Monday, August 20, 2012

Bon Jour and Happy Monday to you!!!

Good Morning and Happy Monday to you all!!
It was a wonderful weekend of time at home for me, hope you all had that as well. Here in Texas, we got some much needed rain!  

     It made me laugh, usually rain makes me feel gloomy but after so many days of heat, I was doing a happy dance about the rain!!!!  I have been on a clean out mode here at my little old house!!!  My neighbors and I all had a garage sale, I cleaned for a week beforehand to empty out all the "treasures" and "projects" that I had stashed in the garage over the last few years.  Now you can actually see the floor and walk thru it from front to back!!!!  If you have ever seen my garage, you know what a job that was!  
      My dear friend Cari came over for several days to cheer me on!  She is good at snapping me back to reality when I get that far away look in my eye over something as I plan what I can do with it...she would say, how long have you had it, you don't need it, how many more do you have out in the studio....etc, etc... She has a much more simplistic style than I do....and she has just about convinced me it is much easier to keep a house clean with less stuff.  Oh but I do love me some stuff, especially vintage stuff!!! 
     Saturday, I continued the cleaning and worked in my Living Room....many many trips out to the studio to carry boxes and bins of art supplies and works in progress that had collected in the living room. Why I even uncovered a sofa with some pretty pillows on it!!!!  My sweet dog was so excited to have several choices of places to nap as I uncovered the floor and carried out the paper, paints, canvas, embellishments and paint brushes....he was all caught up on his rest by the end of the day!!!  
     Saturday evening was filled with a visit from Cari (sweet friend that encourages me to clean!!!) and we celebrated her new teaching job. Cari worked for me for years, but her true passion is in teaching special needs children. She went back to school and graduated just as her youngest daughter was graduating high school!!!  Way to go Cari!!!! and she is now going to be teaching!!!   I hope and pray her first day is filled with fun, new friends and laughter as they get ready for a new school year!!!  
     Sunday was another day of working in the Living Room...and I have to tell you, that when I got up and got my coffee this morning,  made me super happy to sit and sip it, in my clean living space!!!  It will also make me super happy to come home to.  Why oh why do I let it all get so cluttered up???  When it is that way, it keeps me frazzled and frayed!!!
      Speaking of frazzled and frayed...that was part of my devotional today!  Are any of you reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young????  Wow, what a great devotional book!  At first I didn't really like it, it had several scriptures at the end of each devotional reading...and I was overwhelmed by that...but once I started doing it, I loved it!!!  I do like to read scripture, especially if it is in context with something...especially life!!!  But I guess giving me more than one to read at a time was too much for my adult ADD!!!  But now, after reading the three verses, I usually can see how they relate and usually I will have a favorite that just speaks to my heart!!!   
      Todays devotional was about how our human-ness finds us easily flustered and frazzled, that we can get so overwhelmed by life...but if we just stop in the middle of all that and remind ourselves that we are God's, He is in control and most important..we trust Him with it all (or we should!!!! -that's the part where you have to stop and say " oh yeah...God is in control here, I am not!!!)  It is a good reminder to  stop several times in my busy day and say "God I trust you", "God I give this all to you"...just taking time out to remind myself of that, allows me to take a deep breath and relax..give it to God and move forward.  
     And speaking of moving forward...I better get out the door to work! Got some rugs to order, colors to pick, quotes to type up, window treatments to design and contractors to head is just spinning thinking of it all...but, then I remember, God, I trust you! Till next time, may you be blessed to overflowing with the grace of our precious God!!!~Sandra 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

