Tag Archives: painting

Be Saying Goodbye to Orange 

I am not sure what happened, but I am going with it.  

Yesterday, I decided to was done with our orange walls.  They served their purpose. They helped me wail and gave me a place to ‘put’ my grief.  

Here is the story of the orange walks.  

After celebrating my birthday, I knew my pain had turned to peace.  So, I picked up a brush and roller this morning and began to pain.  

   

I was able to talk to my boys about the  pain I felt when Nana died.  I told them that painting this wall orange helped me.   I told them I wanted to paint this wall white today because of the peace, love and joy that surrounds us now. 

Peace.  

Love.  

Joy. 

Now back to the wall to no longer wail but to have a whale of a time doing something my mom loved to do.   

  Thank you God for giving me perseverance to deal with my stuff and to have such a supportive partner.  

Be Creating a New Thing

New year.

New eyes.

An old dresser.

2015/01/img_8015.jpgDressed up to now hold Lego.

We have copious amounts of Lego.

Sexy Neck took an old family dresser.

Painted it with old white molding paint.

Added some leftover chalkboard paint, with the boys help.

2015/01/img_8017-0.jpgGlued on the Lego bases that the boys got for Christmas.

Viola!

A new thing.

To help us keep things organized in the new year!

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I am extremely grateful.

Great work boys.

Be Living Beyond Expectations (Painting)

Who knew what these last twelve months would bring?

Surprise after surprise, both wonderful and heartbreaking.

My self-assessment twelve months ago would have used the descriptors: mom, wife, daughter, previous jock, teacher-on-leave, Vtown girl…

I no longer live in Vtown, nor think of myself as a teacher, neither do I have a living mother anymore… The fact that I am painting makes me lie of the floor.

I was introduced to watercolour painting by Herta at this retreat. Sexy Neck bought me a set of paints for my birthday in a month later.

My heart is full of gratitude for having the luxury to play with colour on beautiful watercolour paper. My boys love it and always join me. We paint quietly together often talking about cool new colour creation or telling each other what we can see.IMG_4842 IMG_4843 IMG_4844 IMG_4845 IMG_4846

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative.

Peace.

Soul care.

Colourful.

Uplifting.

Unexplainable.

A pure gift from God.

Beyond anything I ‘thought’ I could do.

Have you lived beyond your expectations today?
Two year old OC:
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Almost Five year old CC

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Seven year old JC’s paintings including a hairless one of me.

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My paintings from my soul, feelings and things I see in God’s creation.

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Expectations.

Chains or freedom.

Choosing freedom.

Living in the beyond.

Painting.

Playing.

Expressing.

Me!

Be Painting the Door Blue

Last week, I had white paint on my arm and a family friend that I don’t see very often asked, “Are you still painting?” Yes, last week it was a white shelf for our basement. This week it was our front door.

I paint when the boys nap or in the evening when they are asleep. I find these ‘down times’ are the hardest times to negotiate without my mom’s presence. The memories and sense of loss come often and quickly these last weeks.

I am still in the boat on the ocean of grief. The waves have been still and the sun on my face, but on the horizon I sense a storm brewing. One year ago was when I first started noticing mom wasn’t well. Last June, we were living with mom and dad as we renovated our house. They went to VCity to help my sister. They had a night away at The Hill spa, but all was not well with mom. She thought she had a bladder infection, but how could we know the path that we were heading down…

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So I paint.

I ponder.

I remember.

I keep moving.

Living.

Trying to make sense of a senseless time.

Holding tight to my faith.

My brush.

My day.

One step at a time.

When we lived in Vtown, we had a great intentional friend and neighbour who was very present in our daily lives. Here she is:

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Lizzie in her backyard with the boys.

She has the most beautiful blue door. It is stunning with a handmade stained glass window:

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I decided our front door needed a pick me up colour. Blue it is!

Before I painted the door I drew hearts for our family and every visitor that comes through the ‘threshold’ wishing us all the fruit of God’s spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.

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Love.

Joy.

Peace.

Patience.

Kindness.

Goodness.

Faithfulness.

Self-control.

I pray that all these qualities roll over and through each of us this day no matter the colour of our door.

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Be Painting with Small Brushes

The walls and kitchen cupboards (photos to come!) of our home are painted.

The outside will have to wait til warmer, more consistent weather.

Time to pick up the small brushes and paints Sexy Neck and the boys bought me for my birthday.

I was out for a sunset walk

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They reminded me of my three handsome boys.

