A journey towards greater faith and creativity

Archive for July, 2015

Closing Doors and Opening Others

It’s very hard not to worry and stress about life when suffering from any level of anxiety disorder. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus very clearly states we are not to worry and instead trust in God to provide our needs. However, anxiety disorder stems from any combination of unstable blood sugars, fried adrenal glands, and/or wonky brain chemistry. Anxiety doesn’t care what’s in the Bible or what we tell ourselves or anything we attempt to do which doesn’t address the specific physiological problem causing said anxiety. (Which is why it may or may not respond to prescription medications.)

All that said, I’ve had an extremely stressful week. Stressful to the point of nausea every time I ate anything and being unable to really settle to any kind of work without interrupting myself. Anxiety and good concentration do not go hand in hand.

Where I’m at in my life, God is closing all kinds of doors. Some get closed gently and don’t bother me too much. Others feel more like slammed in my face and all I can do for the first while is stand frozen in shock. Those second ones are super stressful until the shock passes and I feel able to move on again.

God is also opening doors, if not the ones I’m hoping for just yet. For example, I still don’t know where I’m going to be moving to, but I’m not in a blind panic trying to find a place for me and my belongings by tomorrow. God does keep His promise to provide, whether it looks like what I hope for or not.

I do have to move and I’ve known that for months now. But what God has provided me right now is a small window of time in which I can rest and work on those things He is directing me to. I have no lack of work to do where I am at the moment. My new home will come in His time.

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Sorting and Packing and Realizing Things

I’ve never really considered myself an artist. I did okay in art classes in school, depending what we were working on. But I think of myself more in terms of being a crafter and a writer.

Just yesterday, when I was sorting through a box of old papers and stuff, deciding what was worth keeping and what wasn’t, I found a number of pieces of art I’ve created over the years. Most of them many, many years ago. These are in a variety of mediums and formats, but what really struck me is how beautiful these pieces are and how much I would love to have space to display them.

And how much I need space to continue to be able to create art, as well as craft and write. Also how much I need the freedom to be able to teach my daughter to do these things in a way which doesn’t stifle her creativity. She said, shortly after her grandparents brought her home from Summerfest with a gorgeous facepaint, how much she would love to be able to paint faces. Well, I think she needs to learn a few basic principals of art first, but I’m sure she can learn to do this if it’s what she really wants.

I’m hoping to have the space for this and more after this move, once I’m in my new home. And I’m sure, if God is reminding me that I am an artist, I can also be sure God will provide me with the space to continue to create beautiful things. And He will bring people into my life to support and help me.

In the meantime, I have a lot more sorting and packing to do. Still too many details of this move yet to find out. God promises to provide my needs and I have to trust in His promises. As He brings me to it, so I shall deal with it.


Business As Usual, Sort Of

I’ve mentioned Howling Wolf Books, my business, before on this blog. What it is and some of what I’m hoping to do with it. Maybe even how I intended to set up for six months light duty this year.

I’m unemployable by most traditional standards. My physical and mental health issues massively effect my day to day life. I have no formal work experience to put on a resume. Most of my training and certificates are more than ten years old. I cannot deal with the general public face to face in any capacity for more than an hour before needing a break. I live in a city where people with far more extensive resumes than mine can’t find employment and more jobs are being cut than generated.

Operating my own business is pretty much my only hope of generating adequate income to support myself. I’ve worked any number of casual, temporary, and/or informal jobs, none of which pay much or for very long. I know some people somehow manage to support themselves through such means. I’m not one of them.

Certainly Howling Wolf Books has the potential to support me and mine. There are already several short stories and novels available for sale in both ebook and print through a number of major online retailers. They’re even selling a little. Enough for the ebook distributor to pay out my account this month. Unfortunately not enough to really be worth mentioning.

My main problem seems to be marketing. I can’t pay for ads right now. People read the stories and claim to love them. Evidently not enough to review or recommend them to anyone else. New releases are listed for giveaway through Goodreads. The main author I’m working with at the moment posts on both her blog and Facebook. (She does have an issue where people either love or hate her work with very little middle ground. I do my best to present as professional looking a product as possible, but it only seems to go so far.)

Since I lost the baby I was expecting (see last week’s post), I’ve been drifting along on light duty because I just don’t have the energy to put into anything more. I have been considering opening up submissions for new authors a little early, but it won’t be before the end of August. I have too many other sources of stress right now.

I will get back to my business and my plans for it, but at the moment I have until the end of this month to find a new home. Unless something changes, I’m going to have very limited income. While my ex-husband is willing to pay child support, I’ll still be on my own with small child and cat. As of right now, I don’t know where I’m going or how I’m going to get there. All I have right now is my faith in God’s promise to provide my needs.

I’m hoping, by the end of August, I will be settled into my new home and the worst of the really life disruptive stuff will have settled out. Then hopefully, I’ll have more time and energy for my business and things will pick up.


Why Would Jesus Take Our Baby?

This has been my daughter’s question on and off since the day, about three weeks ago now, when I went to the hospital full of expectation of holding a new baby in my arms and ended up returning home without. What’s harder is I really don’t have an answer for her.

It’s been a long, difficult three weeks. While I’m very slowly recovering from what happened, there are still so many more questions than answers. And maybe there never will be a good answer.

The medical system here works slowly. (When it works at all.) I’m waiting to get some testing results, but I’m not holding out much hope of them revealing anything conclusive. Seems like every time doctors run tests on me, the results don’t really tell them much.

Why would Jesus take our baby and leave me feeling like I’m surrounding by mothers who are caring for newborns? It feels like everywhere I go lately, there’s a mother, sometimes more than one, lugging an infant carseat or pushing a stroller or with her baby wrapped to her chest. Friends of ours have a teeny, tiny premie and are constantly sharing pictures of her progress. And, while I almost never used to get to see other people’s babies, I’ve been blessed to hold two on different occasions recently.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for these people. At the same time, I’m sad for me. And I’m sad for my daughter who was so looking forward to having a sibling.


Long Time, No Post

Mostly because I’ve been uncertain what to write. So many things going on. None of them quite what I’ve been hoping for. And also a feeling like I’ve been living in some kind of holding pattern. I feel stuck and I have no idea how to break out of the rut I’ve found myself in.

And too, I’m finding I’ve wandered far away from my original intention for this blog. Since I really don’t remember what I was thinking at the time, I kinda have to go back to the tagline. So unless everything goes sideways yet again, the next few posts will be a combination of how I got to where I am now and what’s been going on recently.