Monday, May 30, 2011

Being in the Right State of Mind

"You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair."
                          --   Chinese Proverb

The past few weeks have been full of stress. I have overwhelmed myself to the point my headaches are taking over my days and I spend more hours with a frown than a smile....
This is just not working for me...ya' know what I'm saying?


image from the graphic fairy
I have felt trapped and full of sadness at my behavior.

You see, I know that I get to choose...
I do.
It's all up to me.

It's my attitude towards my days that decided whether or not I'm going to have a good one...
or not.


image from google
I can choose to find the happy in my day.

And lately...even though I tell myself this over and over...
I haven't been listening to well.
In fact I've been ignoring myself.
Completely.


image from google
Until yesterday.

Yesterday was Church...
and my son Jackson gave a talk.

He sure is a gifted speaker.

christmas 2010
Yesterday as my son Jacks talked I could feel the Spirit enter my heart.

It whispered this to me...

Focus.
On what's right...
what's true...
what's important.

Feel the Spirit...
Hear Me.

image from google
 I realized I had been going about my situation all wrong.

I was focused too much on all the particulars...
all the stuff.

Not what was important.

I understand now.
I can do this camp thing.

It's not about the tents and the sleeping bags 
and the firewood and the food.
I mean, sure those things are necessary and important to have...

But the real thing...

the thing that's TRUE...

is the Spirit.

These beautiful Young Women must have a Testimony in Jesus Christ.
They must know that he is their Savior.

And in order for them to have an amazing, spiritual experience at Camp
I have to have the Spirit with me. 


I have to look at my own life with a grateful and willing heart
so I can experience joy and pass it on to them.

image from lds website



" Charity is the ability to make life more meaningful for others....
There are times when we need to be lifted. There are times when we need to be strengthened. Be that kind of friend and that kind of person who lifts and strengthens others. Never make someone have to choose between your ways and the Lord's ways. And always make sure that you're making it easier to live God's commandments for those who are by your side and who are your friends. Then you will understand whether you have charity" (Ensign, Feb 2002, 12).  -Robert D. Hales


Enjoy your Monday, girls.

Friday, May 27, 2011

TV Memories from the past

I was an only child and while my parents loved me very much...they didn't spend tons of time hanging out...my Dad worked two jobs and my Mom worked part-time and took care of the house. Both of them were usually tired when they were home...soooo after dinner instead of playing a game or going for a walk we would plop down in front of the TV. 

So many of my childhood memories involve television shows from the 1970's and early 1980's. Whenever I get a chance I still tune in to Nick or TV Land and enjoy reliving my favorite shows. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with you;)


1. All in the Family
2. Dallas
3. Welcome Back Kotter
4. Alice
5. Fame {the TV series}
6. Love Boat
7. Fantasy Island
8. CHIPS
9. The Cosby Show
10. Roseanne
11. Happy Days
12. Laverne and Shirly
13. Donnie and Marie Show
14. Knots Landing
15.Alf
16. The Jeffersons
17. Good Times
18. The Courtship of Eddie's Father
19. Family Affair
20. The Brady Bunch

There so many other favorites out there...Right now on TV Land they show "All in the Family" twice a night...I have been recording them all. It always is such a surprise to find myself remembering little details from my childhood when I watch this show!!

What are some of your favorite TV shows from the past? Please share!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Time for Me

Today I am finally taking a few hours just for me. Heading down to my space to clean and organize and create.



"Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul."  
-Marcus Aurelius


Enjoy your day, girls!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Workdesk Wednesday {we have a WINNER!}

Happy Wednesday! Happy to report that my pain is nearly 100% gone. Such a blessing today. Soooo much to share today so let's get to it!!:)

Today is Wednesday and for the past 5 or so I have been participating in What's on Your Work Desk Wednesday. I LOVE it and hope you enjoy seeing my MESS today...truly it is one big mess...

I haven't been able to create for the last 5 days or so...haven't even had time to clean it up...

All of this is driving me quite crazy and I'm ready to start sorting, binging and purging. Of course this is always so very good for YOU...I usually end up sharing my stash;)

So remember last week when I showed you these....?


