Merry Christmas from our wild BGC Team!

Hi, Brave Girls! We made a little Christmas video for you…we had an ugly Christmas sweater contest in our building today, and while we were ‘dressed up’ we wanted to send you our warmest, most love-filled wishes for a Merry Christmas!! So watch and enjoy! (PS. Our team won 4 awards at the party today…you might be able to guess which sweaters won…)

xoxo

 

December 19 Dare Prompt: “I adore this.”

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Day 19 of our December Dare!

The December 19 photo prompt is… “I adore this.”

 

Today’s prize: A set of Affirmation Cards, a ‘Wild Heart Gypsy Soul’ art print, and a gorgeous ‘Wild & Beautiful Heart’ ring from the Melody Ross Brave Girl line made by Demdaco

See the winners and entries for each day HERE

 

Here’s how to participate with us in the December Dare:

1. Print out this December Dare Kit PDF. Cut out (or write out) the prompt for the day.

2. Take a photo of something in your life that matches, along with the daily word prompt.

3. Post your photo with a short description of what your photo is about on one of three sites (or all three for more chances to win!):

  • Post right here on this blog as a Comment. There is a blog post for each day’s prompt.

  • Post on our Facebook page: http://facebook.com/bravegirlsclub (Be sure to LIKE us while you’re there). Each morning there will be a new Facebook post introducing the day’s prompt. Post as a comment there.

  • Post on Instagram, with the hashtag #bgcdecemberdare

4. Check the Blog Post the following day to see if you’ve won a sweet prize! We’ll randomly select a winner from all of the posts on all the platforms and send you an awesome gift from our $7 store! If you’re the winner, email support@bravegirlsclub.com to give us your mailing address.

5. Be sure to leave comments and likes on photos that others have posted. Let’s encourage each other!!

 

It’s FUN! Check out the last 30 photos that have been posted on Instagram using #bgcdecemberdare:

 Day 19: "I adore this"... I simply adore watching Noah dance! He is always so animated and fun to watch. Love this pic of him and his show choir partner Sarah from last weeks high school prism concert. #bgcdecemberdare #iadorethis #showchoir #JAHS #letsdance  Just a bit of a piece I made. The words are Hagar's when she ran away from Sarah, and to her surprise God showed up for her. A good thing to remember.#bgcdecemberdare #madewithOver @Over  We are all uniquely beautiful. I want be brave with the beauty I've been given. I use this piece of art journaling to help me stay grounded in truth along the way. #bgcdecemberdare  I adore the Story Jesus is unfolding. Darkness to light, pain to glory; redemption and restoration. #bgcdecemberdare  I adore this....I know it appears to be just a cat sleeping under a Christmas tree, but it is really so much more than that. This picture represents the feeling of HOME, the comfort and warmth and LOVE that I am so blessed to be able to feel on a daily basis. I adore it even more now that all the college kids are coming home and gathering once again under one roof, and my married kids and beautiful grand baby will be joining us too for Christmas morning! I truly ADORE this, how blessed I am!!!! #Bgcdecemberdare #bravegirlsclub #iadorethis #lazycat #welovesephoro #youwannabeabravegirltoo  I adore this bird that was a gift from Patty at the lake. #Bgcdecemberdare  Day 18: "I take care of this". At least I try... I am doing better at taking care of what you don't see with the naked eye. Believe it or not I'm still learning if I don't take care of myself I can't take care of anyone else. Not sure why this is so hard for me. Soul Work... the stuff that's inside that makes me me. An awakening of intentional living and not just surviving day to day on auto pilot. I do better on some days then others. It's hard work and I'm not there yet but each day with the Lord's help I am becoming who He created me to be. #bgcdecemberdare #itakecareofthis #soulwork #intentionalliving #livelife  #bgcdecemberdare  Kitchen duty, feeding my family. My sweet s-i-l Marcia helped me get over my fear of cooking by her confidence in the kitchen. Now I love to cook. #bgcdecemberdare #madewithOver @Over  I take care of this....I have sooo much fun packing Brave Girl Soul School boxes each month! It makes my heart happy knowing these boxes are just like a brand new idea that is about to take flight! I love my job sooo much because of all the Brave Girls in the world!!!! #bgcdecemberdare #bravegirlsclubrocks #itakecareofthis #imabravegirl #areyoubrave #youshouldbe www.bravegirlsclub.com  I take care of this packing #bgcdecemberdare Going on a holiday with 3 separate adventures in 1 holiday. Can't wait!!!  The Chair of Doom - I will miss many things, but I will not miss you. #bgcdecemberdare #leopalace #nagoya  #bgcdecemberdare I love this spot.  I sit here.....This is my desk here at the Brave Girls Clubhouse. I feel extra blessed to have the opportunity to work here and rub shoulders with these amazing people! It is truly a gift I am thankful for EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!! #bgcdecemberdare #bravegirlsclub #isithere #dirtydesk #flaminhotcheetos #dontjudge   The sun behind me and knitting at my feet. Perfect for relaxing. #bgcdecemberdare #madewithOver @Over
 I adore this. My little bird bedside lamp I made of discarded and thrifted bits, bowl, saucer, salt shaker, embroidered shade. I just adore it! #bgcdecemberdare #love #stop #lookaround #shareit #lamp  I adore the little things my husband does for me..like cutting some lavender & tying it with ribbon & leaving it for me to find. He's always so sweet & thoughtful! :) #bgcdecemberdare  I take care of this ball of cuteness. He loves cuddling and is learning to be playful. And let's be honest, he takes care of me too. #bgcdecemberdare  #bgcdecemberdare. ❤️  I adore this #bgcdecemberdare The wide open road.  Day 19. I adore this. Painted this with one of my favorite friends and it still makes me smile. #bgcdecemberdare  #bgcdecemberdare Day18 "I take care of this" .. Single parenthood .. On an ocean in a rubber raft at times --juggling dilemma after dilemma without letting others throw me off by judging what I do and how I end up doing it .. With two teens it can get crazy - add a seven year old in the mix and you have certifiable crazy .. Lol .. Me, not them. This was never my choice, my desire .. But I am here .. In charge solely for all of our lives - it can get lonely and dark - it can also fill your heart to the brim .. Each day .. Every day .. I take care of this / us. (The calendar is so we know who is where doing what - our days)  I take care of this. .. taking care of the kitchen prep/serving/cleanup for my family every day is one way i love to serve them and show my love for them. #bgcdecemberdare #bgc #adayinthelifeofamother  Brave Girls Club December Dare #18. I take care of this. This is Tink. She appeared on my Facebook newsfeed and I knew I had to adopt her! She is a sweetheart! #bgcdecemberdare #itakecareofthis #lovemytink  I take care of both!! #bgcdecemberdare @cman7793  I take care of this. This dare made me laugh because, honestly, how can I choose? It seems like my whole day is spent taking care of this, that and them. (sound familiar?). And I truly feel pinch-me blessed to be able to do it. So here's one, prompted by my husband calling me his queen this morning. I take care of all the ranch business and all our finances, much of which resides in this old file cabinet. I am not saying this is because I'm the only one who can be trusted to keep a balanced budget......lets just say this is my domain. #bgcdecemberdare #love #stop #lookaround #shareit  Rain on a tin roof makes me happy, however it's dark outside and I can't get a picture of it  so this is the next best. #day15 #bgcdecemberdare #thismakesmehappy  #bgcdecemberdare Day17 - "I sit here". . This is where I journal lots of the time, pay bills (yuck), organize photo files etc..  Day 17: "I sit here". I sit in this spot everyday. We have made it a priority to gather together at our table as a family for meals. Stories, prayers, laughter and life have been shared at this table. The kids have all grown so much and really don't fit comfortably around it these days... and even though we have a larger table in the dining room they still want to squeeze in around this one and even manage to make room for added guests. Today is a special day as we gather and celebrate Todd's birthday. I truly love this spot in which I sit and treasure all the memories made here. #bgcdecemberdare #isithere #gathertogether #family #familytime #birthday #celebrate #traditions #familytable  This is where I sit #bgcdecemberdare This is my best friends house. This is the spot we play games and have tea. Today I learned how to play skip-bo there.

