Thinly Veiled

Where to begin….

Yesterday, when I got home from work, a package for me was sitting on the ottoman in my family room.  When I opened it,  real-live paperback version of the book that was published was sitting in my hands.  As I mentioned, I’ve seen the cover 1,000 times, but to touch it and flip through the pages was a righteous moment for me… and then I thought, “what if my mom see’s it?”    LOL (40-something years old and afraid of what my mother will think – can anyone relate?)    I mean, really, she doesn’t yet know anything about it… in the book, through fictional characters, I have laid out some of the most painful memories of my life… what if she reads it and judges me?  what if she’s angry that I’ve publicly admitted my weaknesses?   Could I hide it from her forever?   Probably not.   I was reminded of the conversation I had with the publisher when I told him my husband didn’t know about the book – he said, “well you better tell him before he sees you on the news”.

It had been terrifying for me to tell my husband, but I asked those encouraging me to pray for me.. and one night, I worked up enough courage to tell him.  His response (“what was your purpose?”) caused me to deep-think how I would like to see God use this book.  What seemed daunting to me ended up being a catalyst for me to change the “note from the author”  (funny how life works that way sometimes).

At any rate, I decided that when my mom got home, I would simply ask her to read a book, and not tell her I was the author, since, of course, I have a pen name.  She reads quickly – in fact, I believe she taught Evelyn Wood how to read back in the day!   I went to a different room because I didn’t want to feel her judgement as she poured through the pages of my open heart.  At one point, my daughter told me she was looking for me – but  I was hiding.

After she finished the book, she came into the room where I was – I could swear there was a tear on her cheek.  She said, “well, that was – WOW”   I wasn’t sure if she meant WOW in a good way or a bad, so I asked her, and she said, “Good”, which I will take at face value.   We talked about how my prayer is that it would reach people who are hurting and need to know God’s love.

I asked her if she was angry.  She said, “Why would I be angry?”   She said she knew I was the author in the first chapter – my identity is “thinly veiled”, as she put it.  I asked her to keep it secret from the rest of my family.  I told her they would not understand me.  She agreed on both counts.

I really don’t know why I was so afraid, except to say that the pain that I experienced in my life is also pain that she experienced.  I have seen how she’s handled it (well, I might add – she’s a fighter), and perhaps was afraid that dredging up old memories of pain would be difficult for her.  She loves Jesus as much as I do – probably more.  I believe that she will honor my prayer that God will use the message to let people know that, no matter what they’re going through in life, God is there with them and will help them through.

Many of you have already reached out to let me know your ordered your copy – thank you, thank you, thank you.

If you haven’t, and want to, please click the link below.

Order Masquerade here!

If you haven’t followed my journey, please do.  I have a feeling it’s about to get real.

Have a blessed day, everyone!

Blessings, SB

 

 

Copyright 2018  Journey For Life – All rights reserved.

Masquerade Released!

Life throws some pretty crazy situations our way, to be sure!  If we aren’t careful, we can inadvertently become victims of circumstance, and find ourselves in a deep pit of depression.

Last summer, a friend of ours passed away suddenly of a heart attack.  He left behind a loving wife and six grown children,  four sons-in-laws, two grandchildren (and one more on the way).   We are close to everyone in his family, including the sons-in-law, who were devastated by his death. His youngest daughter, a senior in high school, breaks my heart!  Although older than I was when my father died, I see in her all of the emotions that I went through after my dad died, and all of those painful memories washed over me like it was yesterday.  I wish that I could just hug her and tell her that it will be ok – that she will survive – that every day, week, month that passes will strengthen her – that God loves her and will somehow use this hurt to shape her.

This weekend, her older brother, who’s named after his father, is getting married.  All of the family will be together – all except for Kirk. I know it will be a very difficult day for the family.

I have the privilege of playing music for the wedding, and I know it will be beautiful, but I doubt that I will be able to play for it all without shedding a tear.

