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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Inspires You?

I was recently asked what inspires me.  It took me a bit to pinpoint the exact thing that has truly inspired me the most.  I create jewelry, but what inspires me to create it? Who or what gives me the idea that I can do this thing that I love so much to do?  Is it nature, literature, colors, other designers, architecture?

As I thought on this for a bit, I kept drawing a blank.  I thought about the styles of jewelry I make and where does that influence come from.  I couldn't put my finger on it.  I sat down the other day to work on a new creation and then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  My inspiration comes from my dad!

Why my dad?  My dad, a Vietnam vet and cancer survivor with only an eighth grade education and Dyslexia, never knew what the word "can't" means.  He taught himself German when everyone said it would be impossible and that he wasn't smart enough to do it. He has a natural mechanical and engineering bend. He was able to study drafting and worked at Boeing in Seattle during the late 60s as a draftsman.  Can you imagine a person with only an eighth grade education doing that?!

My daddy.
He has always encouraged me to do whatever I put my mind to.  He has always told me, "If you can dream it, then you can do it".  He has always pushed me to do better, to be more creative, to think outside the box, to always try again if something didn't work the first time.  My creative passion comes from his gentle reminder that no matter what, he would always have my back.

His love and encouragement comes from a place deep rooted inside of him from our Heavenly Father.  His love for God has been in inspiration to me as well.  He has quiet in his passion for God, but you can tell my dad puts Him first in all he attempts to do.  Back in his Navy days, he was one of the few guys who would stay on the ship and read his Bible instead of partying with the rest of the crew.  After meeting up with one of his old shipmates, his fellow sailor told him that there was someone that had been wanting to find and talk to my dad. His friend placed a call.  That call was to my dad's former captain from the U.S.S. Whetstone. His former captain revealed to my dad he had became a Christian because of my dad's actions and living witness to Christ while aboard the ship. There are other shipmates that have confessed the same thing.  The life my dad lived in front of others left a mark on his captain and shipmates.

My dad knows how to live out of the Gospel of Christ.  He once told me that he had tried his best to model his life around the Beatitudes.  I can say honestly that his life truly reflects those words.  He is one of the most humble men I know and honest to a fault.  His life is an inspiration to me.  Can you guess that I'm a "daddy's girl"?  Yeah, I'm kinda partial to him.

I watch him with my boys and see how he teaches them and shows them things.  He is instilling in them that same passion for learning and figuring things out that he instilled into me and my brother. He has a passion for learning and history that most people stand in awe of.

When I look at my dad, I see a man who never stopped when people told him he wasn't smart enough or good enough.  He proved them all wrong with his "can do" attitude and pioneer spirit. He has endured so much hardship in his life, but has overcome it all.  He fought on when others would have given up.  He stood by my mom through her mental illness when most men would have walked out.  I believe it was his trust in God, prayers, and devotion to my mom that saw her through the worst time in her life.  He became a rock to her when she needed him most.

I know that I am able to push through creative blockages because I hear his voice in my ears encouraging me.  If I need someone to talk to, I call my dad.  If I am in need of a creative push, I talk to my dad.  I show him what I am working on, and he can usual work out how to make the design work when I can't see the forest for the trees.

His faith in me has carried me through some rough seas in life.  He always told me not to let any one tell me I couldn't do something because I was a girl. He taught me to do my best and to prove to myself that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".  My dad told me that I didn't have to prove to anyone else that I could do things s long as I could prove it to myself.