, Butterfinger eating BB!!! b

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Little white wagon progress...Gris Bleu!

I read this wonderful bit of information recently while working on changing the colors in my old Charlton House....
The color blue is associated with the mind and body and can produce a calming effect while slowing the metabolism, NOT GOOD! However, Blue is often used as an appetite suppressant so if you run a restaurant, consider painting it red; but if you're dieting (Always!), put lots of blue in your kitchen and dining room from blue plates, blue candles, and blue placemats. So I chose blue walls….figured I’d get better results by the mere square footage!
Well, it’s really Gris Bleu, blue gray or as Sherwin named it, Austere Gray….
Here’s a peek, I think it’s rather lovely; but beware, if you are cooking a special meal or headed to your favorite restaurant today…look later, it may spoil your appetite!









Love how it changes with the light!

Moving on to the infamous “soon to be work room”… next color please!
Joyfully losing my craving for blues! b

Monday, August 23, 2010

7thJoy Blogett for August 23, 2010

And They're Off!!!!
A Junior and A Freshman in a Red Truck!
Prayers Please!!!!
Joyfully free of carpool, but not worry, b

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sometimes the hardest thing is to just be STILL!


Seems to be a theme of late, around here at least!!

It starts at a very young age…thinking we’ve got to move, crawl, stand, walk and then run.

Sweet Quinn is growing so fast, already wanting to walk, but just beginning to crawl. She’s very anxious to MOVE! My prayer for her is that she will move through life seeking God first and taking one step at a time; listening for His direction when she is lost, resting in His love when she is tired and letting Him carry her when she can’t walk on her own.  But most of all that she will remember to be still and know that He is always with her even when it may feel like He is not!

Jeremiah 29:11 "for I know the plans I have for YOU, declares the LORD.

I received this email earlier this week…loved the thought of 1000 women praising Him with one voice, at any hour…feel free to share with those you love...I am!

Dear Woman of God:

Be still for a while and praise God for His favor, His grace and His Awesomeness.

God is able to do the impossible and is always near. He loves us unconditionally.

Together, let's get 1000 ladies to praise Him with one voice in this next hour. Please forward this to every woman you want God to Bless!

Praising with Joy, while running and stumbling,
(God’s way of slowing me down),
b


Monday, August 16, 2010

White Wagon of Progress Bloggett of the Day

Its amazing what you can do with things from the Home Improvement Store.....

Landscape Burlap, 3 ft x 24 ft per package, $8.98 + tax becomes....

Rust.chic window treatments in the new feelin' blue living room!  Magdalene might be appalled but I love it!

Joyfully rolling along.....b

Friday, August 13, 2010

I’m feeling blue…not sad, just blue!


My little white wagon of progress following days of indecision finally rolled a color on the walls….getting closer and closer to that new work space, by way of my living room!

See, I told you ADHD Design by B!!

The change begins upon entry, I needed a new view and the view is now BLUE… with a bright but subtle color called “Conservative Gray”. It’s definitely not conservative and it is truly not gray! But I think I love it!

A little like the sky changing ever so slightly with the light and“un pu de francais” or a wee bit French as imagined by a Texas girl who’s never been to Provence; it’s quite different, which is exactly how I want things!

The problem? It only took me 8 samples and at least a week of staring at a patchwork of them all on my wall to decide which one was best. And even after that, wall by wall, I painted and placed things back; convincing myself with each 90 degree turn that it was the color I had envisioned. Where did that come from?? I’ve been doing this for clients for the past 12 years and all of the sudden, I have learned the art of second guessing myself!

Finishing it without any assistance from St. Philip (painting is the only thing he is obstinate about), I breathed a sigh of relief, as did my fingernails! Blue tape removed, I’m one room closer to changing the landscape in this 75 year old relic of a home! Wondering all the while, how many coats of paint have graced these plaster walls and if, in fact, the Ghost of Magdaline might be as pleased with the new shade as I am.

Who knew blue could be a color of JOY! b


Sunday, August 1, 2010

My baby sister Mary….I mean Judy!!



Jesus at the Home of Martha and Mary
Playing the part of Mary (Judy Abbott Serafini)
Playing the part of Martha (Belinda “wantabeMartha” Abbott-Shaw)

Jesus and his disciples went on their way. Jesus came to a village where a woman named Martha lived. She welcomed him into her home.  She had a sister named Mary.

