Friday, March 20, 2015

{SQT} On Lent, Art & Creativity, Beatitudes, A Giveaway, and Growing Discipline

Hallelujah, it is Friday, and I'm in love!

It's been a little quiet on the western blog front since the start of Lent. As we have been delving into our Lenten disciplines, some of which were adapted for the sake of sanity (as well as weakness, if I am to be honest), writing seems to have taken a bit of a back seat. There are many posts "in the pipeline" which just haven't been finished. More updates on Project Empty, more Love Dare, more of my conversion story, more crazy kid stories...all as of yet unfinished and waiting for the right time and prompting of the spirit. When it comes to the creative outlets, my new policy has been to fly by the seat of the Spirit. I'm not a pro-blogger by any means, and while the Etsy shop is a wonderful outlet for creativity and holds a lot of potential, it is also not what is a primary call for me right now. So, when the Spirit moves, and I get to creating quickly and passionately, I'm there. Otherwise, it will still be there another day. (That doesn't go for people who have asked for things, of course - those are being prayed and worked on!)

Dwija over at House Unseen asked me while Jesus was still on the mount whether I had, or would take a stab at, some prints of the beatitudes. Now that 2000 years have passed, I have a series complete. I am planning another series that is a different style and theme for those who may not have an affinity for flowers, but that will be another project for another day. I invite you to take a look at the series, which is in my Etsy shop in a multitude of offerings - digital, individual, sets, and collages. 

One thing I have been enjoying is learning to paint. Right now I'm trying my hand with watercolors, without a formal class. I tend to be a self-taught artist in many ways, and YouTube and Google make it so easy to fall into that. It has been a wonderful release to be painting, so I certainly hope in the future to take a few classes and improve my technique (or develop one at all!). 

Along those lines, as today is the first day of spring and Easter is soon upon us, I thought I would do a giveaway for a recent print I made. To me, it combines the imagery of spring and planting with the Gospel call to evangelize. If you would like to enter the drawing, just leave a comment below with your answer to the following question: What gives you hope in the darkness & why? 

Speaking of spring, it sure doesn't feel like it in so much of the country! It's chilly here, but I am thinking despite the chill, the squirrels are still out at play. I thought perhaps there was a full moon rising with all of the inane antics that are being pulled out of a magic hat in these parts, but maybe it is less a full moon and more a vernal equinox. I shan't try to balance an egg a la CJ Cregg, but I will take all whining, screaming, tantrums, stomping, and crying with a grain of salt and a verse of "this too shall pass" on repeat. Hope springs eternal...even if spring isn't so hopeful just yet!

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

Free download of image available here.

Back to the art for a moment. A friend from high school shared this article the other day on Facebook about a 100 year old woman who was having her first gallery exhibit, and it was just what I needed to see. While I have been working on really narrowing my focus to what I am being called to do right now, there are times when I think maybe the time for starting a new hobby or craft is over. I think perhaps if I had discovered this love earlier in my years it would be a fine venture, but I have many other hats now and it is time wasted. It's good to be reminded that our gifts can come into blossom at any time of our life, even if it seems the time has passed. I mean, if this 100 year old woman can have her first art show, there is DEFINITELY still time for me!

Last note for this quickly quick takes: Whole 30. WE DID IT!!!! This is Day 30. I am proud to say I did not actually cheat once. Well, maybe today when I tried a tater tot from the kids' meal and then spit it out because GROSS. Oh, and we are extending it for the duration of Lent, so our Whole30 isn't quite over. 

Lessons learned? Convenience and laziness were the driving factors behind what I ate/prepared. There are much healthier options which don't require that much more work. Eating well does improve my mood - I have had no major depressive episodes during these 30 days that I can recall. (It does not mediate the hormonal fluctuation for me in totality, though.) When I am not accosted by cats or children, I sleep much better. While I did not adopt the Whole 30 for weight loss purposes, I have lost nearly 15 pounds the last time I checked the scale. (Ok, I did cheat on that part - we weren't supposed to look.) I am close to my pre-2nd baby weight for the first time in a year and a half. The best result has been growing in discipline. It was something I had prayed about and asked for help with earlier this year, and this exercise has shown me that I am capable of it if I choose to try. While I've not vanquished the lazy bug 100%, the journey has been started to a more disciplined attitude. I'm praying I can keep it going past the Lenten season and extend it into other areas of our lives. Seeing that I turn 40 this year, I figured now was as good a time as any to be a grown up.

That be it from these parts for now. I promise more is in the works coming to a screen near you very soon!

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  1. What gives me hope is the peace of Jesus. I have been blessed that when things seemed to be at their very worst, I have always been able to pray for the Holy Spirit to fille with His peace and I get through it!

  2. Hi, Rakhi! I love your artwork, but I especially loved your reflection about there being time to do things as God calls! I could very much relate. So, what gives me hope in the darkness? It's probably two-fold: 1) remembering that God has never foreseen me in the past, so odds are good He won't today; and 2) knowing there are other good people struggling and striving and praying and dreaming just like me ... Basically, that I'm not alone. :)

  3. Loving your work Rakhi! It's so beautiful!! <3 Especially love you did all the beatitudes!