finding healing in the blue chair

I’m excited to start this series on inspirational people. As I mentioned in my first post of the new year: “The more I think about sharing stories from these great people, the more excited I get. Their stories look like many of ours: happy, raw, generous, painful, faithful, questioning.” What I find particularly interesting and inspiring about certain people is how they make a difference in the world, one way or another, without trying, without calling attention to themselves, without fanfare. People just ‘doin’ their thing’ and as a result, blessing others in the process.

Without further adieu, as they say, let’s get started!

As many, if not all of us know, sometimes life deals us a blow we didn’t expect. And let’s face it, sometimes those moments are rough. As we walk along on this earth, we all come across hard things. Difficult things. Sad things. It’s part of living. A mix of good and bad moments. What do you do with those rough, life-changing moments? Those experiences that may be harder than you ever imagined. Do we cry? Yes. Do we punch a pillow? Maybe. Do we work out harder than ever? (Not me, but if this is you – bravo!) Do we pray? Do we take our tears, our worries, our insecurities about what’s ahead, and our fears to the One who promises peace and healing? This is where Emily comes in.

Emily is an artist, to say the least. She is a creative soul who quietly and beautifully uses her talents as well as her life story to encourage others and worship God at the same time. Pretty cool, right? Emily is a designer who I found, thankfully, online. Funny how businesses can get started completely online now-a-days. Emily runs a business called “Blue Chair Blessing”. She creates, completely from scratch, a variety of shirts and artwork in sizes ranging from teeny little cards to large prints. The fact that she completely designs her work by hand is something I really respect. No clip art, no copying others’ work, just her own hand-sketches. She engages with her customers by quickly answering inquiries and sharing nuggets of faith and hope when people comment on her designs. Many times, when she posts a design or a scripture verse on facebook, someone will say “I need this right now-thank you!”

What draws me to her work is its simplicity and authenticity. After reading her story, I’m not surprised why I love her stuff. She was dealt a big life-changer that was certain to be painful, uncertain and scary. Walking through something like that is something I walked through myself many years ago. I remember having no idea what was coming next and I was fearful for my kids’ future, like she also shares on her page. She brought her insecurities and hurts about what was coming up in her life to Jesus and guess what? In return, God gave her a piece of scripture. Psalm 147:3. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” A promise for hope, love and healing. So much of her story resonates with mine because they are very similar.

Yes, we walk through some junk. A lot of junk. There’s garbage everywhere. There’s also beauty. A ton of beauty. Thank you, Emily, for sharing that beauty. Thank you for encouraging others and pointing everyone back to God as you do!

P.S. Here’s a quick snap of one of my very favorite shirts. Not only does it fit well, but the design on the front is spot-on. I had no idea how much people need to know this until I started wearing this shirt around. Every time I wear it, someone comments on it. I’m not wearing it to glean compliments, but to share a bit of encouragement. I also bought Blue Chair Blessing’s “LOVED 1 John 4:9” shirt. Actually, I bought four of them. One for me, one for my daughter, and one for each of my besties. ❤

Giving credit where it is due: Thanks to Emily at www.bluechairblessings.com for letting me share her story as well as for sharing her artistic gifting!

 

a blank year

I’m sitting right here. We tried a new location for our Christmas tree this year and as hard as it is sometimes to change tradition, this was a great change. It made for a very cozy, comfortably-lit corner. After I plopped down on the floor, opened my laptop, poured a glass of wine, (OK, my hubby poured it – details, details 😉 ), I looked around for a second and realized how nice it was to just sit here for a moment. Yes, there’s crumpled paper under the chair, but I don’t care. The big holiday push is past; we’ve eaten enough for a small city; (regular eating starts this week!), and I hung a completely blank calendar on the side of our fridge.

2018. It’s a blank canvas, a chapter completely unknown to anyone but God. After completing an online yoga class, I thought about what profound bits of wisdom I could share. I came up with nothing. Thinking about what I’ve been appreciating lately, one word did pop into my head. People. Everyone has a story-something great, something awful, something amazing, something hard. There are a plethora of incredible folks out there who inspire me daily. Usually, they inspire without intentionally doing so. Usually these are people who do things quietly and without fanfare. Not because they hope for fame and accolades, but because it’s just “the right thing to do”.

The more I think about sharing stories from these great people, the more excited I get. Their stories look like many of ours: happy, raw, generous, painful, faithful, questioning. The adjectives can go on and on. But instead of me doing all the talking, I’ll let their stories do that. The first story is in the works and will be up soon. Until then, happy “blank year” to you and yours…God bless!