Saturday, June 16, 2012

Notes to My Younger Self

When I first saw this photo on Facebook this morning, posted by my sweet boyfriend/husband to celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary, I looked at that 21 and 24 year old and wanted to hug their precious, ignorant selves. And then I wanted to sit them down and give them a strong talking to and hand them a list of truths that would make their next 26 years easier.

Married or not, have you made your own list of what you'd like to say to your younger self? I'd love to hear what's on yours.
I'll share a few things on mine- some meant just for me and some for both of us:

1.  If you consistently throw up every morning before work and have at least one cry every night (and you're sure you're not pregnant) you're probably in the wrong job. It's okay. Get out of there.

2. Don't rent that apartment in Greenbelt, Maryland. Those people exchanging things in the parking lot are not trading baseball cards.

3. You can't be God's teacher's pet by trying to be good all the time. We're ALL God's teacher's pets. God loves all of us the same, whether we like it or not. :)

4. Get off that foil tanning blanket and throw away the baby oil! You'll thank me later. (Though the dermatologist won't.)

5 .If you want to work, work! If you're doing something that makes you happy, your children will benefit. And you'll be able to afford vacations which will make you more cheery and less grouchy.

6. Don't let well-meaning people talk you out of a job you want. You'll eventually come back to it anyway.

7. Be nice to yourself and buy good shoes.

8. If you're going to choose parts of the Bible to take literally, be ready to take it all literally- the shellfish ban, the multiple wives, the stoning a wayward child, slavery, the ban against mixed fibers. Consider taking a hard, serious look at Jesus instead, so you don't end up tangled up in law and estranged from love.

9.  Remember that with your sweetie- and with coworkers and anybody- it's better to be kind than right.

10. Don't walk on an icy Denver street with a blueberry jello salad. Even if you do feel very coordinated at the moment.

11. Becky, if you work all the time and don't write and paint and sew and draw, you will start to wilt and wither and get easily irritated and mean.

12. Realize now that one of you is an extrovert and likes to talk, and the other is an introvert and likes to think inside her head. Allow each other space to be what you are. Neither way is better so don't try to be the other. It won't work and it will give you a headache.

13. Don't haul off your husband's favorite easy chair to Goodwill when he's on a business trip.

14. Don't try to pretend you're not squeamish. It's better to tell the doctor ahead of time so you don't end up on the floor with a wet towel on the back of your neck and a room full of nurses trying to give you Coke.

15. You will have difficult times and you will have delightful times. Hang in there and know that it really does get better and better.

Okay, so that's the short list.
What would you say to your younger self?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Welcome to My Studio! Er... I Mean Office!

Maybe it's just me, but I love to see the spaces in which people work. What kind of tools do they use?
How do they make their space their own? Inspire their own creativity? Make themselves laugh in the middle of their workdays?

Give me a trip to Santa's workshop over a visit on his lap anytime!

I'd love to hear about your own space, so I thought I might break the ice by showing you around my workshop/studio/office. Ready for a tour?

First of all I should remind you who I work for.
I suppose it's God most of all, but as Minister to Children at FBC Greenville, the work I do is all about ministering to/with great kids like these...

and their families.
Don't let the mustaches fool you- these kids aren't as old as they look!
I work with kids 1st grade-5th grade.

They're super fun and creative and full of ideas, and I want them to feel happy and comfortable in my office- it's a space made for them too.

So along with all the supplies and books, there's plenty of toys and other stuff to keep them smiling and not bored.

There's a bench for lounging and a rabbit and turtle that can always use a hug, if somebody's giving them out for free.

I also hang a lot of art that makes me happy.
Like this piece that I found amongst some Sunday school literature. It's probably about fifty or sixty years old. I love how it shows the child exploring her beautiful world, feeling God's presence.

We use the Godly Play approach in Sunday school (see my other blog The Wonder Circle if you're interested) in which the children learn to listen and look for God in the sacred stories from the Bible, but also in their own lives. I think this picture shows that same quiet reverence.
Plus I just love artwork from that time. It makes me feel good.

I love this too, Jesus calming the storm. Charles Pate, Jr. did it. Very powerful.

Karen Lucci, an artist friend, painted one of my favorite Bible stories for a postcard for Triune Mercy Center. It's the story in which Jesus appears to the disciples after his resurrection and makes them breakfast.
I've also hung a bulletin board full of pics of my sweet kiddos. When I first started it helped me learn their names. Now I enjoy looking at it and thinking of them.

A very important part of my office decor: the Jolly Ranchers!
It's a great way to get the kids to come in and talk with me!

Kids (and adults) seem to love the wind up toys. They'll stand there for surprising amounts of time, winding it up and watching it go.

This piece of art belonged to my friend Bev, who had my job before me. I love it--children all over the world, in a dance.

One of my duties is preparing the children's worship bags. Bags are always all over my office!

The kids seem to enjoy this piece, made by mixed media artist Jeannette Janson. They can't resist touching it as they try to figure out where all the parts come from. Father Time is written in the center. It's already made for some good discussions. If there is a Father Time, who is it? Why might he wear a crown? He's holding a key. Could it be the key to the kingdom? What might that be?

So that's my office!
Now what about you?
What's your favorite thing in your workspace? I'd love to hear about it.
Oh, and if you're like me and love checking out the studio nearest you, you might want to hop over and give a look-see to Where Women Create. It's a fun blog/magazine sure to inspire you!

Love, Becky