Sunday, October 4, 2015

catching up on life

My quiet absence of posts has been the result of a deep depression and very busy life.  My kids went back to school in late July, one of which started high school.  My son began playing on the tennis team.  Joy was gone from my day to day life.  Unless you have dealt with the turmoil of feelings that are part of depression, it is hard to understand.  Many people think you can just snap out of it.  Not really.  Without getting into a potentially controversial discussion about the ins and outs of depression I will end the conversation with a heartfelt, sorry I was gone.

Being in God's Word and learning more about Him are always a big contributor to my happiness.  I really enjoy serving others, but sometimes it can deplete me.  This past month I have been teaching the two and three year olds at our church during the service time.  I really miss worship and hearing from our pastor when I am serving.  This doesn't help the gloomy cloud over me when I am feeling low.  The cute little faces that tug at my pant leg and tell me cute stories warm my heart, but it's nothing like being in collective worship with other believers.

MOPS theme for 2015, Isaiah 55:12
Isaiah 55:12 in my Bible
An amazing blessing came through the experience I was given through the MOPS Mom Convention a few weeks ago.  The theme of the MOPS ministry this year is from Isaiah 55:12, "For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."  Encouraging mothers and women to celebrate lavishly, embrace rest, and notice goodness is a monumental task.  However, the team from the MOPS International office brought in some amazing speakers, authors, and performers that made it a realistic goal for us as women and mothers.

MOPS Conventions Indianapolis 2015
MOMCon 2015
When my MOPS Coordinator asked me to speak a little about what affected me most during that weekend I couldn't narrow it down to just one or two thoughts.  I felt freed to be creative again.  The realization that I need time to create and meditate on God's Word was very liberating.  I can't grow in relationship with Him if I don't spend time with Him. 

Margaret Feinberg spoke during one of the main sessions at this event.  Let me just say, she is a tiny powerhouse of a woman.  Her life and her work are inspiring to say the least.  When I came down from my post-convention high I looked into several books and videos by some of the speakers.  Margaret was one of them.  Enjoying God: Experiencing Intimacy With The Heavenly Father by S.J.
Enjoying God book by S.J. Hill
Hill (with Margaret Feinberg) happened to be checked in at my local library. 

The littlest of my munchkins got loaded in the van and off to the library we went.  This book has been a huge eye opener.  The stories and writing by Hill to describe the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father are like  missing links in my faith.  So many reasons that I didn't have that personal relationship with God are explained. 

Because of this new outlook on the love that my God has for me, I have a renewed spirit.  If I create a spread in my journaling Bible or not, that's okay.  The time I have spent with my God is enough.  He just wants me.  My feeling is that He will lead me to the ways He wants me to commune with Him.  If it's through singing at the top of my lungs, spreading paint with my fingers, or reading Bible stories with kids on my lap, I am growing closer to Him.  

So...if I don't always post about and inspiring passage and journal page that resulted please forgive me.  My relationship with Christ is growing in many different directions and I kinda like it.  My hope is that I can continue to be artsy in my faith, but it's not about what I want.  Remembering that I have four children and a husband to nurture is more important.  Popularity of posts and how accepting everyone is of my art is just fluff.  It's wonderful to be appreciated and valued by all of you, but God's got my heart.  It's Him I need to offer up my art, children, and life to.

Now go do something that worships God and warms your soul at the same time.