I know it’s been a while since I’ve popped up in the cyber world. You might have been wondering what’s going on and where I’ve been. Why in the world did Art 365-16 come to a screeching halt on June 4 and where did I disappear to?
Well, that’s a long story. So gather ’round the campfire, grab a s’more, get comfy and read on for the answers…
On June 5 we set off down south for a family trip. I had my art-to-go bag all packed with goodies and was determined not to miss a day in my Art 365-16 resolution. Ha, silly me.
Partway thru our drive, DH started talking about how a coworker had a scary health crisis and was now acting much differently after evaluating his life and priorities. I nodded along, “Yea, that sounds just like us after the boys’ wreck. Something like that can really change how you’re living.” DH agreed, then he dropped the bomb….
“I wonder how long it will last?”
Oh. My. Gosh!!
Talk about suddenly being convicted! What in the world was I doing? Here I am on a trip to enjoy and spend time with my family and I’m dragging along my art stuff!! To understand the irony of that, I need to give you a peek into my past.
In case you don’t know me or haven’t read my blog before, five years ago my two oldest sons were in a horrible wreck on the way home from a youth devo. A speeding F-350 failed to stop and drove up and over their Civic with them inside. R1 had what we thought to be a concussion, but later was much more. R2, well R2 wasn’t expected to survive the night.
Thankfully, God hears prayer and still works miracles.
As you sit in the ICU praying for your child to survive, it’s amazing the things that come into your mind. Our trip to Colorado the month before played over and over in my head.
That year I had also made a resolution to draw and post to my old blog every day. I had packed my art bag and lugged it along in the trailer, determined not to miss a day. On the first night of the trip, I was settled on my bed with all my goodies laid out to paint when the oddest thing happened.
R2 asked me to play cards.
Now, that’s weird because the whole family knows I really don’t like games. They gave up a long time ago trying to get me to join in. So it was strange for him to even ask. Stranger still …
I said yes.
To this day I don’t know why. It was so totally out of character. Even odder, I actually had fun and played card games every night of the trip with the gang. So much for my resolution to paint every day.
Sitting in the ICU I was incredibly grateful for three things:
- R2 was a Christian and in God’s hands
- I had walked the boys to the door that night and told them I loved them
- I had put away my art and spent time with them playing games on vacation
Those three things along with God’s grace and the prayers of many faithful friends saw me through the worst time of my life.
Like DH’s coworker, after we got home from the hospital our lives and priorities were much different from before. I spent a lot less time on the web or my computer, less time holed up at my art table and a lot more time with the family. Unfortunately, as time went on we all got involved in our own interests and slowly fell back into our old habits.
I don’t have much time left with the kiddos. This is our last summer with R1 at home. He transfers to LMU in California and we will be lucky to see him once a year. R2 and R3 are starting probably their last year in junior college before transferring away to finish college. Plus, R4 is not far behind and will be starting juco soon.
Now you can appreciate the irony of my packing an art bag to squirrel myself away on a family vacation just to keep a New Year’s resolution to draw every day!! And near the fifth anniversary of the wreck!
What was I thinking? What had happened to my priorities, my values??
I had some serious soul-searching and praying to do.
But first, I put away my art gear and ENJOYED my family and time with them on vacation. When I got back home, I stayed away from my computer, the web, social networks and my daily art. Instead, I’ve been investing time in what’s truly important- my faith, my family and my health.
Sure, I feel bad that I haven’t kept up Art 365-16. I’ve tried to teach the kiddos to keep their promises and finish what they start. I want to be a good role model. But what is more important? My pride in finishing a tough challenge or enjoying the last bit of time I have left with the kiddos? Art will always be there, the kids won’t.
Like I said, it was a long story. But that’s where I’ve been and where I’m heading.
When we see R1 off to LMU and the others are back in school, I’ll have more ‘me’ time to spend on art, blogging and social media. Still, I won’t start Art 365 back up. I want to focus more on my ‘real’ art and my business instead. Even then, the bulk of my attention is going to be on my main priorities – faith and family. I’m going to take things one day at a time and have enlisted the family in keeping me accountable so I don’t slide back into old habits again.
I’m praying and am excited to see how things work out!!
(Sorry, my OCD brain said this post had to have an image to keep the blog looking consistent.)
Remember, faith works!
Julie Townsend says
Great Blog. I am actually on vacation myself with my whole corner of the table filled with my markers and colored pencils. My paints and small canvases wouldn’t fit in the tiny camper, but they are stored outside in a weather proof tub. I get what your saying. Life is a balance and creating art and keeping up with a blog can be all consuming. I too try to blog several times a week. Just this morning I have spent several hours sketching because I know that my little grandchildren are on their way up here and there will be no one drawing except for a couple of three year olds.
What a juggling act we must perform as a Christian, Mother, Wife, Grandmother and Artist. Seems we have much in common. Thanks for the reminder to take time to be thankful and smell the roses….the real roses and not just the ones on the canvas.
Thank you so much Julie. Yes, it is very much a juggling act. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one trying to find balance as a Christian artist.
Have fun with the grandkids and God bless!!