Let’s let others own their actions…

Dear Beautiful Souls….

The Holidays can be a rough time because they trigger so many emotions and memories….so many expectations that turn to disappointments.

If you find yourself being on the other side of behavior that feels mean or vindictive or harsh or defensive or argumentative…..try to remember to let others own their actions and their words. Sometimes things we do or say are triggers to other’s unhealed wounds….wounds that have nothing to do with us…but are simply unhealed….and often people will try to punish us for those wounds that were there long before we were…just because we may have innocently and unknowingly triggered those old wounds.

owntheirwords

So don’t get sucked into all of that, and instead just lovingly let others own their own stuff……and make sure you own yours too…..the key to soul freedom is to own your behavior, your reactions and your thoughts….and to let others own theirs.

LOVE AND JOY TO ALL OF YOU! Keep being brave!

xoxo
melody

 

 

So….we just lost our dad…and we want you to know him…….

Kathy and I are sisters….but we are only 2 siblings of 9. We have an incredible family and we all love each other very much.

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Almost a month ago, we lost our dad. We are heartbroken and it has been very hard to keep going while also grieving this enormous loss. We really want you to know him, though. He was fighting a tough battle that we thought he was going to win. We were able to sit with him for over 2 weeks in the hospital, where many beautiful, meaningful and sacred conversations took place….where we got to see even more of exactly who he is……..it has been a heartbreaking, devastating and also an absolutely amazing experience. He was too young to go….we weren’t  ready…and we will miss him so much….we will grieve his loss for the rest of our lives……but we would like to share with all of you who our father was….

big smile

devoted to you

half smile

I had the honor of writing his life sketch and speaking at his funeral. I will just copy and paste it here.  This is a real life hero…….

hugging

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Harold Johnson, born May 10, 1938 in Nampa Idaho

We have the great honor of giving you a few beautiful details about our dad’s life…who he was and what he did.

Our dad was so much more about who he was as a human being than what he did or what he collected or what he owned or what he acquired. We hope we can shed even a tiny spark of the huge light that he is.

Although he had many great successes throughout life, his heart was always in his relationships, his goal was always to show more love and acceptance to every human being he encountered and his actions always led toward optimism, happiness and gratitude, no matter what stage of life he was in.

We could tell you that when he was a boy his life was not easy, that he had to work for anything and everything because money was scarce and stability was not to be found….but what we would really want you to know is that he was a spectacularly brilliant, fun, optimistic, adventurous and hard working youngster with big dreams and that he didn’t let anything hold him back, bring him down or make him a cynic. 

It is true that when he was still a teenager, he wanted to enlist in the military but soon found out that he had a heart defect, which kept him from being able to live out that dream….and that he had one of the first open heart surgeries in the United States at only 19 years old as a young husband and father….

But what he would really want you to know about that is that when he met his beloved wife, Myrna Jean, and they were BOTH still teenagers….nothing mattered except for being with her….and that they sailed through that heart surgery together just like they did every other difficulty and trial in their life…and that as he was recovering from such a dramatic surgery at such a young age….he was actually focusing on his brand new son, Michael…and the life he wanted to build for his bride and his son….and soon his whole house full of children.

It is a fact that our dad worked very hard in trade school to become a journeyman electrician, and that he was a favorite to all of his teachers and employers…and that he would ride his motorcycle for miles and miles every day to make sure his employment would provide for his growing family…..

We know that he bought out his partner and owned his own business, a very successful business for a very long time. He was an exceptional employer and a well respected businessman in the community….

But the important thing about all of this that he would want you to know is that it doesn’t really matter what it takes to provide…that you just do whatever you can and you make the most of it…you show up to work with a smile on your face and you go the extra mile, do a throrough and quality job and don’t cut corners….you treat the people you meet along the way with fairness and respect and dignity, even love….that you should always go the extra mile for all of your customers.

…..then you come home and kiss your wife and play with your kids and that makes all of it worth it.

Our dad was a hard worker…he taught us to work hard through multitudes of home projects including an enormous floor to ceiling wall to wall rock fireplace in Mountain Home….a renovated camper project….Mike’s property 

Dad always had something going on and was always helping Mom to make something better or more beautiful….he taught us all to do that. He valued hard work….and he was always very busy….

But something else he taught us by example is that……no matter how busy you get…always make time for fun, and for music and make time to take your wife on a date every Friday night….make time to sit down and talk to your children and to somehow let each of them know that they are loved and that they are special and that they are seen. 

It is true that dad struggled with very difficult health problems all of his life. But, there’s not much he would want you to know about that…..

but what WE want you to know that there was never a day when we would hear him complain about it, or even mention it, no matter how much pain he was in, no matter how tired he was…and that he consistently showed up to his life with a smile, a joke, a song, a memory…..and a youthful heart that was always ready to make more memories, sing more songs and tell more jokes…..and that to the very end, he didn’t let his body keep him from living out his heart’s wishes….and that those wishes were always filled with love and fun.

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towing grandkids 2

towing grandkids

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guitar

He could fix anything, he could figure anything out, he knew facts about just about everything….he is the smartest person we know. He loved history and he loved making his property as beautiful as possible. He had an award winning voice and he loved to play the guitar. He loved cars and loved his cars…he loved tinkering on them and making them even better than they were.

He LOVED singing in the barbershop quartets that he was a part of through all most all of his life….the quartets he was a part of were award winning and he loved to stand on stage with the men he loved to sing with in the competitions…….he loved singing with his sons and he loved singing with his wife. He loved to sing. 

