I'm Busy

I’m busy. I mean, I am so busy.

Not in an uppity, “I-have-no-time-for-you” kind of way. Although, to be honest, I don’t have an open day for lunch for at least the next month.

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I’m busy crafting a well-considered middle.

It looks like I’m painting, and I am. But there is so much more to a painting than the pigments and canvas. There is so much more to a painting than even the talent of the artist. The deep processing that happens in the soul of an artist, I believe the thoughts and considerations and emotion that an artist feels her way through while painting, can become infused into the finished work of art.

There was a time in my life when heart break looked like something. It looked like me sleeping late, or it looked like no fresh flowers in the house.

At the present time, deep joy and healthy processing looks like something entirely different. It looks like me with a tube of Titanium white standing in front of a canvas. And what comes out of my brush is first showing me who I am, as God sees me.

We humans are not born to be multi taskers. But we are made to be dual processors. We can consider the lilies while we wash dishes. We can silently pray for a friend while we do data entry at a computer. I can be crafting a well-considered middle while I paint. In fact, if I do not paint, my life would not be nearly as well considered as it is. For example: I can plan and dream what my next hospitality gathering could be, while I paint a dinner plate dahlia on a 36x48” canvas.

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It’s going to be simple and special. “The art, or your next gathering at your house?” I hear you asking me.

“Both.”

That would have to be my answer. Because my consideration of the one is spilling over into the planning of the other, which comes back into the doing of the first again. Back and forth, through this dialogue, this dual processing called art, I end up crafting the parts of my life that have nothing to do with paint brushes or acrylics or linseed oil.

When an artist does her art, when she puts herself into and through the process of creating from her inner being, with no guarantee as to whether it will be received or rejected - she might also be crafting a well-considered middle, by simply, resolutely, picking up the paintbrush and dipping it into the paint.

She could have been a teller at the bank. She could have stayed with her day job. She could have decided to go the route of uplines and downlines and work every day to network her net worth. But no. A believing career-art artist has chosen to buck the system, and she has chosen to dual process: to sit at the feet of Jesus while she also sketches, or writes haikus, or paints her interpretation of what He is saying to her life. And if it is true that she has chosen that good part, and it shall not be taken away from her - she is the person who hurting people are going to need to hear from in days ahead.

My Annual July 4th Sale is LIVE

Head on over to my shop, and use the code “40forthe4th” to receive 40% off of every print and giclee (ready-to-hang, large scale canvas prints) I currently offer!

Please consider this my “thank you” to you for allowing me to be one of YOUR family’s maker-artists!  Happy 4th and happy print shopping!

Please consider this my “thank you” to you for allowing me to be one of YOUR family’s maker-artists!

Happy 4th and happy print shopping!

Gratitude

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The cul-de-sac gardens are beginning to give up their harvests. We are over-run with beautiful produce and beautiful grandchildren and beautiful circumstances. In so many ways, this is my “season of harvest”. (Those familiar with my old blogspot blog will understand.)

What is Your Middle Name?

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Can I speak some life to someone “in the middle” today?  I give you permission to stop thinking about your life as a possible midlife “crisis”. The strong emotions you are feeling, the hard parts unique to the middle are more of a shift in your core identity.  And it is needed and it is GOOD.  Biologically we weren’t created to bear children indefinitely and no season is meant to last indefinitely.  We have to embrace thresholds and shifts as being normal natural and desirable.

What is your middle name ?  I seriously would love to hear it.  Mine is “Marie”. Most of us have a middle name - and we embrace it as part of who we are.  The middle of life is no different. You also have a midlife identity. It is different from the first part, as your middle name is different from your first. 

Please, please do not listen to marketers, bloggers, dieticians/magicians/physicians when it comes to your middle identity. You are not your diagnosis, you are not your bank account, your social media account, and you were not meant to alter or conform yourself to market a system or product, I don’t care how wonderful and healthy it is. You were made for more. You were made for God-adventures.

My other middle name is “artist-author” .  With that name has come a whole identity shift for me.  With that name has come a host of noble problems.  Beautiful obstacles.  New battles.  This middle name is very different from my first, but it too is MY NAME.  It belongs to no one else. (Well, it does - of course it does, in one sense.  But in another sense, not one person can or ever will embody my #middlename like I do.  No one else has my story, my history, my deep passions unique to me.)

Who are you becoming, in your middle?  It is far less a “reinvention” and far more of a becoming a little more of who you are.  Just as I am Sheila Marie, I am Sheila...communicator.  Artist-Author-Grandmother. Sheila, who still loves her Tim, and together we are figuring out the core values of our middle-marriage. They are different from what they were in the first half.

That is a good thing. The Preacher and I have our feet planted in a spacious, nourishing place. (Being part of the local church where God plants you is HUGE when it comes to flourishing past youth and into midlife!)

From where I stand, growing old and into my last name will be the finest of it all.  I’m content to do it - but only if I can leave my legacy behind.  My legacy is alllll about others.  It is about sacrifice.  It is about Jesus and about YOU.  It is my children and grandchildren.  It is me growing into my last name, and in the process, living in such a way as to deeply challenge and change others. (Others = You)

Some will be able to keep trekking with me. Others won’t.

Its okay. Attrition is good, in this context. The middle isn’t everyone’s favorite part of the Oreo. Lord knows it’s my favorite. I’m licking all the cookies with middles, and those who can’t deal with that can find someone more vanilla. My vibe attracts my tribe.

Oh, for sure.

#youhaveamiddlename #itisdifferentthanyourfirst #whatisit #middledistance #middlekindling #theartofthemiddle

Those who are planted in the house of their God will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age. They will stay fresh and green.
— Psalm 92:13,14

My Newest Online Course Launches Soon

I hope you will join me for my next online art course, combining poetry and creative writing with paint!

The class is called “Playing With Fire // Poetry and Paint as Kindling”, and it will be my third course that I have created for my friend Jeanne Oliver’s beautiful creative community.

My Newest Online Class Launches Soon

Whether your thing is creative writing (prose/poetry) or sketch or collage or abstract or learning what I call “studio best practices” -

whether you are interested in spiritual journaling, Lectio Divina, or simply how to slow down and really see your own life, my next course has something so spacious and good in store for you.  You can skim it and love it, or you can go deep, deep with it, and it will radically transform.

Oh, for sure.

But first, register at the early bird price!  This price goes away in a week or so! The link is here