5 Lessons Learned While Rocking My Message

Have you gotten in on the rock painting crafts craze? It is big here in Tallahassee, as this article attests. Even the #TLHTwitterMayor created and hid a rock.

Rock Painting Crafts

I’m doing my first painting/hiding project this weekend. Bella is helping me check out my rocks.

Rock Painting Crafts

As I read through various sets of instructions about how to paint rocks, it occurred to me that rock painting, like many projects we tackle, has more steps and deeper meaning than seems obvious at first.

Planning

If you’re like me, you don’t have beach pebbles lying around. I had to plan ahead in order to have rocks to paint. I read about what other people had used, then figured out how to get my own beach pebbles even though it’s difficult to get time away from home due to caregiving demands. (Thanks, Amazon gift card + prime shipping! In other news, my UPS guy may not be speaking to me for a while.)

Although spontaneous messages are sometimes effective, thinking through your goals increases your chance to say what you mean to say. 

Priming

Many sets of instructions I read suggested to use a base coat of acrylic paint or mod podge before painting designs.

Before sharing a message important to you, touch base with your fundamental values and know the foundation supporting what you are going to share.

Painting the Designs!

While painting the designs, we have to think about what it is we want to express. If you’re like me, you have to overcome that horrible “but I’m not an artist” feeling. You may even want to practice first (rocks are bumpy canvasses).

Having a sense of adventure and courageously unleashing your creativity are key to expressing what is uniquely “you.”

Sealing Your Rocks

You need to use a clear acrylic or some other type of sealant to make sure your message stays clear.

The best messaging in the world won’t matter if friction, the elements, and opposition make it disappear. Putting a clear coat on to protect the message helps it get to as many people as possible.

Hiding Your Rocks

You have to find a place where your hiding activities will comply with the community’s rules, honor businesses’ wishes to be involved or not, stay safe, and find the balance between concealing and revealing that will lure a searcher in but still present a challenge.

Designing a great message doesn’t matter if it still sits in your hands. Take it out into the world and send it on its way. 

MY FIRST DESIGNS

I have a few organizations, people, and places on my mind, so I’m channeling those thoughts into my debut rock artwork (yes, I use the term “art” lightly!).

EQL

EQL, pronounced “equal,” is an organization I’ve recently learned about. EQL has the ambitious goal of promoting acceptance, respect and rights for all. EQL’s strategy is to make equality “a quiet march that happens every day, everywhere” by replicating what major brands do: encouraging positive emotions and enlisting brand advocates.

EQL sells gear with its logo here and donates 35% of the proceeds to causes such as the ACLU, according to their website.

Learn more here or here and look for the hashtag #WeMarchEveryDay to find fellow fans of EQL.

Honoring Savannah’s Courage

Savannah’s statement in front of her congregation moved me. She is a 12-year-old Mormon girl who proclaimed in front of her congregation, “I know I am not a horrible sinner for being who I am” (more here). She was cut off by a leader before she had finished her speech, but the rest can be read here.

Stepping Up My Support of #BlackLivesMatter

I am not sure how to approach this, but I recently agreed to do a guest post about how people can find common ground related to the topic of #BlackLivesMatter so I’d better get to thinking!

This rock will honor Alicia Garza,  Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, the three founders of #BlackLivesMatter. While of course it is technically true that “all lives matter” and it is very true that “blue lives matter” (i.e., law enforcement deserves our support), it is critical at this point in time to say this:

As a white person, I am declaring my overt support of #BlackLivesMatter. The disproportionate mistreatment of people of color, the institutional racism that influences some (not all) law enforcement agencies, the divisiveness among our nation’s citizens, won’t be resolved until we “get” why #BlackLivesMatter is a thing.

BIRTHDAYS!

One rock will honor my daughter, Tenley, on her 21st birthday (June 26) and another will honor my son, Wayne, for his 18th birthday (July 1). Two big milestones!

