30 09 2011

It was my intention this morning to read and to post about the upcoming trip to Spain. During the reading portion of my morning, the dog distracted me with barking from my back garden.  While I was still in my PJs and  without the assistance of any foundational under pinnings, I stepped out back and got further distracted by the overgrown weediness of my, so called, serenity garden.

With all of my ADD self, I began pulling random weeds until Bella started to bark at a van that pulled into my drive way. In a tizzy, I dove back into the house and  into the bedroom for some decent, mid-morning apparel. Mission accomplished, I opened the front door to find my friend Carolyn standing there with a shy grin.

“I came to weed your garden.”

I posted on Facebook yesterday that my serenity garden had turned into an anxiety garden because I had neglected it for the past 5 months. As I looked at it I was just overwhelmed and did not know where to start to get it in order again.

Carolyn is the kind of friend who is like a family member. She has spent many hours in my  home and knows how much enjoyment Ed and I always derived from our little haven in the back yard. It bothered her to know that it was causing me to feel anything but peaceful. It bothered her so much that she just showed up at my house with a bucket for weeds and a pair of garden gloves.

What an angel.

In two hours my garden was transformed again into a place of peace and delight.

Not only did we weed and lop off drooping branches, but we hung out together. As we worked together to transform the neglected, weedy mess into something pretty, my thoughts drifted to the ladies of Spain. (who knows that I enjoy a good analogy?) These ladies have been through some very tough times. As I am learning more about Betel Ministries, I am made aware that several of the people in the mission are HIV positive. Some have managed to get out of human trafficking situations. There is nothing pretty or peaceful in all of this. These are very weedy and tangled lives. It is easy to see how they could be overwhelmed at the idea of transformation. Where on earth do you begin when coming out of heroin addiction, alcohol abuse, the sex slave trade and who knows what else?

All I know is God is allowing us the opportunity to touch these broken lives in a way that can bring visible beauty to them. As we apply make up and give new hair styles and speak words of LIFE to them, we are coming along side their Creator and the One Who knows what their destiny will be. He has brought this team together for a time such as this. I do not have to know anything else. I will just try my best to serve and leave the results to God.


Have scissors, will travel.

25 09 2011

When I got the call asking if I would be interested in going to Madrid to cut and style hair for the women of Betel, I said I needed a little time to think about it.

I was told that I would be responsible to purchase my airline ticket for about $1,000.00 but everything else would be taken care of when I got there.  The cost was not a deterrent to me but, rather, I was concerned about wether I cared enough about anyone to put myself out of my comfort zone . I am tired. I feel like I just don’t know anything anymore, like I have nothing left to give. And yet, still, I was praying that God would awaken a passion in me.

I checked my bank account and noticed that Social Security had deposited another of Ed’s monthly payments in my account. That was a problem because I am not eligible to continue to receive his benefits until I retire. What a pain in the neck. Now I have to contact them and tell them they made a mistake and they will have to deduct it from my account. Argh! Thoughts of red tape and stupid paper work were annoying me.

The next day, I got a letter in the mail from SSI telling me that they made a determination that they owed Ed $1,300.00 and that would be deposited in my account!! God was speaking loud and clear. And if that wasn’t enough, I could almost hear Ed shouting from Heaven, “Go to Spain, baby! Here is an extra $300.00 to get your luggage over there.”

Soo….. I am going to Madrid! The travel agent, who had already booked the rest of the team weeks ago, was able to get me on the same flights so I can travel with the group. Co-incidence or God-incidence?

Peggy, who is heading all of this up, met me for lunch a couple of weeks ago. As she shared with me her heart for the ladies I could feel a stirring within my spirit. The things she talked about were things I used to care about. I came from this meeting knowing these three things;

  • God always knows my heart better than I do
  • God always hears my prayer
  • God always has a plan

That is the “me” part. But this is all much bigger than me.

Tomorrow morning, I will meet with the other ladies who are committed to this mission. Together we will embark on an adventure that only God knows the outcome of. I only have to trust Him and try to keep my “self” out of His way.

Proverbs 3:4&5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.”

If you are interested in being part of this opportunity here are three ways:

  • I will be collecting make up and nail polishes to bring with us. You can drop them by my house or at the information desk in the lobby of Rock church on Sunday.
  • You may also donate money to help defray the cost of the hair products and the cost of shipping them to Betel ahead of our arrival.
  • Please, pray for the ladies of Betel to be transformed by God from the inside out and for each person involved in putting this conference together, that we fulfill His destiny.

Where is the passion?

23 09 2011

Anyone who ever spoke to Ed for more than 10 minutes knows that my man loved to travel.  His job on board oil tankers that traveled the world was a natural fit for him. We were still fairly newly weds when he came home and told me about an opportunity he had to take this job. The excitement in his words and the look in his eye was enough for me to know that this was a dream come true for him. Of course, he had to try it. And try it he did, for about ten years. He has been to Russia, Portugal, Spain, Africa, South America, Greece, Israel, Italy, Alaska and Germany to name a few countries. Traveling was a passion for him.

