Monday, January 21, 2019

The Codex Planner

I'm so excited to feature my first "You Matter" video. 
I really think it is important to celebrate others
 and the good things they are involved in.   

Taking the leap of faith to develop your own business can be a very scary step.  Several years ago, Carrie Postma had a little idea that has turned into something pretty amazing.  She created the The Codex Planner, A Study Binder that gives you tools to be organized, while helping you in your faith journey through study breakouts and quotes.   Along with the daily planner, there are other beautiful products and surprises along the way that Carrie creates.  When you order a binder you not only get the product, but you get an online resource to help you along your journey of faith, and and instant cheerleader on the other side when you join Carries online group.  Carrie has thoughtfully and prayerfully created the most beautiful products and her heart for you might be even more beautiful.   Follow Codex on Instagram YouTube and Facebook and start your journey to be the best you.

 Click to Play 


Website: Codexplanner.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/codexplanner/
Instagram @codexplanner
 

 


Friday, January 18, 2019

I Found A Surprise Hobby, It Was Right Before Me.




Last summer I figured I needed a hobby.  I mean, if you ask my friends they would probably say I have a lot of things I do and am involved in.  While that is true, I guess I needed to find something new and interesting.  I really thought deeply about what and where I like to spend my free time and checked the lists of ideas, some of which were quite comical and I didn't realize were hobbies (see previous post).
On a sunny Oregon afternoon, I sat at the beach watching my husband do his new hobby of Paragliding. I realized right at that moment that just sitting, looking at this vast body of water with the cool ocean breeze was enough.   I don't have to strive to be or do more things, and that God loves me regardless and that I am enough regardless. At that moment no one needed me to be anything or anywhere.   That feeling was amazing to know all I need as a human on this planet is food, shelter, and water...to love and honor God, and to be thankful for life. If I didn't do another extra thing in my life it would be okay!  At that moment, I didn't have to do or BE anything more than a human on the beach, soaking in the sun and breathing in the air.  Now that was a nice memorable spiritual moment, but not exactly reality in the big picture of working to obtain food and shelter, being relational and having friends, enjoying the life God gave me to it's fullest.  After all,  I want to look back when I'm 95, if I make it that far, and know I didn't waste years or opportunities or not use the gifts I was given, just because I wanted to be alone on a beach with no responsibilities.  I must have been stressed and overworked that week.

But do I need to find another busy-body hobby??  What I found is that I naturally came back around to the things I already do and love, the things that make me ME and bring me joy.  Music, writing, spending time with friends, family time, cooking new things, travel, taking a pretty drive, watching movies, date nights to small local restaurants and sometimes the hobby of just sitting on a beach doing nothing and soaking in the air, the beauty of creation and reflecting on life.










Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Long "B" list of Hobbies

Wow there are a lot of "B" categories of Hobby's  which is funny because there are 2 B's in the word Hobby.  Taken from the blog http://www.notsoboringlife.com/list-of-hobbies/  I will explain and eliminate the list here in my quest to narrow down the list of things to try. 
Here we go:

Badminton-  This is the strangest sport and I don't like birds anyway.   Actually I played this for a little bit last summer and it was not my thing... NO
Baseball-  I'd eat too many Hot Dogs.. NO
Base Jumping- NO WAY
Basketball- This used to be my hobby in my younger years and I wish I could find a middle aged league but thinking about the sweat and the side ache where basketball is fun to play again... NO
Beach/Sun tanning-- UM this is a hobby??? -Adding it to the list
Beachcombing- maybe if I lived by the beach.
Beadwork   I have a hard time texting with my thumb nubs let alone the ability to intricately bead. .NO
Beatboxing- NO
Becoming A Child Advocate: this should not be a hobby we should always be advocating for children.
Bell Ringing- What the? These people need to check out this list
Belly Dancing- This would be a hilarious comic relief.
Bicycling-  Gosh those outfits are ridiculous... I do like biking but there are some limits for now will keep.
Bicycle Polo- Must be polo on bikes instead of horses. PICTURE
Bird watching  I watched some birds in the backyard the other day and pondered about making bird watching a hobby... the answer was NO. 
Birding-  Similar hobby here to the above- No
BMX- NO
Blacksmithing: It would be amazing to say "I AM A BLACKSMITH"  but No. too black and dirty
Blogging- currently doing this.
BoardGames- This could be fun.
Boating- I guess I could involved everyone I know to get on their boat, but since I don't own a boat it will have to be no for now.
Body Building- maybe in some form but this sounds super  intense and probably involves a string bikini.
Bonsai Tree- This feels like beading for plant lovers.. intricate delicate and not for me.
Bookbinding- Huh? ...NO
Boomerangs- Hey Mate... I'm into boomerangs... NO
Bowling- Oh my gosh I actually love bowling.
Brewing Beer
Bridge Building- No
Bringing Food To The Disabled  I feel terrible crossing that out.. but I just know i would let them down and forget to bring them the food.
Building A House For Habitat For Humanity- interesting but seems like a one time event...NO
Building Dollhouses-
Butterfly Watching- They are very pretty but flutter too fast
Button Collecting-  are we in the 1940's?
Backgammon-  I will carry my leather case to your house and play you with a glass of Chardonnay and a cigar.  NO








