|a new series of watercolor and mixed-media collage...in progress!|
1. Enjoying my precious little daughters more than ever. Three-year-old Eowyn is talking up a storm and sweeter and smarter than I could have dreamed. Two-year-old Penelope is finding her words too and startles me every day with how sharp she is. Now she can say "I love you" as clear as day, and she says it often.
2. Other than being an enamored Mama....I've been sick and sad, homesick and tired. Directionless. Completely at the end of my rope. Not writing or painting. Wishing desperately that I felt inspired to write or to paint, and therefore feeling MORE depressed because I didn't want to write or paint.
3. Going gluten free! (It's been one full month now.) Starting to feel a *little* better. Lots of doctor appointments to figure out what's really causing the fatigue and pain. Feeling encouraged that the gluten-free diet is helping a bit and hoping that it will only get better from here after determining what additional nutritional support I need!
4. Finally sitting down to face my spiritual upheaval, creative fears and frustration with a simple HB pencil and tears streaming down my face. When the angry storm clouds began to appear on the grungy piece of paper gouged with a blade and stained with watercolor and coffee . . . BOOM. Inspiration hit like lightning (pun intended, heehee). The make-my-heart-beat-faster kind of inspiration. The desperate, frantic, pounce-on-my-amazing-husband-as-soon-as-he-turns-the-key-in-the-lock-and-beg-him-to-go-it-solo-with-the-kids-tonight-so-that-I-can-finally-do-some-blogging-and-artwork kind of inspiration!
5. An epiphany! And my JOY is returning. . . I gave my dreams to the Father, and it seems that maybe He's giving them back to me in small doses so that I can actually handle them. He helped me to realize that I need to paint and I need to blog, just as much as I need to rest. I need the encouragement of kindred creative spirits who are just a click away. Really, He is ALL I need, but creativity is a special gift He's given me to help me connect with Him and with others. I was about to give up my paints for Lent like I did last year, but when I prayed the answer was to give up TV (which I've been watching waaay too much of, in my depressed and aching state. . . using the excuse, "I'm not just watching TV, I'm practicing my German!" which is actually true btw :)) instead. Because this year the Lord wants me to make more time to create and to make connections through this little blog. Because somehow, (it's because it's HIS gift) I can trust Him more and honor Him better with my thoughts and attitudes when my fingers are busy creating, covered in color and flying over the keyboard.
How have you been? :) I've missed this space and visiting your spaces. I'm going to try and catch up a little at a time.
- - - - - - -And now for a little bit more, just in case you've missed my reflective, rambling posts and want the longer version of the story ;)):
It started out that I simply didn't feel well. That voice in my spirit was telling me to drop everything and rest. And to trust. Because who wants to drop everything they've been working on so intensely, and do nothing, let it all begin to gather dust? Nobody! But I really couldn't argue: my eye was twitching like crazy every time I looked at the computer screen, I started to get migraines every other day, and my wrists hurt too much to type or even to draw. There was no question that something needed to change.
I spent the last month feeling quite ill and extremely sad and (of course) homesick. February is usually my favorite month! And although I could whine about how disappointing and depressing my "favorite" month was this year...I'm not going to (at least, not any more than I already have ;)).
Because I know there's a reason for everything.
I've been doubting this truth lately. Or, maybe it's more accurate to say that I've been too tired to care that there's a reason for everything and I've been throwing myself a pity party because all I really want to do is run away. I've even said out loud, "I know that I am in the exact place where God wants me, but what if I don't care anymore?!"
And you know what? He would still love me if I did run away. He would still take care of me. He would use any and every situation (even my bad choices) to teach me more about Him and to accomplish His purposes in my life. But He challenges me to go deeper: to persevere in trusting Him through the hard stuff, to grow in strength of character and to know Him more. To understand that His purposes are unfathomable and the depth of His peace is indescribable--even when on the surface I seem to be falling apart. To be a (humbled) example of His strength and power because "I am hard pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair" (2 Corinthians 4:8). Jesus doesn't promise only to give me strength. He promises to BE my strength: ". . . but he answered, 'My grace is enough for you; my great strength is revealed in weakness.' Gladly, then, will I boast of my weakness that the strength of Christ may be mine" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Becoming desperate enough to really live in that promise is a much more worthy pursuit than my momentary happiness.
So, I will press on. For really, there is no where to go except forward, right? And because God is GOOD; He is good ALL THE TIME.