Monday, November 26, 2012

What Dream May Come...

Oh let my heart rejoice! Let it sing with praise and thanksgiving for God has seen fit to place struggles in my life.

An odd way to begin a blog, oh to be sure, but there is truth in it. 

Again the Bible says in I Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 

Or again in James 1:2-4, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I've asked for adventures in my life. I asked to be challenged and pushed. I said to the Lord, "Make me something special and worthy of the tasks you have set before me." It seems He took me at my word. And why shouldn't He? He also says, "Ask and Ye shall receive..." Ha! Be careful what you wish for, isn't that the old adage?  Well, I will do as James suggests and consider it pure joy.

Tis' the season to be joyful, is it not? So then let's be joyful, for God has seen fit to place struggles in my life...and what are these struggles you ask? Nothing compared to some and huge compared to others. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, a good glass of wine to ease the day, and an amazing husband to make me laugh and smile. I was not a victim of Sandy; I do not live in the Middle East; my husband is not out on tour seeing and doing only God knows what. I am QUITE blessed. But does that mean that I do not struggle? No I dare say it does not.

I found one week ago that my dear, sweet, wonderful Pop has Parkinson's. Words can't quite express the feeling of utter shock, disappointment, fear, and heartbreak that I experienced that day. I felt sick. I felt faint. I felt numb. Pop has Parkinson's Disease. The same disease that has plagued Muhammad Ali, and Michael J. Fox. PD, as it is known in familial circles, is attacking his neurological system in his brain. But God, He is my Pop! My gentle, kind "father-in-love" that drew me in and loved me like a daughter from the moment I met him. In his quiet way, he wrapped me around his little finger and firmly placed himself in my heart. If I had to have any other man, other than my own wonderful Papa, to my father, it would be him.

Sidebar: As you readers may know, songs have a pull on me... and now as I write it is not Miles, but George that captures my ear and my soul. Gently caressing the ivory and ebony keys into a haunting melody of new snow quietly settling onto the forest floor, illuminated by a winter moon. I feel that I can let my mind wander in the silence of this forest and for a moment relax long enough to let my heart break a little and mend a little.

The tune shifts and Canon in D brings me back...

So dear reader, you may thinking, well Bree PD is not a tragedy and lots of people go on to have fulfilling lives with proper medication, exercise, and attitude. You are so still plagues my heart and grieves me deeply. I guess because of this, lately I feel guilty dreaming for things I want. Why is that? Why do I feel that I have no right to dream? Is it because on the news I see homes destroyed by hurricanes, or women and children used as human shields? Or read of friends who have inexplicably lost their babies for no good reason? Or is it because I see that my Pop suffers, my Mother-in-law crushed, and my family scrambling to make sense of "what to do next?" 

But I do dream and I have suffered loss. I have been loved in spite of bad decisions and broken relationships. I have dreams. Sometimes I feel like Jean ValJean; sometimes like Fantine. But it's been ages since I felt like Marius or Cosette with the spring of youth and the optimism of naivete. 

Maybe it is that at 34 I feel like it's time to grow up and cease with the dreaming. All the dreaming in the world won't make them come true. Even as I write these words, there is a part of my soul that cries out, "NO, don't ever stop dreaming!" Is it fair of me to hope for more than this apartment? To ache for a little "normalcy?" Is it okay for me to dream of a day when I might celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving in MY home, and in MY kitchen? I want children running around, adults laughing, while cider brews, Turkeys roast, pies cool, and the flush of hard work fills my cheeks. I dream...

Then James 1:1-4 comes back to mind. "Consider it pure joy..." I once heard a sermon on this passage. What I found most interesting and unique is that the speaker told us to welcome the trial because God sent it to us specifically, instead of some one else and therefore we should dignify the trial by walking straight up to it and going through it. Allow it to happen with dignity and joy. Be not tempted into complaining about it, but in all things regarding the trial, don't complain. 

God asks for the desires of our hearts. He wants us to speak them out loud to Him. He knows all about them and honors those that ask. He takes us through trials so that the dross may be burned from us and the purity of gold shine in us. But He wants us to dream.

For today, I will not stop dreaming. I will not let go of the 2 little boys and little girl that dance in my head with cookie schmeared faces and milk moustaches. I will not give up on the little shop in the town square filled with unique and one of a kind finds. I will not give up on the published work, or the red carpet walk. I will NOT give them up! They are part of me and whether they come true or not does not deplete their significance to me. 

