Being immobile has been the catalyst in a creative flurry that is my only outlet now, since driving, walking, swimming, and so many other activities have been hindered by this:
I can’t put any weight on it, so I’m wheelchair bound for 3 months. My only outlet is creativity, so I thought I’d post more of my art journal entries.
An old friend of mine sent me this picture of a wedding gift I made her way back in the late 70’s, I’d totally forgotten that I’d ever done it, so it was a nice surprise to see an embroidery project from so long ago!
These frames needed filling so I took the current themes in my life, hope and grace, and painted them.
One day I really needed a clipboard for a class that I was taking and I couldn’t just have something that wasn’t creative, so I painted and decorated this blank space.
My style is all over the place but that is my life right now, I have to be consistently creating … it is my happy place!
“Something happening here, it ain’t exactly clear…”
I am truly amazed and stunned by the events of this past year! There were very high moments contrasted by the terribly tragic ones…certainly nothing I ever saw coming. Therefore, to my best effort I am telling the story of why my posts have been sporadic and certainly not deeply inspirational. Life is unpredictable at best.
Last May/June 2017 I went on the dream trip of a lifetime; to Israel, Jordan, and surrounding Holy Land sites. It was a deep longing in my heart for 40+ years. There is no way to relate how absolutely fabulous that journey was: the people, the history, God’s Presence, the majesty and wonder, the food, the friends I made, the shopping, and the encounters that wrapped me in ecstatic bliss while I were there.Then I took my first trip to the Emergency Room in Jerusalem to deal with the AFib attack on my heart, with lots of prayer I was released in only a few hours. This was the first of many attacks and fierce battles that began my year.
Arriving home, my husband and I joyfully went to a Christian Conference in Southern California in mid-June. While there I fell off 4 steps to the ground twisting and severely bruising my knees and feet, tearing the meniscus in my right knee. Another trip to the ER and about two months of elevating my knee for swelling and pain.
During that time I had three more visits to the ER with more AFib problems and two cardioversions, where they stop your heart then use the paddles on your chest to electrically restart your heart. “CLEAR!” They had no idea why this was happening since my heart was strong and healthy. The battle was growing more fierce though through all of that I knew God was with me.
My daughter and I took a road trip to Texas in August, to visit family and go to another conference (we have such hunger in our hearts to see the Lord moving, we will sacrifice all to seek out what He is doing in other places). My car broke down in the middle of the desert on a 104 degree day…warfare, but we saw God’s hand in every situation.
When we got back home, really all I could do was journal…
take classes, get more involved with people (my favorite thing), join groups in the church, and just live in the grace.
October 9, 2017 The wildfires plundered Sonoma County, burning everything in its path. Our entire neighborhood burned to the ground. So unimaginably tragic! The fire stopped 200 yards from our house, but everything else was gone…total miracle.
This is our neighborhood. Everyone was effected and traumatized, and still coping with the loss of everything.
There is tons of stories I could retell and they would prove God is real.
Two weeks ago I had surgery on my foot to repair some bone and cartilage degeneration, finding I also had a broken bone, which caused pain for a very long time, I am now in a cast for 3 months.
In closing, throughout all of the ordeals and seemingly harsh circumstances, I have remained strong, by God’s grace. I can truly say, “God is good, He is always good.” He has never left me strengthening me every day. My love for Him as grown more deeply because of the trust and faith in His ability to be faithful to my heart. I am looking forward to the future that will bring new adventures, new dreams, and new resources to our lives. Now I have more time to blog, create and paint…endless amounts of hours to bless you my friends!
This is a crazy life here on this Earth, one day to the next produces unforeseen difficulties and extreme blessings – sometimes simultaneously!
Having the Holy Spirit living inside my heart is the only thing that grounds and stabilizes all the whacky things that life throws at me. Honestly, I have a hard time comprehending how pre-believers navigate on their best days. My story of the past few months is almost unbeliveable. First, I have to apologized for not posting in quite a while, literally I just was not able to. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have some clue about my journey. I will try and give you bits and pieces of what has been happening in today’s post, then I will elaborate in more detail later….so this is the bullet point draft of the past two months. I left you on my way to Where in the World was I going, and I’ll start there.
Israel and Jordan
The trip to Israel and Jordan at the end of May was the most fabulous journey ever! Landing in the Holy Land was the beginning of 13 days of awe and wonder! I thought I kind of knew what to expect but there was really no way to have known the fun, glory, and awesomeness our team experienced – for me personally it was transforming. It is quite awesome to have every team member in one mind, one accord, and one spirit. We were all focused on the same purpose there; which primarily was to pray in every part of the country; that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be known and peace would prevail in every aspect of life. We had some divine encounters, divine appointments, and truly exemplary fellowship with a great commitment to fun. Like I said, I would post next time just on the wonders of that journey.
Heal the Sick (Heal Thyself)
Some of the difficulties that I’ve had in the past two months are issues with my health. Before this, I basically felt invincible because I have never been one to tolerate any sickness in my life, since prayer for the sick has been a focal point of my ministry life. I’ve been in many countries throughout the world and have seen incredible miracles from praying for the sick. God still works in great ways, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever…He is the Great Physician!
Then I began suffering from my own illness, praying diligently trying to reconcile why I suddenly had an electrical problem with my heart, that sent me to the emergency room and a hospital stay four times with Afib, in a month. I have cherished all the prayer from everyone that I’ve gotten, but there was no change.. which led to frustration and sometimes anger at this continual attack. I needed to get at the root of the problem and to understand the triggers for these events and had to reconcile my beliefs with reality.
