Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hope Deferred

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12

Painting to come...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just Breathe

Living with chronic anxiety, some days I literally have to remind myself to breathe. I've caught myself holding my breath and being tense a lot over the past few weeks between the personal struggles I'm having and the holidays. I'm so happy this year is ending. A year ending means a new one beginning. It's not that each day doesn't represent a new beginning in and of itself, but there can be something significant in marking the end of a year, especially one that has been a struggle. I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions, but I do find myself being more contemplative and reflective this time of year and have been known to set a few goals.


So this week, I have today to work, tomorrow 6 hours and then I'm off work the rest of the week. I'm going to spend a large bit of that time off rearranging a few things here at home, more importantly moving my work desk to a basement office and full dedicating the room I'm presently in to my art endeavors. If I make any goals for myself this new year, it's going to be the goal of digging down and paving a way to getting all those creative ideas and urges out on paper, on canvas, in other artsy things I've had on the back burner for so long. This next year in my life will be dedicated to (finally) establishing myself as an artist and getting my feet wet in the art community here in the KC area.


Another common practice I've noticed in the online creative community is choosing a word, Just One Word, that will be your focus word for the coming year. I've actually done this but my word ~peace~ kind of stuck with me for about 3 years. I think it's time for a new word and I have a few swimming among my thoughts. Perhaps before week is out, one will surface that I can be intentional about .


What do you think?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Beautiful Mess

I found this song recently and keep listening and reading through the lyrics. It so resonates with where I am in life at this time, in this place.
I need to preserve it here so I can be reminded of the beautiful mess that's inside.

It's inside all of us, you know. The beautiful mess of creativity, the desire to create whether with words or paints or music. Or maybe it's just the creating or recreating of your life. It's there inside you, a beautiful mess.

We need to make ourselves dig down deep, deeper than ever before and give it birth,
so we can share that beauty with the world.

Listen, read, let the words sink in.

Far far, there's this little girl
she was praying for something to happen to her
everyday she writes words and more words
just to spit out the thoughts that keep floating inside
and she's strong when the dreams come cos' they
take her, cover her, they are all over
the reality looks far now, but don't go

How can you stay outside?
there's a beautiful mess inside
how can you stay outside?
there's a beautiful mess inside
oh oh oh oh

Far far, there's this little girl
she was praying for something good to happen to her
from time to time there are colors and shapes
dazzling her eyes, tickling her hands
they invent her a new world with
oil skies and aquarelle rivers
but don't you run away already
please don't go oh oh

How can you stay outside?
there's a beautiful mess inside
how can you stay outside?
there's a beautiful mess inside

Take a deep breath and dive
there's a beautiful mess inside
how can you stay outside?
There's a beautiful mess
beautiful mess inside
Oh beautiful, beautiful

Far far there's this little girl
she was praying for something big to happen to her
every night she hears beautiful strange music
it's everywhere there's nowhere to hide
but if it fades she begs"oh lord don't take it from me, don't take it"

She says, "I guess I'll have to give it birth
to give it birth
I guess, I guess I have to give it birth
I guess I have to, have to give it birth
there's a beautiful mess inside and it's everywhere

Just look at yourself now deep inside
deeper than you ever dared
deeper than you ever dared
there's a beautiful mess inside
beautiful mess inside

Monday, December 6, 2010

Walking in Grace

When I walked out the door this morning for my 5 mile walk, it was 30 degrees. By the time I got back 2 hours later, it had warmed up to 34 and I was actually sweating. No heavy clothing. Just tights under my usual lightweight jogging pants, long sleeve T-shirt and a fleece hoodie. I started out with gloves but had to take them and the stocking hat off after a while.

I love my walks: neighborhood sidewalks to the park, asphalt walking trail around a couple of ball diamonds, woodchip trail through the woods and along a creek, another rocky trail that requires a little climbing, and then through the neighborhoods back home. Just enough variety to keep me from being bored and to give me a good workout.

I needed this walk today. I've been feeling under the weather lately, both physically and emotionally. So much to think about lately, weighing options, wrestling with emotions, considering consequences of every course of action. Fighting the temptation to hibernate and sleep takes all my energy.

So on this walk today, as I entered the woods, I determined to slow down a bit, take in my surroundings and pray. I asked God to give me a deer. I often ask for deer when I walk through the woods and He often provides because I think He knows how much that makes my heart smile. But there were no deer today. Instead, as I was following the part of the trail that runs alongside the creek, I stopped and peeked through the trees and saw this:

I had to climb down over a few rocks and found a perfect place to sit and just take it in. The water has begun to freeze as it spills over the flat rock slabs, as has the top layer of the pool of water below. But you could still hear the water tinkling down and the way the light was playing off the icy water was mesmerizing. I sat and listened and watched a small school of fish swimming below the ice. I prayed and meditated and listened for a good 20 minutes before the ache in my backside told me it was time to pry myself off the cold rock I was sitting on. But even with that cold ache, I felt lighter somehow, like a weight had been lifted.

I'm feeling very grateful for these tiny gifts. These times when God reaches down and gently touches my life, knowing just what I need at just the right moment. It isn't always what I ask for or in the way I expect, but if I slow down and pay attention, listening, asking for His presence, He is always there, as if He has been waiting for me all along.

These are sacred moments, these times. They are Visions of Grace.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Life

Watching the movie, Eat, Pray, Love and heard these words, so profoundly fitting with who I am, I had to find them and post them here so I don't forget. And ponder whether this is the woman I truly want to be:

"...I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have my everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog's money, my dog's time--everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else."

"I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and then I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."

From Eat, Pray, Love

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I haven't had the motivation to do much of anything lately. In fact there have been more than a couple of days in the past week that I stayed in my PJs all day. Today looked as if it was going to be another one of those days where the hours passed, minute by minute with me doing absolutely nothing.

Then my sweet daughter called, knowing how I'd been feeling lately, and told me to be ready to go in 20 minutes. I reluctantly obeyed for I have learned not to argue with my headstrong child.

We went to Aiden and Kolbe's brief "graduation" ceremony (preschool) and they were thrilled to have an audience. Then Kelley and I ducked out alone and had lunch at Panara, a favorite for both of us.

It has been such a joy these past few months to experience this new friendship with my oldest daughter. She and I have pretty much always gotten along well but lately I've been challenging myself to be more open and honest with her about my life and it has brought us closer than ever before. I feel like I can talk to her woman to woman and trust her with my confidences. She is a remarkable young woman and a very conscientious, loving mother. And I'm very proud of her.

After lunch, I came home and was so tempted to just lay down and take a nap. But I had promised my daughter I would get out and walk today, something I haven't found the energy for in a couple of weeks. I procrastinated as long as I could but finally managed to get out the door around 4:30. I knew it was going to be dark before I got home. It usually takes about an hour and 40 minute for me to complete my 5 mile route.

One leg of my route takes me on a trail through the woods. I was a little apprehensive about it because by the time I reached the trail, the sun had set and darkness was coming, especially with the remaining light of the day being shielded by all the trees. But I pressed on and completed my usual walk. It was quiet and seemed even more so with the darkness.

But the most wonderful part of the walk was near the beginning as I reached the peak of my walk, the highest point, and I saw this spectacular sunset. The photo doesn't do justice, taken with my phone, but it was wonderful. I stood in awe for several minutes before continuing on.

*taken with my phone camera*

This small gift is enough motivation for me to begin again.