just me lexi

i am a lover of all things beautiful in a relentless pursuit of art, ideas, projects, words, photos and the master Artist. i hope to share all my findings here...

Friday, February 9, 2018


I have mirrors hanging in my house and poetry written on my windows,

both for the same reason--

so I can see myself.

Yesterday on the largest window in my home, 

I scribbled the words,

"I felt it shelter to speak to you".  

--Emily Dickinson

I left Emily's words there, 

to better see 


I mostly see the absence of myself in Emily's words on my window each time I walk past.  

Truth is: I am rarely the shelter and am often the tempest.

I am the storm instead of the safe place.

Often I bring honesty and opinion and forget to bring subtilty and tenderness.

I live my life with an umph and urgency that doesn't leave alot of space for others.

But I so want to be a shelter...

The whole wide world is wild and a bit rowdy.

Crazy things happen everyday.

Big bursts and small ones.

Lives are changed and lunches made.

Self control is lost and so are keys.

I want to be a shelter from it all.  

For my kids and my partner.

For my friends and neighbors.

For my sisters and my people  (and also anyone who needs it.)

But it's beyond me.

A shelter doesn't just magically come into existence.

Someone has to build it.

Someone strong.

I happen to know a builder.

He's been offering for awhile to take me and make me something new.

He wants to redeem all my pieces and parts and make me into something that can somehow be used...

He looks at me with some imagination.

He sees the unique parts that only belong to me...the beautiful ones I try to cling to.  

He sees all my lost and broken bits... and He thinks he can use those too.

He longs to make a shelter out of me--

a shelter for not only my children but also the cast-offs that no one wants to claim.

He wants to come in and take my crazy and make me cozy.

He wants to make me both a home for my own and those who've never known home.

Right now I look more like a junkyard of stray dreams and half-started things.  

I am all and sundry. 

Odds and ends.

I'm a wistful pile of rubble.

The Creator-God promises He can move in and make sense of it all.  

So much for making something of myself...

I'm quite relieved to find I'm not alone at this work.

I often get confused and think the point is to become more like me

when this whole life is about looking more like Him.  




Friday, February 2, 2018

At the table

The new year lays before me like untrodden snow.

To take the first step is to mar the untouched thing.

Beginning feels holy and important.

I sidestep the starting and chase down distraction.

I begin gathering my home.

I spend my January reading other people's books instead of writing my own...

I cross the cold days off the calendar one by one and trade them for a clean house and folded laundry.

I rearrange furniture until I'm satisfied (I'm never satisfied) and then Feburary 1st arrives and shakes me awake.

2018's chapter one is already done.

It's past time to begin.

Better now than then never.

It's okay if the first few steps are shaky.

(Shaky steps take you where you need to go too.)

This year will be the year that I claim my spot at the table.  If there is no room I will pull up a chair.  I will show up nervous and awkward and without any answers.  Bringing only what I've got.


I have ideas.

I bring creativity.

I can tie words around just about any old thing.

I can't show up emptyhanded (and my guess is neither can you).

I always show up with enthusiasm and hardwork.

Empathy is my specialty and making something of nothing is my favorite recipe.

This is the year I will show up with what I have and share what I've been given: the gifts I was born into (my inheritance).

Why is it so hard to believe there is a place for (even) me at the table?

Why does my 35 year old voice shake when I join the conversation?

If all of life is a long table--I want to learn to make place cards for every single of us so not one person will live another day doubting whether or not they belong.

Place cards are my favorite.  They have the most delicate way of saying YOU ARE WANTED.

When I see my name written on a tiny bit of paper in front of a chair my heart thrills just a little and only then do I stop wondering if what I have to bring is essential AND JUST SIT DOWN.

If there is room for me and my mess at this table then there is room for you and yours.

You & me...We belong here.