So now I’m on a journey of another kind. I have begun the change of a mindset many years in the making. Habits are ingrained and have to be pulled like weeds, or you find your consistent effort sabotaged. I had to learn a new way of how to live in the natural to one of a more disciplined life. Benefitting me the most is sitting quietly before the Lord, soaking in His Presence – discovering the whys. “Be still. I will fight for you.” Exodus 14:14. It is interesting that a recent fall at a Christian conference, causing an injury to my knee and possible surgery, has slowed me down even more…however, I am going after that one with lots of prayer. I am definitely listening more to the Lord’s voice now that He has a captive audience – my heart. Just being real here.
Being creative is like breathing, something I live every moment doing. I created a Fourth of July sign, transformed our fireplace with a new mantle, and started landscaping our front yard (which is temporarily on hold).
Revamp – Before and After Fireplace
My house continues to evolve. This week I added a new mantle to the fireplace. Now I can hang all my Christmas stockings there for the first time. That makes me so happy!
I am always in the process of writing and journaling. A new journal is emerging with a combination of writing, art, and bullet entries. I am loving it! Working on a video preview of two months work. This is just a page sample. Another blog post soon.
I’ve got many projects in the works that will change (remember it is inevitable) some of the course of this little blog. Look for it!
January is already half over and I am just beginning to set my goals and purposes for the year. The holidays were too busy to even bother with what might happen for an entirely new season. I had to pray!!! My heart was desiring something new (2017), without the complications and constant interruptions of what life has been like for almost two years. My focus of the year is destiny; what it will look like, how the Spirit will lead me in it, what can I do to help it happen, and renewing my mind and ideas to a “new” thing so I can walk in what I know.
Usually, I start out with my annual “Vision” board full of ideas and themes. This year I did a small mixed-media painting with basic dreams and inspiration. (See last year’s board below).
I have high hopes and expectations for this new year.
What is the one word that will keep you inspired and focused these coming days. I choose one theme word every year like joy, or grace, love, worship, etc. and this year it is the word DARE. Part of my personality to be pushing through, taking more than risks, and finding freedom in stepping out into the unknown with determination. I started a new journal for 2017 and one of the first pages I doodled my theme word.
(It reminds my of Brene Brown’s book titled Daring Greatly – excellent read!)
Something new in my life is bullet journaling. I’ve journaled most of my life and it has been a wonderful blessing since I can recall all the Lord has spoken to me and seeing my family and me grow in amazing ways! I love to write!
In journaling though, I was frustrated at times because I had to keep a separate calendar, to-do lists, schedules, and my journaling. I wanted it to be combined so I could journal thoughts, action plans, quotes, and so much more. I know I usually come to the party late (meaning I don’t catch on to the latest fad when it starts, but discover things as I go), and recently I found what I was looking for….Bullet Journaling!
At first it seemed too complex and structured (which I’m normally not) but it kept coming back to me like a boomerang. People were blogging about it, tons of pins on Pinterest, Youtube videos – literally it was chasing me. Finally, I looked deeper and I was intrigued by the all-in-one aspect of its purpose. Going to the website of the originator of Bullet Journaling (bulletjournal.com, click the watch the video button) I wanted to see what birthed this concept. In watching the video it made me more convinced that I didn’t need that kind of structure in my life, it was so complicated to my way of doing things and said, “I’d never!” Not one to give up, I kept going in my attempt to understand and watched Kara of Boho Berry’s video: https://youtu.be/QD08sNRQkpk and found a more creative side to all this hubbub, then there is the man’s perspective: A Dude’s Bullet Journal Walkthrough…Matthew Kent: https://youtu.be/k8tyB7RS284.
You can see Kara’s transition through many months including her second bullet journal, (her life culture is different, but I’m looking at the concept behind the focus re: bullet journaling), and I finally said, “I can do that!”
Not wanting to spend all the money for the supplies that are recommended, especially if I got bored with it, and found out it was more work than I had time for. So I began by using things I already had (Thanks, Dave Ramsey!). – a mixed-media art journal with only 60 pages, something limited so I could stick it out to the end (the paper in this book is heavy enough to stand up to ink bleeds and paint), my favorite pen: Uniball Signo 207 Bold, watercolor paints, stencils, and stamps (so far). I really am working on my handwriting again, I used to do lots of calligraphy but lost my touch from lack of use, so I get to practice all over again.
Here are a few pages that I have done so far and I’m loving every minute of entries (some pages are edited due to personal information, but you’ll get the content:
This is my old style journaling, with just tidbits of color and just regular journal entries.
Sorry, I over edited this page and a cloud screened most of it dark.
January calendar and tasks for the month, Yearly Goals (though it will get longer)!
Three days this week.
I have so many things I want to do in this journal and can’t wait to fill it all in. Meeting my goals and tasks everyday is really helping me to stay on track and be successful. I am so happy!!!! Being accomplished and productive is really healing and inspiring….especially to have more vision and purpose.
Be sure to watch the mentioned videos and know that you don’t have to be perfect, just love what you do .
At times in our walk with Jesus He brings you to a place where you encounter Him at a ‘cross’road. It is a place where decisions and choices are made, especially if He is asking you to trust in His guidance without seeing beyond His words to you. Well, I am at that place, He is asking me to say goodbye. It is a goodbye to the ‘stale bread’ in my life; things that were once easy to maintain and where I had joy, though now those things don’t produce the grace they once did.
He has me on a new journey that requires faith (since it is way out of my comfort zone box) into a glorious new path filled with promise and renewal. I am excited but at the same time is really scary, I really need to be brave. I trust the One who knows me better than I know myself and His love gives me great strength. Bon voyage stale bread!
P.S. I am not saying goodbye to this blog or any artistic endeavors, only the old ways and unfruitful thinking. It is a joy to to bring you these pages with it’s encouragement and artful moments!!! It is a journey that compels me forward.