Saturday, August 29, 2015

There are just some days...

Even though there would seem to be negative influences in our lives, in our days, in our circumstances, sometimes we just have the energy to get up in the face of it and step boldly into it. Stomping out into choosing to focus on what is good and right. It does really take the day by the horns and turn things around. For instance's gonna be a great day. Why? Because there will be weather. Now as most of you know, I LOVE weather. ExTREME weather. Today we are supposed to have some decent wind. Coming from the south west. I hope it drops a crap-load of rain on all these fires so that I can sleep at night instead of thinking about my kids and friends out there on the PCT hiking through the danger.

And of course...there will be wind. Which I love.

God Speaks

This post was held as a draft and is from quite a long time ago.

At a time when I was still walking dutifully, with hope, in the valley of the shadow. 
As I look back, I can see how the joys hoped for in this old post have been realized in the course of this year.

It is good to look back, and to take stock.

Lets go back in time to three years ago :

In the year 2012 there were two who came to me, to speak a message from The Lord God Almighty. Even though I am an artist, I am not given to flights of fancy where the matters of God Almighty are concerned. He is not an entity to be messed with or taken lightly. People come, spouting all manners of crazy folderol, and God has given us abilities to cut through such ridiculous crap via His bible and the smarts He gave us in the first place. I do not blithely run about accepting all wind of doctrine, or people who claim every spiritual gift imagineable, nor do I discount the right of My God to give a gift, even on a random day, to anybody He wants to, for what ever reason He wants to at the time. I just try and listen and obey when He shows me something in His Bible or when He speaks through people and environmental stumilae, (but the Bible is a BIG filter to run things through as I encounter them).

So anyway...

Early in the year 2012, there were two who came to me to speak a message from My Lord God Almighty. The One who was, and Who is, and Who is to come. Yeah. THAT God Almighty.

One person was a complete stranger, the other a friend. They came together.
The first message was from the stranger, who literally spoke things that NO ONE except God would know. That was his only job.
What was communicated to me however, was a message from God: "I have given the stranger insight at this one moment because I want you to know that I am coming to you, and you can trust the bringer of the next message." Such discourse effectively prepared my heart and to really listen to the person, my friend.

The first speaker - the stranger - was not the message bringer, just sort of a preparer, kinda sent from God as a series of "finger snaps" to get my attention.

So my friend, the Message Bringer, began to speak:
She said, "My head has been filled with visions of you and a deep wrestling sense of long-suffering travail.A sense that you have labored weary and under a heavy load for a very long long time."
She went on, " I really believe the Lord would speak some things to you."
And then she began to deliver the message(s) :

" Michelle, I (God) see you. You have worked and sacrificed alone for many long years. You believe that what you do is small and insignificant, and that your sacrifices are meaningless and invisible, but they are not. They are huge and I see them. You are NOT alone, and I am bringing you out of the valley, up to Myself on this mountain in the light. To a good place, a beautiful and marvelous peaceful place and this is the place you long for.

But you aren't here yet, for you still have a small distance to go - and you must keep going, but I am bringing you to Me.

You are Shasta*, walking with Aslan. Walking through the fog, not seeing the path, not knowing where it is, but hearing My Breath as I walk the path beside you. I am The Great Lion on the path with you. "

I did not know it at the time, what all of these things meant as the message was delivered.
I *think* I am beginning to see it now however.

It is like looking at the concrete sidewalk racing up at you after you have stepped off of that 30-story building. The impact is inevitable.

I do not want to continue to walk this path, but in light of My Saviour's messages to me, I want to walk this path because I now know it is a necessary path to get to the good place.

I have been called to do something similar in the past. Without going into detail, I liken it to walking toward a furnace. (Think big walk-in style, think Abednego style), The thing was, God was calling me to walk toward the furnace voluntarily. Friends said, "are you crazy?" They cared for me and put up various road blocks to deter me. From a distance the furnace was an orange blaze. I was terriied and yet I knew this was what God wanted. I began to stake steps that would lead me in that direction. AS I drew nearer to this "Fiery Furnace" I began to notice that the grass became greener and more lush the closer I drew to it. The air, which had seemed hotter was acually growing cooler. Now I could see the door to "This Furnace" was open, and there was Some one standing there waiting for me. He held out His hand and I stepped through that doorway. I never regretted it since.

I think this will be a greater challenge. I envision it as having more scary repercussions, because it may affect more than only just me.