You see, he was so good at so many things….

But the thing that he was very best at was loving….giving….and opening his strong arms to whoever needed that love. He gave the best hugs and the best advice. Though he was good at so very many things, the things he was legendary at were being the most devoted and in love husband to his wife, being the kind of father who believes in you, delights in you and roots you on every step of the way…..

the thing he was good at….was just being good….good to the core, MADE of goodness.

We asked his loved ones to give us some words to describe him, along with a few short sentences about him….here are a few of those…

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I will always remember his great harmony and wonderful tenor voice.

He was always cheerful and I loved to hear him laugh and tell stories.

I will be eternally greatful for his kindness and willingness to serve others and share his blessings.

He is genuine, loving, warm, selfless. My favorite memory has always been his warm greetings, how excited he was to see people and how welcoming he was. I always loved how he’d call out my name and give me a big huge hug, everytime we visited without fail. He gave the best hugs, the kind where he just held you so tight that you had to hold your breath for a while… I’m gonna miss those!

He is loving, Musical, Giving…..Uncle Harold taught me how to milk a goat, how to tie a neck tie and how to sing barbershop music….I’ll always remember how he trasnported me from Nampa to New Plymouth on his Honda, for those long weekends and vacations from school…..How I loved to spend time with him and his family…I always felt so loved and such a part of the family…Whenever I’m feeling down..I try to focus on those times…It makes me happy….

“What-e’er thou art, act well thy part.” He sang every “part” perfectly and was an example of acting “well” even when he was sick or in pain. I was very touched to see him always show up to support family, no matter how far away, with all the problems he was facing.

Wise, Warm, Wonderful – the best example of a father, husband, son and uncle that I’ve ever known.

I remember how he and MynaJean took my mother and brothers and me into their family when we lived in New Plymouth. It was a difficult period but one of the most joy filled times of my early life. Motorcycle rides down the canal bank, his electricians truck parked in the driveway, singing mule skinner blues, and always, always so kind and gentle.

Harold is gracious, kind, and totally selfless. So Christ like. A wonderful brother in law. So loving. Such a good example. So musical. The list could go on and on.

He was pure, sincere and delightful beyond measure.

Harold was courageous, endured pain, loved his family a good father and husband. Harold had a passionate love for his family, friends,music, home, and especially for his beautiful Myrna Jean,… one Valentine’s Day they, unknowingly, bought the same beautiful card for each other. Harold moved me and my four little boys numerous times. Always there for us in our time of need He made our life fun,… filled it with guitar playing, foot-stomping, hilarious joke-telling times. I loved listening to the ‘Four Dad’s’ perform their beautiful harmonies…Harold, Chad, Scott and Bruce…they were so very special We followed their performances all over the valley. So thankful we had him in our family.

Dad was smart. He seemed to know how everything worked and what was wrong with anything that was broken. He could fix anything. He was also an inventor. How many cool things did he build with parts from broken machines? Remember that riding mower he souped up that would through the grass about 30 yards? Or the 3-wheeler he build out of 10-speeds and a rototiller engine? Awesome …

Gentle, light-hearted, genuine, a softie. Seems obvious, but I have really fond memories of singing with him or singing for him. Seemed like those singing times where the times when he would bust up laughing because someone got the words wrong or something and it just cracked him up. Oh and his jokes! So funny and usually took about 5 minutes to tell. What was the one about the dead horse in the bathtub? Anyone?

He believed in us. Each of us and our unique gifts and journeys. He would do whatever it took to help us out…. I totalled my first car and didn’t have insurance to cover its repairs, so he towed it back to Mtn Home and he and mom banged all the dents out of it and he fixed the mechanical issues and I had a car to drive again. He loved our mother. He sacrificed and worked so hard to support us…he did whatever it took to bring home a paycheck. He liked being with us. He loved to jam the whole family in the station wagon and take us for rides…generally the highlight of the ‘ride’ was a stop for DP. He was a friend magnet. Our back yard was frequently filled with friends with guitars on the weekends. He served on the school board at New Plymouth for a period of time. The president of the school board once commented that Harold didn’t speak often during their meetings, but when he did, everyone listened because what he said was so well thought out and wise. He was handsome as anything.

When I was about 6, Dad took me to DQ in Nampa on the tank of his Honda 750 and bought me my very own milkshake. Strawberry. I vividly remember that.

I remember riding on the tank and steve would ride behind your dad….Fun times! Especially when he would let me crank the throttle…

Dad was so intelligent. He was the one you went to when you wanted to know how something worked. I remember him reading to us at night – there was a period of time when he read to us every night, and that meant a lot to me. And of course the music – ingrained in my soul, I remember every note of the songs he sang with his buddies, and with Mom. Now I also know how strong he was, courageous, how much he loved life and Mom and his family. Laughter, motorcycles, jokes…loyalty, impeccable character, unfathomable love for so many – how was it that so many felt such deep love from him? He was a miracle, the face of Love – he showed us with his life what real love is. We are so lucky that he is our Dad.

He loved to tell a good joke – usually had a smile on his face, a true gentlemen, the brother my dad never had

loved him like my own dad – He was without guile, meek, humble and there was never a time I didn’t feel loved like a daughter by him. So filled with gratitude to be a part of his eternal family.

I remember his steady Christlike example and unfailing kindness to anyone and everyone he met. His capacity to love and serve was unmatched, always by the side of grandma. I attribute one of my greatest joys in life to his influence, that of music! How the choirs of heaven have been craving his presence!! His laugh and hugs will forever be impressed upon me. I love them and miss them so much. Grandpa I love you!

__________________________

We could go on for days and days with memories of our father, and each would point back to the quiet legendary hero that he was and is.

We had the great gift of being able to spend his last few weeks with him, sitting by his bedside both day and night. While in the beginning, we were all hopeful that he would regain his health and return home to continue on living this incredible life he has lived…..we were able to be with him when he found out that his earthly life was going to be over soon….

it was then that we were able to see more clearly than ever who he is and who he always has been…..

as he spent his last days speaking gratitude, kindness and love to his doctors, nurses and every person who came to visit….as he spoke the words “I love your mother so much” more times than we can count. As he told us that he would forever be our guardian angel…..as he courageously showed us how to wrap up a life well lived.

He is a legend.

He is an icon.

He is our hero.

We can’t wait to be with you again someday, Dad.

 

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young with grandma

Recycled Sweater Challenge….23 Christmas projects DONE!

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On a post last week, I presented a little challenge to myself….how many Christmas decorations could I make out of a $5 thrift-store sweater?????? True confessions….giving myself a challenge like that was a GREAT excuse to put everything aside, great creative, and make a big mess at the Clubhouse. (Next maybe I’ll ‘challenge’ myself to take a nap or eat a Hershey bar, hahahahaha!) Other Brave Girls gave me TONS of inspiration here on the blog an on our Facebook page…THANK YOU! You put my imagination into overdrive.