So for now:  Boardgames, Blogging, and Bycycling and Beach/tanning :)

The Quest to Find a New Hobby the "A" List

Ok, So here is the first set of Hobbies starting with "A" that seem to be options for people.   My thoughts going through this list I found at http://www.notsoboringlife.com/list-of-hobbies/.

Aircraft Spotting - It is true when I go near an airport I am highly intrigued by an airplane landing and taking off and the rush that happens when it goes directly over head is amazing!!!  However I don't see this as a hobby of mine.  
Airbrushing - not sure what I might air brush
Airsofting- shooting with airsoft guns.. no
Acting-  This has always been high on my dream list but I realize I'm past my prime, tall and do not live in LA. and have never taken an acting class.  I have been in a few plays and maybe will look into this further.  For now it's on the long list. 
Aeromodeling- What in the world? looking it up- Aeromodelling is the activity involving design, development and flying of small air vehicles. It is a very exciting and interesting way to learn, apply and understand science and engineering principles.  Okay No.
Amateur Astronomy-  the stars are nice to look at but I really have never been drawn to the skies and beyond. 
Amateur Radio- "Ham Radio"  strangely this interests me... maybe because I spent hours and hours eating M&M's with my Papa listing to police scanners and talking to long haul truckers from his living room.  For now I'll keep it on the list.
Animals/pets/dogs- Cute but not hobby related... No
Archery- tried this at camp year after year and it's a weird event in my mind.  Although after watching hunger games it was a little fascinating. No
Arts- The arts, pretty broad title here.  If your hobby is "the arts" that seems like you might have to really bee involved in LOTS of arts and various elements which sounds like a lot awkward moments and laughter might happen. 
Aquarium (Freshwater & Saltwater) -Fish scare me .. NO
Astrology  no interest at all.
Astronomy-
I already said no to amateur Astronomy ..NO

Looks like I have 3 options of A's to add to the list.  Acting, Amateur radio, and Arts of some sort.  

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Finding A Hobby- the Rubiks Cube Challenge



The Rubiks Cube Challenge!!!

Ok, who's in!! I challenge you to once an for all master this puzzle.  I'm doing this for a few reasons.. 1. I was around when this puzzle was invented. 2. I never solved it only got all colors but one square on each side.  3. My husband can solve it really fast, grr, and  4. It's just time.. time to put this cube to rest defeat it!!.. Let's go!

RULES:

1. You have to be apart of the group that has NEVER solved it.. only you will be your judge and I hope your conscience will have the best of you.  Otherwise, cheaters and wanna be's -I hope the Rubiks cube haunts you and night.

2. You can use Youtube videos to figure it out.  I mean really.. it's there and life is to short, and we have other challenges to accomplish.

Have fun and comment that you are doing it and post a pic of your cube when you're done! :)

TIME: 2 weeks

Rubiks Cube Website : https://www.rubiks.com/

UPDATE:  Heading into week 2 I have layer 2 done.


