Friday, September 16, 2016

Meaningful Art

It changed the way I look at the art I create.

This picture.

It was unexpected.

And generous.

The faces and hand written notes.

From this group of nurses and medical staff.

From the Outpatient Infusion Center of

Penn State - Hershey.

My friend, Amy.

Is right in the middle of the photo.

She reached out to me back in January of this year.

Would you consider doing a mosaic in memory of our co-worker?

His name was Josh.

And he was an oncology nurse in that unit.

Josh lost a recent battle with leukemia.

And his co-workers.

Were hit very hard by his death.

They were looking for a way to honor his life.

Amy remembered seeing my glass.

She didn't know my cancer story at that point.

But, as I shared it and we messaged.

It became clear.

I had to be part of this project.

I learned a few things about Josh.

He was funny.



He loved traveling.

And loved his horses.

I searched online for photographs and graphics.

Looking for just the right inspiration.

Once I saw this photograph.

I knew immediately.

I had it.

Amy gave me a specific request.

Incorporate a cardinal in the design.

At Josh's memorial service.

As the chaplain began to speak.

A bright red cardinal flew into the healing garden where the service was held.

Amy shared:

" we all got a good laugh and thought that would be just like Josh."

" not want to miss a thing...."


The cardinal was a must.

I worked on an initial sketch.

And presented it to Amy and her co-workers for approval.

They gave the okay.

And I got to work.

It was a labor of love.

In every sense of the word.

And I poured heart and soul.

Into every detail.

And once all the glass was cracked and down.

And once the mosaic was grouted.

I made a few finishing touches.

And it was done.

Amy and I met in Greenville back in May.

And I handed off the memorial mosaic for the long ride back to Pennsylvania.

It's always a little hard for me to let my work go.

A few months later.

At the center where this crew works.

The memorial mosaic was hung.

Facing out toward the healing garden of the hospital.

Where cancer patients and families come every day.

All I can say is wow.

This has meant a lot to me.

My art was used.

And I love that.

In the best possible way.

I won't look at it the same way again.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

What I'd Say To Me As A New Mother

Our family had a wonderful addition in the last few weeks.

Amos Wyatt Deese.

It's been a surreal experience.

Having this creature come into our lives.


And bringing with him.


Heart capturing love.

A complete stranger.

Pulling emotions and care out of us.

Just by his entry into this world.

I have so many young friends right now.

Including my Kate.

That are first time moms.

There's a whole crop of them.









I love these young women.

And I know.

They're finding their way.

Just as I'm watching Kate find hers.

Into motherhood.

It's made me think about my own start.

All those years ago.

I had no idea what I was doing.

A universal reality, I'm sure.

But what would it be like for me now?

If I could.

Sit across the table.

With a younger me.

What would I say?

What have I learned about mothering?

It takes guts.

Be strong.
Your kid is counting on you.
Even if you have insecurities and doubt.
Woman up.
Let your legacy be courage.

Slow down.

I'm stunned.
At how quickly it's gone by.
Newborn to kindergarten.
Middle school to college.
You hear this all your life.
But it's SO TRUE.
Hold on to the experiences.
And the moments.
They go quickly.

Aside from being the very best mother you can be.
Be the very best person you can be.

It will make a difference.
That you are interesting.
As an individual.
That you're leaving this world better.
Because you are here.
It will matter.
That they see you be kind.
And giving.
And at peace.
Be someone they can look up to.
Be the very best person you can be.

Cover your kid in prayer.

Every single day.
It's a tough world.
A praying mother.
Is a fierce thing.
Do it without fail.

Encourage them to see the world.

There's nothing wrong with Disney World.
But let them see Africa.
Or Haiti.
Or India.
Lessen your focus on material things.
Let them see need.
Let them see the world.

Always provide them a safe place to land.

Your home.
Wherever it might be.
Should always, always, always.
Be a place of comfort.
And rest.

Let them make their own mistakes.

And yes, age does matter.
You'll know when it's appropriate.
When they're older.
To let them fall.
Don't always jump in.
Ahead of them.
To work it all out.

Don't pass on a legacy of fear.

Oh, my gosh!
I see this so much.
Deal with your own stuff.
But, don't pass it on to your kid.

Be genuine.

Be the real deal.
Be who you really are.
Not caught up in appearances.
Do what you say you will do.
Be genuine.
Be real!

Do a good job of handing off your faith.

This can be tricky.
But your kids will know it when they see it.
Of Jesus in your life.
Start now.
Your kid has a front row seat.