I know My God sees me and loves me. I believe He has indicated to me, in the years leading up to this one, that He will take care of my children and my dad.

I will do my best to walk this path, though I cannot feel it beneath my feet, though I cannot see the way, I can't even IMAGINE the way. I hope I will be able to hear His Breath guiding me as we go down this path. Or maybe it is UP this path. I don't know. I am in the dark.

But I have made a commitment to Him to keep going. And sealed it with Communion.

A Pastor friend of mine once said long ago, " If you're going through Hell, keep going! Whatever you do don't stop here!"

Good advice.

*Shasta is a character from C.S Lewis' Narnian Chronicle : "The Horse and His Boy."

Friday, August 28, 2015

New Lights inside my Head

You write such things.
Out of the blue.
Words I have never


heard ever before.

Words that cause me to hope for things I thought were dead to me.
Dreams I was never encouraged to dream.

Maybe I am not mere wood, set apart to stoke the fire, or build an object.
Maybe this stick of wood,

will become a real girl.

Thank you for writing strange things that bring me unfamiliar ideas.
And hope.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Dark Side Files :

(These are snippets of things I write to expel and / or decompress residual bad energy from whatever is going on in the store that I can't verbalise or respond to, but have to put a nice retail face on.)

A Stunning Performance :
-Basically my unquenchable desire to serve you, Oh-Holy-Customer-May-You-Live-Forever, is purely theatre. I should have gotten an Oscar by now. Several in fact.)

Can't comprehend more than one sentence at a time :
-Dear Tourist - Ok so if there is a problem finding the public restroom less than a block away, it is because YOU did not listen to the directions. What is so hard about "Go to the corner and turn left. Its on the next corner." Seriously?


The Over Parked Winnebago:
-Dear Tourist, why do you think you can get indignant with me when you park your motorhome on 6 parking spaces right in front of my stores entrance? I know that you want to park under the tree for the day while you tour the town, but your vehicle is simply too big. When you get out of your motorhome I ask you politely, " Hi Ma'am, would you mind rolling your motorhome forward about 5 spaces, by the vacant lot? I have only just opened the shop and I will need these parking spaces here for customers today."

She argued with me: "Well, then I am going to have to turn on the generator, and its VERY LOUD."

I replied, "Oh OK, thats no problem."

She was about to argue more, but her husband shushed her and asked if he could park in the gravel space 50 feet away and I said he certainly could. But seriously, all they needed to do was roll the vehicle forward 5 spaces. That's ALL!

Anyway, as he drove around the corner she said, "There are no motorhome signs, what are we supposed to do?"

I said "there are designated motorhome parking spaces 2 blocks over on main street, you will find them if you go around the block to the left."

It's a small town with basically 3 streets.

She said, "You need to tell your city to put up more signage."

I wanted to say, "You need to spend a minute looking for the motorhome lot and not be so friggin' lazy and argumentative."

But I didn't say that, now did I?

Instead, I said "good idea." ;o)



The Queen of All of Everything, and her Daddy
-Ok lady, I don't care what you think.
No we do NOT need to develope a policy for standard discounts for dealers.
The price is the price and we are not hear to give stuff away so that you can flip it elsewhere.
If you want it, buy it, but don't EVEN think my vendors are here to serve your own business at a disadvantage to themselves. Not gonna happen.
Oh and yes, I DO remember when you were here last year from Modesto. (Boy do I remember).
A Regular Local Customer (not her real name) had come in to buy the architectural piece which we had just arranged for her to come and pick up. It was just a coincidence that you saw it, wanted it, walked away from it to another part of the store and in the mean time "Regular Local Customer" came in, paid for it and took it home, before you went back to that booth to get it for yourself. I'm sorry that happened and that you lost out. You really did throw a stunning tantrum over it. It was a coincidence, not a conspiracy.

Of COURSE I remember you. How could I forget your visit.
And so NICE of you to come back today and be all demanding and as needy as ever.
(*Opens eyes wide, tilts head and paints on the toothy retail smile.*)

These people are making me mad. First the lady insults me for not giving her a discount, then rants on at me about how "That Woman" cheated her out of the item she was going to buy here last year. Then her little old man dad finds the normally locked bathroom unlocked and goes in anyway even though he's been told we don't offer public restrooms here.When he comes out he proceeds to argue with me that the age of the plumbing is an excuse businesses in town use to not let people use the restrooms. Frankly, I don't need an excuse old man. No public restrooms in the shop. End of discussion! Sorry about your prostate Gramps but don't take it out on me. I don't think so. If he gives me any more lip I may just give it back to him.