DONE!!!!! 7/27/2018






Friday, July 20, 2018

Finding A New Hobby

This is my husband doing his new hobby
It's not that I really have a ton of idle time, but the time I do have I wonder sometimes if I could be spending it differently.  My husband recently started a new hobby and earned his Paragliding license.  I know for sure that opposites attracted when we met 23 years ago.  Thankfully he will spend a lot of time at the beach, which I love.    But this made me question the things I like to do with my time outside of work.

So I am on a quest to find a new hobby!

Com to find out, there are a ton of hobbies to choose from, more than one would imagine.  I found a list here on the blog Not So Boring Life  that came up with 308 different kinds of hobbies.   Maybe a final exhaustive list of hobbies, maybe not, but relaxation and sunbathing are on the list so I'm guessing exhaustive!

The blog should add "finding a hobby" as well as "blogging about finding a hobby" to the list because this in itself is turning into its own hobby.

Stay tuned.
Courtney

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Burpee Quest

So I found this little list during Christmas break and thought maybe I'd give it a try for the month of January and see what would happen.  I'm completely not in shape, so after the first set of 30 jumping jacks I was heavy breathing and wishing I would have checked into the restroom first.. onward. 
Can't do a push up, so went to the wall to do 12 wall push ups.  
High knees were more 1/4 knees 
Who even knows what a burbee is,  but after the high knees I thought I might know.. but then I googled it.. can't do it.. did 2 mock Burpees  (who made this name up? ) 
Bicycle crunches were easy but most likely unflattering 
30 squats-got that
more communication with the wall (gosh I have acquaintances with this same feeling) 
Jump Squats.. Easy! Ugly.. but Easy (former volleyball player so it's a block.. I feel at home)
Jumping Jacks- refreshing and I'm reminded of 6th grade PE
Those "high" knees again.. done
Wall Sit for 1 minute -OMGSH flashbacks to basketball training
REST 1 Minute.. text my husband to gloat, was honest I might need a medic, and was only going to to do this 2x today so I could also accomplish other life skills. 
Really glad that Burpee thing was only on there once in the list. 

I'll let you know how things shape up and not in a visual way just phonetically, and no silly, that's not me in the picture. 


Saturday, November 21, 2015

OH Facebook Why I Hate You and Love You Part 3



Love:  Here's why I love Facebook.. 

Love in this category should result in a snarky comment of 
"Well why don't you Marry it"

In my previous posts Part 1 & 2 which you can read if you click Here  I talked about about the reason I hate Facebook. Hate is kind of a heavy word, I don't really hate it.. I hate evil, Facebook is not Evil.   Maybe annoyed with some things is a better word but I thought to bring it back full swing I'd post why I do really love Facebook.


I love seeing people enjoying life!
I LOVE the connections that are made that would have never been made in the natural world.

I Love the friends from LONG AGO that have popped up to say Hi.

I love the people that I didn't know before very well only to find common ground now

I love seeing who knows who and making connections

I love that in times of desperate need...
we can ask what we can do to help.

I LOVE the transparency of friends and asking for help

I love that we can pray for each other and encourage one another

I love that we can quickly find someone and send a quick message
I LOVE that we can watch your children grow up and not just a once a 
year Christmas Card if 
we are even lucky enough to be on the list.

I love that we get an opportunity to share other's pain and joys and respond as friends do.. 

I love that it can change lives and alter courses!!

These are all good things that without Social Media may not have happened.    That's why I love Facebook.    Facebook allowed me to step into someone's life and be part of a miracle, I have loved seeing faces of Childhood Friends, High School Friends, College Friends, teachers, pastors, neighbors ect.   I love being connected with a wonderful community of people that I know many of them in time of need would be at my doorstep... it's happened.   Thank you Facebook for getting us out of our shells and while we are in this generation of computers and devices  we are connected to each other.  Now go take someone to lunch and see them face to face :)  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Oh Facebook Why I Hate You Why I Love You Part 2

Disclaimer: I write satire most of the time.. I have learned these many lessons myself.. I'm not pointing my finger at any one person just relating what I feel and hear from others in general.  If this strikes a cord with you personally than it might be something you need to deal with in your own heart.  It's just observations people... just observations.. just go with it and then take a walk. 

Part 2 of a 3 part series. 

