Joyful choices!

black cat Teddy

You guys… you just amaze me. Thank-you for your thoughtful, heartfelt words of encouragement over the loss of Teddy during this past weekend’s Pet Parade. I barely know what to say. And your darling pet’s faces made me smile all weekend through. :)

Things are quieter and different, and I allow moments of missing my girl here and there. But for the most part, my mind has been busy on other things, which I find helpful.

Patio project inspiration - burlap and pallet wood

On Saturday, I chose to put a little joy back into my day by firing up a new DIY project. I needed to force myself out of a potential low rut. I needed a fix of joy, so I got busy and made that happen.

It wasn’t easy. I didn’t ‘feel’ like doing anything but I did it regardless. I just got up and started. And then momentum built and I felt like I was back!  (more on this project tomorrow)

Imagination Corporation sculpting workshop - dinosaurs

Saturday evening I gave myself even more joy. I dropped in at my artist buddy Dan’s workshop (Imagination Corporation) to visit and take a few pictures. Hanging out with artists is nothing BUT joy. Watching them create amazing works of art that they themselves didn’t realize they had potential for was over the top!

This was a hand sculpting class and the assignment was to create a dinosaur head. They were amazing!

And then I gave myself the biggest joyful gift of all on Sunday.

A few days prior I had opened up Facebook and landed on this caption, “Expect the unexpected.” with a gush of water as a graphic right under it. I thought it was a super cool graphic and pushed on.

baptism Sunday

On Saturday, I found the same graphic but this time with a different message.

Well, my stomach instantly did this trapeze double flip (made that up, no idea if it’s a real saying) not really knowing why. Why should that graphic concern me?  I hit the hay Saturday night not even setting my alarm, which I normally do for Sunday.

Sunday, I got up early. Wide awake. All on my own. Tuned into Facebook over coffee and my stomach did more than a lurch once again at the graphic. It was then that my eyes grew wide and I knew what was being asked of me. I had big plans for the day ahead.

I felt like a puppet being led by the puppeteer. I couldn’t stop moving if I tried. Ok, I could have but I would have regretted it, know that feeling? You just know when you should do something. I got ready, grabbed a couple towels with my camera and ran for the truck.

I sat in the front row, taking pictures of others getting baptized. As Pastor Dwayne was wrapping things up, he started to climb out of the tub.

YAC baptism

That’s when I approached the ladder with, “Could you please stay in?”

With extreme pleasure, the service was halted, I threw off my jacket and shoes and climbed up.

And got baptized. I. Got. Baptized!

Totally impromptu from the joyful eyes of my church family, and sort of even to me! Yet it didn’t surprise me if that makes sense. It felt very, VERY right. I felt total peace and excitement for what’s to come, full knowing how it falls into my assignment in life.

This isn’t the first time I’ve felt God’s gentle persuasion. Not even close. My entire story (nearly to date) is below if you have an hour or 2 to spare. :)

All about Me, A Story of Hope

Summer Changes

So… you must be curious! And I hope you don’t mind if I share… What exactly does a baptized girl feel like anyway?

I feel intense joy. The smile on my face is still there. It’s been exactly 9 hours and the mere memories of what transpired and how it’s left me feel has me feeling AMAZING.

I feel loved. I mean, I really ‘feel’ it. There is a sensation that wraps around me, as if I’m being protected.

I feel more confident and focused. It’s as if my decisions are more sound and I’m not second guessing myself to the level I was.

I have direction. I know what comes first and how to filter everything around it.

Wow. Just wow.

- – - – -

About the baptism…

Just know, I don’t have it all together. I’m not a pro at this topic by a long shot. I was wondering if I even qualified to be baptized! But during the service beforehand, Pastor Dwayne explained perfectly what it actually meant to be baptized. It’s simply a desire to follow what God has in store for you and live your fullest life according to His plan. 

The explanation just confirmed what I HAD to do. God has been such a big part of my story thus far and I just desired to partner with Him to the hilt.

- – - – -

Anyway, I walked by Teddy’s grave today, topped with freshly cut flowers from the garden, and rather than wiping away a tear, I smiled big. Strength! I have more strength! And it felt wonderful!

My desire for every one of you is to choose joyful choices in your life, no matter where you’re at. It sure beats the alternative!

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Categories: About me, Inspiration, Junk Drawer, Personal
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  1. Insomnia led me to my e-reader tonight but the battery drained is drained, and so I got out of bed to hit up my computer as a source of relaxation, and your full story was my oasis on a long dark night.

