I recently answered a question for someone, they asked me to describe my spirituality. I have not "arrived" yet. I'm still seeking and growing... adjusting to newer/better/healthier ways to see God and myself.
This is what I wrote in response to the question. I thought it was a good snippet of where I am right now.
"I grew up really legalistic. So I've actually been working through that. I want a relationship with God that doesn't have so many unhealthy boundaries if that makes sense. Not saying that I'm throwing God's ways away but there was such a focus on "being good" that I need God to renew my mind to live in His love and res. I was saved when I was really young, 5 or 6. When I was in my later 20's I had a special experience where God was starting a process of healing me from the legalism. I told God, "this is the first time I've felt saved." Being a follower of Jesus has been a journey... and recently God has been removing layers of legalism from me. It's hard to be taught one way, good people told me a wrong perspective/way to live... the focus was way off. I needed to be grounded and established in Jesus' love instead of such a focus on "be good." I'm a recovering legalist :P
It's a journey a, process, a slow peeling of the onion... I guess I'm the onion and as the layers are cut, prepared to be pulled away sometimes it brings tears... and it's stinky stuff that Satan and others laid on me that has to go. It's been a slow process. I feel like the process started in 2008.
Friday, October 04, 2013
Hunter and Lucus
My family by the water
My brother Dana with his boys
mom and dad
look what dad found
love this angle, dad, Matt and mom
the scenery is gorgeous
an ocean thistle
a dried out tree
love the color and sparkle on the water (edited this pic to get these colors)
dad took this of mom
my dad has been a rock for my mom through her battle with cancer
old navy flip flops
the golden hour
When we visit Maine for family vacation we often go to Popham Beach.
I grew up in Maine until the tender age of 14. Then God called our family to Virginia.
I consider myself a yankee.
I grew up in Maine until the tender age of 14. Then God called our family to Virginia.
I consider myself a yankee.
Dana, his two boys Hunter and Lucus, my other brothers Adam and Matt and mom and dad, all ventured to this beautiful beach. I took my camera and got lost in the activity of photographing Popham Beach. It was therapeutic. I actually felt that "lost in art" feeling I get when i am caught up in the process of making art. I really enjoyed it.
I feel these pics are even more artistic than the last time we went to Popham in 2011. I took many more pictures of my at this beach but hand picked what I wanted to share here.
Thursday, June 06, 2013
As some of you know my mom has been battling stage 3 breast cancer since last January.
The first ways my mom and dad fought was by a change of diet and mom drinking vitamin packed shakes mixed.My parents are both storng people of faith and they sure applied that daily!!! Mom has "healing verses" that she read every day!
A number of months in she finally went back to another doctor who referred them to an oncologist. The oncologist got her on a chemo pill (less side effects then regular chemo) and the herceptin drip (a cancer killing drug.)
My mom went to the oncologist today and the oncologist told them the news that she is in remission. My mom wondered if she could stop taking her chemo pills (since they did bother her some) and the doctor said she could!
Thank you Jesus! that my beautiful special mom is in remission!!! Mom just had her 60th birthday on June 2nd on Sunday. This news of remission is almost another type of birthday! A new start with no cancer symptoms! This is day one of remission!! Today is the first day of the rest of her life!!!
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Today is mother’s day. I am 3 plus hours away. I do not get to see you today. But that doesn't mean I’m not thinking about you. I think about you and my heart hurts a bit. You mean a lot to me.
The day God decided to place me in your womb that’s when you became my mother. That was over 31 years ago. I know it wasn't easy for you having one baby after the next. (being as I was baby number three.) I know you and Dad didn't have a lot. You and dad decided to have me in a trailer. It’s such a great story!
You told me recently that you had the verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” as your verse when you were giving birth to me. That’s such a great verse for me too. The verse that brought me into the world is the verse the can get me through this life.