AVOIDING FACE BOOK SOCIAL MELT DOWNS 

Me On Vacation 2014 
I've heard and seen the good bad and the ugly.   I totally get that it hurts to see the group of friends you thought were your friends all together smiling in Hawaii together with their skinny bodies (that you've seen transformed week by week on your feed) holding up their drinks when you struggle with alcohol and all sporting their "Jamberry nails"  I get it!   Yes it's hard to see all the pictures on Father's day if you don't have a Dad, Mother's day if your mom has passed,  Sisters Rock day when you didn't get to have a sister, anniversary's, new ultrasounds,  new cars, houses, pets, plastic surgery, yet another championship from the sporty family (as your kid is sitting on the couch yelling at some video game or and eating lard).   You see the tension.. it causes people to hate Facebook because it points out what is lacking in our lives if just for a moment, a feeling of I am less than.

STOP IT!!! 
You are not less than!! You have a different story and one that can't be compared to others.   I know it's hard to stay connected online when you see things that you wish had transpired in your life differently, or that you didn't get, it's a constant reminder.  I have those things in my life.

When I step back from the painful in  my face "this is not your life" , I realize that my jealousy of someone else's good thing is an issue that is in my heart!! It would be the same if I was jealous of someone's fancy house I drive by.. it's not their issue it's mine!!   If we can't rejoice in other people's good things in life then we are only feeding the monster inside of us that is discontent or of past un-dealt with feelings.  When I see that group of friends that a singe of jealousy comes up inside of "wow that would be nice", or a group that I used to be a part of but for some reason the invites stopped,   I began to ask the hard questions.   What in my life is lacking or a hurt that I am not moving on from.

For those who seem to have that "Perfect Life" (whatever that is)  be happy for them, they don't know they are over posting!!   You know that it's not all rosy all the time, they are human too and maybe their fun will inspire you to go do something different or fun or think outside the box.

I know that there are just plain hard things to see so here are a few tips I think would help the Facebook community of posters, stalkers, pokers, likers and on the fence haters.

FACEBOOK TIPS FOR LESS SOCIAL MELT DOWNS

1.  Think about others but don't let it cripple you from posting at all.    People love seeing your pictures but keep in mind if you post your raging party and leave a close friends (or what they thought was a close friendship) out, they are going to see it and be hurt.  Just have your stupid party and enjoy your friends and don't post it.  Nobody really cares.. except the people you just dumped.   (by the way you know there is a filter for "share with only these people")  If you want to share your pics with that group then you can do that without the world needing to see it.  Sorry if that sounds harsh but think about it.

2.  There are days that maybe staying off Facebook is better for our hearts.  Just don't go there where Holidays produce picture after picture of something you miss.   I've been there it can hurt and it's time to focus on other stuff and be thankful for other things in your life.

3.  Vacations, I love to see where you go!! If you go on 4 or more vacations a year,  please explain on the 5th vacation how you do it.  I mean I  think that might help... For instance:   Hey I received an inheritance! or Hey we Charged another tropical vacation!  Hey we are heading to the China because we love fortune cookies and we've been to every other country and never work!   "Hey we get up every day and work our tails off so we are vacationing again!!... Get a job or two or three so you can too!   Really we onlookers just need one and that's our deal, but some explanation would be helpful so we can get there.

4.  You don't have to be friends with everyone!! If they stir up turmoil in your heart block them.  If their posts are annoying unfollow.   There is a little arrow on the right side of each post in the feed that you can choose your own destination with that persons post and future posts.. just saying.  I know I have probably been blocked or unfriended.. it happens move on.

5.  Don't be my friend ONLY to solicit your online party or business.   This is a no brainer people..   I will speak no further.

6. Don't over post about one thing.  It's great and important you are doing blah blah blah.. and I know it's important to let people know you did blah blah blah  but MIX IT UP!!!  Throw in a cat picture for Heaven's sake!!!  Just be you and be real and all that will fall in to place naturally, don't force it down people's throats.    This goes for business, kids, pets, news, political issues, faith, reposts and shares, ALL of it!!

7.  Hard lesson of not exploiting our children:   I have been GUILTY myself.  I humbly say I have learned and regretted some of my posts in the past.   If I post something about my kids or pictures that are goofy I get their permission first.   Their whole life does not need to be displayed.  Again I stand guilty of this in the past and I stand firm with asking them first as a filter for my own over posting parental mistakes and what I think is "cute".

