Browsing Articles Written by

Lisa Leonard

My Spark, My North Star

david, hope, the meaning behind By March 29, 2017 No Comments

Can I tell you something? I have worried about David his entire life. And the guilt, so much guilt. At times it has been completely overwhelming. I’ve worried about his physical health–making sure he has nutritious foods, the right medicines in the correct doses, and doctors who take time to understand his unique needs, but I’ve also worried about his mental and emotional well-being. What is it like to be trapped inside a body that does not cooperate? David cannot speak with words. He cannot dress himself or prepare his own food. He depends on me for survival. I worried if I did not give David every single thing he needed, he would not be okay. It all depended on me—or so I believed.

This simply is not true.

David is not only okay, he is incredible. He is powerful. He is learning to communicate his needs and wants. He entertains himself and soothes himself when he is upset. He connects deeply with other people. He is genuinely happy and it’s not because of me. Yes, David needs extra help and attention. There are things he cannot do for himself. But his disability does not mean he is powerless. He does not need my pity.

{Can you see that spark?!}

Inside David’s heart there is a spark all his own. It shines brightly. It is what makes David, David. It is why other people connect so easily with him. It is how he connects to the God of the Universe. I am able to meet some of David’s needs, but I am not required to meet all of them. I am just one person. When situations arise where I am unable to meet David’s needs, God will provide a way. Either David will meet his own need or someone else will be there to help. David will be okay, I truly believe this.

It wasn’t just David I worried about. For so long I believed I was responsible for everyone else around me. It was my job to manage their thoughts and feelings. I believed somehow I could control the world around me. It all rested on my shoulders. It was my job, and mine alone, to create a beautiful home, raise kids who thrive and to nurture a marriage with deep connection.

There were days I would walk around in a fog. Other people’s thoughts and emotions crowded in around me to the point where I could barely breathe. It was a fog so thick, I could not see through it. I could not think straight. It was too messy. I could not make sense of it all. The fog was suffocating.

I tried to be needless and wantless and put myself last. I tried to be everything I thought I should be. I tried to say everything I thought I should say. I tried to prove I was lovable, I was enough, but I couldn’t do it. No matter how hard I tried, it never seemed to be enough.

I am learning I have nothing to prove. I am growing and beginning to believe I am lovable just as I am. In this process I found out something AMAZING.

When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible. ~ Brené Brown

Inside my heart there is a spark. It’s the center of who I am. It is my truest, most beautiful self. This spark is my North Star and it is there to guide me. My North Star shines so bright it burns away the fog around me. My North Star is how I connect with the God of the Universe.

I hold this spark inside my heart.
My spark is what makes me, me.

My spark makes me beautiful.
My spark lights me up from the inside.
My spark has facets like a diamond.
My spark makes me curious, angry, sad and silly.
My spark makes me wonder and explore and ask questions.
My spark makes my feet stomp and my voice loud.
My spark makes me cry while heavy tears fall.
My spark makes my eyes twinkle and my mouth smile.

My spark is all mine.
And David’s spark is all his. It shines bright!
And your spark is all yours. You shine so very bright.

God has given each of us our own spark, our own North Star. I cannot tell you how to follow your North Star, just as you cannot tell me how to follow mine.
I cannot make my husband okay.
I cannot make my kids okay.
I cannot make my friends okay.

I can love them. I can listen to them. I can walk alongside them. But each of them must look to their own North Star to find their way.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure everything out on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do,
everywhere you go;
He’s the one who will keep you on track.
Proverbs 3:5-6

I can feel my feelings, you can feel your feelings.
I can think my thoughts, you can think your thoughts.
I can say what I want and need, you can say what you want and need.
Each of us can be completely ourselves.
Each of us can look to our own North Star.

This where we find love and hope. This is where we find peace.

When I follow my North Star I will always be where I’m meant to be.
When you follow your North Star you will always be where you’re meant to be.

This is the meaning behind the *new* North Star necklace. Each handcrafted charm has an initial on one side and a Braille constellation on the reverse side. Your personalized initial is a sweet, gentle reminder to follow your North Star.
Create your own North Star Necklace here.

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hello olympic level cuddling

hello monday By March 27, 2017 2 Comments

You know that cozy couch spot that everyone seems to gravitate towards? David took my hand and led me there yesterday morning, then climbed up on my lap and cuddled in. My sister snapped the pic below. A little bit later Matthias was cuddled up in the same spot with the pugs.

I often joke that if cuddling were a sport, all of my boys {David, Matthias and Steve} would be olympic level. I am surrounded by cuddle bugs. I didn’t used to be so cuddly but they have reformed me.

