30 April 2013

30 days - Introduction - Paper, Gold dots and Mattresses

Hmmm, not sure if I even know how to do this any longer. The interface looks different, is this how it was when I last posted? Don't know, I guess so.

Anyway, I'm back. I'm back for 30 days. And wow, am I excited...um, not really.

I've made commitment to myself and God (just then by typing this) that I'll be here for 30 days in a row. I don't know what for, but He does, and I know He wants me here.

Craft and my life in general have always been linked. God has talked to me through crafting and the creative journey for many years and I know the things I've learnt in that life - my crafting life - can be translated into my everyday life if I look and listen.

For example, Lesson 1 - There's always a solution.

You're stumped.

You can't figure out how to make the composition of the card/scrapbook page work.

Yesterday you marvelled at your great skills because you cut the paper and threw it on the card and it all fell into place like magic. You smiled and congratulated yourself on your masterful skills and happily went ahead and completed the card. At the end you even had a flash of brilliance and added that one final touch that made you lift both your hands heavenward with an accompanying, "Ahhh!" You looked at the card and thought, "Man, I'm goooood."

You know that feeling? It's great, isn't it? It's one of the reasons we do what we do. Unfortunately though, that was yesterday. And we know what comes after yesterday...today.

Today, today, today. Today you're stumped and the feeling ain't that grand. There's frustration, tension and mutterings of, "It's just paper for goodness sake, why won't it just work?"

That's because it's just paper, but you're in charge of it. And if you're not in charge of it, it'll take charge of you.

Yep, paper can do that. I've seen it happen. 

Paper's good like that. It takes control and says, "I know what's best here, and that blue patterned flower paper with the red stripes ain't gonna cut it, girlie."

You're like, "Pardon? But I need the blue patterned flower paper with the red stripes to match the blue dots and the red chevrons!"

Paper: "No, remember I know what's best here. What you need is some gold. Why not try one with gold dots?"

You: "Are you serious? Gold? I don't even like gold, I don't want gold, I don't have any gold and I just don't think it'll work."

Paper: (Crickets)

You, while shuffling the blue patterned flower paper with the red stripes around trying to make it fit: "Gold, seeeeriously. Yeah, right."

Paper: (Crickets having a great old time)

You: "Wait, what about RED patterned flower paper with BLUE stripes? Ah, yes, that's it! Oh no, that'll mean I'll have to change the blue dots to red dots and the red chevrons to blue chevrons to make it work. Bit more work than I was anticipating, but I'll do it."

Paper shuffling and paper trimming happens forever and then.....the card spits it back and says, "Not on here, girlie" with a lot of confidence that actually gets on your goat, quite frankly.

Mutterings and splutterings ensue.

Big sighhhhhhhhhhhh.

Paper whispers: "Gold."

You murmur: "I don't like gold. I haven't got any gold."

You walk away from the table and go and watch Celebrity Splash on telly. You marvel that those people who obviously like putting themselves outside their comfort zone. Nup, you say, I've been out of my comfort zone for so long that I don't even know where my comfort zone is, thank you very much. I'll watch you jump from great heights, though, it's inspiring, that's for sure. And surprisingly doable, or are they just naturally talented? Or determined? Or willing to put themselves out there? Or willing to have a go? Or just in it for the money?

Not sure, but it's worth watching just for the inspiration of it all if nothing else.

Anyway, you're stumped. You're not happy. You know you need to make stuff to stay on an even keel, but you're STUMPED and YOU DON'T LIKE IT.

What's Lesson 1?

There's always a solution. 

And the sub lesson? 

Listen to what the paper's telling you.

Here's how the story plays out: Choose-your-own-adventure style.

Ending 1 - You stay away from your desk for weeks. You know you're stumped, but you don't care, you're over it. "I just want it to be easy!" You periodically think about your stumping and go back and forth on what to do about it. In the end you just leave it because you know it needs something, but you don't know what it is. You certainly know it's not blue patterned flower paper with red stripes.

Meanwhile, you're frustrated. "I just want it to be easy!" Wait, you already said that. You already said that one thousand times. 

