The last post that I wrote went live on Sept. 14th, 2015. It seems like only yesterday and it feels like it was a million years ago. My furlough from writing on Waked Up was a necessary one. I have spent the last 5 months pondering where I hope to see Waked Up headed. I have been dreaming, creating and making decisions about how I will use my energy in this magical space of cyber sharing.
During this writer's pause, I have not been idle.
|Painted Prayers Workshop|
I have created a business called Waked Up Studio where I am able to bring the lessons and experiences of Waked Up Blog to life. I am hiring myself out to small groups, churches, and schools who want to learn how to use the transformational tools I have written about and things are beginning to take off. So far, have led two mini-workshops on something I've called "Painted Prayers" which uses painting and mixed media as a tool for meditation and prayer. I have also taught this as a 5 week class on Wednesday nights at a local church. Currently, I am facilitating a 6 week Lenten Small Group on "The Journey of the Labyrinth". This is also a sacred space where we are using the ancient tradition of walking the Labyrinth as a tool for prayer, self-discovery and connecting to the Great Spirit. Soon I will be leading another 5 week course on how to encounter the Divine in your daily hobbies like through journaling, cooking, music, exercising, creating art, and so on. In April, Joel and I will be co-facilitating a mini-workshop on "Worthiness" for a youth group in Alabama. They will also get to experience a Painted Prayers workshop. In addition to all of these opportunities to lead in Spiritual Formation, I will also be teaching Faith and Sexuality at a local school. These are all exciting ventures and I am thrilled to have each one of them. I am hoping and pushing for more opportunities like these to arise in the future. This brings me so much joy and I know I was created to share in this way in person.
When I am not facilitating classes or workshops, I am painting. I continue to paint as my own spiritual discipline and daily meditation. Painting has given my heart peace and provided income when I don't have classes on the schedule. During the last month of my pregnancy when it seemed too risky to commit myself to leading anything, I painted. I spent all of December taking commissions for Christmas gifts and ended up painting 19 separate pieces for folks to give to someone they love. Painting commissions is a challenge that it seems a lot of artist are unwilling to take on. I think commissions are a lot more difficult than sitting down to paint something you consider to have meaning that was born from your own mind. Painting a commission is really becoming an artistic medium for someone who has a vision that they cannot bring to life themselves. I have to try and pick up their vision and make it tangible. There is no way I can create exactly what is in their heads, but I give it my best and it seems to have come close.
I also paint for the sheer joy of it. These paintings are ones that I sell online and to people who come and see them at my home. These are my painted prayers. With each painting someone purchases, there will be a handwritten prayer attached to the back of it. I want people to know what I was praying and meditation on when I created each piece. They are not just taking home something beautiful when they buy a painting from me, they are taking home a hope I have for them and for the world. I have recently joined our local Art Legue and look forward to being assigned a gallery wall there soon. Keep an eye out in Charlotte because my artwork will begin to appear in local venues that you probably frequent. I am allowing myself to be encouraged to put my artwork out into the world a little bit more this year.
Last but not least, I gave birth to our first child. We named her Noelle and she is my little love. Truth be told, she is where almost all of my time goes and I really would have it no other way. Her big blue eyes and toothless smile has me smitten and I am grateful to be able to shape my schedule and work around caring for her. Even as I write, she is sitting in my lap sucking on my arm. She is tied to everything I do and I know the fullness of joy that scripture talks about when I hold her close to me. Joel and I are stepping into every cliche I have ever heard and I can say without any hesitation that yes, we are in love. As for our hairy-child, Booger, he is less than thrilled with this new and wondrous addition to our family.
And all of this leads me back to the blog...
This blog has been a springboard for everything that I love and has shaped my professional life and choices as much as it has informed my spiritual journey.
The more I thought about it and the more I have prayed, the more I know that Waked Up Blog is the space where I tell the story of what becoming waked up means to me. I hope you will continue to journey with me as I encounter another new season filled with surprises.
The story continues, my friends, and I am back.