it is very hard to resist being pulled down, down, down when all you hear around you is negative voices. i don't know how to have teflon skin. how does one just shake it off instead of internalizing it? because that's what i do; just add this horrible name my brother-in-law called me to the ever-growing vastness of my own self-hate.
it is *so* *hard* to stay positive in the face of the day-to-day. yes, i made a mistake. i said i was sorry. but it's not enough, is it? i'll just never be good enough.
today is the reveal for lori anderson of pretty things' memories and thanks blog hop. lori, brain-child-extraordinaire, came up with this hop idea in honor of marianne, a fan of lori's who died quite unexpectantly. go read pretty things to learn what marianne meant to lori.
in turn, lori proposed to those of us in the bead soup cafe on facebook to choose either marianne to honor, or someone in our own lives that has touched us deeply. a blog hop as a circle of gratitude? count me in! i really am so very honored to be here in the midst of such a lovely group of women.
those of you who have visited my little corner of this interconnected, virtual highway, may know of my sister, rebecca. i mention her often. she is, in fact, my most favorite person in this whole wide world.
i utterly adore her.
we moved around quite a bit, because of my father's job. he was a forester and botanist for the bureau of land management. i went to eight different schools! that's a lot of moving! so, really, my only consistent friend was becca. we knew each other's baggage and we knew our family's secrets. we were the victims of sexual, physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. we are each other's witnesses. we are the survivors, wandering through this desert, looking for a fresh spring and a cool tree. we are each other's springs and each other's shady place.
i love this story; when my mother brought me home from the hospital, becca couldn't wait to hold me. and the photo mother took of becca holding me is sooo adorable. she has this humongous grin on her face, me spread across her tiny lap. she had decided that i belonged to her. and that's just the way it was. we belonged to each other. sure, okay, we argued occasionally. but never seriously. we are each other's repositories of memory. she is, honestly, the only reason i'm still here today. so thank you, becca, my beloved sister. you ground me. you hold me. you remind me of who i am and why i want to stick around.
you gave me two gorgeous nieces; deborah and abigail.
i utterly adore *them* now, too. so becca, you have brought more love to my life. i couldn't be complete without all of you. thank you, thank you, thank you. i don't think i'll ever be able to express what you've meant to me, becca. you were the person who showed me there was good in the world, that there is light here on earth, even in the midst of this dark night. you showed me what hope looks like. you pointed me to the Light of the World; Abba-Father, Jesus, Son of God. you led me out of the wilderness. and you held my hand when i was afraid, in the midst of the wilderness.
i decided to make something green, because becca's favorite color is green. i used freshwater pearls, because her favorite stones are pearls.
please forgive my terrible photos. my camera is in the throes of death. the macro button no longer registers, so i'm hovering over the work, shaking dreadfully. at least i can still turn off the flash, right?
here is my button and peanut sead bead ring clasp. i love making my own clasps!!!
the wire work is in honor of my sister's a-maz-ing wirework art necklaces. here is one of them.
she was inspired by the irish mermaids who rescue drowning sailors, instead of the more common vengeful mermaids you read about from elsewhere. i love her work!!! we share a business; two sisters, and sell our jewelry at the local farmers market. it's such a treat to spend all day with her twice a week in the summer. i look forward to those days, since she is so busy most of the time, with her little family and her teaching job.
here is the bulk of my piece. all of the pieces were chosen especially for becca; her favorites colors and stones and things and some of what she means to me. i'll try to explain everything.
first; the leaves. there are several, in different materials and colors. since our father was a forester and both of us were born in oregon, we both have *exceedingly strong views* on our land resources, specifically the trees. when we lived in oregon it was the early to mid-seventies, when they were wisely managing the forests. when they moved dad to california to work in the deserts, the blm shifted their focus. maybe lost their focus. i don't know the politics of it. suffice it to say, the powers that be switched from wise management to cutting down huge swaths of old-growth forests. you could say rebecca and i are deeply troubled by this decision. you wouldn't be anywhere near the root of our anger. so; leaves for our childhood camping trips to the woodlands that are now gone. there is a striated stone on the top there that was gathered, cut, polished, and drilled by a friend of ours from farmers market. my father was also a rockhound. i remember weekend trips out to the desert to dig in the sand to find garnets and trips to the beach to find agates and trips to the forests to find petrified wood. both my sister and i have a deep and passionate love for rocks and an affection for those who call themselves rockhounds. the key symbolizes how she knows the quickest way to unlock my heart. i trust her. i freely gave her that key. the magic polymer clay bead is one i made myself, and refers to the rich imaginative worlds we created together throughout our whole lives. her favorite beads are crystals, so i put several in, just for sparkle. she does love her sparkle. :) there are several briolettes, because that's her favorite bead shape. and the long brass drop is for whimsy. everyone needs a bit of whimsy, especially becca, because she tends to go all serious much too often. i guess we both tend to do that!
