Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Heart Anniversaries and How to “Celebrate” a Loss by Heather J. Kirk

Let's talk about why holidays can be so hard on some people. But before that, we must understand what I call ‘loss anniversaries’ or ‘heart anniversaries’. These are not the well-advertised universal celebrations that the world insists on reminding us all that they are coming, and how they are supposed to be amazing and exciting gatherings of family and loved ones. For those without close family or significant others to celebrate with, it is obvious how those can cause depression and disappointment for some. It may be the lack of people to spend it with, it may be the absence of someone dearly missed, it could be a comparison of how good these times were in the past to the present (and sometimes with new people who can’t live up to “ghosts,”) or it can even be memories of terrible times of loss, pain  or trauma that just can’t be forgotten.  

While public holidays are hard to miss, heart anniversaries tend to sneak up on us. It may be someone’s birthday that you no longer jot in your calendar,  the anniversary of someone’s death when you didn’t even realize you remembered the date, or no longer anticipating a special event with someone who left, either because of a death or no longer being a part of your life. Though these are not broadcast across TV and social media, they are being broadcast within yourself, casting a shadow onto your emotions and your memory. Only thing is that even if we do remember these dates, seldom are we consciously aware that they are approaching.  Once several years have passed, we may be surprised to get half way through the day of your ex’s birthday, or only remember days later that it would have been your 20th wedding anniversary ‘had she lived’. But our spirits and bodies remember even when we don’t, and in fact often notice well in advance of an upcoming date that once was important to us. We may not understand at the time why ‘for no reason at all’ we are experiencing overwhelming sadness, have a random feeling of loss, or even feel suddenly anxious or angry. In that week or two leading up to that loss anniversary we don't recognize it for what it is, until suddenly the date is upon you. More often we ‘get it’ once we recognize it’s someone's birthday who has passed, but we may never make the connection to a death date, the date that a divorce was asked for or made official, or the last time we made love. We rarely are cognizant of why we are particularly emotional, weepy, anxious, distractible, irritable our outright angry during this time frame. 

A relationship that I valued greatly ended recently, and though I saw the signs of the end coming, I did not understand why it was happening. I found that I experienced great joy in this person’s presence and I thought he was experiencing the same thing. To discover that it was not the case was a bit shocking to me and I was grieving not only the loss of the relationship, but also a sense that I could not trust myself to discern what was really going on. Had I deceived myself? Had I misjudged this person so wrongly? And if so, could I be trusted to make good choices for myself in the future. It was a relationship worth grieving, but at some point I had to admit it had only been a few months, and the loss, anxiety and anger I was experiencing was a bit out of line with the length of time we'd been together, as well as with my character. And then my father’s birthday arrived, my father who had died 34 years earlier, and the day after I seemed more able to feel the loss of the recent relationship back at a more realistic level for the circumstances, still truly a loss but not a roller coaster of conflicting emotions. 

But when private loss anniversaries and public holidays occur close together, especially ones like Valentine's Day or New Year’s Eve, which are specifically supposed to be about love, it makes these holidays even harder, because it feels like the whole world is noticing you are alone and ASKING about it! It is important to recognize for ourselves how loss anniversaries tie into public holidays - so that we understand what is happening to our emotional undercurrents (or tidal waves). We need to learn how to take care of ourselves, especially if we notice (or others mention that) we are over-reacting to a public holiday or a private loss anniversary). This includes doing what may seem counterproductive – not only put the date in our calendar but even put a note a week in advance that the loss anniversary is coming. We may want to forget all about them, but it is better to grieve these losses consciously, not to bury them, because IF you are susceptible to these kinds of anniversaries you already starting to realize they are not truly buried. 

Soon after my father’s death when I was 18 and my youngest brother was 12, we used to climb into my mom’s bed on dad’s birthday and talk about good memories. Once my brothers got married, their wives thought that was a little weird (lol), so we started calling each other instead. Now we may do a group text or post a photo on Facebook and comment. It’s been a very healthy way of honoring my dad, and I have not been overwhelmed by it in decades…until I had a breakup the week prior. But with enough experience in the area, as soon as his birthday hit I was able to identify what was going on and bring my emotions back in line with reality.  

Create some healthy rituals around the date that is difficult for you. Maybe call a friend or family member (agree to it in advance please – you want them to be ready also); maybe buy a cupcake and put a candle in it. Write a letter, get a massage, walk on the beach. It’s your ritual and your healing – so be conscious and intentional about it. Get help if you need it, write in a journal, pray about it and offer up your feelings and pain to God, write down your anger and then burn It… whatever ritual you need to do, do it. IF it doesn’t work, try something else. But it is important to intentionally decide not to let the overwhelming emotions control you and certainly not harm any existing and living relationships. It helps to know what is happening to us so that we do not allow public holidays to hurt us as badly, and that we do not allow jealousy consume us, or that we not feel the need to put down other people's happiness. 

