*A note before you read this. After doing an audit of my blog in 2022, I have decided to leave content that speaks to the Christian I was at the time this was written. I no longer identify as Christian (and haven’t for a very long time.) I chose to leave these posts because it is who I was then and it is important to me to be honest and true with every iteration and evolution of self that I experience. I may decide to add comments to the end of posts like this as well
After praying intentionally about a word to guide my year, God gave me the word “grace.” I knew it wouldn’t be easy because I am not the most grace-giving person. Not by a long shot. (the year before was “believe” and the previous three years the same word surfaced over and over: “simplify.”)
I had been thinking to myself what a bad year 2012 was. Maybe it was just difficult to process? Because looking back, it was a pretty exciting and overwhelming year. I was sick for a good portion of this year, but thankfully feel like I’m on the road to recovery.
I learned a lot about (perceived) friendships, letting go of negative things, spirit-driven friendships, listening to God, obeying God, trusting God, and God’s amazing grace. I think I worked really hard on my creativity and am humbled at the opportunities I’ve had to share the fruits of my labor. Which makes me so full of joy and peace and love…it’s almost inconceivable. And that makes me think that God’s biggest lesson in grace was the hard and difficult work I did (not just physical work, but mental work) is rewarded by the hard-to-fathom peace, joy, and love that comes in the form of others appreciating what I do.
Walking through 2012 with “grace” as my guide, I realized grace isn’t just something I give, it’s something I receive daily. Not just from God but from people I share this life with. Seems pretty simple, but sometimes I don’t see the simple things (thus three years of the word simplify! LOL)
I hope I’ll learn to give grace as well as those in my life have given it to me.
- invited to do my first solo art exhibition (not jut one show, but two in two different cities!)
- Spent 6 straight weeks, 12+ hours a day, creating 30 new paintings for the show.
- Was led by God in the most spirit-filled way to prayer.
- Zane was baptized
- “Grace Undone” my first solo exhibition of my career opened at the Hammond Art Center
- I turned 40
- My dear friend, Sara Larson, passed away.
- Was led by God into a six-week fast.
- Started private art lessons with Justin Vining
- Planted a teeny, tiny garden, that turned out to be phenomenal!
- helped facilitate our youth group’s Disciple Now weekend. This was one of the highlights of the year, seeing so many kids so in love with Jesus.
- Taught my first Visual Prayer workshop at a conference (Mo*con, Indianapolis, IN)
- dad nearly died on the same day mom did two years previous, but miraculously recovered.
- The reason for the March-May fast became more clear.
- Started painting and drawing lessons at the South Bend Art Museum
- ended Visual Prayer monthly workshops after 2 years
- One year later. Lessons learned after Phil being fired and being forced to a house and city we hadn’t chosen.
- Friends Angie and Stan Poole visited from Texas, hadn’t seen my dear Angie since 2006!
- Started to see a major improvement in my painting/drawing skills after several months of lessons
- Forced to leave our church after our pastor and youth pastor moved on to jobs with the state and a pastor from the past reared his ugly head again.
- kicked off my professional photography career, it had only been a hobby until this year
- First ever street art show (Miller Beach, IN)
- went completely gluten free
- Taught my first out-of-state Visual Prayer workshop (Creative Soul, Grayslake, IL)
- completed SBC church planting “basic training”
- Second street art show of the year (South Bend, IN)
- Second solo art exhibition of my career (Cedar Lake, IN)
- Third street art show of the year (Chesterton, IN)
- Zane turned 13
- Phil was hired at Con-way and started 13 weeks of management training, found out that it’s likely we’ll have to relocate.
- “Limitless” tattoo!! (which will be my word for the decade. My 40’s will be Limitless!!)
- dad was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer of the throat with a huge tumor wrapped around his carotid and jugular. We didn’t think he’d make it to the end of 2012.
- dad survived his simultaneous radiation and chemo treatments!! Doctors are now talking long-term remission!!
- We are definitely relocating, yet we still don’t know where we’re going!