    My husband suffered from vertigo for a while so I know what you’ve been through. But his was for a much briefer period. I will add my prayers for your complete healing.

    I love your DIY stuff and wonder what the wreath on the wood pile door is made out of. Is it just aluminum cans sliced up? In any event, we are all, every one of us, our own most important DIY project, and you are doing very well with yours.

    Blessings and peace to you and congratulations on knowing to follow when you hear God’s call.

    Heading back to bed now, much calmed by your story.

  2. Congratulations ! My 38 year old daughter was re-baptized 1 weeks ago and she shares your feelings! What a wonderful thing…to walk in obedience. In John 1…we read about Jesus’ first miracle…turning the water into wine…the instruction to the servants from Jesus’s mother was”whatsoever He says to do-do it!” What a simple command…yet we procrastinate so… But in the obedience comes the miracles! Always listen to that small voice and whatsoever He says to do…do it! Thank you for sharing!
    You have blessed many in doing so!

  3. Thank you for your timely post! “Choose joyful choices” so simply states where I am personally at. Five weeks ago I saw my momma for the last time, she passed away a week later. Last week I was at the point of losing interest in doing the things I love most. Realized it was just from being sad. This week begins with the determination to not get stuck in grieving and to get back to my life. And then I read your post this morning…just more confirmation it is time to move forward. Joyfully!

    • I’m so sorry for your loss Betsy… I’ve lost both parents so I know the feeling well. It’s so hard.

      But I’m beside myself that this post could have encouraged you! I know your mom would have wanted happiness for you.. so I hope you can change from mourning to celebrating soon! Thinking of you!

      • Thanks, Donna!
        I’m working through it now with some DIY therapy this week. Just refinished a picture frame Momma brought home from Grandma’s house twenty years ago. Wish I could show it to her but I KNOW she’d love the results as much as I do. Getting back to working on projects is helping so much. I’m tellin’ya, your post about your DIY mojo being MIA and learning to love where you live hit home, too. It’s too bad we literally live on opposite ends of the continent…we’d sure have a lot to discuss over coffee!
        PS…congrats on your baptism!!! I still remember the feeling like it was yesterday after many years.

  4. Hallelujah! Love Love Love that you listened to the Holy Spirit and bravely got up to be baptized! Beautiful story! Beautiful Witness! So true to keep our joy! After all, it is one of our weapons! Choosing Joy is HUGE! Yay!!!!!!

  5. Donna my dear, Congratulations. My favorite saying is, If the good Lord gets you to it, the good Lord will get you through it….lifelong I have repeated that saying over and over…above all, GOD is the greatest. May you carry your beloved Teddy in your heart forever..you will never be alone. Blessings, Dottie

  6. Amen! Saw a sign on a church that said, “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy that it was”. I love it! Satan wants your joy because that takes with it your energy and makes you useless. Great Decisions! All the way around. Keep up the good work. I’m so proud of you and happy for you!

  7. I cried with you last week about Teddy, and now I cry tears of joy with you for the goodness of God! I am very excited/happy for you!

  8. Oh! How wonderful!! Welcome to the family. The angels are rejoicing and I with them! :-) May you always feel God’s love and peace and guidance. Yes! Joyful choices – you have blessed my morning!
    Hugs from a sister in Christ,
    Cecilia

  9. Hey Donna, What wonderful news! Angels are singing in heaven that you are following the Lord in baptism. You can take a shower and it feels good for a while and you need another one but one baptism is the only one you’ll need!! I just started getting Funky Junk in my mailbox, it’s a great little break during the day to see what you are doing. I love junk and using junk around the house. Really LOVE rusty stuff!

    Congrats and God Bless You!!!!

    Kim

  10. So very sorry to hear about your sweet Teddy. I know that pain all too well. Prayers for healing, and now that I read this.. I see you are on the way to healing. I am SO happy for you regarding the baptism!! We are looking for a new church. We just need to get out there and go.. somewhere. Your post helped me realize that. Congrats to you.. that is such a big moment!! Hugs!!

  11. Oh, Donna! My heart jumped when I read that you went in to be baptized. How lovely that you were led to do this. Years ago I was asked by a friend of mine to take pictures of her wedding beside a river. After the wedding she went down into the river and the pastor baptized her. It was very moving to me and still brings tears to my eyes when I think of it now.
    I’m so happy for you, Sister!

