Last night, I sat in the living room looking at all the decorations, christmas lights, the beautiful Renaissance style manger figurines.
My heart filled with a mixture of sadness and joy, longing and disappointment.
For many this is a difficult season as another year draws to an end. Hopes dashed, again, if any glimmer of hope is present at all. It seems Christmas is really just a bitter reminder of all that hasn’t happened. Or of something lost, an innocence maybe.
The oldest of Christmas Carols seems full of waining hope of what once was. Will it ever be right again?
If we do have money to spend, even if it’s borrowed to feel like it’s afforded, we keep busy. Purchasing, planning, decorating, attentive to every detail…checking our list’s twice.
It seems easiest to keep busy, than to rest or reflect…allowing the deeper desires to surface…because even in our abundance, there is a longing for something more…something bigger, something that still cannot be purchased, or created, or arranged for. What is it?
We can’t put a finger on. Like waking from a dream that we can’t really remember the details of or watching a beautiful party through a dirty and frosted over window. As we stretch up on our toes we can hear bits of beautiful music and laughter…
but we…can’t…quite…see…through…the glass…
Knowing there’s something bigger going on, we want a clearer glimpse of it.
We have all had our share of disappointments. So now as adults, we take control of our desires by managing them a bit better. We walk away from the window, thinking we had better get along the best we can…being more content with the duty and obligations of working harder to make for a smaller Christmas.
We start with tossing away the many secular holiday practices, the childish fantasies. After all, Christmas is really only about Jesus being born in a stable…and no crying he makes…and shepherds, and kings with 3 gifts…oh, and yes his mother was a virgin…sinless, pretty much. (We really must try harder at being good!) No wonder we feel so hopeless inside!
Merry Christmas. That’s it.
Now make your New Year’s resolution…
How can this perspective sum up the season and just five lines? There is really SO much more to this story…in fact, a whole book has been written about it!
Here is a quote from it…. “I am telling you once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in.” (Matthew 18:2, The Message)
What if I could recover the heart of a child? I look at Kaeden, he just turned eight the other day. Yes, we say he’s spoiled, but he knows how to ask his dad for things.
His hopes are endless and innocent. He still dreams of things without consideration of practicality or cost. He believes anything is possible. His perspective of the future is full of joyful anticipation! Yet, his life is being played out in the presentness of his surroundings.
Kaeden is untainted by cynicism or resignation that things will never get any better… “this is how life is, I will just get by and make the best of it” His young tender heart has not yet experienced much of life’s cruel disappointments. As his mother, I wish I could keep him from ever knowing disappointment…but not in this world.
As I celebrate this Christmas season, I want the heart of a child, the heart of my youngest son.
I will fill my house the decorations, lights, and evergreens. I will purchase and bestow as many gifts as my purse will allow. I will sing Jingle Bells, Rudolph and O’Come, O’ Come Emanuel. (My favorite!)
I will bake cookies and food. I will make gifts. I will shop and smile and tell everyone, “Merry Christmas!” I will watch movies, play games, and laugh…and maybe even cry.
I want to ask of my Father for the desires of my heart, fearlessly…”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matt. 7:7 And he answers me in return “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full” John 10:10
So above all else, I will believe in the hope and promise, that Jesus will come again!
With joyful anticipation, I will be reminded by baby Jesus lying in the manger, the angels singing, and Santa bringing gifts, that one day the best Christmas ever is yet to come… when all broken hearts will be fixed, all that holds us captive will be released and all our deepest dreams and desires will come true!
May joy and hopeful expectancy fill your heart with childlike anticipation for better things to come!
Merry, Merry Christmas!
~Laurie 👩🏼🎨 (From my archives 12.17.15)
Nothing better than getting your favorite art supplies…or maybe that one thing you always thought would be fun to play around with. Here’s my favorite go to site for all my creative ideas!
Hope you have the most creative Christmas ever! Be sure and share what you are creating in the comments!
Yes, I am an affiliate which just means I get a little back from your purchases…so I can get fun things to create with…but it’s no extra for you🤗
After YEARS of being asked this…after MUCH procrastination…after THINKING, “it’s just TOO hard!!”…
🎨🖌I FINALLY put together a QUICK list of my favorite painting supplies that I use in my classes! 🤗
***discloser…I do receive a small compensation on sales through Dick Blick Art Supplies…BUT there is NO extra cost to you!
🛍So let’s go shopping! 👉🏼 General Painting Tutorial Supply List
It’s a tad daunting to be actually making a commitment to consistently write. But I love writing and hopefully you will enjoy reading it.
Here is a piece of my story. Let’s start with the name…a name is important to me…what it means…how it sounds…and it’s uniqueness. I have always attempted to name my 7 children with this in mind. Although a few of them at the time I thought were unique…it wasn’t long before it seemed EVERYONE used that name. Ariana, Jordan , Jesse, Joanna, Isaac, Asher and Kaeden. I am sure you are quite familiar with a few of those.
With much thought I chose Pieces of My Art. I had hoped no one had thought of it yet, but I was not the first. Oh well…I would make it known above all others! As a creative…my head…my heart is full of ideas…thoughts…plans…desires…PIECES…that’s what it was…many pieces, like a puzzle. They would all fit together. Not knowing how…or when…I just knew God had a plan, even if I didn’t understand it. And then…MY ART…of course it sounds like my heart…so appropriately this was the name. Art fills my heart.
