October 25, 2014

Two years

It has been almost two years since my last update. So much has changed in the last couple years, but I still feel I am "learning how to sing into the darkness". :)

I have tried a handful of times to write an update, only to scrap it after only a few sentences. Due to time constraints and other pressures in my life, I chose to give up many things in my life, such as writing, that I once did often and enjoyed doing. I want to change this.

I have seen the goodness of God over the last two years in many unexpected and undeserved ways. I miss writing about Him... I want to write about Him more and more. I think it is helpful to me to do it and, hopefully, encouraging to those who may happen to read this blog.

So...welcome back to those who may happened upon this blog. :) Sorry for the dismay and for the lack of updates. Good things are coming now. :)


December 12, 2012

Church

To continue from last night... I do not have more things to ramble about, really, but I do have an update on my life that I had hoped to get to last night but was unable. First, I want to mention that I am thankful I have removed external links to this blog. If I had not done so up until now, I would be doing so now. Even now I consider making this blog, somehow, more removed from the outside world. I enjoy being able to record my journey on here, along with my personal walk with Christ and struggles, with peace knowing that only a handful of people even happen upon these writings.

Over the last few years my Husband and I have felt ourselves slowly sliding backwards when it comes to our Christian faith and walk. In the last year, it has gotten worse for both of us. Since moving to Chicago we have focused on a church community that is quite a distance from our house, roughly 45 minutes. In the beginning it was not so difficult as that I only went to school 1-2 days a week and Brad worked overnight. In the last couple of years it has slowly become more difficult, with us both working 50+ hours weekly, to be involved with this community and to attend church regularly. Our desire for both has dwindled significantly and this became very obvious to us as we attempted to return to church after missing so much during the summer months.

When Brad was in the hospital, I did not attend church for months. The thought of having to drive 40 minutes and then to try and explain our circumstances to the church community was daunting to me. I didn't want to talk to anyone really...add to this the distance involved and it became all too easy to miss church each week. Because of our distance from our community, outside of a few visits early on from our Pastor, no one visited us during this time. Originally Brad wanted no visitors and many people did not know what we going through as that it was kept private. But in the later months, I felt very alone. Some of it was wanted as that I found a way to exist in the trauma. But, in many ways, I needed love and affection. I needed to be hugged and encouraged and loved. I don't blame my community at all, I never expressed these needs and I did not expect them to drive an hour to only visit for half that, only to drive an hour back. But this did injure my walk with Christ more than I could have imagined. I see now how much we need other believers, especially in our darkest moments.

As Brad and I attempted to return to church in the fall we realized how difficult the journey was and how disconnected we felt from the community. I regret that more people were not made aware of what happened with him. Despite knowing most people by name, we realized how surface level our friendships were with many. It was not their fault or ours; a deep relationship cannot be built by only seeing a person once every couple weeks for a few minutes on Sunday. We need more than this.

So we have decided to leave our church and find one that is in our local community, no more than 15 minutes from where we live, though we have already found some that are much closer. This is a big change for us, but it is a good change and one we are both excited about and feel a great deal of peace.

I regret a lot of things about this year. About things done and not done. But...I am thankful all the more for God's grace and love. As I mentioned last night, I believe good things are coming in 2013 and, for the first time in a long time, I feel a great deal of peace and excitement.

As I am writing this, I hope to keep this blog updated as more of a journal than as simple image updates or writings. It was originally created to be "my journey of learning to sing into the darkness". This is an expression adapted from an old hymn about singing in the darkness; singing praises to God during the dark moments of our lives. Singing when there is no reason to sing at all, but yet we are able to see His light and His beauty, and this is what makes us sing. And this singing is what lights up the darkness around us...




Quiet Ramblings of Thankfulness

Unfortunately I have not updated this blog as much as I would have liked. I will try to post a few new drawings in the next couple of weeks. : /

I have been rather reclusive the last couple months...My focus has been on spending time with my Husband, spending time in the studio, and spending time learning to walk with my Lord. I do miss friends, but I mostly desire to be alone. Being in the studio has been nice, and quite honestly I am shocked at how much God has blessed the work of my hands and how I am improving. I believe good things are coming next year and I have peace in many ways...

The last few months have been quite difficult. Sometimes, even after the miracle comes, it is hard for life to return to normal. People are the same, but we have changed. And sometimes it takes a long time for us to heal after going through something traumatic.

In many ways I miss the times of my life when I had quiet devotional time with Christ. I don't want to live in the past, or see it with rose colored glasses. I know those times were equally difficult in their own ways. Yet, there is a part of me that longs for them again. When Brad and I first moved to Chicago I was a stay-at-home house wife for 6 months. Those were some of the best times of my life. Days of waking up and spending hours in the morning reading and praying, alone with my Lord. I had an overwhelming peace in my life because of walking so close to Christ.

It is funny, but we rarely realize the best times of our life while we are living them. It is only when we look back...

When I first began training at SORA and had to commute downtown 2 hours each way...it was so painful, especially on those freezing cold mornings. But God taught me how to love people during that time. How to really love people. I was given the opportunity to listen to strangers and even to pray with some I met on the bus. I was able to talk with homeless people and listen to those in need. I hated the journey at the time, but looking back I realize how much it did to change me and how amazing of a time period it was in my life.

Over the summer, as I watched my Husband lay in the hospital for weeks, I had to deal seriously with the notion that I could lose him. Despite this, it was only later that I realized how close he had truly come to going home with Christ. Every day that I am with him now is a gift to me. I see his beautiful smile and the light in his eyes and I find myself often wondering "how can I be so blessed?". Apart from Christ, he is my world. He is my better half and it would be hard to smile each day if he wasn't here. I am thankful beyond measure that I still have him in my life and that I am his wife.

I don't expect many people to happen upon these ramblings...I wasn't really expecting to write them. I will post pictures as I can, but I feel that over time I may not post as many as I once did. I hope I am wrong, though.

Overall, I feel very thankful tonight. Thankful to Christ for saving my Husband and thankful to Him for saving me. I don't deserve this life, my Husband, or the studio where I study. I don't deserve His mercy and I don't deserve His love. But I am thankful for all of it. I just hope in time I can honor Him more and more with this life He has given me. I treasure every part of it. Praise be to God.

October 11, 2012

Quick update

Posting a quick update of my figure drawing (now at 13 days) and my (final) cast drawing on toned paper with white chalk, now at 10 days. :)



October 6, 2012

Fall Figure drawing

I returned to the studio two weeks ago. :) This is my first figure drawing on toned paper (charcoal & white chalk drawing). The time line below shows the drawing after 2 days/ 4 days/ 9 days. I have 3 weeks remaining to work on it.