Monday, January 19, 2015

the gathering...

I'm sitting here trying to form the words to describe our first "FGP gathering".  Surreal pops in my mind, and then LOUD quickly follows;)  If you're just catching up recently I felt the urge to invite locals to a women's meet up.  I've been longing for community here and it just wasn't knocking on my door, so one cray Instagram post later and voila...the FGP gathering was in motion;)


Obedience is an interesting thing.  I've felt prompts in my life before.  Brave Girl camp quickly surfaces.  Going up and introducing myself to my now very close friend Lori in a grocery store.  Moving to Virginia.  Deciding to turn my Etsy store into an occasional shop after a vivid dream etc...  


There are moments when you physically hear from God.  Your heart races.  Your hands turn a little clammy.  Fear immediately trickles in.  That's our logic...our human voice saying nooooooo I can't do this.  This isn't me.  The little hairs on your arms rise confirming that fact.  Generally obedience requires you to do something uncomfortable.  It requires you to be brave and bold and possibly look silly or fall flat on your face, which of course you won't, but you don't know that because you are walking a tight rope, scared to death...with Him as your safety net.  Are you still with me??



That's what inviting these women to my house felt like...a complete stepping out in faith...walking that obedience tight rope.  What I've discovered along the way is that when you listen to those promptings and obey the reward is going to be sweet.  Like blow your mind, satisfy you to the core delicious!  And that's how this evening turned out.  Me, always an internal mess with my shortcomings.  Afraid of looking silly.  Not comfortable entertaining...because that's not natural for me. So wanting everyone to feel seen, heard and loved!  And then God swooping in...following me around with that imaginary net, but of course I'd never need it because He'd never let me fall.

I look at this picture with the words Gather written on the wall and my heart swells.  The tears come.  You see HE knows those crevices in our hearts that no one sees.  He knows your deepest desires and He loves you SO very much.  There is nothing...NOTHING He can't see through in your life.  Listen for His leading...His whispers.  When your hands turn clammy and your heart starts racing in fear don't hesitate for a second because it's gonna be good.  He's got you and it's not only going to change your world, but it will spill over to everyone else around you.







Be a blessing.










thanksfuls
 painting again...
 watching my girl do hard things...
 i call her june.  she's my new thing...more to come;)
i like big fonts and i cannot lie:)
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Monday, January 5, 2015

NURTURE

Hi friends!  Happy New YEAR!!  Can you even believe it's 2015!!  Time keeps ticking away and here we are once again in another year.  I have this HUGE feeling of anticipation in my spirit.  Like HUGE!  Maybe it has to do with some of the goals I've set for this year, or the word the Lord has put on my heart.  Whatever it is IT's GOOD and I'm ready!!!



So let's just get right to it.  You're either a resolution goal making kinda gal or you're not.  I'm a GOAL MAKER!  I honestly can't help myself.  I'm a project person.  I've always got to be doing something.  It's probably a mental condition...mania comes to mind.  Regardless I'm going with it:)

These are a few of my goals for the new year...
1.) Crack my Bible open daily and pray with the girls
2.) Date my honey on a regular basis.  Maybe 2xs a month:0 I know!!
3.) Move my body at least 2 miles a day...totally doable
4.) Paint SOMETHING, anything, once a week.  In a year I'd have 52 paintings!
5.) Sugar fast for the month of January.  Joined Marta's group again:)
6.) Do my hot yoga class once a week
7.) BUILD community...more on this is in a minute
8.) Learn something new...more on this later;)
9.) Read more
10.) Feed my soul, Feed my soul, Feed my soul!!!



There has been a gigantic imbalance going on with me for a while now.  And it goes along with the nature of my business.  Because we are an occasional store we work like crazy people when the shop is open and for weeks after.  CRAZY PEOPLE!  I'm talking adrenaline rush...heart pounding out of my chest...not healthy at all imbalance. I've been brainstorming to try to figure out a remedy for how we do things and I have some ideas, but it's going to take some time.  So for now we are going to keep doing what we do until we don't;)  Makes sense right?

I always get a word.  You know THE word that more or less defines the theme for the coming year.  Last year it was DARE.  And it's been THRIVE and BEGIN in the past.  This year at first I thought it was going to be retreat;)  We had just come off the hardest, most physically challenging opening.  My hands literally did not stop throbbing for a solid week and a half after we shipped out our last order.  And I really just felt done.  Like kaput!  Burnout is a real thing and I was so there.  But there's nothing like burnout and pain to make you realize change is necessary and it's coming.  I just have to keep open to His timing and His direction.