Meanwhile, you're annoyed, "I just want this fixed!" Wait, you already said that, too. You already said that one thousand times. 

Meanwhile, you're tense. You're frowning, you're unimpressed with everything - the poo that keeps getting on the eggs (why can't the chooks get it together and not lay on poo?), the centre console in the car that's too small to fit anything, the cup holder in the other car that's in the way when changing gears, heavy rain on the drive home with our newly repaired mattress!

Heavy rain on the way home with our newly repaired mattress!! It was covered in plastic, but the end wasn't sealed totally, was it? The rain got in, wet the end, went underneath aaannndddd....



We have had this expensive mattress for 8 years and I'm just so mad it got wet. It could've been avoided, but neither of us thought of taking a tarp to cover it. It was a bit cloudy this morning, but it was supposed to be a sunny day and of course the FIVE minutes of heavy rain we've had all day (all month) fell on our mattress.

It's so frustrating because I can't do anything about it. I've opened the end, dried it as much as I can and put a tarp over it to protect it from further rain. It's outside on the trailer waiting for Andrew when he gets home. We drove two cars out there this morning to go pick it up and I drove back home with it on the trailer.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Stupid things happen and what do people do when they're at the end of it and they have no reserves? They blow it.

What did I do this morning? Blew it. Blew it, big time.

I rang Andrew and yelled and carried on that the mattress was wet and why didn't we think of taking a tarp and I can't fix it and you need to come home and help me with it because it's going to soak all through the mattress...you know, all that. Yeah, all that mess.

I rang him back 10 minutes later and apologised and he said he'd come home when he could. I don't know what we're going to do to try to fix it; we'll just make it up when he's here. It's such a heavy thing; I have a hard time rotating it when we rotate it (you know, like you're supposed to do monthly).

And wouldn't you know it; I read this devotion this morning after the whole debacle. Um, yep, I blew it big time. I'm sorry, Lord. I'll be telling Andrew sorry again when he comes home.

You see my emotions are backed-up. I'm trying to deal with them. I don't have much in reserve at the moment and I'm trying to replenish and replace. It's all related to infertility and being childless and the journey related to all of that over the last 11 years. When I talk to Andrew about us, I use the words infertility and infertile to describe our situation. On the weekend I used the word childless for the first time. I don't know, it just came out.

We don't want to be childless, but we are.

We don't want to be infertile, but we are.

We don't know what to do with ourselves in relation to all of it, but we're trying. It's a different story (emotionally) for Andrew and I - that's a journey in itself.

We don't know to deal with the emotion of it anymore, but we are. We're having to. It's reality. It's still with us after all these years.

I'll leave that there. I'm sure it's not the last time I'll talk about it, I've got 30 days of writing in front of me.

Gosh, where was I? This feels like a rabbit-hole post.

1. Andrew just came home and we pushed and pulled the mattress upstairs and managed to get it upside down on our bed under the ceiling fan. I've got our two stand-alone fans running hot as well to try to get it dry. I'm making lemonade (out of lemons) and drying clothes up in there as well. It's pretty breezy :o) We made up - we kissed, said sorry and I love you. All's well.

2. The devotion I read this morning? God does that to me often. I get the thing that I need at the time I need it. Maybe to show me that I'm not alone. The infertility journey is a really lonely one. And to tell me it's okay and to remind me of how to do better next time.

Whatever happens...

conduct yourself...

in a manner worthy...

of the Gospel of Christ...

Philippians 1:27a (NIV)

(Thanks for putting yourself out there, Glynnis, and telling us about your-not-so-great days)

3. Before that we were talking about you being stumped and the paper telling you to use gold. Why are you being so stubborn already? It's because you're human and you want to do things your way and in your time, that's why.

You may like to go back up and read a bit of the Gold story, just to get the gist of where we were. I did. My last line was...Meanwhile, you're tense. You're frowning, you're unimpressed with everything (which led me into the mattress issue).

To finish Ending 1...

Meanwhile, your creative energies are backing up and you can feel it.

You don't do anything about it, though. Out of spite for your problem you go shopping online instead. You buy some new scrapping supplies to make you feel better and then go make some soup.

