Saturday, August 27, 2011


I started writing this blog awhile back with the intentions of writing about my blocks and such. The problem is, my facebook and website pretty much cover all my up-coming block news. I love making blocks, but I've discovered I don't like writing about them. :)I've often used this "block" blog to write about what's on my heart, my passion, and my God. I love God stories and I have so many of them that I haven't written here because it seems strange to put them all on my blocks blog. Sooo....I'm excited about closing this blog down and writing out my journey in a personal blog. I'd love to have you jump over to that ship, if you like.

The other thing about this blog is I never see when comments are left. I just found nearly ten comments that I never read. They were so encouraging btw, thank you! The new blog will notify me when a comment is left and I'm just really excited about writing there. So...come on!

Thanks for supporting my blocks too. I do write a few newsletters a year. These include new news, coupons, give-aways and changes. If you do want to keep up with some of that, I'd love to have you join my website as a member, or find me on facebook. I shall just be chatting it up everywhere. I was told as a child I have the gift of gab. It's true, I accept it with pleasure! My website is
Thanks y'all.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Surrendered and Untamed Book Review

Last night I finished this book, "Surrendered and Untamed" by Jason Clark. I am stunned at how disappointed I was to be finished with it. I literally thumbed the page back over, and then over again. I went and read the introduction (which I had skipped) just to get more out of it. You know how it is, when you REALLY like a movie and you go watch the deleted scenes and commentaries and such. That is how I felt.

This book woke up the part of me that I love the most. That same part is cleverly placed into all of us. I'm sure of it, but it often gets lulled to sleep by TV, activities, social networking and work. This sacred part I can only describe as the most authentic, unique, visionary genius put into every fiber of our being. It is the part of us that literally is alive and wants to jump out of our skin to prove it. There is a line in Jason Clark's book that says, "The lion's come alive in me." That is exactly what it felt like to read this book. I felt this lion come alive in me and it could not be held back from living. We were made for beauty, not for existing, not for surviving. Sometimes it's easy to get stuck there though. It's so beautiful when something comes along that reminds you of who and what you are. Encouragement is a kindness of the greatest sort.

Reading this book was like remembering why I'm here and how to be HERE more. I want to be in the present with my kids, with my life..not always planning or multi-tasking. It's so easy to schedule our lives away and then be a slave to our own obligations we've created. The lesson learned in "Surrendered and Untamed" isn't blatant or in your face. It's written through the experiences of the author, experiences of the daily struggles, the little gems and the fun rides of his life.

My husband would crack up watching me read it. I'd get in my bed at night, pull my covers up and within a few minutes, I'd giggle a little. A few minutes later, I'd literally just slam the book down and take a deep breath and then cry. It is like reading someones journal, you know. Like being so acquainted with their journey that you can't wait to see how it turns out. Clark's revelation pours through each chapter, sometimes through pain, many times through hope. His journey is the one we are all on, learning how to live, learning how to trust, learning how to take risks, learning how to love. When he writes though, you know he has really lived it. His words, none of them feel empty or trite. I just loved that.

I want to risk more and love more. I want to jump out of my safe place and completely lose my way back to it. It's a scary thing to live that way, but I'm beginning to understand that the alternative is so much less than what I was made for. To settle for less than who I am, would devastate me. We truly only get one life here. Why is it so scary to believe? I'm starting to wrap my head around the crazy beauty of a truly surrendered and untamed life, living in the hands of one so great. We can trust, but will we? It's my heart and my legacy to trust radically.

If you read this book, write me! I so SOOO want to know your thoughts on it. I saw it on Amazon for less then $10. I'm pretty sure you can buy it online through Barnes and Nobles too. Thanks friends! I'm honored to share my heart with you guys...always! PS. Here's the Amazon Link. You can buy the book with a DVD and a study book, or just by itself. I'll be getting those here very soon. ;) I just read the book so far. Find them on facebook too. They post such great things. .

Monday, February 7, 2011

A True Leader

I've been pondering on the subject of leadership the last several months. I thought it would be interesting to flesh out my thoughts here in a blog.
We've all been subjected to bad leadership in one shape or form at some point in our lives. It may have been a teacher, a parent, a pastor, a police officer or a boss...etc.. Hopefully we've all been honored and mentored with good leadership at some point too. If not, that is my prayer for us all! How can we model that which we haven't experienced?