Mary sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was busy with all the things that had to be done. She came to Jesus and said, "Lord, my sister has left me to do the work by myself. Don't you care? Tell her to help me!"

 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered. "You are worried and upset about many things.  But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better. And it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42

I start with this scripture from the Bible, because the story reminds me of one of the many things I admire about my sister….don’t get me wrong, she’s an extremely hard worker and wonderful homemaker…but she knows when to SIT and live in the moment.

We are so unlike each other in so many ways, we have chosen very different paths, the way we approach life is not at all the same and we married men who are polar opposites. Her, only one, her partner since 8th grade! Me…we won’t go into how many tries it took before I found St. Philip! But it goes without saying, we’re just very…Different!!!

But different in a good way, the way that most sisters are I think. From the very beginning we were like night and day. And as we grew into our own it became apparent that we had drawn different cards in abilities, strengths and weaknesses and in life in general.

But with all the differences, we compliment each other. We share, we laugh at things nobody else would, we understand each other when nobody else can, and we love each other when nobody else seems to! But sometimes this bond has a strange way of bringing our differences into sharp focus! And sometimes we learn qualities and perspectives from each other we do not naturally possess.

Like sitting when it is all that is needed. That is my sister, knowing what is most important and spending time in it, never rushing around it! I wish, oh how I wish I could be more like my sister.

I love her for so many reasons, but mostly for sitting, listening, caring and loving!

Joyfully, Judy’s big sister, b

Now, let me get back to painting and sewing!!!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Status...Little White Wagon Progress

I had hoped to work on a project each week
and share my progress with my little white wagon of followers, but as usual, I am….
no, Not BEHIND…

Hesitant
Indecisive,
Wishy-Washy,
Just procrastinating a bit!
Well, O.K., A Lot!!
The best laid plans of a 50something creative spirit!!!

This past week, I had every intention of changing my extra room, at present only used for 7thJoy Trunk Show display and accessory storage, into a new creative space! Starting with a fresh and inspirational coat of paint...but I can’t seem to decide if that is really what I want to do. And if so, what color will make me the absolutely most creative? Should it be Hunter’s White, Gilded Linen, Earthy Cane or Woodlawn Sterling Blue?? So many choices, so little decisiveness!


OPINIONS WELCOME!

Sometimes, at this age, I feel like a child with attention deficit in a candy store, who ate an entire box of hot tamales on the way…
Too many confections, too many distractions, is it hot in here??
Putting off my decision because I’m afraid I’ll change my mind before I get the first morsel in my mouth, or in this case brush stroke on the wall…
Then I remind myself,
as I have been known to tell my clients, don’t stress, It is ONLY Paint!

What’s holding me back? I’m just not sure, so in my indecision, I chose to clean out my sewing "box" or closet as most people would call it! Yes, I sew in the hall closet! It’s really not as bad as it sounds. And sometimes it's a great hiding place.  When it is organized, it’s quite workable and I find that I make less of a mess if I am confined to a small organized space. Dr. Carl Karr’s (our Pediatrician)
 #1 tip for coping with an ADHD child or creative ADHD B, as is the case!
So….Ta Da!
My tiny little organized work box!
Tomorrow… finish up some pending client projects…Wednesday… PAINT!
The Joy of organization is inspirational...
B


Monday, July 12, 2010

7thJoy Blogett of the day!!!

Thanks to all my family and great friends for making last week a great birthday week!
My St. Philip for tickets to see Sara Hickman in concert!
My Mom, for making me the first birthday cake I've had in a long time!
My Sis and her annual funny-but-not birthday cards~
QueenP for breakfast and an almost private movie viewing, darn those crashers!
Melanie, you're too kind!  Flowers at my door, the sweet surprise of the day!
All the personal notes, calls and special emails!
My dear daughter-in-law for making me a personalized cake version of my favorite candy bar!
And the most precious of all, my little man Jackson singing happy birthday to his BeBe last night!
A special week it was!
Yours, in God's gracious care, And ever-loving, Wife, Friend, Mother, BeBe or Just B

And not forgetting, Darlene at http://www.dirtroadheaven.blogspot.com/ for my own personal birthday blog!!!
Now I may go down in history as part of DRH.....lyb

7thJoy WorkBox

Thanks so much for jumping on the 7thJoy Wagon and following me here!!
July 12, 2010 STATUS…Back on track and into a new creative direction!