8.  Be able to walk away without announcing it as if you are divorcing everyone.  Most people think that's super dumb, you know the "break up status post".  We all know you will be back when you want something or realize that you've missed a bunch of important events.  I mean Facebook is like not checking your mail box back in the day.   It's where people are and where things are known and where you can interact on a different level.   Walk away but don't be so dramatic.. geesh!  (Again guilty in my formative FB years)

9. Sharing Links about False News  So if something seems off it probably is.. go check out snopes.com before you stand behind it.   People get all freaked out about things and then come to find out it wasn't even real, it was just some bored person trying to get click throughs... Please Please stop sharing these ridiculous stories and giving these people fuel.

10.  The Chain Posts:  We've seen them.. If you truly believe this than post it on your wall, like it, share it if you truly love Jesus.   Please Stop.. We shouldn't have to follow those stupid rules and sharing posts that publicly make other people roll their eyes.   There is not magic in any of those posts.  God knows my heart and I should be living a life that reflects my faith not have to use scare tatics on a Facebook photo, that probably is collecting data on everyone who clicks on it.. by the way.

I can't think of any more right now, I'm sure they will come.  I think the best thing is to work on loving others, not being jealous of what we don't have, be considerate of other's ideas and thoughts, like what we like, block what disturbs us. and by all means if you really don't like being there don't be and don't make everyone else feel shamed for liking it.  Run your race, I'll hand you water when you need it.   I won't be booing you holding up my flag that reads "gluttony rocks" just because I don't like running! I may not do it well or understand why others would want to do such a painful thing or want to, but Seriously.... if I choose not to run I better not be complaining to others about it or sad when all my friends are in shape and look good in their skinny jeans!! (I however unfriend runners).

 Stay tuned for Post 3 about why I LOVE and think Facebook is a good thing.  

Please feel free to comment below and let's get the dialogue going. 

If you didn't read Part 1 here is the link.  PART ONE 




Tuesday, November 17, 2015

OH Facebook Why I Hate You and Love You Part 1

Disclaimer:   This is satire humor it is not directed at any one person.  I am sure that a reader will find themselves in some of these examples but it is meant for humor and to pause and think.  If it strikes a cord in the reader that is too painful then perhaps there are some issues that need to be dealt with.  Close your computer and go for a walk, it just doesn't matter that much.  I have made many Facebook mistakes along the way and have learned and had to adjust.  Laughing at oneself is the best way to overcome things and make life more fun.   


Facebalkers 


We all know one or two people that "refuse" to use Facebook.  They will let you know why they hate it so much, how much time it takes up and how that is just NOT what they want to do with their time.  That statement is meant to make all of us regular Facebookers feel like life slackers. 
The 2nd group is the person who friends you and then does nothing, or rather nothing visible. They just lurk behind the scenes late at night stalking photos and pages.  I'll call them Facebook Stalkers or how about Facebalkers.  These are the ones that NEVER comment, NEVER post,  they "Don't like Facebook Much" and will make you feel like you have issues because you check it daily.. hourly and often every 2 minutes.  They will go on and on with what a waste of time it is and how they just don't see it's usefulness, UNTIL the day comes when they need it.  THEN they pop up PUBLICLY and very visibly to sell their couch, or awkwardly post on someone's wall a very personal message something like " Hey ____ I saw you that you got implants, you look great!" you know who you are. CONFESS!!  Even further Facebalkers will come out of hiding when they want you to use your sphere of influence to make an announcement for their cause!!? Something like this.. "Hey, so I see you have quite a lot of friends and connections on Facebook.   I know I have mocked your usage before but will you post that I'm having a Garage sale next week?" Wait.. what??  I'm sorry Queen Latifah I have spent years and years building meaningful social media relationships, liking numerous pictures of puppies, giving candy crush lives, being "happy" for many friends' tropical vacations and new boat pictures and viewing slide shows of people's entire year in pictures set to music while weeping.  Keeping up with my sphere of people whom some I can't recall how we even met, but we are close now!   Go spend some time clicking, posting, liking and commenting and then we'll talk about your bake sale on my wall.    Facebalkers are just one level up from those who open accounts and after several logins STILL have a shadow for a profile.. (that's not creepy).   They don't become really active until they realize one day that they cannot get a hold of anyone anymore.   They finally pick a profile picture which is the person looking very confused into the computer camera.  Furthermore and maybe the worst part of a new user is they proceed to "like" EVERY picture from 2006-2015! That action then causes those pictures to pop up in the main feed of all my friends and gives me 1000 "like" notifications. Which I guess is thoughtful, but the worst part of that is then the Facebalkers finally comment on my picture from 2006 and say "Hey you got your hair cut and lost 35lbs!.. Wow you look young!!!"  um yeah that was nearly 10 years ago..    Sigh..   And don't even ask me what poke is.. and for the record I still love you person out there, it just needed to be said. 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Why I Am Afraid to Blog Again

