Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Story Continued

So I promised to return soon to finish up week 1 of the Your Living Canvas Workshop journaling exercises with you.  Christy Tomlinson and Art McCracken have really helped all of us in the workshop dig deep into our past experiences to look at the events and people that make us who we are today.  Here are two more of my entries into my art journal from week one.  Let me know what you think. Check out my labels on the right, "art journal" and Living Canvas Workshop" to see previous entries into my journal.
 3.  Write down three accomplishments, moments of joy, or clarity that have happened in your life.  Well, I haven't written a best seller, won a major award, discovered or invented anything but I am proud of what I have achieved at this point in my life.  The main ones I chose to focus on with this entry were becoming a Christian, becoming a mother and getting my college degree.
 Getting my college degree is big for me because I was the first in my family to do so.  I've had cousins and such and my dad started college but entered the air force and never finished.  He is a brilliant man who followed his love and passion and worked in the air craft industry for over 40 years.  I have to admit though, my purpose in leaving home and going to college was more of an escape than a plan.  I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I just didn't want to stay where I had made some major poor decisions and felt like I really didn't belong.  It's funny how God works~  I ended up at a Christian university on a volleyball scholarship which had a day-to-day routine much like high school, I got up, out of bed and to class and practice because if I didn't do those things, I didn't get to play in the game.  Then someone comes along and tells me I have to choose a major to study?  I had no idea what my talents were off the court but God led me into teaching and after many years, I realized that is the gift He gave me.
These fun flowers were made from modeling paste, stencils and wax paper.  I have been using them a lot, it's very cool to make your own embellishments. 
I struggle with doubt sometimes when I think about when I became a Christian.  Mainly because I was young and I have no recollection of the actual event.  How can that be!  Of course I have chosen to rededicate my life to Christ and I am a follower, believer and a servant but I am puzzled at why I can't remember what should have been one of the most important days of my life. :(  The good thing is, once forgiven, always forgiven.  I pray daily about my relationship with God, it brings me closer with each prayer to knowing what God's will is for my life.  I've learned one thing though, living OUT of God's will is no place to be!
 I looked up the definition of accomplished and I think there is a big difference in "completed; done" and being "highly skilled" in something.  I think it is so important to choose a field in which you have a passion and a gift.  It sure makes getting up and going to work each day a whole lot more fun!
I love that becoming a mother doesn't take any studying, per say.  God gives us that innate ability to love what He gives us.  My husband and I were married 8 years before we had a baby.  People had all but given up on us and we were in a bit of a routine so when our beautiful Kyrah came along, well, it kind of "upset our apple cart!"  We felt clueless and stayed exhausted but 15 years later, all the hard work has paid off.  She is a delightful and shameless child of God and her little sister Vanalice is as unique as they come and keeps our family laughing.  God is good!
 4.  Write down three relationships that have shifted your life in some way (Good or bad).  Well, I chose to stay with the good.  I used the "three experiences" prompt to address issues with a bad relationship and so now I am over it and ready to focus on the positive.  Of course the largest butterfly represents my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  He will always be there no matter what. I am working to become what He wants me to be.  I am a work in progress :)
 These butterflies are my daughters and my best friend Cindy.  Cindy has come along at a time in my life, about 5-6 years ago, when I felt like I didn't have much purpose in life.  It took a while for us to grow as close as we are but she reminds me on a regular basis how important friendship can be.  Growing up I could never nurture friendships enough to have more than one friend where ever I was at the time.  In Plainveiw in was Sharla, in Shallowater it was Denise, in Dalhart it was Stacy and in Pearland it was Shannon.  I can't say I had a bestie in college, my bridesmaids were great teammates but we didn't do much together beyond that and I don't see any of the people listed before aside from one or two that I have reconnected with on Facebook.  But the truth is, God put Cindy in my life at a time when I needed another woman to relate to and to spend time with that could help me see who I was again outside of being a wife and mother then helped me to understand the importance of all of the things we do fitting together to make us who we are and who God wants us to be.  We can be a wife, mother, artist, teacher, friend, daughter, etc.  But balance is tough, and we will get to that later in the workshop.
 This is Dixon's butterfly, my husband.  The man God chose, just for me.  When I met Dixon I was dating my high school sweetheart in a long distance relationship that had been on again and off again for years.  After meeting Dixon I broke up with this guy and he told me, "well, that's about your track record, a year on and a year off."  He wished me good riddance and never looked back.  He was married four months later and I had never even heard of this girl.  Oh well, God has another plan for me.  At the time I was living with some real party girls and chose to "partake" in the partying all too often for my own good and when Dixon came along, that desire to party soon faded and all I wanted to do was be with him.  He has shown kindness and understanding and tolerance that is beyond anyone I have ever met aside from my awesome parents.  Dixon got me out of that house with those roommates at the perfect time.  There is a song that says "God gave me you" and I truly believe that about him.  Now, 23 years later, we have yet to have a fight and we love each other more than ever.  And I was worried I wouldn't make it a year :)
 I know one thing for sure, the people on these pages love me with the love that only God can instill in a person.  We love Him because He first loved us.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings.  I don't have a prize for comments and I am not trying to sell you anything.  I simply enjoy the fellowship that this class and blogging about it brings.  I do enjoy your comments, they brighten my day and help me to feel I am making a small difference or maybe just touching someone a bit when I share.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week One Done!!