When I stack up the attributes of the "bad" leaders in my life, with the attributes of the "good" leaders, I start to notice a pattern across the board. The "bad" leadership has one common denominator, and that is the use of control. It would take on many different forms. Sometime manipulation would be used, sometimes intimidation, and some would use their strong personality to try to conform me to look like them. The sad thing is, most of the time, these tactics worked and I gained approval instantly because of my desire to please the leader.

I never wanted to be the leader, but I did want the leader to be happy with me. I had more of a desire to be second in command though. lol
I see this in my life with the jobs I've had. Every time I've been offered a head management position, I've declined. I would go as far as assistant manager and then stop, quit, and start a job somewhere else. I never wanted to lead because I didn't like what happened to people when they got to be the big dog. Over and over again, I saw great people turn into control freaks when they would gain a title. Not just in the business arena, but in church, in worship bands, in cell groups. I really believed that the higher you got, the more terrible you had to become to get things done right. I believed that all the yuck went with the territory. I've since come to realize that's a lie. I'm learning what real leadership looks like and I'm excited about sharing. What if leadership looked like this:

What if leaders parked the furthest away from the building so the people they care for wouldn't have to get wet when it rained. What if leaders weren't so highlighted, or always on a stage and instead they highlighted people, they served people. What if leaders led by inspiring people to do their best instead of micro-managing them in what they've been instructed to do already. What if leaders weren't driven by fear, but were driven by love. What if they were so impassioned, they were contagious with knowledge. Here is a big one. WHAT IF THEY WERE DEVOID OF EGO, but graced with humility. At this point, it sounds like I'm describing a soup kitchen volunteer, I know. Here's the thing. I think a soup kitchen volunteer worker looks a whole lot more like Jesus then many "leaders" who have a title do. It's interesting to me that a common leader of our day is so hungry for approval and validation and the furthering of themselves, they forget what a leader is for.

A leader is to lead others into their destiny in some way shape or form. They are to call out excellence and help teach the stewardship of it. They are to revive with passion, truth, integrity and honesty when it's necessary. They are to allow uniqueness in personality and gifting, and nurture an atmosphere that encourages that variety. They are to lead by serving. They are to love those they lead, how else is it possible to lead them well. Sometimes I believe leading means addressing things too, but how great would it be to be addressed by someone who really loves you and wants the best for you.

If we reduce leaders to just being the people who tell people what to do, when and how to do it, then we might as well call them the "bossies". That is so much less than what a leader was meant for. We all need a leader, not a boss.

I posted on facebook this question and got a couple other definitions I'd like to share. I thought they were so good. I asked what a leader was?

"you see Jesus all on their face... you are attracted to them because of Him, they lead by example AND grace, they point you to Jesus, they love you for who you are, yet encourage you to achieve a higher potential, and even if they were not officially in that leader position, you would still think highly of them, look up to them."

I think a good leader reveals The Father and also His thoughts about you. Its about encouraging/providing an atmosphere where transformation can take place - where men and women can encounter their Heavenly Father and be transformed into sons and daughters."

I love these definitions. I love where the priority is. We all get to be leaders to someone, even if are sphere of influence stops at our children or a sibling, or friend.

People must know their value. A leader is someone who at all costs, drops it all, to go after the one who doesn't know as much, who doesn't understand how valuable they are. Jesus used the example of leaving the ninety-nine sheep to go get the one that was lost. It seems like we think there is a better way to lead. We burn bridges, cut people off, turn our backs, start again. We could only react this way if we valued ourselves more so than others. A leader prioritizes the joy of establishing value and purpose in those around them. They reach out to the ones who can't keep up, or trail behind and help them. They don't leave people in the dust.

I've seen people establish this kind of environment in an office and excel in business. I've been taught by a teacher who treated his classroom with this much honor and because of Mr Syme, I caught the passion to pursue writing. I worked for a woman who stopped everything to secretly put snow tires on my car so I would be safe in the North driving around. I have a dad who led his home with so much integrity and hunger for all that is good, he instilled something so true and beautiful in each of his children; something that can never be unwoven. I have a mother who till this day teaches me what it means to give it all away because of love, and her leadership in my life has caused a domino effect in the lives around me. My husband has shown me how beautiful humility looks like on a leader, and how integrity speaks so much louder than noisy talk. None of these people had a stage or a microphone, or a huge paycheck that drew my admiration. That's all fine too, but these people didn't these things and yet their impact on my life carried so much significance. Each of these people inspired me to grow, control was knocked out of the equation completely. What an honor to be led and have been led by these great leaders.

