Change can come without warning or welcome. Going through horrendous changes can be overwhelming. We can try to find gentle and helpful support from other people, lean on our faith in God even when it is challenging to do so, and take the time we need to process it. This is a burned out house near me. The houses on either side also had damage. Months passed before construction started. Now the roof is completely removed. Stacks of new wood are there, which looks like more changes to come.
I can count on change: there will be moments of quiet, moments of noise, changes in weather, seasons, people, relationships, scenery, styles, health, comfort, discomfort, size, diet, learning, entertainment, music, and art. There's more, too. I like the thought that this, too, shall pass. For me that means I can't hold onto good times, and bad times will not last forever.
Here are four photos of a painting in process. During the process, I have to pause often to allow watercolors to dry. I also have feelings to process, like doubt. This picture is from an article in the Boston Globe Newspaper (May 19, 2017--photographer Globe staff, Jonathan Wiggs). I have been painting on the theme of hair. I have been thinking about the idea that we cannot judge a person by their hair. What my "hair" pictures end up as is also a process. I try to enjoy the process and accept the changes as they come.
Change is more noticable right now. I am now a grandmother and married to a grandfather; my son and daughter-in-law are parents; my other son and daughter-in-law are uncle and aunt; and, I turned 60 years old. There are more changes, too, that I won't mention here. It is an exciting time and amazing in many ways. I am also aware of feeling some stress. Living a day at a time is good for me to remember. It is awesome to we aware of what I have to be grateful for. Painting my grand baby and his mom was a pleasure.
I am happy to enjoy warmer days and color. For a long time it has been cold temperatures and mostly dull greys. I am also aware that pollen, heat, dirt, yard work, and noise through open windows will be part of what comes with spring. I am still grateful for this change. I want to acknowledge that I feel negatives and positives in many changes that happen.
(c) 2016 LTHurd
I painted this for a Christmas card a few years ago. On the cover it said "Read any good news lately?" Inside it had a verse from the Bible in Luke chapter 2: "The angel said, Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people...in the town of David, a savior has been born...." I like the thought that news changes. There has been terrible news in history, as there is today. We may hear more immediate and more quantity of news, because technology helps it to travel faster. Good news is around us, too. And some news seems more like gossip, as it can expose personal stories. I can feel overwhelmed with all of it. I can hang onto my seat while news unfolds. I can pray for peace and courage to face uncertain days. I can also choose to tune out on some of it. The news will continue to come and reflect the changes going on around us.
I sometimes think of my life in terms of food phases. This painting is from the cookie phase. During this phase I tried to have cookies available for my family. There was a daily limit, which was more like an entitlement, of four cookies per day. At the time I thought it was a reasonable amount to have for my family members and me--each have four. Now that sounds extravagant. I am not making cookies now. I have entered a low sugar and low-to-no gluten phase. These food phase changes reflect to me other phases in life that also change. There have been health and job phases, and then the empty nest phase. Soon I will be in the grandmother phase.
For a Christmas Eve worship service I made this art work. Behind the ALLELUIA, are the following words: "interrupted plans, Mary, who will understand this?, fear, faith, questions, Joseph, family shame, unexpected travel, inconvenient timing, no room, crowds, pain, humble provision, birth, Jesus, visitors, night, shepherds, unexpected, more visitors, wisemen, gifts, Herod, travel." I was reminded that much of the Christmas story was not easy or beautiful to experience, and yet it is nothing short of an ALLELUIA. It is a comfort to me that all of today's changes, inconveniences, interruptions, fears and questions do not have to prevent me from saying ALLELUIA either. The ALLELUIA can come for me when I choose to trust that God has a plan and will not abandon me. I cannot muster an ALLELUIA on my own determination, it is more of a surrender for me. Then I can find peace and rejoicing one day at a time.
Change is a given. Sometimes I notice, sometimes not. Sometimes I have to do something with the changes and sometimes not. Some changes I am happy to see and others not. I try to notice and accept the changes as they come. That is not always easy. For me sometimes it requires that I trust that I will have the strength to handle the changes. That has been true in the past. I believe God has given me the strength before so I am choosing to trust that God will continue to "grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
My grandmother made socks often. I only learned and attempted to make some myself in the last couple of years--more than 30 years since my grandmother has passed. My friend Liz coached me through my first pair. I painted this one (maybe my fourth pair) before I started, in process, and then finished. Finishing can be long coming sometimes, but it is what I hope and expect to happen eventually. I find it best not to be too focused on the end, lest I not enjoy the process. If I knit a few rows one evening, I don't need to be frustrated that progress is too slow. It is progress. That is worth celebrating.
LeTtiNg iT gO...BLoG
Linda T. Hurd. I don't feel like a real writer or artist, but I am both.