Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Find You

"Troubles chasing me again,
Breaking down my best defense,
I'm looking, God, I'm looking for You
Weary just won't let me rest and fear is filling up my head.
I'm longing, God I'm longing for You

But I will find You in the place I'm in, 
find You when I'm at my end,
Find You when there's nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness.
You lift me up, You'll never leave me thirsty,
When I am weak, when I am lost and searching
I'll find You on my knees.

So what if sorrow shakes my faith,
What if heartache still remains,
I'll trust You, my God I'll trust You.
'Cause You are faithful and

I will find You in the place I'm in, find You when I'm at my end,
Find You when there's nothing left of me to offer You except for brokenness.
You lift me up, You'll never leave me thirsty,
When I am weak, when I am lost and searching
I'll find You on my knees, my knees.

When my hope is gone, when the fear is strong
When the pain is real, when it's hard to heal
When my faith is shaken and my heart is broken and my joy is stolen, 
God I know that
You lift me up, You never leave me searching,

Find You in the place I'm in, find You when I'm at my end,
Find You when there's nothing left of me to offer You except for brokenness.
You lift me up, You'll never leave me thirsty,
When I am weak, when I am lost and searching
I'll find You on my knees."

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Coping // week 15

How I am journeying through these days of mourning, resting and waiting for fresh vision + passion.

1. working out
it's, like, the one thing I knew I wanted when the rest of what I wanted got stripped away. it's the one thing I feel like doing everyday. it channels my emotionally-charged energies, silences my over-analyzing brain and keeps me sharp so I don't slip into numbness.
note: quite unexpectedly I also feel like dancing, a lot. if only I knew a place to go and had a partner...

2. sleep
the other thing I look forward to every day. i don't sleep well and don't have much chance of sleeping in, typically waking up at 7:30am thanks to my stress-levels hijacking control of my internal alarm clock, but when I go to bed, I get fresh permission to rest -- mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

3. crying + laughing
for someone who, until recent months, simply would not cry (I had a major wall up) this one is huge. for me, part of fearlessness is crying. whether I'm sobbing alone or am with others and the tears just stream down like a leak I can't contain, being vulnerable has been an important part of mourning, processing and resting in the midst of it all.
sad underneath doesn't mean I don't also break into huge smiles or belly laugh. in fact, I find myself doing both pretty regularly. giving myself permission to laugh when I feel like it even though I'm sad has been a really good move.

4. time with friends
i have not even been tempted to hide away and isolate myself through this. resting has meant staying home a lot of the time but even then, momma has been by my side. my friends have been so understanding and caring, I've really been overwhelmed with gratitude that I have the love of the Body in this season.

5. reading
restful. accomplishable. quiet. gives my mind something to work on that isn't futile (like over-thinking everything) and somewhere to go while I rest from my own adventures + wait for the next ones.

6. watching sad movies + listening to sad songs
i'm one of the weird people who embraces the sad and wants to feel it deeply rather than running away from it. the time for grand adventure and happy-go-lucky will return someday, I want to be here now.

7. processing
journaling of course. talking with trusted friends. hearing their wisdom. praying without end.

8. hugs
wordless comfort + support in touch. 'nough said.

9. fighting
to not put my guard up, that is, but instead stay vulnerable + brave. fighting for whole Chelsea to stand strong and not go back into hiding.

10. permission
to rest, to mourn, to dream, to be confused, to remember fondly, to be brave, to miss, to be weak, to rejoice in my Peace.

bonus: beverages
when I get emotional, preoccupied or stressed my appetite becomes unreliable and my stomach unsettled. mom is making sure I eat plenty but I'm keeping hydrated all on my own. well, not true, mom often brings me a cup of coffee, but other than that. water. coffee. tea. smoothie. iced chai. wine. beer. margarita. pink lemonade flavored coconut water. none of them are used to bring comfort or fill an empty feeling (read: fret not, I drink responsibly. I don't know how much you'd need to drink to have the fleeting earthly peace alcohol is said to bring but Jesus' perfect peace comes way faster and doesn't wear off. preach!), they just are what they are and, as they don't make my tummy churn, I'm happy.

// I'm okay, guys, just sad. It'll pass but it's where I am now and that's okay, in fact there is purpose in it. It's making me even more into the woman I'm created to be, purifying + solidifying the bits of whole Chelsea that have been unveiled in the past nine months while doing life with my bestest friend. It's good. In fact, I'm grateful for it. This isn't how I would have written my story, but it's part of it now and, to tell you the truth, I've always loved a little tragedy in a story. holding out for a redemptive finish.

