Stages

A week after Valentine’s day I came home from work to find my beautiful gift roses all fallen and wilted.

I’d let the water dry up.

I quickly snipped their stems and gave them water again, hoping they’d revive, to no avail.

Except for one.

My counselor and I have been talking about things I need to spend some time mourning. Consequently, I’ve been thinking about the stages of grief lately. Seeing my roses variously wilted spoke to me of those stages, with the single bloom defiantly, expectantly…hopefully…facing upward. So as the metaphor emerged, I turned the flower toward the light…it’s only true source of hope.

Grace,
brenda

Journaling

I have an on-again/off-again relationship with journaling, mostly because of my perfectionism. I’ll start a journal, keep at it for awhile, but eventually stop. Then because I missed so many days and things have changed so much since I stopped and I don’t have time to fill in all the gaps in the story, I feel I have to start all over. I’m embarrassed at the number of journals I own that are a quarter full.

But…my counselor suggests I journal, so I will try again, and in true fashion I’ve gone overboard…

Okay, so in my defense, this photo came about from a still life prompt in The Studio, but, well, yeah. It’s no wonder I give up…so much pressure to use all these pretty things!

I have two goals to accomplish in journaling: to take time to write what I’m thinking and feeling and mulling over, and to capture my thoughts and other details throughout the day. I have attempted this most recently using digital tools, but it’s just not working for me. So here’s my two-fold plan, totally nabbed from, ahem, inspired by Emily Freeman’s recent post. I’m ditching digital for analog, giving Morning Pages a try in an attempt to corral my swirling thoughts, and using the Bullet Journal method as a daily collection tool. Perhaps I’ll use my pretty things, perhaps I won’t.

Grace,
brenda

One by One

Teardrop petals fall one by one…

I enjoyed making this photo yesterday…the styling, the shooting, the editing. Today though a metaphor emerged, coming from a sadness I didn’t know was there. It’s a sadness at injustice and evil, at the Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross, at events a world away which suddenly became very personal. After all, I claim the name of Christ so I too am of the nation of the cross.

Other voices have spoken much more eloquently than I ever could, but I too must speak.

I will speak of 21.
21 whose crime was faith, whose sentence was a gruesome death.
21 fallen, one by one.
21 walked to the beach by their captors, 21 forced to kneel in the sand.
21 with time to consider their families, friends, spouses, children, before the end.
And what of those 21 families…what anguish must they feel?

Why does God let this happen?!!

He answers with His own Message Signed with Blood to the nations of the world…the blood of Jesus, drops spilled one by one to save and restore.

 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” (John 3:16-18, The Message)

“God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right.” (Romans 3:25-26, The Message)

And what is God’s message to the 21…to their families?  He says, “I will set things right.” In the end evil will be vanquished, and these 21 overcomers will be avenged.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

brenda

 

Little Red Tin Cup

Do you see it? Isn’t it gorgeous?! I found this most perfectly imperfect little red tin cup at our local antique mall this week. I also found its companions, the vintage valentines and little red edged hanky, which are lovely too.

Oh, but that cup. So battered and rusty, I imagine it’s had quite the life. Now it gets to retire to my shelf with many prop friends, only working the odd job here and there helping me make art. What a deal!

And the metaphors are abundant. I could go on about its battered beauty or how what it’s surrounded by makes a difference, but I’ll save that for another time. Today I’m just glad the little red tin cup came home with me.

Grace,
brenda

Never Too Far

Any Jason Castro fans reading this? He made top four on American Idol in 2008. He was a favorite of mine then, and still is today. I have some of his music on my personal “hope-full” playlist (what, you don’t have one of those? you should definitely get one).

Anyway, I’ve had his song Wait for a Miracle on repeat since Monday morning and I’m alternating between tears and joy every time it plays, but it’s soooo good!

To think…I’m never too far from a miracle. My circumstances, my feelings…

my heart

can change in an instant.

Such HOPE!

I’ve embedded the song below if you wanna hear what I’m talking about.

Grace,
brenda

Still Beautiful in the Light

Dried and worn, brittle and torn…still beautiful in the light.

As I styled this vignette, I had no idea it would become a metaphor. I simply had an assignment prompt from my still life instructor, Kim Klassen…top-down floral, shallow depth of field. I made my prop choices and set to work making my photos as the sunrise came through the window.

No, the metaphor would come later. As I edited the shoot, choosing a dark and moody theme, bringing some of the detail back into the spent blossoms, I was struck by how how fragile and broken they were…just like me as I struggle with depression. Yet, even though their former beauty was gone, there was a beauty that remained.

Just like me?

It feels really awkward to refer to myself as beautiful, so bear with me. This place is difficult at best, and terribly dark at worst, and yes, I am in counseling. Sometimes I really do feel spent and brittle, with very little to give to others. Service is my beauty…without it I feel unlovely.

But my little roses tell me otherwise. Jesus is my light, and in His light is my beauty. The little I can give now is just as beautiful as the much I used to be able to give.

Even if I’m dried and worn, brittle and torn, I’m still beautiful in His light.

Grace,
brenda