So with my goal making comes a lot of excitement and ideas and the words feed your soul and take care of yourself kept rolling around in my mind and then it came...nurture.  My word for the year is NURTURE.  I need to care for myself...plant those seeds (aka dreams), water, baby and watch them grow.  Growth is pretty limiting when you're not getting any sunlight...when your soil is dry and parched.  And girls let me tell you no attention equals a dead plant and I've been feeling pretty droopy;)

We can make goals and resolutions all day, but if we don't act on any of them it's just a big fail right?!  So some key things that are helping me with my goals are alarms on my phone.  Brilliant idea I know.  Like Pavlov's dog a bell really can help train you.  I've got alarms to remind me to pray for my family.  To read the word.  To move my butt!  I'm using my phone's calendar (with alarm) to schedule in my yoga class, my paint day...that hot date night!  And those days are set.  No moving them.  It's time to water that plant!!

Oh and building that community...goal #7!  This is something that's been on my heart FOREVER.  We moved here going on four years ago and there is still a void with community here.  I saw my friend Lissa's IG post the other morning about starting a bible study in her house and it was BOLD and BRAVE and SO OBEDIENT and my heart started thumping a bit, and for me that's always a call to action.  When my heart starts pounding I know I'm being challenged to do something.  So I posted on IG my own invite for a women's meet up group.  And guess what?  A lot of you feel the same way:)  So I'm now a group leader!  Say what?!  Just like that...we're going to meet once a month and do something fun...translation NURTURE...feeding our souls!  That's never happened before, but it's a year of new beginnings and I can't wait to see how obedience pays off.  SO...if you live in the Richmond, VA area and want to make some new friends email me at beckystrahle@yahoo.com:)  I'd love to meet you too!


What's next for you.  Do you have any goals?  Is there a dream that needs nurturing?  Are you dry and thirsty too?  I'm all ears...





Be a blessing,







thankfuls...
the Jesse tree and seeing the girls learning and hungry for knowledge 
surprises that made my heart pitter patter


Jesus!
a shop redo that is a-maz-ing...can't wait to share




basement projects almost complete
divine appointment with a teacher
a pain free back...thank ya Jesus!
family that loves us... and a beautiful place to gather




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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

shine;)




I stumbled upon some ugly words about myself last week.  It was one of those snarky mean girl sites and someone had taken the time to pretty much judge every move I make.  Including that I'm a bad writer.  I try not to focus on stuff like that because no one but my close peeps really know me, but for some reason the bad writer thing stuck (oh I hate that) and has been on replay in my mind occasionally this last week.  It's kinda weird that it was that statement that bothered me, because I know I'm not a technically good writer.  I write just exactly how I would talk. Run on sentences.  Incomplete thoughts.  Lack of focus;)

Blah, blah, blah...  The thing is hurting people lash out and hurt people.  It's easy to throw stones.  It's easy to pick on and put down others, especially in this day and age...all hidden behind our screens.  We've all seen the horrible things that others say on IG to complete strangers.  It blows my mind how people can be so hateful and mean...but then I'm reminded we live in a fallen world.  Not everyone believes the things I do.  Extend grace...ugh!




I started this blog six years ago!  Six!!!  I was cold and dark...literally;)  It was cold up there in Minnesota and I was in a dark place struggling with depression.  And blogging was wonderful.  It helped me focus my time and energy on searching for good.  Looking at my little world and embracing and noticing everything around me.  What a gift:)  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  And the friends I've met!  And the places I've been!!!  I don't think any of it would have been possible without this space...this platform.




And now there's Instagram. Amazing how you think things will stay the same and then all of a sudden it's different.   Somehow I have 20,000 "followers" on IG!  Say WHAT!!  I don't say that to brag.  Honestly I can't believe people would want to tag along and see what little snippets I have to share.  Really it's humbling and weird and if you don't keep the whole thing in perspective it's a mind game.



 I read a quote recently that said: 


"Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide". -- DW Winnicott 

YES!  This is how I feel exactly.  There is a constant push and pull feeling in me to share everything and then share nothing...  Because heaven forbid you share something special...something close to your heart and it gets misunderstood or you get judged.  Who has time for that!  Who wants to put their heart out there to get stomped on!  And when you add an element of creativity...well that just ups the anty.  




But despite those feelings I have the strongest conviction that I think life is meant to be shared.  We learn from each other.  We can inspire one another and we can give that little bit of encouragement along the way.  We are not the only ones that feel vulnerable and tired and out of sorts occasionally.  This life thing is no joke.  It's hard at times and to walk with others is a gift...even if it is virtually.  


SO all that to say... SHINE girls!  Don't let the thoughts of anyone deter you from your purpose.  There is only one you!  The world needs to see your gifts and talents.  God has specifically given them to you to SHARE:)  Don't worry about being judged...you will be.  Put on your blinders.  Focus on what's in front of you and live out your calling...whatever that may be:)




Be a blessing.







thankfuls...
 relearn something...
 these girls! i prayed for them and now they are here:)  fgp christmas party!!
 making more room for the shop...eeek!
redder hair:0
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