mental health days.

Today I took a day. My 5:34 am alarm went off & at that moment, I just couldn't do it. My body, mind, and heart just felt heavier. And for those of you that also teach, you know that when you're not at 100%, everything is just harder. Therefore, in order to ease some of my anxiety. I took a day for me. 

I tried to fill today with all of the things that I love most or that I'm trying to love more. 

1. sleeping in

2. morning yoga & prayer 

3. chamomile and lavender hot tea

4. simple errands 

5. finishing a painting (below!)

6. espresso + milk

7. apple butter on toast

8.  job applications...

9. emails

10. & grocery shopping

Today was tempting. I wish that I could be on my own clock each day. To wake up when I'm rested, to eat when I'm hungry, and to not feel a sense of anxious urgency every minute. All of which I'm hoping will come once I figure out this whole teaching thing or find peace with how daily life works. 

And now - the planning for tomorrow begins. 

xo, 

katie

Hopes & Fears // Angie

HOPE // "That when I reach the gates of heaven, the Lord will welcome me in."

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FEAR // "Not finding peace with my disease, multiple sclerosis."

Our obstacles are not small. Diminishing them in light of the vastness of the world, time, existence, etc. has always been a painful & ineffective solution for me. Because in that instance, the obstacle seems as though it spans time & space. Therefore, instead of trying to minimize the situation, I've found that focusing on the sheer greatness of our Creator is my comfort. Our problems are not small, our God is just really big. 

Ms. Angie has chosen to use her fear as a path to her hope. While she acknowledges her fear not of finding peace with MS, she also hopes that the Lord uses it to create opportunities to know Him more & to be able to reach others. Her MS is, and will continue to be, something that enables her - to speak truth, to connect, to love. 

Our obstacles are not small & our burdens are not light. However, even the flowers of the field and the birds of the air do not worry -- how much more precious are we to God? Our existence is fleeting, but yet it is so very magnificent. Our fears are big, but our stories are magnificent. 

We are tangled in our obstacles. And while they can sometimes destroy us, they have a tendency to create us simultaneously. Our fears, trials, experiences, raw lives make us who we are, but they do not define us. To me, this idea presents the potential we have to CHOOSE how we use our fears. We have the potential to make our hardships components or consumers -- the difference in being a chapter of our story versus the very title of it. Our problems are not small, our God is just really big. 

yours, 

Katie

 

Hopes & Fears // Leah

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FEAR // "Becoming numb to the deep joy that is found in God." (right)

Leah's thoughts definitely resonated with some of my own hopes & fears -- oftentimes I grow anxious about being unaware of the magnificence of God. I'm moving too fast, I'm too preoccupied, I'm simply not looking. However, when I stop & actually begin to take things in, I realize that absolutely everything points back to Him. The sky, the waves, the wind. And even pain, endurance, suffering. But to me, that represents truth. The hope is in wanting to reflect that same light myself, in my work, my relationships, my thoughts, and yes, even in my fears - may they begin to pale in comparison. 

Stay tuned for more, friends -- 

xoxo, 

Katie

It's been a dreary Sunday here in the Queen City, however, I always find quiet, gray days incredibly refreshing. With the holiday break coming to a close & 2015 well on its way, it's finally time to start sharing some of the responses from the hopes & fears project.

Although Leah & I are new friends, I'm thankful that she's shared a piece of her heart as if we've know each other for years. Below are her two images that represent a great fear & even greater hope.  

HOPE // "Everything is a shadow pointing to the substance: GOD." (top left)

The hopes and fears of all the years.

a proposal. 

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As the Christmas season & the beginning of 2015 approach us - the idea for a mini project has held me captive. Therefore, I'd figured I'd share. But first, a little background on the pictures above. The portion of a painting on the right represents my hope to be content in chaos, to live beautifully no matter my circumstance. And the left represents my fear of becoming hardened & blind to the beauty around me. Now - for an explanation.. 