I'm bringing me (and that's enough).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

my mommahood

a few years back, i found myself surrounded by amazing mommas.  they were all good at things like making appointments (and keeping them), returning library books and looking sane in the pre-school pick up line.  i, mistakenly, measured my momma success by their amazing strengths...and i fell short.  so somewhere along the way, i cast my own crazy/creative strengths aside and went to work on my weaknesses.  

i tried harder.  

i tried replacing finger painting with worksheets.  i stopped park hopping and picked up flash cards.  i bought daily planners by the dozen.  i attempted to schedule our previously impulsive little life...

i ended up discouraged...

during that time, i managed to beat myself up pretty good.  i was going weeks without doing fun things and months without dabbling in creativity.  i spent years chastising myself for being who i was created to be...

right around that time, something about the grace my God offered me started to change my mind about my mommahood.  it finally occurred to me that, it didn't have to be about trying harder...it was just about asking Him who i was, opening my hands to accept what was given to me and asking for forgiveness for my failings.  

and things started to change...slowly.  i started to find myself as a momma.  i started making messes with my kiddos...big impractical ones.  i started dancing silly in the car and generally driving with the windows down.  i threw big birthday parties and a few very un-birthday parties.  i began dragging creativity into everywhere...even chore lists.  i started conversations that i'm pretty sure weren't happening in all the other mini vans.  i broke all the rules...not on purpose--but just because it's how i love.

somewhere amidst my self discovery, i created my momma creed.  it went something like this:

"i want to raise passionate learners and world changers who love God and others."

once i  narrowed down my goal for mommahood it was easier to rearrange my life to make it happen. 

it was freeing.

these days my mommahood looks less like anyone else's and more like my own.  i feel a little more at home as a momma--less worried about being everything and more focused on offering my something. my love for my kiddos is deeply rooted in my Father's love for me.  i know mommahood is nothing to be figured out and there is never a right way--but i think i've discovered that my relationship with my Father changes my mommahood in remarkable ways.  when i'm close to Him i am more okay with me and i generally have more to offer those 2 firecrackers of mine and the many mommas that surround me.  when i see us all as His children it's easy to see that other mommas received different gifts than i did...and it's okay if i don't measure up to them--all our gifts are good.  if you use yours and i use mine, then the world will be just as it should be:)

the truth is, i will always fail in the punctuality department.  i have a propensity to make up rash and extreme punishments that are impossible to follow through on("no computer til after christmas!"). i'm not a great morning momma--no creativity til after coffee.  sometimes i yell. my kids watch far more tv then i'd like.  my house is only clean for minutes at a time.  i forget more dental appointments then i'd like to admit.  i overthink little things.  i have a tendency to make lessons out of flying birds and pretty sunsets.  i have this habit of starting things...and turns out, being myself makes me look crazy in the company of other mommas...but i am so much more alive to my kiddos.  and that's what this mommahood is all about, right?  them?  so nevermind the stares...

my kids will never have everything but they will get all of me.  they will get the messy parts and the holy ones--they will hear of the lessons i've learned and the ones i'm currently learning.  they will get a front row seat to creativity and most likely have several tardy slips each semester.  my kiddos will benefit from the best of me...and learn to have grace for the worst of me...and when they are grown, they will know...i gave it my all.

Monday, January 13, 2014

sheer gift

new year.  two words.  

sheer gift.

1. nothing other than;  unmitigated.
synonyms: utter complete, absolute, total, pure, downright, out-and-out, thorough.

1. a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.
synonyms: present handout donation, offering, bestowal, bonus, award, endownment

2. a natural ability or talent
synonyms: talent, flair, apitude, facility, knack, bent, ability, expertise, capacity, capability

i divorced new year resolutions last year.  new year's resolutions reek of should's and would's and i'd rather live a life free of that flavor of things.  i replaced resolutions with a theme...last year's theme added so much life to me i couldn't help but come up with another.  It took me awhile to alight upon an idea i wanted to carry with me for such a long journey through spring and summer and fall and back to winter again.  and then i read romans 4 and i knew.

romans 4

 If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.


