If you’re reading this right now, please allow me to extend a giant THANK YOU for subscribing to my blog. I hope you're feeling my big welcome hug and please know I can't wait to travel along this rocky trail of discovery with you. I promise it will be one of fun and fellowship. Yes, you may get uncomfortable, sad, angry or laugh until your sides hurt, but know this: We’ll GET REAL together and grow in our sisterhood!
Many have asked me, “Why now, Angie? Why a re-launch of not just your blog, but your jewelry as well? I don’t get it.” Quite simply, sweet sisters, there’s a whole lotta change going on in my neck of the woods-- a very welcome change. From the outside my friends and family may not notice any difference. Ah, but on the inside this blogger’s heart has been going through a major transformation. It happened one day as I was sitting in my counselor’s office. (Add this to my list of things okay to do. Never feel ashamed to seek out a therapist if you need one!)
While sitting with legs crossed on her comfy sofa, I began to get in touch with a wide range of feelings: I relived old fears, cried in despair over people I desperately missed, and fumed about a few with whom I can never seem to understand. Have mercy for counselors who listen to middle-age menopausal women. Our age group is reason enough for them to purchase stock in the Kleenex corporation. At the end of my rant and cryfest, my honest and yet nurturing counselor made one simple comment, “You know Angie, I think this just might be the year you go through your own personal renaissance. I’m excited for you.”
Exciting? Renaissance? Hmmm. That was the LAST thing I was feeling about my life. In fact, it was just the opposite. I felt burdened, tired, angry and confused. As a former art and history teacher, my view of the word renaissance was solely based on the artistic achievements of people like Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo. (Oh and if you’ve not watched The Medici, Master’s of Florence on Netflix, you’re missing out. Sorry, had to throw that in! ) But as I thought more about her word usage for this stage of my life, perhaps she was correct. It was a long, slow drive home as I pondered the fact that “renaissance” also stood for “reawakening” or “restart.” Perhaps you’re in one yourself or will at least consider it as we go on this adventure together.
As someone who grew up feeling convicted by every wrong doing and seeing God as nothing but jealous and vengeful, I rarely felt that I was loved unconditionally by Him. I lived with uncertainty, always waiting for the next lightening bolt to strike. I learned to assume that if some calamity had occurred it was because “that person wasn’t right with God.” That sort of dangerous thinking can really mess up a gal and cause great insecurity, not to mention anxiety that’s off the charts. But life tends to do that to us doesn’t it? Whether it’s from family experiences, upheavals with friends or knowing we’ve committed sins that we shouldn’t, the idea of being loved unconditionally is quite hard to fathom.
Many of us mentally keep a list of our wrong doings, not to mention ones that have been done TO US. We make sure our skeletons are locked up as tightly as possible. Heck, we bolt and double bolt them until our hearts are hardened and walls are erected so high that no one would dare try and tackle. Yet when it comes to wrong that’s been done to us by others, we white-knuckle hold everything out in the light, vowing to never ever forget… or forgive. As we say in the south, “bless our ever lovin’ hearts.” We have GOT to change that way of thinking, bag it up and put it in the trash for good.
This, my sweet readers, is why yours truly goes to counseling and has decided to tip-toe ever so gently and allow myself to be being raw, real and loved. To be perfectly blunt, I’m too old to harbor resentment, too tired to act as if life is absolutely perfect, don’t have enough time to vie for the Volunteer of the Year award, and for goodness sakes, I will not fake a Mary Poppins attitude, acting as if I adore someone, when in reality they grate under my ever last nerve. Again, I’m just being raw and real here. The alternative? Wearing a fake costume and sweating nonstop, makeup running, all while hiding behind an uncomfortable artificial mask. Nope, not for me. I just can’t anymore.
Does that mean I have full reign to mouth off what I think to everyone or to prance into Wal-Mart wearing pajamas and hair curlers? I think we both know the answer to that one. We do have to have some self-respect and remember that we’re a child of the Most High King. But there has to be an underlying current of accepting who we are and that God made us unique for a reason. Yes, we are to try as hard as we can to follow His life manual, His Word, for a reason: out of love and gratitude for His merciful Son. But sweet friends, don’t for a minute think we have to look like supermodels, act like saints, and have that flawless family we so love to post on facebook. Sheesh. Get real.
I can’t help but feel the Holy Spirit whisper this to me louder than ever before. God knows we’ll screw up time and again. Hence the reason for Jesus, after all. Yes, He loved and STILL loves us that much. If He can create a wanderlust bottle blonde who flies off the handle one minute and goes into total seclusion the next—and STILL He thinks I’m the apple of his eye, then go look into the mirror RIGHT NOW. Repeat after me: “Thank you God, for making me who I am, wrinkles, age spots, acne and all. I will do your work as uniquely as you made me!” YES!!!!! My Taos Tribe has helped me learn this as well. God bless 'em.
My friends, that’s exactly why my husband and I created Enchanted Woods jewelry. Living in the Southwest, one can collect too much old western jewelry, from squash blossom necklaces to stamped silver earrings. Or perhaps in the east, one can only have so much preppy hot pink and green nautical accessories. Enough with the cookie cutter style, already. As a girl whose dad was in the lumber business, I never though I’d ever work with wood. That is, until I moved to New Mexico, commonly known as the Land of Enchantment. Through my grief from the passing of my best friend (you can read here) I turned to my faith and art to work through the pain. It was at that time in my life that I learned, and am still learning, that being God’s handiwork is a very beautiful thing. You may often feel like an outsider looking in, but accept that for what is: YOU BEING YOU. It’s taken me 52 years to realize that. Yeah, I'm a slow learner I suppose…
To celebrate our renaissance and sisterhood, my husband and I have created the “Her” Collection. Each piece has a story to tell that only the wearer may understand. Whether it’s one that represents the survivor, called “She Lives Fiercely,” or a rosarita gemstone pendant that represents “Her Guarded Heart,” every piece was created to help women identify with who they truly are, regardless of their stage in life. Using crushed gemstones infused with wood, as well as being inlaid with gorgeous cabochons and encircled with gold and silver, I hope you’ll find a piece that speaks to you. Each one comes packaged with a card explaining the story as well as all the unique components that make it a colorful whole. Just like you.