Sunday, November 25, 2012

Two More Pictures of the Doyles. Plus, How Do You Like to De-Stress?

I just wanted to post one or two little pictures from my previous shoot with Kelsey, Jeremy and Nolan. I was putting together the little CD of pics for their family the other night that I never really got around to finishing up before, and I just thought these were pretty darn cute and had to put them up here. The top one's my absolute favorite - such a tender moment! There are so many more pictures I wish I could edit, but for now, I think this will be it for a while. To see the other ones I did of their family, click here. I haven't even had time to edit our own pictures of my shoots of Owen and Levi, and there are some real gems in there! I can't wait to get to those someday too! =0)

I guess I just haven't really been feeling up to editing pictures lately. I think I worry so much about whether the people I took them for will like them that it stresses me out more than it relaxes me. All my efforts have been going towards getting better for my family (Oh, did I forget to mention on here that I got a positive diagnosis of Fibromyalgia?! Silly me, I must have forgotten! Lol. I know those of you with it can laugh along with me at that one!), so I've really only been painting instead since I find that to be more therapeutic for me. My world has felt like it's been turned upside down and nobody really quite knows how to cope right now, not even my strong and steady husband who has always seemed so immovable to me. It's been a rough couple of weeks, let me tell ya! If you don't mind, we could sure use some prayer right now, that's for sure!

One of my friends asked me lately what I do to de-stress. PAINT!!! (Are you surprised at that one? Haha!) My other go to's are bubble baths, reading and of course, watching the good ole TV. So, what about you? What are your favorite ways to de-stress? And if you have kids, can you let me into the little known secret of how to de-stress with them around (if it even exists in the first place)? Everywhere I look, in each book and each doctor I talk to, everything is telling me the most important thing for me to do right now is to get rid of any stress in my life. HA!!! I get a good laugh at that one. In fact, I actually laughed at my doctor when she said that. Oops! I have a very needy, curious and active 8 mo. old and a very hyper, intelligent 2 year old... A stress-free environment isn't really an option right now. So if you've got any tips that work for you, let me know. Please feel free to comment here, I'd love to hear your suggestions of what works best for you so I can maybe steal some for myself... ;)
Hope you have a wonderful, no, even better - a quiet and relaxing day.  =)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"El Capitan" - A Yosemite Expressionist Painting

As I sit here tonight, struggling in my pain and stiffness to find that elusive thing called sleep, I'm hoping that life is finding you well, and that in your own struggles, now matter how big or how small, you know that there is a God who loves you and is there for you always, all you have to do is ask. Sometimes it seems so very easy to believe the lie that your pain isn't really THAT bad, especially compared to someone else's, that your struggles aren't as hard because you haven't had to deal with something huge like others seem to have to do. That even if what you struggle with may be small in other people's eyes, that it may feel small compared to "what's his face who has to deal with whatever THAT is", that for you, your hardest struggles are indeed HARD, and they are yours and you have every right to feel overwhelmed by them. Please don't ever compare yourself with others in a way that hurts you rather than encourages you to try harder (I say this even while I am working on this myself) because it will only make things worse. It is okay to feel like what you're going through is hard. Like I said, I'm learning that myself right now. What I'm struggling with might be nothing compared with someone else, and yet to me, it's unbearably hard. But there is a God who gives us hope and strength and courage, and it is promised in His word, "Come near to God and He will come near to you." (James 4:8a - which is, by the way, MY FAVORITE VERSE OF ALL TIME!!!) Let him carry your burden for you, as I, and my family with me, are learning to let Him carry ours. "'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.'" (Matt. 11:28-30) God bless!

Here's a picture from our trip last year to Yosemite with my amazing mother and our awesome family. I loved that trip! It was such a sweet time to grow together as a family - to watch Levi lose himself in nature, because boy oh boy does that little man ever love to be outside!!! And to see my beautiful nieces and my sister and brother-in-law (who is really more like a brother to me than anything else) in the element that brings out the best in all of us. We are such a camping family. I think we were all born for the mountains, but for now, our little yearly trips will have to suffice.  =)

Ahhh, Yosemite. There is something so magical about that place. Maybe it's the way the mist hits your face and drenches your body as you stare mystified at the power of the waterfalls before you. Or the beauty in even the simple little wonders there, like the rocks and ferns and, well, in everything around you. And for me, it might even just be my momma. I mean, when we go there, it's like I see her caught perfectly back in time as a young girl, just barely out of her teens, and I see life through her eyes so clearly. She used to work in that park, and I love every story she has to share about it. I eat them up like crazy... Like the time a bear came knocking on her cabin door while she was all alone, and then proceeded climb up on her roof and stick around for awhile, scaring the living daylights out of her. Or the fact that she knows so much about the park, so much more than most people could ever possibly know without having lived there themselves. It's magical to me, and I love it! I hope I captured even a hint of that in this simple painting - even a hint of the immense beauty and majesty that God so lovingly poured out in abundance over that land. I have so, so many more paintings to come from there and from all of our other special haunts - so many more expressions of the joy I feel in spending time in God's great wonderlands with my momma and the rest of my family, and with our mighty Creator Himself - and I can't wait for the chance to make them and share them with you!

"El Capitan"     8 x 10     Acrylic on Canvas
By the way, momma, you totally inspired this painting (you know, just in case you couldn't tell by what I wrote)! I love you and want to thank you for giving me such a love for the beautiful wilderness that God created!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An Update and a New Abstract Painting of My Journey Thus Far, Entiltled "For He Was My Light in Times of Trouble"

I got some answers at my Physical Therapy appt. yesterday that really helped ease at least some of my frustration. It seems that my hip and spine were twisted up pretty badly and all out of sorts from something I did at the girls conference - my hip joints weren't matching up in the back. So when I got home and got my cortisone shot to fix a different problem, it just set everything on fire. The Dr. took one look at my hip and back and said "I am so, so sorry! You must be in agony!" Thank the Lord for a compassionate Dr., who prayed for me and for wisdom in how to treat me, since I know how rare that is. She is amazing. I'm in incredible pain today - when she was done with me she asked me what type of meds I had at home and told me to take my strongest for the next day or so, but I am so glad to have some answers as to why this flare was so bad and what caused it. Now I'm just hoping that the next few weeks of recovery help fix this all, and that I can get back the feeling of normal, since I can't even remember what it feels like to not be in pain anymore.

On a sad note, I asked her what she thought about the prospect that I might have fibromyalgia, since every time she hits a tender spot (by gently pressing mind you) it makes me catch my breath in pain, and she is fairly positive that I do. Just about as positive as she could be. She said I really need to go get checked out by my physician, but told me not to lose hope, because it's not a death sentence. She must have seen the disappointment on my face. So now we'll be looking into that as we move forward, so if you have the chance, please pray for me that I get a compassionate and wise Dr. who can help figure all this out. I love you guys - thanks for listening to all my... well... baggage, I guess.

This painting today was what I pictured in my mind when the other day I posted "It Was Enough." As I was praying I felt God prompting me to try to get out how I'm feeling on canvas: all the darkness and despair, all the tears and pain and anger, the little glimmers of hope, but most of all, the fact that through all of it, no matter how hopeless or desperate or agonizingly painful things became, God's light and presence has always shown so brightly through it all, giving me hope and sustaining me. He is bigger than any problem I have and will ever face and his light will ALWAYS guide me through.

"For He Was My Light In Times of Trouble"     16 x 20     Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Side view of painted, wrapped sides

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