i love gifts!  i want to look at life this year, good days and bad, as a sheer gift.  on winter mornings (even in florida), you can see your breath. something normally invisible is temporarily frozen and able to be viewed.  

i want to see each breath this year...and i want learn to view it as a gift.  

the truth is, 
i don't deserve another minute.  
i'm not entitled to another year.  

this year i want to imagine all the moments wrapped up in paper and string...just for me.  i want to unwrap the exciting packages and the dull ones and be grateful for both...  i want to look for and find sheer gifts all over my life--hidden in unexpected places and holding surprising contents.  i want to live this next year with open hands, awaiting and expecting anything and everything He sends my way.  i want to look at 2014 like a child on christmas morning...with awe and wonder in my eyes...

I want to drag this concept into every area of my life...even the spiritual.  this year, i want to live in the sheer gift of His grace.  i want to make sure i am not attempting to add to His gift by "trying harder".  i want to make sure i realize that this job is too big for me.  when someone gives an amazing gift, it's very human to want to pay them back in some way...and i often make that mistake in how i relate to the God who spoke the mountains into existence.  how prideful.  how insulting.  i want to approach my Father this year with a heart of humility and gratefulness...ever aware of the gifts He gives and how i can never deserve them.  i want to practice living in this sheer gift ALL. YEAR. LONG.

the word gift has two meanings--it can refer to a present or an ability.  in years past, i've been guilty of never using the gifts God has given to me.  in fact i've hidden them--to keep them safe from harm, i've put them up on a high and dusty shelf...so nothing can be broken.  this year i want to unwrap my gifts and atually use them.

i want to make.  
i want to write.  
i want to draw.  
i want to create.

i want to drag these unused gifts out of my soul's attic.  i don't want to be the daughter that buried her talents.  

i've lived too long in shame for the ways i'm made.  
i've lived too long in fear.  
i've lived way too long without flying from my open cage.  

doing the things i love scares me.  it feels so intimate and exhilarating.  it's...terrifying to put it all out there.  but this year? i want to dust off my brushes and paint on my life's canvas.  i want to use up all the blank paper in my house to write and sketch and create.  i want to put my ideas to work. i'm tired of comparing my gifts or asking Him for an exchange.  i'm tired of valuing His creation in this world but devaluing it in myself. this year i'm going to be kind to myself as i make my way through this unknown terrain.  i'm not going to demand perfection of me.  i'm going to be brave with my gifts and graceful with myself along the way. 

along with learning to use my gifts, in 2014 i want to be a giver.  

no reasons.  
no paybacks.  
no credit taken.  
no strings attached.  

i want to be a giver this year.  i have been given so much i want to take this year to give of my time, my resources and talents. i want to be intentional about looking for these opportunities wherever i go.  i want this year to be marked by a extreme generosity. i want to offer my best giving to God this year.  i want to mirror the Great Giver with a little giving of my own. i want to be on the hunt this year for opportunities to share.

i want to spend 2014 admiring the sheer gift of life,

basking in the sheer gift of grace, 

daring to use the gifts given to me, 


last of all,

mirroring the Giver of every good thing. 

new year.  two words.

sheer gift.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

seeds, magic, roots & blooms

lately, it's the littlest things that catch my attention.  

things overlooked.  things forgotten.  

things like seeds. 

if you stop just a second to think about it, seeds are such a wild & wonderful way to begin a thing!  even the simplest description sounds so other worldly--

first you cover this tiny gray ball with some dirt.  make sure it sees the sun. just add water and then stand back--who knows what it will be.

inside every 

little seed 
pure magic. 

seeds don't typically look like magic.  it's impossible to know just by looking, that something wonderful is beginning.  even if you know the sort, you never know if the seed you hold in your hand will grow up and become:

houses or boats,
driftwood or pencils,
chrysanthemums or raspberries,
books or tree houses, 
baby beds or wildflowers,
shade or shelter.  