  12. I am so very happy for you that my heart is bursting with joy! What an incredible moment (and continuing moments) for you and how wonderful that you followed His call! I fully relate to those “God Moments” (I have a few on my blog). You are a wonderful gift to all your readers – thank you so much for sharing!

  13. GOD BLESS YOU dear Donna!!!! You are on a blessed journey! My thoughts and prayers are with you and I share your joy as a sister of the LORD! Thank you for being faithful to GOD’s Voice….it’s the only one that counts! So, so happy for you!

  14. You’ve brought me to tears,TWICE! Passing of Teddy and now your baptism. Lost of a pet, I have been there.And will be again,C.M. is 16 now and fading. To have a relationship with our God, is worth living for. My prayers and thoughts are offen with you., Donna. Enjoy your site and look forward to more. ….always Annie

  15. Wow! When the Holy Spirit prompts us to do something, and we follow through with it – isn’t that just the greatest feeling! I pray that you continue to receive all of God’s blessings – and welcome to the Family:-)

  16. Donna,
    The old expression “You can’t have a rainbow without the rain” came to mind when I read this. You have had your share of tears and pain this year but now you got to experience the joy and rapture of the rainbow from the inside out. I’m so happy for you!

    Here’s wishing you the rainbow in your heart everyday.

    With love,
    Dana

  17. Donna, Wow! What courage that took. I am so proud of you for following the leading of the Holy Spirit. You are truly an inspiration to others. I am thankful I found your blog with all of the great diy projects plus the inspirations. thanks and God bless you.

    Teresa

  18. :) Rejoicing with you Donna…the best lies ahead as Believers, doesn’t it?? My heart soars with yours….I just read from His Word this morning that His Kingdom is unshakable and He is a consuming Fire!! His richest blessings be upon you!!

  19. Congratulations Donna! Your baptism & the effect it had on you has brought tears to my eyes. What a joyful thing it is to hear the Holy Spirit, follow the promptings and be wrapped in God’s arms as one of his beloved children! Blessings!

  20. I recently lost me fur baby too and I understand what that feels like. Im glad that you can smile now when you think of him but Im not quite at that point yet. I want to be, but I dont know how not to be sad. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    • So sorry, LobaLyssa. Mourning is a human trait we all feel so there is nothing wrong with feeling it, just allow it. We just all deal with grief in different ways.

      I just know where my own strength is coming from. It’s helped immensely!

  21. My heart and my tears are flowing over for you as I read your story! Thank you for being such an example of following God’s leading. I can identify with you on the stubborn heart thing. It’s a constant struggle to let go and let God do it! But it always works best when we do.
    God bless you and I will pray for you whenever God brings you to my heart.
    Proverbs 3;5,6.

  22. I have been following your blog for a while now but didn’t know your story. I have gone back now and read about it. Thank you for sharing it with us. We all have our burdens to bear and hearing how your struggles have turned into happiness is very comforting and empowering. You are inspiring without being preachy. Thank you and I am glad you have found that something that gives you such joy in your work and your life.

  23. A totally awesome experience. I shared goosebumps when I read your story.
    You will notice so many more open doors each week that you never noticed before.
    Blessings!

  24. Congrats Donna! we have never met, but we are sisters in Christ!
    I’ve asked you before if you knew how to treat burlap because I was planning on making cushions for my dinningroom chairs, you might not remember but since then I have made them & they came out very cool, everyone loves them. I used original coffee bean bags I got from coffee roasters. Once I figure out how to send the photos I will.
    God’s blessings,
    Becky

  25. My deepest sympathy in the loss of Teddy. Loosing a pet is very difficult. We lost our Emmy last year and she looked very much like your Teddy. We also lost our albino ferret pickles. Loosing two in one year seemed so hard. Sweet furry memories will comfort you as it did us.

  26. Donna, What a blessing you are. Thank you for sharing your joys and trials with us and letting us learn from you. I am excited to see what God has in store for you and your future. Holly

  27. I have truly enjoyed reading your posts, and am very happy that you got baptized! How awesome! I love to do things on thrift store or yard sale finds, like you, and I love getting great new ideas from you! Thanks so much for sharing!