So though it may not be all flowers and chocolate, on this Valentine's Day I do wish for you a truly healing love.

Be blessed My Purposeful People! Heather

Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection:
Art by Heather J. Kirk
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

#valentinesday #heart #loss # #grieve #grief #loneliness #holiday #healthyrituals #holidaygrief #lostlove #divorce #death #flowersandchocolate #honoringloss #relationships #healing #family #love #heatherkirk #heatherjkirk #praythroughit #makeaplan #savethedate

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Fill in the Blank...when the Pastor doesnt give you all the answers

Many church goers are used to having pre-printed outlines for the sermon with blanks to fill in. We put in those spots exactly what the preacher tells us to write. But in sermon at Impact Church titled “The Hunger Games” Justin Hamilton (JH) said, “You fill in the blank, because each of you is different.” Wat! He is supposed to tell us what to write, give us the answer, make it easy. 

Let’s start with my margin notes to get some context JH is him, HJK is my thoughts and revelations.

JH: “It’s easy to find crowds of people who gather in a church. It’s hard to find people who will go to the mountaintop, go anywhere He calls you to go.”  

(HJK) Each believer is called to their ‘mountaintop’ – a unique ‘where, who and how’ to disciple others. it could be the Bible Study I facilitate or my neighbor’s condo. AND that darn book I am supposed to be writing! (HJK)

JH: “Don’t ever talk about Jesus more than you talk to Jesus.” 

JH: “Revelation vs Recollection” (HJK) Show people vs tell people.  We need the accurate foundation, but if the Word does not live in us, walk and talk through us, CHANGE us, it is useless. And we know God’s Word is not useless, it is simply un-used. (HJK)

JH: “Am I polluting the pond that God told me to fish in?”
(HJK) Such a painful question and where I often feel that I fail. I am called to speak into people’s lives – to be an example and a teacher of God for them…and then I let my own feelings get involved. I let it become about ME instead of about God and whoever or whatever God has called me to – and when I get hurt, I lash out. Perhaps it is true, perhaps it is doubt, or perhaps Satan is whispering in my ear, “All that work, and you just destroyed it in an instant.” I am a polluter of the first degree. When will I learn that the Messenger and the recipient are depending on me – AH, THAT”S IT! Not me, but depending on the Holy Spirit working through me! As long as I try to represent God by my own power I WILL fail. (HJK)

How many of you have been irritated by my lack of sharing the original question? Probably not enough of you. Why do I say that? Because we want answers provided for us. Because many of us spend more time reading about others’ pursuits of God than in the Word of God and pursuing Him ourselves. 

So here it is.

JH: “6. I CAN NEVER FULLY LIVE THE LIFE GOD WANTS FOR ME, UNTIL I VALUE HIM MORE THAN _______________________. You fill in the blank. What holds you back? Is it pride, or family, wealth, the image others have of you, what your family said you should be or do? It’s individual for each and every one of you.”

I believe many people walked out of the service with that blank still empty. And you know what, I think they should have. Unless we have already been wrestling with God to discover our calling, longing to get to the mountaintop, and seeking HIM as desperately as we seek things or a relationship or a certain position … then we probably DON’T know yet what is holding us back. We may not even be aware that we value something more than God.

But I have been wrestling. I have been seeking, and to be honest feeling like a huge failure. I let the final worship song wash over me as I too leave the space blank, but place a box around it in expectation of an answer.  Then, ass I get up one word pops into my mind. “EVIDENCE!”

That may not mean a whole lot to you, but it is CLEAR to me. And as I drive and let that answer wash over me, more words and phrases come to mind. Some add further clarification - “FAITH,” “THE NEED TO SEE THE FRUIT.”

Additional obstacles come to mind also, because we are complex human beings and are rarely limited or challenged in a void or by a single issue.  Not only do I stop trying sometimes because of the failure to see the evidence of the fruit of my labor but, I also add, “SURVIVAL. THE INCOME TO LIVE ON WHILE I DO WHAT YOU ARE CALLING ME TO DO,” and  “HOW I HAVE ALREADY FAILED GOD AND THE FEAR I WILL KEEP ON DOING SO,” and “PEOPLE FINDING OUT THAT I AM SO INCREDIBLY IMPERFECT.”

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. Psalm 24:3-6 (KJV)

This is not easy stuff and can deter many. But perhaps it should not be easy to be called. It makes sense that our leaders and influencers will struggle with the same things we do but still come out on top and with a message to share (eventually, climbing mountains takes time)! And the whole ‘clean hands, pure heart, no vanity, not sworn’ stuff can get scary when we are privy to the inner workings of our own evil hearts – even if we don’t say the stuff out loud. But I suddenly notice and want to point out to you also that the righteousness is from God! The purity comes to the saved – He is the source of that righteousness and the power to overcome. Not me.

