soon and lately

Lately I’ve been dying of boredom. I completed most of my to-do list for this week by Tuesday. I had to stop myself from doing the things on that list so I could have something to do the next day. My workaholic lifestyle leaves me in a panic when summer hits and my job is on hold because of break, and I have two weeks to kill before I go to Kansas City. Oh, that’s right. I forgot to tell you! I got a paid summer internship with Children’s Mercy Hospital in beautiful KCMO doing marketing, which will mean mostly writing bios on doctors and patients. I’m pretty excited about it!

///soon///

Quick detour because it’s a serious miracle story:  I think these kind of stories happen to me because they’ve got to point to some type of divine intervention and provision, only characteristic of God’s dark sense of humor.

There was a solid week in my life—and it’s all a bit of a blur now so I can’t remember which week other than that it was a few weeks ago—that was the most emotional week of my life. Interviews are a draining process. It’s like concentrated dating. (Like orange juice pulp concentrated, in which it’s almost sour, but you’re like “it’s orange juice! it’s so good!” as you pucker up and cringe your neck back and smile through it.) All in all, I sent my resume to about 15 different companies. I got call-backs from three and went through three in-person interviews, In an age of Facebook stalking, it says a lot if someone actually wants to see your face in 3D. My first interview was with a marketing company in Bentonville, and I was flattered to be interviewed, and walked out thinking I nailed it. The Children’s Mercy interview was in KC the last Friday of Spring Break. I was completely in love with it. Lots of opportunities to expand skills and the people were just fantastic. I’d interviewed at a lot of hip, trendy marketing companies in which no outsiders really knew what they did. I’d talked to a lot of 20-somethings in jeans, but the CMH crew were adults. Like real adults in their 40s and 50s and SO cool. No, not norm-core cool—although they could rock that. In that normal way of people who just do their job not because they’re impressed with themselves, but because they’re a part of something that they believe in. Not to say the other companies I interviewed aren’t, I believe they all want to make the world a better place. But with CMH, I didn’t feel any pressure to “be cool.” But I walked through the concrete labyrinth of the parking garage shaking after that interview. There’s no way I’d get that. But I made connections, so that’s good, right. Yeah. Not a waste of time. Phew.

A few papers, busy days, and cover letters later, I had another interview with a local company. I was hoping working with them would give me coveted experience. I wore a tulle skirt to the interview. Maybe that was my flaw? ah well. A few days later I got that “thank you for coming in. It was great to meet you and best of luck in your career” email, which is corporate for “I just want to be friends.” I was devastated. Crushed. After eating a full box of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese (the only good kind), a few bad rom-coms, writing few papers and a successful article on young marriage (that both justified my singleness and made me feel lonely), and a breakdown in a minister’s office,  I picked myself up from an existential crisis and turned to looking for part-time jobs in Fayetteville. I had just signed a lease on a one-bedroom apartment, so it looked like this would be my quintessential summer in Fay. But that only lasted two days. Because in one crazy Friday I had a chat with the LATimes recruiter,  sat through a seminar with my ex-boyfriend who I hadn’t seen in months, got an email confirming my hiring with CMH, and drove Little Chief home for a weekend of concerts in my hometown. One day. It was a roller coaster of a day. Here, I included a dramatic info graphic (that’s redundant. All info graphics are dramatic):

emo chart

Phew.

Also, to add to the list of miracles: I’ll be staying FOR FREE in KC with family friends who used to babysit me as a kid, because they’re ministry is letting out their 3 spare bedrooms to foreign-exchange students. I guess Arkansas counts as foreign.

So yeah, our God is good. I really don’t think anything else can explain that. And I don’t know how these crazy things happen to me, other than the fact that I can’t get around not talking about the good things the LORD has done for me when he pulls stunts like this. You could say I was just qualified, or that I just knew the right people for housing. And that’s true. But to go from the complete unknown, to manna falling from heaven. That’s impeccable timing. And maybe the stars just aligned. But then again, God made the stars soooooo.

