I’m so grateful for all that went well today, because in the end, those were the most important things anyway. But I’m also super glad the day has ended.Read More
I haven’t written in a while. Seasons were changing.
Let me explain.
In life, there is a season for everything - sports, weather, TV shows, hunting, etc. - and if we make it through all of those seasons, we are, in theory, supposed to grow in some way.
Well, over the last season of my life I have learned a few lessons I’d like to share with you.
GRATITUDE: Sometimes for your life to progress, you just need to show gratitude for all that God and the universe have provided to you.
It is often easy to feel that we are being gracious. However, just like a back-handed compliment, complaining about the blessings you’ve been given (even if you don’t recognize them as blessings) only makes it harder to recognize your blessings as such.
Once I learned this lesson and I began becoming more grateful, in my particular situation, for my home and all the good things it has to offer, my living situation changed. We are about to make a big decision in this regard and it is absolutely a result of showing God that I am grateful for what He provided us.
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK: Honestly, I’m still trying to learn this one.
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”- Matthew 5:38-40
This lesson is, by-far, one of the hardest life lessons I have ever had to learn. As humans- or perhaps this is just me- we are not naturally driven to do this. When someone is a jerk to me, my natural instinct is to either run or fight back. Fight or flight, right?
No. Jesus is asking us to pray for those who persecute us. Have you ever tried this? Have you ever, in the heat of the moment, prayed a genuine prayer to God, the Universe, or whatever deity you pray to that the person you are struggling with finds all the happiness and blessings they desire in life? I’m not sure I’ve met a more tiresome challenge in my social life.
Please believe that this lesson is and will probably always be “in-progress.”
FOR EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON: I know, I know. I’m back on the seasons, but hear me out.
I saw a quote once about how some people are only meant to be a part of our lives for a season, not a lifetime. But I think this applies to more than just people.
I think seasons can apply to who you were before learning lessons life gives you, friendships, personal identities, and even love.
I’m entering into a new season of life that requires me to be a stronger individual. I’m about to become a mother! I want to be the kind of strong mother that is not codependent on my friends for happiness and peace. I want to be the kind of mother who stands up for myself and my family. I want to be the kind of mother that will do anything for the benefit of my family, children, and my own personal well being.
But in becoming that person, that strong-willed mom and wife, I don’t want to lose sight of myself and my own identity. I want to combine the two, creating a new me with an ever-growing zest for life, friendships, and interests.
In the photos above you will see about 3 different seasons of my life that happened almost simultaneously. Weddings, a baby, and a graduation all in the span of a couple months. It was a crazy and busy time.
Regardless of what season you’re in, don’t let it be your last. Always be growing and evolving and learning how to be the best version of yourself. Not only does the world deserve your best, but so do you!
Do you know someone who wants a custom designed wedding invitation or stationary suite? Tag them below! If someone you tag hires me to design for them, they will get 20% off my pricing and you could get a small commissioned piece for half price!Read More
Sometimes we create art for fun. Sometimes it’s for homework or money. Sometimes we make art in remembrance, joy, sorrow, etc.
Sometimes we make art because we don’t know how else to open up our heart and let out the hardest emotions to face. I’m sure you know the emotions I’m talking about. The why-is-this-happening-to-me, no one-could-ever-understand-what-I’m-going-through, angry at God kind.
Today, I learned some tough news about someone I care about.
All I wanted to do was reach out, turn back time and use it more wisely with them, find some way to make the situation suck less. But I can’t.
So instead I went home, told Alexa to play my worship playlist, and let God choose the tracks I needed to hear.
Within seconds, the music flooding my soul was so powerfully and painfully exactly the message I needed to hear. I can think of few moments in my life that were so overwhelming that I fell to the ground and cried. It was all I could muster to ask for guidance, hope and strength for myself, but more so for those I know that need it most.
Since high school, I’ve used music as a source for my art. Back then, it was how I doodled during class and created textures and even portraits. In the piece shared above I used the three songs that brought me to my knees. For me, writing out the lyrics of a song that touched my heart is just another way for me to draw the connection to it.
Life can be incredibly challenging sometimes. My advice? Love each other. Make the most of the time you have on this rock and leave no stone unturned. You never know when you’re going to end up crumpled on the floor with nothing left but a prayer, faith, and the air you breath.
Did you also know that the amount of love you show your partner doesn’t correlate to how much they might enjoy chocolate?Read More
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” -Theodore Roosevelt
What are some of the most difficult lessons you have had to learn?
It seems like most of the lessons I’ve learned were hard lessons. Perhaps the challenge they presented is why I remember them.
For me, the hardest lessons always begin with a test of my willpower. I’m trying to get healthy and sometimes my workouts are really hard. They push me past my presumed limit every time and challenge me to “dig deeper.” Who better than ShaunT to remind you that you are strong while also making you feel like you are getting repeatedly hit by a train?
Today’s workout was so difficult. I cussed at the TV so many times that I think even a sailor would’ve had trouble keeping up with all my “F” bombs. Sweat was dripping off of me and I often felt like there was no oxygen left in the room. Amidst all of that, while I convinced myself that if I started crying it would only make it worse, I realized that becoming a healthy individual is going to be one of the most difficult challenges of my entire life.
While this realization could’ve been daunting, it was actually followed with relief and anticipation! In my whole life, the things I’ve had to truly break my back for have been the most noteworthy, memorable, and unbelievable experiences.
I worked tirelessly to get into a theater camp my family couldn’t afford to send me to, which lead to many great experiences, lifelong friends and family, and design work, not to mention I met my husband at that camp.