I got home, picked up my brushes, started playing with paint colour and off I went.

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I thought about my wonderful boys.

I poured out love and joy through the paint.

I felt peace and happiness flowing through me.

I created this with my heart and soul.

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Small triumphs.

Being creative.

Soul care.

Letting go.

Laughing that this Type A jock is painting… and loving it.

Freedom.

To be.

Me.

Be Going to a Retreat by a Lake

Today, I left my brood of boys after our life shifting trip to Hawaii and spent eight hours at a healing prayer retreat for women.

Each woman had a beautiful opportunity to enjoy time with God while taking care of their soul through painting, massage, prayer or counselling.

I chose prayer counselling and watercolour painting as my soul care times as well I enjoyed time on my own walking and writing in my journal.

As I walk through my life, I continue to be amazed that when I stop or pause to notice God, He is ever-present in my life. I don’t think I shall ever cease to be amazed at the wondrous coincidences of God!

This morning, I started off with a cup of tea in this mug from Hawaii:

20140328-232422.jpg (That’s my new journal in the background from Sexy Neck, isn’t it cute?)

Next, a woman lead us in song with a UKELELE! How often do you see that here? But in Hawaii, I saw them in every store and heard one being played almost every day.

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Lastly, during my watercolour painting soul care session, I learned how to paint for the first time. I was playing with paint and created this:

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Which reminded me of my very favourite bridge in Haliewa on the North Shore. I paddle boarded under this bridge, saw turtles here, ate shaved iced beside it, walked over it multiple times and just stared at it. Is it possible to have a crush on a bridge?

Here is my lovely bridge:

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Which brings me to my first watercolour painting that I am not even afraid to share publicly.

20140328-233136.jpgOver my bridge towers a strong banyan tree representing Sexy Neck and on the sides you will see three growing palm trees for my boys.

Thankful for my painting teacher.

Thankful for God that I had this opportunity to try new things.

Every day is new.

His mercy and grace is real.

He weaves everything together for His good!

Healing.

Painting.

Wholeness.

Newness.

Noticing.

Peace.

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(Inspiration for my next painting.)

Be Going to the Hospital Wall (even more painting)

We have a massive double-sided brick fireplace.

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Well, we did until I started painting it white. As I covered over its dark and smoke-filled bricks with freshness, I began to think of my mom’s four hospital stays:

August 5th to 22nd
October 31st to November 3rd
November 17th to 20th
December 14-20

She spent her finally days on earth peacefully at Hospice from December 20th to 26th.

My mom had previously stayed at the hospital twice, once when she gave birth to my sister in 1971 then three years later when she gave birth to me.

This fireplace with all it’s nooks and crannies, tested my patience, bombarded me with emotions and almost made me give up. But like the hospital, my sole purpose was to keep my eye on my goal. My goal at the hospital was to get the best care for my mom and my goal for this fireplace was to get ‘er done.

I can’t say I enjoyed many moments in my mom’s last week in the hospital fighting for mom not to be moved again, fighting for pain medication and trying to enjoy my beautiful mom. I can’t say I enjoyed painting this fireplace. It took FIVE coats of paint and hundred of thousands of dab dab dab’s with the paintbrush.

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I told Sexy Neck that the next time this thing needs to be painted I am going to take a sledgehammer and take it down instead.

The boys had fun attacking the fireplace with paint. It was very forgiving. They had fun!

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20140301-210349.jpgThe final product:

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The newly painted double-sided fireplace.

I am afraid this painting has shown me that the fireplace may be done but my hospital journey is not.

I will wait.

I will do my work.

I will heal.

I will be back at that hospital making it better for other cancer patients.

I will.

Within God’s will.

With His help.

Be Creating a New Life (Painting again!)

I realized as I started painting YET ANOTHER item in our house tonight that my sole purpose of painting is to create new life.

Life without my mom a phone call away.

Life without my mom to negotiate schooling and my boys. Schools aren’t the best places for boys these days!

Life without my mom at our sides reading, laughing, cooking, exploring and painting.

I am not completely sure what this new life here in KCity is going to look like. My grief-filled emotional brain doesn’t know what to do in this new life.

So I paint.

I actually don’t really like painting and haven’t painted before.

BUT as I move my brush back and forth in silence tonight, I felt myself moving forward.

The sense of working out my grief.

Peeling off layers of grief as I add layers of paint.

Create new life in the things around me.

Waiting for God to unfold my new life around me in His perfect timing.

Being in my home.

Completely present with my children.