It is because of this pain that the book Masquerade was written – to be a beacon of light in a dark world to let hurting people know that, with God’s help, they can emerge victorious over devastating blows that life can deliver.

Masquerade is a fictional story that personifies tragedy and emotional battles that could really be experienced by any one of us.  The story isn’t a “rainbow and puppy dogs” kind of victory, but a story that demonstrates God’s faithfulness to us amidst our tragedies.

Masquerade was written almost a decade ago, and sat dormant on my hard drive for a long, long time.  Last summer, I began the process of publishing this book in the hopes that it would reach people who are hurting – to let them know they can have HOPE through Jesus Christ!

Masquerade Released!

 

I have two favors to ask of all of you tonight.  If you would, please click the link below and order your copy of Masquerade.

Order Masquerade Here!

Second, please keep my friends’ family in your prayers.

Many thanks!

Blessings,

SB

Jericho Sized Prayers

There are days that God blesses us immeasurably. Wednesday was one of those. Incredibly blessed to have had each of my college kids home in the last two weeks (one each week). My son, who is studying to be a pastor, led worship and gave the message at youth group.

Both of the songs he sang were new to me, but one of them talked bout the walls of Jericho. He knows I asked him to pray big a few weeks ago, but doesn’t know the details. The reality is that I’m praying Jericho sized prayers I thought it was cool that God picked that song for him to sing

His message was about hearing the voice of God. Not in an audible way, but in a guiding way. As a high school intern at the church last year, he also gave messages. To see the difference in his presentation skills and the depth of his messages from last year to this were amazing. As a mama, it warms my heart to know he’s on a good path.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me beyond words to describe

Still praying Jericho sized prayers, knowing You are ever faithful.

Blessings,

SB

The love of all things vintage

A few months ago, a friend of mine posted a picture of a high school girl wearing a shirt that said “86” on it. My friend asked the girl what it meant and she replied that it was “vintage– you know, from 1986”. My friend had graduated from high school in 1986 and just about choked when she heard that she was “vintage”.

I love vintage things. Not 1986 vintage, but truly vintage. The stories that vintage items hold can only be imagined or, better yet, dreamed up in our minds.

I came by my love of vintage items quite naturally. My mom has some very cool items that have been passed down from her parents and grandparents. My favorite is an old steamer trunk that my papa brought with him from Ireland. I asked my moms about restoring about 20 years ago. I don’t think she believes I will ever do it. Someday I will show her. Truth is, I am a little intimidated by it. I mean, with its history so personal to me, I would not want to mess it up.

In the meantime, I picked up this beauty on which to “practice”.

The hinges worked fine. A previous owner had painted the inside, and in the process, slipped paint on the outside, which I sanded off. The clasp doesn’t work, but is intact. The straps are missing from the sides (I’ve almost never seen a trunk with the handles still attached).

I began by washing her with Murphy’s Oil soap (mostly because I was using that on another project, which I’ll show later.

She looks better already. Some trunks come with that musty, vintage smell, but this one really doesn’t. I did clean the inside really well.

Next, I began to work on the outside. I didn’t want to have a “freshly painted” look since, after all, she is an antique, so I chose an ultra flat chalky black paint for the metal parts. On the textured parts, I used a copper metallic paint which I carefully dry-brushed and wiped, just to give an “antique” appearance.

I painted the hasps and buckled gold

I stained the wooden straps with minwax fruitwood.

For the inside, I selected a wonderfully vintage fabric to Modge Podge I started with the lid.and applied a thin coat of modge lodge to the lid before laying the fabric down. I flattened out the wribkles and applied more Modge Podge on top. I let the lid dry completely before moving on to sides and bottom.

The sides and bottom were done in a similar fashion.

