It’s All In The Shoes

Shoes two

We were standing in the sun, a light rain — a beautiful day for all practical purposes.

In that moment, riveted, I knew I was watching someone with the heart of a servant.

Parilee Croft was cleaning my muddy shoes. Please indulge me to tell you about this person, a friend I know and love. One of the Angels in my life.

On the surface we could not be more different. Parilee is Artist-in-Residence for Art on the Green.  After painting at the Gallery all day,  Parilee takes her beloved dog, Kep, to herd sheep after she leaves the Gallery. You heard correctly, herd sheep.  She herds sheep while I rush home to watch Dr. Phil! (scary, I know.)

IMG_3592Parilee and Kep, her Border Collie.

on the River

Parilee and friend on the River.

Parilee’s vacations are fishing, mine are going to the Capital Hotel for a few nights. (Those Frette sheets get me every time.)

Woodworking

Parilee in Woodworking class at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Parilee is in woodworking class, refinishing her grandparents antique bed, while I’m just beginning to make mine!

Yet, at our core, we are very much alike. WE OWN OUR OWN VOICES. Novel? Yes, and    she is beautifully unique. We don’t always agree, but we talk it out. Like grownups should. We have become a ‘team’ in the Gallery, and I value her advise – I know I will get her truth. Truth is a beautiful thing to me; just imagine receiving that truth, from a real, true Servant of God.

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There is not a more lovely person in this world. We will always get ‘her truth’ and we have become great friends in a short period of time, because we are truth lovers.

Woodworker, Sheep herder, Artist, Teacher, Dog lover, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Friend. Parilee Croft is extraordinary. Come visit Art on the Green; have a Starbucks with Parilee. Who knows? She might even take you fishing!

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My Angels DO Walk in My Shoes –

 One of my favorite paintings…”Lift Up Your Head #4″ by Nina Ruth Baker

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How many times have we heard “Walk a mile in my shoes”?  Probably too many to mention.  When someone says that, I wonder (to myself, of course) if they have actually tried to walk in another’s shoes?  Or, do they just expect us to walk in theirs?

Angels in my life are usually walking with me, in my shoes, and yes, sometimes carrying me.  I’m not picky about Angels, they come to me in all shapes, sizes, cultures, and backgrounds.   I’m grateful for every.single.one.

In the next few weeks I’ll be writing about these Angels who’ve been in my life, and the difference they have made for me.

Thank YOU for being part of my journey.  Is there something I can do for you today, to make your life easier?

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Lou Lawyer’s Legacy of Love

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“Lift Up Your Head” painted by Nina Ruth Baker

I say I love you a lot. I remember the first time I actually said “I Love You.”  To my Mother.  In the carport of my parents then-home. Still have no idea why it was so hard, just know It was a profound moment for me, because I loved her endlessly.  I wanted to say it, to tell her how much she meant to me.Obviously it was hard, and yes, I still remember every little detail. It was an important moment in my life.

I’ve never told anyone the reason I made myself be brave that day — until now.

It was because of Lou Lawyer.  All the memories came flooding back today, when I learned of her death.

Lauren Lawyer and I were Harding students at the same time, meeting when she moved to Little Rock. Traveling with Lauren to Searcy, it was during this time I met her parents, Lou and Virgil, along with Lauren’s sisters, Andee and Jan.

Lou Lawyer was the epitome of grace and love. She was wise. Beautiful, with a great smile and laugh. I remember just watching her prepare lunch for Lauren and me — standing in her kitchen, what she served, even the plates she used.

Mostly, I remember Lou Lawyer told her family she loved them constantly. Her voice still resonates with me.  Her legacy is everlasting.

Lou Lawyer probably never knew or would even assume how vast her influence permeates those who’ve been in her sphere.  We are a lucky and blessed group. She is an angel among angels, now with her husband, Virgil.

Lou Lawyer’s legacy makes me even more thankful for my own Mother, who told literally everyone — just like Lou — that she LOVED them. And did she ever. She and Lou never met, but I’d like to imagine they will meet in Heaven.

Thankful Lou Lawyer was in my life, albeit for those brief moments.  My life was forever changed by her example.

Let’s all be brave today — say I LOVE YOU as much as possible.  I think Lou will be proud of us and it makes me so happy to believe she will be watching.


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