“We all pretend for a while or for a lifetime. But pretending is not living...I believe that God meant for life to take our breath away, sometimes because of the sheer joy of it all and sometimes because of the severe pain. To choose living over pretending means that we will know both.” 
― Angela Thomas

Once again, special thanks to Mikayla for being brave with me and capturing 
the sincere emotions of this season of my life.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rest // week 14

I don't understand how we got to where we are. The confusion, the unanswered questions and the logical assumptions hurt. The Lord is guarding my heart and won't allow the hurt to go as deeply as it could. He won't let fear and doubt and lies warp my identity. He keeps showing me who I am in Him. I find rest here.

Regardless of how long, whether for a season or forever, I've lost Zachary for, it is sad. I'm in mourning over it. The Lord cries with me and doesn't shame me at all for mourning, there is a time and place for it. There's no rush for me to be happy again. I can just be sad. I find rest here.

I'm not where I thought I was going, and I know there is a purpose behind that. I am where I am for such a time as this. I'm here to rest and I'm here to touch other broken hearts; to look in their eyes and let them know they are seen, to wrap an arm around them and sit in ache together, to bring rest to weary souls through spoken truth and to encourage vulnerability by simply loving. I find rest here.

I am tired from traveling and loving well. Permission comes: Rest.

As my head stops spinning and the hurt sinks in and I mourn, I'm still resting.

I am emotionally tired and numbness is setting in and I'd rather be sad than feel so blank. Invitation comes: Rest.

I don't know what will happen next or where I am supposed to go or what I am supposed to do. He will show me when it's time. Now is the time for rest.

My heart aches and strives for it's desires. Jesus sees, He knows. He says I've done the work needed for right now and just to rest and let Him accomplish the work that He started.

There is rest here. The practical rest of being at home and Mom looking after me, of friends and family understanding the emotional toll being taken on my body and giving me permission to take it easy, of not having a job currently, of sleeping in on mornings that I need it. But there is a spiritual rest found in the Lord's presence that I find no matter where I am or how I'm feeling or what the circumstances are. Comfort is found in Him. Rest and peace and strength overshadowing my weakness, all in Him. When I was adventuring and stressed and lonely, I had this rest. As I'm confused and sad and hopeful, I have this rest. My weakness is a blessing, it is my strength. Being the weaker vessel is incredibly beautiful. Needing my Husband -- having continual cause to press into Him more, to know Him more and realize a greater depth of how He knows me, to receive His strength and offer my beauty -- is beautiful.

I stand in this: I am His, He is mine.

I have Him. Whatever comes. // "my soul will rest in Your embrace"

Thank you, Mikayla for being brave with me and capturing the sincere emotions of this season of my life.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

eFamily giveaway!

"Keep your eyes on the One who says, 'You're worth it all. You're of so much value and worth to Me that I joyfully sacrifice Myself -- the ultimate sacrifice -- for you, to know you and love you and be in intimate relationship with you always.. to show you how loved you are. I'll continually pursue you, for eternity, because My heart is stirred by you and passionate for you.'" 
// kelsey, text message, speaking life

That encouragement, that truth, is ringing in my head this Easter Sunday. Let it sink in deep, friends.
Theeeen, with the family all gathered for Easter lunch, this would be a great time to try out eFamily with them and enter this giveaway for a free year of use!!! I'm so excited to get to offer this to you guys. Hope you love it as much as my family and I truly have for staying connected across the miles.
You just need the email you used here: http://goo.gl/WkzYhz to sign up. The giveaway will be open for entries now through the 30th. A winner will be announced May 1st. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 18, 2014

A time for mourning //

And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. (Mark 8:31) Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. (Luke 9:22) Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. (Luke 24:7)

He told them. Time and again. He taught it to them. But they did not understand. 
some things you can hear but simply not understand without the Spirit.

They fought the crucifixion. They mourned his death. They couldn't comprehend the resurrection.

Mary poured out her life's worth on the Lord and He praised her for it, for preparing His body for burial (John 12:3-8) although He knew He would only be in the grave for three days. He had a very intentional final meal with His disciples (Luke 22:7-20) and then He was eating with them again days later. He prayed so earnestly out of His agony that He sweat blood (Luke 22:44). Mary Magdalene sat outside the grave and wept for the double loss, first of His life, but then of His body (John 20:11-15).

And then He rose. Just like He said He would. 

