Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Open your eyes. And go ahead, ask me a question!

A particular theme keeps popping up for me everywhere.  Like, in scripture, songs, random people's IG thoughts, other blogs…everywhere.  A plea to open my eyes, grab onto what brings me life, and let the rest go.  The scripture and thought above (if it doesn't bring you life, don't look!) sealed the deal for me today.  Ok God, I get it.  

Over the past year I have to admit I've played certain conversations over and over in my mind a sad amount of times.  I had some really big creative opportunities and relationships not work out.  Like I thought for sure were great opportunities for me as an artist and friend.  Things I was excited about and spent a lot of time on.  And then they didn't pan out…and I was left with silence, embarrassed, and not confident.  My confidence has been extremely shaky the last year.  I find myself anxious about my gifts and talents…..but my biggest cheerleaders, God, Brett, and my twin sis, have reminded me to keep on.  So I have.  

And as we enter this spring I feel God gently asking me to take His hand and to trust in His confidence again.  To boldly be confident in myself and my gifts.  To trust that good (even great) people will come along and applaud me..not tear me down, whether I'm at my worst or best. And you know what, through some of the loveliest people on the web, encouragement is reaching me.  I thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to be myself fully on the blog.  For not walking away in the moments my confidence falters, or my spirits are less rosy.  For showing up anyway.  You are golden.
 I've also done some major reflecting on my own daily practices, seeing what lets the light in and what doesn't.  I don't mean things like doing laundry (which isn't my fave). I mean like browsing Facebook does nothing good for me.  It leaves me feeling yucky or left out or just plain bored.  So it goes.  Instead I've been switching light-stealers for light-givers.  Like sitting by the fire with my art journal at night is just plain lovely.  ALL the light comes right on in. 

 Happy stacks of books, ready for browsing in the daytime or hunkering down with at night are keepers too.  I admit, I'd almost always rather be watching an art video or making art than reading, but once I get into a book I do love reading too!  The Spice Necklace is a delicious read. 

 Bringing a bit of the outdoors in, however bleak it may look at times in this in-between stage, does my spirit good too.  It's almost the time of year when I start dragging in all kinds of things from the outdoors.  I can't wait.  I plan to try my hand at some wreaths and different types of arrangements this year.  We're already anxiously awaiting the daffodil field that comes up in the spring.
 A few changes to my daily chores has made life a bit more simple too.  The transition from nap/rest time to teaching and playing with the girls and then evening chores can sometimes be a challenge.  So I've started tidying up in the afternoon some.  That way we wake up to a fresh start.

Anna Ruth doesn't nap anymore and I've also started planning activities for her to do during quiet time. We also usually do some sort of art or learning activity together after naps too!  Another blog post though!
 I had to capture a lovely picture of the markers before I hid them from the girls.  Some sweet little artist left me a picture……..on the couch. And the stairs. 

 Things are messier than ever in the studio and I like that.  I've been getting up before the girls and having my coffee and quiet time in the studio.  I need to buy an alarm clock so I don't have to rely on my phone alarm.  I don't like having it that handy on the nightstand…too tempting to browse the phone every time I'm awakened. Which is a lot.  Anyhow, I've been prepping for Vintage Market Days show in April!  About six weeks to go and I'm right on track with where I want to be!! I made these award ribbons this week for my booth.  I'll also have banners, lots of art prints, 10 original paintings, hand-painted notebooks, stitched flowers, gift tags, and photo postcards.  I can't wait! I hope I'll see you there!


Other ways I plan to let the light in are by doing a happy mail exchange soon and tackling my creative to do list I made for myself yesterday.  Other people make lists for things like vacuuming and grocery shopping.  I do that too…but I also listed all the creative ideas I'm wanting to try this spring and summer.  The list is mighty long.  I can't wait to get started! 
Make way for the light! 

Now, it's your turn.  Something I've enjoyed the last few months is answering emails from readers.  I actually get quite a lot, usually about my art process. 
So tell me, do you have a question for me? It can be about anything, but please be kind.  I'll answer (most likely, lol).  You can ask in the comments or email me at sunshinebysara@hotmail.com! I'll answer in another post….anonymously, so no one will know you asked. 



