Relationship is a beautiful thing….

In the last week, I have celebrated big and I have marveled at one on one friendships….

In the last week, I have journeyed to the mountain top of my tapestry party and have sat in the valley with my Aunt in her new cancer diagnosis.

In the last week I have read many good words which were offered to me by many in cards.

My heart is full and I am filled with gratitude….

And as I reflect on the many good things my week has held, I wanted to share another Curly Hair design card…i hope this card brings  a smile to your face, and reminds of you of faces of friends who have sat on your right and on your left! 

The sound of silence….

I am sitting in room 5508 at Spectrum Hospital. It is silent. Unusual for a hospital, but a bit eerie as I consider the journey we are embarking on as a family once again. I am here with my Aunt Anita. She and Uncle Bob are very dear to our family. God has not blessed them with children of their own and so they often join in our family celebrations and events. My nieces and nephews know them well and they are deeply loved and fully embraced. And so as Aunt Anita has drifted off to sleep with the help of an Ambien, I am struck by the sound of silence….

I think about last week Tuesday and how I was preparing for my Tapestry Party. The anticipation was building and the anxiety of my hard drive being wiped clean had gripped me. I broke down and cried after I learned all my pictures were gone, my slide show for the Tapestry Party, and many other things. It seemed like the worst possible thing that could unfold that week. I have new perspective today! Today I heard the doctors report post biopsy for my Aunt Anita. He said it will be a long road and the cancer has progressed to the pelvic walls. I heard his words and absorbed them. I know many are committed to the journey with them, no matter what twists and turns it takes. I began to hear the words to a song sung Sunday on the 9/11 rememberance….”Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows….I could not remember more of the words…I was overcome with the importance of speaking love, kindness and good words to my Aunt and Uncle on this journey….we are now battling one cancer….we do not need silence to be another!

And so, in the silence tonight, I am realizing that the journey begins again for Uncle Bob and Aunt Anita and all of us who love them. The same journey so many of you are taking either yourself or with someone you love. The journey of cancer and treatments….the journey of illness and unknowns….the journey of silence and all it holds. May you and I be people who speak into the silence with words of hope, love and encouragement. Words that speak of God’s presence and provision. Words that do not deny the gravity or fear that often comes with illness or life ending disease, but words that remind one another that we stand together. in the valley and on the mountain top. Aunt Anita felt crummy last week and I was delighted to see her walk through the doors at my Tapestry Party. She came to my mountain top. Today, I am with her in her valley and I would choose to be no other place than in the silence of this hospital room, wondering, hoping and praying. I hope you can speak into someone’s silence each day….either with words or presence.

Curly girl designs….

I have found a new card line I just love. I find the art work so creative and the words combined in such a fashion that they are inspirational and speak powerful truth.

Today the one I purchased and plan to frame for myself in honor of my Tapestry Party has these words:

She took a deep breath, declared her heart free and thanked herself for being so patient with it!

I have to say that I enjoyed how I felt Friday night at my tapestry party. I felt at peace with who I am and even in slow dancing, enjoyed the friendship and care of the many good men in my life. 

Now, that being said, I have big goals still about who I would like to be, but I believe that my feeling of contentedness stems in that I have been living very intentionally for the last few years. Ever so slowly, I have seen change take root and my soul begin to blossom.

I have not always been in that space. There have been many days where the lies I believed about myself and others overpowered my ability to love myself and enjoy the woman God has designed me to be….

And so this card spoke to my journey….I have had to choose to be patient with my heart as it learned to love deeply, risk boldly and live free. I am not there 100% of the time, but I am living with a free heart much more than I am not, and for me, that was a reason to celebrate. I am thankful for the many people who were patient with me along the way. I know that in my distrust and fear, I was not always to deal with. I am thankful that my friends and family can experience my redeemed heart. It is not so much about where the lies stemmed from or why I chose to believe them. It is about making a choice to confront lies with truth and a heart held hostage with the keys to freedom.

My tapestry party allowed me to celebrate the journey I have taken over the last many many years. It was (is) not always easy! But to live knowing I can declare this: She took a deep breath, declared her heart free and thanked herself for being so patient with it, makes life just plain sweet!

 

The gift of words….

I will be blogging on and off this week about the tapestry party I hosted and enjoyed on September 9, 2011. Some of my blogging is reflective and is about the thoughts and process of preparing and some will be reflective as to the event itself….