A GREEN PEN

Sounds easy to draw but we’ll see. I love encouraging people to #WriteOptimistically, so I’ll give it a whirl.

CATS!

I saw a cute idea for creating a cat out of two symmetrical rocks. I can’t find it now (sigh) but may give a cat rock a whirl, for no other reason than the fact that cats are fun!

Have you painted/hidden rocks before? I’d love to hear about your experience!

Rock Painting Crafts

Editor’s Note: I am still working on my painted rocks. I’ll drop a picture in when I’m done, before they are hidden!

7 Quick Takes – My World for a Wheelchair and Other Observations

I don’t usually blog on Fridays, but when I saw the “7 Quick Takes” format on Filling My Prayer Closet, I thought I’d give it a try!

1 – My World for a Wheelchair

Twice this week, I have had the responsibility for taking my father-in-law to the hospital for diagnostics followed by a neurosurgeon appointment. Our hospital has an awesome (and affordable!) valet service, but the “valet service unit” and the “wheelchair unit” are completely disconnected from one another. Wednesday, after the valet said it usually takes 30 minutes to get a wheelchair, I was trying to walk my father in law in when it became clear that he could not continue; fortunately another patient got me a wheelchair. Today, the valet staff said they would call one for me. It “only” took 14 minutes this time but, honestly why is it so difficult?

2 – I Am The Parent of an Adult

My daughter, Tenley, turned 18 yesterday. EIGHTEEN! With all the emotion that brings up, I have to admit I kind of love it that one of the touches she liked the most about the day was the “Frozen” balloon I had put in her car to surprise her when she left for work.

2014-06-25 19.53.07

3 – SUP Boarding Rocks

I read in Jennifer’s post that she is going to have an opportunity to do SUP Boarding soon. I had an opportunity to do it while I was at the beach last week and it was so much fun (and, surprisingly, quite the upper body and stability workout!).

All in the family ... staying afloat (mostly!)

All in the family … staying afloat (mostly!)

4 – Cycling Sure Would Be Fun

Even though my bicycle on vacation was a basic non-descript getting-around-the-beach bicycle, I was reminded of how much fun cycling is. I have always said I’ll wait and add on another sport once I reach my running goal of breaking 30:00 in a 5K but that’s taking quite a while, so I may need to sneak some cycling into my life pretty soon, not just when on vacation.

5 – My Heart Had Left My Job Long Before My Body Did

I left my job on May 2, 2014. When I had to return to the office earlier this week to drop off some paperwork, it was difficult to walk into the building. But not difficult in a sentimental way. Difficult in a “how did I simultaneously separate my mind and heart from this place while I kept coming day after day?” Now on to pursue that legacy I want to leave my kids.

6 – What Else Can I Do For Silvia and Christopher?

After my Unbound Blogger Trip to El Salvador in early June, I was asked to share details about Silvia, an adult with special needs including epilepsy, and Christopher, an adorable 3 year old, two individuals who would benefit from sponsorship through Unbound. I am searching for ways to expand the reach of my blog post. Does anyone have feedback about other methods I could employ to get the word out? (And even if you don’t have feedback, prayers would be mighty appreciated!)

Silvia, Age 21

Silvia, Age 21

Christopher, Age 4

Christopher, Age 4

***UPDATE*** Silvia has been sponsored (as of 7/2/14). I am so happy to hear this and grateful to whoever sponsored her!  ******

7 – Give As Much Praise As Complaint

After reading Laura Petrolino’s blog post about customer service the other day, I shared it on Facebook along with the suggestion that people should make sure and commend the good at least as often as they condemn the bad. Even in the midst of the wheelchair-challenged day (see #1), I encountered moments of professionalism and compassion, such as the other patient who found a wheelchair for me and the staff member (Delvin) who stayed with my father in law until I could bring the car around. Literally, each one was a godsend!

St. George Island, FL June 2014

St. George Island, FL
June 2014