Please note: All images on this blog (except where noted) are original works of Miki Baxter and cannot be duplicated without permission. Also, if you're inspired by a project featured on here, then please link back to me and give proper credit. Thank you!!!


A Picture of Myself...Feather Eyelashes, Oh My!

Day 21: A Picture of Myself

Well, you can't get any more current than a picture from this evening.
And since today happens to be Halloween...
To coincide with the Finale of the 8th Season,
I decided to be a "Project Runway Design"
based on an outfit by my absolute favorite designer on the show, 
You can read more about how my outfit came together here.
BTW, the purple hair accessory and the peacock feather pin are Miki Originals!


Something I Miss and My Nicknames

I was away Thursday through Saturday, celebrating on top of a mountain with a dear friend from the East.  

Day 19: Something (or Someone) I Miss
I miss my Mom.  
This weekend up in the mountains, 
I found myself grieving her unexpectedly.
It hit me really hard.
I've found that when the world is still, late at night,
my true thoughts and emotions often rise to the surface
to be addressed.
The neat thing about moments that have passed
are the memories that can be played over and over again.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to fast forward to skip certain scenes,
but there's always the option to pause as well.
To linger with a beautiful memory. 

Day 20: My Nicknames
I actually dislike nicknames
since most often they become unflattering and limiting LABELS
that stick to one's psyche 
long after everyone else has forgotten the name.
Often the one being given the nickname has NO CHOICE
and is stuck with this term whether they like it or not.

I once challenged a 6 ft. tall, very large man 
to step outside in front of our church to settle things
when he wouldn't stop calling my son
"Pretty Boy"
week after week in the church nursery.
I'd asked him to stop multiple times,
and he wouldn't honor my requests demands 
to stop calling my son such a frivolous name.
And I would've thrown a punch at that point
to show how very, very serious I was 
that no one was going to call my son any kind of name
other than the one that we strongly felt God had given us to name our boy.

The only nickname that I was given that I've enjoyed
was one given to me by a kindred spirit.
Inspired by a sad song on a Debby Boone album from the late 70s,
Micol's Theme (who remembers this song???),
my friend called me "Micola."
You can hear the song on Youtube.
As a matter of fact,
I'm listening to it right now.
I was still in elementary school when this album came out,
but I used to listen and sing along at the top of my lungs.
There was another song on the same album that you may know,
just a little tune called "You Light Up My Life."
I love that song too.


Day 18: Something I Regret

Day 18: Something I Regret

Though there are many specific incidences in my life that I profoundly regret, 
the main theme they share is that I wasn't true to myself.
I didn't listen to my heart.
Choosing against myself has caused me the most regret.


Day 17: What I Look Forward To The Most

Day 17: Something I'm Looking Forward To

Honestly, the thing I am most looking forward to is Heaven.
The place where peace reigns, where there is no sorrow,
no pain, no troubles,
to have nothing hidden, nothing dark,
nothing sinister or threatening,
to know perfect contentment and joy,
to be reunited with loved ones who've gone before me,
a place where nothing separates me from Jesus,
to bask in the Light and Glory of God forever and ever...
Everything else is dull in comparison,
but I run this race, knowing that one day that awaits me.
In the meantime, that I would live my life in a way 
that honors the Lord and to share of the hope found only in Him.


Days 14, 15, and 16 - Busy Weekend!!!

Day 15: Bible Verse
One of my favorite verses is 1 Kings 19:11-12
And He said, Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord. 
And behold, the Lord passed by,
 and a great and strong wind rent the mountains 
and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, 
but the Lord was not in the wind; 
and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;
    And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; 
and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice.
After his triumphant showdown with the prophets of Baal,
Elijah freaks out because Jezebel has threatened to kill him
and runs off in fear.
God sends angels to help him and to bring him food.
While he's camping out in a cave,
God talks to him and asks him what he's doing there.
God demonstrates that it's not in all these dramatic ways that He can be found.
His voice is that still, small voice.
It's an intimate voice, a personal one-on-one kind of voice.
It reminds me to commune with the Lord
from my heart and to listen for Him carefully.
He doesn't reveal Himself often in a dramatic way,
but instead His voice is gentle and beautiful and personal.

Day 16: My Dream House
I have eclectic taste.
My idea of a dream house has included...
a castle
a Victorian house with a wraparound porch
the house in Home Alone
and the house I still miss and ache for in my heart - 
the 1943 Cape Cod that was a fixer-upper.
It was in this home that I discovered my love of design
and my ability to paint and restore.
More importantly, the house had such a warm and welcoming feel.
Some of the sweetest memories of our family took place while we lived there,
and that's what I miss the most.
The sense of belonging, the sense of community,
our church family and friends there,
my children's friends.
We were close to the beach.
I loved that house and our life.
It's been four years since we moved away,
but my heart still hurts for what we left behind.
My dream house is a place of stability,
a place where my children are happy and have many friends.
A place where I can express my design aesthetic and fill with friends and laughter.