And the sincere mourning made the rejoicing so much sweeter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Testimony: dented car

My ear needs some re-tuning and the Lord is doing it. He doesn't speak audibly to me, not even in a whisper. I "hear" Him in my heart and head. I have more growing to do but from my few years of experience I recognize the difference between my Lord's voice, my own and the enemy's. Who you're tuned into makes a difference in who you hear. Pretty simple. I've been more tuned into me, my fears and wants, than Him recently and we needed to fix that. A free afternoon turned into a practice ground. Driving around, constructing a day of possibility for myself, a hundred choices go through my mind -- "While I wait to hear back from [friend] about hanging out I can go drop these clothes off at the church for Touched Twice...", "[friend] can't hang out until 6pm... should I stay in town that long?", "Maybe [friend] is home, I'm right here I should stop by and see. Nah.", "I could go rent a movie and just go home", "Im actually in the mood for a book, not a movie. I mean a movie would be nice and easy but I really want a book right now", "I should go to Target for one", "Wait, why not BAM? Why Target?", "Just feel like I'm supposed to go to Target and get a book", "That's silly. I can go to Target after but BAM is right here, I'm gonna go there". It may sound crazy, but I know the voice of my Lord and I knew I was ignoring it, disobeying it even, by going to BAM instead of Target. Whatever He had planned over at Target, I decided I wanted to make my own plan and go to BAM first, instead. I pulled into the parking lot, turned into a parking space and wham! my front bumper hit the car in the space next to me and I felt the scratch slice into their right rear door. I don't know how it happened. I could have sworn I had enough space. I've parked in parking lots thousands of times in my years of driving and have never hit a vehicle. I don't believe it was discipline for my disobedience, just a clear affirmation that the Lord wants good for me, maybe even knew that if I came here this would happen and He wanted to keep me from it, and going to BAM I was missing out on His best for me. if I had just listened. I had just potentially signed away my nest egg in order to make things right with this car's owner. I left a note on their dash explaining how the scrape on their car had happened and that I'd be happy to pay for the repairs and how to contact me. Another chance to listen to the Lord's voice came through this. He said not to be ashamed. He saw my repentant heart. He told me not to worry how things would go with the car owner. He would take care of it. I was tempted to just drive home crying, but Jesus still had something for me at Target I could tell, so I went. Wandered around in the movie section for awhile before heading to the books. There isn't much of a selection of books I like to read at Target but recently I had seen 'Divergent' in the theater and was curious about the book's greater depth of character development. There it was and it was 20% off. Just a book (to satisfy my craving to read), that I'd been curious about (He notes even the smallest heart desires), and on sale (just because He knows about our limited resources and cares). When I got to the check out lane, the cashier was uncommonly personable and friendly. Talking with her made my day. That's what He had waiting. Nothing profound, just a book and a friendly conversation to brighten my day. 

When you know Him, you listen. Not because He's the boss of you, not because you'll be punished if you don't, but because you trust His heart. My ear tuned back in to Him joyfully, willingly, unrestrainedly. 

Later on in the evening I missed a call from an unknown number. They left a voicemail. It was the owner of the car I had scratched saying that they weren't going to be filing any claims, the scratch wasn't too bad and something they could live with but they appreciated my honesty and the note. My willfulness was forgiven by the Lord but I still deserved to have to pay for that scratch, it was fair to have to. I'm His daughter though, He has my back, and I could hear His heart through the gracious voice of that man on the other end of my phone. I find rest in His favor and freedom. His heart is good, and it is for us.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Testimony: lost purse

Mom and I had been running errands all afternoon. I had my purse with me of course, because its habit and why would I not, but early on in our errand running I had decided I didn't need to carry it in at every stop because I wasn't paying for anything. My mind was on other things and it was just one more thing to worry about. Switching seats with Aidan after stopping at Target I looked in the front seat for my purse and didn't see it, figured I must have already put it in the backseat and didn't worry when I didn't see it back there either. For such a detail oriented person such as myself, this was unusual lack of concern but I knew it was in the car somewhere. I changed cars to ride home with Dad. I didn't need my purse just to ride home so I didn't bother to look for it in Mom's car before she left. Figuring that Mom probably brought it in with her when she got home and cleared out the car I didn't think to look for it when we got home either.

