Thursday, November 3, 2022

The Kids are Gone What Next

Pondering What Was and Looking Forward to What’s Next

The last few months I have been doing a lot pondering of this phase in my life. We get to this season where the house is not bustling with kids, meal making is smaller, the calendar is not full of sports, school events, play dates and all the things that parents do. Holidays seem less exciting, the rooms are empty and nothing seems normal.  

Though our new roles from afar seem important and needed, our conversations are less frequent yet rich in content and guidance. The hardest part of this season is I loved the last season. I loved having them here with us and the full house and laughter, conversation and coming home from the day’s events. I’d be remiss if I didn’t think of the hard times too, the places where parenting rocked my world and my eyes burned from tears.  

This weird space of time past and where we are in the middle of all the changes of our family and watching it all play out, wondering what the future holds for them and us.  Thankfully I’m not overly sad, lonely, bored or depressed but it’s an adjustment for sure and one I’m okay resting in and waiting for what God has next for me.  

I’m learning it’s okay to rest and sit in our changes it’s okay to ponder things, reflect and wait on His timing. I could fill up my days with busy things, mindless things to get my thoughts off what is, but I know that would not be healthy.   Deep down I know I will be okay, I will find the new rhythm of life but for now I’m in this place of reflection and thankfulness of what was and waiting for what will be. It’s okay to take time to ponder and even grieve what feels hard and a loss of something that was. ~Courtney

Psalm 139;23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.



Monday, October 11, 2021

Living in Lake Oswego


A Snapshot of Lake Oswego 



Lake Oswego is situated just  7.9 miles from Portland and situation with easy access to most suburban areas.  Home to the largest man made lake in Portland, Oswego Lake,  is outlined with multi-million- dollar lake front homes.  Lake Oswego is also known for it's fantastic schools from elementary through High School.    Downtown Lake Oswego there are many restaurants and shops to visit as well as the fantastic summer farmer's market. 

Homes in Lake Oswego average price is $825,000 ('21) but don't think that will even get you a peak of the lake from your kitchen window.  The homes on the lake will sell over 3million plus ('21) and climbing.  Even if you don't live on the Lake or have a view of it, Lake Oswego is a wonderful place to live and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.  

The lake is private and although you have a Lake Oswego address it doesn't mean you will be getting your boat on it.  First you have to be part of a neighborhood that has an easement and even still there is a very long waiting list.  There are 22 easements you can find here by visiting the Lake corp  to see if your address or home you are buying has access.  The only swim park for Lake Oswego residents to enjoy without an easement is the Lake Oswego Swim Park located off Ridgeway.  Proof of residency is required. 

George Rogers Park is another fun destination in Lake Oswego where you can put in your paddle boat, or kayak into the Willamette River off the beach area.  Great for picnics and Pickle Ball the park is also home to the Lake Oswego Festival of the arts.  Luscher Farms off Rosemont and Stafford Rd. will allow your dogs to play and also a great place for a long walk along the paths.   Foothills Park along the river will frequently host summer concerts and has nice walking trails and views of the Willamette River.  


Recent renovation of upper Lake Grove area off Boones Ferry has bridged the style and design of the city as a whole.  It's new luxury apartment homes on the corner of Kruse and Boones Ferry are home to some great restaurants and other shops. Lake Grove boasts great restaurants and easy access to the business district off Kruse Way and Meadows. 

If you are a resident of Lake Oswego please comment below and tell others what you like about living there. 

Lake Oswego is 1.15 hour to Mount Hood, and 1.30 to the Oregon Coast!  Easy commute to Nike, Intel, Downtown Portland.  


Courtney Spears is Licensed Real Estate Agent in Lake Oswego Oregon, for Coldwell Banker Bain
All photos copyright Courtney Spears 








Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Getting Your House Ready For Listing Pictures

It's Time For Pictures What Should Sellers Do?

The best thing as a listing agent by far is walking into the first appointment and realizing the home owner is a designer.  I LOVE this moment because the ease of getting the house ready is a matter of cleaning and putting a few things away.  I'm already imagining how amazing the pictures will look online.   But if you're not a designer I wanted to give you some helpful tips that make your pictures pop online.  Even if you have that gift of design, these tips are a must when getting ready for pictures and selling your property. 


