Inspired tonight by these new, little, open books and this son's open arms...
I am practicing.
I thought I had it down.
I focused so intently on the idea of open hands & an open heart all year. I actually thought it was a well-formed part of my inward life, like a well tooled habit? I have honed its message in posts, written of its divine goodness, created art from its abundance. I would wake each morning with prayerful excitement on my lips -- and be certain adventure was coming! I thought I understood.
Somewhere this summer I fell down.
I could tell you all the reasons, but I don't need to. They are universal to many of us. Bodies that hurt and break down, relationships that grow in unexpected ways (good/bad), household concerns that don't go away, and boys (children) that have big life decisions and health hardships. It is all part of this life. Common stresses, right?
I know you know.
But sometimes there are just too many hard things. Sometimes there are just too many.
Today, the parts of me that are strong are strong because of God's strength. When my life became too complicated (and too hard), I remembered the most basic thing...I don't have to do *hard* alone.
So, I am moving when God moves. I am under His watch and care. I am held. He knows me, the real me, the silly hideherheadinherpillow me. He knows the groanings of my heart and He loves to wipe the tears from my eyes. He is my first love, my real and lasting love. And I don't have to do this life alone.
He really doesn't leave me alone (even when run away and want to pout :).
Do you know this? Do you feel this too?
You are never alone.
I have found that times like this I often retreat. Sometimes I will find solace in reading or writing. Sometimes it is photography or getting messy in a studio of paint. Having art entrenched in my life is a Godsend. I don't know what I would do without it. It is a purging of self, sometimes completely without words, and it is as powerful as medicine and as worshipful as anything I know of (especially with something beautiful playing in the background -- I love Mercy Me "the Hurt and the Healer")
Do you feel the same?
The ways we are tenderly held together in this space (where heaven and earth meet) is often transposed in our artistic expressions. In our art, we allow openness to happen without thinking. We allow divine moments to happen. It becomes a place where brokenness is made beautiful. We can see more clearly. The words make more sense. It is easier to breathe~
I still believe in openness. I believe in living with an open heart. I believe in stretching out my fingers and allowing life to happen -- I just have to let go of the fear that I have let in -- openness in life means vulnerability and honesty (I have learned that much!).
Perhaps this is why it has taken me so long to post. It takes courage to post "hurt" honestly and being vulnerable with you, here, in my hope filled space -- of love and lambs and messages of God's goodness. I am holding out my hands in a pleading need for mercy and healing and peace. We don't do this life alone and perhaps you will pray with me. In my sharing, maybe we won't feel so alone in our tender spaces. We can hold each other up~
I am here with you.
God is here with us.
We will be okay...He promises.
These journals are my current loves in my studio. They were lovingly hand-tooled by my friend Karleigh from her sweet local studio. I think each tells its own story and is ready with pages-open to welcome my life's art. You may want to see them for yourself? Badger and Chirp journals
I will be sharing my hope-filled sketches with you this week~
In love and God's tender care,