     Oh my goodness, it has been months since I have blogged, but today I feel especially inspired to write....that could be a good thing or a bad thing!  LOL, but post I will!  As for the title of today's post, it just hit me as I was searching for a picture to post along with this see, I have not taken many pictures except for work related ones since my trip to the Bahamas early this Spring (more on that later!).  I cropped this picture from a floral arrangement that was on a jobsite!!!  Sorry for those of you that thought I was growing gorgeous roses in my flower beds....but any of you living in Texas will know it has been hard to keep anything alive, let alone blooming in this heat wave!
     Ok, now on to deeper subject all of you know, life is filled with ups and downs...hills and valleys....we all have little sayings for it.  My mom used to say this is just a stage and this too shall pass ( I think she said this alot when my brother was in his teens!). But really, we do all know life has it's seasons, some are tougher than others, some we talk about, some we don't (although I don't know why that really does help to talk about it!).  Well, my life lately has been shall we say, a journey of a different kind.  I have encountered some territory that is new to me...and I am talking in faith, family, in work and in art (those are the four categories of my life and in that order is how I work it!!!).  As for faith, those who know me well, know I have a deep faith, God is my rock and my salvation, not just in words but in reality. I could not do life without my God!  I talk to God as if he were sitting right next to me and were my dearest friend!  I can thank my sweet friend Mary Sporcic for that, she showed me what a true relationship with God looks like, she can talk to God like no one I have ever seen!!!  I have learned a lot from Mary, I talk to God from the depths of my heart, if I am mad, I say it to him, if I am happy, I exclaim it to get the is a totally real relationship, not one filled with formal pre-written rules, but real, down to earth (and up to heaven)!
     As for my family, we have for the last year and a little more, experiences some major uphill climbs, sometimes finding ourselves loosing our footing and falling deep into the valley again.  We lost my mom in October, she was ill for quite some time, but still it was a that seems to have grown as life goes on and we encounter so many things in our life without her.  I have come to realize that my mom was the greatest listener of all...she could listen to us tell of our daily lives, the good and the bad...and inevitably she would have something wise and witty to say at the end!  My daughter and I have both caught ourselves repeating some of her wisdom!!!  She was a wonderful person and it has taken us some time to remember who she really was before she got so sick.  Along with the death of my Mother, came the realization that my teenage son had been coping with life in some not healthy ways..(again, more on that later) about life going on an uncharted path!  My obvious plan for my son was that he would go to college, just like his sister. Well, life does not always go as planned and I am pretty good at flying by the seat of my pants and adapting...but this twist in plans was harder to deal with than I expected.  I guess all of the time we are raising our children, we are dreaming of where they will go and what they will do in their lives....well I am here to tell you, that they grow up to be young adults that have minds of their own (really that is the goal right??). They start making decisions for themselves, they start out on life as an adult. My son tried college, not so much for him....and now he is living in East Texas raising chickens, rabbits, pheasants, turkeys and goats, with a race horse along side.  He has discovered the peace that can come from having your hands in the dirt, growing things, the hard work it takes to care for animals and their young.  It has been a very rewarding experience for him....and we shall see where it leads him.  He has always loved to be outside, so it really is no surprise that he has chosen to spend his days there!
     My daughter is going to school to do her graduate work to become an occupational therapist, working with children with special needs. She has been studying hard and working all the while too. She just returned from a week at Camp John Marc, thru Scottish Rite Hospital. She worked as a counselor with children with arthritis, she worked with them on horses. She loves doing the therapy with horses, she like her brother, has a deep love for animals too!  It has been exciting to see her work hard to make her goals happen.
     I am very proud of both of my children, the young adults they are becoming.  The thing that I have always (and continue ) to pray for is that they will know God, follow his will in their lives and serve God well.  What more could a mother ask for...that is a legacy that will pass down thru the generations!
     As for work, this has been the busiest Summer ever!!!  A good and a not so good thing!  Good in that it has created less financial worry (something I have had lots of as a single parent) and bad in that the jobs have gotten larger and I spend more time managing people than being creative....and I have come to realize I love the creative part the most!  But when a project is complete and you look at it as a whole, you do get to see the creative vision coming together.  By the way for anyone that does not know, I am a designer in my day job and an artist in most other moments!  As for art....not so much of that going on here lately...just not time to sit down and totally let go and create. Yes, I have done some custom pieces for clients and the gallery, but just no creating for the sake of creating! And when I do the custom pieces, it just reminds me how much I love to have my hands in paint and create....making me wish for more time in my day.
     The studio is an absolute mess, my house is filled to overflowing with art supplies.  I have a thing for art supplies, they seem to be my vice...although lately, I have not even taken the time to buy art supplies, unless you count the endless number of paint samples I have purchased for clients jobs.  God bless Sherwin Williams for their sampler size color testers!!!!  I love them and now have quite the collection!!!
     I am not teaching at any retreats right now, nor do I have any scheduled in the Fall.....just not enough time to do my job and do that too. I love teaching, love the people who come for the classes, just love seeing what each person fuels my passion for creating.  I have learned that I can not do it all....even though I have spend my whole life trying to!  I guess I have more wisdom now and less energy...but I realize that you can only keep so many balls up in the air.  So for now, the painting has taken a seat in the row behind creating, both being in the back seats....while faith, family and work are in the front seats.  You know how life is, before long there will be a fruit basket turn over and the seats may change....and creating may step into one of the front seats!  I do know, that out of tough seasons of life, a great deal of beauty comes after.  Kind of like the rainbow after the I am looking forward to the art that comes from this season of life. I am also so very thankful that God created me to be a creative person, filled with imagination and dreams!!!  Well, till the next post (and I already have some thoughts swirling on that one!!!) take care and live well!!!! ~Sandra