I have a fairly light schedule this month, which is very welcome after two rather full months. June and July were full of great things– with a beautiful new grandchild topping the list of events that included an artist retreat, attending an art workshop, vacationing on the Outer Banks, flying to California to meet little Elizabeth, and quite a bit more. Even such wonderful events on my calendar, though, take their toll of energy, and by the time August came around, I was ready for a month at home without a lot going on.
I’m trying to take advantage of this quieter month to be more intentional in how I use my time, with the hope of developing a sustainable rhythm to my days and weeks. Although I very much enjoy spontaneity, I find I also need structure, so my goal for this time period is to see what sort of balance works best for me. Of course, I know that that balance will change as circumstances change, but I’m hoping that I can find a flexible rhythm that I can adapt as needed, while still maintaining some continuity.
One thing I’ve realized is that I am calmer and at the same time more productive in the long run when I keep my mornings quieter for reading, writing, walking, sketching, praying, or putzing around the house getting enjoyable chores done. When I schedule up my mornings with appointments or socializing, I often end up feeling like my days are hectic races and that I have somehow sold my quiet-loving nature to a to-do list. On the other hand, when my mornings are quiet, I tend to feel peaceful and yet energetic, and in the afternoon I enjoy spending time with people or often get done as much as I do on the more scheduled days. I also am much more present with Stephen and with others after I’ve had quiet mornings.
I’ve also found that I mostly paint when I travel rather than when I’m home, because art time typically gets scheduled out. Last month, though, a wise friend reminded me that I need to prioritize both art and prayer, both of which tend to get pushed to the side if I get too busy. As this month of reflection goes along, I’m finding myself painting a good bit more than I usually do when I’m home, and when I paint or sketch more, I also pray more. I’m writing more, too, and today I even surprised myself by trying my hand at a bit of fiction for the first time. This shows me yet again that if I nurture my spirit in the ways it needs, creativity will flow. I’m planning to keep making time for quiet in the coming weeks, and hoping to enjoy many creative hours.
Your Art and your musings and writings here are so inspiring! I am enjoying reading your blog immensely! <3 I need to find my flow with my daily prayer times and setting aside a scheduled time to paint each day, since my daily patterns are changing as I am no longer subbing for art teachers in three school districts. I recently decided that I am finished with that …and since making that decision, God is opening opportunities to teach Art to families of Home-schoolers. It is a delight to have people ask me to teach their children …and to have students who WANT to learn about Art, rather than HAVE to TAKE an Art class in the public school. <3
I would like to keep in touch with you as I consider you a special mentor to me…as I grow in my spiritual journey and share my Artistic abilities and talents. One thing I REALLY need to do next is to create a website for all of my artwork…and maybe do a Blog as well. What kind of web server would you suggest I look into that won't cost an arm and a leg…yet give me the ability to showcase my Art and to share from my heart what God is saying to me through my visual and spiritual journey? I really love what you are doing with your blog! It is a wonderful way to communicate your heart and your ART! <3
Thank you very much, Corinne! I am so glad you’re enjoying reading my blog and finding it helpful, and thank you very much for commenting.
I’m so glad to hear you’re teaching homeschoolers now. Did you know that I homeschooled my children? Homeschool moms are always looking for people to help with various subjects, and art is a big one. It’s wonderful you’ll be doing that!
My sister made this website and bog for me, and all I really know about it is that she used wordpress. She does do website design, so if you’re interested, I can put you in touch with her. It will be great to see what you do with your art and your experiences of faith and what God is communicating to you. I’m eager to see what you share!