SO….here’s what I came up with…some things took an hour or so, some as little as 15 minutes. I made the sweater fabric stretch as far as possible (ha ha) by combining it with other things we had around, and I made some little gifts along with the decorations. Now in no particular order….here’s what a beautiful $5 thrift store sweater turned into….

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Mitten Garland1. A Mitten Garland

mitten-garland-212 mittens stitched onto felt backings with wool hearts and old buttons and such….

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Journal
2. Dreams Journal….

A sweet journal slipcover….perfect for recording winter dreams.  The clasps from the sweater made a perfect closure.

 

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - JOY Gift Bag

3. JOY Gift Bag

 

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - LOVE Hat

4. LOVE Beanie (just for Madi) …

The letters were free-hand snipped out of wool, stitched to a black wool patch, then stitched onto the front of a stocking hat.

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Love & Joy Cuff
5. Love & Joy Cuff

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The back of the cuff  is my favorite…. :)

 

6. Fireside Pillow….

‘Come sit with me by the fire’…. really, come on over! :)

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Stocking Hat Ornament

7. A Stocking Hat Ornament….stitched with ‘Snow Day’

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Stocking Hat Tag

8. A Stocking Hat Gift Tag

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Sweater Ball Ornament

9. A Pieced Wool Ornament

(SNL Fans….we could call this a Schweat-er Ball)
  Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Trees Tote Bag
10. Wooly Woods Tote Bag

Repurposed logo bag from last winter’s Soul Comfort camps…the trees are strategically placed to cover the Soul Comfort logo. :)

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Truth Card Cozy

11. Truth Card Cozy

(Thanks to Carl for making this one!)

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - XO Letters

12. Kisses & Hugs Letters

 

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Bird Ornament

13. Little Bird Ornament

I made this one with felt, Brave Girl tissue paper, lots of mod podge, and a pair of the sweater clasps.

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Never Judge A Book By Its Movie Bookmark

14. “Never judge a book by its movie” bookmark

 

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Boot Cuffs

16. Boot Cuffs!

 

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - - BRAVE Gift Bag

17. BRAVE Gift Bag

 

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Candle In The Window - Jar Candle

18. Candle In The Window…Candle Jar Cozy

Candle in the Window is a great Alabama song…and I love it stitched on this candle. It’s held together on the back with three vintage buttons.

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Headband Flower

19. Chunky Flower for Head Band

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Heart-Wrapped Candle

20. Here’s My Heart Candle

 

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - 3 Hearts Ornament

21. 3 Heart Ornaments

 

Brave Girls Club - 1 thrifted sweater - 23 projects! - Heart Tags

22. XOXO Heart Gift Tags

 

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23. A giant flower for a cute hat…

…finished off with our ‘Protect Your Peace’ button from Soul School

So that’s it! I finally had to make myself stop and get back to ‘work’…I still have a basket of wool pieces left, just waiting for their chance to be turned into something new.

Give this challenge a try! See what you might be able to make from a thrift store find..or even something that’s been living in your closet. We’d love to see what you come up with!!! Thanks again for all the inspiration, Braves. :)

Wishing each of you a blessed season of PEACE…

xoxo

kathy

Brave Girls Club - Post by Kathy

DIY Christmas Project: Pom Pom Garland

Last week I posted about making our home all Christmasy for the first time as newlyweds… along with an awesome DIY ornament project. Click here to read that post. I promised that I would share how I made the adorable pom pom garland that I hung in our living room. To me, the pom poms look like big fluffy snowballs and the garland pairs so well with greenery and lights. And BONUS, it literally costs about $2.00… sweet!!!

garland 1

This is made with just three very inexpensive materials that you might already have in your home: coffee filters, a needle, and string… that’s all! The only thing I needed to purchase were coffee filters and those are about $1.50 for a pack of 200. You don’t have to string the pom poms together exactly like I did. You could string them much closer together so that no string shows, or  you could hang them one by one like paper lanterns. You could even use cupcake liners to make tiny pom poms to put on your Christmas tree, how cute would that be?!

garland 2

I love that I don’t have to spend a lot to create beautiful things. I think these fluffy little pom poms are so delicate and elegant… and they’re going to look just as pretty in the baby’s room after Christmas is over. Click on the link below for a PDF tutorial if you’d like to make some yourself.

DIY Coffee Filter Pom Pom Garland

Hope you love this project as much as I do! :)
xoxo – malary

The thing about fooling yourself…..

The thing about fooling yourself…..

In a culture that worships youth….I don’t care what anyone says, it’s difficult when you start to age….when you start to get older and find yourself no longer young or young-looking and to find yourself having less and less days of young feeling. (Actually, it’s only difficult if you resist it and wish it was different than it is…from what I’m told, it rocks once you start embracing it)

After the summer’s yuck-fest of healing, WAKING UP and getting real with myself…grieving, working hard in therapy and with my doctors and finally finding some beautiful peace and clarity….I wanted to share with you a few more things I have learned. I am getting healthier by the minute….from the inside out…but this 2 year sickness left me about 30 pounds over the weight that I feel comfortable at….and only recently have I been able to start tackling that. It’s hard to have a job where you have to be visible while working through something that you wish you could hide until you are done doing it. I have often felt like my body is betraying me…and wished I could hide it under a blanket until it is the shape I want it to be. And I’m learning that things don’t bounce back as fast at 43 as they did at 25. It’s going to be a long journey for my body…….and I’m only just recently coming to terms with that…..and I’ve asked my body for forgiveness and decided to cooperate with it instead of fight with it and curse it….

be really kind to your reflection

AND……..I ‘ve made it a HUUUUUUUUUUUGE goal to stop fooling myself…to stop fooling myself about ANYTHING. (fooling yourself is absolutely exhausting, by the way) I have very little excess energy these days so I’ve decided to use that energy to just be brave enough to see what is real, to believe what is real, and to live in what is real….whatever imperfect broken beautiful thing that ends up being from day to day.

Because…….