To write or NOT to write that is the question...    I am pondering this morning.. pondering about why, why write a blog.. why I wrote and started this blog years ago.  It's not that I don't have a lot to say or express.. oh there are many thoughts whirling around this scattered brain.   It's why. 

What is the motivation.
Is it worth it
who reads it 
does it matter if it is just one
what if I look dumb
I will offend someone... it always happens.. there is always one. two. 20?
Am I scared? 
yes
Should that stop me? 
no

But I'm scared ... that's it I'm scared.. I'm afraid my thoughts will be judged, stomped on, mercifully torn apart in the world we live in of lopsided grace of free thought and speech. 
I've been hurt before, my heart aches and my heart is wounded from being transparent and trusting others with my thoughts and life happenings. 

So I guess I have put up a wall of protection and stopped writing the fun, the good, the ugly and thus why this blog has sat with sporadic posts, and I'm not sure why I'm getting that tug on my heart to start back up.

But there you have it please feel free to comment and share. 















Monday, June 22, 2015

Fathers Day Fun


Great Time together celebrating the man of the house.  Portland is so amazing with all it's biker friendly paths.  We started at the South Waterfront on this gorgeous night.   Following along the river to the cross over at the biker friendly steel bridge.  On the east side you get the beautiful views of the city and the sunset.   Headed up to our favorite food car outdoor area for dinner, and then back over the Hawthorne bridge.   Ice Cream was the next stop at Little River Cafe along the water, and a nice 1/2 mile back to the car from there.   PERFECT night!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I Cried in Church Today... Again

Today I cried in church.. again.  I hate crying in public.. I hate crying in general. I hate the ugly cry that comes when I'm trying to hold it back and the headache that comes after.   The exhaustion.  I am not one of those people that cry and can hide it.   I don't want to cheapen my emotional feeling today letting you know that I also cry at TV reunions and am a mess at giveaways like Oprah used to do and Ellen does.  I'm so happy for those people, it makes me so happy I cry.    My tears today were not those same tears that come in those tv moments.   I say that because in church I was a teary mess.   I am convicted, I'm touched by the Word of God, the confirmation, the way that my church does not preach the comfortable, does not let us feel good in our current state, encourages to go deeper and wrestle with ideas of the Word of God and the current state of our hearts and the things we allow.  I love that it is not sugar coated.  I love that it is a message of NOW, not tomorrow.. come NOW, make changes you need to now, don't settle.
My daughter sitting next to me asked me at the end "why are you crying"... I did not answer.  Why can't she understand why I'm crying!!  Why is it weird that God would touch our hearts so deeply we would cry.   I didn't have to explain my tears I shouldn't have to explain my tears.     I turn to a friend who knows the tears knows the emotion of God's stirring.

A Chronic Twist


Life sure is interesting isn't it?  I really can't believe what the last 6 months have held.  It's true you never know what tomorrow holds.   I found out really quick that I truly am not in charge of my life and my days.   Scrolling down a few posts you will read about "the shift" where I transition from my heart world of music to the head world of business.   Now I know that the heart and head must be in the same breath.  I realized one can't live without the other or one will suffer.  As I was obedient to the Lord to follow in my husbands footsteps and to bring more consistent income to our family, my heart was happy but there was still a little ache of what was missing.  I know God created a musical entity in me for a purpose.  Where that fit in this new phase I have watched and waited and found that it fit perfectly!! There have been these wonderful moments where I got to place my guitar over my head and step up to the microphone and lead a group of people in praise songs to God.  It can happen I can still do what my soul was made for.    I remember the sting when I had my first morning of leading worship and my son said "I thought you weren't going to do that anymore?".   It stung because I knew he was watching my every move and word, knew that he saw me place God's good gifts in a pile in the back corner, and wondered if he was worried I would get too involved to quick again and he wouldn't see me.    I told him that day that music will always be a part of me.. it's what God placed in my heart and what spiritually I'm supposed to do for His kingdom.

