The Art of Life
Photobucket I'm so glad you're here! "The Art of Life" is where I share my journey as an artist & Momma. It's a place where I hope to encourage other women that they are artists too. In this small little space I seek to share, document, and be reminded of God's wonderful grace, all around us. ....And I would be so happy to have you journey alongside me! So grab a cup of coffee and linger for a while. I hope you leave feeling refreshed. Photobucket

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Slowing down in the Carpool Lane

~Last year I was driving in my car, my heart feeling pressed down with the weight of anxiety. In my mind I was playing over all the things I hadn't gotten done, all my weaknesses and fumbles.

"I'm such a scattered girl. Why can't I focus? Why am I so forgetful?"

~The heaviness pressed in hard until I prayed aloud, "Lord, why can't I just be one of those put-together girls?! You know; the ones who always have it all under control?"

~The answer came so clearly that it startled. In a voice tinged with a smile and almost audible I heard,

"Now why would I want that?"

~Huh? Did I just hear that? What did You say Lord?
~And the gentle response;

"If you were a put-together girl then you wouldn't need me 
and what I want above all is a relationship with you."

~I wanted to pull the car over, let the words soak into my trembling frame. He loves me like this?
Scattered & forgetful? Imperfect & fumbling?
~My weaknesses only serve to draw me closer; to remind me of my desperate need for the One who is my only strength.

~Months later and I wake on a Monday feeling frantic, world spinning before my feet hit the ground. The anxiety is there again; like a snake coiled around my shoulders hissing lies into my ears.
And it's in the car again that I'm reminded of that truth-~-Relationship.

~He doesn't expect me to be perfect, only prayerful, letting my weaknesses draw me into His arms.

~And peace isn't a state of being where life is smooth and under control. 
Peace is a person, 
walking me through my worries and whispering reassurance 
to this Momma,
sometimes in the carpool lane.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chasing the Sunset

~I sit on the park bench, feeling the coolness in the air. I watch my daughters disappear in and out of the maze of blue, red & yellow pipes, tubes and slides. The trees surrounding the sandy lot are just starting to put on their Fall coats.
~Just this morning I had watched the video; the interview with Ann, her voice quiet and gentle.
And I had felt God speak to me, the tears coming up to my eyes.

Slow. Still. These Mothering moments go by so fast.

~My heart longs to be Mary but my mind is all Martha. How many times am I with my girls but not "with" them?
Sorting socks, stacking dishes into the cupboard.
Endlessly chasing after order.
This business of running a business and a home has put my inner Martha into overdrive.
And so I went looking for Mary at the park.

 ~It was just us girls as my Dear Husband was working late.
I watch my oldest dig her hands deep into the damp sand; patting, stacking, building a castle. She will be 10 soon. Every day she is growing more and more into a young lady.
I watch my youngest; fearlessly swinging across the monkey bars. She is so brave.
I try to press the images into my heart.
Suddenly the bustle of the playground stops and all the little eyes turn towards the sky. The honking and squawking is a flock of geese and we watch their V-shaped line move across the pink sky.
 ~The air grows cooler and I load my girls into the car, listen for the click of seatbelts, and head home. As we turn west onto Warner Street we all catch our breath together.
The sky!
It's like a painting; vibrant colors splashed across the canvas.
"Take a picture Momma! Oh! Take a picture!"
And so we chase the sunset. Driving further west, turning onto side streets, looking for the perfect view.

~Finally, standing on a sidewalk downtown I try in vain to capture the shifting colors of the sky. I talk with my girls about how much God loves us.
"Look at the beautiful things He makes just for us to enjoy!"
This moment is full.

 ~The sky grows darker and we turn again towards home. And there in the Eastern sky:
A beautiful, full, radiant moon.
This was almost too much!
Too much gift for a stumbling, struggling Momma.
His love, shining there.
"Look Girls! The moon!"


