Archives For believe

The Artist Within

March 21, 2013 — Leave a comment
artist

An artist in all of us

I am not an artist. 

I hate when people say this!

Yes, I have said this statement many times.

Why do we feel like art is strictly sketching, painting and sculpting? If that is the case then yes, I am not an artist. My abilities are limited to bubble letters, flowers and hearts. In this scenario I have not one artistic bone in my body.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” 

Pablo Picasso

Think about it. Every child gives the world’s largest grin as they proudly show off their scribbles. Isn’t this a masterpiece? Yes! I firmly believe that it is. I don’t believe that it’s the actual drawing that makes it “art” but simply the imagination that it took to create it. That my friends is what I believe is the root behind being an artist. You don’t have to draw amazing portraits or paint like a pro to have the imagination to create something spectacular! It merely needs to be thought up and put into being.

Think outside the box. Making a garden, baking, making up bedtime stories, picking out your clothes for the day, creating music, poetry, scrapbooks, decorating cakes, cutting hair and even blogging is coming from someone’s imagination. So is it art? Yes! It most definitely is! I am tired of using the phrase I am not an artist! I am going to raise my children to never believe in that statement. Children probably do not remain artist merely because of believing this terrible phrase so many of us have uttered, Building a castle from legos- art. Creating an intricate train track- art. Building a fort- art. Whatever you can think, you can create and that makes an artist! Let’s stop believing in the lie and start creating! I did, just now with this post!

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.” 

Albert Einstein

 

The Four Year Confusion

December 15, 2012 — Leave a comment

Did you know that Lupus gets misdiagnosed so often because the symptoms are so wide-spread and they resemble many other illnesses? This reason alone is why it can take so long to get a true diagnosis with someone who has Lupus. After getting my diagnosis I now realize that so many of  the problems that I had were due to my Lupus yet I was not being diagnosed properly. The first instance that comes to mind was just after graduating college. Chase went to a movie one night and I went to bed early. I woke up in a panic in the middle of the night with severe chest pain, I could hardly breathe, my chest felt like it was being crushed. I could have sworn I was having a heart attack, I was only 22 was that even possible? With me being a worrier I kept feeling like it was getting worse I turned on the TV and tried to get my mind off of the pain in my chest and hopefully distract myself until Chase got home. This went on for days. Finally I went to the E.R. one afternoon and after several tests they managed to come back to me with a diagnosis of inflammation. Take ibuprofen and see a family physician was all they would say. Leaving the hospital I was less than satisfied and I didn’t believe that they had done everything to insure that was really what was happening.

This was four years ago! The past few years I had to take ibuprofen, which never helped, and just continue to wonder what was going on. It is so frustrating knowing that something doesn’t feel right yet you can’t seem to find anyone who will listen or even a way to describe just what you are feeling! I started to get to the point where I felt like this was just normal, maybe my chest is supposed to hurt all the time and maybe it is supposed to feel like someone is pushing on my lungs and keeping me from breathing easily. I got to the point of believing that this was so normal that even after we found an incredible family physician I didn’t even say anything to him at first. I mean why should I, after all I was fine! Eventually the pain worsened and the increase in feeling like I couldn’t breathe continued, so I made the appointment. I had such a hard time even describing what I was feeling like because I had become so accustomed to it. The first thought was asthma since I went in mostly talking about the breathing part of my problem and so I tried inhalers for a while. Then after going in later down the road with my fingers turning white he issued a blood test which then brought me to the specialist.

In my first appointment at the Rheumatologist office we talked about my health history and when it was brought up about my chest pain he asked the question that I had asked myself for four years, “but why is there inflammation in your chest?” Of course now we know it is due to my Lupus. It was such a relief to have a family doctor who saw the need for a blood test and a specialist who was able to finally give me my answers. It is never easy to know that something isn’t right yet you have no answers. There have been times that I look at how “quickly” I was diagnosed once I went in April, but only now do I realize that my journey actually began four years ago.

 

Photo Credit: Demi-Brooke
sunset

Our trip to California to visit my family

You might find this little known fact about me interesting.. seven years is the longest I have ever stayed in any one place (which is where we are at currently). Growing up my family moved around a lot. No, my dad was not military. He worked for a heating and air supply company that moved him around. I can honestly say that I didn’t mind the moving, I hated the process of moving all our stuff and getting settled in, but the move itself was exciting. New places, new friends and an entirely different place to call home, for a short time.

horses

Nothing like a good horseback ride in east Texas

We typically would move about every five years, sometimes it would be less time than that. Each time that we moved my brother and I would take turns getting to pick which room we wanted, (you know siblings tend to argue and the youngest sibling-aka me-always wants whatever the older sibling picks). So to make life easier and a little more fun my mom made the rule that each time we moved one of us would get to look at the bedrooms and pick first, then the next move we would switch. Don’t ask me why this was so exciting to us but it really was! (Oh the things that will make a kid happy!)