A few days later your order arrives and you unpack it. You've been busy making soup, cross stitching and surfing the net in your down time, so your mind isn't really on what you're unpacking. You just bought the stuff because you wanted to make yourself feel better, not because you needed it. You look through all the things, give a little shrug and put it on your scrap desk.

A couple of weeks later you feel the pull to go to your desk and you decide it's time.

As soon as you sit down you see the stumped project. Your shoulders slump immediately for a minute, That's why I haven't been here, you think, but then you see your new stuff and decide to look through it for a solution.

You look through all the paper and notice it's full of blue flower patterns, red dots, blue dots, red chevrons, red flowers and even one paper has all of them combined.


You toss the stack to the side, sigh hugely and then survey the area for any inspiration, any reason to stay and stick out the stumping.

Hold on, what's this?

It's a corner of paper sticking out from under everything. You pull it out - it was caught inside the big mailing envelope. I didn't order this. On the branding bar the shop owner has written, Free Gift.

Hmm, it's not something I would choose, but the gold dots are nice.

You put it down on your desk...right next to the stumped project.

It looks nice on that, I wonder if it'll work?

You trim, you try, you commit. It's perfect.

Please, gold dots, who would've thought?

Paper did.

The End

And now onto Ending 2...remembering we're talking about Lesson 1 - There's always a solution and this time you are more creatively mature and actually know and live like there's a solution.

You're stumped.

You can't figure out how to make the composition of the card/scrapbook page work.

You try a blue patterned flower paper with red stripes and the card says, "Not on here, girlie." You know the drill.

Paper: "Try some gold dots."

You: "I don't have any, and I'm not really into gold, so no thanks."

You think about it though, could gold be it? Doesn't make any sense to me, but you go looking online to see what you can find. You check Pinterest to see if gold is popular. You read a few of your favourite blogs to see what the girls are using. You know your solution is out there, could it be gold? Might be.

I might just get some and see what happens. Even if it doesn't work, you know there's always a solution, so you don't worry about it. You order a couple of different types of gold paper and press checkout with satisfaction.

Meanwhile, you put the blue patterned flower paper with red stripes away and work on another card. Or you just leave your desk, but not in frustration. Either way, you give the stumped card time. Solutions need time and we need to give it to them.

Solutions in crafting need time and we need to give it to them.

Solutions in life need time and we need to give it to them. 

This translates into the fact that we're actually the ones that need the time.

Paper knew the solution was gold, but we didn't like that. We knew best. It's blue! And with red stripes, too. For whatever reason, we weren't ready for gold. We didn't want to hear about gold, go for gold or talk about gold.

In Ending 1, the gold was slipped in as a gift. The solution presented itself quite happily while you were tense and frustrated about the stumped card.

In Ending 2, because we know there's always a solution, we decided to try something different and go for the gold even if we were a bit unsure. Even if the gold wasn't a solution for the stumped card, it'd be the solution for something else. That's trust in the creative journey right there - if you do things from the heart, they'll work out in the end.

And what was the ending for Ending 2?

Well, the order came, the paper was excellent and of course the gold dots were the exact thing the card needed.

Who knew?

Paper did.

Who knew the stumping wasn't permanent and that there's always a solution and sometimes the solutions just need time which really means we just need time in our creative journey to catch up to where we need to go next?

(Big breath)


You did.

Please feel free to re-read the story and replace Paper with God. He knows. He always does. And I know that He always has a solution and a plan, and usually the plan and the solution take time because I need the time. For whatever reason, I need the time.

He wasn't saying, "Gold" to me this morning, He was saying, "Write" and "30 days".

(And just out of interest that's not the first time in the last couple of weeks that I've heard "30 Days" being whispered to me. He was preparing me so today wouldn't feel like a two by four. He's also been whispering "Write" to me for years)

Anyway, I'm here. I think today is my 30 Days introduction, so.....30 to go.

If you stick around, good for you - you know this is for you, don't you? It's for us.

If it's too much for you, I understand.

Have a great rest of the day, see you tomorrow.

PS. I have no plans and am making no promises on content. I'm just showing up...and writing....for 30 days.