--Now ya see THAT was an awesome customer! Just plain nice folks!

--This is just not going to work correctly. Time will tell.

--There is nothing that says Antique Store Employee more than a tatted-up woman in a hoop skirt, tank top and flip flops.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Oddessey: Scout being silly at the border

The Journey Begins: Images

 It is a builder of faith, that one takes ones only and first born son, out into the desperate wilderness and lets him out of the car, and then turns around and drives away. Ugh! Hardest thing ever!

 Scout and Kenz look on as Blake does his final prep

 A boy and his sisters are not parted by miles.

 2 years of prep and planning yield the securest (as possible) results.

 The boy and his sisters, not soon parted, are never the less always goofy.

 For the record...beginning at the southern most terminus to the Pacific Crest Trail at the Mexican Border.

A mom's heart starts walking...

A mom's heart walks further...

A mom's heart will soon walk out of sight... but a mom's heart will still continue alongside.

Photos pre-Oddessey April 4th and 5th

Scout Driving some where between Sacramento and Santa Nella while Blake does Navigatee things.

  Sketchy town USA - aka El Cajon. "Scout says, Mom, don't look anybody in the eye."

Ika oversees the final packing job in our last motel before wilderness. I have to point out that tomorrows Easter Breakfast was found at a truly hidden jewel in Descanzo CA. It was called the Descanzo Outpost and it was truly a small farming community outreach. Excellent food! Excellent atmostphere. I can not say enough about this place!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Oddyssey: not mine

So after 2 years, the day has finally come. My son Blake has been planning, studying, saving and prepping for 2 years to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican border to the Canada. I knew this day would come. I have had 2 years to get ready. Even so, there is something wrong about driving your first born child to the border of a crazy country and after he gets out of the car, turn around and drive away. leaving him there. 2000 miles away from his home. For the next 5 months I will be camping on 3 truths. 3 mind and fear cleansing facts:

1). As hard as it is for me to believe, God actually loves him MORE than I ever can and will.
2). God is every where all at once. I can't do that. He can be with my son where I can't. out on the trail.
3). Since God loves him more than I can and can do things and know things that I can't, I need to take peace in the fact that God is out there on the trail beside him. God is always working circumstances for Blakes good. 

Because of these truths, I can wash fear and doubt away, using the truths(tm).

So yesterday, 12:30pm Easter Sunday (how auspicious is THAT?) I left Blake at the southern terminus to the Pacific Crest Trail. As we watched him hike away, we took photos. The lone traveler beginning his journey. We got into the car to drive away and as we cruised down the dirt road back toward civilization we encountered him on a trail beside the road. This allowed us to yell at him, "you're going the wrong way!" He laughed. He knows how stupid we are. What pranksters we are. We hit El Cajon around 1pm-ish and headed toward L.A. LONGEST bloody 100 miles I have EVER spent going 10 miles per hour! We FINALLY got past those mountains north of L.A. (grapevine?) And busted it out on the flats. Arrived in Sacramento around 11:30 last night. The entire trip my mind was stuck on how I left my child in a wasteland. It bounced back and forth between that and God is with him and The Three Truths(tm). Slept fitfully and got on the road this morning - Sacramento to Sisters.All this long trip, I had been fighting the stupid unrealistic worries that only a mom can have - is his injured elbow troubling him? What about his allergies? What if he gets lost along the way? etc. At about 12:30 in the afternoon, while we were driving over the summit of the pass at Mt Shasta I actually got signal and a phone call. It was FROM BLAKE!!!  "Hi mom, Where are you guys at?" I asked him about his elbow. His answer was like I was being random, "uuuhhhh, its fine? Why? Its more my knees that are bugging me right now." Looking at his progress via the spot locator, He covered 15 miles in the first half day and now that its the second day it looks that he has covered another 20-ish? Not bad for 24 hours on day one! I am so proud of him! Tomorrow is Tuesday Apr 6th. Rain is forecast. He left the majority of his cold weather stuff here for me to ship to him later when he hits higher altitude. Please pray for his warm and dryness at this early stage of the game. Thank you! :o)

As of Monday Night April 6th, this was his position:  Blake's Pacific Crest Path