I'm a dreamer.
I come from a long line of dreamers.
Day or Night...it matters not to me!!!
Did you know that God wants us to dream.....he wants to throw open the doors of heaven and bless the socks right off of us!
He is The Great Dream Giver!!
"Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request."
I Chronicles 4:10
In The Prayer of Jabez.....God wanted to bust open the borders for Jabez! In fact the Hebrew meaning of Enlarge my Territory/Borders really means.....give me more sheep! (hahaha)
I'm taking what seems to be a gazillion art classes this year....and I say year because at least 3 are 365 days long!
That's unprecedented commitment for me!!! I am ever the optimist!
The class that started yesterday is The Documented Life Project 2016 The Unplanner!!!!
Oh my goodness...if that doesn't fit me to the T! I thought of all the years in my life....I need this NOW!!! I need it to document what's going to be a C R A Z Y ride!!!! I'm all in....all 2 feet jumped in for whatever God has in store for us this awesome new year!!!!
I have never had much success with "Planners".....seriously who does? Ok...maybe you do, but I usually fly by the seat of my pants and am so spontaneous that planning just seems to get in my way. As I write that I think....hold on there cowgirl, that's not entirely true. I do like a little planning. I suppose I like "knowing" what the future holds....enough that I can at least be prepared.
Anywho.....this is my Unplanner!!! It's extremely whimsical artsy craftsy......almost to the point of overload for me!!! I do like most of my life...except my art room to be organized...you know....organized chaos! I can truly only take messes for so long....then it's a major overhaul!
So my Unplanner is not too much slap here and slap there kinda artsy craftsy....it's got a little bit of Zen going on and I incorporate what I've been learning along the way by some awesome teachers...that's what it's all about.....then you form your own style. Therefore, my cover will stay as simple as possible....with my reminder to Embrace this new year!
But the inside cover shows my true colors!!!! Because I am Wild At Heart!!! Ever seeking the one who holds my life in His hands. Desperate for Him.
With my monthly goals right there to pursue......this ought to be interesting!!!! Goals?
My daily devo inspirationals tucked away in my bi-monthly envelopes for me to dig out and remind myself that "it's going to be ok".
And of course the monthly schedule...so I don't ask too many questions!!!
Just keepin it REAL!
The simplicity of certain photos catches me. They scream for me to find calmness and quietness of soul. This one did.
I had to sketch it so I could paint it.
Most of you know how much I HATE running around!!! I hate being away from home. It's been a week of running...today I finally get to sit quietly with my thoughts and with The Lord teaching me that Joy is found in Serenity!
There was a time in my life.....WAY long ago when I was in my 30's, that home was a place I didn't want to be. It was through hours of counseling that truth was revealed deep in my soul.
Home for me was not a safe place as a child with alcoholic parents. There was never calmness or serenity. There was never certainty and routine to our lives.
As a result I was an adult of alcoholics and had my own cycles of sickness to break. It was never an overnight fix. Nothing worth keeping is.
I worked hard to create a home where I wanted to be. I learned and soaked up from others who "appeared" (as I know now, appearances can be deceiving...but that's not for today's lesson) to have a home where peace & serenity resided. Where The Lord was celebrated and love overflowed. I was a sponge.
Eventually, one day I realized my home was a place I WANTED to be. A place that others felt safe and loved. A place where Christ was on the throne and we were a family celebrating what he had done.
Of course we are all on a journey. It's never a complete story until we graduate and pass over to eternity with Him. But with His help, and the help of trained counselors we CAN overcome and find Joy in Serenity!!! I encourage you, IF you are stuck, to seek out a good Christian counselor who can assist. It's not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength.
(I am happy to say that my parents both have been and were sober for most of my "grown-up" life. They truly conquered great demons! So proud of them for finding peace. For finding God in the midst of their battles. As a result I found peace with them.)
I get SO much satisfaction and joy from painting! Yesterday, it was way late in the afternoon before I picked up a brush and I confess to the bed being piled with 2 loads of laundry that needed folding! (of course I got that done so we could use the bed for sleeping!) Priorities!!!
I've been working on capturing expressions. It's not as easy as you might think. And I'm pretty sure that the secret is in the eyes.
You know what they say. The eyes are a window to the soul.
Hubs always tells me he loves it when my eyes smile.
I do too! It indicates an overflow of joy!
You know, how you always made your kids look you in the eye when they were trying to lie to you?!!!! Yes, the eyes tell the entire story.
As Those who have been bought with a price. Those who are heirs of His. Those who are a reflection of HIS glory.......shouldn't your eyes smile more? Shouldn't HIS glory be shining upon our faces and in our eyes.
I've looked around a room of Jehovah, Elohim, Yahweh, Jesus "believers" (I put it in " " for a reason....is it only in word but not in deed) and if looks alone told a story, you'd be reading a story of doom and gloom, sorrow and sadness. Faces that need lifting!
Are we not called out of the world to be a light!
I challenge you to allow HIS light to shine in your eyes this Christmas Season! When you find yourself frowning.....turn that frown upside down! And then feel it in your eyes...are they smiling too?
All of us need words of affirmation. Words that are spoken to encourage, strengthen, and show love. Words that build up not tear down. Words that are spoken softly not with harsh rough edges. Words that speak truth.
Unfortunately most of us did not grow up hearing them. It's a daily practice that needs a constant reminder. So I painted a girl who is dressed in Words of Affirmation! With her belt of truth being JOY!
I for one, was not very good at speaking words of affirmation when my kids were growing up. As a child, I didn't receive them either. It's a cycle. But cycles can be broken. And it is never too late.
It wasn't really until the early 21 Century that words of affirmation were even brought to my attention. We studied The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and one of the languages is Words of Affirmation. It was then, that my favorite word of affirmation became JOY!
Hubs and I went through some rough waters back then. So we began a steady course of learning each other's love languages and our kids. His are Words of Affirmation and Touch. Mine are Quality Time and Gifts. We began to study each other and offering our sacrifice of love. We began working hard at expressing our love in-spite of who we are. It was then, that I realized I wasn't very good at speaking words of affirmation. I was really good at complaining....SO, I set a path to change. Change is hard work. I'm nowhere near complete or perfect. But I am a changed girl today.
It was back then that Hubs would write me love letters (they are little gifts) and he would sign them, "You are my JOY!"
JOY is still my word today. It is something I aspire to every single day of my life. To not just find it but to live in JOY. God knows it's not easy sometimes. It's a choice I've made though. To find JOY!
CS Lewis in his book, Surprised By Joy says this about JOY;
"In a sense the central story of my life is about nothing else... The quality common to the three experiences... is that of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic, and one only, in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again... I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world. But then Joy is never in our power and Pleasure often is.”
"I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for Joy.”
It's my belief that happiness and joy are nothing alike. Joy, true Joy comes from the Lord; The Joy of The Lord is my strength, He is the Joy of your salvation. Happiness is something I believe we create inside ourselves which all too often relies upon circumstances.
Choosing to live in JOY has allowed me to speak words of affirmation at a greater degree!
JOY will be my word for 2015!