Day 13: Goals

Day 13: Goals

My Goals:
  • Complete my college degree...praying about applying to Art/Design School
  • Run a 5K (Thanksgiving morning!) and other races
  • I'd like to eventually compete in a triathlon
  • Run my own successful business
  • Travel with my children, showing them the world, and also working alongside of them to touch others with the love of Christ
  • Have a gallery showing of my art/photography
These are some of my goals - what are yours?
And the remaining topics for the 30 Day Blog Challenge:

Day 14-A picture you love
Day 15-Bible verse
Day 16-Dream house
Day 17-Something you're looking forward to
Day 18-Something you regret
Day 19-Something you miss
Day 20-Nicknames
Day 21-Picture of yourself
Day 22-Favorite city
Day 23-Favorite vacation
Day 24-Something you've learned
Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26-Picture of your family
Day 27-Pets
Day 28-Something that stresses you out
Day 29-3 Wishes
Day 30-a picture 


Days 11 and 12, An Interesting Combo

Day 11 : "What are your favorite TV shows?"
Most of the shows on HGTV,
especially "Color Confidential," "House Hunters," "Divine Design," and "Design Star."
Project Runway
Law & Order (and their off-shoots)
Grey's Anatomy

Day 12:  What You Believe
I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit,
that the Creator of the universe is the One Who made me/us for His purpose,
Who saved me/us, loves me/us and is with me/us always.

I believe that with Him and in Him the impossible is possible,
that there's healing for every kind of hurt,
comfort for all sorts of pain,
peace for turmoil,
joy to overcome sorrow,
beauty to grow in the place of barren terrain,
hope and true love.
In Him.

There's more, of course.
But I believe that His Word is our Source of strength
and the foundation of all things worth believing.


30 Day Challenge: Days 9 & 10

 Day 9:  Pictures of My Friends
I declined to post photos because I have many friends,
(and I'd have to hijack their photos from Facebook)
and/or they'd rather not have their photos on a public blog.

Day 10: What I Am Afraid Of
Clusters of Holes
Being Up High
Creepy, Crawly Bugs (especially large ones)
Missing God's Best for My Life


We Interrupt The Regularly Scheduled Program...

"Fix Your Own Potholes!"

It's a phrase that's been going around and around in my head since I heard it a few days ago. It was an "a-ha!" moment - so many times we I think it's someone else's fault for things being the way they are. Perhaps there is a part another person contributed to the problem, but ultimately, I have to take a long, hard look at myself and examine my choices. The only thing I can control and change and take responsibility for is myself.

The distracting noise in my life that courts depression has been this frustrated, whiny internal dialogue that wants to place the blame on someone else for things being yucky. As I am working through it and turn to God (via His Word and desperate cries for help!), the same Truth is confirmed over and over and over:

need to keep my eyes on the Lord; He's the Who, shows me the What, Where and How I should be looking. The filter of the Word of God helps clarify my vision and my thoughts. He illuminates the important and necessary, causing the distractions to fade.

Something that the children and I reminded each other of in the weeks after my mother's passing was to remember that great clouds of witnesses that she was now a part of, which helps give another perspective to the challenges of this life.

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses 
[who have borne testimony to the Truth], 
let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) 
and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, 
and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence 
the appointed course of the race that is set before us,

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, 
Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith 
[giving the first incentive for our belief] 
and is also its Finisher 
[bringing it to maturity and perfection]. 
He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, 
endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, 
and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Hebrews 12:1-2

Perhaps a better translation of the opening phrase is:
Ask Jesus for help fixing your potholes.


30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 8

Day 8: A Place (or Places) I've Traveled To

This may be my favorite post yet -
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity 
to experience several countries!

© Japonka |
I was born in Hawaii and moved to Japan when I was around one.
My parents took us on road trips all over Japan.
We visited towns where the people 
had never seen Americans.
The people gasped when my siblings and I started speaking Japanese.
They gathered around us and bought us ice cream!

© Mval |
At age 11, we moved to the United States.
To date, I have visited (meaning an actual stay vs. just driving through)
18 States including Alaska and Maine.

© Thethirdman |
I spent a month total in Kenya and Ethiopia with friends from Bible school
and fell in love with Ethiopia.
A year and a half later, 
I moved to Ethiopia for a year as a missionary.
Though I intended to remain in Africa for the rest of my life,
God had other plans for me.

© Svetlana Kashkina |
Prior to coming back to the U.S. to get married,
I spent almost 3 months in Bulgaria, 
traveling all over that country
for the same organization that sent me to Ethiopia.

© Christina Deridder |
When my daughter was one, my husband and I took her to Holland for 2 weeks
because we were planning on moving there 
to work with a Christian ministry.
It wasn't the right time for our family, but we loved Europe.

Our last major trip was 1st to Canada, then Alaska.
We won a cruise and fell in love with Alaska.
Then again, I don't think we've been anywhere we haven't loved.

© Easyshutter |
Now if only I could hurry up and get to Paris, 
the city of my dreams! 
My friend and I were supposed to go back In March 
to celebrate our upcoming 40th birthdays,
but I moved to Colorado.