The idea: 

I've love to hear from some of you that have taken interest in my little creations. More specifically about your hopes & fears. Once submitted, I'd love to paint miniature canvasses (4"x4") depicting both the hope & the fear that you currently hold or have held before. 

The goal(s): 

1. To be more intentional with my work

2. To be a reminder to you that your hopes do outweigh your fears, & if not, they will. 

3. To be an alternative to silly New Years Resolutions. 

The requirements: 

1.  Honesty & vulnerability 

2. Logistically, each project (2 canvases) would be $12. Also, you are welcome to pick them up from me or pay the shipping costs to have them delivered to you. *However, if you would not like to keep the canvases, but would still like to submit ideas, feel free!

Next steps -- 

If you're interested in participating in this mini project, please contact me in any way & list both your hope & fear (be as specific or vague as you would like!) However, please be quick due to the fact that I'll only be working on this until the 1st of the year. Eeep! 

Thanks in advance for your willingness to participate - You guys are the best. 

lovingly, 

Katie

 

little projects.

Over the past two weeks or so I've been painting small, glass ornaments. See below - tadaa! There's no method - just madness. I wish that I could say that there's some technique to making the little guys, but truly it's just combining colors, mixing, painting, and crossing my fingers until I feel it looks like something. 

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Which, oddly enough, that unorganized system seems to mimic how I currently feel about my life. Unplanned & terrifying, but limitless & creative. 

These little projects are beginning to serve as little reminders that beautiful things can still be created without a plan. Now, I know that's not exactly sound advice for all areas of life. However, as a person that lives covered in to-do lists and constantly searches for what's next, I need to learn the benefit of taking each day as it comes -- to experience peace in the not-knowing. 

It hasn't helped that teaching has conditioned this idea in me - this "needing to know". Lesson plans all have an objective, class is structured to the minute, there is always a specific end goal. The very thing that I am trying to resist is necessary in my professional life. And yet, when I take a step back and examine reality, I can't identify the objective, the agenda, the end goal. Things are fuzzy. And that can be terribly frustrating - but beautiful too. 

Right now, I'm trying to navigate that messy space between structure & waiting. I don't know what's next. And that leads to crippling anxiety, mindless over-thinking, the stickiest of tears, shaky insecurities, and too many cookies. Whereas, I'm hoping it leads to openness, bravery, adventure, peace, and... more cookies. 

I wish I had answers about what's next. For both of us. But for now, I'm learning to live in a space without many. And to be honest, maybe answers aren't the goal. 

Therefore, let me leave you with some details about the process of painting these ornaments... that just so happens to apply just as much to living as it does to painting. 

1. It's OK to wipe off the mistakes and start over - but the mistakes can be the most beautiful part. 

2. Pay attention to the details.... but, don't forget to step back and look at the whole picture. 

3. The end product can turn out different than what you imagined...and be better. 

always, 

katie

 

Step 1.

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
— - Nelson Mandela

I've delayed starting this (read: making my work public in a professional way) due to fear. Fear of failure, rejection, disappointment - both in myself & in others. Clearly, an unhealthy way to view something that brought & still brings me so much joy. Unfortunately, fear is something I struggle with in a lot of aspects of my life. The dark, the attic, the middle school mile run, the uncertainty of the future, the dark corners of my heart, the red pen on an essay, the fact that no one will read this. Obviously, I could continue. However, I have OH SO many things to be thankful for, to be inspired by, and to walk confidently in. With this, I believe that the Lord is using his perfect love & my hidden talents in order to encourage me to cast out fear in all areas of my life. 

So this is step 1. I've created this site both as a platform for my work & as a constant reminder to choose to live accordingly to my hopes, not my fears. For me, art is so much more than paint on a canvas - all you artist types will probably agree. I hope to create things that inspire you too to live by your hopes; pieces that will serve as reminders that you were formed by the Creator of the universe & that you too, are a work of art.

in love, 

Katie