everybody hurts

i have typed and deleted sentences in this post so many times and almost deleted the entire entry as well.  In business, I struggle with sharing too much or crossing over a line that no one wants to see or saying something that doesn't exude the joy i feel in my life every day.  i fear that i will expose a side of my heart that isn't accepted and that in itself is terrifying.

We recently had someone very dear to us go to Heaven and while yes, that happens every moment of the day, this person was struggling internally with mental illness and that made it that much harder.  It brought mental illness to the forefront of my mind and has made me think long and hard about those that are struggling in this terrible disease. 

But, it did more that that too.  His passing made me evaluate how much I truly know and understand those that I love.  Ask anyone close to me and they'll tell you that I am a firm believer in our stories and what they teach others.  Our paths have been blazed by our Creator and He didn't intend for those stories, lessons and memories to be brushed to the curb as we continue walking.  We all love, we hurt, we cry and we contain a beautiful capacity for His grace to paint a story worthy of telling.

It is when we keep these stories, lies, truths and dreams bottled and hidden that we in turn shadow God's goodness with our shame or fear.  We think that no one else has done what we've done or seen what we've seen.  That we are alone in our struggle, that we are the only ones that have ever heard words of discernment, discouragement or disappointment.  We somehow believe that our dreams could never become real life because we don't deserve or want it enough. 

We forget that our God gave us those dreams, fears, stories and experiences.  He paints us each with a paint brush that belongs to only us.  He never intended to wash our brush out in dirty water and start over with our canvas.  He loves the layers that each paint job tells.  We attempt to 'white out' the ugly picture we don't like then instead of living and drawing out a beautiful painting with what's left, we some how stay in that dirty water and think that is where we are to remain.

So, I say that TODAY, TODAY, you pull that bristled brush out of whatever dirty water you're standing in and for just one moment breath in the clean freshness of a dirty canvas craving to be repainted!  God is the ultimate artist and we are NEVER too far from his grace filled and redemptive paint brush.  He loves us enough to just wash over it all with His own blood and make it completely clean to paint anew.  But, don't ever forget that what's under the newly painted canvas are bumps, tears, mountains and valleys of stories that need to be told. 

You NEVER know who may need to hear that story and feel comforted knowing they are not alone.

always with joy ~ em

Spring Cleaning : a time for everything

there is an appointed time for everything. and there is a time for every event under heaven-
— ecclesiastes 3.1

As i sat down to write this week's Tuesday Tidbits i was a little overcome with fear and excitement all rolled into one wad, like gum on the bottom of my shoe.  do i trust the timing that god has placed on my heart for this topic and just roll with it?  or do i rest on my laurels and keep on repeating a habit knowing the end results will be the same?  well, the Lord lead me to an amazing place last week and shone His light upon my dimly lit mind then softly spoke a word of encouragement over me that i least expected...........who are you NOT to do what i have called you to do?  {i was renewed and transformed to say the least}

Sunday, March 6th I had the beyond AMAZE-BALLS opportunity to attend and relish in Stationery Academy at the Lee House in Pensacola, FL. {this conference will soon be revealing an AMAZING makeover}.  I drove down with no expectations other than to be greeted by Kate Spade type girls that had it all together, soooooo like me {insert gasping chuckle here}.  i prayed on the way that God would simply reveal what it is i'm doing with my business that can glorify Him.  nothing more, nothing less.

i arrived to warm salt-air, a wrap around porch, a room full of insane talents and then doubt began to creep in.  i am a former teacher.  i'm not formerly trained in coding or web design.  i'm not a calligrapher {unless you count my own wedding envelopes} so, who am to do this?

well, over the next 3 days i was showered with swag, love and overcome with a wave of emotions as the walls came down and I FOUND MY TRIBE!  God is pretty cool like that.  when we ask Him to show up, he's 200 steps ahead of us.  when we finally push back the cloud and see the light He's created, it's overwhelming and humbling to say the least.  He sent me to this tribe and it is there that i found my own identity in the gifts He has slowly showed me how to unwrap.

the amazing talents of  janna wilson designs  and kristin with  grace and serendipity  knocked our socks off with her mad event planning skills!

the amazing talents of janna wilson designs and kristin with grace and serendipity knocked our socks off with her mad event planning skills!


so, without rambling more about how these 25 women changed my life and heart i want to let you know that some tiny changes will gradually be taking place with RDP.  don't stress---we will continue to provide 'custom papers for pretty occasions'.  i, as the creator of these, have to do what's best for my family first and then my company as a business.

in the meantime, please join our mailing list so you can stay in the loop with the AWESOMENESS in the works!!

i love y'all and thank you super tons!

with joy~em