Leadership is amazing and it's impact is beyond one generation, but at least two or three. I've had bad leadership and I've had good, and I definitely know the difference. One point of contact with a good leader had the power to shift the direction of my life to positively impact so many others. Pray for your leaders and pray for this kind of leadership to raise up in every area of life. To start in the family, then flow into the church and businesses, to transform politics.

So I've changed my mind. I want to be a leader!

Friday, January 21, 2011


A friend told me it's been a very long time since I blogged. Indeed it has. Christmas this year literally kept me spinning solid for about 5 weeks. I've never experienced anything like it. Fatigue mixed with excitement and delirium set in. My husband would ask me what we were at with sales and I had no idea. In fact I didn't look until December 18th when we mailed out the final shipment. It would have been the final plate thrown in the air that broke the rest had I taken a moment to add it up. LOL
It was a record month, in fact I've never sold or made so many things in such a short time ever in my life. My kids watched entirely too much tv, and couldn't have been happier. My husband started cleaning and cooking more, and I got to create. I miss Christmas. haha

I'm back on track now with new ideas and inspiration for this new year. Early this month I was able to send a check out to Haiti and it renewed my vision for NCB. I am so excited about all the new ideas bouncing around in my head. I feel it will bring in revenue from new places and also support the branding I'm endeavoring to consistently create. Blocks have been such a blessing for me and for my family for nearly two years now. But what is more exciting to me is that through this blessing, we've been able to be a blessing. We've been able to support different amazing ministries in ways we weren't able to before. I'm excited about teaming up with Compassion Acts this year as well as continuing my support of World Hope Int. This last year NCB also took on a sponsor child through "My Father's House" in Africa. It is my hope to take on at least two more in 2011.

Necklaces and clips are new for me, but I'm so excited about adding a little variety into the mix. It also gives me an opportunity to make significantly personal things that are worn. The statement clips for little girls speaks to my passion to establish identity in the little sweet ones so that when media tries to lie to them about who they are, they won't believe it. ;) They will have been told every time their hair was done, who they are! ;)

I'm also trying to build up my store. Until now, it has not been used to it's full potential. I'm hoping, that by adding stock necklaces and statement/initial clips to the store, it will increase midnight sales. (That is when I do most my shopping. I used to have insomnia and my husband would wake up nervous when he found the wallet out on the coffee table. lol) I also like to have a product that doesn't require a form, and is easy to buy.

Well, in a nutshell that is an update. I have a lot on my heart to talk about in future blogs in the coming months. I've had some great experiences in life I'd love to chat about and I want to do some give-aways too.
As always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween? or Missions Day?

I am a Christian. Growing up as a Christian makes Halloween a difficult holiday to celebrate. It is all about devils and demons and ghosts...etc, everything that diabolically opposes "light". As a kid, I always wanted to go trick or treating. Dressing up and getting free candy sounds like heaven when you're little. To be honest, I still think it sounds FUN! For many years I was never aloud to participate in activities on Halloween. Halloween night was the night my family would turn off all the lights and go into the back of the house and quietly watch a movie. If the door bell rang, we would hold our breath and shoosh each other in hopes "THEY" wouldn't hear us and then giggled with relief when they walked away.

One Halloween my brothers and I pleaded with my parents to let us "TRICK OR TREATING". I think it's hard for parents of strong faith to explain to little kids why Halloween is truly a "scary" day, when it is so fun. I think we got to them because they caved! Well, you can imagine how excited the three of us outcast-ed "Christian kids" felt on the day our parents caved. There was a craze that went through our house. What would we wear? FREE CANDY!!!!!!!!!!!

Then came the set of rules. We weren't aloud to say "TRICK OR TREAT" for that was not good. We had to say "GOD BLESS YOU." I don't remember what my brothers dressed up as that year but I was Ruth. If you are laughing or don't know who Ruth was...well, you are not alone. Ruth was an amazing woman from the Bible, BUT she was an old lady. Why they didn't let me dress up as Queen Esther or some beautiful woman in the Bible is still a little unclear to me, but provides a lot of humor now at family gatherings.

Imagine a little girl with powdered hair and her mom's "granny" looking clothes coming and knocking on your door Halloween night. You open your door and hear,"GOD BLESS YOU" in a robotic submissive voice. You look and smile at and say sweetly, "Who are you?" The little girl with bright eyes lights up and says with pride, "I'm Ruth!" LOL

Yeah, Halloween is a difficult day to justify participating in and "celebrating" once you've studied what goes on around the world on that day and the history of that day. So what am I supposed to do? Hide in my house on Halloween? This is something I have prayed about and consider year after year. I trust others do the same. I'm not preaching my views or conclusions on this day but felt to share them.

