Isaiah 58:8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
A couple of nights ago I woke up in the early hours.. awakened by an annoying hot flush 🔥 yes I’m at the age now 😣
I chatted to two of my children.. oldest daughter is an emergency room nurse on night shifts even on days off she’s in that pattern and doesn’t fight it.. my son has that pattern of waking at night atm.. but it was perfect timing for me.. so much love. 🥰 I’m so glad I’m a mother.. so proud of all my family.. our children are my greatest gift.. I was awake a little while.. a good time to pray & feel emotions that come..
Tears fell as they sometimes do.. I’m an emotional soul.. I can use them to pray.. empty my heart of all I feel and pray for people who need it.. they also help me find peace and strength from God..
You see I have felt for a very very long time that the truest essence of who I am and why I was created.. I have not been able to connect as I so hoped and desired with people around me.. So when I start feeling all the feels it helps to channel this into my prayers.. my faith keeps me looking up and I hope my art also shows this..
I prayed a prayer at this time for a friend who truly cares for me whom I believe God sent. I need every day support like all of us do and a friend who shares in a way I can understand. Who I’m safe with and feel heard and where I’m free to also respond back.. Moreso this is so important when I’m an introvert and deaf.
I may never see them face to face and I know we both have our struggles .. but as the tears slid down my face.. the tears that fall for the brokenness in my own life but also for the good.. I am thankful in my heart I know that I’m cared for despite all my failings and my overactive emotional side.
I used those tears for a most heartfelt prayer I prayed for my friend using my mustard seed faith.. asking God that my tears would find their way to the very throne room of heaven and help my friend in the way they need it the most.. 🕊
Maybe it was a deep and private prayer I prayed.. But I think and hope that my honesty might help other people who cry into thier pillows silent tears.. who hurt for unspoken pain.. who also like me can’t reach for the places they wish and dream for.. Or who feel broken and waiting for what they truly desire and it feels like it may never come.. Because faithwise I know what it does to you to not see the results many Christians I know have seen..
Now Faith is an assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.. Hebrews 11:1
But I can promise you that although I feel the depths of darkness at times.. I also feel and experience deep peace and I am given help to trust God for all that hasn’t come to pass.
Many do not get this peace or can go back to solid sleep.. and I know it’s hard when nobody else knows the depths of your pain.. I want you to know God knows.. I encourage you to tell him all that troubles you and find HIS peace for all that breaks your heart & for all the highs and lows of what you feel so that you would also find comfort. That there is a place to find hope and that there does come a knowing in this place that your tears and struggles will count for something even in the darkest night…
I’ve sat on this digital art for days. Probably a week if I am honest.. It is where I am though so it was always going to be posted.. eventually. I really do not see the point in being anything but honest be it simple honest. It is a scene of my daily every day life while walking my dog. Yes in my own neighborhood. I tend to be a person who likes things to remain pretty much the same. I am comforted and find joy in routine even despite being a pretty routine-less person. Walking much the same area every day with moderate changes of route here and there. It is nice though when I walk that same way again and think of this art. It actually thrills me because it makes me feel more a functioning part of my world and I do not always feel I have a place or purpose in this world so that to me is so important to get a sense of belonging. It is pretty rough though this art because with this I am more into creating art that is meaningful to me then into details and trying to improve my art skills. I actually started doing this from memory not reference which I nearly always draw from so that was interesting. But to give my setting more realism I searched for the street view on google maps to make it look at least a little more the right way up . What google map shows of the street was back in time when it was incredibly dry and all the grass was brown.
Comparing the past dry conditions to all the current lushness in our area I really can be thankful for a cooler Spring with plenty of rain to keep it so bright green.
That’s one reason which has kept me from moving forward with this art or sharing it.. that same kind of dryness in my life too where any kind of creative flow is almost non existent. I am not seeing green growth in myself where I am improving or working hard on any art and I am not trying to better my situation. But I think it is important to me that I do push on regardless and I wanted to convey that through this art.. and one way is by focusing on the colors of that day despite what lack of color I might feel currently in my personal life. Despite a lack of energy and creative energy. I am plodding onwards. Our weather has been more gray skies and cool weather then the warming up of weather Spring can bring. But the growth of spring time is still very evident by all the green and it is most everywhere and that is showing the gift of much and many good rainfalls and I do not think you’d find many that would not welcome that.
I hope my art show despite the struggles I am still grateful for my life and this world.
Little dabs of colors are likened to the pockets of daily inspiration I find that keep me going forward.
I couldn’t do without those pockets of joy but yes you have to have eyes that seek it out. Even sometimes if it’s just the bright yellow flowers in the weeds growing along the way where I walk.
I added scripture because I find it easier to seek God through art expression and unlike going to church or doing it like everyone else I can fully experience my faith best when I am free in the expression of it.
Art is my way of sharing my faith and what peace and strength and help God gives me through His presence and what I choose to notice in the world around me.. I acknowledge that He is the one who lifts me up and keeps me from not giving up. It is important to me to always share what guides me through my life. I want to be honest. I want to be real. I do have to push myself to get things done. I do have to push myself to walk daily. I do have to push myself to seek God. But I acknowledge that HE is still central in my life even as I am. And especially as I am. I do not seek perfection but I choose realness because I believe it trumps perfection.
Unafraid to show myself as I am. Persisting through my life as I am. My hope is fully found in God rather then in myself or anyone or in anything else.
The scripture was found in the study of the book ‘The Broken Way’ by Ann Voskamp that I have been very slowly and loosely reading through. I’ve been trying to read more too.. All these things.. Reading.. Art.. Faith.. Exercise they do help me.. Even sharing and writing this helps me.. Sometimes I feel that the things that we persist through.. The fact that they are hard or a struggle to do.. Perhaps are for some greater reason that is why it is important to persist.
