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January 29, 2010

the thing.

Marisa's Shoes

"you must do the thing you fear you cannot do..."
~eleanor roosevelt

Posted by jen at 05:48 PM   |   link   |   

January 26, 2010

Joy for Haiti....How you can help...

Myriam, Photo by Andrea Scher

It wasn't long ago that a group of us received this letter from our very good friend Myriam, regarding the earthquake and her family who resides in Haiti.

"Hello Loves,
I have been trying to write this email to you most of this day. I don't know what to write about this devastation happening to our sisters and brothers on that tiny island. I do have family in Haiti, aunts, uncles etc. As of yet, we are not able to make contact...."

Shortly after that we received another letter....

"As of today:

My uncle Victor and Tante Mado both separately support two schools in Haiti, both have been demolished, many dead.. My uncle is housing as many children from the school as he can, all are disconnected from their own families. The shortage of water and food is chaotic and the trauma experienced is only just beginning to be understood.

My Tante Mado has 52 school girls without homes, living at the remains of their school. Another aunt, continues to wait for communication with her sister whom she was on the phone with when the quake started. It's very confusing what the best help is right now as it seems nothing is enough. Communication is so difficult, we are getting reports of deaths without any real confirmations. It is possibly the worst freakin game of grapevine every played. My heart just aches and aches, while my head spins with thoughts of how to empower myself and use all of my resources.

In speaking with family, funding is the most vital. Some are thinking beyond the disaster recovery to rebuilding homes, schools and churches......"

Myriam will be going to Haiti in March to help bring joy and hope back to her community. Her trip will be documented each step of the way, and you will be able to see and feel how your help directly effected the lives of so many devastated hearts...

Please read HERE to find out how you can help Myriam bring hope and joy back to Haiti. You can "chip in" at the site below or at the
Joy for Haiti site if you are looking to help...
Thank you so much...

Posted by jen at 09:22 AM   |   link   |   

January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Jonatha Brooke

Jonatha and I, photo taken by Stacy

Happy Birthday my beautiful friend.
Thank you for being in my life....

There is never a a time when we talk that I do not end up cracking up,
whether things are rotten or wonderful, you bring out the laugh in me.

And yet, you are one of the most tender and sensitive people I know.
I have been the recipient of your kind heart again, and again, and again.
I know I could tell you anything, and you would still be standing there with
your big love.

You really are like Tinker Bell, in the sense that you leave a trail of light and all things good wherever you go.

You are crazy brilliant and wildly creative, (and I covet your wardrobe and your knitting skills :)

Thank you for the gift of your friendship,
the gift of your ability to see what matters most,
the gift of being able to invoke my inner 7th grader at any moment,
the gift of your music which has been a constant companion to my heart,
and the gift of your wise and dear soul.

I am glad you were born.

Happy Birthday Jonatha!


Posted by jen at 09:05 AM   |   link   |   

January 20, 2010

prayer and neurosis.

old church, u.p.michigan ~ canon xti

when i was young, i used to pray that
"everyone in the whole wide world would be happy and safe and okay."

but as much as i prayed, it didnt happen.

i thought if i pressed my hands together REALLY hard, that this would make my prayers have more power.

i also thought if i looked up to the sky, my prayers would stand a better chance because i was maintaining eye contact with God.

i then came up with the idea that if i said Jesus's name over and over and over again, God would surely pay attention to me. Like the kid in the classroom who keeps saying "pick me! pick me! pick me! pick me!" he eventually gets picked , if not just to shut him up.

but still, my prayer was not answered.

i memorized The Lord's Prayer even though i didnt really understand it and was confused why i was asking forgiveness for trespassing when i had never hopped the fence that had the sign on it...but i figured this prayer had to be the key to getting my prayers answered.

still ~ people were unhappy, bad things were happening in the world, and clearly, a lot of things were not okay.

when i heard the story about the devil, and how he got into a fight with God and got the boot out of heaven because he was so mean, and that the devil was the reason for all evil in the world ~ i thought i really figured things out.

from that day on, i prayed for the devil, thinking if he patched things up with God, everything would go back to being perfect and peaceful.

when i told my sunday school teacher how i was praying for the devil, i must have said i was praying "TO" the devil because she looked at me with horror, and said i was NEVER EVER to do that and if i did, the devil would capture my soul and take it away to hell.

i remember putting my pillow over my head at night so Satan wouldn't see my head and find my soul.

my quest for world peace turned me into a neurotic mess.

i still pray.
i still believe it does something good, somehow, somewhere.
and these days, i can truly ask to be forgiven for the trespasses of my trespassing, because i have certainly hopped more than a few fences in my adult life.

Posted by jen at 07:34 AM   |   link   |   

January 19, 2010

West and Midwest....Where we cozy down...

Jen-Midwest's spot and Stef-West's spot....

Me - "My business happens to involve A LOT of noise. The best kind of noise
though ~ 46 kids laughing, singing, dancing, and lots of really loud
music..... But when I come home, I often need to be in total silence...
And this is where I like to land. This couch is the ultimate in
cozy-softness, and the view out the window there is of the horses and the
surrounding fields. It's one of my favorite spots in the house."

Stef~ When I want to relax, get away from all the toys, the noise, the every day life...I retreat to my bedroom and sink into my bed with a good book, a magazine, my journal, or I just lay there and look out the windows at the world. The best time is early afternoon when the sun is shining in and I lay there like a cat, soaking it up.

Posted by jen at 12:15 PM   |   link   |   

January 10, 2010

Im just saying...


(this is your year.....)

Posted by jen at 11:34 AM   |   link   |   

January 07, 2010

Jen Lee.


I met Jen Lee a few years back at a retreat, and since then, she has become a very close companion of mine. We seem to have an understanding that runs deep and I value her friendship.

Jen Lee will be offering classes at The Squam Art Workshops this year, and what a gift that is for those of us attending. You can find her teaching at three of the 5 sessions! YaY!

(Jen Lee has a heart is like a treasure chest found deep beneath the sea
and the stories she carries inside are like the golden coins....)

One of the first poems I read of Jen's was a piece called "Don't Write." It is still one of my favorites and has really encouraged me to be brave when I hold the pen....

"Donít write.
Itís too powerful.
It might tell someone how
you feel. How you hurt.
What you donít understand.

Donít write.
Itís too powerful.
It will show who you are
on the inside to the outside.
Itíll blow your cover,
your nice reputation.

Donít write.
Itís too powerful.
You might hurt someoneís feelings.
People may not like your words.
They may attack you, or abandon you.

Donít write
Itís too powerful.
It might give others hope.
Let them know
theyíre not alone.
It might change minds.
Change directions.
Change the world.

So, whatever you do,
donít write."

Posted by jen at 04:01 PM   |   link   |