Just as my head and heart came together I was thrown for a loop.  It's these times that I don't know if the enemy was messing with me or God was teaching me something new, or both.   All I know that God never wastes anything it always turns to good weather we see it or we have to wait to see the good in things.  

I woke up one day in November and I literally couldn't walk because my sciatic nerve were pressing down so hard on my muscles.  I couldn't straighten up, I couldn't do anything but lay down.  I thought it would be over in a few days but it got worse and then worse and finally I was just in bed.  We just had changed churches and I wanted to be involved,  I just was getting my first real estate deal, I had 3 awesome musical events coming in December that I desperately wanted to be healthy for.. and I couldn't get out of bed.   As days turned to weeks and into December I went to several forms of treatment knowing I was dealing with my lower back but not knowing what it was really.   As my week of 3 events was approaching and I was getting a little reprieve my friends surrounded around me to pray that I would be healed and get back to "life" and be able to do these events.  The next day as I left my first acupuncture apt and my praying friends I began to feel better.  So much better that on my way to my first event early December I thought I was completely healed! I was able to hold my guitar standing, no pain, worship and thankful to God.  I leave that event, so charged up and  walk into my house and it was as if every muscle and nerve decided to come back and say "NOT SO FAST SISTER"  my body was once again weak and painful.  Event 2 and 3 were not as demanding on my body, a lot of sitting and a lot of Tylenol and pain cream. I remember a friend seeing me at church where I couldn't stand that week before and I was crying from pain.  She said she'd pray for me... After church I was pain free standing and walking normal... I texted her to give her the news and thank her for praying which she said was through that whole service. But sadly, when that week of events was over I got much worse.   

Why am I now like this?  Why is God allowing this? I begin to doubt that I might ever be the same.   Week after week the stress adding to my husband and family.  My personality changing because of the agonizing pain that wouldn't stop.  The long nights of nerve pain that wouldn't go away.  The world moving onward, celebrating Christmas time, parties, baking, shopping, decorating... I was left out of it all.   Yet there were still things I had to do, work things, giving rides, trying to find ways to function.   I hit rock bottom one night out of pain and discouragement.  I felt I had tried everything, I didn't want surgery, I didn't know what was exactly wrong until I had an MRI which confirmed what my chiropractor thought.. bulging disc, compression, stenosis.. twisting of the lower spine.. OUCH! What I thought would be a normal adjustment for my lower back where I would be on my way.. turned into 3 months of pain and debilitation.  Finally after getting gentle spine adjustments to relieve the nerve pain I began to turn a corner.   What a awesome day it was finally at the end of January to stand once again.  To be able to stand and cook a meal, to do dishes, to look people in the eye.
It's amazing what life holds.  I don't fully understand why this happened, but I know that it was for a reason.  I understand even more than I did before a glimpse of what people suffer through in chronic pain.  I understand giving up.  I understand feeling lonely, dark, hopeless.  I got a glimpse of the charity or lack of that people feel with a disability.   I understand why someone in chronic pain or in a wheel chair might be overweight, why comfort food feels good.   I wonder if God's timing to take me out of the game was for me just to get knocked off my feet to appreciate when I am in good health.  To not waste time.  To be more purposeful and thankful.  To wait on the Lord.  To trust more and help more.  To not take health for granted.   The timing of this and our transition to a new church family was interesting.  I wonder if God knew me well enough that I would want to dive right in and get involved with church activities.  Meet people, work in ministry, act on the stirrings of my heart.. only to sideline me and cause me to wait and watch.   I don't want to be sidelined in order to learn a lesson of waiting on the Lord.  How often have I done things on my own strength and will and not waited only to get myself into a mess.   As I gently work my back into health still, I am gently navigating where God will have me in this new place.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Piano

