Thursday, January 27, 2011

Storytime Thursday

This is an excerpt from a story I am working on about two children on an adventure.
I will periodically post pieces of their journey on this blog :)

There once was a girl and a boy who loved the smell of adventure.

            One day they found a map while they were playing in their attic, only the map was not like any map you might suppose.  An ordinary person might mistake it for a simple piece of scratch paper, or a meaningless bit of garbage, and tragically let it slip away in a trash bin where it would be buried and forgotten forever.  And that is almost exactly what happened.  If it weren't for this particular afternoon, when the boy and girl's curiosity lead them upstairs into "The Tower," as they like to call the attic, that map may have never been discovered.  But luckily, while the girl was standing on an old wooden chair next to a desk covered in mounds of seemingly worthless papers, her foot slipped and knocked over a small trash can beneath her.  Not to worry, for she had impeccable balance and was able to stay standing with her other foot.  And as she braced herself almost effortlessly, the boy spotted the scroll of paper that rolled out of the trashcan. 
            "What's that!" he exclaimed as he pointed to the piece of paper.  The girl jumped down from the chair and picked it up, noticing how thin and worn the paper felt. 
            "Well, it's definitely valuable," she said as she examined it and handed it to the boy.  The boy unrolled it and nodded, "Yes, indeed most valuable.  I think it is a map."  The girl agreed as they looked at the old piece of paper in their hands, and in unison, they said "...a treasure map!" Their eyes gleamed and they both smiled a knowing smile. For they knew something wonderful was ahead of them.
            The reason I say this map is not like any ordinary map is because this map had no real words or images on it.  In fact, it was more like a blank piece of paper, with a couple of hardly-noticed ink smudges.  But children notice things that an ordinary stranger may never notice.  And these particular children always know treasure when they see it.  So the girl rolled up the treasure map and tied a string to it, which she then tied around her neck.  And the boy and girl set off downstairs and out the front door and headed for the woods.  For the woods is always where adventure happens and treasures are found.  And these children knew this.  So they traveled toward the trees like two sojourners ready for adventure, ready for anything and everything, with their hearts set on the treasure that they knew was waiting for them...  

Stay tuned for more of this story in the upcoming weeks!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy Thoughts Sunday

Here are 10 of my Happy Thoughts this week!

Super cute jumper (by thaitee on etsy) 

This most emotional and passionate “almost kiss” scene in 
Pride and Prejudice!
**Sigh…*  I love this movie.
Akiane, most talented child artist.  She painted this painting, titled ‘Journey,’ when she was just 9 years old!  She writes:...As I was diving underwater one day, I met the most beautiful child.  He will be in space, I thought. I will paint him and through him I will share my own story and vision... I later found out that I'd called the painting Journey for a reason, because the painting was lost and after a long time miraculously was found on the other side of the world...”
  Trying to make my skinny husband look like a convincing Santa Claus

Clock Towers.  
Because they remind me of classic movies like 
Peter Pan or Back to the Future…
(this clock tower is in Duluth, MN.  Beautiful place).

African children – they have such lively spirits!

Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California. 
A beautiful secret! (where “time and the pounding surf have corrected one of man’s mistakes”) 

This Moment ("where we met in the middle as a riddle began to unfold…") 
Photo by Bret Christensen 

A perfect picnic

So delicious and loaded with antioxidants!

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Welcome to Child's Avenue

Welcome to Child's Avenue

Preston and I stumbled upon this magical street some years ago before we were dating.
We were on a road trip one California winter, listening to Oceanlab and passing through gorgeous orchards that made we wonder what they looked like in the spring or fall.

 Such beautiful music.

The reason why I love childlikeness so much is because from the moment we are born into this world, something tries to steal our innocence.  Something tries to steal our imagination.  Something tries to steal Mystery, Hope, and Joy, and replace it with fear.  Ultimately, that something tries to steal LIFE itself.  And far too many people in this world are not really living.  

I believe childlikeness is key to restoring LIFE to people.  LIFE -- hope, mystery, imagination, joy, innocence...and so much more!  This is what we were made for.  It is tragic when we lose it.  But I believe that child is still within all of us.  We just have to unlock him or her and set them free.

George MacDonald writes about a child in his story 'At The Back Of The North Wind,' saying
"He was not afraid, for he had not yet learned how to be"

How brilliantly the truth is revealed in this one simple phrase!
We, as adults, have to do a whole lot of UNlearning to gain back that pure, fearless way of life that children so naturally live.