In my mind I’ve been 25. And in my mind I am a nicely toned size 6 and it doesn’t bother me at all to wear very stylish high heeled boots. So…some days when I am deep in my fantasy…it is perplexing that my husband is not also 25 or 32….but heading on up to 50 years old. And then I feel uneasy about both of us…and it comes out in all sorts of twisted up ways. When you fool yourself everything feels so weird. (and please understand that this is not about physical looks….it’s an analogy to the whole dang thing with aging and years going by and losing years and things not turning out the way you planned)

let go of what was

I have been 25 in my mind for over 15 years. Well….maybe I have let myself get all the way up to 32 or 33. (I was 32, 10 years ago when my husband had his accident and I STOPPED everything at that age……..and held on for dear life really believing on some deep level that I could stop the clock until things were back to “normal”) While this worked well as a survival mechanism for the last 10 years…..and while I know that is exactly the craziness that it was…..I still hold on tight to SOME hope some days that things can be like they used to be in some magic trick because that seems like it would only be fair after all of the difficulty of those years. I am a Libra and I am always fighting for what is fair :)

Then I look in the mirror. And I used to be able to stand a certain way in a certain light in certain outfits and it made it easy to fool myself that I could hold on to my youth. Those days seem to be gone. The angles, the lighting and the spanx aren’t even cooperating in my fantasy. My mirror is ever coaxing me into the wise woman years…..trying to convince me that it is good to be in your mid forties. (or at least that it is inevitable) My photos look like a different woman all together…………..

melody aging copy

Oh, the mirror. That is where reality hits. In reality I am not 25. In fact, in reality, my oldest child will be 25 any day now. He and his incredible bride (who I love so dearly) have already given us a precious grandson.

brock n sabrina n leo

I am old enough to be a grandmother. I AM a grandmother…I am Mimi!  But in my mind………I am young and fit and energetic and smooth.

mimi and leo

 

….and some days I actually weep over the loss of my youth when I could be spending my heart time thinking of this precious boy. (is that lame or what?)

don't miss the important stuff

The truth is, I could not be the wild and wacky woman I am TODAY without all of the years it took to get here. I have been in a beautiful, difficult, complex, never ending love story with my beloved for almost 25 years. He is a grandfather…..a Pompie…

leo n pompie

I am the mother to 5 incredible children, 3 of whom are fantastic, contributing to the world adults. I could not be here without having lived to the age I am now.  I have started 2 successful businesses that have gone global…..the first one taught me all of the necessary lessons needed when it crashed and burned and took me along with it. I have written 15+ books and I’m working on my newest book with a major publisher that will be out this Spring. I teach classes to thousands of women every year and I can sit as a peer with the wisest of all humans……..because I have lived all of these years….I’ve won, I’ve failed, I’ve fallen, I’ve gotten back up…I’ve risked…I’ve shown up….I’ve gotten older, and older….and older……and even a little wiser.

……but yet I still try to fool myself sometimes into thinking it would be better if only I was 30 again…..

new adventures are ahead

I wish I was one of those people I have read about who ease into aging with grace and excitement and enough wisdom to know that this is a very good thing. But I have been mourning and aching and fighting it…….and, the worst part of all is that I have indulged in fooling myself into thinking that I would find the “cure” to it if I looked hard enough. I missed a whole decade, really….my 30’s, while being a caretaker to my husband and a CEO to my business and a survivor of so much dang fallout from all of that. I thought some miracle would happen that would even things out and I would get that time back when I was ready….that whole “fair” thing.

This isn’t even about looks….it’s about everything. I want those years back. It’s about hanging on so tight to what is gone and having your body turned so tight in the opposite direction at the road that’s already been traveled that there is no way you could ever see or think about what is ahead….or even what is NOW.

just show up

THAT is the thing about fooling yourself. You think you are going to get that time back, but what is really happening is that you are losing even more time by not living in TODAY. You are losing the precious TODAY. Today my grandson Leo is 5 months old and just started eating baby food. Today I just completed another amazing brave girl camp with my incredible sister as my partner. Today my daughter told me that she will give us another grandchild in 6 months. I could not have any of TODAY’s stuff if I was still 30 years old. If I keep chasing the past, I lose TODAY. And every day there is a new TODAY until 10 more years go by and if you were not going along that ride….you have lost yet another decade wishing you were still in the last decade.

The thing about fooling yourself that you can still be 25 is that you miss being 26, 27, 30, 35, 40………….42…..then 50, 60, 70………YOU MISS YOUR TURN at all of those beautiful ages.

P.S…..the coolest people I know are the older and wiser ones….seriously.

The thing about fooling yourself about ANYTHING at all is that you miss what is real……and the real stuff, with all of it’s ups and downs….the real stuff is where it’s at. It’s the ONLY place it’s at. (I’m pretty sure that’s science…….)

more beautiful days

Dear Melody,

If you want to wear yourself out, suffer a lot and waste a whole lot of time…..keep on fooling yourself and clinging tight to what was. If you want to be happy….to CHOOSE HAPPY…..get real. CLING TO TODAY….let go of the past. You are 43. You are wonderful. You are just right. PLEASE STOP MISSING OUT ON BEING 43.  (p.s. someday you will understand how young 43 really is)

xoxo,

Your 80 year old self

So whether you are 25 now and you are afraid to head into 30…and you wish you were still 18……OR….you are 50 and you wish you were 30. Or you are 18 and you wish you were 25……..or you are 70 and wish you were 50…..whatever it is….PLEASE stop missing out on your turn at being exactly the age that you are right now…because really and truly, you only get to have that turn for one year…..just one year…….

BUT THEN….you get a brand new turn to do a brand new thing…..and you get another chance to make the most of your turn at being that brand new age.

So……….I’m taking this year of being 43 as my BEST TURN EVER at being this age. I’m not gonna wish it forward and I’m not gonna wish it back.

it is your turn

I like it. I like me.

I hope you will join me in taking your turn at your beautiful perfect age. Sure feels lots better this way………..

Here’s to the wise woman years….bring it on.

xoxoxoxo

melody

p.s.

“The only good in pretending is the fun we get out of fooling ourselves that we fool somebody.” – Booth Tarkington

 

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If you have enjoyed this post, you will LOVE Melody’s new Soul School class titled, LET IT GO…LET IT BE! Learn more and register HERE.

 

Why I love Brave Girl Art School (by an Arkansas Brave Girl)….and why WE love it too!

Note from Kathy and the BG Team: We LOVE Art School!!!! We loved every single minute of helping Melody create the class. We LOVE all the amazing projects she created, and we LOVE seeing them on the walls of the Art Barn and in our office and our homes. We LOVE the wild explosion of creativity that we saw from all the girls (including our BG team) who took the class in the last session….we have literally HUNDREDS of photos of art created by Brave Girls of all ages and of all skill levels. We have LOVED seeing girls re-discover their creativity! Melody has such a fun way of teaching us her favorite techniques and how to use different tools and mediums and even things found around the house to make things that are more beautiful (and meaningful) than we ever thought we could. We discovered that WE CAN LEARN IT, and YOU CAN TOO.  Best of all, we LOVE that we get to spend this summer with YOU diving into Brave Girl Art School again!!!

Brave Girl Summer Art School begins Monday (this time combining Art School 1 and Art School: Wings into ONE ‘Fun Package’ at a discounted price…details here) and we just had to share this amazing letter we received a few days ago from D’Wana, a Brave Girl from Arkansas who shares with us how her life changed by taking Art School when it was offered 2 years ago. Art School is SO SO SOOOOOOOOO FUN…but in true Brave Girl style, these classes are also soulful and soul-filled and just might change your life, too!