1. Clean off the counters and put away stuff.   Less is way more in this case we can always add things as needed.  The pictures look way cleaner and less distracting and the home will feel more expensive.   Buyers will be confident in how well the home has been taken care of.   This is also a good time to sell any furniture you don't want as it will make the rooms look bigger.   Snap a picture with your phone and see what pops out at you and is distracting then remove it. 

2. Take down all the family photos.  You are selling a property no your "home" anymore.  As cute as your family or furry friends are, people really don't care as much as you do and it just looks cluttered and not show ready.  This process can be hard for some, especially if they don't want to move but have too, but it needs to be done. 

3. Turn on all the lights.  A good photographer wants this and it will make your pictures stand out.  This should be the case for all of your showings as well.   We also extend this rule to the inspection as this is the 2nd time your buyer will be in the house and you want to re-sell them on the excitement and bliss, they had the first-time walking in.   Take it further and welcome the appraiser with this same way and I bet you will get the value you need to close.  

4. Whatever you decide to change, please pick neutral colors when redoing a space for sale.  This is not a time to pick colors you love but rather what is neutral and trending at the time.   Assistance with these choices is always best so never hesitate to ask for help. 

5.  Once everything is cleaned out it is a good idea to bring some fresh white towels to space, some small greenery and candles.  We love the Volcano candle from Anthropology it smells so good and homey. 

I hope these 5 tips helped you.  As a bonus close those toilet lids!  






Courtney Spears is a Licensed Professional Real Estate Agent in Lake Oswego and the Portland Metro Area of Oregon. 
courtneyspears@cbbain.com



Thursday, September 2, 2021

2020 Didn't Break Us!

Right before we all shut down in 2020 I decide to launch a new branch of my Real Estate business and bring on Luanne Jaramillo to my corner of the Real Estate world.   At the time I didn't do it because I was overwhelmed with my currant capacity of work or job, but rather just creating a group of two individuals that wanted to work together for a common goal.   Entering a business in a pandemic was a tough start for Luanne but we still had our eyes set on helping people buy and sell, and it seemed like even though things were different in the world,  Real Estate didn't get hit too badly rather it just required us to adjust certain elements.  In fact with the low interest rates and people realizing that remote working meant from anywhere, it created a new option for people to move around.   

One thing about our new arrangement is that it makes it easier to have our clients covered no matter where life takes us.  Being that we both like to travel this partnership creates that
space to have things covered no matter where we are in the world.   Luanne and I make a great team where we get the job done for our clients, take great care, have lots of energy and willingness to help, and have fun while doing it.   The best part of our job is helping our clients find their new space or selling their home and having them so happy they decided to use our services.   We couldn't ask for a happier moment when we get that great review at the end of a sale.  If you are wanting to buy and or sell in the Portland Metro Area including the Willamette valley to Salem we are your gals!   You can certainly trust us to take care of you and your family so that you get the best treatment and results possible.  

Lake Oswego Oregon 




Thursday, January 24, 2019

He Retired Finally at 76!

It's hard to wrap up a lifetime of work into one evening.  There were definitely tears from Dad, and us, as we watched the emotional crossover happen.   A lifetime of getting up early, routine, dreams, worries, accomplishments and defeats.  Self-employed for most of what I remember, a coach and teacher before that.  Some of my fondest memories of childhood were Saturday's when we would get up early for gameday at Lewis & Clark College.   This perhaps, why the sound of football is still comforting on crisp fall mornings.
Spring came and so did the crack of the bats.  I was so proud of my Dad being the coach, and my older sisters even more thankful he chose to coach college boys.  My dad coaching at 3rd base wearing the same uniform as the college boys, studying the game, us kids and cousins waiting for the next foul so we could run and retrieve the ball.  Rewards included free snow cones.  Additionally, a 5th inning dip into Grandpa's brown bag where we'd each get one full candy bar or money for the snack shack. The little things that make big memories.  Dad worked extra jobs so he could take us on fun summer road trips.  We all remember road trips of the 70's, leg skin stuck to the vinyl, no seat belts and always overheating on the way over the California Grapevine.  Surviving the mountain meant a world of fun on the other side.  One day Dad announced he was leaving Lewis & Clark.