A child knows he is an artist, until someone of 'authority' convinces him he isn't.
A child knows she is a singer, until someone she trusts tells her she isn't as good as so-and-so.
A child knows he can be an astronaut, or the president, or a fairy princess when he or she grows up...until they learn to not have faith in the things they believe in.

I think it is time for us to live as children do, and to respect children's dreams, not quench them because WE are afraid, or because WE doubt.
We ought to let them teach us a thing or two about LIFE and FAITH.
They can be exceptional leaders...IF we let them.

Sigur Ros has a song called "Glosoli," which could very well be the most beautiful song I have ever heard.
The word glosoli can be translated as a childlike way of saying the "glowing, glittery sun."

Please take a few minutes to watch and listen to this song.  
I guarantee you it WILL inspire you.
It so inspired me that I wrote the following piece as a poetic allegory to go along with the music video.  This piece of writing, that I titled "Drumbeat of the Children," has two parts that parallel each other.

Drumbeat of the children

Expectation is waiting at the end of the shore
The children tap their feet
To the rhythm of mysteries observed easily with pure eyes.
They are a silent choir
Undisguised and realized.
Their wordless beats call out for freedom to be released over the waters
Prayers for mothers and fathers
They march together as a quiet army
Moving like whispers and shadows as silent light sings
Lean in… and hear their song
There is power in their calm
Assembling the soldiers of purity
They stop for just one…in unity
Joining with him in a deep slumber
Awakening all to dream together
Their drumming builds invisible foundations
Stronger than this world’s realization
Rising higher in celebration
Letting loose in faith and imagination
The drumbeats of the children pound louder
This is the sound of the hour

Expressions are facing at the edge of a cliff
The children anticipate
and relate to something unseen
Flying in their thinking is never a ‘what if’
For they are kings and queens.
Their simple smiles curve up, and stir us as joy is loosed over the waters
Prayers for sons and daughters
As their drums roll down the hill
their feet lift off the ground
In all the stillness they are found
And their delight is complete
Lean in…and hear their beat
As they take flight beyond the sea
As they’re swimming high over the ocean
Freedom is in motion
Propelling even the wary into promotion
The last one hesitates as he takes in this escapade
A threshold to a world’s secret escape
Breathe in and jump,
this is why we were made
Unfettered, undone
A life no longer faltered
This is the drumbeat of the children
The silence of moving water

(Inspired by Sigur Ros' "Glosoli" music video)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Robin Hood

Preston and I celebrated our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY on 
New Years Day!

As you know, we love Peter Pan, Fairy Tales, Super Heroes, and pretty much anything Heroic and Prophetic!  So, naturally, we also have an affinity for 
Robin Hood.
So, one thing I did to celebrate our one year was that I set up a 
around our house for Preston!

The clues led him to some special 
“Kingdom Arrows” 
that I made out of bamboo, featherswood, and hemp string

            I named each arrow and wrote special things along the bamboo, such as 
“Rise and Rise Again until Lambs become LIONS!” 
which is from the new Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe.  I especially think this significant since Bob Jones' prophecy about this year 2011 is the year of the Lion! 

This photo reminds me of a musical staff!  So poetic!

We love Robin Hood – his courage, his passion for justice, and the fact that he carries a bow and arrow.  So medieval.  So mystical.  So I created these arrows for my courageous and handsome husband!  We keep them displayed in our Prayer Room where he loves to spend his mornings with God. 

            There are 5 Kingdom Arrows.  5 is the number for Grace.  
I named each arrow a different name, and their names are faintly written on the arrowhead so that you have to tilt it just the right way to read it.  I made them so that he can use these prophetically and strategically to shift the atmosphere and change things on earth, which is why I call them Kingdom Arrows!

1. This arrow is named 'COURAGE' :

2. This arrow is named 'POWER' :

3. This arrow is named 'HEALING' :

4. This arrow is named 'JUSTICE' :

5. This arrow is named 'LOVE' :

To “rise and rise again until lambs become lions” takes courage.  I believe this year we will walk in a greater measure of courage and authority than ever before!
Happy New Year!


I absolutely LOVE this song!  

I just love the message about believing in who you are, and encouraging people to embrace their identity and knowing they are beautiful, powerful and worth so much.
Not to mention I am a Fourth of July Baby!  So I kind of feel attached to this song in some way ;)

My favorite lyrics: 
"You just got to ignite the light and let it shine"
"Baby, you're a firework. Come and show them what you're worth...Baby, You're a firework.  Come and let your colors burst!"