This art is honest and anyone could create it.. Makes me feel better because its meaningful to me and yes I have had to push myself to share it as it is.
I know sometimes people will look at an art piece I’ve taken a lot of time with and they say I could never do that. I wish I could do that and you are so blessed to be able to create that. There is an admiration to perfectly or more skilled art that can leave another feeling inadequate or wishing they could do the same. I felt the very same way as I was contemplating this art because someone else I know posted something really good art wise around the time I finished it and it made me look at this and suddenly it seemed so very imperfect and rough looking and so very underwhelming. That is exactly why I have struggled to share it and instead been procrastinating sigh.. Because it isn’t great art. It isn’t skilled art and it really may not even show well what I am feeling.. It’s just simple art. But that is how I have humanly felt so it is time to move on-wards and stop stalling.
When I first started sharing my art on-line not many noticed it at all and I was trying lol but then as I improved more took notice because I was improving but you know it was never about that for me I just enjoy the sharing and getting feedback is always nice especially if someone says that resonates with me.. It makes you feel not so alone.
And you know looking back I might even think why on earth did I even post some of that arghh lol?!?! But here it is today on this day being just simple ordinary persistence. This is going out into the world as it is. And maybe just maybe it encourages someone else to have a go at sharing things right where they are at. How they are feeling and for them too like me.. it is honest and imperfect .. Because it is brave when there isn’t much that results from showing up but it takes all our time and strength to do so..
It does mean we DID NOT GIVE UP and that my friends.. is something!!!
And if showing up does help even one person. Then I could not ask for anymore then that..
Indeed. I am incredibly lazy right now. Like I could curl up and sleep the day away. I don’t know if it is depression or what. But I feel tired and blah and I am wearing a groove in my bed where I sit most of the day. I cannot walk my dog tonight as I like to do. Its been overcast most of the day probably all of the day but raining and wet this evening. Daylight savings does throw me for a bit. Its after 7pm and I haven’t eaten yet. I am eating later these evenings. I do get lonely sometimes and I just don’t feel the same joy about things some days.
I finished another digital drawing so I am making myself write about it. I do normally like writing and oh well if this writing is just for me it is just for me. I have to get over that now or I would never write again.
I drew a Velveteen Rabbit it is kind of how I am feeling but it makes me smile that it is a character from a beloved story and one that inspires people.. I think it shows something about what is helping me get through the every day and where my heart finds comfort. The Velveteen Rabbit is mentioned in the book I am currently reading.. The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp.. Which I found for 2 dollars in an op shop and I am rather proud I am reading it. I have a bad habit of buying many books and not reading them. This one according to Goodreads (an ap on my phone) 51% of the way through.. Something about logging in and updating how many pages I have read really inspires me. To update my progress this way probably helps me to keep reading too. I did say I would share some of it here on my blog and I am glad I am still doing that. Maybe I will share the link on my face book too because there are people there who do say they like my art and that makes me feel good and it helps me keep up my art.. I feel sharing is good for me because it keeps me flowing and social. I am not giving up when I share. I have never gotten to the place where an art piece is expression enough for me I like expressing how I feel in writing too.
Quotes from the book..
It’s a needed thing, to be brave. But maybe there’s a broken way of being safe enough to be real and un-okay. Maybe the bravest thing is to be real enough to say we’re broken and unbrave — and trust we’re still loved in our broken and unbrave”.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day… “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you..” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
What could happen if we weren’t afraid of passion… of suffering..
Maybe wholeness is not reaching for perfection in your life maybe wholeness is embracing brokenness as part of your life.
Trust Him in all this brokenness.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more then conquerors through him who loved us.. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.. Romans 8:35, 37-39
I am not trying to perfect my art or creating it to sell.. I am just glad I am doing it at all. And I am glad I am being transparent here it is a healing balm to my soul to express how I feel. I am being real about my every day life and it is freeing to me. I think that is what shuts me down that I have not felt free to be real and so I just kind of stop altogether with everything. But I do not want to be anything but real and maybe that has been the problem all along that I felt I couldn’t and so I didn’t. So I think maybe just starting to be real here may be the best way for now to start getting used to it again and hopefully keep it going and going and going. 🙂
I am blogging on a book I am currently reading ‘The Broken Way’ by Ann Voskamp. My way to work through it is posting my thoughts on it here. I need to get things out of myself and when there is few outlets my blog is perfect for doing such. Writing and sharing helps me in my every day life I don’t think I could exist keeping things to myself. I am not doing the whole book like every question here but whatever I feel I want to share and reflect on as I read through it.
This was started a few days ago because even though I love writing and sharing I do struggle with the loneliness of it. Everyone feels things and people who can communicate easily take it for granted you can discuss sport, weather, your favorite band… etc.. The every day things people talk about. I cannot easily do that. Deafness and being an introvert mean its more a struggle to talk about anything at all..
But I am struggling lately to be motivated to write and today with tougher lock downs due to covid the extra struggles seem to release something in me. When I shared personally yesterday on my face book a few others did too and the moment they do that I get caught in that flow of emotion. It strangely helps me. This is going to seem weird but normally I don’t feel my writing and art is for a greater reason. Sitting at home doing this feels more like a hobby or favorite past time. Now that I am expected to stay home and find creative outlets its almost like the universe saying.. Yes Sharon go for it. The time is right and perfect for it now. It is almost like a big thumbs up to doing what I love to do.
Our state is the worst in Australia right now so I can see this is precisely the best time to sit and let it out. I am adapting my writing and thoughts to the day because I started this days ago and I’m not feeling quite the same as I was a few days ago.
This is the passage I am up too in my book and want to marinate my thoughts in this writing.. It is faith inspired so I understand if that is not your thing.
