Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Perfect Quote

Every once in a while you come across a quote that really resonates with who you are.  Recently I found two.

"Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away." ~ Barbara de Angelis

The more I embrace solitude and self-reflection through prayer, Scripture meditation, Bible study, journaling and art, the more I find my energy restored. The hard part is making regular time for these activities. But the more successful I am at intentionally making time for them, the better I become at keeping burn-out at bay.

I put this quote in an art journal altered book, but the prompt the other day for 30 Days of List was, "Quotes getting me through the ...". So I had to use it again here.

"Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more." ~Vincent Van Gogh

Nature and art. Two things I am passionate about and two things that reveal more and more of God to me. Both inspire creativity and worship.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Misc Art Pages

 This page spread was inspired by the monologue of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 from the message in a song by For King and Country called The Proof of Your Love. 

I've become obsessed with making art from found items such as magazines, old books, mail, maps, labels, sheet music, etc.

Some pages from my OLW gratitude journal:

And a page from my little altered book journal.

Quote: "Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away" ~Barbara de Angelis

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Set the World on Fire

I ran across a great quote that fits this journey of discovering who God created me to be:

"Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire." 
~St. Catherine of Sienna

The more we look at how God has wired us ~our personality, natural talents and abilities, even the circumstances we have lived through since childhood that have served to shape us ~ the more we get in touch with all of this and learn how to live out of who we are, the more we will function out of our true self. I have come to see over the past few years that some circumstances from childhood have shaped me for the good and some not so good, but all of it has shaped me. For example, due to life circumstances as I grew up and then became an adult, I functioned as an extrovert. I spent 16 years in the hospitality industry and you just have to be outgoing. I do function more naturally as an extrovert when brainstorming. But in the past few years I have discovered that in order for me to really feel re-energized, I need solitude, and I need to work in times of being away from people throughout my week or I feel incredibly drained. As I have read more and more about introverts I find that I really resonate with their characteristics and find myself connecting with activities that energize and inspire introverts. Discovering this has helped me in my lifelong struggle with periods of burn-out. I'm learning to pace myself better and to build in time for those activities that give me energy and life. Self-discovery is valuable and healthy as long as it doesn't lead to navel gazing, but serves to help us be better at life and at serving God. Be who you are ~ become your true self, the "you" God created you to be. This is my journey. :)

BTW, in reading my post yesterday about the various paths of my journey that seem to be converging right now - my hubby pointed out that we, ironically, just purchase a new vehicle ~ a Dodge Journey!

I did an art journal page with the above quote and played with a number of art mediums: collage, lettering, some stamping, and I tried some doodling. I am very drawn to doodling but am not an artist in the sense that I can draw or paint objects. I'm not sure I like my doodling results, but it was fun to play ~ and that, after all, is a part of what art journaling is for me! A time to play, to re-energize, to put what's in my heart on paper in different ways.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Heart Journey

Life is a journey. I become more and more convinced of this the more I travel. On this journey are various paths we must choose to take. For those of us who have committed to offering our lives to Christ and to following Him and His ways, we must travel the road of spiritual formation. Right now, for me, I have many paths that seem to be coming together:
  • My continuing journey of discovering who I am and who God has created me to be.
  • Re-reading "Renovation of the Heart" and it's companion daily practice guide by Dallas Willard, which is about our paths of spiritual formation.
  • Our leadership team at church is starting a monthly gathering time where we will examine transformation of character/heart that is core to our identity as Christ followers and leaders.
  • I am participating in an online art journaling course called "Soul Restoration".
What I am seeing so far is that these paths are converging around a common thread: heart transformation. On the journey of life as a Christ-follower, the goal is to become more and more Christ-like. This is the calling and purpose of our true self ~ the self that was created in the image of God, for God. Our heart has been shaped by human nature and the culture we were raised in and currently live in. Our journey then is one of positioning ourselves throughout life to have our hearts transformed by God's Spirit to the likeness of Christ's heart. We position ourselves by practicing disciplines {practices or habits} that help us examine our hearts and lives, and that enable us to surrender to God's re-shaping of us. I read or heard somewhere (I don't currently remember where) that we are all in the process of being shaped, it's just a matter of what we are allowing ourselves to be shaped by. I choose to continually be shaped by God. Some art journaling pages with content from my written journal:

"What is in our heart matters more than anything else for who we become and what becomes of us." ~Dallas Willard

Over time, through practice and self-discovery, I have found that some of the best spiritual practices for me are: Bible study, reading books, prayer and examen, solitude, and art journaling. With my "One Word" for the year ~gratitude~ I am developing a practice of looking at life through a lens of gratefulness, which is helping to restore my heart from negativity and cynicism that have worked their way in over the years. It seems the above paths I find myself on will serve to help me continue in these practices and see further heart transformation.

Our assignment for our "One Little Word" practice for March is to set some goals and take action. My goals and actions art Journaling pages: