Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Sea Star" - An Ocean Wildlife Nature Painting of a Starfish

"Sea Star"     2.5" x 3.5"     Acrylic on Acrylic Paper (ACEO)

Example of What the Frame Card Looks Like Unframed - Comes with an Envelope as Well =)

It feels like ages since my last real blog post, you know, one complete with a finished painting and all, and I can't tell you enough how much my heart has been aching to paint and write and really just catch up with you all out there. I miss you! And I miss painting and feeling that amazing sense of release at creating something beautiful all the way to completion - there's not many things in the world that feel better than that for an artist.

Now, before I go off into my tangent of where I'm at in my heart right now, I just wanted to remind you out there that February is already just about halfway over, which means that time is ticking away for you all to enter this months contest! And this is an easy one! All you have to do to be entered to win one of my original ACEOs like the one shown above (complete with FREE shipping, a Frame Card and it's own Envelope so that it's ready to frame or give away as a gift if you choose to) is to LIKE MY FACEBOOK FAN PAGE and let me know you want to enter simply by WRITING SO ON MY FAN PAGE WALL. Yup. That's it folks. It's really doesn't get much more simple than that!!!! Sooooo.... Here's the link to my fan page, so that if you are interested in being one of the THREE WINNERS this month, all you have to do is CLICK HERE and you're one third of the way done already! Woo-hoo!!! =D

I have to admit I'm really disappointed with myself this month so far. My hopes for this year were to create 365 paintings, regardless of how I felt or what was going on, (I mean, to a degree anyways - more than anything my hope was to just catch up when life was bad but to not have to miss too many days in a row so that the task of catching up wouldn't be so daunting), but after having missed as many days as I did this month, I feel so lost and I can't see how I could possibly catch up. I had so much momentum going for me, so much so that even my husband was excited about it, and he's a hard guy to get excited about stuff like that, let me tell ya! Lol!

My heart has been so heavy lately with the pain and setbacks and anger and all the emotions that come along with having come so far and then seeing it all ripped away in an instance because of a few mindless words that caused an intensely painful and debilitating flare. My doctors said I'm literally a textbook example of just how much words truly CAN and DO hurt you, and how much emotions play a role on your physical well-being. I've been an emotional wreck lately, and my poor, darling husband has had his hands full with me and my sense of failure as a person, and as an artist, as a mother, a friend, a daughter, and as a daughter of God. This flare has been so painful, and has given me this immense feeling of loss that's almost indescribable. I feel like I've lost everything, and have struggled with immense feelings of worthlessness in every facet of my life, even towards God.

Tyler caught me off guard today with something he said about this though, and I am really grateful for his wisdom and just straight up patience with me of late. I've been broken so badly lately that like I said I even feel like I have no worth in God's eyes. The reason for this is pretty straight forward - God created me to be a mother of my two boys, a daughter to my sweet mother and in-laws, a wife to my husband, and a friend and servant to all those I know, friends, family, and acquaintances alike. He especially has created me with a heart and a desire to serve Him in every way I can, which I was doing through our middle school ministry for which I have a great passion for the girls who are struggling so much to find themselves as they are just now learning to break from the molds their parents have put them in and find who they truly are as independent beings. God even created me with this unbelievably strong desire and passion to paint, to make a career of it, and to use it as a potential ministry when or if the time for that arises. But I'm failing so miserably at all these things. I'm not a mother. I barely get to play or hang out with my kids, let alone teach them the important things in life, like how to be patient and loving and gentle, as well as the other things like how to count and spell and write their names, or even walk for that matter. I can barely do anything with them. And my role as a wife is wretched at this point. My friends, God bless them abundantly for all they do, are doing a far better job of that for me than I am, by cleaning and cooking and helping out with the boys. I don't know what we would do without them, or without my family who have also taken on that role for me. I am forever indebted to them, and the saddest part for me is that there is no way on earth I will ever be capable of repaying them for what they've all sacrificed for me and my family, and so instead all I do is pray for them. And now even my painting, as little and insignificant as it may seem to some, although it's huge to me, has been impossible for me to do lately. My hope and prayer is to get back to the place where I am able to take over all these roles fully again, and there is hope in me that someday I will, but there is also such a great and overwhelming fear that it's not God's will for me to take on all these things again, EVER.

It's His choice - it's His choice to put me in pain so we can learn to love and serve despite it. Some people like to say Satan is attacking me, and I've been guilty of saying the same - that he's attacking me and our family like crazy, because my hardships are just the tip of the ice-burg of what's been going on in our homes lately. But really, I'm learning it's not Satan. Yes, he may be the one physically doing it, MAYBE. But it's God who allows all things, who when Job was tested ALLOWED Satan to take on that role of testing him in order to prove to Satan himself just how wrong he was to assume that Job only loved God because God had given him a charmed life. But God, in His love and ultimate knowledge is the one who allows these things to happen in order to grow us and change us into the person He wants us to be. So somehow, somehow in the midst of all this ridiculousness and loss on my end, I have to find out how to actually BE a mom, and a wife, and a friend, and a sister and daughter and servant and... Well, the list can just go on forever. But I also have to learn how to stop wallowing in this stupid entangling self-pity and ask God to pick me up off the floor and teach me to become this NEW person He WANTS me to be. This is and has always been His hope for my life. It's always been His plan for me. It's not just some hardship to overcome or some difficulty to endure for a time, it's God's PERFECT PLAN for my life. Oh Lord, help me to accept this, but not only to just accept it, but to grow into a beautifully broken testament of your unfailing love.

May the Potter's hands be with you today as well, molding you into the perfectly flawed creation that He has always desired you to be. Have you ever noticed how sometimes the flawed works of art are the most beautiful? Maybe it's just me, but I have. I love those works that while they are beautiful, they aren't perfect and they're that way because it's how their creator intended them to be. It's not so great when it's unintentional flaws, but when they are there because their creator was pleased with them that way, oh how much more desirable and interesting and beautiful those works become in my eyes. Really, it's quite the sight to behold. And you know, if you didn't know they were there, you would have thought it a beautifully intentional perfection in the work, and not a flaw at all. So my prayer for myself and for you today is this: that you will know that sometimes God wants the flaws, that He desires them in you. But don't get me wrong, He wants you to work on getting them worked out, but in HIS way and with HIS help and in HIS timing. And you know, sometimes He says no. "NO, I want that there, just like that, even though it's not perfect." For some things are put in our lives that are less than savory, and their intentions by Him are to make us more pure and useful and more lovely than ever before.

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12:7-10)

I love you all, and I'm sorry if my painting posts end up being a little patchy at times, and if my pouring out of my heart becomes too real, too raw and too emotional for you. My goals are to truly be a daily painter, to post as often as my body and my heart will allow, and to let you see the real me, the me that God created me to be, right out there with no pretty ties or cover-up to make it look better, but with flaws and all so you can know that you too don't need to try to be some perfect human being, because honestly, it's just not gonna happen. So I ask in return that you please won't give up on me when things go badly for me and a week or so may go by between paintings and posts, or if I say something that offends you. I am just trying to be honest with you, and to use the voice that the good Lord gave me. I will be back Lord willing, as often as I can posting my attempts at daily painting as long and as often as I am able. =)  Today hopefully marks the restart of my daily painting journey once again, and I hope that you are still up for joining me on this rather interesting ride. I also hope you're having a fantastic day and I want to thank you for listening once again to my rather epically long posts - we might as well face the fact that I'm a rambler... Always have been, always will be. =D Lol! Well, have a good one, my friends! I hope to see you all tomorrow. =)

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