In 1999 Saya Hillman wrote, "We could not survive if we could not dream, for it is our ability to dream that sustains us in the most wretched times. It is the realization of this gift, to see a glimmer of light in a shroud of darkness, to hear laughter amongst crying, to seek good when surrounded by evil that has guided me, a compass of sorts for my spirit." Well I would add one point to Mr. Hillman's statement; it is God who provides the dreams. He places them in our hearts and minds. So why would He place such beautiful dreams if not to see them realized. 

I am saddened by my Pop's news, heartbroken even, but I am not down trodden. I will not be broken and I will let him be broken either. We can be wounded or we can be broken. A broken bone can heal, and an oozing wound cannot. 

So "Come What Dreams May Come..." I'll "dream my dreams...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's that time of year again.

You've heard it said..."it's that time of year again..." Well of course it is. Life is cyclical and it will always be "that" time of year again... But for those of us who suffer from is COLD season. The transitions of summer to fall. Kids back in school, parents mixing with other parents whose children are sick and they in turn spread it to... ME! So dear reader, as you may remember from previous posts...I get sick in the fall. I always have. Perhaps I'm more susceptible to it because I'm out and about shopping, selling, interacting with a HOST of various people and germs; or perhaps its because I push myself and over commit myself to a weakened immune system; or maybe (and this is my Mom's theory) it's because I never had my tonsils taken out at age 7. Who knows????

But I have learned this if nothing else...instead of mourning the watery itchy eyes, the fluid filled ears, the stuffy, foggy head, I must instead praise God for the rest, the pause button that He has pushed on my schedule. He says, "whoa there speed racer...slow it down. Take a moment to breathe, to rest, to sleep, 'to be still and know that I am God.'" So I take a sniffly breath and I snuggle down into my bed and I sleep.

But THIS time of year is different... wanna know why? I'm guessing you do otherwise you'd not be reading...

THIS time if year I'm going back. I am going back to where I left a little piece of myself. I'm going back to the FALL!!! Oh joy! Oh my heart be still... the grapes, the cypress lined fields, the sunflowers, the pomegranates, the harvest, the olives, the festivals, the art, the history. THIS time I'm not going it alone. THIS time I'm taking my Saucy, my Mama, and my Papa. Finally, I get to share what I fell in love with so many years ago. I will not be alone.

13 years ago I swore that I'd come back and that I would bring my husband with me. That I would share the secrets that I left in Cortona on that wall with him. Now I get to! Saucy is my other half and to give that portion of myself to him is a dream. Why it is so important? I'm not quite sure, but I grew up in some ways  in Cortona and I've never been fully able to express what Italy did for me. I guess I'm hoping that in going back as a woman and not a girl that I will see, with new eyes, all that I have learned. All that I have become. All that I am becoming...

Take me away oh beautiful countryside and let me float on the breeze of my memories....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Red Tent

I am a woman. I am imperfect, biased, flawed, beautiful, difficult, smart, sexy, Christ believing, and Saucy loving. I am tired. I work hard. I push myself to the bone. I don't quit. I bite  my finger nails. I don't quit. And neither does God. He made me so extraordinarily unique that there is quite LITERALLY no one else like me. I am special.

I sit at home...alone. Miles is in the sun room, booming from Saucy's massive speakers. I miss him, but tonight, the Sangiovese and me are enjoying NOT having anyone to talk to or interact with. The absence of my voice, Mile's horn, and the roar of the antiquated AC unit fill the air.

Business is good. Not great, but good. I doubt myself. I miss having girlfriends close by. I LOVE/ ADORE my Saucy, but even he can't completely fill the need for good solid female companionship. No man ever can. It's not a knock at them, simply the way God made us. I remember a couple of years ago (while living in NYC) I read the Red Tent and it was about so many things, but I remember most was the comradeship of women in "the Red Tent." The way they built up, unified, and supported each other during a time when women had no voice. Today, of course, we are totally liberated and are equals among our male counterparts...but we still need our "Red Tent" time with other women.

It is so easy to forget that we are, in fact, women. A different sex. We were made and ARE biologically and physiologically different than men and we should celebrate and support one another in that fact.