What is your word, your obstacle, the ‘god’ in your life that comes before the one and only God who wants to GIVE you life abundantly, not take anything away.



Be blessed My Purposeful People! Heather

Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection:
Art by Heather J. Kirk  and
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

#impact #makeanimpact #changemaker #evidence #seethefruitofmylabor #impactchurch #scottsdale #prayerlife #justgivemetheanswer

Saturday, July 8, 2017

This month, VIDA is giving Kirk the chance to have her designs presented to HSN

Heather J Kirk has created a collection of apparel and accessories designed using her original artwork with VIDA, a company committed to producing wearable art in a socially conscious way. This month, VIDA is giving Kirk the chance to have her designs presented to HSN for an upcoming show. If you’d like to help her qualify for this amazing opportunity, please use the code below for 15% off any purchase from my collection!

Enjoy 15% off
Using code HSN-JLAC
From now until midnight PST 7/12/17
Your purchase not only supports Kirk's personal collection of hand-designed products and brings her closer to being featured on HSN, but makes a global impact. VIDA is passionate about helping to drive social change for artists and makers, something of utmost importance to Kirk. Their company offers literacy and empowerment programs for VIDA’s factory workers so they can build a better life for generations to come.
Her clothing / fashion designs can be seen and purchased at:

Be blessed My Purposeful People! Heather
Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection:
Art by Heather J. Kirk and
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Last Minute Mom's Gift


Sustainable Scarves
Repurposed Upsourced Embroidery Samples Now Scarves

Sides are surged, ends are cut, the way it came naturally as a fabric sampleLast minute Mother's Day Gifts - Ships the next day. And I will e-mail you a printable card so you have something to give even if you order too late! Or plenty of time to order your Summer Scarves!



Several sizes: mini / small as , medium (rectangle / long), and large. The mini scarves and small scarves can be used for the newest fashion trend to have a purse scarf, handbag scarf, purse accessory, wrist scarf, ponytail scarf. Some will work as neck scarves.

Medium and large ones are decorative for the neck or even used as head scarves or head wraps. 

As a sustainable effort to help the environment, I have saved these embroidery samples from the trash, keeping them from filling up landfills. This type of fashion movement is known as repurposed products or upsourcing.  Another way of fabric recycling, except these have never been used except as extra stock that was intended to show manufacturers the fabrics available to them for their fashion products. 

These embroidery and applique samples have now become embroidered scarves, most of these beautiful and feminine scarves are sheer scarves.

Perfect gifts for her for Mother's Day, self gifts, birthdays, women’s events, bridesmaid gifts, swag, spring and summer.

Be blessed My Purposeful People! Heather
Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection:
 and Art by Heather J. Kirk and Literature by Heather J. Kirk

#lastminutemothersday, #mothersday #mothersdaygifts #miniscarf, #smallscarf  #mini scarves, #smallscarves #fashiontrend #purse scarf #handbagscarf #purseaccessory #wristscarf #ponytailscarf #neckscarf #headscarves #headwraps #sustainableefforts #helptheenvironment #embroidery #fashionmovement #repurposedclothing #repurposedproducts #upsourcedclothes #upsourcing #fabricrecycling #repurposedfabric #embroidery #applique #embroideredscarves #giftsforher #birthdaygift #womensevent #bridesmaid gift #swag

Fashion Specatcle This Saturday!

You may have seen my fashion show at El Panzon y Frida (with amazing food and service), but you will still be enthralled by the upcoming May 13 Fashion snow in Tempe at Fabric!

This was my "Teaser Event" wearing glasses to make you ask "WHY?"

Fashion Spectacle
Public Hosted by WEARizona
Saturday at 7 PM - 10 PM
Fabric: 132 E. 6th St, Tempe, Arizona 85281
Find Tickets: $20 in advance by Friday, #30 at the door

Lately eyewear is being touted as the new "it" accessory. WEARizona began, a year ago, formulating the idea of an eyewear based fashion show taking to the runway. Now in collaboration with the Arizona Apparel Foundation. We bring you Fashion Spectacle! Which brings together the best independant and most unique eyewear shops in the Valley while pairing each shop up with a talented local Arizona based Fashion Design using the eyewear as inspiration.

Showcasing some of the most exclusive local Eyewear Shops in town, including:

Sassy Glasses, i2i Optique, Sherwin Optical, Vintage from Avante Optical, Paris Optic, and Central Eyeworks

Arizona Designers include:

Hamati Design, Heather Kirk & Brandon Greer, Northern Clover, Alex Sanchez, Electric Lyon, and DesignHOUSE of Darylene

Over 40 models from:

Young Agency, Victor Navarro, AZ Star Talent & Management, and free lance.