Saturday, July 2, 2011

When the Wind Blows Through

~~These past two months the winds have blown hard, starting with the very literal winds of a tornado that blew through our small town. My hard-working husband was hours away with business and as the storms drew nearer I made the decision to leave our house with the girls and go to a friend's who has a tornado shelter. I had no idea that we were heading directly to the path of the tornado.
It was a strange sensation, feeling the pressure change as the twister raged over,
hearing loud crashes,
and then silence.
~~Our friends received some damage and a lot of debris but thankfully their home withstood the storm. There were many others that day who lost everything.
My heart broke when we saw the damage.
~~The storm also went directly over my parent's home and while century old trees fell in all directions, by some blessing their house withstood.
~~It seems that these winds continued to blow through the weeks.
Blow life into a busy whirl.
Much of that has been blessing.
Our business has reached its peak season-the time when there's hardly room to breathe.
This is our second time to come through this cycle and while we know to expect the ebb and flow, it's still an adjustment.
~~My personality is the type to hold onto stress and anxiety no matter how much I try to change that.
When life is good I stress. When life is hard I stress.
I don't know why but it is my natural bend that I'm slowly trying to unwind.
And in this busy time my anxiety reliever, my art, has suffered.
The times when I need it the most are also the times when it tends to get neglected.
But if we listen our hearts will send signals.
Quietly at first and then
~~I've been battling my health for two months now. Sinus infections, ear infections, all types of strange problems. I've been to the doctors, tried different solutions,
nothing worked.
 ~~This week the girls and I headed North to a summer camp in Kenora, Ontario Canada.
My parents run it in the summer and it's been in my family for generations. My girls are running free; making memories on the same grounds that I used to explore as a girl. And as I sit by the lake with the breeze blowing gently, I feel the anxiety fall away like a heavy coat.
We've only been here a couple of days and my health is improving. I'm breathing easy, sleeping deeply.
And somehow, there is a lesson I must learn here.
~~Learn to take this peace back home to my whirlwind life.
One can't help but feel close to God when you're surrounded by His beauty.
And though it may be harder to recognize at home, I know that this same closeness can be found there too.
~~So this week I will dig out my sketchbook and allow my heart to rest.
I will look for the answers in the light sparkling across the lake.
Listen for them in the loons, calling across the water at night.
And carry them 1200 miles back home in a very grateful heart.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When You Can't Decide

~~I recently watched a TED talk that really resonated with me. It helped bring light to a problem I've had since I was a little girl: the problem of making a decision.
We live in a world of endless choices. Never before in history have we had so many options. (I just read that Sonic Drive-In claims to have 398,929 drink and slush combinations!)
And all of these choices are meant to give us more freedom;
But instead they're causing paralysis.

~~All of my life I've struggled with decision-making. I wish that I could be a decisive, driven, determined person. But in order to be driven you have to make a choice and then go for it.
And there is my problem.
~~I was the little girl standing helplessly in front of the ice-cream case.
Do I choose chocolate?
.....or mint chocolate chip?
.....or strawberry?
~~The choice was so hard because I was afraid.
Afraid that I would make a wrong decision and miss out on something better.
Or more often for me, afraid that I would disappoint others if I chose wrong.

~~It sounds silly when you're talking about ice-cream but this tendency follows you through-out all life's decisions.
And when you're too afraid to make a mistake you tend to not choose at all.
~~I'm also a perpetual choice-deferrer. (Did I just make up a word?)
If someone else can make the decision for me.....
Just tell me what to do.

When I let someone else make the decision I'm freeing myself of the consequences.
I'm placing the load on their shoulders.
If it turns out to be the wrong decision, well, I can't be blamed.

 ~~I'm not sure of the answer to this situation. Life will always be full of choices.

But I think the only way to go is to step fully into our own lives.
To gather up courage to simply decide.
My friend Abbi made some wonderful graduation wall art for her sister. It says:
"Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there's still time to change the road you're on."

Be brave. Decide. And then Move.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Heart is Light ~ Illustration

Copyright 2011 & Beyond~Kasie Sallee

~~My heart truly is feeling light this morning.
I'm feeling healthy and well; something I haven't felt in a while and something I won't take for granted.
It's a beautiful, bright May day.
I hope this finds you with a light heart too.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I don't need a telescope....

~~I love to listen to music while I work and today's soundtrack was Ocean Eyes by Owl City.
I've listened to this album many, many times before but for some reason today the words in one line jumped out at me.
"I don't need a telescope to see that there's hope 
and that makes me feel brave."
~~I know that for me, hope is a great motivator. It pushes me to try new things and at this time in my life I could use a little bravery. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Finding my Balance Again.......Sharing some Links

~~I'm finally getting to the other side of a bad inner ear infection; something I'd never experienced before and wouldn't wish on anyone. Dizziness, fever, chills,
and all from a little place in my ear being out of balance.
It had me thinking a lot about balance
and I'm sure there's a blog post in there somewhere,
but for now I'm just happy to start seeing the light at the end of this tunnel.
~~So I hope it's okay if, instead of sharing my own thoughts, I share some of the wonderful inspiration I read this morning.

**For When You Feel Behind
When I read the title of Emily's post it almost brought tears to my eyes because she put into words exactly how I've been feeling. Life seems to rush by and so many times I do feel like I'm constantly on the chase.

**When It All Feels Like A Mismatched Mess
"I haven’t got anything together and I can stop looking for some hidden door that’s going to someday open up to my real, perfect life and I can stop waiting and I can start laughing praise, because this wondrous mess, this is it."
 Ahh!! Yes!

 **Giving Oneself Completely and Unapologetically to An Obsession
My dear friend writes so open and honest and her post resonated with me this morning as I'm still seeking to become more and more comfortable in my own skin.