I was the first girl! You and Dad were so excited! You were your mother’s first girl and I was your first girl. In many ways I am like you. I think you’ve passed some of your weaknesses like stubbornness and being too conscientious on to me ;) but also your strengths like stubbornness (hehe) and being a prayer warrior on to me. I’ve been told that I’m a lot like you. You are a strong woman mom, a strong woman of God and a strong family woman.
I know for years I've struggled with my relationship with you. I know you and Dad did your best in raising us, your kids. I know you've been sorry for ways where I was hurt growing up. Your regret and even tears over that is pretty special. Many parents aren't soft and open like that. Thank you for wishing that you’d loved me more. I know in some ways you've tried to make it up to me. Thank you for that. I remember those moments, those moments of deliberately doing something to show me that you love me. Like little gifts just to show me that you love me.
Last year in January you were diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. Boy did that suck! I had just started orientation in college. I was under it emotionally and a little depressed. I was under a cloud. I was passive and stuck in my attitude toward the diagnoses. It was hard to deal with having my mom diagnosed with cancer. I was afraid of that diagnoses. A friend said something about it that made me mad but it kicked me in the butt emotionally to get some of my fight back.
Your faith and your fight through the diagnoses is awesome to see. You are dealing with such a serious medical problem but you still take time and energy for your kids and your husband. So many times I’ve called you for a listening ear and encouragement about my personal issues (and you’re the one fighting cancer, not me). Cancer doesn't take away the fact that you are still one of my number one go to people, that you are still my mom. You understand my weaknesses, you don’t judge me for them and you have ministered to me many many times. You have spoken verses to me with conviction and strength and also prayed so many times for me.
Having you diagnosed with cancer has made you feel more valuable to me. Sometimes I think about you and I know in that moment what you are dealing with and it makes me feel like crying. You are a beautiful person. Physically you have a lovely face. Your inner person is one of spiritual steel but also gentle in love toward me.
Thank you for your love over the years. Thank you for your faithfulness to your family and to Dad and to your faith. Even though we have definitely bumped heads, and we are very different in many ways, and very similar in others, I want to be like you in your faithfulness and and love for your family. I want to also be strong in faith like you. You are tenacious in your faith in speaking positive while fighting this battle. I tell many people that I don’t worry much about you because of the way you and dad are dealing with it. That is a tribute to the strength and faith you have in God and the way you are handling it as individuals.
I love you a lot mom. I know I haven’t always shown it but I do. You mean a lot to me. You are special to me and I’m thankful for the strength you are to me!
Your oldest girl,
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Here is the second installment of art I've created on a touch screen computer. I've never been much for really abstract types of art but creating on a computer, my fingers touching the smooth glass of the touch screen, it's a different story. Its actually soothing to create on this computer.
I'm reminded that our life is a like a work of art. Kind of cliché right? But it really is. In Ephesians God is the creator of us, "His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works." As an artist, the word "workmanship" really speaks to me. I am his "Art work" that He created and is molding and shaping even now. And as something that He created he wants me to also create. Through a synergistic relationship with Him, MY creator, he wants his creative energy to flow through me.
I'm reminded of Jim Elliot who said that he felt God's pleasure when he ran. He said this statement when his sister was trying to persuade him to go to the mission field right away. She did not see the "spiritual" value of him running in the Olympics. Jim knew he was good at running and he knew God created him to run. Therefore when he ran he experienced his creator's pleasure.
When we do what Jesus created us to do, He is pleased. We may feel His pleasure.
Another real part of creating a piece of art is mistakes. Many people when drawing, painting or just doing life feel like they totally messed up when they make a mistake. I have told art students and told peers that mistakes in art are opportunities. An artist that lives in a state of grace while creating knows that a "mistake" is not the end of the piece but an opportunity to add something a little different then what they expected. The mistake may add another layer of texture of a detail that makes the art even better.
I feel like that is how we should look at life. Look at your mistakes, your so-called failures or inability to "measure-up" as opportunities for THE Artist to create something different and beautiful in your life.