Friends, let that good light in today. 
xo

14 comments:

  1. Great post. Why do we continue with the things that suck the light out of us? I gave up facebook for lent and don't think I'll be going back. I haven't missed it one bit. It has allowed me more time creatively and cut down on the comparison factor which leads to a discontented spirit.

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    1. Hi Patty! Glad to hear someone else understands the urge to cut out Facebook. I much prefer blogs! It feels like they take more effort to make a genuine connection and I like that! :)

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  2. Lovely post!! Visiting your blog always makes me smile. It's such a bright & cheery place!!
    I noticed some colorful pieces of wood (I think they were wood) on your desk in your studio...and I've been wondering what those are going to be. Will you be sharing them soon?

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    1. Hi Marie! So lovely to hear from you! Thank-you so much for your encouraging words. They are light to the soul! The wood blocks you saw are going to be made into photo holders by attaching a coiled wire to the top! I have one listed in my shop now and am selling a handful of them (hopefully!) at the show in April. :)

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  3. ::virtual long distance blogger friend hug!:: I think you are fabulous. Your writing, your art, your spirit all wraps into one lovely art form in and of itself. Keep posting, keep making and let your little light shine!!! I definitely struggle with the same things. I hate facebook for all the same reasons. I hardly even check it any more. I don't know what happy mail is, but if its like pen pal art, then sign. me. up.

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    1. Hi sweet Emily! I'm sending a hug right back at ya!! Thank-you so much for your kind, encouraging words. I feel the same about you! Coming across your blog was such a happy thing for me. It is so nice to meet a kindred spirit.

      I can't wait to share more about my happy mail idea soon! It's basically just an exchange of mail from reader to reader…I tried it before and the blog and have been thinking about trying it again because I seriously love mail!

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  4. Hello Sara,
    I really enjoyed your post. Your Facebook comment actually made me laugh. I have hated Facebook since it launched (I apologize to people that like it..no disrespect intended). It always seemed like public email to me, but I have a facebook page for my blogs. I giggle with my husband because my jewelry Facebook site has 18 likes...and those are probably my friends...ha ha. But how silly is it that I would actually think about that fact! I think that in itself is eye opening.

    I love the scripture readings you shared about focusing on the positive. That is such a great lesson in life and I thank you for the reminder. I am so happy I found your blog. I have been enjoying it ever since I learned about it on Alise Burke's site. I look forward to reading your posts and seeing your art and I love your authentic voice. So please, keep up the great work! You are a breath of fresh air!
    Susan

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    1. Hi Susan! Your words made ME giggle….Facebook is rather like public email, isn't it? I've never thought of it that way but you have opened my eyes.

      Thank-you (deeply) for your genuine words of encouragement on my blog. I selfishly blog for myself, to remember all that life is right at this moment…but it is so honoring and humbling (truly) when someone else is touched by this whole process of blogging too.

      So thank-you. :)

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  5. I love the honesty and the hope in this. I just found you a few days ago and am so glad I did. Switching light - stealers for light- givers is something I need to work in as well.

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    1. Thank-you so much Paula and welcome! :)

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  6. Sara,
    I love your honesty. Many times, I relate to exactly what you're saying. And, I have a love/hate thing with FB too and your description of being bored explained it perfectly. I think I go there out of habit or the fear that I will miss some grand announcement! But, in my mind, I dread wasting time there.

    I can't imagine that anyone would not have encouraging words for you and your talent! But, if they do, just ignore! I've learned that the criticism usually comes from jealousy and that's their problem, not yours.

    Keep being you!

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    1. Hi Debbie! Thank-you for encouraging me to keep being myself. You are a bold, brave example to me of a confident mom who has raised older kiddos. I so, so appreciate that. Us moms of toddlers need more moms like you!

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  7. I appreciate your blog full of honesty, art, humour and pictures!

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