Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Unexpected Rainbows

Have you ever been driving on a perfectly sunny day and suddenly you see a rainbow in the bright blue sky?  How many times have you had a big rain storm pass over and seen a vivid rainbow as the rain ceases?  Have you seen a rainbow in the middle of a storm cloud?  Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by the beauty of those rainbows?  Have they ever taken your breath away?  Have you thought about why they were there?

I have.  Literally....and figuratively.

This is one of the  most beautiful photos I think I have ever seen!  A rare complete rainbow.  A double rainbow.  The inspiring single tree.  The brilliant light.  The road.  The small glimpses of a blue sky in the background.  The incredible symemetry of the colors.

I am so inspired by rainbows!   This blog is about the inspirations and life lessons that shape me...and Cellar Designs.  So I just want to share with you some of my thoughts,  musings and lessons that I take from rainbows.

In the photo above I am so intrigued by the light that seems to be concentrated under the rainbow.  I love the gorgeous light that is cast on the tops of the trees branches.  The rest of the sky is dark but under the rainbow it is bright.  The road is also dark until it reaches the light of the rainbow.  I also fascinated by the fact that the red in the first rainbow is on the outside but the red on the second is on the inside.  I think it is incredible that this beautiful natural phenomenon is right in the midst of stormy clouds.

For some of you this peaks your scientific yearnings.  Me too...  But, for me more than science, this touches my spiritual core.  I look at a rainbow and see God.  I see the things He wants me to learn, see, realize and know.

I feel like that tree sometimes.  Alone, isolated, yet strong and enduring with numerous branches outstretched toward the warmth of light.   I see the wonders of the reflective colors and think that it is God's way of saying "I am the first rainbow and you are a reflection of me."  I think that sometimes things in life seem like a bit of a storm but the gift of a rainbow is the assurance of safety and the hope that is ahead.

I had an unexpected rainbow in my life.  His name is Noah.

It was late April of 2004.  I was 37 years old.  I had 3 great kids.  Zack was turning the corner to teenage years, Taylor was 9 and Luke was almost 3.  It had not been easy conceiving Luke and needed a bit of assistance from great docs.   I had been told we were done having children and I was fine with that!  We were done with diapers.  We had given away our baby stuff...the crib, strollers, carseats and clothes.  I was starting to dream of going back to school.  I was wanting to get my degree...finally.  I was leaning toward something that would land me, one day, a job as a high school guidance counselor.

Then I found myself sitting on the kitchen floor, leaning up against island... crying and holding a pregnancy test.  I was pregnant.  Are you kidding me?  Really?  How could I be pregnant?  It is medically impossible!  My body wasn't equipped and able to concieve any more.  We were done.  I had plans.   4 kids?!  What is Craig going to say?  Oh my.........

Those feelings lasted just a few days.  I had a choice.  I could continue to be bummed by this unplanned pregnancy.  I could keep on crying.  OR..... I could embrace it.  I could be thankful for the gift.  I could try to find the lesson in it.  I could be grateful.

Fast forward to today....
It is late March 2012.  I am 44 years old.  I have 4 perfectly imperfect children that drive me crazy, make me beam with pride and humble me daily.  Zack is 20, Taylor is 16, Luke is almost 11 and Noah is 7.   We have, once again, given away all the baby stuff.  I didn't go back to school.  I am content with my Master's degree in Mothering! (some of my grades were not the best, but I learned alot!)  The new dream that replaced the old one, of a business, has been realized.  I didn't need to find a job as a high school guidance counselor because I have found more joy and purpose in serving and leading in our church's high school ministry.  Every Wednesday night a large group of the most amazing teens come to our house and hang out.

I am very grateful.  Noah Scott was that unexpected rainbow.
I felt like I was in the midst of a big storm that spring day in 2004.  As those storm clouds lifted I found strength in the light.... faith in the mirror image of the rainbow's colors..... and the promise that the road ahead would be illuminated.

