Friday, December 30, 2011

Goals for 2012

So Jon Acuff asked his readers: "What do you want to finish in 2012?"

Here's my answer:

Here are my goals for 2012.
  1. Create communication strategies for each ministry in my church (it's in the strategic plan, so I gotta)
  2. Develop this blog to be a base for my vocation of telling my story of believing how unworthy I thought I was of God, and providing a listening base for those who are in that situation. (Um, measurable goal would be: posting twice a week on/around the topic and learning (really knowing) the stories of two other people.) 2b. Find a coherent way of saying that.
  3. Paint another large painting (3'x4', I think)
  4. Learn how to take better photos of my art. So by December 2012 I will be taking good photos of artwork and wee objects.
  5. See if I can get my twice a week of 10 minutes silence to 5 times.
  6. (which I forgot to add to my comment on Jon's blog) Lose 15 lbs. I've been maintaining my current weight for long enough. It's time to reach the next goal and lose the bit that I gained back since my last pass at weight loss. Which means keeping a faithful record on MyFoodDiary (edited this one, proving I can't do math either)
A page from last years Reverb10 journal
I found going through Reverb 2010 last year that I managed to make most of my goals, and most of the 11 things my life didn't need. I almost wish I'd had the time to repeat the journal entries for Reverb11.

What are your goals for 2012?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Chance to "Do Over" and Not "Dwell on It"

For the longest time, I couldn't see the point in confession. Before I truly believed that I am beloved by God, saying the confession during the church service either seemed hypocritical (did I mean the words I mouthed?) or induced  fresh waves of guilt and shame despite the absolution given by the priest.

Confession said on Sundays when I was a teen.

Perhaps it just takes me a bit longer, but last year as I put together a Rule of Life (part of becoming an associate of the Order of the Holy Cross), I was again confronted with this prevailing belief that confession was some antiquated words that held no real meaning now.

I consulted Mary, a friend of mine, about this dilemma. It seems that, generally speaking, Episcopalians didn't much care for confession -- baggage most like from being Protestant and separated from the Catholic church 500 some years ago.

Mary shared with me a prayer that both thanked God for the day's blessings and asked me to recognize when I had been at fault. I liked the balance.

Saying this prayer led me to the eventual revelation that confession gives me a way to start over each day. To lay both the beauties and the uglinesses of the day at God's feet and start afresh the next day.

To not carry the burdens of wrong, unkindness and frustrations into the next day.

My confession that I sometimes say in the morning (usually I pray the confession at night)

Christ, for us, is born anew every day (which we especially remember at Advent and Christmas) and he is resurrected anew every day too.

What does this mean? Well, it's a chance to "do over" and not "dwell on it".

Which as I discovered is not as easy as it sounds when I reacted to something this morning -- loudly. 

Perhaps I ought to confess at this point that I skipped confession this morning, and hurried through it the night before. Hmm.

Lovely Christmas gift from my sister-in-law... "Prayer"
But I still hope that it will become easier with practice, this letting go of burdens that I used to cling to and unhealthily obsess over.

What works for you in letting go of your burdens and baggage? Or what doesn't work?

I am linking this to Ann Voskamp's "Walk with Him Wednesdays".

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Plan was....

The plan was to redesign this blog and reboot it with its new focus.

Funny thing is, the pieces started fitting together differently. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning in the week before Christmas with an a-ha.

What I was planning wasn't exactly what God was planning. I knew that there was something more, something different, but I couldn't quite figure it out. Honestly, I still don't have it figured out. But I have another part of it... which requires consultation with the usual suspects and some more working out.

So in the meantime, I did promise I'd be back this week, so here is a painting I finished recently.

It's the last assigned painting assignment from the La Sirena class from  Suzi Blu that I took last year. She extended the critique time to May of this year, and I swore that I would finish this class before the year's end.

However, it didn't quite come out as I planned. It was supposed to be head-to-toe figures with a good-sized background. I drew the faces so big that sketching out their bodies I realized that wasn't going to happen. I had a choice, scrap the faces and start over with smaller faces, or go ahead with the painting.

It's based on the verse from Corinthians about faith, hope and love. The guy in the middle is Jesus (I haven't figured out how to do beards yet.) I wanted to include figurative illustrations of faith and hope but there was no room. No more than a heart on a sleeve, anyway.

It's the biggest painting I've done so far (that's why you see the shelves to the left, so you have an idea of the size of this thing). I have no idea where to hang it either. And I plan to do another gigantic painting the way I envisaged it in my head.

Maybe I'll sell it at the church fair next year. Maybe. I mean, it's newbie work. A year ago I couldn't draw a face. A few months ago they looked like sulky aliens. They still don't look quite right.

So I dunno. What do you think I should do with it?