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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

Waiting Patiently…Seriously?!


waitingThis has to be one of the most confusing phrases I’ve heard, and I’ve heard a lot!. During my life trial, I was told repeatedly what a patient woman I was.   Here is the question, how can you be waiting patiently, or even patiently waiting, if you are in fact engaged in the act of waiting?

Waiting:   The action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.    Antonym:  Go, Act, Do

 Patiently:   In a way that shows tolerance of delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.    Antonym: Hostile, impatient, agitated

When we wait, it is often because we need or want something to happen and sometimes not by choice. I would guess that if we are waiting for something that we have chosen, like an upcoming vacation or something of that nature, then yes, maybe we could be patient about it.  However, what about when we are waiting for the light at the end of a tunnel, or for a hardship to end?  How in those times, can we practice patience?  Think about the last time you were waiting at a red light that seemed to go on forever, were you feeling agitated, or did you hear the sounds of chirping birds?  Being in the act of waiting, I think, automatically makes for an impatient environment.

Looking back on the times when I was waiting and feeling agitated or annoyed, those are the times when people told me what a patient woman I was, when in fact I was the opposite. Either I did a good job of hiding my frustration, or that phrase is just one that will forever be misused.

There are so many situations in life that call for us to wait and perhaps we should be spending that time in a state of patience, but for most, it becomes an anxious state. In these intolerant circumstances, our pulse rises, our palms sweat, we become irritable and highly emotional, none of which are good for our soul or daily living.  These types of reactions can make us ugly, turning us into a not so friendly, unattractive version of ourselves and can be detrimental to our future.

Let us try to put this misused phrase into practice. Have you ever seen an ugly butterfly?  It may surprise you, but I have seen a few!  These particular butterflies have tattered wings and I often wondered if they were weakened in the chrysalis or just a little beat up from life.  I assume it is the latter, but what if they are “ugly” due to the way they waited in the chrysalis.  I do not know what the caterpillar goes through emotionally or mentally, if anything at all.  What I do know is that they are forced to wait, and not by choice.

Let us think about what it might feel like to wait in the chrysalis. If the caterpillar were “waiting patiently”, I would imagine the environment as being dark but warm; lonely but quiet; constricted but free.   perfect peaceIn the dark, it senses the warmth provided by its surrounding cover easing it gently into a calmness.  When it is lonely, the intimacy provides a beautiful quiet, and in the small space, it knows that hanging on just a bit longer, will lead to ultimate freedom.  What I think this all means is that the patient part of waiting is a choice.

I say, it is worth a try! Next time you are stuck in traffic or on the verge of a panic because something has not happened yet, practice being a caterpillar just for a moment and let the stillness take you to new heights!

Do you have tips on how to “wait patiently”? Please share in the comments.

Kimberly, Courageous Butterfly

Related Topics

The Waiting, Jamie Grace

Do you think the caterpillar is afraid to turn into a butterfly? Bob Regnerus

Waiting Is Hard

Waiting for a reason

Soul Mates?


caterpillarbutterlfy I want to start off with a question…why are so many of us consumed with finding our “soul mate”?

I have only been divorced for four years which to some may seem like a really long time but to those of us who have been living it, it seems like just yesterday we were in the court room making the final arrangements.  It is hard enough to deal with the reasons for why your marriage or relationship has ended but then pile on top of that looking for someone new, as far as I’m concerned that is a recipe for an atomic bomb!

If we ask Google what a soul mate is Wikipedia says this:  A soul mate is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity.    Simple enough, but psych central says:  “A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake,” author Elizabeth Gilbert said. “But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.”

Then there are the energy feeling resources that say : “Soul mate” is sometimes used to designate someone with whom one has a feeling of deep and natural affinity, friendship, love, intimacy, sexuality, and/or compatibility. Soul mates can have various types of relationships, which do not always include romantic love. They can be close friends, co-workers, a teacher, anyone who influences your life one way or another. They play the emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental, games of third dimension with you. They can affect relationships in a positive or negative way depending on the emotional issues of the people concerned.

And last but not least Google Images (image copyright of google images).  soul mates

So how do you know?  I was tucked snugly into bed when this post jumped out of my brain and started to take shape on this page.  There is something to this that I need to get to the bottom of and I need your help!

Here we are, all suffering from a loss and we are trying so hard to move on.  Whether it be divorce, death, or separation we are all in this together.  The definitions that I cited are confusing to me how can the most important person you will ever meet not be meant for forever?  Or how can your soul mate not include romantic love?  I always understood the definition of soul mates to mean life long partner, which you would think would mean in all aspects of your life and not in a negative way.

So does this mean when we meet our “soul mate” and choose to or are forced to let them go then we are moving on to our next dimension?    But the bigger question is can one person have more thane one soul mate?    So I googled it and there is a lot!  Here is just one quote: “The bond shared with each soul mate is truly exceptional. Humans are the most complex beings, and each soul mate complements a different aspect of us. We find comfort in having someone who can understand and relate to us. ”

I also found that a “soul mate” can be someone communicating to you from other life times, so maybe its the people in my dreams.

Here’s what I’m thinking…. there is no real answer until you know it when you have it.

For some of us grieving our loss we had it and it is now gone, according to google and other research options it is possible that you will find it again or maybe it’s been there all along and you just didn’t know it, in which case, just hang out, sit tight and let God or the Universe do it’s thing!  As far as I’m concerned, I”m pretty sure the caterpillar wasn’t concerned with finding a “soul mate” while making its transformation to a butterfly, because it was it’s own and to me that is a blessing!

I’d welcome your thoughts.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 1/27/15

The truth about soul mates

Definition of soul mate