On Sunday, I posted the trunk for sale on the Facebook Marketplace and was almost immediately contacted by multiple people who were interested.  I made arrangements to meet the first person and let the others know that i’d contact them if the pick-up fell through.  Just as I was pulling in to the parking lot to meet the person, they texted and said they changed their mind.   “Really?”   I said, more than a little agitated.  However, I went to the next in line, and he was available to meet and came right away.   I am hoping that he loves the trunk – it truly is a beautiful piece.  In all honesty, I’m a little sad to see it go.  I believe I have the confidence to work on Papa’s trunk.

The Journey to the Cross. Day 2

The sting of rejection.

(Sorry, posting late)

Day two of my journal contains a scripture reference to Isaiah 53:3, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows with grief. And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem him”

Many years ago, in another place and time, I experienced rejection so deep it cut me to the core. I wondered how I would be able to go on, yet here I am all these years later. To be honest, it still hurts, but I have managed to move past with Gods help.

During the deepest, darkest pain of that rejection, I thought about Jesus, and wondered if he every felt the way I was feeling at that moment. Then I realized that He was, and still is, rejected. He absolutely understands the sting of rejection and how we feel because He felt it too. One of his close friends sold Him out for 30 pieces of silver. The crowd hurled insults at him as He hung on the cross for our sake.

We need not fear the sting of rejection because we know we belong to a Heavenly Father who loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die and make a way for us to spend eternity with Him. We are never rejected by Him.

If you are feeling rejected today, please know that God loves you and will never, ever leave you. He is with you in the face of your rejection.

Blessings,

SB

The Journey

A new journey begins today; the annual spiritual pilgrimage to the cross. For Christians around the world, today marks the beginning of the Lenten season, the 40 days leading up to Christs’ crucifixion.

Many people will celebrate this season by giving something up for Lent, a symbolic representation of a sacrifice made in their own lives to acknowledge the sacrifice Christ made for us. While a humbling and copacetic recognition of His sacrifice, I challenge you all to go deeper this Lent.

As I was cleaning files in my home office a few weeks ago, I came across a Lenten Devotional journal I had received long ago from Insight for Living ministries. This journal will be the basis for my journey this Lent, and I invite you all to come along!

My journey for Lent begins with a funeral; a funeral for a lovely Christian woman who fought a hard battle with cancer and went home to be with Jesus last Saturday. We will miss her greatly, but are so very thankful that we know where she’s gone and we will see her later in Heaven. It is because of His sacrifice that we have the promise of eternal life

I hope you’ll join me in reflecting on the words in today’s devotion. Sin is serious business, and the price that He paid so we wouldn’t have to is enormous. At the very least, let our hearts be humbled today as we begin our spiritual journey.

Blessings,

SB

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life. All rights reserved

F-A-C-E

Word of the day: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/27030/posts/1762943855

In the early days of a new students’ piano lessons, I share with them several mnemonics to help them learn their notes. Musical notes appear on music staffs as dots or O’s, placed appropriately on either lines or spaces for either the Treble or Bass Clef. Their location in the staff determines the note, and corresponding key on the keyboard.

Learning to read the notes is very much like learning to recognize the letters of the alphabet. Before one can spell words, they must know their letters. Before they can make sentences, they must know how to spell words, which requires them to know their letters. Mnemonics can be helpful in learning the notes

There are four different groups of mnemonics – two for the treble clef and two for the bass cleff.  For the treble clef, there is one for the “line” notes (those whose center is on the line) and one for the “space” notes (one whose center is on the space) between the 5 lines making up the staff.   There are many different mnemonics that teachers have used over the years, however, it seems that one “standard” seems to be that the Treble Clef Spaces mnemonic is “F-A-C-E”.

Bass clef line mnemonics have ranged from: “Go Bring Down Fanny’s Apron” to “Good Boys Deserve Fudge Always” to “Grizzly Bears Don’t Fly Airplanes”

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For some student, learning the mnemonics seems as challenging as simply learning the notes themselves.  Perhaps for those students, mnemonics may not work the best.  Th successful teacher will experiment with different teaching techniques to find that which suits the student best to help them fourish in their new endeavors and find satisfaction with their challenges.