As I celebrated my birthday, I decided it was time for a change!
I love change; in fact I have gotten quite used to it in the past 53 years.
Oh the stories I could tell, but that’s another blog altogether!!
I’ve realized there hasn’t been much, if any, change around here of late!
Not of my own making, anyway!
Well, get ready, here comes my version of change!

Changing direction, changing colors, changing B

And I figured, if I said it to all of you, I’d be forced to make it!
Don’t you love accountability??

So now it’s just me, my little wagon of ideas & determination…
And you, my friends, to share them with!!
The only Ville I’ll be working on is the one I share with two messy teenagers and the continuously transient St. Philip. If you’re game, I’d love your company as I bejewel my new workspace, preparing for my journey back to creativity. And along the way as I post & share the changes, of course your comments will make the journey that much more rewarding! Plus I’ll know you’re still holding on and haven’t fallen off the wagon.

It should be an interesting trip, hope my tires have a few more miles on them!
Only JOY to Follow! b

From the fruit of her lips a woman is filled with good things as surely as the work of her hands rewards her.
Proverbs 12:14 NIV

Except of course to BLOG....

Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm Moving


No, Not to Austin…

Just into a new work area with a different MO,
Mode of Operation, for the acronymically challenged!
I’m one myself, LOL...right??!

No more FB from my favorite chair, so long FB friends!
I was starting to get favorite chair BEHIND!!

BEHIND in my St. Philip support, teenager X2 care, BeBe-keeping, housework, design work, volunteer work, friendfixes and just plain o' everyday creating.
My sewing machine is rusting and my design books are starting to tear away from their bindings when I open them.

You name it, I’m BEHIND!  Can anyone relate??

So if you like reading my silly ramblings…
you’ll have to sign up to follow through email.
Be sure and enter your email in the SUBSCRIBE box…at www.7thJoy.blogspot.com>>>>>>
AND when it shows up in your email,
just click on the highlighted 7thJoy to get the full effect!

Then remember to Play the Featured Song!!!
It makes it more fun,
Unless of course you are ADHD like me,
READ… then listen!!  or Listen...then READ....or maybe Read, then ReRead, then Listen!!!
See, i told ya!

Au revoir my FBFs…
Please hop in my wagon and join me on this JOYFUL trip!


And Jesus said, “You can tell what they are by what they do” (Matthew 7:16 CEV).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My country, 'tis of thee,


sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

Samual Francis Smith 1831

May we all celebrate this great country today, remembering what we believed it to be in the past, what we love about it now and what we hope it will become again! Let’s do so on our knees, heads bowed & hands folded!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." 
 Romans 15:13

Hope for our country, hope for our families,
and hope for freedom's holy light to return!

Just B

Friday, June 25, 2010

If I was a Painter



Started my Painting 101 class a few weeks ago and I have been hesitant to share my progress, but here are my first two attempts at becoming something more than “a paint by numbers” artist….
My boys might say EPIC FAIL!
And although I’m very critical of myself in most aspects of my life, I think I am O.K with my initial renderings. Believe me, it doesn’t compare to all the beautiful works of the sweet 2nd and 3rd time “blue haired” ladies in my Leisure Learning Art Class.
And our instructor, an accomplished artist himself, walks past my easel without much more than a grin, but still, I am pleased!

I’m only copying right now, stealing art from the masters if the truth be told, but we’ll just call it interpretive art. I’m not sure I will ever be talented enough to come up with an original. Not enough canvas or years left! So for now I am merely relishing the time each Wednesday of sitting in a mostly quiet classroom and concentrating on nothing but my creative spirit! A worthwhile 3 hour a week summer vacation, I’d say.



Hope your summer vacations are full of JOYful colors!!b

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Doubly Blessed!!


A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

This past week, I spent in paradise or close to it,
Grayton Beach, Florida, no oil in sight!
And no Dashboard Lights, just…
Great new friends, Great new music
(I had never heard this one; believe it or not!),
Great food and a Great many Cocktails on the beach!
It was a last minute trip, much needed, and full of surprises. Thanks to one of their own, my dear Robin, I shared this week with a group of Truman girls, true ladies, well that’s debatable (me included)…
But true Gems for sure!
I can say honestly that my life will be better just for the 6 days I spent with them, feeling their unconditional acceptance of each other and of me; hearing of their journeys, not all easy, but beautiful; and experiencing their binding love, no matter their differences. It was just a Blessing!
We laughed, we sang, we watched fishing boats and waves come in, we colored, we cooked and we rested. And did I say we laughed?
What a refreshing time I spent with these new friends, a vacation to remember and hopefully to be repeated. Thanks to Robin and her Truman Girls, I am doubly blessed!
Joyfully bronze with a few age spots, B

Thursday, May 27, 2010

When in doubt, Just B!