Trading in the whistle for a suit and tie we suddenly had a different kind of life.  Saturday's were now reserved for cartoons, sleeping in and hanging out with friends.  We all played our own sports and we still had our coach handy, he just didn't wear the funny baseball pants.  A few fancy trips with the new company carved lasting memories for all of us.    The suit and tie job took us on an airplane to Europe and Hawaii for company conventions,  Suddenly, I didn't miss those free snow cones and instead replaced them with what we thought were free smoothies and part of being in room 525.  Dad's bag of quarters he saved for us to play video games and other kid things quickly ran out that trip. Once he realized 3 girls with his same last name and room number, were enjoying way too many smoothies, we were quickly limited to 1 each, per day.  The little things that make big memories. 

With the suit and tie also came more stress and a few years of some heavy tears from my parent's room.  This is where as a child I learned that you can't trust everyone's word that even though someone has high integrity like my hero Dad... other's well not so much.  That's when life turned pretty heavy for my Dad and Mom and God and His sovereign hand on our lives really big and present.  Opening my Bible, writing a verse on a small piece of paper for my Dad to find on his pillow, did more than my 13-year-old understanding could imagine. The little things that make big memories.  I also learned what never giving up, perseverance and humbleness looks like.  Hard, painful lessons learned for all and a fresh new start on the horizon,  however, Dad would never be the same spiritually or physically.

Three Heart attacks and quadruple bypass at 54 didn't take him out of the game.  In fact, he had 22 years of work still left in him.  Long passed the regular age of retirement Dad kept going.  Helping his clients set up for their own retirement but bypassing his own each year.  Well at 76 the time has come to put away the suit and tie, to pack up the office and fill the box with the final things of a lifetime of awards, diligence, and perseverance.  Now having time to create new memories and try new things that the office space couldn't provide.  Hopefully, he'll be able to find a secret drawer at home where he can stash his favorite snacks that are off the approved list.  Thank you, Dad, for your excellent example to our family you are truly an inspiration and we are thankful for your hard work and sacrifices!    



Saturday, November 21, 2015

OH Facebook Why I Hate You and Love You Part 3



Love:  Here's why I love Facebook.. 

Love in this category should result in a snarky comment of 
"Well why don't you Marry it"

In my previous posts Part 1 & 2 which you can read if you click Here  I talked about about the reason I hate Facebook. Hate is kind of a heavy word, I don't really hate it.. I hate evil, Facebook is not Evil.   Maybe annoyed with some things is a better word but I thought to bring it back full swing I'd post why I do really love Facebook.


I love seeing people enjoying life!
I LOVE the connections that are made that would have never been made in the natural world.

I Love the friends from LONG AGO that have popped up to say Hi.

I love the people that I didn't know before very well only to find common ground now

I love seeing who knows who and making connections

I love that in times of desperate need...
we can ask what we can do to help.

I LOVE the transparency of friends and asking for help

I love that we can pray for each other and encourage one another

I love that we can quickly find someone and send a quick message
I LOVE that we can watch your children grow up and not just a once a 
year Christmas Card if 
we are even lucky enough to be on the list.

I love that we get an opportunity to share other's pain and joys and respond as friends do.. 

I love that it can change lives and alter courses!!

These are all good things that without Social Media may not have happened.    That's why I love Facebook.    Facebook allowed me to step into someone's life and be part of a miracle, I have loved seeing faces of Childhood Friends, High School Friends, College Friends, teachers, pastors, neighbors ect.   I love being connected with a wonderful community of people that I know many of them in time of need would be at my doorstep... it's happened.   Thank you Facebook for getting us out of our shells and while we are in this generation of computers and devices  we are connected to each other.  Now go take someone to lunch and see them face to face :)  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Oh Facebook Why I Hate You Why I Love You Part 2

Disclaimer: I write satire most of the time.. I have learned these many lessons myself.. I'm not pointing my finger at any one person just relating what I feel and hear from others in general.  If this strikes a cord with you personally than it might be something you need to deal with in your own heart.  It's just observations people... just observations.. just go with it and then take a walk. 

Part 2 of a 3 part series. 