And told you I needed to "shabby them up a bit"? I have and it was so wonderful.


Lots of acrylic paint, inks, stamps and Mod Podge. The next step is rub-ons, words, more stamps and more paint. I love texture and layers. My girl will come next, followed by more rub-ons, paint, ink and doodling. The whole process is fabulous.

Here is a finished girl..."Lizzy"....


We go from this...

to this...

to the finished product....


If you happened to stop by last Thursday you may remember I was celebrating my Blog being featured in our local paper with a Give Away...I had 16 entries...so this morning I went to Random Generator and the number 5 popped up....

Congrats to JOYCE!!  

I know...I never told you what exactly was up for grabs did I??

It's your very own personalized Brave Art Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's the background she will be on....

Let me know, Joyce what kind and color of hair you want and if you have any favorite phrases or words or Bible verses!! You can contact me at

leslieackman@yahoo.com

Girls, have a wonderful day...and remember if you want to see other work desks or share your own be sure and stop by Julie's Blog.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ready to fill myself up

Thank you so very much for all your kind words yesterday. They meant so much.

The next 3 weeks of my life are gonna be filled with one long To-Do list. I am Co-Director of Young Women's Camp in my Church... and while I enjoy being with the Young Women in our church...camping is a whole other story. The great outdoors is highly over-rated;)

Thank goodness I have my dearest friend Kristin to help me during this time...I am hoping her attitude towards camping rubs off on me...she is a much better sport than me. Today we are headed to Sam's Club to gather all our food for camp. You see we are responsible for cooking meals during camp...over an open fire, outside. Really? Oh, yeah...I guess we are camping...in tents. Did I tell you how much I am not looking forward to camp?

But Kristin assures me this will be fun! So much FUN!.


FUN

–noun
1.
something that provides mirth or amusement: A picnic would be fun.
2.
enjoyment or playfulness: She's full of fun.


"A picnic would be fun." It doesn't say anything about "Camping would be fun."

As much as I grumble and moan about this upcoming event...the fact remains...I am in charge. I am responsible for about 8 girls from the ages of 12 to 17. From June 6th-11th....Wish me luck;)

And really, I will try my best. I will smile and be positive and try my best to share with the girls. I will remember the phrase..."this too shall pass....."

The rest of my summer I am pretty excited about!! I am making plans to fill myself up with ART and WRITING and SPIRIT and HEALTH.



This is my summer to create from the heart and write with passion. This is the summer I get strong and healthy and love myself...my whole self.

  This is my summer....


I will be announcing a BIG give away later on in the week...one that I am BEYOND excited about!!!  You see I want YOU to fill your soul with peace and truth and creative inspiration. I want you to feel alive and self worth...this is one give away you won't want to miss!!!

Speaking of give aways...I had one last week. I will announce the winner during tomorrow's "Workdesk Wednesday" post. 


Have a fabulous day, girls;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Today I'll Do it Anyway

I am stressed. I don't like being stressed. My body does all kinds of painful things to me when I'm stressed. I hurt...mostly my neck...but for the past few days my whole right side has been aching. Oh, how I dislike this so very much....

Some days the pain is all I can think about. 

I don't like talking about it and I rarely do. It seems so selfish of me to complain when my life is so blessed.

It truly is.

So I don't complain too much....especially here. That's not what this place if for.

This Blog is my happy place. My very own home to share ideas and creations and inspirations.

All things that make me smile and give me butterflies in my tummy. Those things I do that feel so right.

But today...I just needed to share a little gloom to help me feel a bit better. 

And even though I hurt today and my energy levels are low I am gonna....

*smile anyway
*be positive anyway
*bless our home with clean floors and clothes anyway
*write anyway
*create anyway
*live my life to the fullest anyway

What gets you down? Do you live your life anyway? Please share so I know I'm not alone;)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I am so Happy you're here!

So today is my day!! My local paper the "Nodaway News Leader" featured little old ME in there paper today!! Soooo excited and grateful they thought of me:)

Welcome to Words of Me Project... I am soooo very happy you are here!!! Some of you may remember me from my column days "View from the Front Porch". I hope you'll stop by here now that you know where to find me:) I have picked out a few past blog posts so you can get a feel for what we talk about here.