The following morning when I got ready to leave the house I remembered that I hadn't ever found my purse. I asked Mom and she said she hadn't seen it and that had worried her a little but she figured I'd grabbed it before changing cars with Dad or something. I knew I hadn't left it home before we ran errands, hadn't brought it in at most places we had stopped, and hadn't taken it out of the car at Dad's office. We all searched the car. It was truly missing. "Don't worry. I'm sure we will find it." I said with calm faith. As Dad and I drove into town and I retraced my memory of our previous afternoon. No memory of a clear moment of misplacing it. Nevertheless I remained totally calm and knew the Lord had His hand on me -- whether I had left it somewhere in town, it had been stolen out of the front seat of the car at some stop, or I'd just lost it somewhere safe. Then a faint glimmer of a memory floated through my mind, a memory of slipping my purse strap over the back of a chair. We were one exit away from the Starbucks Mom and I had stopped at the day before. I calmly asked Dad if we could stop there. He said yes. We went, stood in line and I confidently asked the barista if they had found a small, tan purse the day before. "Umm, let me go see." He came out holding it with a questioning look at me and, when I recognized it and nodded smiling, handed it to me. Everything was inside, including my car keys which I hadn't yet realized I had left in it.

It had been more than twelve hours since I had left my ID, credit cards, and car keys in the middle of town and I'd had complete peace while they were missing. My Lord had my back. Resting easy in Him in this season.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Bridegroom

"Until the day breaks and shadows flee 
Turn My beloved, and come to Me 
I've made a place for you 

I have come to the garden 
To find you here 
So let Me see your face 
Let Me hear your voice 
For your voice is sweet to Me 

Do you know that 
You have ravished My heart? 
Do you know that 
You have ravished My heart? 
Yes, you have ravished My heart 
With one glance of your eye 

Now, the winter has passed 
The rain has been and gone 
I come over the hills to say 
'come away with Me My dear, away, 
come away' 

We will be, we will be, we will be together 
We will be, we will be, we will be forever 

Would you lift up your eyes to see 
I am calling you now, to Me 
I have so much more to tell you 

All that you really believe inside 
What you see when you close your eyes 
I have so much more to show you"

Friday, April 11, 2014

This time I thought...

"A woman from our church moved her trailer house home recently from South Dakota after things fell through for her out there. It was the middle of the winter though and her pipes were frozen over so she didn't have any water. She had been sneaking into the college to shower for work and carrying a bucket of water from her parents' house back once a week to the trailer to flush her toilet with. She's in the church choir and someone there heard she didn't have water and when Pawpaw heard, he told me. Usually we hear about someone's hard situation and just say, 'Oh, how terrible.' but this time I thought, 'Let's do something about it!' She has to drive right past our house each day to go to work so we invited her to stop by and shower here. She's been coming over every morning for breakfast and a shower for six weeks now. Her pipes will thaw on their own eventually of course but naturally she'd like to have running water sooner rather than later. Pawpaw has been out at her places with some other fellows working to thaw them out and get everything hooked back up properly for a few weeks. We want her to be able to be back at her house, although I'll miss having her come by very much. It's been such a nice change. It's usually just Pawpaw and I at the house and having her in our lives has given us purpose. She's really been blessing us. Our friendship and conversation, the way she has sacrificed silently because she wants to share what she has with us, she even brought me cupcakes for my birthday!"

"I'm so proud of you guys! It should be normal for us to reach out and care each other. When we get outside of ourselves and make relationship with other people then we get to know their needs and care for each other naturally like that."

This was a conversation I had with my Mammy (grandma) when I got together with her for lunch spontaneously. You're never too old to begin to reach outside of yourself and love on people.

What Love Looks Like // week 13

I've never participated in Lent before. This year the soil of my heart was prepared, I was willing. On Ash Wednesday the Lord asked me to give up my expectation of Zachary loving me. For the past eight weeks the Lord has led me through a release of my expectations (it was a bigger stronghold than I realized. Zachary was the one who graciously called me out on looking to him as a head too soon, before we were in a committed relationship.) and into an even more intentional practice of loving sacrificially. Taking me through 1 Corinthians 13, showing me only He can require such love from a person and its never given out of obligation but out of joy. This is how He wants us to love each other, but such love is compelled by knowing His love and loving Him first, foremost. That's how I usually operate but He knew with my mistake of beginning to lean on Zachary too soon, I was losing my sharply tuned ear to His heart. Lent was how He has regained it.

