Flashes of Happy

Life is an emotional two-steps-forward, one-step-back dance right now, so when I’m ahead, I grab my camera and do my best to nourish my soul. This week I was able to take Beth’s advice below and run with it, grabbing some wonderful flashes of happy. Celebrate with me, won’t you?

Flash #1 ~
There’s a new grandbaby on the way! My daughter created the board for the announcement below and brought our precious big-sister-to-be Rae-baby over for the pictures. I don’t usually photograph things that move (and boy did this one move!), but we all had a great time and are happy with the results.

Flash #2 ~
I also managed to make another still life photo earlier in the week. We’ve had a lot of rain and the sun just hasn’t been cooperating with my work schedule, so light is scarce when I’m home. But even though I only captured the single image below, the cheery yellow makes me quite happy.

Flash #3 ~
Did ya see it?! Did ya see it?! Did ya? Did ya? See what? Well Jurassic World of course! I’m a total dork I know, but I actually got a little misty during the fly-overs of the island as the theme music swelled. Twenty years ago I cuddled with my then 6-year-old daughter as we watched part of the original on TV, marveling at the dinosaurs, with a blanket to hide under during any scary parts of course. Oh the nostalgia! 

So did you grab any flashes of happy this week?

Grace,
Brenda


I’m celebrating the extraordinary ordinary today with Barb Brookbank’s Sunday SundriesDo you have something to celebrate? Come join us!

What I Learned in May

Today I’m joining Emily Freeman as we recall what we learned this past month. So, in no particular order…

  • I forgot how much I love to plant flowers. I used to put pots of flowers on my porch each spring, but hadn’t done so in quite a few years. This year I took a trip to the nursery and brought home the beauties above. They’re not much, but they make me happy.
  • Starting counseling in January was a very good decision. This has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but this past month I began to make progress. It’s still hard, yet good at the same time.
  • It is absolutely possible to adore someone you’ve never met. Our newest granddaughter, Eden Rose, was born this month. She and her parents live a thousand miles away and I don’t know when I’ll get to see her in person, but I am totally smitten already.
  • I am terrible at snapchat. The only reason I downloaded the app is because it is my son’s favorite way to communicate, and since he’s the one a thousand miles away with a new baby, well, you do anything to get pictures often. I definitely need more screenshot practice.
  • Fitbit is fun! I love this fitness tracker! There’s just something about reaching that step goal each day. My husband and I even fight over who gets to return the grocery cart to the corral at the store in order to rack up a few more steps. Yeah I know, we’re dorks.
  • I like avocado. Yes, it’s true, I had never tried avocado before this month. After all, it’s green and smushy and green and smushy things can’t possibly taste good. I was wrong.
  • You never know where following a dream might take you. Kim Klassen, still life photography instructor extraordinaire, is holding her first ever live workshop in September! And I get to go! For 4 days! To Canada! Pinch me!

That’s all for this month! Can’t wait to see what June brings.

Grace,
brenda

Descent

Descent – Haunted, Choked, Strangled, Shattered

Much has happened in me in the month since I last posted. Honestly, I didn’t expect I’d continue the blog, much less share this. Yet here I am.

I created the photo series above a couple weeks ago, during a time of intense depression and anxiety. It depicts my progression…descent…into grief since I started counseling in January.

I don’t have any answers, no resolution to these feelings yet…the process continues. But today is a better day; the anxiety has left and the pain is less intense. I’m grateful for the reprieve and for the art that speaks when I don’t have words.

Grace,
brenda

Celebrating My Art

Bunting Vignette for Be Still – 52

 

(A shout out to Karen at Katie Claire’s Cottage for the tutorial I used to make the paper bunting in this photo.)

I’ve been catching up on my still life class assignments/prompts this weekend. My art truly is therapy for me. It lifts my mood and gets me moving, and refills that special place in my soul that empties when I’m too long away.

Side Light – Organic for Be Still – 52

Just like I need hope, I need my art. It reminds me that there is purpose beyond the get up, go to work, pay the bills, clean the house, do the laundry, buy the groceries, rinse, repeat.

Chippy, new to me table for my own little still life studio space

 

Oh, by the way, yesterday I was blessed to find the perfect table for the corner in my office that I’ve set aside as my still life studio. Both photos above were taken there…so exciting!

So I’m celebrating my new little studio space and this God-given gift of my art today. May your day be filled with blessing and celebration too.

Grace,
brenda


I’m linking up today with Sunday Sundries by the fabulous Barb at Keeping with the Times.com

 

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

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