  28. Hi Donna,

    Just had to write a quick email. I love your website and it has inspired me to create and sell my own vintage style works. I also live in BC (Quesnel) and I’m a christian too. Just got baptized last year at our baptist church, so I can relate to how you felt. I’m getting lots of positive feedback from my customers. I sell and advertise vintage signs and wooden items on my facebook page called: Art & Soul Creations and I have a website: shelleyenemark.com that showcases my acrylic paintings. Thought you might like to check them out.

    from one fellow creator to another,
    Shelley

  29. Thank you for reminding me of those feelings – totsl love and peace, a completeness that you feel deep inside! How beautiful and wonderful! I am so very happy for you!

  30. Congratulations, sister, welcome to the family of faith!! As my email address indicates, I’m a member of that family. I hope someone got a picture of you being baptized!! Or are you always on the other end of the camera? I kid with hubs when I die there won’t be a big picture board cause no one takes my picture, I take theirs! LOL Anyway, if you ever want to chat, sister to sister junkers, you know where to find me.
    Janet

  31. Sitting here with a lump in my throat- something nudged me to “go check in on her” and as usual, I am delighted! Inspiring post- and I had such a strong visual about your baptism…that is so awesome!!!! So sorry it’s been so long- I have no excuses; just a strange sadness that this year’s Bella may go on without you. But it isn’t just because we can’t afford you- it’s just a feeling that, (and I believe you even predicted) that we both move on. Did you do Lucketts?
    Bless you and Cody- so sad to hear about Teddy! They really leave a hole in your heart when they go. Don’t be surprised if you “see” him in all his usual places for a while.
    Can’t believe the year is rockin’ on so fast! Promise to stay in touch more often- love you Sister-Friend!

  32. I think that is one thing the Catholic Church need to rethink or maybe just me….your are Baptisted as an infant,your take confirmation with out a real choice in your brain at 7 ….I have struggled with the religion I both love from the past and argue with based on guilt..So now I find church on a mountain side or in sunset or a mountain stream…but I find him…and one day I my just walk into the stream…and have my own faith reborn…loved your post…and hope a Kitty walks into your life….call her Faith.
    I have Grace…

    PS take a look at my blog,I know what buttons I am going to use, but what tell me what else to change….I am thick skinned…you get that way over 50 and want input…so asking…

    • Kathryn, I am also a Christian and I too find God in nature, after all he created it ALL! It doesn’t have to be in a building. Everywhere in the Bible it says “God is Love”. If there is love, there is God. I have never been baptised because I have never felt there has been a church that would be suitable for me, so I try to live my life according to the Ten Commandments and try to choose joy everyday! Donna did an amazing thing and maybe one day it will be the right thing for me. Blessings!

      • Ellie, I truly believe it had everything to do with my particular church and finding the right church family to feel comfortable putting myself out there like that.

        I adore, no… ADORE every Sunday. I never felt this way growing up as a child. It wasn’t the right fit.

        The lovely thing about adulthood is, you can choose. It’s pretty powerful. Keep looking until you find the right one!

    • I love your hope for me. :) Until this moment, I’ve been denying that I’d ever have another pet again. But to my surprise, I found myself nodding at your post. I secretly too hope the right kitty walks into my life. I love the name Faith… that is sweeeeet!

      I also see your point about being baptized as an infant. It’s amazing making that choice for yourself when you feel desire for it.

      I too ran away from religion for most of my adult years because of what I endured as a child. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t a good fit. I didn’t love what I was learning. Today in the right church? You couldn’t keep me away!

  33. Oh Donna ~ This brought tears to my eyes. Baptism is a testimony of following Jesus. Hurray for you!

    God is my strength, more so now that my dear husband is gone. He lifts me up, fills me with His peace, love, hope and joy.

    I think it is so cool the way your baptism happened, definitely a prompting by our heavenly Father.

    May you continue to feel His loving presence flowing through and surrounding you at all times.

    FlowerLady

  34. Soooooooo happy for you. Our church ( we have a three church campus) baptized 260 people one weekend! it was amazing, and people , like you…unplanned , did the same thing ! Improptu ….led by their hearts ! may you continually bless others !

  35. I am so happy for you Donna! Serving God and doing his will is pure joy. Not always easy, but it always fulfills. I praise God for the day I first found your blog. Although there are many blogs that have encouraged me, your’s was the one which gave me the courage to pick up major tools and start doing things myself.

    I know I haven’t been very regular in my comments, but I always appreciate you and your inspiring blog. I’m so glad you are carrying on, and not letting your grief bring you down. Have a joy filled day!

    Your sister in Christ,
    Deborah

  36. Donna, Congratulations on your baptism!
    Hugs of joy for your new life in Christ and one for comfort on the loss of Teddy. Blessings. Joanie