For I am poor and needy, And my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow; I am shaken off like a locust. Psalm 109:22-23
This also is a quote from the book..
‘This passage is from a type of psalm called a lament. Many of the psalms are laments because the ancient Hebrews thought it was very important to go to God honestly with their brokenness and allow themselves to feel their sadness.’
The author said this passage is intended to bring your brokenness to the surface. Asks that we sit with this passage and see where it takes us. Giving the reader different ideas how to contemplate this passage in view of the study material as well.
I am not feeling like I need to dwell on my past or present brokenness.. I have been feeling generally peaceful though I have felt some anxiety with adapting to wearing a mask which at this current time is compulsory if we leave the house. Being deaf means I cannot at all understand other people around me in public because I do rely on lip reading and you cannot do that with a masks covering everyones faces. Even with masks on and after I tell people I am deaf you can see they are still speaking to me or trying too? It makes me anxious to work out how to communicate even moreso then normal.
I love that there is not just one way to feel about things. There are many ways and although even studying a Christian book as I have studied and reflected on many in the past. I have progressed beyond the one way only answers I might once have given. Even if the author might be writing from a certain point of view and seeking to teach and express a certain point of view. I love that I am freer these days then I once was. I can value another’s point of view may be different to how I see it and that is ok and I can take from it in part or in whole or just leave it altogether. Always respecting others have the right to see and view things differently.
I personally prefer to be more upbeat and positive. Although I do very much value honesty and find it challenging to get hard-line honest as much as I used too. I maybe wired as an emotional person but I have just shared personally over and over for a long period of time much more then others but I have felt mostly alone with it. Even if I really want too share or feel all the feelings i just feel so tired to keep standing up feeling like I am talking to myself.
But what is too much and if the bible has lamenting and rather a lot of it.. isn’t that kind of a sign that if God is ok with it shouldn’t we be too? Many cultures have customs of intense deep grieving, intense rituals for moments of change and meaningful ceremonies that embody what a collected group of people feel and or wish to express together.
Grief shared I really do feel is grief halved. Emotions are better shared its why we share stories, jokes and good news!!
Reading these particular scriptures and knowing there are many similar scriptures of lament shared with us is actually incredibly comforting and I think I would even go so far to say it goes against the flow of current religious views to say such things. I mean its rare these days well at least on social media for people to pour out their struggles and deep feelings… Most people grieve or feel the deep struggles privately and I think in our society even grief or public grief has a certain time limit. And I am going to be really honest here.
I follow a lady who lost her husband. They have a big family left behind she is a single mother with many children to raise and feed alone. Very hard and tragic loss. She has been constantly churning out photos of her husband and their times together over the last year. I think the first anniversary just passed.. I follow her Instagram account. I am all for sharing and have many times about my own grief and feelings etc.. But over this ladies daily content I have had to go to God and say sorry. Because I sometimes feel why is she still talking about it. Yes.. Sigh.. I cannot even believe I’ve felt that. What does it matter to me or anyone else if she is still speaking about it. It’s none of my business? I know letting go has helped me move on but who is to say that should happen or if it does when.. It is not my concern how long the process takes or if people do it at all.. I hate saying this but I too look at people and how they process grief and loss and their circumstances and we all do if we are honest.. I do judge at times and its so wrong because I do not know her heart or anyone else’s heart.. 😦
I want to share a story here of my Grandma. She lost her husband I think when my dad was about 11.. She never remarried. I said to Grandma Jones why didn’t you ever remarry? You raised your two boys as a single mother. You lived alone so very long you could have remarried again why didn’t you? She said because I loved him and I didn’t want to marry anyone else after Harry passed away. Till her death my Grandma kept wearing her wedding ring. Wow.. To me that is so romantic and the love she felt so deep and strong she never needed anyone else to love her romantically and she didn’t let that reminder of her husband and marriage go she wore it every day as a sign of her undying love. That was always her choice and she was happy with it.
Instead of speaking honestly and as long as we need about how we are feeling. We are told to speak only in faith. Trust God alone.. Don’t air it out publicly. Keep it for the closed sessions with your therapist or spiritual counselor or pastor.
I would think in days like right now.. With Lock downs. Staying at home. In times of fear of catching a deadly disease how many of us would absolutely be feeling so much grief for the freedoms we have lost, the wearing of masks and social distancing and not to mention the many who have been sick and the well documented deaths around the world. We all have lost valuable outlets to deal with it. The not being able to do the things we used to do. Churches shut down.. Sport clubs closed.. We are restricted from touching people and have to distance from each other. Everything is topsy turvy and you question and you wonder and stay awake at night because your mind won’t shut down. You worry and think what the future might be. So many things swirl in your mind and you can be led down very slippery type paths in your thinking and I cannot imagine how lonely it must be for some who are not able to be with loved ones or attend funerals or weddings or family things and that’s if they have close family.. And especially people whose mental health is fragile. People have lost jobs and businesses have closed and the uncertainty of the future threatens our daily lives and what we hold dear.
How do we cope in a safe way? How do we air our frustrations? Give ourselves and those around us full freedom to express it while staying safe and not judging?
How many of us can honestly open up about how crappy things are or how low in spirits we might be feeling or about issues that may not be talked about without getting deleted, rejected, shot down or invite more drama or harsh judgment? I know on social media most of what I read is either political, medical stats, discussions and quite heated ones too.. But also there are you know people’s accomplishments during this time, how they have overcome the challenges, prayer needs or inspirational stories.. Not much true lament out there not that I am seeing. Maybe only the poets and artists and those brave enough to let it show.
Surely there are worse off people then us we may feel and its not right to air our woes .. We might be tired, scared, angry or depressed but isn’t everyone?
But yet in the bible many similar and deep laments were freely able to be expressed and they have carried on through the years to us now and that is no small sorrow to be read and reread throughout the ages.
