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2020 has been full of surprises and surrender! I’m learning things about myself, my time management skills and creativity for pandemic boredom.

I’m also learning how to use the opposite side of my body and that is amping up my need for slow controlled movements. Although frustrating, this exercises my virtue of patience.


I had surgery a little over a week ago on my shoulder so I am now only able to use my non-dominant left hand and arm for various tasks. The plan was to return to work next week and continue on the healing journey. Then yesterday happened, I blacked out at the doctors office and had to spend several hours there before being able to come home and salvage what was left of my wedding anniversary.


All of a sudden I find myself in a place of forced respite; the doctor has written me off work for another week. Having a lot of downtime would be awesome, but in this physical state I am limited as to what I can do. I love to journal when I pray and not being able to write with my dominant hand has been somewhat disheartening. Today God invited me to spend some time outside and journal using my left hand and a totally different side of my brain.


In July I attended an overnight retreat on praying through art and received an art prayer journal which I’ve only opened once since then, so today out came the oil based crayons and watercolors.


I began with the page in portrait orientation. While listening to prayerful music and closing my eyes I placed the brush in the center and just started with a gentle swirling motion. Feeling my hand moving upwards, I opened my eyes to extend outward. At first glance what I saw was a snail with googly eyes and I wondered where God could be leading me. Sitting quietly for just another moment I opened my eyes again and turned the page landscape and what I saw then was a unique looking fish! I then worked from the bottom of the sea adding plants and corals then the water. I wanted to put some sort of a light since at this point I knew Jesus was the big fish, and did my best to brighten a yellow spot in the water. As I continued coloring and drawing I did so with a smile knowing that God was bringing out in me one of my favorite scripture passages, Matthew 4:19: “And he said unto them, follow me and I will make you fishers of men”.

Once I realized this, I was a little bummed that I had not left more space behind the large fish for followers. Drawing and painting the little fish proved very difficult with my non-dominant hand some of them look like they can use a little help but then don’t we all!


At this point the yellow brightness was just a blob in the water so I gave it roots and soon it was more plant life. This would be the finishing point and I was excited to have completed it all with my left hand! Even though a 5th grader could do better, I felt accomplished and at ease in my mind.


Looking at the finished product again in portrait mode, I still see that silly looking snail-like creature but now it appears as if the little fish are being held or somewhat shepherded.


When I attended the art workshop I learned some unique things about what colors and lines mean for me. Based on the workshop insights in assigning a color and a brush stroke to an emotion, this painting reveals what I was experiencing during this prayerful moment. The colors of teal, blue, and green represent harmony peace and anticipation. The colors of yellow, orange and black represent hope, sadness and confusion. The purple color represents excitement.


Taking time to reflect on the insights revealed through color and line was amazing and warmed my heart. Jesus is providing harmony; the waters are peaceful and the little bit of green in the coral at the bottom is where the anticipation lies; hope is being revealed in the yellow sea plants that Jesus is swimming towards; confusion lies in the orange of the sea plants at the bottom of the sea; and sadness and frustration are revealed in the black color of the following fish. Then excitement is revealed in the purple branches that are holding up the hope-filled yellow sea plant!


The scripture passage this drawing revealed has always been near and dear to my heart especially when it comes to Spiritual Direction and my answering God’s call. God brought it into my heart today to uplift me and to remind me that He is the one who puts color on my canvas. God knows exactly how I am feeling on this bump in my journey. As long as I trust and follow him with courage, hope and strength in my heart I will be OK.

At this moment for whatever reason , God has asked me to take a step back. This prayerful experience and in this form of journaling has revealed for me that I still have hope in God even amidst the confusion sadness, and my frustration. I know that Jesus is still leading me towards my exciting and hope-filled life!


Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope you get a chuckle at the masterpiece! 😊 Many blessings for a great evening to you all!

Courageous Butterfly

Faith is calling…will you answer?


I started a new job recently and in order to orgainze myself, I leave stickey notes in various places, so that at a glance I can see what is coming next. I got a good chuckle when I looked at my desk one morning and saw a note that read “Faith is calling today”. I was actually going to have a conversation with a person named Faith, but I grinned at the thought of how, in that moment, I would answer if my Faith was actually calling out to me.

What would my faith look like, sound like or feel like? These were just a few of the fleeting thoughts going through my mind as I continued to sit and stare at that post-it note. Such a simple little thing turned on so many questions and wonderment, that it spurred me to get to the heart of it all. After much prayer, reflection, and journaling, it’s apparent to me, that when faith calls, I don’t hesistate to answer. Don’t get me wrong, there have been instances where I wasn’t sure of something or lacked the confidence to follow the call, but I always answered. Even if it was a “you want me to do what?” type of response.