Reader, DO NOT get me wrong here. I am not preaching that one sex is greater than another. In fact, the opposite. The Psalmist says, that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." It is true; we are. Each sex was made to complement the other. The old adage "opposites attract" is true. But we are unique, individual creations of God's create and complex imagination. I LOVE that!

I realize that I'm on a rabbit trail a MASS proportions, so let me state this and then I'll get back on track. I LOVE how different my husband is from me and I love discovering all the ways that I need to communicate with him to get my message to him in the way I intend for it to be received....but that's NOT what this blog is about.

I should probably own up to the fact that this blog isn't really about ANYTHING...just me, listening to Miles, drinking wine in a relaxed state that allows me to say EXACTLY what I am truly thinking.

So back to 5 paragraphs ago...Business is good, but not great. I KNOW that I am a good designer. Not great, but good. Good enough to do business and make a living at it. I've come to accept that I'll never have the fame and fortune that a naive 14 year old girl dreamed of one having... but with age comes maturity and I am delighted to say, that I no longer desire those things. I guess maybe in my heart of hearts I've always known that a family was so much more important to me than those things...But I can tell you what my heart has been missing...Girlfriends.

Don't get me wrong...I have some of the worlds greatest girlfriends EVER! But the majority of them live one to 7 states away. A few even further. Tara: California; Halima, Sara, and Kylie: New York City; Heather C: get the idea. I am lonely for female companionship. Some of them have children I've never met! That's ridiculous! BUT... Our God is a good God and He doesn't seek to harm us, He builds us up and gives us what we NEED, when we need it.  Marrying my Saucy has given me friends I didn't even imagine I could have; Cheryl, Sara Amber, Beth... to name a few. But still the day to day closeness of a girlfriend is lacking. I miss having my girlfriends.

Please note that this is NOT a pity poor me party, it's a simple statement of where I am. An acknowledgement of the fact that my Saucy cannot provide everything for me. But there is one who can. My God. He can and is my friend. He is more than just my Heavenly Father, my Saviour, my God, He is my BEST friend. He hears my cry and will and has (on the way) that group of women who will lift me up, provide, nurture, sustain, heal, challenge, and LOVE me that way that ONLY women know how to do...

But now my Saucy has walked through the door and I long to hear about his day...

Thank you my dear readers for hearing my heart (as always)...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

True rest

Vacation: a supposed break in the harried in our day-to-day schedules. But of course, we get to our destination and we quickly fill up our time with runs to the grocery store, pharmacy, touring the area, shopping for trinkets we don't need or really want, and endless discussions of what our options are for entertainment. But what about just being quiet? What about listening without speech? What about resting? 
So I go out on the front porch, it is raining and I listen to the drops drip on the leaves, roof, and run down through the gutters and drains. A bird caws and children ride by on their bikes, squealing everytime a drop hits them on their neck or ear. Rain looking to water a dry space. I sigh and release the tension that the morning discussions have brought on. Oh, if I could just sit out here and be quiet forever...
But I can't. My need for coffee is greater than my need for quiet.

I feel my irritation rising up again as I come in the house...then I listen as my Saucy plays our wedding playlist. I smile and appreciate those around me. The son who has learned how to tune out that which annoys him and concentrates on his work. The husband who quietly sits and eats just happy to be with his loved ones. The mother who piddles around fussing like a hen for all those around her. And me, the newbie who is learning what her role. How do I find my place in this family dynamic? Do I even need to? Maybe it will find me? The bottom line: I am love. I am so deeply loved.

The real key to vacation? Finding peace in the midst of chaos; finding quiet in the midst of noise; finding solace in the midst of crowds. But if it's that simple of a solution, then shouldn't we be able to vacation all the time. Shouldn't we be able to always be at rest?

About Me

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Hello. I'm Bree Tuttle, owner of You in Mind Designs, LLC. I've been a designer for 13 years and I work with you in mind. There's much joy in discovering those treasures in your home that are, perhaps, misplaced or even in the attic. I will help you making every room a reflection of who you are personally. It's my philosophy that if you feel proud, safe, and at peace in your home, then it will affect all aspects of your life. You stand straighter, walk taller, dress better, work harder, sleep more soundly, and ultimately have a more fulfilling life. If I can help you do that, then I'll consider my job as your designer a success.