Making do with rose thorns and glue. AKA: A way of living

My fovorite children’s book of all time is “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going To Sneeze!” Story by Patricia Thomas. Pictures by Wallace Tripp.

It’s a very cute story about an elephant who worries because he is going to sneeze and cause lots of funny things to happen to the other animals in the jungle.  Monkeys fall from tress, the allagator’s snout turns inside out, and the zebra loses his stripes! My favorite verse reads: “Oh, no,” buzzed the bees. “Not a sneeze! Not a sneeze!” The last time he blew off our stings and our wings. And we had to make do with rose thorns and glue.

I read that book over a hundred times when I was younger, and even more times to my kids; not to mention the dozens of preschoolers during my preschool teaching days! The book is just so fun to read, with its comical verses, and the pictures are just beautiful! It is a “must read” for children of all ages.

The “making do with rose thorns and glue” line has always stuck with me. Being raised in a large family, by parents who were raised just after the Great Depression, I knew a lot about “making do”. I spent most of my childhood in hand-me-down clothes, and I’ve never had my own room. My mom still can’t pass by a yard sale, and bargins scream to me from miles away. I used to tell myself that some day I would grow up and make a ton of money so I could buy the newest and best of everything. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve done my share of standing in line for hours to get the latest hand-held technology. But the truth is that my home is filled with hand-me-downs, and every room has a somewhat eclectic vibe because each item was purchased separately, on sale.

As a child I tried to escape my yard sale tendencies. But I’ve come to the realization that I’m very skilled at finding a bargin and even more skilled at using my creative abilities to personalize those bargins into beautiful works of art. I now understand that pride comes from using your God-given talents, not from which stores you frequent. So, please join me as I “make do”. I hope you enjoy the journey!

My Mission

I guess you could say that I’m on a mission. But it is totally a personal journey.

I noticed that I was spending a lot of time worrying about my life. Don’t get me wrong; I have a great life: Good job that I love; Great husband that I love; Two beautiful, intelligent chilldren that I love; a home; friends; just about everything a girl could ever want! But I’m not happy with me….fat, lazy, blah, blah, blah…. 

So about 7 months ago (August 2010) I decided that I would stop sitting around worrying about my weight, my laziness, and my imperfections and instead I’d spend every day like it was almost Christmas. Now the key to understanding this philosophy is to know that every year, between Thanksgiving and returning back to work after the Christmas break, I spend time listening to Christmas music and being crafty. I always have a puzzle to complete, goodies to bake, crafts to finish and gifts to wrap. This is my FAVORITE time of year! All this business of “creating”.

My new mission, and way of life, is to spend all of my “spare” time crafting and creating. It also helps that I started seeing a psychologist. She has been very supportive and recommended some books on art and psychotherapy. She also teaches mindfulness, which is a whole new way of being for me. My new explorations into crafting have been very theraputic, not to mention that I’m actually, finally getting my money’s worth out of all those crafting materials I’ve purchased over the years! I’ve also stopped beating myself up because I wasn’t “doing” anything. I now see that it’s ok to just sit. It’s ok to stop multi-tasking and just focus on one thing. It’s ok to just breathe. And it’s ok to craft and create!

UPDATE: (August 3, 2011)

My life is different today! First off, my psychologist declared me “cured”. What does that mean? Well, it means that I see myself differently than I did a year ago. I realize now that I am a talented, good, intelligent, caring, funny woman, who just happens to be in a fat body. My focus is not on my imperfections, but instead on my uniqueness. Am I working on these imperfections? Yes. But only as much as I want. I’m not letting my perceptions of what the world says I should be like determine my mood and actions. I’m allowing myself to accept praise, especially from myself. I’m not listening to that nasty little nagging voice in my head that tells me I’m less than I should AND I’m something to be ashamed of. Instead I tell that voice to “bug off!” I’ve gotten so good at ignoring that voice and seeking happiness, that my therapist set me free. Do I miss her? Yes! But I don’t need her. I’m my own therapist now.

I also enjoy mindfulness. I love the aspect of turning inward to check my internal state and thoughts. I’ve always been cautious of meditation. My Christian upbringing has taught me to stay away from meditating to hear God’s voice, and instead to find His voice in The Word. But meditating on His Word and my thoughts has helped me to improve my anxiety, stress, and depression. I’m now accepting and embracing the Holy Spirit working within me. I’m seeing that I am a child of God, and that I am beautifully made. The uniqueness I have been given serves a purpose. I’m not selfish when I spend some time with myself, doing things I like. Instead I’m nurturing me so I can be better for serving Him. You would be surprised how much extra time you can find in your day when you live for happiness and Christ! You’d also be surprised at the amount of work the Holy Spirit leads you to when you start to listen with your heart and recognize opportunities for serving. I’m really liking myself now.