Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Return to Normal (one month’s reflection)

I have written and rewritten this post as I lay in my bed at night, doing my best to find a way into another restless sleep.  To say that life will never be the same, seems like such a cliché often repeated, but after May 22 this is more true than ever. 

30410015 We now live in duel worlds. Part of our community looks as if nothing ever happened.  Life seems to continue as before with only the occasional military hummer or foreign colored police car to remind us  of the devastation that is just over the  horizon; the massive amount of nothingness that occurred only a mile and a half from my home.  The other half is, as I stated before, now stands as mounds of ruble similar to the chat piles that once surrounded this old mining community. 

The first couple of days I looped through a myriad of emotions, feelings such as anxiousness, guilt,  and a distinct numbness from the shock of it all.  Knowing I could have friends who were no longer here was more than I could bare.  I struggled for the words and did my best to find comfort.  After I had returned to my home from my storm “shelter”  and had a serious talk with my dad by phone, I stayed in my home, though it was a fight as I was pulled toward the flashing red and blue lights that now surrounded everything I once knew.  The sirens were deafening and the reports of what was still left were spotty.  You would think that all of the residents still spared their homes  in Joplin would be the first to hear all the news as it happened, but that was not the case.  Those, states some countries away knew the full force of destruction before anyone of us could catch our breathe or  think of taking cover from the hail hitting our heads.  In fact it wasn’t until the next morning that I saw all that was left of my daily routine. 30410013

By the grace of God most all my friends made it out alive.  I had a friend I had just seen that morning who was pulling a shift at the Ihop, two friends who were enjoying some yogurt at the local Cherry Berry and a few others whom I thought were in that part of town but thankfully were delayed for various reasons. 

I did have one person I knew that didn’t make it as often happens in a smaller community Will Norton,  a sweet young man that I had the privilege to have in my discipleship group in 2008 was that individual.  There was not a person he would not befriend.  Those good things that come out about someone after the fact were all true before the fact.  He loved Jesus and I’m sure is have a great time working on his next YouTube Heaven video. 

Much has occurred in a month’s time as the task at hand begins to sink in.  Our local reports are still filled with death notices and legal stories long after the national spotlight has shifted the rest of the country to other newsworthy events.  This was bound to happen and none too shocking. What has surprised me the most is the pace the 30410016 recovery has gone.  A family got a home rebuilt by local volunteers in just seven days!! A Walgreens, previously a pile of  tornado laden debris, has the new exterior near completion. We are so much stronger than I ever would have imagined.  People from around the country are here to help in any way they can maybe not in the numbers we saw in the beginning but they are still here and it’s humbling. I have heard that people have come to help and may not feel they are accomplishing much but just their presence and willingness to give up a Memorial Day, a Father’s Day or even a week worth of vacation, means more than words could ever express.  My hope is that we are able to pay it forward, but pray fully a need such as ours will never come again.  Sadly, because we are a fallen world I know that eventually there will be another Katrina, Tuscaloosa, Japan, New Zealand and Indonesia. 

Until that day comes I will continue to focus and reflect on this special challenge that has been laid at our feet.  Everyday a new story  is revealed in how great this tragedy truly was but almost in a small whisper many symbols join those stories  in  order to remind us of how much greater our Lord is in the midst of pain. 

One of those symbols comes in the form Joplin’s school mascot, the eagle.  It caused me to reflect on a verse from Isaiah  40:31 and with that verse is how I will close.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

(I did not take the above photo but all other photos are mine and I ask that if they are reproduced that you please give me credit, thank you)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Treasury Time!!

Since May I honestly haven't felt like doing a whole lot unless it had to do with Tornado relief, but as life slowly gets back into it's normal groove I have been able to do the things I love, one of which is making Treasuries of items I love on Etsy.  This one was inspired by a Bruno Mars song. (I like most of the song but there's one part well just enjoy it with adult ears *smile*)  Also I have been working on my response to my feelings about everything that has happened and will continue to happen here in Joplin, MO. Until than enjoy can please comment on this treasury and don't forget about the giveaway just below this post. It ends on Friday and there are many ways to enter!!

'Today I Don't Feel like doing anything' by RaeoLight

I just want lay in my bed and browse Etsy : )

organic puff zip po...