///lately///

Oh, yeah, lately. Lately I’ve been relaxing, or at least trying to enjoy the quiet before I move to another fast-paced phase, which is hard when the excitement is so close.

I did a product shoot the other day. I had a lot of leftovers after an unsuccessful craft show. It was a nice Saturday spent outside, but just a heads up: we artists like it when you look, touch, AND buy.

New products will be in the shop soon.

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My herbs are going CRAZY. Soaking up the sun and the monsoons. So if you need any cilantro, oregano, lavender, or lemon thyme, let me know. Fay people I’ll be here till May 30. And KC friends, I’m bringing my beautiful herbs with me, so you get dibs too!

 

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Oh, and my strawberry plant started flowering! That means harvest is coming in a few weeks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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But, you win some, you lose some. Pretty little orchid died. An expert orchid florist told me they need more love than just every ten days. She was wrong. But the blooms will return, someday.

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On Mother’s Day I was leaving church and a little boy handed me this carnation and said “Happy Mother’s Day!” I don’t look like a mother, do I? But, I mean, it’s still on our table. So looks like he won.

 

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Trying my hand at water coloring. Doodling is easy with it, like these little patterns. But making real water color art is hard and ends up looking like a 5 year old finger painted it.

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Currently working on another saint in my little saint icon collection. This mock up is for the oil on canvas I’m doing of Our Lady of Guadalupe, or Our Lady Fatima. She’s one of my favorites because the story is one of a form of ministry we often forget:

In 1531, in the aftermath of the brutal conquistadors, Mother Mary appeared to a peasant, Juan Diego, in Mexico. Signs and miraculous hearings convinced the people there was something to be considered in Christianity, and there was a  mass conversation of the native people. The Catholic Online commentary says it best: “Mary appeared to Juan Diego not as a European madonna but as a beautiful Aztec princess speaking to him in his own Aztec language. If we want to help someone appreciate the gospel we bring, we must appreciate the culture and the mentality in which they live their lives. By understanding them, we can help them to understand and know Christ. Our Lady of Guadalupe is patron of the Americas.”

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I will note a disclaimer that I am not Catholic. But I believe that our fellow Christians have a beautifully celebrated history of saints and miracles that protestants often forget. We are too often scared of the mysticism of Christ. I paint the saints because their stories are powerful. And if we are all a sainthood of believers, aren’t they our ancient brothers and sisters? It’s our spiritual history.

///

 

Took myself on a date Friday to see my all time favorites currently on display at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. I—and a lot of old people—read every single description of the greats of modernism: Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Gauguin. I also walked through the whole exhibit, pondering every piece…. twice. I am my father’s daughter.

But these two are some of my most favorites. I kept coming back to them, but mostly because it was actually them. Like in front of me. Not on a screen. Like Mattise and Picasso were RIGHT THERE. I literally suppressed a giggle of excitement upon turning the corner to see this Picasso, but a small jump did get out from under me.

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Matisse, Woman with a Veil

 

Picasso, Guitar

Picasso, Guitar

 

Also, there’s an exhibit about Moshe Safdie, the architect of Crystal Bridges. Lots of modern designs, but the most interesting was this one called Habitat 67. It’s an affordable housing complex in Canada and apparently is a landmark, but also criticized as one of the top ten ugliest buildings in North America. Ha. I thought it was kinda cool and modern, though real pictures aren’t as shiny as the model:

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///

In other news I’ve been switching out journaling for one-page bad poetry, which is really the best kind of poetry—the bad kind. It’s terribly raw. But, you don’t get to see it. Sorry. Instead, enjoy my favorite quotes from my re-reading of the Chronicles of Narnia series. I’m on Book 2: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe:

Then he sat listening to them with the tips of his fingers pressed together and never interrupting, till they had finished the whole story. After that he said nothing for quite a long time. Then he cleared his throat and said the last thing either of them expected:  “How do you know,” he asked, “that your sister’s story is not true?” 

 

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy. 

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s then King, I tell you.” 

 

“Why, sir?” said Lucy. “I think—I don’t know—but I think I could be brave enough.” 

 

People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time. 

 

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