Lately I have been in doubt…about a lot of things.
I get that way sometimes, even at this wonderfully advanced age of 50+. They say, well Oprah if I listened to her, at 50 you’re supposed to morph into this relaxed, confident, know who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going female; having 50 years of figuring it all out under your belt….But this week, I say “hogwash”. Oh don’t deny it, I am sure there are those of you who agree!
It’s times like these that I think, where the heck did 50 years go, what the heck was I thinking when…where do I go from here, OMG time is passing too fast, someone let me off this train kind of thoughts!
And it’s when I get into this mindset that I have to force myself to go to that “if I did yoga” place and Just Be
Just be still, let go, and let God!
However, this week, he is obviously on vacation! OK, I don’t doubt that He needs a temporary respite from me on occasion. Or maybe He just needs me to be quiet and listen instead of talk!
So in His seeming absence, instead of talking;
I quietly signed up for Painting 101!

Yes, it is when I Just Be… quiet, still and wait that I begin to see the possibilities.

You see, summer is here, the boys are home, the class is every Wednesday from 1-4,
YOU DO THE MATH!
Now, God, if you're back, just give me talent to paint something other than stick people! Joyfully trying a new inspiration…Maybe we all should, Just B




















Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mother's Pearls of Wisdom

Although sentimental heirlooms like wedding china or a piece of jewelry handed down from mothers and grandmothers are treasured, it's those practical pieces of motherly advice that are the most useful! Some of us might have been blessed to receive just enough of each. On the other hand, many of us would have benefited from much more of the latter!!!
Perfect examples might be:
Don't slouch.
Always write a thank-you note.
Never chew gum in public.
Remember who you are.
Never be too proud to pick up a penny.
The best way to make a friend is to be one…

So for the month of Mother's Day, I’ve decided to share a few of my own favorites!

Every survival kit should include a sense of humor!

Respect is like money: easy to loose & hard to earn.
Happiness is not having what we want.
Happiness is wanting what we have.
Smile...if you cannot lift the corners, sag the middle.
To the world you may be one person, b
ut to one person you may be the world.
Who gossips with you will gossip of you.
You are who God says you are!
And last but not least, Moisturize your neck!

Now if I only had a daughter to pass these on to…
BOYS, Stop smacking and remember these pearls of wisdom! Joyfully Shared, b


"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5 NIV)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bright Smile, Dark Eyes

When the righteous see God in action they'll laugh, they'll sing, they'll laugh and sing for joy.— Psalm 68:3 MSG

This month I am singing...(be glad you can’t hear me!) for the JOY these bright smiles and dark eyes have brought to my life. A whole new dimension to JOY!!
I’m so very glad my son didn’t listen to me, didn’t hesitate, and didn’t wait. I’m so thankful; he knew his heart and followed it...Goes to show you that Mom’s don’t always know best! You see, I tried to get him to wait to propose to this beautiful girl. Oh, I loved her too, just thought he should wait until he finished college to propose!
But that didn’t happen, thank goodness. And now, 5 years later, anniversary near, Tyler is completing an Engineering Program at U of H and will graduate in December God willing. Working and going to school full time has been no small feat…and believe me, I have done my share of worrying. Looking back, I know for sure it was God in action, because my son has done it all for this sweet girl and these two precious little ones that, like their Mom, have bright smiles and dark eyes!


Oh yes, I am singing, but God is the one laughing, yet again, at me for thinking I know it all and watching me realize that I didn’t then, don’t now and never will. So when my younger boys come to tell me that they are ready to propose to the girl of their dreams, I will have learned my lesson…
I think!
Happy Anniversary Tyler and Michelle!!
Singing for JOY, bb







Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mom’s Gardening Gloves….