Lemon Bubble Tree -...

happy happy

Silver marguerites ...

Dinner Plate

Personalized Hand t...

Westclox Baby Ben C...

3 Vintage Figural F...

Softly Spoken - 8 x...

Hiding places - The...

Design Your Own Nec...

The Liesel- Cream, ...

dragonfly blue - or...

Elastic lace belt

Custom listing for ...

Polaroid Ceramic Co...


Friday, June 3, 2011

June’s Joy of Winning Part 1

Another great giveaway is underway.  This has an added entry opportunity.  I live in Joplin, Mo and therefore long to help anyway I can.  If you feel led to do so, if you make a donation you’ll get two extra entries to win these great prizes from some very talented artists.  Now for what’s available to win.


Artist #1

Denne Alise Photography


How did you begin taking photos?


I've always loved photography, but became real passionate about it after my first little girl was born.  I am so in love with capturing the magic in reality, peoples’ connections and the small things that really matter.


How do you come up with the ideas for these wonderful works of art?


I don't really come up with ideas ahead of time, I am completely inspired by the sun and light. The mood seems to just be more delightful in it. I am a total flare junkie. I love capturing the innocence and magic in children because they grow way too fast and I adore anything whimsical.


What is Denne Alise Photography offering to my readers?  Your choice of any image up to 11x16 in size. Great right!  Plus if you can’t wait to purchase one of her adorable photos you can use her coupon code SUNSHINE1 to receive 15% off you next order!


You can also find here on Facebook and a website dedicated to her work


Artist # 2


How did you get interested in pillow coverings?


I love to sew in general, throw pillows are just a quick and easy way to change up your home and decor.


How do you come up with your ideas?


I find inspirations in almost anything, I mostly look at swatch of fabric and think "what do I want this to be? That would make a pretty pillow!"


What's your favorite design , etc.


My home is a mix between country cottage and modern if you can imagine that! I don't tend to stick to one theme, if I love it I will find a place for it.


What is ThePoppyStudio  offering to my readers?  The winner will receive the cover pictured above. I mean you’re well on your way to a posh pad.  Plus if you can’t wait to purchase one of her comfy creations you can use her coupon code IHEARTBLOGS for 10% off 1 item!


You can feel free to visit her other Etsy shop as well, it’s called The Grey House.


Artist # 3


Tell me a bit about how you got started and your family?


The Tucker family has been making extremely fragrant candles for six years. My wife (Tara) and I (Drew) have four beautiful children (two boys and two girls). Tara homeschools the children and I am a volunteer pastor/elder at Fort Christmas Baptist Church.


Anything else you would like my readers to know?


We also provide an extremely lucrative fundraiser program to schools, youth groups, sport teams, and pretty much any group looking to raise money fast.


What is HeavenScentCandleUSA  offering to my readers?  The winner will receive any fragrance in their hexagon line ($9.99). So not only will your home look great with the above items but it will smell great too.



    Mandatory entries:

    Simply visit all three Etsy shops and tell me in separate comments which item and/or scent you like the most!  (Three automatic entries!!) and you must follow my blog for entries to count.


    Bonus entries:

  • Heart an Etsy shop of your choice; (one entry per heart so 3 entries possible)   See above for links

  • Visit any posted Facebook pages and hit that like button

  • Tweet the following "I hope 2 win at Attempts at Being Artistic. 4 ur chance 2 win go 2"

  • Donate to Joplin Relief efforts through my church (2 entries)

IMPORTANT! Don't forget to leave a comment on this blog post and tell me which of the above you have done! Leave a separate comment for each entry, so at least one comment for mandatory entry and then a comment for every extra entry. Also, please leave a link to your blog, tweet etc. Remember also to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you in case you win (you can put your e-mail in a form like this: "merryroseberry(at) " if you prefer). You can not be entered if you don't post below!! The giveaway ends in June 17th at 12:00 am (cst).  The winner(s) will be notified by email in about two days time and will also have their name posted on this page so others may know that the winner(s) have been chosen. Since you are receiving a third party's artwork I will be passing along information so that you can arrange for shipment. Some items may come from other countries so they may not arrive in as timely a fashion.


Thanks everyone and Good luck!!


We'll have a new prize about every two weeks so always check back.

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