Ok not 2020 type things but heavy and frustrating things never the less and they did not have the freedoms we have these days or the medical help or the government systems in place or welfare or the technology to share it instantly all over the world. Yet I think how much MORE in these days people world over could lament the trials and tribulations that are going on because even though so much has evolved people still feel and hurt and worry and we have abandoned so much the support systems our ancestors relied on where families stuck together and even bled and died for each other. And if we truly believe in God and read the bible how can we not see that lamenting is all the way through it… That it is ok to question and cry out at hardship, injustice and not just while praying.. That honest to God grieving is so necessary because life is hard and long and can get very dark and at times like this doesn’t make sense and that is what Gods own people did all through the ages. It really is ok to do this and to feel it all deeply.. And even if many cannot do it themselves then please give us who do room to do so or take up some words of others through a song or poem or the scriptures themselves. Let the words and emotions be yours too. To let those feelings not strangle you but instead fly free. My prayers have been tears when I couldn’t find the words.
How it might unite our minds and hearts if we can only let it flow and we might not feel so alone and maybe the collective feeling of each others pain all over the world would mean empathy for each other and we could all get to the other side much faster.
And the earth would weep together as one for all the pain, hurt and dysfunction and maybe together feeling all that we feel without fear it will bring greater wisdom and wider reaching understanding to our whole planet and we might all share and experience peace. God is peace and there is a unity in HIM that all people can resonate with yet still be uniquely themselves and we all can rise up stronger for it… For in the streets of heaven there is a tree of life with leaves for healing.. God did not say healing for only one type of person but that the leaves of the trees were for medicine to heal the nations..
And yes those words in that Psalm above could be my words if I wrote an honest story of my life. They could be made to fit.
Why are you so cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, who is the help of my (sad) countenance and my God Psalm 43:5 (amp)
If I was to ask these same questions of my soul, what might the answers be?
I don’t like to think on whereabouts I am in life because I really do start to sink and very fast. I do not stay in that place very long I cannot. I escape the downcast valleys because I cannot remain and stay in peace there. I am not writing for anyone else at this point because I am discouraged about my last post. I shared my writing and art on face book well it was a link to it.. You cannot see a big size pic of my art on face book without coming to my blog which is what I wish people would do. It just feels more then just hitting like. To visit my blog means you care to know more. You cannot see the details of my art or the best appearance of it nor read the words I have typed if you just look at the link and hit like.
It feels defeating when only 2 people care to look at Soul splashes (name of my blog). One wasn’t even from face book. I did share my art on instagram also so people can see it there who are already there and one of my cousins said something nice which was kind hearted. These things mean something to me. I share because I am often alone with what I feel and to share my heart online it is my way to be in the world. It is the way I express my soul and spirit, my faith and who I am. I use my art and writing to connect and where there is no one seeking me out when I put my heart out into the world there is simply NO connection at least for deep things that matter.
The reason I add this here is I do not have a close person to me to tell nor could easily speak this to someone or even in a group to get some support because of deafness and difficulty to have deep and meaningful conversations with anyone. I do have a very close friend online but I could never chat and say stuff like this.. Our chats are from different sides of the world and its even different days and different seasons.. Often out chats are spasmodic and we come and go.. rarely staying for a long length of time to open up. It is just far easier to write it but again the deeper issues I cannot stay around and feel heard most times nor enjoy conversing back and forth with someone else so I fear the rare times I am in a place to share more deeply I clam up.. the irony of it. I write these things hit finish or hit post and then that’s it and its what I have gotten used too. I have to move on.. You sink or swim.
I do love the great heart within myself. I have a strong heart. To endure my life. I mean I love to share. I still share even when only two people read it and even when those two people do not give any comment and it is rare to get a personal comment on the deeper sharing.. If comments were food to my soul in order to survive I would die quickly. I think anyone in this world who struggled to communicate, was an emotional soul and who didn’t get any feedback would go crazy. Yet I keep putting my heart out there and it is a miracle that I have not given up which is a testimony to Gods strength in my spirit and help in my struggles. Most often I share about my faith in God too which as believers we are told is the good news. I do it honestly and vulnerably which we are told best shows Gods power in our weakness. Yet even still the majority of believers in God who would see it publicly do not notice in fact I think I would be seen as an outcast rather then a seeker of spirit and truth simply because I do it differently. And they know I am deaf, have gone through life traumas and struggle to communicate because I keep putting it out there. If only they could see that a little support might help me shine my light even more. I have never wanted to beg.
My answers to this question re the scripture above are that I find it hard to wait expectantly anymore. I started praying certain prayers decades ago. And things got worse over time not better and to be honest I am still waiting or be it trusting God for certain things. I know I know I cannot even really talk about such matters with many. Everyone has an opinion well believers in God do.. And they are just about as difficult to deal with as the journey. I might agree with them that my faith is small and there are different things I could do but I have to live my life not them and they certainly are not there for me to lean on like God is. But the length of time things have played out mean that not many can understand, they just see me as aloof without wondering why and most that have an opinion they have not gone through the same and when people try to help they never stop to ask me what actually will help. Many times it doesn’t help and when I try to be honest even gently I am seen as ungrateful. Sigh I cannot win. I do not know why people suppose they can know what will help without stopping to find out.
I cannot just keep expecting things over a long long length of time it is easier to feel the feelings, let them go and be honest and at the end of every day leave my hearts desire with God. That’s not to say He will not do what He has said but its letting it rest until He does whatever He is going to do. I trust God with my life. I absolutely do and the outcome of all of it is always in His hands and I have not lost my faith despite my struggles.. it is just my faith is not like anyone else’s. I just have felt so alone with my end of it and if you were to put a truth spotlight on me and I was unafraid I will say that I have felt in a majority of my latter life anyway… unsupported. Loved by God yes. Misunderstood by most everyone yes. Stubborn in my faith yes. Forgetting all other things but looking unto Him yes in a lot of circumstances this is truth.