(because, if you look at it just right, all of these things must begin with a seed.) 

every seed is 

a secret.

a promise.

a mystery.

a miracle.

it seems logical to me that of all the seeds, the dandelion and milkweed seeds would grow the most magical things of all...they seem so full of fluff and whimsy...and yet...once they are properly sunned and watered, they are only pretty weeds.

the start of a thing rarely tips you off to what is to come.  i constantly try to guess at what God is planting as it goes into the soft soil of my heart but really--it's quite hard to judge endings from their beginnings.  and there is so much beginning...

so much in my life is changing, churning.  the soil under my feet is being tilled and turned. everywhere i look God is growing something new.  beginnings are being planted everywhere. i am both thrilled and terrified with the slightly chaotic turn my life is taking...

*my husband just started a new job (in the office next to mine). he will work from home & for something he believes in.  it's kind of his dream job...working for the amazing c.o.o. of trail life usa (a non-profit that is focused on God and adventure and honor and training boys to become amazing men...see more here -------> www.traillifeusa.com). in one miraculously strategic move God has answered so many prayers...and turned our routine on it's very head. i'm so excited for eric and for our family as we venture into this untamed territory.  so excited to see just what grows out of this change.

*today i stand bewildered at the beginning of a long journey to wellness.  my battle with lyme disease continues to alter everything.  every day is different.  some days wonderful.  some (like last saturday) are from my nightmares.  God is doing lots of weeding and planting in this area of my life.  He's planting seeds of empathy and compassion in me where self-centeredness has always grown.  He's folding seeds of quiet and contentment into loud and lusty, me.  He's cultivating helplessness and gratitude and those other tricky things inside my heart.  i can feel these foreign things taking root deep down inside. from the outside i'm sure i look much the same but these invisible roots promise visible blooms someday soon. all these sweet seedlings are slowly growing and taking over places where my thorny words used to be.  i've never in my life been so happy to watch, follow & listen.  i would have never guessed this is what would begin to grow from illness.  

*i am beginning some new creative projects in this starting season.  projects unlike i've ever attempted.  God has planted some seeds of truth in my life that are growing quite steadily into action.  it's exciting and risky and ... i can't wait to see what pops up out of this ground.

i am enthralled with life this january!  there are new beginnings in all directions.  it's an expectant season where much is being planted.  i'm intoxicated with the hope that all this seed magic will explode into something wonderful come spring.  i can't wait for these seeds to show me what it means to bloom.

Monday, November 11, 2013

still learning...

lately i feel i've been traveling through foreign land.  everything is different.  food, language, ritual, habit, street signs and landscape.  it's all very confusing.  and frustrating.  i'm sure there are some wonderful things i'm missing out my window, but i'm consumed with my survival in this strange land and so far have failed to see any landmarks that might make this journey a little less traumatic.

rhett & i were recently diagnosed with lyme disease.  we were bitten by ticks this summer while picnicking under our favorite old tree.  we didn't get a distinct rash (only about 35%-60% of lyme's patients got the "bull's eye rash").  we were a little tired...but it was summer and we were flying through all our favorite things.  

soon enough school started.  i was editing photos in front of my computer every day...but sore at the end of day...and so tired at night you would have thought i was running marathons in between photo sessions.  but i couldn't sleep...and then i started having chest pain.  and that sent me straight to the dr.  one night i thought i was dying.  crushing chest pain, heart flutters, pain in my left arm...and yet...i'm such a non-medical kinda girl...it took all this to get me to my local urgent care.  they did an EKG and said there was nothing wrong.  i said,

oh, yes.  there is something wrong all right.  i know it.  run every test.  diabetes, heart disease, lyme disease, I DON'T CARE.  

and i must have been pretty scary in that moment because, without another question, 
he did.  