In August of 2011, Pieces of My Art became mine, a gift from my Heavenly Father. I have held his hand as he filled my heart with confidence and ideas.
This dream actually begin back in 2006 when I was recently divorced and had no career path…nor college. I was a wife, mom and worked with my ex-husband at his printing company. Now scrambling to support my 6 children and be home when they were, I took a job as a para-professional in our home town. There was one student that I took to the art room for classes. Growing up as an art lover…it’s a smell I will never for get. A mixture of tempera paints and crayons…maybe a little glue! I realized then, that I wanted to teach art…have my own classroom.
I enrolled in college at age 41, I was thrilled! One class was all that I could do at the time. I took English, definitely better than math! It was a creative writing class. I found out I was pretty good at writing and actually enjoyed it. The problem was, with working…which was NOT paying the bills, let alone my house payment, and having such a large family…college was not going to work for me. I felt it would have taken me 10 years to get through school…and I had no desire to start a teaching career at 50. So that was it for my BIG days at college!
Over the next few years, I married Kevin…he had one son and we had one together…so we became a family of eight. WOW! For those of you who have met my husband…he is a true gift! I am so thankful for his love and commitment to me and our kids!
During this time I did some child care. Love kids…but watching someone else’s everyday was not something I grew up dreaming about. Through a series of events…a book…and some paintings in a restaurant, God began stirring in my heart to teach art to kids in my basement. I was scared would be an understatement! I thought I was cheating because I was not a real teacher. I thought I was cheating because I was following someone else’s teaching style. I felt like a fake…and was terrified of being found out!
If it wasn’t for God in my life, and the way he had already been teaching me to trust him. I would have never stepped out and started. I had learned life is risky…but the BEST things in life take courage…love, hope, trust…need I go on? I knew without a doubt God loved me and put the desires in my heart…so I did it!
With no money to really start…I made flyers, dropped them off at the checkout line at the grocery store. I was soon teaching art classes to kids ages 4 years and up. I had a couple classes a week and I was bringing in a little extra money. I was able to pay for my supplies as people signed up and paid a monthly tuition. Each week I would come up with lessons…always trying to be completely unique to any thing my kids would do at school. Thank the Lord for Pinterest….already evidence of God’s good timing!
I had a wonderful 3 years of teaching kids art in my basement. I even had a group of about 25 homeschooled kids I would go and teach…just like a real teacher. I would have two art shows a year to display the kids artwork. Along with some summer art camps, my little art business began to grow. As different people came into my life…new paths were discovered and the fall of 2014, I had my very first wine and paint class!
Since then, I have taught in coffee shops, bars, restaurants, homes, garages, schools, churches, hair salons, green houses, farms, vineyards, assisted living and memory care facilities, stores….and now as of June 2019…I have this beautiful space at my home. My very own studio, that my husband, Kevin built for me!
I hope you get hope from following this journey. God does care about your heart…your desires…your ideas…He put them there. As each day unfolds, know it’s safe to hold His hand. He longs to take you on a grand adventure…because he loves YOU!
With much love and paint,
From a one stall horse barn to an art studio…
Being a creative, I am always dreaming. Many nights I lay awake and dream up things I would love to do. Places to see…spaces to create…then comes morning, and I am grabbing my cup of coffee and my Bible for a slow and easy awakening. I am much more organized in my head. In reality, often I am busy keeping my family functioning and my household maintaining. A struggle to leave enough time in my day to work on my dreams… “those are for another day” and I continue to hold onto that hope!
We found this jewel three years ago, tucked into a corner completely hidden by trees…lots of trees…overgrown with years of neglect. Kind of like our hearts…don’t neglect yours! So many projects to do here, my husband Kevin and I just began…one area at a time. We have still quite a lot to do…but the difference is amazing already. We have uncovered so much beauty…your heart has much beauty to be uncovered.
Out behind the house was a barn…or a stable, I guess. No doubt years ago a horse happily ate from a bag of oats in the one stall and the black snakes contentedly kept the rodents away. The snakes still lived here when we arrived.
When you dream about something long enough and put actions to your dreams, they start coming to life. For me, it was teaching art…painting…anything creative…to anyone who has a passion for the same. So 8 years ago, I did just that, but I’ll put that in another story. Kevin soon caught onto my vision. It began stirring in him and a year ago, he got to work making my bigger dream a reality.
Piece by piece the stable came down…rotted wood…old rusty tools…some bones(not human!)…snake skins…and lots of horrific smells. I was kinda sad to see it go…I had managed to fit it in my dream…so now I needed to update my ideas.
On May 31st of 2019, I celebrated the grand opening of my brand new beautiful art studio…all built with love from my husband. We had no idea what it would look like when we were finished. But I can tell you it’s grander then we ever imagined! Kevin took the most beautiful pieces of the old barn and built them into this new space. It wasn’t all stars and butterflies…there were times of tears and doubt. We made it through and as I sit here at my desk…I am thankful for a faithful God who blessed me with so many precious gifts. God wants to do this in your hearts too!