AVOIDING FACE BOOK SOCIAL MELT DOWNS 

Me On Vacation 2014 
I've heard and seen the good bad and the ugly.   I totally get that it hurts to see the group of friends you thought were your friends all together smiling in Hawaii together with their skinny bodies (that you've seen transformed week by week on your feed) holding up their drinks when you struggle with alcohol and all sporting their "Jamberry nails"  I get it!   Yes it's hard to see all the pictures on Father's day if you don't have a Dad, Mother's day if your mom has passed,  Sisters Rock day when you didn't get to have a sister, anniversary's, new ultrasounds,  new cars, houses, pets, plastic surgery, yet another championship from the sporty family (as your kid is sitting on the couch yelling at some video game or and eating lard).   You see the tension.. it causes people to hate Facebook because it points out what is lacking in our lives if just for a moment, a feeling of I am less than.

STOP IT!!! 
You are not less than!! You have a different story and one that can't be compared to others.   I know it's hard to stay connected online when you see things that you wish had transpired in your life differently, or that you didn't get, it's a constant reminder.  I have those things in my life.

When I step back from the painful in  my face "this is not your life" , I realize that my jealousy of someone else's good thing is an issue that is in my heart!! It would be the same if I was jealous of someone's fancy house I drive by.. it's not their issue it's mine!!   If we can't rejoice in other people's good things in life then we are only feeding the monster inside of us that is discontent or of past un-dealt with feelings.  When I see that group of friends that a singe of jealousy comes up inside of "wow that would be nice", or a group that I used to be a part of but for some reason the invites stopped,   I began to ask the hard questions.   What in my life is lacking or a hurt that I am not moving on from.

For those who seem to have that "Perfect Life" (whatever that is)  be happy for them, they don't know they are over posting!!   You know that it's not all rosy all the time, they are human too and maybe their fun will inspire you to go do something different or fun or think outside the box.

I know that there are just plain hard things to see so here are a few tips I think would help the Facebook community of posters, stalkers, pokers, likers and on the fence haters.

FACEBOOK TIPS FOR LESS SOCIAL MELT DOWNS

1.  Think about others but don't let it cripple you from posting at all.    People love seeing your pictures but keep in mind if you post your raging party and leave a close friends (or what they thought was a close friendship) out, they are going to see it and be hurt.  Just have your stupid party and enjoy your friends and don't post it.  Nobody really cares.. except the people you just dumped.   (by the way you know there is a filter for "share with only these people")  If you want to share your pics with that group then you can do that without the world needing to see it.  Sorry if that sounds harsh but think about it.

2.  There are days that maybe staying off Facebook is better for our hearts.  Just don't go there where Holidays produce picture after picture of something you miss.   I've been there it can hurt and it's time to focus on other stuff and be thankful for other things in your life.

3.  Vacations, I love to see where you go!! If you go on 4 or more vacations a year,  please explain on the 5th vacation how you do it.  I mean I  think that might help... For instance:   Hey I received an inheritance! or Hey we Charged another tropical vacation!  Hey we are heading to the China because we love fortune cookies and we've been to every other country and never work!   "Hey we get up every day and work our tails off so we are vacationing again!!... Get a job or two or three so you can too!   Really we onlookers just need one and that's our deal, but some explanation would be helpful so we can get there.

4.  You don't have to be friends with everyone!! If they stir up turmoil in your heart block them.  If their posts are annoying unfollow.   There is a little arrow on the right side of each post in the feed that you can choose your own destination with that persons post and future posts.. just saying.  I know I have probably been blocked or unfriended.. it happens move on.

5.  Don't be my friend ONLY to solicit your online party or business.   This is a no brainer people..   I will speak no further.

6. Don't over post about one thing.  It's great and important you are doing blah blah blah.. and I know it's important to let people know you did blah blah blah  but MIX IT UP!!!  Throw in a cat picture for Heaven's sake!!!  Just be you and be real and all that will fall in to place naturally, don't force it down people's throats.    This goes for business, kids, pets, news, political issues, faith, reposts and shares, ALL of it!!

7.  Hard lesson of not exploiting our children:   I have been GUILTY myself.  I humbly say I have learned and regretted some of my posts in the past.   If I post something about my kids or pictures that are goofy I get their permission first.   Their whole life does not need to be displayed.  Again I stand guilty of this in the past and I stand firm with asking them first as a filter for my own over posting parental mistakes and what I think is "cute".