Let’s forget for a moment that we live in the age of cell phones. Remember when our phones were attached to walls and we would run through the house to answser before the person on the other end hung up? How exciting it was to hear who it might be! I know there were instances of thinking things like “oh boy I hope it’s not her again”, or “I wonder if it’s him!”. Try to remember those feelings for a moment and imagine answering the call of your faith with those same emotions. What does that look like for you? Are you staying on the call and listenting to what is being asked of you; or have you hung up before giving the request a chance?

Faith is individual and takes root in our hearts, thoughts, and life circumstances.  It is nurtured and strengthened through prayer and our relationship with God.  It has taken time and emotions of all kinds to be in the place I am today with respect to my faith.  I would not trade in any of those moments for anything else in the world.  I was blessed recently to put a call of faith in to action and it was a gift unlike anything I’ve ever received.  I remember thinking to myself, “I wish everyone could feel what this feels like”.  

God calls us in many ways and plants the seeds along the way, we just need to be open and willing to know it’s Him.  I love the post-it note visual and I keep it now at my desk as a reminder of what it means to me when I do answer that call.  As well as how important it is to continue with prayer and reflection in discernment of my response when that call comes in.  

I hope that if you can imagine that your faith is calling, you are able to get a chuckle as you see yourself racing through the house to answer the call!

I’d love to hear your story of what it was like to answer God’s call through faith.  Share in the comments.

Many Blessings,

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

Accepting Transformation….Conclusion


IMG_1511 (2)I thought I knew everything about butterflies, that is, until I spent a few days with my painted ladies.  The day before their release I was able to observe and learn a lot from their behavior.

Did you know:  once in the chrysalis the caterpillar will shake to ward off predators.  (Similar to a human in a time of crisis or despair)

Did you know:  a butterfly can carry 40 times its weight.  (The weight of a difficult situation can equally be as heavy)

Did you know:  a butterfly sleeps with its eyes open.  (Someone going through a difficult time may have difficulty sleeping)

Did you know:  a butterfly will not be active when its body temperature is too cold.  (In times of emotional distress, a person may become less active or withdrawn)

Did you know:  a butterfly will tremble in order to warm itself for becoming active.  (Trying to get yourself motivated when you are feeling down may require a gentle push)

Releasing my new friends depended on the outside temperature, and because of a few colder days I was able to spend more time with them than I had originally planned.  Having that time to watch them closely and study what was happening was a treat for me!  I will admit though, panic did set in a couple of times when activity level had decreased.  I had no idea they literally could not move if their body temperature went below a certain point.

When in a grumpy mood or feeling down, our happy endorphin’s are reduced, thus altering our activity.  I remember many days and nights being confined to my bed feeling like I could not move. 

Before I knew it the day had come and it was time to release and let them go.  I placed them in a sunny spot in the house for a few hours so they would have ample time to warm up and get enough food to make the journey.

The park was beautiful and full of people enjoying the lovely day.  I walked to a quiet space and sat with them on a park bench for a few minutes.  I needed to get up the courage to unzip and let them free.  So many thoughts were going through my mind.  How would I know if they would survive the night?  Would they separate or find each other once out in the world?  Would they be able to find food? Were they strong enough to fly?

Ironically, 7 years ago those same questions were going through my mind on a different level.  Would I have the courage to unzip and change my environment?  There were times I wondered if I would survive the moments.  Would I have new relationships? Would I be able to sustain myself? Was I strong enough to fly?

I didn’t focus on these thoughts for too long, I took in a deep breath and opened the top of the habitat.  The larger butterfly was the first one out  and flew off before I could even get a photo.  The second one though had a little struggle.  It was the smaller of the two and the one which hatched at the bottom of the aviary.  I helped her out on my finger where she sat for several minutes.  I looked around to make sure we were alone, no one needed to see me have a heart to heart with a butterfly!  IMG_1541 (2)

I let her know that she was beautiful and strong, and her life was just beginning.  I thanked her for the time she spent with me, though brief, it meant the world to me.   After our chat I walked her over to a plant leaf and set her upon it.  Within seconds she had flown off.  I like to think our chat gave her the courage to open her wings and fly. Just as many in my life have given me the words I needed to muster up the courage for some of life’s struggles.

It seems little miss butterfly sure had a lot more to teach me.  It is even more clear to me now how much in common we have during times of transformation.  Change doesn’t have to be negative even if the situation it came from was difficult.  Try to embrace it and enjoy the flight of the butterfly.

Courageous Butterfly 4/19/17

Kimberly