Changing poops.

Making cushion forts.

Playing cars.

Painting.

Resting.

Being.

One brush stroke at a time.

New life.

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(I finished the fireplace tonight and had some extra white paint. I attacked our bedside tables that have been in Sexy Neck’s family for many years and probably are older than us.)

….Stop me if I start painting the toilet….

Be Before and After At the Wall (orange wall)

There is a sacred place in Jerusalem called the Wailing Wall or Western Wall. This wall is believed to have been part of the Temple of Solomon. Checkout 1 Kings 6 and 2 Chronicles 3 in the bible for more insight.

As I have been painting our living room wall orange, I have been pondering the Wailing Wall. This is a sacred place for Jews to go to pray and lament. My personal orange ‘wailing wall’ has been a place where I pray and lament.

I pray:
⭐️ May this home be a sanctuary.
⭐️ Help me Jesus!
⭐️ Lord, be enough for me this day.
⭐️ Help me ‘understand’ why I want to stuff my mouth with food.
⭐️ Lord, be with each of my boys. Be present to them.
⭐️Help me put one foot in front of another when all I want to do is lie under my duvet.

And I lament, oh how my heart grieves so many things:
💔 Our best friends moving to Vancouver Island last March.
💔 Moving from our ‘hood’ on 29th Crescent in May.
💔 Mom starting to show she is unwell in June.
💔 Saying goodbye to friends popping over and being ‘known’.
💔 Moving to a new city and neighbourhood in July.
💔 Mom being in the hospital and beginning her journey with cancer.
💔 Starting new activities and schools for the boys in September.
💔 Riding the cancer wave with mom and dad all autumn.
💔 Mom’s final hospital and hospice time in December.
💔 Mom’s death on Boxing Day.
💔 Broken relationships are finally exposed. (My sensitive soul is actually more relieved than grieving this one!)
💔 Living each day without my mom.
💔 Watching my dad, Steve and the boys grieve.
💔 Existing in a world without my mom a phone call away, without her popping by, without her listening ear, without her presence, without her hugs.

20140217-131155.jpgBEFORE

I pray.

I lament.

I grieve.

I choose.

To paint.

20140217-131205.jpgAFTER

Sanctuary.

Sanctified.

Peace.

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I can survive!

I am full of gratitude for my boys!

I sit in the desert.

I wait.

I rely on my blessed friends.

I look for how God will bring me out of this.

I believe.

I rest.

I WAIT AT THE WALL.

If you need me, you know where I will be!

Be Painting the Walls Orange?

Orange?

I am not sure where that came from. My thoughts are often strange peaceful and painful creatures I have never seen before. Apparently these creatures are currently orange.

My dad gave us this painting:

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And… I decided that I wanted to paint the wall behind this picture orange.

Take a look:

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(Oh ya, I am also painting the fireplace!)

Side note: my mom has painted every house that I have owned. She would come over with her own paintbrush and paint clothes. She would paint while I would keep the boys out of the paint. My mom, in her pain, painted the green cupboards in our current kitchen. I love my mom’s presence and the love she poured into our homes in more ways than one.

So…. I was feeling pretty crazy about this orange thought so I decided to text my soul friend on Saturday and she gave me this insight about orange: Orange means courage, passion, dunamis power, fire, harvest and strength.

Side note #2: (How many are you allowed in a blog?)
My insightful friend, A, gave birth to a baby girl yesterday! We lit a candle for her as we were creating our ‘Speak to me’ paintings.

But… Sexy Neck still wasn’t sure about the orange. He said, “Ask Ang!” I asked our designer friend Ang and she surprised us all with a “Go for it!” AND I DID!

Today, I started with a wall at the end of the hallway where we will put yesterday’s creations. I figured I would start small for my first wall painting endeavour. Then I moved to the big feature wall in the living room!

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Orange baby!

Painting through my grief.

Better than eating!

Working it out.

Staying present.

Letting go of fears.

Throwing out expectations.

Living outside of judgement.

Painting the walls orange parrot.

Thank you Benjamin Moore.

Awesome!

Side note #3: One more coat of paint tomorrow. Finish product photos coming soon!

Side note #527 I just received a comment from from Ang Interior Design friend. (See comment below)
Guess what orange symbolizes in the design world – “Orange offers emotional strength in difficult times. It helps us to bounce back from disappointments and despair, assisting in recovery from grief.”

Yup, orange it is! Now I have to lie on the ground AGAIN. Who knew colours could make connections to my life too!