With Mother’s Day coming, and after spending much of the last two or was it three?? weeks with my Mom in her garden preparing for a garden tour…
I thought I’d share!
She, my Mom has a love for all things beautiful. In fact, it is a bit of an obsession and I mean that in a good way. She loves her garden, her home, and herself to be “dressed to the nines!”. And that of course made me think, wherever did the phrase come from?
One theory states that women of the Middle Ages would often wear fashionable gloves as part of their formal wear. These gloves were said to contain nine buttons from wrist to elbow, so if a woman was said to be "dressed to the nines", she would be wearing her most formal evening wear. Although my Mom loves the thought of dressing up, and does so quite often, I think the only gloves she owns are gardening gloves. And she is at her most beautiful with those gloves covered in dirt and her stunning silver hair damp with sweat from a day of work in her garden. In fact I can’t remember when my Mom didn’t do the gardening or the yard work, for that matter. Only in the last many years, with the help of my Dad, her Prince Albert! One of my most vivid memories of her was watching as she edged our yard with a kitchen knife, before we could afford a push edger. A determined and hardworking example that taught me the importance of taking care of one’s home, inside and out, she was never afraid of a little hard work. It is that very determination and strength, that taught me and my siblings a strong work ethic and the truth that you will reap what you sow in all areas of life!
At 75, she never sits idle. She keeps her eyes focused on the task of the day and stays beautifully young in the process, whether it be, shopping, dancing, gardening, or caring for her family. She never ceases to amaze us all! She is reaping a harvest of children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren, who benefit tremendously from her example!

Thanking God for the Joy of my Mom and her garden of love and lessons! b

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My bicycle, my garden...


One of my favorite things in B’s wishful, when I have the time garden is my bicycle! She's old, not sure exactly how… the seat is worn, obviously… her tires are flat, from going nowhere… and the old girl's basket is loose, maybe a bit overused. Yet it still gives me pleasure just thinking about where it might have come from and where it’s been. Thinking of who it carried and how many trips around the block it’s made. Someone was so excited to get her and yet probably didn’t think anything about letting her go. Sometimes life is just that way!

When my sweet St. Philip bought it for me, it was used, but bright and clean with a new coat of white paint, because someone had found it and saw its potential. Funny, how everyone sees things in different ways. Some can walk away from something used and others find it a treasure, no matter its condition. They know with a little forgiving love and care, it will make them happy to have it!

I’m so thankful that St. Philip saw me that way many years ago and that My God always looks at me that way. No matter how many mistakes I make, no matter how tattered I am when I turn to him, he sees me as worth saving!

So, now this beautiful but rusty “old” bicycle sits in my garden surrounded by fragrant jasmine in the springtime, reminding me of how special something can become if it is covered by grace and the awesome fragrance of forgiveness!

Standing the rusty yet JOYFUL test of time a little like me, b

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Joyfully Cameron's Mom

This is my Cameron, 16 years old…as of April 15th,
dreaded day for some (TAXES),
but a JOYFUL day in the Shaw household! I filed an extension on this POST and I’m ignoring the driver’s license thing. Time passing this fast is irksome!

Anyway, this young man is the light of my life, well, one of them! He is the spitting image of his Father’s Heart; he just looks like me…
And he is as goofy as a “bed bug” times two! Not sure where he got that from. Hmmmm?
Have you ever wondered what makes a bed bug goofy??? Couldn’t even Google it!
Yet he has this extraordinary confidence that I only wish I had at his age!! He is compassionate, kind hearted, and he was born at the end of himself! He is smart, talented, and humble about it all, except where his brother is concerned…a little sibling rivalry. I am amazed at his maturity and his views about most things, yet on some days I wonder how he’ll survive the real world.
When I look at that real world, the sad things that are happening with so many of our youth, including children of friends and in our community; the things they are capable of at such young ages and the paths they choose, I am brought to my knees praying for them and thanking God for mine!
God has done a great work in this young man so far and I am so looking forward to what HE has in store for him!

"The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us."

Still coming to the end of myself, b










Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 2010

"I believe the people and circumstances around me do not make me what I am,
they reveal who I am, just a child seeking the heart of her Father. "