Despite the typical sibling squabbles all the moving really did bring me, my brother and the entire family closer. Especially when we made the big move from Oklahoma to South Carolina. We knew absolutely no one so we relied on each other completely. That was one of the best moves we ever made. Yes, friendships and memories were made that will be lifelong, but the best part is our family grew together in a way that could only happen when you are in a place that you have no one else, but each other.

house

The house I lived in while in South Carolina. I loved this house!

For those that are curious we never made any crazy moves beside the one from Oklahoma to South Carolina, we did move through the state of Oklahoma many times though. Now you find me here, seven years in the same town! Wow, it is kind of weird! So many times when you hear of families, especially military families that have moved so often their children want to find one place and stay put. Is that the same with me? To be completely honest, no!

photo

He’s already happy traveling! I can’t wait to take him to see the world!

I have become antsy and craving for some adventure, some travel, something out of the norm for our everyday routine. Recently I have come across an amazing blog of a family, the Dennings, that has made the choice to be world travelers, nomads if you will. What did this blog do to me? It awakened my adventurous spirit and made me dream of a day that I could take my family and travel the world! You are probably saying to yourself “this girl is crazy, doesn’t she remember the stress of moving again and again?” Why yes I do remember that, but it doesn’t make the adventure less worth it. Sometimes you have to do things a little crazy for the amazing to happen! Chase and I dream of a day that we can live abroad, teaching our kids the cultures beyond the United States, loving the people of God that we wouldn’t be able to meet otherwise. We dream of traveling even in the United States because there are adventures still to be had here. Just last night Chase and I were talking about these things and I ended the conversation saying “there are so many beautiful things God placed on this Earth that it is a waste not to see all that we can.”

Could you be a nomad?

hands

“You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress,” Psalm 59:9 (NIV) 

This week I have been exhausted. No amount of going to bed early will help and coffee won’t do the trick. Sometimes this is just life with lupus. I have only known about my having this disease since May but the process of finding out what was going on with me began back in January. I started to notice that my fingers would turn bright white and go numb when I was cold. When I am saying white I mean stark white and it would take a solid 10 to 15 minutes before my fingers would turn back to normal. It was really alarming and I wasn’t sure what was wrong so I took a picture of them and posted it to Instagram and then I took that picture and showed it to my family doctor. At that point we began the process that lead me to my diagnosis. So many things that I have struggled with began to make sense as they were signs of my lupus yet I was unaware and by themselves they seemed harmless enough to not got to the doctor. But even then there were things that I had gone to the doctor for and it was missed, like several years back I went to the ER for chest pain and it was said that I had inflamed cartilage causing the pain but in fact it was my lupus. My symptoms were wide-spread at first so they were not being noticed and lupus is a disease that has times where it is active, flare ups, and times of remission so it wasn’t until this May that I learned what was truly going on with me.

No one wants to hear that they have a disease that they will have to deal with for the rest of their life. It stinks! But at the same time I can’t focus on that! I may not know the reason behind all this, but it is the road that has been set before me. During the long months of waiting I had no idea what was going to be determined and I had my moments of worry, but I truly believe that God gave me the strength to not focus on all the “what ifs” that were so easily there. I felt his presence during this entire process. He has a plan for us all, we may not understand that plan and guess what… that’s okay because it’s in His hands.

Every day looks different. There are good days and bad. And sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s okay to have a bad day.

Every flare up looks different.

Today, and this week I have struggled with fatigue, but tomorrow is a new day.

With Mother’s Day tomorrow I think about my sweet little boy and the joy that he brings to our family. Mommy’s work is a constant… changing diapers, washing diapers (we use cloth), making meals, laundry, hugs when he needs it most, story time and the list could go on, but I wouldn’t change it for anything! Not every day is perfect, in fact some days it feels like nothing goes right and Eli woke up in a mood, but again it changes nothing. I love every minute of being a mommy. Right now at his young age he doesn’t realize what Mother’s Day is, and that is okay because I know that he loves me! So with all that said I want to give my little one a blessing for his future. I pray that in all my efforts, in every day mommy work I encourage and inspire him to be creative, be filled with passion, to seek God’s word daily and sprint towards God’s plans for his life.

With Mother’s Day approaching and everyone around us reflects on the work of moms what do you hope your children learn from your life? What blessing do you have for them?

 

I wish all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day!