is leaving something behind. I think about the things I am going to miss, like pulling up to the Sonic drive-thru or working the camera at church. These things have become part of who I am, and the good news is God is still writing that story. This gives Him the right to edit.
I think about the people I won’t see every day and the fact that some of you are moving out of my life for good. We assume we have an eternity with each other. We don’t so we should make the most of the time we do have.
I have learned that God isn’t going to fill up something that is already full. So. He takes things away
Moments like this give me the opportunity to really value the people and activities which make an impact in my life. Some of these things will be hard to let go of, but I look forward to how they are replaced. And one of the really cool things about God is He always sends little snippets of what I can expect.
As I am on my way to the table to meet a good friend today for lunch, I ran into someone else. This woman is on my A List of people. Here daughter Amy is one of the biggest cheerleaders in my life. God sent Barbara Love by today to give me a hug and encouragement. It was so sweet running into her today. God keeps confirming those strong BSF foundations in my life.
Today I got to have lunch with a person who was my hero in college. I remember watching her as an undergrad and thinking I want to be like her when I grow up. And the cool thing about today is we spent the time talking about the future instead of reminiscing about the past. We acknowledged the challenges that are ahead of us but see more of the adventure that is to come.
We talked about the skills we have picked up over the last couple of decades and how we can use them more wisely. We knew the world had changed drastically since we were in college. We discussed how we as older women find ourselves in a place where we have a lot of knowledge but need to create new paths to distribute it. We encouraged each other.
God knew who I needed to meet with before I started this new journey and He knew what would be the outcome. When a sister is on her way up the ladder, she has to stop and take inventory of where she is. Knowing where I am, helps me know what I need to let go of, and what I need to keep.
you go into a business but figure out later that something different was planned. Artist go into entertainment to entertain people, but later see that their messages impact peoples lives. Artist like Sammy Davis Jr have carved out legacies that impact generations. They did more than entertained. They asked the questions we all needed to ask.
Here is the link to some of my best work. If you go all the way to the bottom you can see some of my artwork. Black Girl Art
Let me warn you now, any good you see in me is really Christ because there is no good in me except for Him.
15. I did not set out to do this, but as I looked back on it, I have to say I am impressed with God. I did stuff for others and required nothing in return. Atleast once a quarter I donated blood or platelets. It may have been more because sometimes went when they called. But atleast once a quarter I gave so someone else could benefit. This year I also reached out to my friends and we raised money for a family that adopted 4 children into their family of five.
16. I learned to do new things on social media. I started sharing my art on Instagram. It challenges me to see the world differently and use the things I learn. It makes me tell a story in a few shots.
I.love.twitter. There are some of the most wittiest and clever people I have never met. But there are also some of the most stupidiest. I have found hope and joy in the words of others. I have found laughter that almost stops my breathing. And I relish the moments I can join the fight. There is absolutely nothing like when twitter goes in on a person. ( If they ever go in on you, shut up. Do not respond you will only feed the fire.) i.love.twitter.
17. I took some great photos this year and surpassed my goal. There was a good combination of families, individuals and events. They all made me look good. Thank you.
Doing 17 things that I had not done before was not easy. Sometimes it was really hard to do things differently or step out of my comfort zone. I had to think about what I was doing because it is easy to do the same things you are comfortable with, but what does that really get you. What new thing are you learning? How are you stretching your current skill set? Since next year ends in 18, there will be 18 different things on my list. I look forward to what the year brings.
I challenge you to look for 18 new things to do next year. As you accomplish these things, take a photo and share it with us.
Peace and Hairgrease.
Here are more of the 17 things I did this year. This time has a lot to do with broadening my artistic perspective. I learned some new things about myself and added some new skill sets.
5. I learned how to develop black and white film. I have always been in love with the camera, but the journey to developing film was rough. My fellow students and I used to joke about the chances of actually getting all of your film to develop correctly. In the process of putting the roll of film on the reel correctly, then putting it in the right chemical in the right order for the correct amount of time always made it iffy about getting specific images. We learned a lesson in how to make due with what you have. And a bonus was the sulfuric perfume of the chemicals that clung to your clothes for the rest of the day.
6. So the biggest challenge to making prints for me was fighting my aging body. When you reach a point in life where you need light to see, working in a darkroom can be troublesome. Finding focus in the dark can be a challenge, but it is all so worth it. I learned to use an enlarger to make prints from film I developed. It was challenging but expanded what I know about images and tone.
7. the easiest part for me was following instructions. I had never taken a drawing class so it was easy for me to listen to the instructor and do as he said. I did not have years of other instructors in my head telling me to do something different. The hardest part for me was not being able to erase. I learned how to draw what I saw, not what I thought I saw. In meeting this challenged, I learned new things about myself and what I could do.
Some of these things were never on my list as things to do. I am glad i got the opportunity to do them because they have opened up new worlds for me. I see myself as a different type of artist now. It has been powerful.
In 2018 go find you power.
I love Christmas and it is my most favorite time of year. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you this girl loves Christmas. By this time I have usually finished Christmas cards and got them in the mail with my Christmas Letter and Christmas Photo. I would be half way through Christmas shopping and planning who I will be celebrating with.
This year there are no christmas cards, no christmas photo, no letter, no presents, no parties and no shopping.
There are two finals, 1 photo project, 1 drawing project, a couple of photo packages, an unkept home and a cold that will not die.
BUT I still love Christmas. I mean think about this. The Creator of the Universe loved us so much that He came down from heaven to see about us. He didn’t try to keep His apartment in heaven. He didn’t go home to heaven every weekend to kind of help Him get used to our ungratefulness. When the choice came for Him to lose communication with heaven, He gave it all up for us. We were important to Him. (How can you not fall for a man who will do that for you?)
I love Christmas because He didn’t come on His terms, He came on ours. He came as a human baby raised by human parents. He dealt with poverty, rejection and death. When He says He understands what we are going through, we believe Him. We got a wonderful counselor, a mighty God, everlasting Father and a prince of peace!
I don’t have to shop for this. I don’t have to send cards. All I have to do is accept the free gift He offers and spend eternity with Him.
I do have a Christmas tree which reminds me that even though it is strong and sturdy, it is the lights that give it the beauty. The same is true of us. We may be strong and sturdy, but it is Christ’s light in us that give us our realy beauty.
I love this season and how it changes people’s hearts. I hope it changes your heart.