8.  Be able to walk away without announcing it as if you are divorcing everyone.  Most people think that's super dumb, you know the "break up status post".  We all know you will be back when you want something or realize that you've missed a bunch of important events.  I mean Facebook is like not checking your mail box back in the day.   It's where people are and where things are known and where you can interact on a different level.   Walk away but don't be so dramatic.. geesh!  (Again guilty in my formative FB years)

9. Sharing Links about False News  So if something seems off it probably is.. go check out snopes.com before you stand behind it.   People get all freaked out about things and then come to find out it wasn't even real, it was just some bored person trying to get click throughs... Please Please stop sharing these ridiculous stories and giving these people fuel.

10.  The Chain Posts:  We've seen them.. If you truly believe this than post it on your wall, like it, share it if you truly love Jesus.   Please Stop.. We shouldn't have to follow those stupid rules and sharing posts that publicly make other people roll their eyes.   There is not magic in any of those posts.  God knows my heart and I should be living a life that reflects my faith not have to use scare tatics on a Facebook photo, that probably is collecting data on everyone who clicks on it.. by the way.

I can't think of any more right now, I'm sure they will come.  I think the best thing is to work on loving others, not being jealous of what we don't have, be considerate of other's ideas and thoughts, like what we like, block what disturbs us. and by all means if you really don't like being there don't be and don't make everyone else feel shamed for liking it.  Run your race, I'll hand you water when you need it.   I won't be booing you holding up my flag that reads "gluttony rocks" just because I don't like running! I may not do it well or understand why others would want to do such a painful thing or want to, but Seriously.... if I choose not to run I better not be complaining to others about it or sad when all my friends are in shape and look good in their skinny jeans!! (I however unfriend runners).

 Stay tuned for Post 3 about why I LOVE and think Facebook is a good thing.  

Please feel free to comment below and let's get the dialogue going. 

If you didn't read Part 1 here is the link.  PART ONE 




Tuesday, November 17, 2015

OH Facebook Why I Hate You and Love You Part 1

Disclaimer:   This is satire humor it is not directed at any one person.  I am sure that a reader will find themselves in some of these examples but it is meant for humor and to pause and think.  If it strikes a cord in the reader that is too painful then perhaps there are some issues that need to be dealt with.  Close your computer and go for a walk, it just doesn't matter that much.  I have made many Facebook mistakes along the way and have learned and had to adjust.  Laughing at oneself is the best way to overcome things and make life more fun.   


Facebalkers 


We all know one or two people that "refuse" to use Facebook.  They will let you know why they hate it so much, how much time it takes up and how that is just NOT what they want to do with their time.  That statement is meant to make all of us regular Facebookers feel like life slackers. 
The 2nd group is the person who friends you and then does nothing, or rather nothing visible. They just lurk behind the scenes late at night stalking photos and pages.  I'll call them Facebook Stalkers or how about Facebalkers.  These are the ones that NEVER comment, NEVER post,  they "Don't like Facebook Much" and will make you feel like you have issues because you check it daily.. hourly and often every 2 minutes.  They will go on and on with what a waste of time it is and how they just don't see it's usefulness, UNTIL the day comes when they need it.  THEN they pop up PUBLICLY and very visibly to sell their couch, or awkwardly post on someone's wall a very personal message something like " Hey ____ I saw you that you got implants, you look great!" you know who you are. CONFESS!!  Even further Facebalkers will come out of hiding when they want you to use your sphere of influence to make an announcement for their cause!!? Something like this.. "Hey, so I see you have quite a lot of friends and connections on Facebook.   I know I have mocked your usage before but will you post that I'm having a Garage sale next week?" Wait.. what??  I'm sorry Queen Latifah I have spent years and years building meaningful social media relationships, liking numerous pictures of puppies, giving candy crush lives, being "happy" for many friends' tropical vacations and new boat pictures and viewing slide shows of people's entire year in pictures set to music while weeping.  Keeping up with my sphere of people whom some I can't recall how we even met, but we are close now!   Go spend some time clicking, posting, liking and commenting and then we'll talk about your bake sale on my wall.    Facebalkers are just one level up from those who open accounts and after several logins STILL have a shadow for a profile.. (that's not creepy).   They don't become really active until they realize one day that they cannot get a hold of anyone anymore.   They finally pick a profile picture which is the person looking very confused into the computer camera.  Furthermore and maybe the worst part of a new user is they proceed to "like" EVERY picture from 2006-2015! That action then causes those pictures to pop up in the main feed of all my friends and gives me 1000 "like" notifications. Which I guess is thoughtful, but the worst part of that is then the Facebalkers finally comment on my picture from 2006 and say "Hey you got your hair cut and lost 35lbs!.. Wow you look young!!!"  um yeah that was nearly 10 years ago..    Sigh..   And don't even ask me what poke is.. and for the record I still love you person out there, it just needed to be said. 


Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Chronic Twist


Life sure is interesting isn't it?  I really can't believe what the last 6 months have held.  It's true you never know what tomorrow holds.   I found out really quick that I truly am not in charge of my life and my days.   Scrolling down a few posts you will read about "the shift" where I transition from my heart world of music to the head world of business.   Now I know that the heart and head must be in the same breath.  I realized one can't live without the other or one will suffer.  As I was obedient to the Lord to follow in my husbands footsteps and to bring more consistent income to our family, my heart was happy but there was still a little ache of what was missing.  I know God created a musical entity in me for a purpose.  Where that fit in this new phase I have watched and waited and found that it fit perfectly!! There have been these wonderful moments where I got to place my guitar over my head and step up to the microphone and lead a group of people in praise songs to God.  It can happen I can still do what my soul was made for.    I remember the sting when I had my first morning of leading worship and my son said "I thought you weren't going to do that anymore?".   It stung because I knew he was watching my every move and word, knew that he saw me place God's good gifts in a pile in the back corner, and wondered if he was worried I would get too involved to quick again and he wouldn't see me.    I told him that day that music will always be a part of me.. it's what God placed in my heart and what spiritually I'm supposed to do for His kingdom.

Just as my head and heart came together I was thrown for a loop.  It's these times that I don't know if the enemy was messing with me or God was teaching me something new, or both.   All I know that God never wastes anything it always turns to good weather we see it or we have to wait to see the good in things.  

I woke up one day in November and I literally couldn't walk because my sciatic nerve were pressing down so hard on my muscles.  I couldn't straighten up, I couldn't do anything but lay down.  I thought it would be over in a few days but it got worse and then worse and finally I was just in bed.  We just had changed churches and I wanted to be involved,  I just was getting my first real estate deal, I had 3 awesome musical events coming in December that I desperately wanted to be healthy for.. and I couldn't get out of bed.   As days turned to weeks and into December I went to several forms of treatment knowing I was dealing with my lower back but not knowing what it was really.   As my week of 3 events was approaching and I was getting a little reprieve my friends surrounded around me to pray that I would be healed and get back to "life" and be able to do these events.  The next day as I left my first acupuncture apt and my praying friends I began to feel better.  So much better that on my way to my first event early December I thought I was completely healed! I was able to hold my guitar standing, no pain, worship and thankful to God.  I leave that event, so charged up and  walk into my house and it was as if every muscle and nerve decided to come back and say "NOT SO FAST SISTER"  my body was once again weak and painful.  Event 2 and 3 were not as demanding on my body, a lot of sitting and a lot of Tylenol and pain cream. I remember a friend seeing me at church where I couldn't stand that week before and I was crying from pain.  She said she'd pray for me... After church I was pain free standing and walking normal... I texted her to give her the news and thank her for praying which she said was through that whole service. But sadly, when that week of events was over I got much worse.   

Why am I now like this?  Why is God allowing this? I begin to doubt that I might ever be the same.   Week after week the stress adding to my husband and family.  My personality changing because of the agonizing pain that wouldn't stop.  The long nights of nerve pain that wouldn't go away.  The world moving onward, celebrating Christmas time, parties, baking, shopping, decorating... I was left out of it all.   Yet there were still things I had to do, work things, giving rides, trying to find ways to function.   I hit rock bottom one night out of pain and discouragement.  I felt I had tried everything, I didn't want surgery, I didn't know what was exactly wrong until I had an MRI which confirmed what my chiropractor thought.. bulging disc, compression, stenosis.. twisting of the lower spine.. OUCH! What I thought would be a normal adjustment for my lower back where I would be on my way.. turned into 3 months of pain and debilitation.  Finally after getting gentle spine adjustments to relieve the nerve pain I began to turn a corner.   What a awesome day it was finally at the end of January to stand once again.  To be able to stand and cook a meal, to do dishes, to look people in the eye.
It's amazing what life holds.  I don't fully understand why this happened, but I know that it was for a reason.  I understand even more than I did before a glimpse of what people suffer through in chronic pain.  I understand giving up.  I understand feeling lonely, dark, hopeless.  I got a glimpse of the charity or lack of that people feel with a disability.   I understand why someone in chronic pain or in a wheel chair might be overweight, why comfort food feels good.   I wonder if God's timing to take me out of the game was for me just to get knocked off my feet to appreciate when I am in good health.  To not waste time.  To be more purposeful and thankful.  To wait on the Lord.  To trust more and help more.  To not take health for granted.   The timing of this and our transition to a new church family was interesting.  I wonder if God knew me well enough that I would want to dive right in and get involved with church activities.  Meet people, work in ministry, act on the stirrings of my heart.. only to sideline me and cause me to wait and watch.   I don't want to be sidelined in order to learn a lesson of waiting on the Lord.  How often have I done things on my own strength and will and not waited only to get myself into a mess.   As I gently work my back into health still, I am gently navigating where God will have me in this new place.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Piano