At the beginning of this week, on the nine month mark of our wild + wonderful relationship Zachary broke up with me. We said "goodbye for now" and cut off all communication. One week prior to that I was living in his Mom's house, applying for summer jobs, thinking we were headed toward a committed relationship in the upcoming months. A season of so much work, joyful work, the type of toil I want to do every day of my life because sacrificing for another person is so worth the effort, I expected to be followed with a season of excitement. Jesus knew better. The work He has been accomplishing within Zachary and I through each other's friendship over the past nine months is finished. Right now we aren't the tools needed in each other's lives to complete what the Lord wants done. He's taking over from here, solo. I take that back, He's using the Body at large as well in each of our lives. He's removed us from each other, we're leaning into Him -- hard (because though He is so enough, its hard to lose someone so dear and so close), and He's ministering to every little place that needs it by His Spirit and His Body.

Zachary wasn't only unprepared to commit to a relationship headed toward marriage, he wasn't sure what he wanted, or who. That's completely fair. I can't change that. For nine months I've known that I couldn't. Whatever the point of my being sure of what/who I wanted and prepared to commit to (so much so that I jumped the gun and started to operate under a mentality of commitment that we hadn't gotten to yet) and led to sacrifice so much so joyfully for it was, the Lord knows. I know nothing is wasted. I know I would do it all over again, knowing the outcome would be an end rather than a beginning. Zachary is the best friend of my life and he is worth it all -- unconditionally.

Jesus has given me a season of rest. He has shown me how He desires me to be loved, He satisfies my heart's deep places, He's overshadowing me and telling me to rest easy and let Him do what He is doing. No plans. No stress. No striving. Just rest, refreshment and fresh vision + passion for what He has in store. I smile and laugh at memories of Zachary, I mourn the loss of memories I hoped to make with him, and I rest secure knowing that the same steady, faithful, healing Hand that holds my life, holds his too.

This week's meditation on my Lent journey is 1 Corinthians 13:7 >>  
"Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, 
is ever ready to believe the best of every person, 
its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, 
and it endures everything [without weakening]."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Give it time // week 12

It was a whirlwind weekend. Heads are still spinning, emotions are still out of whack. Zach and I Skyped like usual on Friday night and he told me he had felt convicted to call my Dad the week before. Their conversation revealed some selfishness in both Zachary and I and led Zach to level with me concerning his consideration of officially beginning a relationship with me. Staying at his mom's house was a way to give it time, a good place to wait for a few months until he was settled into his career pursuits and new lifestyle and prepared to bring anyone in as a part of it. He wanted me close, wanted to hold on to me while he figured things out but as he knew it was going to be longer than I was planning on before he'd be ready, and that once he was ready he wasn't sure he'd want to be in a relationship at all, he had to level with me on that, it was only fair. He knew that I would probably go home once I knew, and that the distance would resume and the "us" I was holding my breath for I would have to stop holding my breath for for now. That feels like letting go of me for him, feels like losing me, and that's scary.
Having it made perfectly clear to me that it could be anywhere from 6mo-2yrs before he would be prepared to begin a relationship, if he chose to pursue anyone at all, was the death of my anticipated hope that once he graduated, certainly by the end of the summer, we'd be "us". I had to step back, had to remove myself from a position of waiting expectantly and give him space to figure things out. Up to two years, just for a chance -- that changes my whole future, sends my world spinning. I needed space to settle into a new season and ride out the emotions that arose from this change. I needed to go home. I didn't want to drive 18hrs... I've been traveling so much and am so sick of making long drives alone. Dad and a co-worker were picking up a plane in Florida and flying it home for someone the day after Zachary and I talked. I asked if I could get a ride, thinking it'd be later in the week and I'd have time to process more with Zach's mom and maybe see him in person again before leaving. They said yes but to stay ahead of weather they were flying back that day and I'd have to be in Ohio in a few hours. Sudden. Abrupt. Jarring. I packed as much as I could into my car in two hours and drove away, leaving my most precious keepsakes and flowers behind to pick up when I come back in May for Zach's graduation. It was so fast and crazy but I did not want to have to drive the whole way home so I wasn't going to miss this chance. In Ohio Dad took my car the 8hr drive home and I flew the 3hr flight home with his co-worker. 24hrs after Zachary and I talked, and hadn't even determined a good way to move forward as friends for now, I was back at home in Wisconsin. I didn't tell anyone I was coming. I'm still not telling people. I don't want anyone to know. I don't want to hear their questions and have to explain. I don't want them to try and help and have that end up hurting instead. Give it time. Zachary needs time to figure out where he is going and if I fit. I need time to figure out how to give it time.

Hope Spoken >> take aways

I'm not going to elaborate, I'm just going to state the things being sealed on my heart by the Spirit. If you've come by for a cup of sugar, please, take all you need! I'd be happy to talk more about any of these points with you.

Behold Me. 
+ drink deeply of My love

Finding identity in His Favor & Freedom.

