the fear trap, faith and the importance of self care. part two

welcome to part two.  in case you missed it, you can read part one here.

our pastor's wife spoke last week at a women's event at our church. she said that she has found that most women who have trusted Jesus for their salvation and eternal life, still have problems trusting God for their day to day life. i remember how hard it was for me to keep from bawling because that is what i am guilty of... and why is that? i was just baptized this spring... i felt like a hypocrite. it just occurred to me, that women on a whole, not everyone, but most rely on their emotions. we were created to be emotional people. we use our emotions to gauge situations and how we should respond. both good and bad. so if we cannot see God working in our life, hear Him speak or at the very least feel His presence, how can we trust Him? however the bible says we cannot trust our feelings. and for those who suffer from anxiety, it is much worse. our feelings tend to run away with us until our imaginations for worse case scenarios just became true if only in our minds. fear has a way to trap us there. and the enemy knows all to well how to use it so I could lose my effective God-given power. 

the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. who can understand it?
— jeremiah 17:9

i was fearful of driving, but i forced myself behind the wheel.

i was fearful of being around people, but i forced myself into group situations.

i was fearful of being alone, but i forced myself to stay home when i would rather follow my farmer husband around while he worked.

i was fearful of going to my studio to paint, {still can't figure this one out.} but i forced myself to paint when i didn't feel like it. 

i was fearful of what people would think if they found out what was going on with me.

i was fearful of losing the most important of relationships.

i was and still am a hot mess. even though i didn't see God doing anything to help me at the time, as i look back He is the one responsible for me able to do even though i was fearful. He gave me strength while i was weak.

 'Under His Wings'

'Under His Wings'

we must continue to go to God's word for the truth. proverbs 28:26 says he who trusts his own heart is a fool. ouch! this brings me to self care. self care seems like an oxymoron for a christian. shouldn't we just trust that God would take care of our needs? uh....yes, however God doesn't tell us to just sit and wait for Him to move. according to James 2:22~~You see that his {abraham} faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did~~works+faith=made complete. and in exodus 14:14 we see moses telling the israelites that the Lord will fight for them, they only need to be still. however in the next verse God says to moses...why are you crying out to Me? tell the israelites to MOVE! 

do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? you are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
— 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

i use to think that taking time out for myself was selfish. that is not to say that i judged others for taking time out, but just how i saw it for myself. i thought that if i could just squeeze in a 5 minute devotional that would be plenty. if i just walked for 30 minutes once every week or two, that would help my health. and it didn't really matter what i ate as long as it was somewhat healthy. but i suffered. i was always tired, a tad grumpy and felt empty. it wasn't until this summer i realized that i needed to take care of myself. physically. mentality. and spiritually. so that i could continue doing what God called me to do.

i started going on 40 minute walks 4 times a week to improve my heart health and my breathing. saying no to caffeine and sugar. {bye, bye my beloved coffee!} trying to prepare healthier meals, and getting some much needed rest. the spiritual came as having quiet time just sitting with God, reading my bible, doing bible studies, listening to christian music, praying, and saying God's truth out loud in order to fight those lies.

the mental side of self care is harder to figure out. i am a people pleaser. i say yes when i want to say no. i do what others expect me to do. with every aspect of life, including my art. i was blessed by having two wonderful friends visit over the last weekend. we were talking about this battle and how each of us deal with it. one is an artist. she told me that she had finally finished a page in her journal about a very hard time in her life.  it wasn't until it was done that she could finally release the stress and anxiety that had held her captive. i am so encouraged to get back into my art journal. to create just for myself. and do more of my found poetry. i also know i need to learn to say no. that i wasn't created to be like her. or her. or that person. i was not made with a type a personality. i was not created to homeschool my child. work out of the home. cook everything from scratch. have a huge garden and can everything it produces. be a part of that PTA or other committees. or to have a full schedule. God created me differently. i need quiet. i need alone. i need art. 

am i healed? nope. not even close. i still have a long way on this journey. right now, i am at a crossroad. part of me wishes i never had to go through this. but nothing has ever drove me to my knees like this desert place. nothing has ever caused me to dig deeper in my bible like this valley. nothing has ever caused me to seek God quite like this darkness. i know that i will not be the same person walking out as i was being thrown in. and now i can honestly say that no matter what i have felt during these last three months, that God has been with me every step of the way. and that i good enough for me. 

so...if you read through this rather long post, thank you! here is a found poem i tried to create during the last couple of months. i wasn't able to finish until today. 

image.jpg

 

 

the fear trap, faith, and the importance of self care

this is part one of a two part post. 