I suppose you could say I just do not have it in me to talk about or even think about it. So this is my answer. I just had to sort of throw off anything that depressed me and look intently at God in the way that works for me to outlast the path I walk. I praise Him for Him alone and not just for answers I have experienced and that doesn’t mean I have not seen answers. I acknowledge Him because I have survived this journey and for the peace He gives me and I praise Him for answers to others prayers. I also see things and notice things around me that are signs to me that make me praise Him too.. Things that are maybe only meaningful to myself but they encourage me to keep going forward. All along the way I have pretty well shared everything because that is who I am. But it has got harder to not clam up altogether because I am human and because it gets disheartening.. The sharing would open my life so much more if only I wasn’t so alone with it. I have tried the sit in the building with people. I feel even more alone because I cannot connect there. People’s backs to me. I cannot hear and I get distracted. I don’t feel the love there or feel a part of it. Worshiping in spirit and truth I am a part of it wherever I am and there is peace and no distractions.
My entire walk with God has been one of faith more then seeing and receiving personally and I have had to lean on Him more because of it. He has never abandoned me like people have.
Tests in my life have been when it appears many others receive answers way before I see them and also difficult relationships that I have endured and I have not had the support to overcome them so it makes it harder and I can only retreat.. Also long standing prayers of the heart. Having to endure things feeling physically alone and for a long time while still trusting. Not understanding the journey or why things happen the way they do. It is hard to want things and do without for a long time and live alongside or witness others enjoying the things you are so desperately desiring and they seem oblivious to your suffering and it makes me want to stay away from them. It does honestly test you. You have to cry to God. Try not to lose heart. Try not to see the whole world as unkind and your enemies.. Cry some more. Develop a back bone for long suffering. Be happy for others and take your struggles to God. You try all sorts of things.. All sorts of prayers.. But I just found nothing worked like seeking Him no matter what. My stubbornness works well here. I found people fail and some things I just cannot seem to overcome yet anyway. I just cannot seem to find a way through it and that makes you feel a failure especially if you do not have support humanly for it.. It does make me look up though.
My greatest reassurance and greatest help I have found is His sweet peace and that is where I rest majority of the time and this peace has been unearthly so that I cannot give up. Experiencing His peace I am filled with strength that is not my own and it is as if you are held safe and though the storm rages all around you it doesn’t touch you.. Because although I wish things were different I can endure most anything when I am comforted, held and filled with His peace it really is miraculous and it is unexplainable. And it doesn’t depend on my being perfect or like everyone else or even accepted by anyone else and I do not even understand why things do not change or even some of the things I do. It is like being a salmon that swims with strong desire against the current back up the river anti every other fish that is what peace of God does. You are taken through things very very differently and you just know that God is in the midst of you so no matter how crazy it gets that peace will see you through. Praise God for that.
My hope is in God but not for certain things rather its for overall. I just cannot pinpoint my faith anymore or prayers for myself anyway. I just know you cannot make a person love you. Babies can die. You can stand alone with Gods help even when Gods own people turn away from you and forsake you.. You can live alone with Gods help even when you feel He is the only one sometimes that gets you because perfect love drives out all fear.
My newest art which takes hours and I do not do it all in one go but come back and forth with it. This image is inspired by artist Casey Childs – Light and Solitude.
When I saw it I knew I wanted to have a go at trying my best to create similar. It is learning and challenging myself to get it as close to the original using digital. Obviously it will never be the same and I don’t want the same but I want to learn how to create more challenging art pieces. The play on light and dark fascinates me, how using shadows and colors you can make a flat image look dimensional. I don’t have any idea what I am doing lol I just try to create similar and learn as I keep doing more and more art.
I use procreate on my ipad and it is not an ipad pro. Just the regular size and I was so glad when they released it with the ability to use the ipencil. I used procreate oil brushes for this one created by ‘Abbie Nurse Uproot’ you can find her account on Instagram. I might add the link below my writing for anyone interested. I have never painted with real life oil paints so I cannot say I know how they work or flow onto a canvas but I love the look of oil paintings and that someone can replicate it in a digital form..
The dark room, the light bursting in, the solitary girl.. The book she is reading.. The contemplation. All so me and how I face the light no matter what. Faith wise so much this speaks of the light of God displacing the darkness.. Giving light to the face and how the words of God illuminate me and give hope.. I do not want to go too much into it because art is supposed to speak for itself. But I think in these trying times this art piece is incredibly inspiring. It is challenging for me as single woman I would much rather not be alone but this is my life and has been for so long. 11 years since my marriage separated and I have been a single woman.. ohhh.. I think this image reflects my single status quite well. You have to learn to look to other things to fill the void in your life. There is an ache for more but what can you do but create the best life where you are and as you are.
Also with the personal struggles in my life that leave me isolated and in what feels like my own little world. I have turned my focus fully to the source of all light, life, hope, peace etc.. The WORD Himself.. 🕊
I am surprised at what I can create and I really love doing art like this. Thrills me. I can do it all at home. Without all the expensive art supplies and the mess and the space you need to spread out. I want to write also that I couldn’t do my art this way without the support and generosity of my former husband. He helped me buy the ipad and apple pencil. He bought it outright and I paid him off as I could afford it and even before I finished he canceled the rest owing and I am forever grateful.. I being on a disability pension don’t have a lot extra so I may not have had this for a long long time. We have a great relationship despite being divorced. I am so thankful and our kids have lots of family times with both of us without any tension and there is freedom to be ourselves to come together as a family then go our separate ways. I thank God above because it could be so different.