Graciously and firmly instructed: Travel light.

Your weakness is your strength.

Variety in the Body is full of purpose -- marvelous, marvelous purpose.

People Matter. The "one" matters.

Our brokenness is redeemed, worked together for our good; suffering is a blessing given by the Giver of Good, a mercy lavished to provide the true Comfort we long for. Having my eyes opened to this, never before has my uncomely King looked more majestic, never before have I been so in love.

How beautiful are the 
blistered and dirt-caked feet 
of those who bring the Good News 
of hope.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

eFamily //

I've been blogging for four years and am really excited to have my first sponsor be an app my family and I really love using to stay connected as I move all over the Country: eFamily. I get to give away a free years use of the app to one of my readers. Try it out for 30 days at no cost and if you love it you'll wanna enter my hosted giveaway on April 20th (entries close and a winner will be announced on the 30th)! I'm so excited for this!! http://goo.gl/WkzYhz

// To read more about the app's features and how my family and I use it check out this post: http://yourreasonableservice.blogspot.com/2014/02/efamily.html //

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Finding balance //

Rest. Relax. Refresh.
I'm not the only one who needs to be given permission to do this, am I? Do you wait for it too? Ever since I got real sick from too much stress I've gotten brave enough to give myself permission but I still like to get it from people in my life. Not pity permission, "Oh honey! You owe it to yourself to put your feet up!", but just a simple desire for my best, reminders to slow down and affirmation for finding balance.

Finding balance. It's a big-kid thing. It's a pairing of dreams and hard work, of saving and splurging, time management and spontaneity. Our God knows the balance. He insists that working diligently rather than being lazy is in our best interest. He also makes rest a necessary blessing.

Talking to Momma on the phone the other day she was affirming me for my bravery in operating in a constant state of out-of-my-comfort-zone over the past three months. I've been living in the land of adventure, facing new challenges and making discoveries, solving problems and taking care of "all the things" in my independent-21-year-old life. It takes diligence and fearlessness and a lot of grace, for those around me and for myself.

I packed up my New Jersey home and dove straight into a week of travels and conferences. When they finished I gave myself permission to sleep in and turn in early for bed but my back and legs, still aching from toting my luggage through several airports in a short weekend, weren't rested, they were put to work rearranging furniture (some that was quite heavy and I got scolded lovingly for for moving on my own), cleaning my new abode (dubbed the "Gypsy den" by Zachary as it is another temporary nest for this crazy traveling gal), and unpacking all my belongings. Yesterday I worked for nine hours straight getting things settled. I nearly fell asleep on the couch watching Chopped at 8:30pm and decided to go to bed early. Zach was on the same page.
Zachary: Well I am off to bed. Hoping for a full nights rest.
Me: Same. Haven't slept well in like a week.
Zachary: Yeah its prob bc you havent been sitting still much. From NY - PA - OH - TX.
Me: True.
Zachary: Just relax some.
Me: Thanks :)

Permission. Today I have a fridge to scrub and a grocery list calling my name but rather than diving headlong into it all I'm starting with some relaxing, listening to jazz music and drinking my English breakfast tea in bed, becoming acquainted with the way the sunshine streams in the windows here. That's what balance looks like today.

the New Jersey nest

I'm an artist and a lover of story.
The art of home, the story of a space, is special to me.
Here you can see the process I took to literally make a single family home near a train track my very own Little House. I find myself transforming spaces wherever I go. Revealing the potential for beauty that a space holds makes me come alive. An eye for design, the challenge of limitations (whether of space or budget or no permission to hang art), a visionary mind and the practice of improvising. I love this work.

In New Jersey my space was a furnished guest bedroom. 

I've lived in some very small bedrooms, small as in smaller-than-your-8x10-closet, literally, so this room felt luxurious in it's size alone (not to mention the full wall of closet space!). Not wanting to make any nail holes in the wall but still wanting to display my art called for improvisation. 

in progress // move-in day

I like things to look more minimalist so this room was a challenge in making tasteful groupings, fitting a lot of pieces onto limited surfaces without it looking cluttered and chaotic. It was a real test for me but I enjoyed it. Like being in art class, forced to try techniques you aren't inclined toward but that you walk away with an appreciation for.

Side note: Is it just me or does the way the light comes in the windows in your space play a huge role in the sense of home you feel there? I can still remember how the light came in dozens of places I've called "home" over the years. I develop a special love for how shadows fall in a room at certain hours of the day. Natural lighting is the crowning element to any space, for me.