this summer was a rough one for me. our daughter was dealing with a health fear...and i remember telling her that she could not let fear rule her life.  little did i know that i would have the opportunity to show her how. it all started as what i thought was a medical emergency, that turned into not as big as an emergency as i thought, but i still thought there was a much larger health issue that went undetected, that in turned caused me panic attacks and severe anxiety that caused heart palpitations, that caused more anxiety, that caused...  you get the point. it went round and round. 

i had forgot how to laugh.

i had forgot how to enjoy life.

i had forgot how much i enjoyed art.

i had forgot to look and see the gifts that God had placed in front of me.

i had forgot how to trust God.

i was in the deepest, darkest pit that i had ever known.

and i didn't think i would ever get out.

it wasn't until i reached out to my mentor and friend, that i finally saw a glimmer of light. after a month and a half, i finally was able to grasp a small amount of hope that i could, just maybe, get out. i started reading my bible daily, spending time in deep prayer, printing and taping bible verses around our home, reading christian blogs on dealing with anxiety and listening to podcasts on God's goodness. but i didn't feel much better. i was still waking up gasping for air, still crying almost daily, begging God to take my anxiety and fear away. the anxiety was starting to take a toll on my body. i felt myself wasting away...both physically and mentally. i was a sliver of who i had been before. and it scared me.

until one day my husband said to me that i had to let go of the stress. i told him all of what i had been doing. in his wisdom that God gave him...he told me that it didn't matter how much i was reading and praying, i had to actually let go. i'm sitting here in tears remembering that day, because at the time it hurt. i believed that if God wanted me healed, He would heal me. but God brought to my mind a verse... 

“Do not merely listen the the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
— James 1:22

my husband was right. it didn't matter how much i read my bible, i needed to act on it. i needed to believe it. i had to let go of control. of the stress. of expectations. of my thinking that i knew more then the doctors or, yes...even God. the doctors, by the way, cleared me of any heart issues. they say it is perfect condition. stress can cause heart palpitations. imagine that. so can hormones. and caffeine. and fatigue. oh goody. it's been a daily, sometimes, hourly, of letting go and letting God. i feel weak. and unusable. and not good for anything. and i have learned...that's right where the enemy wants me...

 i hope you'll come back for part two...

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be alert of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
— 1 Peter 5:6-8

 

 

 

paint your heart and soul workshop

I am honored to let you know that I am joining 17 incredible artists for a brand new course: Paint your Heart and Soul 2017, hosted by our fellow artist Olga Furman from OlgaFurmanArt.com

The “Paint your heart and Soul 2017” is a year-long online course, a collaboration of 18 amazing artists, mostly concentrated on Portraiture and Figurative Story Telling art, but not only! By joining this course you will learn to create art in different styles using a variety of art supplies. Step by step we are going to share with you our unique process of creating beautiful art coming from the heart and soul.

This course is for beginners and for experienced artists - both will find it effective and inspirational.

I will be showing you my style in painting buildings and landscapes. We will be creating with heavy bodied acrylics, fluid acrylics, and transfer methods. We will be experimenting with a palette knife, brush strokes, and even using our fingers to create interesting textures.

                                                                                    

To find out more about this course click the link.

 

 

G I V E A W A Y

I’m also very excited to be able to give away a FREE spot in that amazing course to one of you!

To enter the Giveaway do any one or all of the actions below


1. Leave a comment on this post

2. Share this post on Instagram, Facebook or other social media, if you have an account there.

3. Purchase this course by clicking this link. If you win the course you will be refunded the full price

Don't forget, you must leave a comment on this post saying where you shared my post or if you bought the course!


***Multiple entries are encouraged***

If you do all three, you have 3 times the chance of winning your free spot!


To find out more about ‘Paint Your Heart and Soul 2017’ art course and about the artists-teachers click the link!

The winner of the FREE spot will be announced here on,

October 3 at 5:00pm central time

Thank you and good luck!

To find out more about other amazing teachers in this course, click the link.

welcome!

Hello everyone! I want to welcome you to my online studio and journal. Where on the prairies and farmlands of Nebraska..I have made my home.

  the road home  ~ 5x7 mixed media

the road home ~ 5x7 mixed media

I didn't always love it here in Nebraska. I was born and raised here, but I wanted the mountains. I wanted the trees, and running mountain streams. After high school, I tried everything I could to get to what I thought was my dream location. but God shut each and every door. Now, 23 years later I can say that I truly love living in Nebraska. God answered some much needed prayers. He open my eyes to the beauty here.

I want to share with you my story, my path.  I want to share what living an artist's life is like for me in addition to being a farmer's wife. I want to be able to share with you my art, and my process. I want to share with you my favorite views, and to encourage you to look at yours with a fresh set of eyes. 

And most of all, I want to share with you the art that comes from answered prayers and art that is a prayer unanswered.