When you look back on the story of your life, tell about a moment when you felt broken. It doesn’t have to be your darkest secret, just a time when you were aware you were flawed.
There isn’t a specific moment I could highlight there’s too many..
My brokenness has been that I can’t communicate freely and that isn’t just because I’m deaf.
I know many nights I have been laying there with tears falling in the darkness because I’d lost that fight in me.. that desire.. that spark. Thinking of where I am in my life. All the people I’m no longer in contact with.. and all the ways I fall so short.. The ways I’ve lost the desire for what brings me alive simply because I’m so often alone with it.
That I didn’t have motivation anymore to keep sharing my heart which is one of my most favourite things to do. You can see it here where a question opens a vault that has been sealed shut and it’s not a simple straight forward sharing it’s a bleeding heart share.
I like deep sharing.. honesty and vulnerability and I don’t expect it of others but when you find yourself unable to communicate in a way that’s meaningful without feeling strange and alone doing it.. it is soul crushing.
I have felt so broken that for all that I wished to say it just sorta died in me and you lose the ability to care that you speak at all..
I am shy.. I am deaf.. and when its a struggle to easily share things that mean so much to me I shut down. Without sharing it’s like not breathing and I am akin to a fish out of water.. I die daily inside for it. I fade away..
It is why art expression has been a salvation of sorts.. it’s given me a reason to stay open, flowing and vulnerable. But even water has to flow somewhere and my heart needs it too.. to find it’s reason for creation and for the way it’s created and that’s for connection.
Without my soul finding it’s flow I stagnate and it’s a horrible place to be especially if your light is hidden and you can’t shine it..
The fact that for a long long time and on so many many occasions I have poured my heart out till it felt there was simply nothing left to say and for what?
I have felt broken by the fact that most of it had gone into some big empty bottomless void. It is defeating when the people that mean the most to me I cannot connect with them because no matter how I say things they could not see my heart or that it was how God created me and that IT IS for some greater reason. It doesn’t help either when you keep to yourself.. it’s either oversharing or under sharing I can’t win.
I have felt like anything I said needed filtering and I was speaking a different language and I really have felt so foolish and shameful that I had so much to say and it got messier the more I didn’t say things.. and when I did say things no response came back at all and at critical moments.. I just stopped trying in so many ways..
My soul just kind of shuts down and there really is no point to work at it for nothing. I don’t feel flawed so much because I’ve never hidden that fact.. I’m well aware of that and it’s strikingly obvious and I can’t hide it nor do I want too. God has also said it’s in my weakness HE shows up best. And it’s why I don’t fear my brokenness and can even trust HIM to use it.
But in a world where it’s all about what you achieve and accomplish and how you conduct yourself .. and ‘it’s just not said’ or seen as ‘attention seeking’ being vulnerable from a human perspective just falls so so so short.. it’s not even on most people’s radar.
I have just felt defeated that I’ve had no strength to rise and that I cant handle being who I am all by myself and sharing how I feel over and over has only made my world feel strangely small and the void weakens my heart and makes me feel invisible..
It is as if I am some kind of alien and the only one amongst the ‘altogether people’ who never need to say emotional type things or perhaps it’s because they all have someone who listens to them in private. I often wonder if I had someone who listened to me and I could flow freely always would I share so much openly? Probably not.. it would be quite a relief to not be a person who is always so vulnerable because it does cost you.
I can’t believe how this has just come so hard and fast and it is deep sharing. But I’m not afraid. I hope you can see the parallel… What is physical weakness and what is spiritual strength. That spiritual strength right there is how you see God.. I know great fortitude is in me that is so not of me..
This is how I know that I know that I know.. God is helping me.. I sense how great Gods peace is in my weakness and fragility.. for that you need to see my brokenness.. Gives you some idea of the way HE has kept me from giving up altogether and that every time I share despite so much pushing myself through for little reward it’s HIS strength in me you are seeing..
This writing tonight is based on a study for the book.. ‘The Broken Way’ By Ann Voskamp.. I found the book at a second hand store for $2..
I bought the study book today as an E-book and as always thought I’d share my answers here as I read it.. That’s the hope. And I do still hold out hope as the books says.. For that daring path into the abundant life because although I believe God is using my brokenness I have to live much via faith for what it all means.
The study is probably meant for a group well I’m not in a group nor could easily hear to participate.. I may not also watch the DVD accompanied lessons either as all I could find online was one free chapter with deaf captions. You can buy the DVD with all the chapters but not sure if it has deaf captions and quite frankly I can’t be bothered seeking it out. Most times you have to write directly to the company and it takes time to get a response then if so order, buy, wait etc and that’s only if the DVD has captions.. I did search for awhile but I have had to learn to work with what I have.. I do prefer to have questions though they help guide me.
A few little quotes I underlined already in the book.
Great grief isn’t made to fit inside your body. It’s why your heart breaks.
His love’s around us everywhere.
Maybe the deepest wounds birth deepest wisdom.
Sometimes all our unspoken broken speaks louder than anything we could ever say.
This is completely and purely my own digital art and poetry so I’m quite proud of that.. The Sun-rays in the art, the photo was taken close to where I live.
I signed up to a free poetry class online just recently but I went away during the time it started. At the end of 5 days you lose access to the course. I had to pay because being away I missed a few days and now I have unlimited access so I won’t miss anything. I had a look first and it has deaf captions and transcripts.. that alone encourages me plus I love poetry and writing. I decided I liked what I saw and paid the fee to access it.