I love this quote, not even sure from whence it came….
But in this month of March, I have not felt like writing or sewing or doing much of anything and then I realized that maybe there is a reason…it is the month of my “real” father’s birth, a father I wasn’t close to, a father I felt I never knew, who passed away last year under very sad circumstances.
All my life, I have missed a true relationship with that father…never really knew if he considered me, was proud of me or even loved me. Just distance, that’s what I knew of him, even when I lived under the same roof.
I've often wondered if my life choices were shaped by that relationship, some extremely bad, yet some very good! And I know that it must have had a great influence “according to studies about father daughter relationships”, but in my heart I know that no matter what kind of “real” father we have, our Father in Heaven is the one who defines us…and I am so very thankful!
Because of my “real” father, I know how much showing love is important, because he didn’t. I know how much being there is important, because he wasn’t. I also know how much faith plays a part in life, because he had none. So, you see, I learned many wonderful things from my Dad! After his death, I found out that his life as a young boy was tragic, extremely abusive and void of love and devotion from his own “real father and step mother”. Just the fact that he broke the pattern of abuse proves how much he cared. Maybe that explains "the distance". And because of that, I know he just didn’t know how to show me those things I needed, doesn’t mean he didn’t consider me, take pride in me, or maybe even love me with all his heart….so I choose to believe in his love! By the Grace of my Father Above…..JOY today and always, b







Wednesday, February 17, 2010

18 Years Ago Today in Astin Park

A man's heart reflects the man. Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)
The Bible uses the term "heart" to describe the bundle of desires, hopes, interests, ambitions, dreams, and affections that you have. Your heart represents the source of all your motivations -- what you love to do and what you care about most. Even today, we still use the word in this way when we say, "I love you with all my heart."

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."
- Dr. Seuss

I use Scripture AND Dr. Seuss as a reference point today because I move between each in my daily life. Sometimes I am sure of my life as it is and sometimes it’s a little Dr. Suessish!! Does anyone else feel this way…Is it my age? Could it be a female thing, from birth we tend to be a little fickle or maybe it’s because my bundle of desires is ever-changing or so full that it is ever-shifting. I think that is called an ADHD heart! Oh, I don’t know...Now where was I??

"The Bible also says what is in your heart is what you really are, not what others think you are, or what circumstances force you to be. Your heart is the real you. It determines why you say the things you do, why you feel the way you do, and why you act the way you do.”

Reading this, I was reminded of the reflection of my heart, Not always as beautiful as I would hope, but constantly a work in progress! Daily I am faced with that reflection, not the physical (thank goodness!), but the one from inside and I know that as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, I can do so much better, so much more. Many dreams depend on it!

So I am reminded by God and Dr. Suess, that your heart’s reflection can be the thing dreams are made of! And I know this to be true because 18 years ago today a wonderful man proposed to me on the pier in Astin Park. Now I am blessed with a husband who’s heart reflection I can only wish to mirror!

May your heart's reflection and your dreams be Joyful! b













Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two Miles,Two Boys, Two Prayers

With gracious uncertainty, we can be confident in our expectations, knowing our hope in the Lord will not disappoint (Romans 5:5).

Today I’m right where I’m supposed to be…
This morning when I drove my younger “BOYS” (the ones that God knew I needed, if you remember my last elated blog) to school…THEIR prayers reminded me of that!
You see, ever since they started school, as I drove them, I would say a prayer for the day, first thanking God for his blessings, then asking God to keep them safe, guide them and bring them home safely to me. This is something I borrowed from another mother in a Bible study I joined years ago. I had never been comfortable praying out loud, but I thought if they heard me doing this every day when they were young, they would be comfortable doing it on their own some day. Several years ago, their Dad started doing the morning drive to drop them off at school on his way to the office. When I passed him the A.M. carpool torch, quietly I said,”You know we pray every morning”. I wasn’t quite sure if he had even heard me and definitely not sure if he would follow up. I was just glad to be able to stay in my pjs a little longer each day and uncharacteristically refrained from making carpool prayer demands!!!!
I guess it has been 4 years now, he’s been doing the short a.m. drive with our boys, now teenagers, but now that he is in Austin, I’ve put on my chauffeur’s hat again. So you can imagine the first morning I backed out of the driveway, when Garrison turned down the radio and begin the morning prayer, followed by Cameron, covering everything Garrison hadn’t…Well, let’s just say, my heart was bursting.
Each day I look forward to that morning drive even though sometimes it’s obvious they stayed up later than they should have, the words might run together a bit, and indeed on occasion their prayers sound a little rote… But, I am truly blessed, because the boys God gave me know they are His!
Did I mention, they are great Uncles too!
Yes, I am right where I am supposed to be. I only wish I had known how to pray when I was their age…for I know I would have known JOY sooner! B

Disclaimer: I have declared January Brag Month as Mom/Gramb, then I’m going to try to return to things that inspire 7thJoy, although I think they are one and the same!