Here’s D’Wana’s story…. “I cannot lay my head down to sleep without getting these words out tonight….. I just started moving into my newly constructed “Little Art Cabin in the Woods” that my sweet husband, Scotty, built for me. The magnitude of this day is not lost on me. When I was a very young girl, my father built me a “playhouse” ya know, “Little House on the Prairie” style with a loft and all. It’s one of the few “good” memories I have from my childhood. Then LIFE happens….and the little girl in me got very lost……. The journey to this day comes full circle in my soul’s restoration process as now, I have been given a gift that is more than a structure, it’s freedom to create,  heal, and bring my kindreds here to retreat.  I believe this dream was cultivated and fostered by the opportunity to be a part of the first ever BRAVE GIRL ART SCHOOL and the tribe of sisters I found along the way………

3 copy

“When I signed up for Brave Girl Art School, it was a stretch for me. I never considered myself as creative, but I had it in me to learn some new, fun things and after other BG courses, I knew I couldn’t go wrong…. 14 copy “Right from the start I was amazed at the openness of sharing of gifts and techniques. That’s what is was for me. Gifts!!!  I  doodled, played with texture mediums, learned about color, played with polymer clay, took photos with intention, art journaled,  and then the one thing that has altered my life the most……….discovered my LOVE for LEATHER and the POWER of WORDS! A skill that grew after the course ended.  It became a source of provision to help get me to Africa to love on people… I raised funds selling leather cuffs that I learned to do because of Art School. Today, I continue to create and leather cuffs and enjoy a small hobby business named “Mountain Girl Melodies”  that purposes to help people remember the truth they already know. I have also learned to create with a purpose. Intention. The awareness of what we create can breathe life and hope into someone else. That when a friend is struggling, you can give a token of truth at the right times. At divinely appointed times. That’s priceless to me. 1 copy “I can’t begin to express the INSPIRATION shared during the sessions. It was different than the sharing of hard journeys of life. It was light and free and soooooooooooo FUN to watch projects unfold and discoveries made as sisters learned what they could do and in some cases, were already doing yet SHARING their gifts as well.  My most cherished relationships have come out of that community. Never competitive. Always cheering. Always. 11 copy I discovered Annie, who held my hand virtually as I stamped my first cuff……I found Janet, who taught me everything she knew with a CRAZY openness and taught me there was room for everyone (special thanks to Jeanne Oliver, you played a role too), I found Joelle, because her artistry kept drawing me in and we collectively tried to save some magic boots.  :)  These friendships have now lead to more sweet sisters. And what a SACRED time we had when 7 of them came to be with me a couple of months ago and bless my little cabin….. The benefit of Brave Girl Art School goes on and on. Beyond technique. dwana “So thank you, Melody Ross and the Brave Girl Posse for once again, providing life and heart tools that continue to be used in my daily life. You could have chosen to keep every bit of that goodness to yourself…..but you didn’t, you do what you do. You share your gifts, and we learn to share ours.  I notice more BEAUTY in life than I did before and thanks to you, now, I know how to create a little in this world too. My LOVE for you all is GREAT……….” — D’Wana Thank you, D’Wana!

Are you in!?

Here’s what you need to know about Brave Girl Summer Art School…

 

Brave Girls Club - Summer Fun Art School Package

We’re celebrating our 5th Anniversary by combining TWO phenomenal online art classes for ONE low family* price!!

Art School SUMMER FUN PACKAGE… Art School 1 PLUS Art School 2: Wings

Options:

Summer Fun Package (new to both classes) – $149 (save $50) Summer Fun Package (repeating both classes) – $39 (save $11) Summer Fun Package(repeating one class &  new to one class) – $99 (save $25)

Click here to register today

  • With over 85 projects and 176 videos, this package has an actual value of well over $1000!
  • Classroom opens JUNE 2 and you’ll have access through NOV 5 (special pricing ends JUNE 15)
  • You’ll have full access to every module in the classroom from the first day…YOU get to pick and choose where to begin, even if it’s at the end :)
  • One tuition covers EVERY SINGLE PERSON in your HOUSEHOLD!!!
  • Perfect for ANY skill level….beginner, intermediate, or advanced…you can learn it! And it will be SO FUN!
  • In true Brave Girl style, these classes are even more than art…they include a series of online art+life experiences.

Melody will sit with you and teach you  her favorite art techniques, tools, and mediums used in her wildy-creative, unique, playful, out of the box style that is like no one else! She’ll give you so many ideas and projects it’ll make your head spin! It’s all done by video…it’s just like sitting beside her in the turquoise Art Barn for private lessons. And Kathy will join her for even more fun things to learn (sewing and stitchery and such) in the Wings session. 

This is an ENORMOUS premium-quality collection of videos and projects that took over a year to produce…all with the care and attention to detail that you’ve come to expect from Brave Girls Club.

Registration is OPEN NOW

Register HERE

Need more information?

Learn all about Art School 1 and access Supply List  HERE Learn all about Art School 2: Wings  and access Supply List HERE

Let’s create some MEMORIES this summer!

square ad with bench photo

Part 1 -PROJECT LIGHTER & LIGHTER – – – – why I’m dedicating 100 days to get lighter (and an invitation to join me if you want to!) *p.s. warning…this is super personal stuff…

Hello, beautiful brave souls. I’m finally writing this out for you…thanks for being patient. I promise you it will be worth it to read this whole thing…I know it’s long. I hope you will come back to it later if you don’t have time to read it all now. This is important. Ok…I was surprised (and felt incredibly validated) at the enormous reaction to the post I wrote about being angry (here it is if you have not seen it)…and letting myself be angry…..and showing up angry even though “nice girls don’t get angry”…..and how my dang hives are back to remind me to deal with it and my body is manifesting all sorts of things I’ve been ignoring and how I have decided to take this all very seriously and do a whole project around it all summer….take some REAL TIME……..called LIGHTER & LIGHTER…(this name came from my beautiful friend Lisa who told me that she hopes that 2014 is the year of LIGHTER for me….she was right) anyway………..I wanted to tell you that I have begun that project and it’s going beautifully and I want to invite you to join me if you would like. lighter and lighter title zoomed First of all….I need to tell you that I have been working on this for a few weeks (for myself)…..it’s been incredibly cathartic…I have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and prayer into it and it is proving to be quite a miracle for my little old soul (and even my hives, and definitely my anxiety and anger)…..and that is why I want to share it with you. I want you to be able to have this feeling too.  I teach online and live courses for a living….and our team does an incredible job and over-delivers on every front….content and customer service, all of it……what I am giving you now is in the raw…and I am only giving you an idea of something that you could try. lighter and lighter on the rock This is not like the online courses that we offer. I might make some homemade videos for you along the way (but don’t hold me to that)…. I will give you a PDF of the things I typed out to use….I took about 50 photos today to illustrate how to do it and I am sharing very vulnerable and personal pages with you so that you understand. What I am going to ask is that you understand that this is a work in progress…..that there are no rules that I am going to give you….not very many guidelines….and I won’t be able to answer your questions about what to do next beyond what I am going to share with you right now and what I will be sharing every Friday for the next 100 days (every Friday that I  can, that is) ALSO…chances are…this will end up as an online class someday….so please remember that this is how I make my living and please don’t take my content and make your own class out of it, okay? please. I would love for you to do this, to do it with friends, family….hope you will share it with your daughters and the women in your life who need some mothering and sistering…..this is good stuff. I hope you will also look into doing BRAVE GIRL ART SCHOOL  this summer (if you are not already signed up) because these two projects together would be amazing……I’m doing both of them….together. You can learn all about it HERE it is time to let go tree message Okay…so the whole premise of this project is to do things that make us feel lighter. To let go of things that are heavy, or make us feel heavy. To remember things that set us free. To release things that are not true. To smother yucky old beliefs with healing truth. To stop running and running and running and doing and doing and doing and proving and proving and proving just so that you don’t have to stop and feel what needs to be felt. To sit still and feel it…and then let it go. To have fun. To seek, notice and create beauty. To get lighter and lighter and lighter….and lighter.