This is what I do know. I am called to love people 365 days out of the year. Halloween isn't a holiday that my God created, but it is a day He celebrates, because He made it. So I want to be like Him. I rejoice in the day that God created despite what man has made it to be about. On the day that God created, I realize people will be coming to my door. If they knock on my door, I answer it! I don't hide from the world on this day, I welcome them today, like every other day, into the love of my home. I tell them they are valued and loved, and if I don't have time to tell them with words I tell them with my actions and warmth. These children that come to my door will not be sent away because of darkness, they will be invited and drawn in, because my light is on. (In all respects)

Deception cannot make us push people away one day of the year. Loving people is not the same as celebrating the holiday. I know people who use this day to dress up like a prostitute or pimp, drink a ton and say they are "loving people in God's name by not acting judgemental." That isn't true. That isn't what they are doing. I'm clear on that. Loving people like Jesus did, looks just like that! These friends don't understand the damage they do to God's name, but they also don't understand how loved they are, or they wouldn't do this.

I can't imagine Jesus hiding out in the back of his house/tent with His lights off watching a movie Halloween night because the Devil is running about. Nah...that doesn't sit well with me. I can know this by reading about his life. So why is His church feeling to do that? I'm not sure. I think it would be awesome for the church to truly recognize what Halloween is about so that they could truly magnify light on a day where "darkness is fun". I do know some churches are doing this on a deeper level then simply providing an alternative.

That said, I look forward to this evening. My heart is to love this world every day. This is not Halloween Day, this is His day! I can't wait to do His business every time my door bell rings. I have at least 30 seconds of face time with children He loves, to look into their eyes and tell them that Jesus is absolutely crazy about them. While I tell them this, I get to hand them yummy candy! Sounds like a win win to me. I also get to smile at their mom or dad and ask them if they want some coffee or cider and introduce myself into their life. Yeah, I can do this on other days, but it seems like "heavenly justice" to do it on this day! Why you ask? Because my enemy does not want them coming to my door! He's not interested in them being introduced to Jesus. He's interested in them being introduced to deception. Today is missions day! The day that deception is peeled back because love is just stronger! "He has overcome the world." I want to act like I believe that! Justice is overcoming evil with good.

People aren't evil, they are loved by God and called to great things. Some are broken hearted. Some have fallen on hard times. Evil is real and does exist but I am armed with Love, which casts evil out of the picture completely. In fact, He's knocked so far back, He silenced at the perimeter of my property. He has to watch love unravel and tumble all about, and be silent! That makes my house a safe spot for my neighbors. So why do I close-up when darkness comes? All the more reason to "Arise and Shine, for my light has come and the Glory of the God has risen upon me" Isaiah 60:1

Welcome to Missions Day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Did I really bring up the Holiday Season before Halloween?

So much news!! I'm super excited about an upcoming Craft show right outside my front door in Spring Hill at the Elementary school. I've been making all kinds of sets that include Nativity, 12 Days Of Christmas Ornaments, Baby Gift Sets, Boy and Girl children Alphabet Sets, Faith/Hope&Love Sets, princess ornaments, Sesame street play blocks, puzzles...and more!!!! Yep, if you throw a little in here and there with each batch it adds up! ;) If you are local, come and see me! I'd love to meet you! (OCT. 30th 8-4pm at Spring Hill Elementary School)

I have officially picked up. This last week, and the week prior, I nearly doubled my regular weekly sales. I'm super pumped about the Holidays this year. I have given up my social life...not sure if anyone has noticed yet though. lol
The sooner the better for Holiday orders. Because I have to depend on UPS to ship my blocks, I have to have an early cut-off date for ordering. November is a great time to order because when December gets here, I may have a break down...just kidding...kinda...of course not...well..just in case, it's best to order in November or the first week of December, or now. ;)

Personalized Ornaments are so cute and so very special. They are my favorite thing in the whole wide world to make and they look darling hanging from a tree. I made too many last year and now have the most beautiful tree ever. ha! They are $12 each and include a name, the year and a photo.

Remember, 15% profit from each sale goes to support the efforts in Haiti through the end of the year! I am absolutely thrilled to send off that check!

Blessing and Huge buckets of Joy to all of yoU!