So much has changed I feel like I don’t even recognize myself anymore, in a good way. This year has been such a radical awakening, I almost feel as if I’ve been reborn. Wine has lost it’s glamour over me…and I’ve tried it and it’s just not the same. I had two glasses of wine a few weekends ago and to my surprise I was pretty tipsy. The next morning I woke up and I felt slightly pukey, and my head ached, and it was just…ugh. I hadn’t realized I how much I appreciated getting out of bed, feeling good and rested and getting on with my day. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating on special occasions but now I’m more than content to let the whiskey get a little dust on the bottle.
By no longer dulling my senses every night, my eyes are wide open and I feel like the Universe has just opened itself up to me and revealed so many secrets. I’ve found so many new things I feel deeply called to study, to research, and there’s just not enough time in the day, in a good way. My minutes are packed as full as I can get them with moments that make me happy. I started listening to my inner voice and stopped doing things because “I should” but didn’t really want to. If it feels good, I do it. I wear the black skirt that makes me feel like Audrey Hepburn. I let myself stay up all night planning and figuring things out for our future. I let the laundry stay in the dryer for a moment and lay down on the floor and feel the ground beneath my back, let my muscles and vertebrae settle, and welcome Logan’s sloppy kiss.
As long as I like the results I’m getting, I keep doing whatever it is that makes my soul happy without worrying about my inner lizard (a concept from Martha Beck’s book, Steering by Starlight) griping at me. My inner lizard is Rosie, and she has bright pink sunglasses that match her pink lipstick, she smokes like a chimney and has a tendency for theatrics. Her favorite way to pass the time is to worry about how wrong things will go and what other people might be thinking about us. Now that I know I can tell her to chill, I don’t mind my little lizard. Martha Beck is one of my new favorite authors and I’m only three chapters into her book but I’ve already ordered her other one, Finding Your Own North Star.
I’m exploring religion and spirituality, researching and seeing what feels right deep inside. And I’ve never felt closer to God than I do now. I have so many notes of books and authors I need to read, of artists I want to learn from, and a watercolor class that starts in August. I’m going to learn how to watercolor sunrises and sunsets, because pictures just don’t do justice to what I am blessed to see every day.
I’m definitely still on edge and feeling irritable at times, the itchy feeling like something’s under my skin and I just want to run, or the moments when I feel like I’m being swept away by a tidal wave still catch me off guard. But the more I reach out to people on Instagram and connect with my tribe, the more I realize I’m not alone in this feeling and it will pass. Everything is going to be okay. The sweet voice of Audrey Assad sings this hymn in my mind throughout the day and I love it:
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art
High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all…
I feel called to go back through my diaries and journals, to explore these thought processes that weighed me down for so long. I’ve already started going through my diary from when I was 8 years old, and realized so many insights as to why I do/think certain ways today. For example, I had written about reading a book that dealt with grief, and my anger and grief over losing my cat, Spanky. Then I had written that I can’t show my feelings in front of my parents because I don’t want them to think I’m a baby. Ignoring and hiding my true feelings; something I still do to this day. Why? Why do I need to pretend I’m not human? This is something I can let go. By looking back at my sweet, naive 8 year old self, I feel like I can heal a part of my soul.
I also stumbled on a website called Patreon, that allows artists to fund their creativity. I’m content with my job, working 24 hours as a nurse, but I would love to work toward generating enough income that my husband could quit his job and work at home full-time, raising cattle, hay, or whatever he feels he needs to do with these 80 acres. So I’ve been slowly pulling this website together.
There are four tiers to my Patreon, and my vision is to have it be an expansion of this blog, a ‘behind the scenes and gifts’ for those who feel called to help us work towards our dream of building up this land with livestock and a greenhouse, raising our boys, learning the ‘olden ways’ of doing things and sharing all this with you. This time last year I truly wondered if life was really worth living. Now I have so much I want to do and learn…Hebrew and Latin and composting, making paper from the birds nest that was in our barbecue, creating my art and watching my boys grow…I wonder how I’m going to get it all done in the next 50 years.
The first tier is Logan’s tier, and it involves me going through and writing about my old journal entries. I’ve thought about this for the last few months, because there are things in my diaries I’m not proud of, and sharing them with the world obviously invites scrutiny. Then I think about finding someone who was going through something similar, and the hope it gave me, the strength. To me that makes it worthwhile…to maybe hold a lantern for some sweet young girl starting out on her own path. The only regrets I have for my actions is the pain I’ve caused others–everything I’ve been through has taught me something and made me stronger and wiser.
By going through these entries there is also a sweet healing component. Almost like my spirit is there with my 8 year old self, telling me that all is going to be okay, and finally releasing that burden I insisted on carrying around with me all this time. I’m gaining so much insight and respect for my parents and others around me. I didn’t realize all they shouldered when I was young, but their grace in difficult situations has taught me so much and I am so thankful for them.
This first tier is for anyone who wants to contribute a $1 or more a month. I’ll still blog on this site, but some of the posts will only be for “Patreons” to see. I’m downsizing my social media, no longer focusing as much on Twitter and Facebook, and will focus on Instagram (one account only–I’m no longer going to do an account for home life and a separate one for art). It’s too much to try to keep up with while working and the boys, the animals, etc.
The second tier is Dillon’s tier. Dillon is my charismatic little artist, and he loves to interact with people as he creates his art. For $10 or more a month, Patreons can watch us livestream at least once a week and interact with us while watching us play with art. I love doing this because sometimes I’m not sure what direction to go and I can ask people watching for their input!
The third tier is my tier. For $20 or more a month, I will hand make ‘happy mail’ and send it you at least once a month…I love to share quotes that I find uplifting and encouraging, and have sent happy mail to a pen pal in Oklahoma City with real sunflower petals on it from our driveway. You also get the previous two tiers. I’m limiting this one to 20 people, since I can only make so many things a month 🙂
The fourth tier is Nate’s tier, and is for those who want to pay $100 or more a month. Nate is incredible at handtooling leather, and will create a bookmark or something similar for you. I tried to get him to agree to videoing a happy dance and uploading it to Facebook, but that was a hard no!
So we’re just throwing this out to the universe, ignoring Rosie as she whispers, “Do you really think people would be interested?!” And seeing what happens…
You can view our Patreon page here–let me know what you think!