We are full of light and colors that come out when we walk in confidence and embrace who we are.  Let's live in such a way that we draw out the beautiful colors and light (the 'gold') in people!
Way to go, Katie Perry, for spreading this message to the world with your creative music!

For more BEAUTIFUL music click HERE

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Day as a Fairy

In November I had the luxury of being in a Josef's hair/makeup show 
at the Hub in Fargo.

There were hundreds of models in wild and creative hairstyles, makeup and funky outfits made out of paper.  
 It was such a fun event where people could express their creativity and talent.  

My stylist, Nikki, dressed me as a fairy (so perfect for me!) and attached origami flowers, leaves, butterflies etc onto my wings and fairy dress.  

It was quite the long day, starting at 6am for makeup (my first time wearing fake eyelashes)

9am hair Nikki applied a pony hairpiece and styled it to the side, adding origami flowers and leaves to the hair.  

Lots of glitter and hairspray later and I was finished by noon, which everyone then met at the Hub Venue to practice on the runway. 

The event did not start until 7pm, so, like I said, it was a long day, but so worth it!
My cute husband came to the fashion event to watch and support me!  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Weight of a Story

Photo Source

I used to sit and talk with strangers.  I loved to hear their stories.  But when they would tell me their stories, inside my heart would shake for them, and I could see the whole universe inside them.  I could see who they were, beyond what they told me, and I could see who they would become.  So I wrote about them, as if I was on the inside of them, hoping to prophesy them into their destiny.  Here is an example of someone I spent many evenings with outside a coffee shop, under a warm night sky, sipping mochas and listening to his simple stories where I could peak into his depths:

I am a man, but much younger than my years.
I love to ride my Harley, to breath open wide air. I’ve inhaled the ocean breeze; I’ve cruised city streets. And I’ve listened to favorite beats that keep their rhythms in my head. I’ve fought and played, loved and bled. I have even come close to seeing the end. I've smoked too many cigarettes to count, and the smells of sandy beaches and rained-upon grasses have filled my nostrils countless times...
I hold this freedom in my hands until it consumes my whole being, until the world starts believing.
I never married, but had a few heartaches. Some say love breaks so deep that it can never be put together again. It leaves a permanent scar embedded with a signature that shakes you forever within. I love women, but never get too close anymore.
I’ve seen the world, seen great sights, been to great heights…and ventured to low ones. Smells tend to linger like an aftertaste, a trace of wasted adventures and mistakes. I can still smell back alleys and that old apathetic shack that still whispers pathetic tragedies. But I let those smells waft by and hold on to the ones that fly.
I enjoy artistic expression and honest confessions – art that embraces and traces smiles on faces; paint that reveals hidden maps to unknown places.
I am an explorer, a casual enjoyer of life in the present. I don’t resent my parents, and I don’t obsess over my appearance. I prefer sun over rain any day and I like the way black and gray complement each other.
Whether I am happy or not, I am a people-person at heart, and I know I talk a lot. Yet, I have very few close friends, and my dog is the best one I’ve got.
In all my 40 years, I never once gave up. Yet today I am static, not eager to grow up – I’m stuck. Many things about this world seem to hold me back. I’ve sat on my past for far too long. I love God, and His Son. But I have some questions for both of them… such as, why evil rules this world when God is supposed to be King…and why I don’t feel Him when I need Him to encourage me. I know the Bible, at least some parts of it, and I think it’s alive. But I haven’t learned to dive into His heart just yet.
It was my birthday last Tuesday, but I didn’t tell anyone. It’s just another age, it’s not who I am. Because who I am is a big kid forever…I feel like I am twenty-five and I can never get older. It’s as if time has frozen me, but still goes on around me…and my memories are much older than I remember them being.
I like to laugh, and I like to cry, and I know that I am happy. But I am increasingly aware that something incredibly valuable is missing, and I cannot put my finger on it. It’s like a faint memory that is just passed the corner of your mind’s eye, and you wonder why this smell or image is so familiar. It’s like a word you can’t seem to remember, but it’s right on the tip of your tongue, lingering under the taste of your last gasp…its presence you feel but it is never in clear vision. And it’s because you are not in the right position.
Some day, though, I will see with wide-open eyes as I exhale the breeze of the Spirit within me. I will fly over the oceans with freedom in my hands; I will breathe higher air and leave that old man on the land. Then I’ll find that I am found by this one simple sound – “You are my son, and My love for you abounds.”
I am a man, but much more than what you see now.
(written by Bethany Hall)

Flying books :)
Words have a book and set the words free to soar over streets and release their stories ♥

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What Do You Wake Up To?