For 100 days, I just want you to ask yourself

1. Does this make me feel lighter?

2. Does this make me feel heavier?

3. Will doing this make me feel lighter?

4. Will doing this make me feel heavier?

5. Do I need to let go of this heavy thing? (relationship, obligation, shame, blame, memory, grudge, debt, weight, food in your hand)

….and then do something EVERY DAY that makes you feel lighter. Even remembering something good makes you feel lighter…in my book, I am including photos to remind me of times when I felt better, when I felt confident, when I felt healthy, when I felt like I was being brave. Even REMEMBERING what we have already done, and giving ourselves some credit, is an act of making us feel lighter. So…there is remembering and doing and letting go……. I hope you will come back and see the next step here on the blog on Fridays and follow the journey daily on Instagram @bravegirlsclub and if you JOIN US…I hope you will post on Instagram to with hashtag #lighterandlighter so we can all see what we are all up to. I’m stepping away from most of social media during this 100 days but I’d still love to stay connected during this project!! And while we are on the topic of remembering better days…..I want to share this photo with you…..and what it says… this is who I am melody ross I am putting this photo in my book, along with a lot of others, to remind me who I really am. I am not these hives all over my body. I am not this extra 25 pounds I have gained. I am not this anger. I am not this grieving I feel. I am that girl up there. I want you to know THAT I KNOW THAT before I share my pages with you below. I’m going to be sharing some things with you that might cause you to feel sad for me, or be worried about me…or maybe even think that I am losing it and going crazy. In my book…I am just letting go of some things….and they are sad things….and they are difficult things. BUT I KNOW that I am going to get through it, feel better, and be on the other side of it. I KNOW that God loves me and wants to help me. I KNOW that these hives are just trying to help me. I know that I am okay. Soooo…what I would love to ask you to do is just WITNESS me releasing some of this stuff so that I can get lighter…please don’t think I am writing this so that I can transfer my pain to you…..that wouldn’t help anyone. This book is just about releasing. AND THAT is what I want for YOU too. I am okay. I am going to be okay. I am healing and I will continue to heal. P.S. this is what my body looks like when I have hives (I took this photo a few days ago)…except the hives are much bigger than this on the rest of my body and they swell my face up until I can’t even see sometimes…….THIS IS WHY I am willing to stop for 100 days and do this work….. (sorry if this grosses you out…..just wanted you to understand my big time motivation and why I’m stopping the train for 100 days) … they burn and they itch and they hurt and they want me to just get rid of the pain that’s inside my body that I ignore….they are little messengers…   melodys hivey legs So…on that note…let’s begin… All that you will need…if you want to do this…is: -a notebook or sketchbook ( I am planning on filling several over the next 100 days…I have no idea how many) -some gluesticks (I’ve already gone through 3…so you may need a lot of them) -some old books to cut up, old storybooks and novels and poetry books are amazing, so are self help books and books about things that are important to you -an Xacto knife & a cutting mat or some little sharp scissors -the PDF that I am providing for you that you can cut up as it calls to you -I used some cardstock and double sided tape to store all of the words I cut out and keep them in a way that I can see them and they won’t blow away…so you can do that too if you want to -and then…some photos of yourself… -And…some quiet time, some music you love, lots of water and some serious bravery….because this project is all about telling yourself the truth…about everything. let's be honest   I started doing this when I started feeling not so fabulous. On a Tuesday….after getting some news from someone that hurt my heart, an old thing that I didn’t want to ever hear about again….I lost it. Like……I got really really really angry. Like a person inside me got unleashed who has been trapped in there for decades with tape on her mouth….and she is SO MAD. Anyway….I got really angry and the weird new rage…it lasted for a few days….I blogged about that HERE…it was weird. I am not an angry person…….but it was time. Then….my hives came back BIG TIME…then, my energy left. Then………..I decided I needed to listen……THEN….I decided to do something drastic for 100 days…..then, all I could do was sit and cut words out of old books…words and phrases…….and I sat there for days and days and days……not even exactly sure what I would do with them……but it just felt really good to find words to explain all the mixed up ways I was feeling…….. she began cutting out words 2 cutting out words 1 settle down by the fire on cutting board   I want to see me again on black     I both find my voice and lose it on black get it back again on blackthis exercise was awesome because I didn’t have to talk to anyone…I didn’t have to try to write and figure things out…I just poured through books and cut out stuff that spoke to me….all fragmented….it felt good to take the stuff off of pages that spoke to me and throw away the rest because that is what I need to do with my life…….just pick and choose what is best, what is right for me…and let the rest go…that’s what I did….page after page of old books…. and then I decided to make it into a book… lighter and lighter on the cutting boardthis might all look really tedious and horrible to you…..but for me…this has been a great miracle. It has made me sit down and JUST BE…..be open to whatever I will find…be open to whatever will happen with what I find…be open to finding things that I didn’t even know existed….be open to putting things together that I never would have thought of putting together before…I even feel like words that were written years and years and years ago by other humans are the same words that I feel…just strung together in a different way. It makes me feel SO not alone…..and like we are all partnering together to figure things out together for ourselves. I didn’t know exactly how all of these words would go into my book…..but I started anyway…. melody ross lighter and lighter book cover so she began   One of the other things that started making me angry over the last few months was looking at old photos. I have to scour through my photos a lot for work and I see all of these photos of times when I felt good, looked good, had it good…….I see photos of things I have lost and time I have lost and things that happened that didn’t make any sense….I see photos of happy things and sad things….and all of it was making me feel so much anger. THAT is what made me see that I need to find out what this anger is all about. So….I started to just put photos into files on a page so that I can print them out and paste them into my book…and see what they have to say to me…. I remember feeling alive   and then I decided to type a bunch of stuff out that I wanted to include in the book….like…things I remember…and how I want to work toward having that again…and then, how it’s okay to have that in new ways…because some things can never go back to what they used to be…and we have to be open to things happening in brand new ways….so…here’s a photo of some of the stuff that is in the PDF I am giving you… lighter and lighter pdf photo   lighter and lighter today I am And then…I just started pasting…and pasting and pasting and pasting. And I cried a lot..and I prayed a lot. I asked for help. I asked for answers…..I asked for healing…I asked what needs to be healed…what needs attention…what feels neglected….and I searched out my words………..I did this part all from bed because I got a horrible migraine that put me down…..   