Tonight, although the day has been filled with thoughts of 9/11, I feel as if the day has been filled with kindness towards all affected in the days coverage. I am not sure there is much I can add except that it is my hope we pray and care as much for all those affected every day of the year, and not just on the anniversary of the events. May we allow these significant events to shape our thoughts and behaviors every day!

And so tonight, after I enjoyed opening gifts from my tapestry party, I am struck by the gift of words I received from so many. With each card was a kind thought or words of affirmation. As I read the words I envisioned the faces, friendship and experiences shared. What a gift to read the meaning of friendship shared.

I wonder what message you would write in the card of a special family member or friend? I encourage you to take time today to write out a few sentences and share it with someone dear to your heart. I can tell you that kind words are life giving….it doesn’t have to be a lengthy message or include a costly gift….offer your heart and enjoy the feeling of offering a rare and unique gift.

 

 

 

 

The birth of a dream….

During my 30’s I realized that I often would be a bit teary at weddings and other celebrations that included a gathering with a large group of family and friends. As I became more curious about that, I realized that as a single woman, I wondered if I would ever have the opportunity to experience this type of joy? It was with that I began to think outside the box….I started to think, if I am still single by the time I am 40, maybe I will have a party of sorts. And as I began to think about that party, I began to create a dream…

The dream was shaped and formed over many many months…I mulled it over in my thoughts and heart for almost five years. I have often though about my life as a weaving. I would consider how in the tapestry of my life, there are many colors. There are some colors that are vibrant, but there are also strands of color that do not appear beautiful when they stand alone. But when that dirty brown thread is woven next to the purple and the red, the brown seems to have more beauty. I really love the idea of my life as a tapestry, woven by my experiences and community of people who surround me. I began to consider who are the people who have made an impact in my life? I began to consider those names. I realized I had to take time to envision the faces and remember my season of friendship with them in very specific ways. I realized that creating the guest list was not about my Facebook Friends list nor just about the people who surround me today. I thought back to each season of my life. I considered the faces from Canada, Elliott (the street I grew up on), Sylvan Christian, Holland Christian, Saint Mary’s Calvin College, Sunshine Community Church, Western Michigan University, Hospice, Adoption, Open Hearts Ministries and Visiting Angels.

And that is the crux of the birth of a tapestry party. Stay tuned to learn more about how to take it from the birth of a dram to a wonderful evening…And I love the idea that I believe this was the first ever tapestry party. I do wonder how to patent the idea? I just might start giving Tapestry Home Planning Parties!

An amazing evening….

Tonight I had my Tapestry Party. I have dreamed of this night for five years….and tonight my dream was realized.

I shared if I could freeze time, I just might have opted to do so tonight….

There will be many pictures and stories to follow, but for now, I leave you with the video that will share a bit of why my heart overflows!

http://web.photodex.com/embed/b24x928

Anticipation….

Tonight I am very aware of my anticipation.  

I am anticipating a big day tomorrow. A day which will realize a dream I have held close to my heart for many years….

For almost five years I have reflected often on how as a single woman, I miss out on the opportunity to have an event celebration. I am often choked up with emotion at a wedding or anniversary party at the reality of the room being filled with people who have journeyed with the people we are there to honor or celebrate. I can honestly share that I have longed to have that experience.

And to that end, I am hosting a Tapestry Party. An event where 200 of those people who have impacted my life will gather. I will have friends and family from as far back as when I lived in Canada and all through the years. I have selected people who have left a very clear imprint on my heart. I am excited to experience something I have dreamed of and created. I am a bit anxious but the anticipation and joy of the journey is much stronger than my anxiety. I am praying for a wonderful day and evening. I am hopeful I will hold memories of this until my breath stops or my memory fails me. I have felt so loved and embraced by my family in the planning…..I am ready….I am blessed….I am filled with gratitude!

I will share more in the coming days. I will have pictures and video’s and stories galore. But for now I must finish some last-minute details….cause when I awaken the day will have arrived. The day of my Tapestry Party!

I will leave you with a bit of the invitation….

A word from Trish on a “Tapestry Party”…

I am a 41-year-old woman

who decided that I would

love to have the people who

are important to me

gathered in one place to

celebrate. Most often this

happens in the context of

family life (weddings, the

birth of children, etc.) and,

of course, at funerals! Since

I have not followed the

paths that lead  to those

events, I am having a

Tapestry Party – a

gathering of those people

who have left their imprint

on my life, making me who I

am today. You are one of

those people and I would

love to celebrate with you

before I arrive at my

funeral!