A long time ago, my passion used to be seeing broken people made whole again. Specifically, seeing abused and messed up women find their divine purpose in this life. Everyone has a divine purpose you know. Some of us just get dealt a lousy hand and some others deal themselves a bad hand. Regardless of how or why, this world is full of people who have a destiny that they are missing by a million miles.

I really used to care about this but over the past couple of years I have been more focused on the health issues my husband faced. When he broke his hip and went through two surgeries that landed him him in ICU each time, I stayed home with him until my health insurance was going to be cancelled. Then, he insisted that I go back to work in order to retain it. I worked off and on to keep enough in my account so I wouldn’t lose my insurance. Left to my own devices, I would have stayed with him and let go of my health insurance but he would not hear of it.

Somewhere in this contentious series of events, I lost my conscious contact with my Creator. I prayed , I talked to God but I could not hear Him. Some days, I didn’t even know how to pray so I didn’t. And through it all, I lost my passion.

I have not expressed these thoughts to anyone but, since I don’t have my husband anymore it is hard to care about very much. Why am I still here?  I have fulfilled my wedding vows and, truth be known, I am not really crazy about going on without Eddie. Now, I am not inclined to end my life or anything like that. I mean it when I say that everyone has a divine purpose. Mine has not been fulfilled yet. That is why, a couple of months ago, I began to ask God to revive a passion in me. Remind me what is important and help me to want again to make a difference in this world. Lead me to someone who needs what I can give.

I believe God hears my prayers and He has sent an answer. No one knows what I have been praying. Out of the blue, I have been invited to go to Madrid to take part in an outreach ministry to women who are recovering their lives from devastation. Alcoholism, drug addiction, prostitution, domestic abuse and more. Broken women whom God is reaching and drawing to Himself. I am going to help do some makeovers on women who have lost their identity and their sense of femininity. There is more to tell, but I am well over the recommended 500 words that keep a post interesting.

What are you passionate about? What are you doing with your passion?

wigs, wigs, wigs.

20 09 2011

It has been a crazy blessing for me to work so much since my Eddie’s passing. My latest project was as head of the hair department on a comedy television series. It has presented some interesting challenges. Especially when the writers are on set and the script changes in an instant. I want to establish that this job was unique. I also want to be as sensitive as possible in telling the story of God’s provision and protection while not giving away any pertinent information about the show.

To begin with, I had no intention of working on this series. I was asked if I would work as the second to a lovely lady hair stylist they would bring here from LA. Although I enjoy working as a second, I just didn’t want to do it on this project so I declined.

Then, I learned that two long time members of my union, Werner Scherer and Stephan Bishop, were providing a class on wigs of all kinds in NYC. The last time I took such a course was in 1999. It took me 5 seconds to decide to go to NY for the weekend class. I called an old friend who lives in the city and told her I was coming and she invited me to stay with her and her son for the weekend. The class was a perfect refresher and my visit with Michelle and Joshua lifted my spirits. It also provided me the opportunity to visit with some other friends that I have made over the past 17 years in the industry.

A few days before the class I got a call from the line producer on this same TV series. He said that they would like me to be the department head if I was interested. I accepted the position with the knowledge that 2 wigs would be involved. Is this a co-incidence or a God-incidence?

I started my new job a week later. As the series progressed, more wigs were added – lace wigs that needed to be fitted for actors who were not available to go to the wig maker for fittings. Thankfully, the wig maker we were using, Natasha at Favian Wigs, already had the measurements of two of the actors because she had made wigs for them in the past.  We created a lace wig for a specific look. I also made a mold of another actor’s head and sent it to the wig maker with measurements and a swatch of the color that we wanted the wig to be. Natasha did a great job and the wigs came out beautiful.

Thanks to the class and an arsenal of phone numbers of friends in my union who have excelled in working with wigs, I was able to accomplish every task that was thrust upon me.

This is proof to me that God ordains my steps and He provides all I need. God was preparing me for this adventure before I even knew I had an adventure to go on. Because of taking this class, hanging out with Michelle (who, by the way, is a fabulous hair stylist and the woman who gave me my first job in film) and talking with other hairstylists who took the class too I was completely prepared to succeed on this show.

More to come in next post…..

Finished strong

18 09 2011

Working in the film industry has been a learning experience. There is nothing quite like a large dose of stress to show a person what they are made of. It can be quite humbling.

For the past ten weeks, I have had the best of times and the worst of times as the hair department head on Eastbound and Down. It has been the most fun ever working with wigs and creating the looks that the producers and directors have a vision for. It has been the hardest doing it all without my soul mate and coming home at night to a house without Eddie in it. Thank God for my Wilmington crew and my prayer warriors that have been such an amazing support.

The actors I have worked with on this project have been some of the most gracious that I have met over the past 17 years in this business. They have been professional, easy going and kind. There is not a trouble maker or prima donna in the bunch. Being surrounded by people who are at the top of their game causes one to want to be the best they can be.

Today was our last day of filming. As I inventory my job performance I see room for improvement and I see some things I have done right. I have heard that the thing people will remember is not how you start but how you finish.

Congratulations to all of us who have “finished”! We made it through record breaking heat and a hurricane and so much more. We will have stories to share for years to come. I am proud to be a part of you.