I did also join a community where you can share progress etc but unfortunately it’s not been easy to access for me.. I am struggling with finding my way around it. Probably starting later I’ve missed the general flow. I can’t really find my feet there so I thought why not share here. My greatest hardship and for a long time is just finding connection with things that matter to me. I share it daily on social media and people are noticing and commenting. But I haven’t found feedback or artistic talk or any kind of deeper sharing. I share and then have to move right along alone.. often though I find it hard to converse or seek people out.. For some reason art/poetry/writing is far far easier.
Nevertheless I keep sharing..
This is a poem for day 2.. About making meaning.
Meaning is a choice. You can delve into the details surrounding you and measure the might of sacredness in each. You can make the street sign sacred if you want too. Anything can be holy.
I don’t know when I first saw them.
I can’t remember noticing them ever before in the past.
But now whenever I see the light streaming down from the clouds.
I don’t feel so above.
I feel heaven is open above me.
That heaven is close and real.
I’m comforted. I’m encouraged .
I look up instead of down.
There was a time frame when every single day I walked my dog in the afternoon..
The heavenly rays of light were there.
It was miraculous.
It was personal.
I was lifted up from the difficulty of my life every time I saw them..
I want to write. I want to write. Such a good feeling when inspiration bursts out of you isn’t it..
Exactly as my digital art is portraying today is how it feels. The original inspiration is not mine but it is all my own drawing. No tracing.. I have a coffee beside me. I feel happy and free. It is cold outside my window. Grey sky and cold air. There are bright yellow daffodils that are dancing in the wind. I love the garden outside my bedroom window.
I did have to push myself to finish that art last night.. I actually prayed. LORD this is taking so long and as I zoomed in on the digital painting there was so many pixels that were not right. Yeah the bad thing about digital art is you can zoom right in close and it’s not always pretty. I will say I am not really an artist. I don’t really know what I am doing. I haven’t done many classes or even seen a class live or sell my art. I cannot always understand what the artists I watch via the Internet are doing because often I cannot hear the instructions. I really do feel novice when it comes to following even things I can see. I am not putting myself down. Some people have gifts and talents and they just do things exceptionally well and pick it up quickly. I am not gifted.. I can do things but it is a bit hit and miss for me. I am learning and improving but I don’t feel near where I could be if the talent was already inside of me and honestly you know people notice and are drawn to talent and as nice as the people are who notice my art and I am so thankful for those who support me. My art isn’t wowing the masses and that is ok.. LOL Definitely not a natural at it. I am still so thankful for being able to share it and be free with it as I am. It keeps me going I tell you.
I prayed LORD I do not want to give up. Help me. And HE really did help me. I believe I finished enough to be personally satisfied. My youngest daughter saw it last night and liked it. My bestie in Canada said it was ‘nice’ lol.. But I like it and I am happy with it.. I see GODS hand upon me helping me because it could have been so easy to just not finish it. Thank You LORD I see your hand on me that I got it done and your strength and power in me that I am writing today and that I feel so happy and inspired because there has been days it has been a struggle to even do the basic things. Because this art it says so much how I feel and ohh that is a miracle of sorts to get that out of me.
My life is very stay at home even before we were ordered to stay at home. Art expression is another world to me.. Helps me bring what is inside to the outer and when I share it I honestly feel like fist pumping the air it feels that good. Like my inner introvert self has become just for a moment an extrovert.
I often feel like I am in a world of my own and although in my art it is depicted as pretty art or even inspirational art.. It is because I love the world around me and it is because my art depicts my spiritual world..
I see God in the world around me and it strengthens my faith.. gives me zest for life despite difficult days. Living from my Spirit is to me more important then physical life..
So hence the flower field where the woman is standing but she is standing alone and that is significant.. The sunset is behind her and I am so thankful for sunsets, flowers, gardens and animals.. Many earthly things like that in our world are daily inspiring to me. Despite disabilities. Despite trials and tribulations there is still much beauty and comforting things around us.. I am aware of them and they help me get through this life and the life I have been given.
But I do still struggle. Quietly. I do not like to burden people with my trials. I mean I would talk their ears off lol if they gave me long enough because look at this picture. I cannot communicate easily being deaf.. I am an emotional creature and I hardly talk to anyone much and I feel so many many things. My online bestie in Canada some days, many days I struggle to think of things to say and the chat is very limited it is a miracle he stays a friend. It is hard when you do not communicate much you kind of lose the ability to say it out loud. I have all of this stuff inside me though.. And just like in my digital painting it is going to burst out.. It needs too. LOL.. And I am so thankful when I can write because that small trickle I usually have to contend with.. it gets to running a nice steady stream here. And I have to write like this despite the lack of people to read it or be around me to hear it. I have to burst out somewhere and at least this way people have the choice to read or not and I am not annoying them with a one sided blast of things I feel and think and hope etc..
Heaven is better.. Is the name of a recent heading in a daily devotion book I use not so daily.. Lol. But I have been using it sometimes.. When I have struggle days when Netflix becomes a welcome escape but still you finish watching it and there’s a longing for more that doesn’t seem to be fulfilled.
I like to imagine myself in heaven. What it would be like to step into it from this life I live. A daydream if you will. This devotion ties in nicely with this art too.
In my devotional this scripture was at the bottom of the page. ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of the man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’
1 Corinthians 2:9
A niece Kayla when she was much smaller gave me that verse years ago. I never forgot it I think it was a Sunday school project or something. Some things stick in your memory and when they resurface they encourage you.
So like my art expression encourages me.. So does dreaming of heaven.
Of imagining stepping into heaven which is like another world from this one to a place where I am not disabled, where there is no relationship drama. I mean anyone I meet there you’d have connection with.. No shame. No sadness. No one turning away from you because you were strange.. In heaven they’d all welcome you and you would relate to anyone I mean oh wow.. You would have no fear. No failure. You would never feel alone or separate to everyone else and the world would be full of love, acceptance and belonging. Warmth.. Light.. Colors but you wouldn’t be alone with it or feel alone.. And you could be fully you there in every sense. And the LORD would be there. Face to face.. Imagination is a good thing.. Light and love and beauty.. GOD with us but visible.. I found there was no rush to see HIM even stepping into heaven using imagination or funnily enough no rush to see family that have passed on already I guess even in my imagination you are aware that eternity is forever so there’s no rush.. that peace I already know here on earth is there too.