Tickets in advance $20, at the door $30

VIP reception at 7p show at 8p 
Be blessed My Purposeful People! Heather
Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection:
Art by Heather J. Kirk
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

Friday, April 14, 2017

 If you plan on filing a tax extension (yes, me too), but haven't done your Arizona tax Credit contribution yet, you have until April 18 for that also! Not sure how much to give? It's dollar for dollar...give to the State or give to a qualifying organization, so use last year AZ Amount Due to estimate how much to give. Don't worry about giving too much - it will carry over to next year if you are "too generous"! Though understand each has it's own MAX donation...and of course in each year you can't TAKE (give :) ) more credits than you OWE.

There are several kinds of Credits you can take, according to where your heart and passion lies. Then within each category there are LOTS of qualifying options. Each one has a page to use to donate for the credit. 

Not sure who to give to? The Arizona Department of Revenue provides an updated list of qualifying foster care organizations that are eligible for each type of credit.  
 About Christian Family Care
4) Additional “PLUS” Private School Credit (allowing donors to receive credit for contributions over and above the original private school tax credit),
5) Arizona Charitable (Working Poor Tax Credit) (,
6) The Arizona Military Family Relief Fund Credit (
The list too big and want a suggestion? 
Submission page for Christian Family Care:  
The maximums for the Foster Care Charitable Organization, Contribution amounts eligible for credit: $500 for single filers/ $1,000 for joint filers.

Be blessed My Purposeful People! Heather
Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection: and
Art by Heather J. Kirk and
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

#arizona, #az, #taxcredit, #statetaxes, #charity, #charitablegiving, #nonprofit, #publicschoolcredit, #fostercareagency, #fostercare, #FCCO, #taxextension, #donation, #dollarfordollar

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Time to make your 2016 Charitable Tax Credit Donation even if you are filing an Extension

Taxes and Charitable Donations DO mix, especially in Arizona. Your "regular" charitable donation can be used as a deduction for 2017 or can carryever for 5 years. And your donations to Qualifying Charitable Organizations (QCO) and Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations (QCFO). You can even give right on up to April tax day for the previous year! Which means YOU CHOOSE WHERE YOUR TAX DEBT GOES - to the State Government or to the Charity of your choice (for Tax Credit They must already be qualified. - find the links to Credits lists here!:
AZ Tax FORMS 301 and 321 (among many others) are here:

In the next few days you will hear a lot about Arizona GIVES Day and giving through their site. Pros: MUCH more is raised this way, and yes, giving to charities helps the AZ economy. Charities can win part of a bigger pot there to add to their direct donations. Cons: 6.9% of your donation is taken in fees. This is my own bias....write a check,to the organization directly (but better do it quick), then 100% goes to the charity instead of the credit card company and the fundraiser. Even in my everyday giving, I"ve started writing checks. A bit inconvenient but all my donation goes to where I intend it.

Not sure where to give? Here are a few of my suggestions.


1) MOMA'S HOUSE is a domestic violence shelter and also takes in women rescued from sex trafficking. I have huge respect and admiration for a woman who changed her entire life because she was called by God to do this. Here is how to give as a tax credit, but you can give "
2) 100Pedals: 100Pedals provides parents and other family members with educational resources and coaching programs to navigate their life through addiction's chaos.

3) Arizona Consortium for the Arts Charity an all-volunteer community organization. Please help us continue to provide programs, events and festivals Free to the community. Click here to donate


1) Christian Family Care Agency: Christian Family Care serves Children and Families through Foster Care, Child and Family Counseling, Pregnancy Counseling, and Adoption.

2) Phoenix Rescue Mission: The Phoenix Rescue Mission is committed to transforming lives of the homeless and hungry. Our core values: • Christ-centered: We believe that we first exist to glorify God and advance His kingdom; through grace we receive and grace we share.• Servant-Leadership: We highly value and intentionally serve each other, our clients, and our ministry partners, leading by following Christ’s example. • Transformation: We invest in the spiritual, personal, and professional development of one another; restoring and equipping each other for intentional living.

3) St. Vincent de Paul: The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international non-profit organization dedicated to serving the poor and providing others with the opportunity to serve. The Phoenix Diocesan Council has been assisting central and northern Arizona families since 1946. Programs include services for the homeless, medical and dental care for the working poor, charity dining rooms, thrift stores, a transitional housing shelter and general assistance for individuals in need.
THERE ARE SOOO MANY more choices: Get the PDF lists here.

We have that we may give! May this Blessing be so in your life: " Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

Be blessed My Purposeful People!
Heather Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection: and
Art by Heather J. Kirk and
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

#AZGiveDay #ArizonaGiveDay #ArizonaTaxCredit #CharitableDeductions #CharitableGiving #donate #give #blessedtobeablessing