Some of the most beautiful art has very light colors and very dark colors. There is a lot of contrast. And so maybe it is with us, we have BRIGHT times of great joy and victory and dark times of struggle and self doubt. Maybe it's all a part of the great masterpiece God is creating from your life. The dark times are not mistakes but the backdrop to the bright days of greater beauty God wants to display in your life.
Remember YOU ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP! You are his piece of Art work, his greatest masterpiece. He promises to make beauty from ashes and to work all things together for our good. To take our mistakes and failures and make them "work" into the canvas of our lives.
p.s. Click on the pictures to see them larger!
Friday, April 26, 2013
I've had the opportunity to create these works of art while at work. I drew all of these on a touch computer screen. It's been really relaxing to draw each of these.
I like how some of the paint really looks real.
Enjoy! Let me know which is your favorite!
Saturday, February 02, 2013
I was on a path, all by myself. I was single and alone but with my Lord. Then God brought someone into my life... he was on the other side of the bridge... he waved me over and offered me his hand.
My own path was to my left and the bridge was to my right... I had to make a choice. I could stay on my path, the one that God and I were walking alone or cross the bridge. I could place my hand into his hand and walk with him. I took a deep breath, the assuring presence of my Lord at my side, and with shaking legs crossed that bridge grabbed his hand and took the way of Love.
We are now entering February. The month of "Luuuve." This will be my first ever Valentine's day with a boyfriend. We have been together together since Nov. 29th. So a little over two months.
This is all so new to me. I talk to friends and say that I'm on a "learning curve." Bruno is my first everything. Romantic love is wonderful. But I know it's not the end all. We are in a serious relationship called "Courtship" to see if we should marry. It is in both our hearts and desires that that is how it ends...or should I say begins? Because marriage is a beginning.
I do love him. I can feel it in my gut. Sometimes it almost hurts. I have cared for and in my own way loved other guys but it wasn't like this. Most of the time it wasn't mutual. A couple of times there was a mutual interest but there was no commitment. Romantic love should definitely have a level of commitment involved.
Our whole focus is not just the romantic side. We are growing in a relationship as spiritual beings and emotional beings and as just regular humans. He loves football, I'm not a huge fan. He's 38 I'm 31. He's a man, I'm a woman. (Some BIG differences come with that card!) He absolutely loves business, alot of what he knows about business I'm clueless on. I read, he likes to listen to teachings or educational shows. We have some really big differences in just who we are as individuals.
I am growing! as a person, as a spiritual being. Growing in self awareness in relationship to another human being. Sometimes I feel a little lost wondering is this what a relationship is suppose to look like!? For real! Hehe!
He is my first! He is my first boyfriend. First person that I've romantically told "I love you," and heard it back. He is the first guy that I've ever held hands with, written a love letter to, received a love letter from and gotten a dozen roses from.
Honestly this has been scary too. Because I know the seriousness of what we are doing. We are in a preliminary relationship to see if the other one is our "forever." If the Lord wills we will marry and it will be for a LIFETIME. We will never use the "d" word, divorce. That is not how we "roll." A lot of prayer has and is going into this. We pray every time we are together and almost every day if we aren't together.
I have asked friends and family for counsel and received a lot of prayer from them also. I've also started meeting with someone that has been married for over 20 years, a christian older lady friend. I feel I cannot figure this out on my own. I lean into the Lord for his guidance. Ultimately Bruno and I want and seek after God's best. Our tag line has been "Lord willing." When we say "Lord willing" we are talking about marriage, if the Lord wills we will marry some day. But in the mean time we are taking one day at a time, seeking His face and hand. His timing, his doors to be opened or closed.
I love this passionate, intense natured man in a number of ways. He is my friend "phileo," I love him with romantic love "eros" and we are growing in "agape," unconditional love through Christ who saved us.
Romantic love brings a fire to a relationship but the agape love of Christ, on which we both stand, is what would bring a love relationship through the tests of time.
"...but the greatest of these is love." 1st Cor. 13:13