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I’m actually sick of carbs. I no longer crave bread, pasta, or sweets. That should tell you that we had a wonderful time in Venice. It was incredible! The food, the people, the art. The food… How do the Italians stay so thin??? They live on carbs!!! I decided that they must eat a very lean diet and feed us tourists all the fattening stuff. We did walk about 20,000 steps a day - so that helped burn the carbs we were consuming. Well, some of them. 

The other thing (besides not eating bread or pasta) is I am looking at my watch constantly to see what day it is. I feel like I lost a day or possibly gained a day traveling home from Venice. That six hour time change makes a huge difference when you're trying to get back on track.  

Do you do this often in life? Say to yourself, "Last week at this time I was…" I am sitting here writing early this morning and thinking that last week at this time, I was walking the streets of Venice for the first time!  

Last night, we ate dinner around the counter with Olivia and Big Landon. Just to clarify again, he is not a big guy per se, but we had to give him a nickname so he wouldn’t be confused with our grandson Landon. Anyway, Landon asked what the top three favorites were from our trip and I said what came to mind.

The quaintness of the city. How simple the locals live, content to get around on foot or by boat. It is definitely not for me, but I always am drawn to observing others' lifestyles when we travel.

I also said definitely the gondola ride and the water taxi ride that took us through the canals of the city. Again, it was an inside look away from the tourist attractions and into real life.

The third thing was the art of glass making. We went to the island of Murano and watched the artists at work. It was amazing how they made, actually made the glass and then shaped it into a work of art. They did not allow pictures of their showroom. They protect their artwork carefully. It is a getting to be a lost art as it takes years of apprenticeship to become a glass maker. Like fifteen to twenty! They did allow a picture of the demonstration though.

Besides sharing the vacation highlights - where is this going? 

This. I was struck while watching the artist at the Murano glass factory how similar our lives are.

We are shaped from nothing and then molded and shaped into the life God is calling us to. Each piece is original - just like us. Here’s what really lightening bolted into my head: No one piece is the same and when you think you know what the artist, is creating it is something entirely different. While this guy was working, melting the glass, pulling the glass into shape It was like charades and the piece ended up being a horse. I thought it was going to be a dolphin.  

That's how it is with our creator. And I am not just talking about a career path here. I’m talking about who you really are.

My life path was not to be an alcoholic, but it was necessary. It had to happen to keep pulling and shaping me into who I am today. But just like glass, I'm fragile. Once in a while I need to be melted down and reshaped, tweaked. Notice I did not say have a meltdown - although that happens too.

Twenty some years ago I thought I had it all figured out. I went to design school, we had another baby, and we built a house we were going to stay in forever. On paper, it looked really good.  

Guess what, the babies grew up. They became teenagers with an opinion of their own. A recession hit and design work was scarce. That house we built? That forever home? We are getting ready to sell it and build a house for empty nesters.

Biggest change though, I started drinking. Slowly, like the glass, I melted down. Then I broke. Shattered. Then, slowly, I was pulled and shaped into a new creation. Just like the artist I watched perfecting his craft of over twenty years, it took me time too. It was not an overnight change, it’s still work and I’m still being molded and shaped.  

Crazy thing? Looking back, I’m glad I broke. In breaking, the pieces could be put back together to make a whole new work of art.

Unlike the pieces I saw in Murano, I am not made to sit on a shelf.

I was made for more. To live, really live. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know that God's got it.

Still fragile, but always up for repair. To be made new.  

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." - Psalm 139:14

Peace on your weekend


P.S. You can go to Wine Country and not drink the kool-aid.



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