Rarely do I get to make a sign in rainbow colors...but here are two of my favorites.

                               WORDS TO LIVE BY                                    LIFE RULES

Noah is an unexpected rainbow...every day!  A few weeks ago he made a necklace at school.  They were "friendship necklaces".   Each color bead meant a different thing and then they got to pick the animal for the center.  Each animal had a different meaning.  Noah picked the dolphin but said he was torn between that and the elephant or turtle.  The dolphin represents "playfulness, kindess, & friendship".  He loves his necklace.  It is perfect for him... he is a spirited playful guy who has a sweet, kind heart and has not met a person he wouldn't become friends with!

Thank God he was born.

May you happen upon a rainbow one day soon.
May you stand in awe at its beauty.
May it stop you in your tracks and make you think about big stuff.
May it provide a warmth and a light for your life.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I have a teenage daughter.  I have the privilege to lead a small group of teenage girls weekly.
I didn't like being a teenager.  I have a heart for teenage young women.....

That very heart breaks when I see my daughther, her friends and other teenage girls(and guys for that matter) look at themselves and their lives and do not see what I do, or others do.  That heart breaks when I remember back to when I felt the same way.  Being a teenager is tough.  At times it feels like it is the "best time of my life"...and others it just plain old sucks.  (I hate that word but it is applicable in few cases, this being one)  Being a teenage girl was not the best time of my life.  I wasn't confident, didn't think anyone would ever choose me and was confused on who I really was.

I wish someone could have told me, when I was 16, exactly what my life was going to look like at 40.  I wish I could have had a sneak peek into the future.  I would have loved to see who I was going to become so that I could have a picture in my mind of what to work toward.   If only someone........had show me the future.....

If someone could have told me that I would be content, happy, loved, confident, worthy,               fun, deserving....
If someone would have disclosed to me that I would still have fears, doubts,
        worries, challenges....
If someone could have shown me a photo of what I would look like...
If someone would have shared with me the stories of troubles that I was going to have.....
If someone could have said "don't worry about that boy who broke your heart...
         .......a better man is around the corner"!
If someone would have divulged to me the secrets of true friendship....
If someone could have revealed to me that my faith would get me through everything.
If someone would have shown me a mirror that didn't tell me my own lies about my beauty.
If someone could have mentioned to me that one day, even though I couldn't finish college,
           that I would own my own thriving business.
If someone would have shown me that one day I would know what my greatest purpose was.
If someone could have communicated to me the fact that I had a light that I was not seeing.
If only.......

But if someone had....then none of the above would have been true.

I really believe that if I had been given the chance to see what was ahead then it would have altered the end result.  Who I am today is because of all the junk and joy that has happened over the years..  It is because I had the courage (and somedays there was NO courage found on my own!) and a quiet faith, that I grew up, learned many hard lessons and became who I am today.  I love this quote.....

You can never cross the ocean 
unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

If I had been given the chance to see the shore I wouldn't have learned to let go of things and trust God in my life.   I wouldn't have seen that God had put a light inside of me that was to guide me on my path.  I believe that we have all been given this gift of a light within.

Sometimes it seems like it has extinguished itself.  Sometimes it feels like it is flickering.  Sometimes it is difficult to see.  But it is there.  It has been handed to us gently to use.  It can shine in how we treat others, how we love, what we do in life.....but also, how we look at ourselves.  If we use this light for good it can be amazing to see how many other lights begin to shine around us.

What a beautiful sight this is!  

If only someone would tell all of us that this is possible if we 
          all just let our own lights shine bright.  
If only I could state to my incredible daughter that she is beautiful 
          and she would instantly believe it.
If only we could use our lights to show all teenage girls(and boys!) their inherent value and 
         then they embrace it.  
If only they could see that one day they will be one of those exquisite floating lanterns...
         soaring to new heights and illuminating the way for others to follow.
If only....

May you believe the truth about who you are.
May you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
May you let your light shine.
May your light be like a flashlight on someone else's path....helping them to see the road ahead.