1. See my Brave Girl Art here.
2. Thoughts on being a Brave Girl and Try here.
3. My Prayer Canvas here.
4. Interview with talented author and scrapper Courtney Walsh.
5. Amazing Give Aways!!


Twice a year join us for our #31 Days Creativity Challenge". This is sure to get you out of your creative slump and kick your creativity in high gear!! Click here for the entire Challenge from last August or click here and here and here for a taste of last March's Challenge.

I love to inspire, motivate and create!! Each one of us is a creative soul and art can be so healing. Over the next year I hope you'll come back again and again for more Challenges, Art Journaling techniques, give aways, family stories, photos and my first on-line class!!

I hope I can give back half the joy art and writing have given me...that is my number one goal here at Words of Me!!

Please leave a comment below for your chance to win a little handmade gift from me!!

Welcome!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's on My Work Desk (backgrounds!)

I just LOVE Wednesdays!! It is a blast hopping around Blogland seeing what other creative ladies are doing!! Be sure and stop by Stamping Ground for over 100 work space and project ideas...

I am currently reading a wonderful book called "Art at the Speed of Life" by Pam Carriker. Pam suggests that at any given moment we should have several projects in the works and if we have the Mod Podge out then why not put it to good use and use it on several projects rather than just one.

I couldn't agree more!

So yesterday I headed to my space and created these....

Four backgrounds for my Brave Art Girls. The one on the middle is for my daughter Em. She turns 14 this Sunday and I am surprising her with a girl of her very own!

Here's the fourth one close-up...

The next step is to paint each one and shabby them up quite a bit. Love this!!

And while I was hard at work creating these my sweet girl was up to this...

Spending time in her outdoor studio painting flowers and sunshines:)

Thanks for stopping by today!! What's on YOUR Work Desk today??

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On Creating

I am on a journey...an art journey...and I'm learning and growing and surprising myself with all that I can do.

"Life is pure adventure, 
and the sooner we realize that
, the sooner we will 
be able to treat life as art."

  -Maya Angelou

Each and every week I find myself digging deeper inside of me...challenging myself to create by writing, drawing, painting, collaging....doing what I love.

"Everyone is creative.
Everyone.
Creativity isn't learned,
it is released. 
Stop measuring how creative you are. 
What are you afraid of?"

  -Patty Digh

I am no longer afraid. I am no longer holding myself back....



How about you?

Monday, May 16, 2011

What I'm Looking Forward To...

Happy Monday! What a beautiful one it's gonna be. Woke up early to blue skies, sunshine and NO WIND! Ready to read some blogs, catch up on FB then head to Curves for my daily energy fix. It's truly gonna be an amazing day!:)

Speaking of amazing...with Summer just around the corner....I am looking forward to having more time to do so many fun and amazing things.....and since I'm a list maker....thought I'd share my list with you.


What I'm Looking Forward to this Summer

1. Not having such a tight schedule
2. The smell of coconut tanning lotion {takes me back to my childhood}
3. Soul Restoration Part 2 {starts June 6th}
5. Getting in shape at my new gym Curves!!
6. Watermelon!! It's my FAVE food of all time!!
7. Late night summer walks with Em
8. Creating!! I have sooo many plans {that's another list!}
9. The Summer Movie Art Journal Challenge coming up right here {June 21st}
10. Staying up late watching old 80's movies with my kids...it's a summer tradition
11. Heading to Chicago and Wisconsin in August...hoping to meet a few Blog friends!!
12. Girl's Camp in June. I am Co-Director this year...should be interesting...
13. Garage sales with my Mom every Friday
14. Summer Blockbusters with the Family. So fun!
15. Announcing a HUGE and soooo inspirational Give Away right here that it will Blow you away!!!!!

So there's a taste of what I'm looking forward to this summer...it's gonna be such a good one...I can feel it!



Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


What are you looking forward to this summer...I would love to know!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What's on My Work Desk Today? {Lizzy}

Happy Wednesday!! How in the heck are ya' all doing? I have had this burst of positive energy in my life and I am so grateful. I know I keep going on and on about my Soul Restoration class I took a few months ago with Melody Ross...but it's because of all I learned about myself during that class that I am feeling so darn HAPPY!!:)

One of the questions we asked ourselves was....