30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 7

Day 7: My Favorite Movies

A Walk In The Clouds
The Mirror Has Two Faces
Pride and Prejudice

I enjoy movies that are superbly acted and tell a great story.  
I'm sure there are more but these are the first ones that come to mind!


30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 6

Day 6 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge:  
A picture of something that makes me happy

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 5

Day 5: My Siblings

I am a...Middle Child.
Need I say more?

Yes, most of the things they say about middle children are true with me. 
The following information comes from an article, 
Middle Children: Finding Their Own Pride of Place by Robert Needlman, M.D., F.A.A.P. 

Middle children. 
They often aren't the biggest and strongest, 
they aren't the babies who get away with murder, 
they aren't really anything special, at least in their own minds. 
Sometimes they feel invisible. 
But this uncomfortable feeling of not having a defined place in the family 
may actually turn out to be an advantage. 
Unlike first children, 
who often define success by their ability to meet their parents' expectations, 
middle children are more prone to rebel against the status quo
Another result of having a less well-defined place in the family is that 
middle children often reach outside the family for significant relationships. 
They make close circles of friends. 
As the underdogs themselves in many sibling conflicts, 
middle children often develop a fine sense of empathy with the downtrodden... 
Where first and last children may tend to be self-centered, 
middle children often take a genuine interest in getting to know other people. 
Being in the middle, 
they may find it easier to look at interpersonal situations from various points of view. 

The most revealing part of the article above for me was 
"not having a defined place in the family can turn out to be an advantage." 
Though I often felt lonely when my brother and sister conspired together, 
it taught me to stand alone and for myself. 
It enabled me to find my voice early in life and to depend on my inner resources of creativity, imagination, and sometimes sheer will to navigate through life, 
both in my younger years and even now as an adult. 

 I wrote the above about being the Middle Child a few years ago,
but it's still very true today.
That's all I can share about my siblings right now.


30 Blog Challenge: Day 4

Day 4: My Parents

This one promises to be an emotional post, so I'm going to dive right in.  
What to share about my parents?

My Dad.
One of the things I love to share about my Dad -
it was very easy for me to view God 
as kind, loving, warm, and generous
because of his example.

My Dad can't help himself.
From the time I was little,
if I asked him for a $1.00, he'd always give me $20.00.
He has a giving heart.
And he's kind, 
except when he's grumpy.  Ha ha, had to throw that in, Pops.
I remember the first time I was in a car accident,
my Dad rushed to the scene.
I was slightly annoyed
that he was  joking with the officer (not about me).
His easy-going manner probably helped me not get a ticket,
and I never had to worry about my Dad 
being upset with me in crisis moments like that.
He helped me see things in a better light.

When I told my Dad I was going to Africa,
he just listened and asked when?
And he dropped me off/picked me up at the airport,
whatever the hour and wherever I was landing.
There's a lot more I'd like to say and will in another post.
More than anything,
I want my Dad to know my heavenly Father.
How about it, Pops?

My Mom.
She went home to be with the Lord a little over 3 months ago.
She was the fire to my Dad's water.
She was vivacious, and lively, and expressive,
and more talented that anyone I've ever met.

My Mom taught me courage 
and to never run from adversity.
When a group of girls in 4th grade threatened to beat me up,
rather than comforting me in my fear,
she looked me in the eye and made clear 
that she expected me to face them.
I was never to run or hide.
Or I'd have to answer to her.

 A woman of strong convictions,
she challenged my ideas in order to be sure they were my own.
Whatever I believed or did,
it had to be 100%. 
She didn't want me to be a blind or foolish follower
but to forge my own way instead.
I realize now that she cried many tears
whenever I left to go on my adventures,
but she hid her sorrow in order to not hold me back.

Like the positive charges of two magnets repelling each other,
our similar temperaments and passions
often clashed in dramatic fashion.
I wish we could have gone beyond that 
to reveal our true hearts to one another.
But when it really mattered,
all that needed to be expressed and known
came through in her final moments.
More than anything,
I want her to be proud of me.
I want to carry her fire within me 
and, one day, burst into heaven,
having lived my earthly adventure to the fullest.

I am my parents' daughter still writing my story.
That I would take the best qualities of each
and live a life that honors them and the Lord.


30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 3

Day 3 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge hosted by Katie's Journey: Your First Love

I'm not trying to flex my "super spiritual" muscles here, 
but there's been no other love in my life like that of my Lord and Savior, 
Jesus Christ.  

Who first whispered His love and purpose to me at an early age, 
though I grew up in a non-religious home.  
Who made sure there was always someone in my life 
who gently pointed the way to me.  
Who enabled me to survive several tragic circumstances in my life, 
and literally lifted me out of the depths of despair more than once.

The Lover of my soul,
Whose stubborn passion for me won't let go,
no matter what.

He loves us.
Adores us, thinks about us.
Longs to be close to us.
He is kind, gentle, and funny too!

There is no other love quite like His.

  "For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, 
nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening,
 nor things to come, nor powers,
    Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation 
will be able to separate us 
from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38-39 (The Amplified Bible)

"I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—
nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, 
today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—
absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love 
because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us."
Romans 8:38-39 (The Message Bible)