About two years into my relationship with who is now my husband, we had to fight through some really deep cuts and bruises in our relationship. It could’ve been so easy to give up, however, the most wonderful life I could never have imagined has become of that once broken relationship.
College presented its own set of adventures, and getting my degree was only a small part of it. Learning that some friends were only meant to pass through my life was an unexpected and painful lesson. I had to learn to let go of people who weren’t truly invested in my happiness and wellbeing, people whom I loved deeply but couldn’t find that love for themselves, and people who just weren’t meant to be a part of my life forever. Amidst those people I lost, there were many friends I was lucky enough to hold tight to, and build real friendships. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to meet them. Without the struggle of getting through college, I might not have bonded with any of my friends and wouldn’t have the amazing life I do now.
I face challenges in my workplace everyday. Sometimes with my coworkers, often with a project, deadlines, creative block, physical aches and pains, honing my professional development, etc. None of those challenges have convinced me that this job wasn’t/isn’t a complete blessing. Not only have I learned so much, but I met one of my best friends at this job, am provided insurance and fair pay, am regularly put in situations to network with movers and shakers, and am always supported by the team I work with. Like with any job, there have been many moments that made me want to give up; moments that had me so close to quitting and finding another job that I had other job openings in my hands and only one click away from applying. Something held me back...
Challenges are a blessing and often lead to something very special.
As I lay on the floor and think of all the goals I want to meet, the person I hope to be, the family I want to have, and the lessons I’m sure to learn, I have to keep reminding myself that I am bigger than the pain I’m feeling now. That these challenges will become blessings. That every drop of sweat hitting the floor is a reminder of my strength, hard-work, and soul-deep belief in my ability to conquer each challenge.
Whatever your challenges are, whatever has you on the floor struggling to get back up, just know that at the end of this race you’re running there is a treasure waiting for you.
Note: The universe is different for everyone. For me, the universe is an all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent entity. For you, it could simply be a plane on which you exist! It means something different to everyone.Read More
Credit to the artist...Mother Nature?Read More
It’s a new year! New opportunities! Have you seen? This means 365 opportunities open to you!
Of course! OF COURSE everyday is a new opportunity to better myself and take a small step to achieve my goals! That’s exactly what I’m doing. I started a journal yesterday to help hold myself accountable for my actions daily that support my goals, hopes, dreams, and wishes. This blog holds me accountable as well! I cannot very well write and post about things I’m doing to support my art if I am not actually doing them.
I will be documenting daily what I’ve done to support the goals I have set for myself. I believe this will be so important in my pursuit of achievement because everyday I will be recognizing the victories I had. Everything from, “I chose to skip the cake today.” to “I got a book deal!” will be included. I am choosing to revel in the tiniest of accomplishments!
2019 is my reset button! Gone is the stress of planning a wedding and honeymoon! No more beating myself up over my unhealthy habits or conversations I think should’ve gone differently.
I’m not naive- I know I’ll still have anxieties and disappointments and setbacks. I know I’ll have bad days where I won’t want to do anything. I’m certain I will have to push through days where I eat the wrong thing, say something stupid, or have zero creative inspiration
Recently, I read something about self-care. People tend to think self-care is all about bubble baths, relaxation, personal time, and coffee...and sometimes it is! However, sometimes self-care is about self-discipline and doing things even if I don’t want to.
Cheers to the new year! Whats your resolution or goals for the new year?
I will be putting myself- and my art- out into the universe. After all, dreams don’t come true without a little work and rejection first!Read More
NOTE: While this has all the makings of a “resolution” I’m not gonna call it that- because resolutions are just like rules. They were made to be broken.Read More
It’s time I shared this.
This was the last painting I created in 2016 when I graduated college. It was an idea that came to me as I tried completing a different project, and I rolled with it. While I completed this piece, I remember learning a lot about myself.
One thing I learned was how bad of a procrastinator I was. This piece is 18inx24in. Completing art of that size is not a 2 hour time commitment, rather a full blown Season or two of a Netflix original.
I’m certain this particular idea came from the scene/song from Disney’s “Pocahontas.” However, the meaning behind the piece was directly correlated with the happenings of my life at the time.
“Winds of Change” was representative of my graduating college, moving back home, getting a new job, and among other things the impending loss of my grandmother. It was a time in my life that I distinctly remember feeling a shift in almost every area of my life.
Upon my arrival home, nothing went as planned and the changes I had anticipated were actually much more difficult than I ever could’ve expected.
Life as I know it is changing again! I just got married and while nothing feels different, everything has changed. My goal is to match this change and raise it with intention. This coming year, I plan to set goals and achieve them in many areas of my life. My future children deserve the best version of myself I can be.
Did you happen to notice those colorful leaves weaving in and out of the picture? What about the horse wildly racing or the human looking very cognitively inept? Do you see meaning in all of this?
For me, it is a cross of my wild-side and my logical side pulling me in different directions. The leaves are weaving with no real sense of direction except to pull those two sides together. The only color on the scene is the leaves- why? Because the changes coming in my life are going to be met with positivity, openness, and ambition.
PS: If you can sing with all the voices of the mountain and paint with all the colors of the wind, you shouldn’t have any trouble understanding this post and setting up a list of colorful leaves you’d like to see in your life this year.
When you do something that you are proud of, you should tell everyone.Read More
The beginning of my weekly illustration challenge. This biweekly challenge is going to be tough. But at least I have a month to complete each illustration.Read More