Well, it only took me a month to finish week one of the Your Living Canvas Workshop!  Sheesh, I don't know what I was thinking starting something a week before school let out but I sure am glad I did!!!  This has really been a great time of reflection, introspection and fellowship with all the wonderful ladies participating in the workshop.  If you are interested in the workshop just check it out HERE, you will be glad you did, Christy Tonlinson and Art McCracken (fun name!) are awesome!
So a quick update on some of the accomplishments of week one in case you would like to journal along.  If you missed any of my previous posts and would like to catch up just click on "Living Canvas Workshop" or Art Journal" in the labels on the right sidebar.
There were four writing prompts, I will show you two tonight and be back with the other two soon. The theme for the week is butterflies, the symbol of change.
 1. Write down three trials, heartaches, or mistakes you have made in your life.  Well, I felt like the caterpillar was the one that had to experience the trials and heartaches in order to change into the butterfly so I created a caterpillar.  I chose words from my journaling to emphasize because my journaling itself was WAY too personal.  I guess I was still dealing with the weight of some of my mistakes so I wrote them down (for the first time ever) and then painted right over them!  I have to tell you it felt good to "get them out" even though no one can see them, God and I, know they are there and I know I have been forgiven as only He can forgive.

 2. Write down three experiences in your life that have brought change (good or bad).   After some rough experiences with a co-worker several years ago some one told me "Kindness is not weakness and rudeness is not strength," and that has really stuck with me especially when dealing with hard topics and confrontation (which I avoid like the plague!)  Some people are just rude by nature as a way of posturing their "so called" strength over you.  To me that is a true sign of weakness and self-doubt.  Hard lesson to learn though.  My journaling on these pages are behind the doors.  You know the saying, "when one door opens another closes," I thought it appropriate since one of the situations I wrote about was the end of a long time, stressful friendship.  It still haunts me a bit and I am working on forgiving myself for the situation.

 I made these fun butterflies with modeling paste and stencils on wax paper.  FUN!
There were two more journaling prompts for week one that I will share with you once I photograph my pages.  This has been a good thing, looking at different aspects of my life.  One reason it took me so long to finish week one was due to a revival at my church.  It was a truly amazing experience watching God work in my life and the lives of my family and friends.  Probably the most important thing I learned from the revival for me was that God truly provides for us when we need Him to most.  The preacher said, "Where God guides, He provides, where He leads, He feeds."  I believe it all!