"When we lose waking up in the morning as though each day was going to be full of adventure, joys, and dangers, and wake up instead to the alarm clock...we lose the newborn quality of belief which is so lovely in the child"
(L'Engle, Madeleine; Walking On Water)

This morning I woke up to a song playing in my head.  Everyone knows the song, “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”  Well, in my head sang, “this IS THE light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…” I remember dreaming I was with a bunch of people singing this song, like in a gospel choir.  I was wearing a beautiful big whitish-pinkish dress with some other girls and everyone was having so much fun singing the song.  There was a lot of laughter and joy.  And then I woke up with the song singing loud in my head and the sunlight peaking through the blinds. 

Preston and I decided a while ago that the children’s song “this little light of mine…” is bad theology.  We changed the lyrics to “this BIG OL’ light of mine” and “if you hide it under a bushel it will burn it up!” haha

God’s Light is so bright and so big, that it is unbeatable.  As His children, we carry that same Light.  We must never think it small or weak.  It’s time we shift our small thinking into believing the truth about us – we are all called to greatness and we are all victorious because Jesus is victorious.  It really is true that “The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world!” (1 John 4:4 NIV).  Who we are scares the devil.  Our Light overpowers darkness.  If we don’t know who we are, we become victims and resort to survival tactics.  But when we know who we are, we march right into the enemy camp with fearlessness and power, and we defeat them with a thought.  Yes, with a thought!  It’s all about renewing our minds and thinking from the mind of Christ. 

Know who you are and own it.  Take courage and own your identity so that nothing can hide it under a bushel and so no one can convince you that you are powerless.
This IS the Light of mine.  And it is BIG and POWERFUL and BEAUTIFUL.  And I’m gonna let is shine, let it shine, let it shine!

Photo Source
*P.S. -- I so want to do this!!*

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


"If I have something that is too difficult for adults to swallow, then I write it in a book for children"
(Madeleine L'engle)

This year 2011 I am deliberately entering into a season of Creativity.
One avenue of creativity that I am choosing to commit to is in the area of writing.
I am greatly influenced by the authors George MacDonald and Madeleine L'Engle.
Although their books are often labeled "children books," I believe every adult should indulge in their inspiring, revelation-filled stories!

I've been working on a story about two children who set off on an adventure full of discovery and freedom; treasures, and imagination.
The following is a short excerpt from my story:

"...I must interject here that the explorations of these woods are not always joyous and peaceful as these children have experienced.  There have been those who have undergone unpleasant demises and unfortunate tragedies while walking these same territories.  However, such hardship is never attributed to the darkness of the forest, nor to the abnormality and strange behavior of its surroundings.  Hardly! For whatever takes place in this cryptic setting has very little to do with external circumstances, and almost everything to do with the internal state of one's heart.  For every man, women and child has a heart, and each heart has a condition.  And if a man's heart is set on evil, fear, or pride, he is doomed to encounter any form of such things.  But if a child, whose heart is pure, embraces all that Heaven offers, that child will most certainly experience the freedom of all that is good and true.  Any opposition will merely be of insignificance to the one who keeps his heart set on things above, for only that kind of heart condition can triumph over the inferior powers of fear or darkness, and be set free to relish in the unusual joys of such mystery.  And so, these children indeed have the most purest of hearts, and thus no harm can touch them, no matter how big the darkness.

            Having said that, there were critters in this forest hiding behind bushes and trees, and some would follow the children.  But the children paid no attention.  They were more concerned with beautiful things.  But the critters were there nonetheless.  And it takes a pure heart to recognize what is bad and what is good.  A dark and slimy critter might very well be a harmless friend, whereas a gentle and sweet creature could quite possibly be an enemy in disguise.  Oftentimes the appearance of something has nothing to do with its nature.  It is a good thing that these children have very strong instincts, for they have not yet been contaminated by social prejudices and skewed judgments.  It must be noted that every child is born with such pure discernment.  Some adults mistake a child's natural intuition for either naive trust or childish fears.  And this is most regretful.  The most destructive element in humans is the pride of adults to discount a child's opinion or perspective as inferior or meaningless.  This kind of pride gives birth to a glorified man-made intelligence, and disregards the innocence of a pure heart.  The most overlooked secret, however, is that children are most innocently wise, and critters are intimidated by them..."
(Bethany Hall).