Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Keeping it real

I've been thinking about writing this post for quite some time now...but life just keeps getting in the way.  But that's sort of the thing.  I used to write about my life on this blog.  I mean, I've always posted about my art too, but I used to include, I guess, too.  But then I got this thing in my head that I just *had* to be on a design team, and in my quest to do so, I read a blog post somewhere about "how to get accepted on a design team."  And in that post, I read that basically, your blog should only contain posts about your art.  Not family, not kids...basically, not real life - just your art projects.  So I quit blogging about those things.  I started a separate blog, with the idea that I could blog about family and life there...except I didn't.  

A year has gone by now.  I was accepted to a design team.  I did my time.  I quit the design team.  I no longer have the "design team bug."  I really just want to do my own art, to learn as much as I possibly can as an artist, to grow, to take classes, to develop my own style.  I do still write product reviews on a GREAT blog - Craft Test Dummies - and love what I do there.  But here?  I miss being real.  I miss being authentic.  Because while I *am* an artist, I am also a mom, and a wife, and a friend, and a child of God.  And I don't care what anyone else says...this is MY blog, and I'm done editing myself for the sake of being accepted by some "unknown" out in the blogosphere!  

I've started art journaling.  It's helping me a lot, because reality is that I'm going through some tough stuff right now.  Some of that "makes your stomach hurt just thinking about it" stuff.  The kind of stuff that demands a LOT of praying, a LOT of reflection, a LOT of trust in God's almighty plan.  

And I'm dealing with a LOT of physical pain.  Everyday, severe, debilitating pain.  The kind that sometimes makes me want to just crawl into a hole and hide.  Rheumatoid arthritis is no joke, and I've spent the last several months working my way through a lot of anger and grief and frustration in trying to accept this new life.

Art has been my outlet, my source of expression for the angst inside.  Besides my bible, it's the one place I feel at home, the place I am soothed and comforted.  Art stretches me in new ways all the time, and I see God's beauty all the time.  I find myself thanking God daily for this gift of art, and I worry sometimes when my pain is too great to allow me to do any art.  I wonder when the day will come that I won't be able to make art anymore, and what I will do then.

And through everything, I am constantly striving to find the blessings.  Because I know, without a doubt, that I am SO blessed.  I want to live a life filled with gratitude, no matter what.  I want to drown out the "noise" and just be quiet when things become that I can hear the Truth.  

So I'm still here.  I'm still making art.  And I'll try to post a little more often.  But I'll most definitely be more authentic from here on out.  


Jackie said...

First hugs and prayers. Lots of prayers!

Second, I agree 100%! My blog was created for my digital scrapbooking, kits I made, and layouts I've done with other people's products. It was all fine and dandy.

But then I realized, the blogs that I enjoy reading the most, are the "real" ones. The ones where you get to read more than "Here's the latest, ain't in pretty?" Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that stuff. I just love getting to know people too. Because behind every great artist, home decorating, quilter, etc. is a REAL person with hopes and dreams, and daily struggles.

So go forward for you! I'm one of the ones who will be here following your journey...sometimes with envy at your artistic endeavors, but also and laughter, prayers, tears, whatever the case may be. Good luck!!!

Sally said...

I just wanted to say I have been praying for you so much since I saw you in June. Tim asks about you often, too.

I think that keeping it real is good. I want to see the whole you (of course, I already love you anyway ☺ ) and others who are truly interested should want to know the whole you and how you got to the point you are at in your art.

Keep making your art, because it is absolutely beautiful! Love you!

RH Carpenter said...

Jen, you've come full circle and back to yourself - a very good thing! Never blog or post or create art for someone else (unless it's your day to day job). I'm sorry you're suffering and hope you feel stronger and healthier every day as the summer wanes and the beauty of autumn comes to us. All the best (love your journaling work!).


Good for you...that you have taken back your blog as "your own" and also have found what a wonderful outlet there is in art journaling! Your pages are beautiful!

WillieburgScrapper said...

Hi Jen! I came this way from the Crafter's Workshop/Smooch blog hop. I prefer real life/real speak blogs! I think it's superficial to just show your art and never speak about the thoughts that went into it! I may not need to know the every specific detail of your daily life but I do appreciate when you share your true inner feelings and passion for your art- after all- isn't this why we blog in the first place? To create a community? Thanks for sharing. I hope you find some relief from the pain- that must be terrible.


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