Soul

The Piano


Today we received a beautiful gift.  One that we were anticipating but didn't realized how beautiful it would be.  This old piano was delivered to our home this afternoon.   What wonderful people who just wanted to give it to a good home that appreciated it's beauty and charm.   It's keys are worn, a little cracked, one even missing a piece of it's ivory,  but the beauty remains.  The sound that it makes fills our home with music and as the strings behind the aged wood begin to produce sound it brings me back to my childhood.  A similar piano to the one I learned on as a child.  One that brought cousins together to sing melodies and harmonies.  One that gave joy to my fingers and ears as the beautiful melodies rang out.   I sit down at this old piano and want to know it's story.  What hands have played lovingly on these same ivory keys.  What homes did it fill with the melodies and harmonies of yesterday?   A treasured gift and a reminder that although things are chipped and cracked and warn on the outside, the inside is what matters and the beauty if reflects.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Making the Shift

Courtney Spears
Broker Licensed In Oregon


The shift has happened..   It is hard to steer the ship a different direction without causing a little bit of a wake.   That wake happened in my musical heart as I knew it was time to shift my desires and put my efforts in a place that would be more supportive of my family and husband.   About 9 years ago I sat down in our living room asking for his support as music was pouring out of my soul.    At that time we both decided to give it 3 years to see what would transpire.  Well 9 years later and many amazing musical experiences behind me, it truly has been such a gift to be able to do what I love and grow as a musician/singer.  

In July,  I decided it was time to cancel August unless it had to do with spending time with my family or friends.  I needed to organize my thoughts, my house, my direction,  and hopefully in the end have peace about the shift and what that looked like.    I can say that even though August is not yet complete, I have complete peace.  I have felt so much freedom without the "have to be here and there" it has made August seem like 60 days! It has given me time to think clearly and not be swayed one way or the other by being occupied by what I'm used to doing and what is comfortable.  

Music has defined me in many ways the last 9 years.  It defined what I was striving for, where I would spend my extra time, the opportunities, the frustrations the joys and laughter and tears.   I loved it, I hated it, it scared me, it moved me, it sometimes disappointed me and then often would bring rich blessings.  It was hard not to give into the emotional side of making a decision and it did not come without heavy tears, but the rational mature side won in the end.


This August I passed my Real Estate license test.  My husband, has been in real estate for 20 years and is currently the Managing Principal Broker for the Hasson Company, so it seems fitting to join the efforts with him.   Together I feel it will be great to have his expertise and years of experience with my new excitement.   

As the shifting of priorities music will still find it's place as it  happens naturally.  It's still part of my life and the way I can minister and show my heart and shine His


Ward and Courtney Spears





Photography By 
Photography by AJ
http://photographybyajay.com/







Thursday, April 24, 2014

Changed Forever- New Song


Today Jana and I got to share a little bit of our
story at a women's bible study group at Rolling Hills Community Church.
I haven't written a song in a long time and I thought laying around for weeks would produce something but it didn't.  The  night before we were to talk I finally had a melody and words that captured some of my thoughts of the process.   I was nervous to sing this song because I literally finished it 20 minutes before leaving so I still need some tweaks, but here you go!
Thanks to Teresa B. for sending me a copy of it. :)







Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Women's Conferences

Spring Women's Conferences 

Grace Chapel Women's Retreat April 11-13
Wow what a busy spring it was!! We got to travel to many awesome retreats and conferences to lead worship.   This year marked our first road trip to sunny California where we quickly De-thawed from a long Oregon winter and LOVED meeting so many awesome women.

Only At a Women's conference

Atascadero California March 6-10

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - April 7-9



Rolling Hills Community Church Women's Retreat



Ignite Portland

Monday, March 10, 2014

California Traveling Song - In-N-Out HEY!

Our Chick band got to go on a fun weekend road trip to a women's conference in Atascadero, CA.  We got a little road weary and hungry as we made our way to In-N-Out Burger and came up with this little song. 






Monday, February 3, 2014

The Couch Song

Week 4 and I'm finally feeling a bit "normal".  While couped up in the house and on the couch for 3 weeks I wrote a little song on the ukelele.  Here you go!