It’s a brand new week with beauty {and cuddling!} to be found. How about some hellos?

Hello making time to cuddle. With David, it’s a way for our hearts to connect. He has no words and this time together is so important.

Hello pugs who are always happy to jump in on a cuddle session!

Hello getting into cuddling mode and never wanting to leave the house. Can’t we stay in pajamas all day?

Hello feeling kind of sad lately. There’s no reason why, really. I’m just trying to feel it and be gentle with myself.

Hello wishing I could wake up to fresh coffee, bacon, eggs and cinnamon rolls every morning, Sounds so lovely, Oh, and add sunshine to that list too!

Hello hanging string lights in the backyard and longing for warmer weather. It’s coming!

Hello lots and lots going on this week–haircuts, meetings, deadlines, decisions, and a little surgery for Louis the pug.

Hello new jewelry to share this week. I CANNOT wait to show you the new designs.

Hello to you! It’s a new beginning and a fresh start! What are you saying hello to this week?

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hello then, hello now

hello monday By March 20, 2017 4 Comments

I took this pic of the boys together at one of our favorite coffee shops, and then remembered a similar pic from a couple years ago. Wow! They have grown and changed so much in the last couple years. It’s crazy! But some things don’t change–they are just as sweet and fun and unique as they were then.
It’s a brand new week, how about some hellos?
Hello then and now. left 2015, right 2017

Hello Nana! We had some sweet time with her over the weekend.

Hello realizing we officially have teenagers. Matthias saw a movie downtown while we went to dinner. He’s growing up!

Hello sprucing up the backyard for summer and simultaneously preparing for a bunch of rain next week!

Hello learning how to macrame. More on that soon!

Hello photoshoot and new products coming soon. I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE!

Hello Mother’s Day right around the corner!

Hello love love loving this movie. Have you seen it?

Hello reading this book with Matthias. It’s a children’s book about the civil war. Beautiful and heartbreaking.

Hello looking at these boots. Aren’t they cute? They look comfortable too.

Hello making time for quiet, for me, for space to think. My soul needs it.

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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a slow day in Morro bay

san luis obispo By March 15, 2017 1 Comment

Saturday we went on an adventure to Morro Bay. We had Mexican food for lunch {we love this place}, walked the path around Morro Rock and got Thrifty’s ice cream on our way home. It was super hot in San Luis Obispo {around 85*} and sooo chilly in Morro Bay. I always forget the weather difference. Brrr! We didn’t stay long because it was windy and cold. But it was so fun to get out together. We used to do this more when the boys were smaller. Somehow it seems harder to have slow Saturdays now.
I’m finding the more time I make for downtime the more I crave it. And somehow everything still gets done–I’m just much less stressed and rushed. After all, this is the most important stuff, right? Just being together and maybe a little ice cream.

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hello rainbow of colors

hello monday By March 13, 2017 1 Comment

We have been experiencing a heat wave–around 80* and I love it! I am outside taking walks everyday. It feels good. Things are beginning to bloom–it makes my heart happy.

How about some hellos for a new week?

Hello colorful plants popping up everywhere!

Hello daylight savings. I love longer days and evening light.

Hello Nutella. Oh my goodness-I brought a jar home last week and it’s been dangerous. We made chocolate cookies and then I put Nutella and bananas between two; like a sandwich. It was amazing!!

Hello homeschool. This is a whole new world for us and definitely a slower pace.

Hello St. Patrick’s Day {on Friday}. Do you celebrate St. Patty’s Day?

Hello trying to figure out a way to move out some bigger trash–like an old mattress in our garage.

Hello watching some newer Bollywood films. This one was really good.

Hello reading this book with Matthias. IT IS SO GOOD! And it makes me cry.

Hello sketching and doodling and dreaming up new ideas.

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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Hello sunshine and rain

hello monday By March 6, 2017 2 Comments

We need both–sunshine and rain, to see things flower and bloom. I believe it is the same with our hearts. We’ve had a ton of rain this winter and things are beginning to flower and bloom. I feel this happening in my heart as well. The pain makes the joy so much sweeter. The difficult things nurture a grateful heart.

It’s a brand new week, how about some hellos?

Hello bright yellow sunflower bursting out of the ground. I found you on my walk yesterday and you are truly lovely.

Hello looking back and seeing how the rain brings beauty.

Hello opening myself to not having all the answers. To letting things be imperfect. To letting things be what they are.

Hello happy David. He seems to be thriving on a dairy free diet. He has been so energetic and silly!

