Welcome To My Colorful World!

Welcome to my colorful world. I am a happy (most of the time!) wife, mom, MeMaw, artist, and art teacher. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I also love to create, cook, nest, decorate, entertain family and friends, laugh, collect vintage stuff, snuggle my cats and dog, play outdoors, and so much more! In addition to all this, I also publish an online magazine with my dear friend, called Mermaids of the Lake. Oh, and I love a big cup of coffee with cream, a dry martini, red wine, blingy jewelry, pink lipstick, blue fingernail polish. I love color! Beautiful colors inspire, motivate, and move me!!! What's my favorite color? I can't choose. I love them all! Yellow, pink, red, turquoise, blue, purple, orange, green and every variation in between!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Suffering, Holding on to Hope, and Using our Super-Powers for Good!

I discovered a few months ago that I have an auto-immune disease. Ugh! I was not surprised with the diagnosis. I knew I had it. I suspect I've had it for 20 years - maybe more. Although, it has become much worse over the last few years and I'm sooo tired of being sick and exhausted and in pain. I will write about it sometime in the hopes of it being cathartic and for the possibility of helping others who are suffering, as well. For right now, it just feels too negative to dwell on it long enough to write about the details. I'm not in denial. In fact, I am facing it head on, but somehow, I am not completely comfortable with sharing it so openly. Funny, if anyone asks, I have no trouble blurting out its yucky name. But, as soon as I say it I am torn between feeling a sense of relief and a sense of regret. I guess I am afraid of being labeled or limited in the eyes of others. Plus, I just don't want to give it negative energy. I am investing what energy I do have in healing, positive energy. This disease explains why I've struggled with pain, exhaustion, expanding waistline, and sooo much more. But, it doesn't change who I am. It has tried, but I won't let it define me. I hope you are able to do the same with whatever you suffer from in this life... I've learned through this that your pain is something you have - not who you are. And, there is always hope! I do cling to hope of remission, of healing. I woke up to this view a few days ago and it made me grateful and it made me think of hope.

There was never a night or a problem 
that could defeat sunrise or hope.
~Bernard Williams

I have such a heart of compassion for those of you with chronic suffering, whether it is a physical illness, a mental illness, addiction, or ongoing self-esteem issues. Whoever you are, I am sorry. I have found inspiration and the ability to persevere through my faith in God, the act of creating, and also from interacting, listening, and reading the stories of others.

I don't personally believe that God gives us illness and suffering. We live in a world that is flawed. It is part of the deal with being human - it comes with the job. I do maintain in my beliefs that God can and will make good come of any trial we face. I believe we are all given gifts from God - that he instills in us our deepest desires. Our gifts are our super-powers We all have them. I truly believe that our desires and our super-powers are the direct path to our purpose. What are your super-powers? Do you know? Do you use them with joy and gratitude? It's not bragging to claim them and use them. It is a beautiful thing. We need more super-heroes! Our talents are inspired. (God-breathed) If used with the purpose of honoring God, who gifted them to us and with serving others then our world is made better. By using our gifts we bring more focus to God, more light, and more beauty to this world. I consider my super-powers to be my treasure and I am incredibly grateful. My super-powers are: Kindness, Compassion, Empathy, Encouragement, Optimism, and CREATIVITY. (Oh, and mothering. I am a good mom.) I am owning them, using them, and contributing with them every chance I get.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

So, life is hard. Life is full of pain and suffering. Focusing on and talking about pain, suffering, the negative, bad, ugly, the dark and evil of this world gives it energy.

I don't mean turning our backs to the suffering. And I'm not implying that sharing our personal stories of suffering contributes to this negative energy, especially if one of our super-powers is writing or public speaking! I have been comforted and inspired by people who have openly shared their struggles. It makes me know that I am not alone. It reinforces my super-power for compassion. And if per chance someone shares their triumph over their situation - I feel a sense of joy and celebration for their success. And, renewed hope.

For some, their super-power is fighting for justice, for freedom, healing illness, taking on and joining causes, saving lives, sheltering animals or the homeless. They are the more obvious heroes. But, we all can be heroes because all of our super-powers come from God and we all have them! Now let's use them for good - for God's plan- for the easing of suffering- for the creation of beauty. Let's be an inspiration! I feel deep gratitude and admiration for all of the heroes. You dreamers, story tellers, artists, poets, writers, cooks, makers; you soldiers, teachers, mentors, healers, you moms and dads and grandparents, you friends and net-workers who bring people together, you coaches, cheerleaders and encouragers - I am inspired by you.

And, for anyone needing something to cling to - how about hope?

"Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times."
~Romans 12:12

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
~Romans 15:13

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