tons of cut out words   lighter and lighter from my bed Then the messages started coming…..loud and clear…straight from my soul…straight from Heaven….straight from the source of all truth….just for me….and all of these words were the words I had been cutting out for days and days…not quite sure what they were for….   what happened So here’s something very personal…and I asked my husband’s permission to share it….I have been feeling awfully sad and not myself for a few months now. Something happened in March that rocked my world. 2013 was not an easy year, either…….but what happened in March got me all twisted up and turned around and ANGRY and SAD and MAD. It shattered my heart and lots of my hope.  You see……I had decided that 2014 would be THE YEAR OF US……and to me, what that meant was that Marq and I would finally heal from the last 10 years since his brain injury. I had this great fantasy that there would come a day when we would talk about all of the horrors that happened and we would bandage up each other’s wounds and then tell our story and then move forward in victory…..well…..I decided one day in March that it was a good time to start talking about things (believe it or not we have never talked about the worst times, we have just been focused on rebuilding our life) well…..I started to talk to him….and he had NO IDEA what I was talking about. He did not remember ANY of the traumatic events that I have been keeping fresh on ice for the day that we could heal from them together. I only mentioned a few of them and he was so horrified that I realized that I just won’t ever be able to talk to anyone about those things except for God. AND that my big dream of healing together is going to have to happen in a different way. I have delayed my healing for all of these years……..kept it on ice to keep it fresh when I should have let it go a LONG time ago. Anyway…..my cut-out words came out and brought that up……and I am certain this is a HUGE part of my issues…..(I know this is personal…….I am sorry for that….I have thought for all of these years that we would write a memoir about those years….but it’s not gonna happen…this book is how I am getting it on paper) I decided to focus on what I remember about what we DID do together…and what we are working toward to restore what was lost… I remember being in the wilderness the wound longs to be scrubbed clean in the wilderness 2   I cried a lot when I pasted down the next words. This is a pain that has been buried so deep. I really thought we were carrying the same stories….both of us keeping them on ice….but it was just me. There are so many things that I have not let myself really deal with or heal from or feel…things that I have not verbalized. Because I wanted to do it with him. I can not begin to tell you how much lighter I feel from just pasting down these words… he forgot where he was   and how much lighter I feel now that I have decided to let go of how I thought our healing would happen together…..leaving me open to a new way of healing that I don’t even know about yet…..right now it is through pasting down little words…all in a row…(who knew?) I really sat on this bed in the guest room and just cried…I cried a lot. It hurts a lot…..I am grieving over the loss of it all. I kept pasting down words…..I started to have a conversation with Heaven, in prayer…..asking, really asking for what I need….   what do you do with   braved fierce flames   God can see all of it remind me and then the answers came…again…. lets go back accept the offer   be healed I love you   we are going to do this work tuck you into bed   Ok…these are just SOME of my pages. Some are just too personal to share…..but I hope you get the idea. That one right up there…it’s pretty personal too. I wanted to share it because I was cleaning out the art barn and found stacks of curriculum I had written specifically for specific camps. Often, I will stay up late and write new curriculum for a group that really needs it. I found a stack of that material and could not believe how much I NEEDED IT FOR MYSELF. The photo above, I cut out the words of a guided meditation that I did at camp……helping that group of sisters to realize that they are taken care of….and to allow their 80 year old self to nurture them and teach them in the age they are now……but when I pasted the words down…it was God for me. I know I don’t talk a lot about God…but I can’t leave God out of this conversation. ALL THE WHILE of making this book….God keeps asking me to listen…..and to believe that good things are wanted and meant for me…….that I WILL HEAL. That I WILL BE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS better and stronger than ever. God also reminded me that I was born this exact girl that I still am today….and that even my little girl self was along on this journey…to not forget her in this process….. little girl melody ross   she removed the infection inside   this is who I am melody ross     old wounds…old anger…old pain….old stories…….it all gets infected, ya know? It has to be cleaned out and dealt with and mourned and talked about and smothered with truth…..so it doesn’t turn to bitterness and disease and HIVES. :) So…that’s what I am doing…….for 100 days straight and hopefully forever after. This is helping so much. I already feel lighter. It won’t take 100 days to talk about old wounds…so soon….to feel lighter, I will be doing fun things…and I HAVE been doing fun things…… lighter and lighter hello beloved planting tons of flowers…..making art (I REALLY HOPE YOU WILL JOIN ME IN SUMMER ART SCHOOL!)……watching movies….working on the new BGC project that we are launching in July…..talking to friends….and even letting myself be angry in fun ways like shooting at targets and smashing things. Just RELEASING IT. It’s too heavy….way too heavy. TIME TO GET LIGHTER AND LIGHTER….. I’m also working on getting my body weight lighter but I will blog about that on another day…. And…to get LIGHTER AND LIGHTER I’m also working with a new doc who totally gets me and I’m doing a new skin care routine and I’m doing all sorts of wonderful things with Marq to make brand new memories……and we are holding our Grandson as often as possible….he makes us feel lighter and lighter and lighter…..(we have the most amazing kids ever, too, and we spend every day with them) melody and leo

 

be healed I love you   Soooooo….are you gonna join me on this journey? I hope so. I hope this is a summer of lighter and lighter and lighter for you, too. I hope you will come back and see the next step here on the blog on Fridays and follow the journey daily on Instagram @bravegirlsclub and if you JOIN US…and remember to post on Instagram to with hashtag #lighterandlighter so we can all see what we are all up to. Like I said…I’m stepping away from most of social media during this 100 days but I’d to see how YOU are doing this project!! (remember there’s no rules and I’m not around to answer questions about HOW to do it…you just get to decide the very best way for YOU to do it…and I will be sharing my very best way for ME to do it) I love you all so much!!! Let’s get lighter and lighter… xoxo melody

P.S. Here’s the PDF for you … I LOVE YOU!   lighter and lighter daily to do