Lyme's came back positive.  i was devastated   i have seen with my own two eyes how terrible this disease could be...i could hardly believe it was lurking in MY body.  my strong and young and capable body.  i got rhett tested the same day(because he was bit by two ticks the same day i was). he tested positive.  my momma's heart withered.

 we both started treatment in september.

if getting diagnosed with a potentially debilitating disease was not enough.

there is some very bad news about lyme's disease.  i'm learning more every day.  here is the information i've gathered thus far (in my own simple words),

if you don't get proper treatment for lyme's in the beginning stages, you could have it for the rest of your life.


it's very hard to get proper treatment


people think it's not here or it's not there or it's only in the northeast (including my urgent care dr and the florida health department).  


 it's a VERY politically clouded disease that the government doesn't like to talk about or acknowledge.  


insurances don't like to pay for the expensive treatments.  


 the CDC doesn't stand to benefit from lyme's research and they don't know enough about the disease to properly treat it.  


dr's get shut down for treating lyme's any way but by CDC guidelines (a few days or weeks of antibiotics).  they are getting their licences taken away for doing anything more.   naturally, there are very few dr's willing to take this risk.

all of this =

a very scary and unfamiliar journey for me and my little wonderboy.

luckily (for us) we have some friends here in florida that have been down a similar road.  they pointed us to some lyme literate medical doctors in the area (l.l.m.d.) right away and have eased the entrance into this strange land by their familiarity with all the things we are currently wading through.  while this is amazing and graceful...this journey has still been dark...for me.

lyme disease if not treated is thought to be linked to some very scary diseases like parkinson's, arthritis, lupis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromialgia, and alzheimer's.  in my limited understanding it can lead to heart damage, organ damage and even death.  all from one little tick at a pretty picnic.

this is all so unfamiliar to me.  like a different world than i knew just several months ago.  my body feels like someone else's some days.  i hurt.  i ache.  i feel like my mouth won't make the right words and that's if my brain can find them.  every day is different.  it rarely looks the same.  it's confusing to me so i can't imagine what it looks like in my little boy's head.  
as a strong woman...i am frustrated. as a momma...i am enraged. as a daughter of a big God...i am learning.

i'm learning (once again) i am small.  i'm learning lots from this out of control feeling.  i am learning that i never really trusted Him to begin with.  i am learning alot about how to live today and let tomorrow worry about itself.  i am learning to wait and i am learning that He can do more in my waiting that i can ever do in my doing.  i'm learning the value of good health.  i'm learning about the art of taking care of others (as others care for me).  i'm learning that a call or text or pot of soup or apple pie really can mean HOPE to someone.  this whole thing has been a lesson in patience and humility and self control and joy. and i'm still learning...

come what may

as a child i hated roller coasters.  but i tried my best.  i nodded every time my mom asked if i wanted to ride.  i put my brave face on and envied my baby sisters as they strolled out the chicken exit.  but not me...<gulp> i rode every ride.  as i buckled myself into the ride fear bubbled in my stomach--not the excited kinda fear but the terrified.  i'd close my eyes and stomp my feet on the floor every loop and hill.  i hated every second.  i wanted so badly to like it.  i'd have to remind myself  itwillbeoversoon, itwillbeoversoon in order to make it through.  but if ever i was brave enough to open my eyes, i could see for miles!  hills and trees and houses and people...the view was beautiful!  i hardly knew because i spent most of my time with my eyes squeezed tight.  there is something about that free falling feeling i just can't take.

life feels a bit like a roller coaster right now.  God is the parent that buckled me in and promises me i'll be alright. He makes it clear that it's Him and not me that is in control.  i'd like so much to make Him proud so i put my brave face on and envy the others that take the chicken exit.  i buckle in and try my best.  at the loops and hills i close my eyes and stomp my feet and try to remember all my Father tells me about being afraid.  i don't like this ride.  some days i have to remind myself itwillbeoversoon, itwillbeoversoon in order to make it through.  if i dare open my eyes long enough...some parts of this ride are breathtaking--like nothing i could ever see from anywhere else.   the landscape is painted in shades of forgiveness and redemption, humility and kindness--the view is beautiful!  all beauty aside, there is something in this free falling feeling that i just can't take.  

but for Him?  

even this falling feeling.


whatever it is, i don't like this ride. but i'm buckled in and leaning towards Him--

come what may.