Hello loving the sunshine and getting out for more walks lately. It’s so good for my soul.

Hello pups who keep peeing in the house. Advice please?! How do I get them to stop?

Hello making time to rest and think and nap a bit.

Hello new painting that is brightening our living room!

Hello awesome new children’s book. Poetic and profound!

Hello coffee and laundry and email and to-do lists.

It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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Hello this, hello that

hello monday By February 27, 2017 3 Comments

Hello friends! We had a restful weekend–we spent most of it at home. The downtime and slowing to relax was much needed. It’s Monday, how about some hellos for a new week?

Hello cute David with his knit beanie. Our friend, Tammy found this for him and it’s been a favorite–especially with so many chilly mornings.

Hello cracking up because Matthias looks so much like the main character from A Series Of Unfortunate Events. We are loving the new Netflix version.

Hello working on sprucing the boys bedrooms and the loft area upstairs. I’m trying to make it a space for teenagers instead of little kids.

Hello fighting sniffles. We are taking airborne and trying to stay well.

Hello projects. It’s good to stretch and dream and create. It’s also tiring!

Hello new school for Matthias. We are trying out a hybrid model–a classical school with homeschool three days a week. It’s a massive change but we are excited.

Hello disbelief that March is only a day away!

Hello starting to read this book. I read it in college and loved it. Have you read it?

Hello loving this blog lately. So good

Hello pizza and the Academy Awards. Did your favorite movies win?

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

 

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How to Spell L O V E

be brave, finding love By February 21, 2017 1 Comment


First we need an L.
L is for learning.
Life is a series of Lessons teaching us about LOVE.
As we Listen and Learn, LOVE brings Lasting beauty that fiLLs our hearts.

Next comes the O.
O is for Overflowing.
When we come with Open hearts and Open hands we show LOVE to Ourselves and Others.
LOVE withOut fear Overflows with grace and hOpe.

V is Very important
Because V stands for Valiant.
True LOVE is an adVenture requiring courage.
Only the braVe see the Value of risking their hearts.

Finish off with an E for elastic.
LOVE stretches and grows to Encompass Everyone on Earth.
LOVE is Essential for a healthy heart.
It Enables us to know we are Enough, just as we are.

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hello cousins, hello long weekend

family, hello monday By February 20, 2017 2 Comments

My brother is in town this weekend with his wife and twin daughters. We love when they come to visit! We ate out at some of our favorite places, showed them the workshop, watched a movie and ate waaaay too many peanut butter m&ms. Yum.

They are leaving town today and we are enjoying an extra weekend day before we jump back into the routine. How about some hellos?
Hello cousins. We are so thankful to have wonderful cousins.

Hello beanie. David really rocks the beanie.

Hello tools lined up in a row.

Hello catching a moment to read while we give them the workshop tour.

Hello having fun together.

Hello rain and rain and more rain. And wind. California doesn’t know what’s happening! Several trees in our neighborhood have fallen down, there’s been flooding and mudslides–it’s crazy!

Hello new beginnings. Matthias is trying something new this week. New things are so hard and so good.

Hello napping. Aren’t naps a beautiful thing? Love them.

Hello searching thrift stores for vintage floral paintings. They’re hard to find!

Hello new computer. It’s awesome except change is hard for me. I’m not used to this computer so it’s an adjustment.

Hello taking David off diary to see if that helps with his tummy pain. Fingers and toes crossed.

Hello designing new jewelry. I CANNOT wait to share it with you!

Hello brand new, beautiful week. Good things are ahead! What are you saying hello to this week?

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Nothing is Something

finding love, worthiness By February 9, 2017 20 Comments


Doing nothing is not nothing.

Doing nothing is doing something.

Sometimes doing nothing is the doing hardest thing.

Because in doing nothing, in the quiet, in the emptiness, I cannot escape my thoughts.

In doing nothing I am faced with the good and the hard, the ugly and the beautiful,

The ache

The hope

The fear

The longing.

Many times I find myself doing something

Doing anything

To keep from feeling

What feels too hard to feel.

Many times I find myself doing something

Doing anything

To prove I am productive

To prove I am good enough.

To prove I am worth the space I occupy.

To prove I am worth loving.

I am doing better at doing nothing,

Doing better at believing I have nothing to prove.

I am enough.

The space I occupy matters.

In doing nothing I find something.

In doing nothing I find there is nothing

I can do to be more loved

Than I am right now.

Doing nothing is not nothing.

Doing nothing is doing something.

Sometimes doing nothing is the hardest thing.

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