"What am I believing about my patterns?"  Here is my journal entry, written just last night....

I have thought about this question for months. I finally realized that I set myself up to fall and fail with so many things. My patterns can be very, very good or very, very bad.

I BELIEVE I can change my patterns if I have a TRUE desire, It is up to me. the Lord has made it that way. It is His gift to us.

For me when I...

*eat healthy
*drink water
*workout
*get sleep
*have fun and alone time
*art and a clean home

This is a pattern that sets me up for SUCCESS!!!  

{i would add blogging to that!}

I highly recommend you ask yourself the same question and see how you can set yourself up for SUCCESS:)

Okay...so are you ready to see What's on My Work Desk and meet dear, sweet Lizzy??

What I've been up too is sure making a mess of my desk-LOL.



My favorite basket...


A couple of pages I'm working on in my Art Journal...these warmer temps and sunshine make me think GREEN....


Not sure what I'll do here...I may create some handmade flowers, add a few birds, a sunshine and my fave poem and words...sounds like a plan.

Do you remember this from last week?


This is the background I was working on for Lizzy's She Art girl. This girl was very special to me and had to look just right. I finished her yesterday.

Since the real-life 11 year-old Lizzy had a major stroke nearly 2 months ago and has been so strong and brave I knew the canvas Lizzy had to be just as strong. 





To remind Lizzy to always be herself strong and brave and beautiful....
Her favorite colors are green and blue....


What do you think?


I think she turned out perfect!


I sure hope you've enjoyed my Work Desk this week!! If you want to see more awesome desks and projects be sure and stop by Stamping Ground. 

Girls, have a wonderful day!!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's up to you



"Whatever course you have chosen 
for yourself, it will not be a chore
but an adventure of you bring to it a 
sense of the glory of striving, if your
sights are set far above the merely
secure and mediocre."  
        -David Sarnoff

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lizzy's Benefit

Ladies, we did it!! Lizzy's Benefit was a SUCCESS!!! So much time and energy was put into this...you should have seen my house. Oh my, what a mess;) I spent the day cleaning and doing laundry. Felt so good to get our home back in order.

And even though I have more to do...I am calling it quits for the day and sharing the Benefit with you. Oh, what a night....

Kristin and I arrived at Horace Mann {Lizzy's school} around 2:30 and unloaded all the auction items and tables for the event. We were sooo grateful for teacher's and friends and that showed up to help.

That's Kristin on the right...we made quite a team!



Thanks, Sheridan and Kenton. They made "We Love Lizzy" buttons...so darling!


Here's a few photos of the gym before 6:30...



We had approx. 300 chairs inside the gym as well as outside. There were plenty of tables both inside and out, too. We were blessed with a gorgeous night and figured families could choose to stay in or go out.

Gina Bradley from Northwest Missouri State University created this amazing banner for Lizzy. Everyone signed it!!



These lovely journals were donated by my friend Peggy. THANK YOU!! My friend Laureen bought all 4!!

 Girls, you can't believe how beautiful these journals are!! 

Soraya...I wanted your print so bad but so did lots of other ladies....;)



Uhhhh, Leanne....we were all fighting for your scrappy bag of goodies....I lost out...but it was for a good cause and my friend Zana  ended up with it!!

There were several other items donated by my Blog friends...thanks to Jodi {i purchased hers} and Mandy {the Smith's have both the purse and the artwork!!}. And Kristin..I had to have your Baby Face!! My son Jacks loves it, too:)  You are ALL sooo kind and generous and talented!!!

Here is a sampling of the crowd right at the beginning of the Benefit.

All in all we served nearly 400 people!!!
Oh and here's our Guest of Honor...

That's Lizzy in the middle!! She had a blast with Gabba and Miriam.

She is still in Rehab and will be for several more months. The Smith's are a wonderful family full of faith. I admire them so much.

All in all girls we raised over $7,000!!! I am very proud of our Community!!!!

Thank you so very much again for your kind words here on Words of Me Project!!!
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