there it is, my homage to my beloved sister. let me leave you with the signifigance of the wing, probably the most important part.
becca, i want you to remember to *fly* this next year. *fly* *free.* for you carry my heart in your hands, and that heart is often quite heavy. so fly free, dear one. you don't have to carry it anymore. i've got yours, for now. so fly free. and feel the release of blessed, blessed quietness in your soul. God is your rest, and your hiding place. he makes you to soar on the wings of eagles.
my sister is participating in this blog hop! please visit her blog here.
here is the list for the rest of the hop. happy memories everyone! and thanks, for stopping by.
hello, friends! i'm so excited right now!!! God just told me my word for this year. i've been praying about this for about a month and coming up *blank* and *annoyed at myself.* but God's timing is best, right? so, my word is:
already utterly fitting, right? annoyed at myself? silly, bethiboo!
so the story behind this word came about in a rather round-about fashion, which i'm beginning to think God delights in. he is so *funny!*
i went to a conference at my church over the new year weekend. it was titled 'let go, let God' and the name alone spoke to me. doesn't that fit with what's going on in my life, friends? and truly, God was speaking directly to my heart that weekend! right off the bat, andrew scarborough, youth pastor at a pentacostal church in melbourne, australia, said when he walked in the church building he had this sudden, intense pain in his right arm, and he wondered if anyone was dealing with that kind of pain. three people raised their hands, and i was one of them! i had just been complaining to my sister about *all* the *pain* i'm struggling with, lately. so everybody prayed for the three of us. so cool! and then after the service i went over to pastor dave for individual prayer for my relationship with my mom. he said a great prayer, and then afterward said he had gotten this picture of *ice melting around my heart.* and when he said, 'melt,' i felt this *deep rightness.* like utter truth was being spoken to me.
wow. God is so cool.
and then the *next* night, andrew had a word of knowledge for me. he said God was doing a powerful restorative work in me. he said God's light shines from me. he said i was *beautiful.* i shook my head, and he repeated himself until i stopped shaking my head and just sat there, totally and utterly dumbstruck.
he had touched on a deep inner wound. my father never once told me i was pretty. when i asked my mom if i was pretty, she would said i looked cute. not that i *was* cute, (which is a totally stupid word, anyway. *cute.* what does that *mean?*) but that i *looked* cute. like, against all odds, that day my hair was feeling friendly and my clothes were snazzy. um, yeah. so, not pretty. very, very *un*-pretty, in fact. and when i reached puberty my father was sort of dumbstruck. like overnight i had become someone else. maybe i had. but why did he just cut me off cold? anyway. and *no-one* has ever told me i'm beautiful, since. so my assumption has been that i'm ugly. very, very ugly.
when andrew said i was beautiful, it felt as if *God* was saying that to me. my Abba~Father thinks i'm beautiful. wow. maybe nobody else does. but *God* does.
i felt a bit of the ice melt. melt me, Father~God!
melt my resentment. melt my overwhelming fear of failure, of pain, of *everything.* melt my coldness. melt me, Abba. melt all that is dross.
spring up in me living waters. let me overflow. soak me, Father~God. drench me in your love, in your Abiding Presence.
you were born with wings.
because you'd forgotten,
You were born with potential
You were born with goodness and trust
You were born with ideals and dreams
You were born with greatness
You were born with wings
You are not meant for crawling, so don't.
You have wings
Learn to use them, and fly.
and melt. and flow like a living stream. break through like a rushing river. gush like a waterfall released from the winter of your despair.
i'm an artist trying to find her way in this world. i'm a writer, a visual artist, a jeweler. i'm an explorer and a survivor, a recovering addict and a seeker of beauty. i search for meaning and truth and joy always, in every little moment.