Maybe living the way I have concentrating more on Spirit I am more aware of HIM here with me and on the days I am heaven minded or spiritual minded I do not feel my aloneness and I am content as I am. I love how the mind and spirit can be at peace even as you imagine. Heaven inside seems to burst out of me here on this page. I feel so happy right now. Even though truthfully there are nights I have cried for a human to love me and be beside me and cried because my heart longs for meaningful connections. The physical world and spiritual world are so different. Polar ends to each other yet our spirit lives in our body.. Fascinating when you think of it.
Yet despite limitation’s and frustrations in my physical world.. My Spirit is content even as I am when I live from it. Otherworldly power at work that lifts your mind, heart, emotions upwards which draws you away and apart from all the lower things and you will notice that earthly things and concerns seem not to matter at all. The things that might confuse, sadden, rob, destroy you and even as amazing as the physical world is.. there is as God says much much more to come..
Higher life and more amazing life to live IS possible than even I can imagine.
I hope my thoughts, my spirit, my art.. God experienced through my imperfect self encourages you right where you are.. Eternity is not just for when we die..
Conner is number 5 child in our family. Counted in human terms as our 4th born child on earth as baby Tyler who was officially born fourth is in heaven now. He has always been pretty special because I gave birth to him just shy of 1 year after the loss..
Having a healthy little baby after losing a baby it is life changing in more ways then one ; everything is heightened. I am starting to tear up just thinking about it. I’ve always had a habit of calling him Conner Sam though he doesn’t particularly like being called that so I don’t use it generally but only here as it’s meaningful to me. Samuel is his second name named after Tyler Samuel who is in heaven. Conner and Tyler are for me forever entwined together. I was pregnant 4 months after the loss.
I started this digital painting back in 2019 and hadn’t finished it, which is like a lot of things in my life. I shared it online half done back in August 2019 because I just love sharing things and can’t always wait to do so.. And sometimes the hope is that it will spur me on by sharing early to get it done. Obviously that didn’t work in this case lol.
Finally finished it today. I haven’t changed it too much, and I probably didn’t even use the same digital procreate brush to finish it because I can’t remember which one I originally used so that might make the art not look so good and not flow. I just wanted to finish it and its meaningful to me and really that is all that matters. The art was created more for me personally then anyone else. Of course I hope Conner and the family like it.
Conner is aged 22 at this current time of writing and has recently moved out of my home and it makes sense to finish his digital painting now. He is on my mind.
Yesterday we visited him and his older brother at their house which isn’t too far from here. They now live together first time in many years since Keanu moved out of home when he was at High School. I was having some trouble with getting him to school. I asked his dad if he could help me with him.
He had previously had a dose of Glandular fever and missed a bit of school probably a month in all. But I wasn’t very successful to get him moving and back into the rhythm of life again as I was a single mother with 4 at home and still getting used to life without their father Justin around.. Life was pretty hard back then after a marriage break up.. so I needed his fathers help and support. I never intended him to move out permanently but he went to stay with his dad for a bit and never returned full time with me. He has explained since that he felt his Dad needed someone seeing we all were living together and his dad was alone.. Although it hurt me for him to not come home again.. I love that Keanu was thinking so much about his dad.. I can appreciate the sentiment much better now.
That was back in 2010 maybe cause Keanu was in his final years of High School.. year 11 I think.. And the two brothers have been separate ever since. I mean they did stay with their dad together when Zali and Conner did weekeneds with their Dad and also here and there with each other but not full time. I think they both will enjoy being together cause that is what Keanu says is the best thing about his new house.. Being with his brother full time.
I only have one child at home now. Zali is 19 and doing uni studies plus she works a job too.
It is hard saying goodbye. Having lived with Conner 22 years. I mean with the loss of baby Tyler, break up of the marriage etc… I find it extra hard to see them move out but happy at the same time to see them moving on with their lives.
I want to share just a little story that happened yesterday. I think that sums up how proud I am of Conner and what sort of young man he has become.
I went to visit him with Zali who is learning to drive. Any trip we do she needs the driving practice and it helps to add up her 120 hours of driving needed before she can do the exam to become a fully qualified driver.
While I was there at the new house, it was mid morning and there was no heating on. The house was a bit cold. Conner went and got me a blanket to cover me as I sat in his lounge. Plus made me a cup of coffee.. Oh my.. So kind and considerate makes me emotional.. Also bought me lunch when Zali and I drove both brothers into town to get some things they wanted and groceries they needed. Neither of the boys drive or own a car so I am happy to run them around.
If I have done any good raising Conner.. Raising my children and I say that from a mothers point of view. If I have raised them to be kind and considerate people. I think I have done my job well..
I love this young man. I love his gentle spirit and although I miss him around the house. I know he is happy and in a lovely home. And I am proud of him. He has in recent years struggled with his mental health and after leaving school finally after years of not being able to get a job and the frustration that comes with that.
Conner landed a few hours/shifts a week where his sister works but unfortunately they laid him off over the covid virus and how it has affected the way businesses run. Which was really disappointing for him..
It was so good to see him getting up to go to work, saving for things and being able to hold a steady job and they say he was doing well there. I believe he can and will experience that again hopefully soon..
If you happen to read this Conner.. I am very proud of you and the young man you have grown up to be.. And love you very much and I hope this art shows you how important you are to us your family and especially to me your mother and that I think the world of you and always will.