Monthly Archives: April 2015

breathing room for your weekend . . . friends

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“I’m saying yes and thank you to the extraordinary True Beauties in my life who have loved me, who have inched their way in with great care.

You put me on a stretcher and cut a hole in the roof where Jesus is and lower me down. Herky jerky with sawdust in my hair, singing show tunes and complimenting me on my outfit, feeding me and praying for me. Laughing and crying with me. Thank you for getting me to Jesus. Thank you for taking me by the hand and helping me walk — one step at a time — into a better me.”

Breathing Room, pages 63-64

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inspiring spaces

I want to tell you about two inspiring spaces that I’m currently (thank-you-sweet-Jesus) getting to roll my sleeves up and get my hands on.

First, my new shed:

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In Breathing Room, I talked about this hideously dilapidated shed that was attached to the back of our garage and a manic episode I had over wanting to tear it down and build myself a studio. Well, two years later and it has finally happened!!! We took down the infested appendage and rebuilt a little space in its place. The new shed is part storage and part studio space, but I’m hoping to pare down some of what we’re storing in there so I can claim as many square inches of this new space as possible.

After the shed was finished, I fell into a euphoric trance, walking some of my very favorite and most-inspirational things down from my house to the new space. At the moment, it’s highly unglamorous, but it’s gonna be fabulous. I can just feel it.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetAs you know, two years ago we moved home from the Middle East. As is the case with moves sometimes, a few things were shoved into the back of the garage and haven’t been opened since. One of those things was the aqua cabinet in the first picture. It was sitting in the back of our garage, still sealed from the move. Steve and I carried it to the shed, and I tore off the plastic wrap and cardboard. I opened the cabinet and pulled out all the packing paper to begin loading in treasures, and I found something that took my breath away:

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetInside the cabinet, underneath all the packing paper, was a dried bougainvillea bloom that had been waiting for me these two years. Waiting for me to find it at just the right time. Bougainvillea is like a divine wink to me. Some people find hearts in nature or lucky pennies. I find bougainvillea petals and blooms and it’s like God is saying to me, “I see you and you’re on the right track and keep listening and keep creating and I love you.” One bougainvillea bloom says all that to me. And this one, transported all the way from the Middle East, said all that and more. It was an affirmation and a confirmation and in some kind of weirdly perfect way, a complete and total YES to the book I’m working on right now (the book I need to be finishing now — eeeeek).

So if you need me, I’ll be in my weird little studio, chasing my inner artist. Welcoming her, listening to her, letting her guide me into my own world of inspiration and creating. I’m hoping to get some time this weekend to work on the space a bit more. I’ll share pictures once I have my haven complete. Until then, I’m reveling in the fact that I have a room with a door and A LOCK ON IT, if you know what I mean. It’s crazy how much we need our own space. Even if it’s a tiny shed. It can feel like every other thing in our house takes priority over our own need for creative space. Not. Any. More.

The second inspiring space I’ve been oh-so-lucky to get my grubby mitts on is the new barn at The Soul Care House. My dear friend Elaine is the director of The Soul Care House, a holistic therapy practice here in San Diego. She works with an amazing team offering marriage and family therapy, massage therapy, music and art therapy, recovery help, and an array of workshops and groups. If you haven’t yet, you need to get yourself over to The Soul Care House. You need to book a massage with Natalie, who I am literally obsessed with. (You’re welcome.)  Anyway, I’m so excited to be partnering with The Soul Care House and Elaine and bringing workshops and retreats to the NEW BARN!

Prepare yourself. It’s almost too pretty. You are going to want to live here:

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RIGHT?!?!?!? I told you. The barn is about 700 square feet and possibly one of the most gorgeous spaces I’ve been in. Elaine and I did a little mini stay-cation this past weekend and part of our time was spent loading in impossibly beautiful things into this space, getting it all ready for the tender souls who will be sitting and breathing and creating and listening and dreaming and sharing here. SACRED.

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Elaine and I are cooking up all sorts of fabulous offerings for the barn. The first one I’ll be hosting is an absolutely-no-art-skill-needed, art workshop on May 23. I’ll be facilitating a time that I’m calling “Nurturing the Creative Life” and we’ll do some writing and art. For more details on the workshop and to register, you can go here. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do and I can’t imagine doing it in a more glorious space. Again, more pictures to come as The Soul Care Barn gets all the finishing touches, but don’t you just want to MOVE IN?!?

I am more and more convinced that catching up with our inner, intuitive creative is one of the most essential things we can do. Whether your creative expression is painting or cooking or gardening or tinkering with car engines or making jewelry or welding, letting her speak to you will change you. It will shift the energy and it will inspire you in other areas of your life as well.

So I’m honoring my inner artist and I’m feeding her gorgeous, inspiring spaces, and she’s HAPPY!

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May your day and your week be filled with bougainvillea blooms when and where you least expect them, and may you know that you are beautiful and worthy and loved!!!

I believe in YOU,

Leeana

 

 

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Death Stings. Hope Explodes.

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Over the last week—in anticipation of Easter—and especially yesterday—on Easter—I kept hearing the following over and over: “What in your life is in need of a resurrection?”

Certainly this is the theme of every Easter, but this year for some reason, I kept hearing that same question as it related to my own life, my own journey. Not just as it related to Jesus coming out of the grave, literally, but how that truth is working its way into my own story.

Somehow, everyone was writing about and talking about: “What in your life is in need of a resurrection?”

(Or, at least, that’s what I keep hearing. So, OK I GET IT, I’m paying attention.)

I got news of a death recently. A death of a dream, I guess you could say. And it stung. It stings still. It is incredibly difficult to watch something important to you die: whether that’s a relationship, a person, a desire, a dream.

Death stings.

You never get used to it. I don’t think death ever becomes less abrupt.

The invitation I have been hearing over and over this past week is to identify an area of my life that needs a resurrection and then BELIEVE that a resurrection could be possible. In other words, hope. Not the noun hope, but the verb hope.

The ability to hope comes from the idea that what we believed was the end may only just be the beginning.

Which, of course, is the story of Jesus. Yesterday, my pastor spoke on the passage in Luke 24 when Cleopas and his companion are walking on the road to Emmaus and the resurrected Jesus joins them, but they don’t know it’s him.

The story reads, “Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him” (15-16, NIV).

I can think of a few really big things in my life that could use an injection of breath and heartbeat and spirit and vitality. One thing, in particular, that really needs a resurrection. And there’s a certain dangerousness to hoping because it puts us out there on a limb of desire that may not produce.

But I don’t think the cynics win. I don’t think hopelessness wins. And, the story on the road to Emmaus makes me wonder if it’s at all possible that, in fact, Jesus himself is walking in my midst and maybe I’m just not yet recognizing him.

For me, one of the ways Jesus himself is walking with me right now is through these lines from Langston Hughes that he brought to my mind:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up . . .

Or does it explode?

What happened to Jesus and his followers and their dreams of a New Way of living and loving and believing? What happened at the cross? Did it all dry up? Or did it explode?

I’m holding on to the Easter story today as a reminder that sometimes what we believed was an ending might only just be the beginning. Beginnings aren’t always easy, certainly, but they are a promise of possibility. Beginnings are a reminder that, with Jesus, new could be near.

Death stings. Hope explodes. Always, we begin again.

Amen.

What truth hit you in a new a fresh way this Easter?

 

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