First, last night, through Sally Turlington, I discovered Paulette Insall ~ mixed media artist & mom. She does beautiful face paintings and I very much enjoyed watching her Youtube videos taking one through the stages of her paintings! Very cool. You must visit.
Then, this morning, I was checking DJ Pettitt's blog as I do every morning and just "happened" to click on the blog of Rebecca: http://cre8tiva.blogspot.com/
Now this blog made me do a happy dance inside. Rebecca seems to be on very much a similar spiritual journey where her love of God and love of art collide. To say I'm overjoyed to have discovered her blog is an understatement. And I don't believe for a second that it was accidental and just "happened" that I clicked her name on DJ's blog! I believe God led me there for a reason. If, for no other reason than to know that I truly am not alone on this journey and someone else really does have similar experiences creating with God, then that is an amazing reason! Rebecca is also a writer and obviously loves to write cuz she does a lot of it on her blog... she actually has two! Oh JOY! She writes beautifully but now I must find time to go back and read everything!
Speaking of art with God, I think I mentioned that I am working on a huge canvas for our upcoming 24/7 week of prayer happening next month. Maybe I didn't. anyway.... I'm working on the largest canvas I've ever attempted... 3x3 FEET people! Truthfully, it's taken me weeks to work through the fear of something that big! I have a March 14th deadline and I've barely started. My piece actually has three components to the theme:
"Give us this day, our daily bread", "I thirst", and "Christ's sacrifice" all wrapped into one. As I've meditated on this, I'm coming to understand more that our daily bread isn't just the physical daily needs being met but Jesus is the bread. So I've been praying for more of Jesus in my day- to be more aware of his presence in the day to day stuff. It's interesting, now that I look back over the past few weeks of this new year, it has been really, really hard. The year started with losing my precious kitty, Minya who was so much more than a cat to me over the past 19 years (almost my entire adult life she was constantly with me) but then my boys and husband getting the flu and being sick for over a week, starting back to Bible study feeling like a "blob" walking in with my head in a fog and my heart deeply grieving and weary, to more sickness with Max and then myself as well as dealing with some pretty serious emotional stuff that life and marriage brings. It's been really, really hard. However, now I'm seeing that God is being God... and whenever He gives me a piece of artwork to do specifically with my hands just being the tools, I have to 'experience' the subject matter for the work to flow out of me. In this case, I have very much been "thirsting" and in desperate need for my "daily bread". I also see that all these "bad" things were blessings in a way. Had all this 'stuff' not happened immediately following Minya's death, I think I would have just stayed in bed with my grief for a very long time. Life stuff did not allow me to drown. God didn't allow me to drown. I still feel the overwhelming loss daily and still cry over missing her so much but God has not allowed me to go into a depression that I can't get out of... because I could go there by my own choosing if I did not have all these other things forcing me to function. so now, I can see my hardships as sort of blessings.
I must confess something... this shows my weirdness maybe, I don't know. It's about my Minya. Shortly before she died, Max (my 6 year old) had accidently gotten a small clump of yogurt on Minya's neck. Well, I discovered it after it had already dried. I tried getting it out and it just wasn't happening. So, she had a small little clump on her neck for a bit. I ended up cutting it out and, for whatever reason.. maybe foresight knowing she wasn't gonna' be around much longer, I saved the little fur clump. I thought maybe I'd put it in a tiny class vial or something. You can't tell at all that it was stuck together by anything except that it is, yet the tips of her fur still are soft and fan out in my fingers. Anyway, I actually allowed myself to take this out of the tiny ziplock bag and find myself closing my eyes and petting this little tiny spot of fur and rubbing it underneath my chin where she use to put her head. Even the tiniest bit of her brings back the same feelings of running my fingers through her beautiful red coat. That same calming affect comes over me and it's intoxicating. I can't even explain the affect she had on my body but I find myself missing her touch with the deepest ache in my soul. For a minute, just a minute, I can imagine her here... and then reality hits with a blog and the grief threatens to overtake me as I have to force myself to breath. So now, I cling to this little tiny bit of soft fur with a desperation knowing that I won't ever get to feel her again this side of heaven... and oh how I anticipate the day of heaven! Now, I don't know that I can encapsulate her fur because then I wouldn't be able to touch it anymore. Yesterday was difficult as I took Phoebe to the vet for her check up remembering the last time I was there was with Minya. I cried all the way to the vet yesterday and had to really focus while I was there on the cat that I do still have. Still, Phoebe, as much as I love her too, she isn't the same. She doesn't interact with me like Minya did. Minya 'loved me back'. She literally was like a little person in a furry body. and Phoebe's fur doesn't feel like Minya's either. Phoebe has become like Queen Bee here in the house being fussed over but the emptiness left from Minya's death never leaves. Gosh, I don't know why I'm ranting about this... maybe I just needed to write it out and cry for a minute before real life comes back and hits me in the face with breaking up fights between my boys.
Well, I guess that's enough rambling for the moment. Take a few minutes and check out Paulette and Rebecca's blogs will ya'?