Soul

The Piano


Today we received a beautiful gift.  One that we were anticipating but didn't realized how beautiful it would be.  This old piano was delivered to our home this afternoon.   What wonderful people who just wanted to give it to a good home that appreciated it's beauty and charm.   It's keys are worn, a little cracked, one even missing a piece of it's ivory,  but the beauty remains.  The sound that it makes fills our home with music and as the strings behind the aged wood begin to produce sound it brings me back to my childhood.  A similar piano to the one I learned on as a child.  One that brought cousins together to sing melodies and harmonies.  One that gave joy to my fingers and ears as the beautiful melodies rang out.   I sit down at this old piano and want to know it's story.  What hands have played lovingly on these same ivory keys.  What homes did it fill with the melodies and harmonies of yesterday?   A treasured gift and a reminder that although things are chipped and cracked and warn on the outside, the inside is what matters and the beauty if reflects.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Making the Shift

Courtney Spears
Broker Licensed In Oregon


The shift has happened..   It is hard to steer the ship a different direction without causing a little bit of a wake.   That wake happened in my musical heart as I knew it was time to shift my desires and put my efforts in a place that would be more supportive of my family and husband.   About 9 years ago I sat down in our living room asking for his support as music was pouring out of my soul.    At that time we both decided to give it 3 years to see what would transpire.  Well 9 years later and many amazing musical experiences behind me, it truly has been such a gift to be able to do what I love and grow as a musician/singer.  

In July,  I decided it was time to cancel August unless it had to do with spending time with my family or friends.  I needed to organize my thoughts, my house, my direction,  and hopefully in the end have peace about the shift and what that looked like.    I can say that even though August is not yet complete, I have complete peace.  I have felt so much freedom without the "have to be here and there" it has made August seem like 60 days! It has given me time to think clearly and not be swayed one way or the other by being occupied by what I'm used to doing and what is comfortable.  

Music has defined me in many ways the last 9 years.  It defined what I was striving for, where I would spend my extra time, the opportunities, the frustrations the joys and laughter and tears.   I loved it, I hated it, it scared me, it moved me, it sometimes disappointed me and then often would bring rich blessings.  It was hard not to give into the emotional side of making a decision and it did not come without heavy tears, but the rational mature side won in the end.


This August I passed my Real Estate license test.  My husband, has been in real estate for 20 years and is currently the Managing Principal Broker for the Hasson Company, so it seems fitting to join the efforts with him.   Together I feel it will be great to have his expertise and years of experience with my new excitement.   

As the shifting of priorities music will still find it's place as it  happens naturally.  It's still part of my life and the way I can minister and show my heart and shine His


Ward and Courtney Spears





Photography By 
Photography by AJ
http://photographybyajay.com/







Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Women's Conferences

Spring Women's Conferences 

Grace Chapel Women's Retreat April 11-13
Wow what a busy spring it was!! We got to travel to many awesome retreats and conferences to lead worship.   This year marked our first road trip to sunny California where we quickly De-thawed from a long Oregon winter and LOVED meeting so many awesome women.

Only At a Women's conference

Atascadero California March 6-10

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - April 7-9



Rolling Hills Community Church Women's Retreat



Ignite Portland

Monday, March 10, 2014

California Traveling Song - In-N-Out HEY!

Our Chick band got to go on a fun weekend road trip to a women's conference in Atascadero, CA.  We got a little road weary and hungry as we made our way to In-N-Out Burger and came up with this little song.