Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Challenge


I felt I pretty much said all I was thankful for this week in an earlier post I did on Monday. (Please see previous posts.) Yesterday I came up with an artistic challenge which I sent out as an email to my email buds and artistic friends. Last night I though about challenges as a subject for today and it would not go away. Luckily I recalled all my thoughts from yesterday.

We all faces challenges every day. Some days it is a challenge just to get up every morning when we'd rather remain in bed, but we have responsibilities waiting and people depending on us. So we pray that the good Lord will allow us to go on another day so we may serve His purpose in our daily lives. His will not our's.

It is a challenge to get your child up and off to school. Some days are more challenging than others. We pray not to lose our patience, not to yell, become angry and say hurtful things we will regret later. Words we cannot take back. On those challenging days we sometimes fail. We are not perfect. So we pray for a better day tomorrow.

Then it is sometimes a challenge just to get to work in one piece with all the crazy drivers out there that got their driver's licenses from Kmart! We pray along our way for a safe journey. We add a prayer of Thanksgiving when we park the car. Some days it is a challenge to work with certain people. I am speaking from personal experience here. You know this if you have read my Illy stories. So I pray to get through another work day in order to support my family. Thankfully that situation has not been bad since "The Pinch".

There are the daily challenges of paying bills. Sometimes robbing Peter to pay Paul. And just when you think you have smooth sailing and may even see the light of day, an obsticle stirs the waters and puts a damper on your day in the form of an unexpected bill. It is an unwelcomed guest. Or maybe there has been an accident in your life or like my husband, who had a battery of tests run recently with no job on the horizon. You pray the Lord will provide and go on with your life and it's daily challenges.

There are the challenges of being a working mom then coming home to cook supper for your family. Just deciding what to cook can be a challenge in itself. It is great when your child is small and not so picky as a tween can be. I am not my mother. I won't cook him a separate meal because he does't want what I have cooked. I have become a mean mom. If you won't eat what I fix, then I am sorry. I am not a diner with a vast menu you get to select from. By the time dinner is done, I am tired and there is always something left undone. I'm like Scarlett O'Hara... I will think of that tomorrow, praying there will be one.

We all have our challenges. Some more than others. It makes me thankful we don't have some of the health challenges that some people have such as a child with cancer. My best friend Genie has a motto: "One day at a time." That is the way we take life with it's many challenges. One challenge at a time. I hope and pray that the challenges will be fewer and our blessings increase. May we never take our blessings for granted.

Here is my artistic challenge....

Today's challenge... should you decide to accept this mission... is to look around you. Be aware of your surroundings even if you just see a colored paper clip or maybe something out of the ordinary. Just got a magazine? Look through it. Look for designs. If it is a "Good Houskeeping" maybe there is something in it you really like. Maybe you like the way drapes hang in the magazine or a piece of artwork within the magazine. A woman's full length skirt can make a neat flowing pattern especially if it has a design in it. Cut them out. Cut out scraps of things or collect objects for one week. There may be a small object lying around. Put all your finds in a small envelope of plastic bag. Or bigger if you are feeling inspired which I hope you wil be. See what you have collected at the end of the week. If you think you don't have enough to even fill the smallest size index card (3x5)to make a collage, then gather things for another week or however much time you need. There is not rush. There is no time limit. You may even have a ribbon stashed away somewhere. You can also use your receipts from lunch to mark a time frame. Maybe you had a really good lunch with a friend and want to remember it or scrapbook it. Perhaps other good things happened to you on that day. You could tear off a page from your calendar with a personal note in your handwriting. Don't be afraid; Don't be afraid of color; of things overlapping. Do it your way. You can do this. When you do make something, let me see how it turned out. I will make artists out of you yet. LOL Just remember to have fun - that is what art is all about. I can't wait to see what you come up with. The neat part is it will be about you, what you have done, what you have seen in your life for a week or so and no one can take that away from you. It is your art and you have created it. Once you do this, you cannot say you are not an artist.

Today I am so excited about the photography class I am taking this evening. I gathered up a baggie nearly full of trinkets, filgree earrings, ribbons, a heart shaped gem clip, etc. I even cut out a heart shape and punched holes in the heart. The studio should provide some other things as well. I can hardly wait!

I am really proud and thankful how some of my recent photos have turned out on Picasa. I have amazed myself once again. I came up with a new design today and photographed it. I guess I am on another creative roll for which I am so very thankful. I noticed how each day blends something from a previous day.

I have a huge doodle pad at work. I have a design going that I have added to daily. I think that is what we do with our lives... add some of ourselves daily. Today I connected some of it together. When I first started it, I had what I call peppermint swirls that look like a big top at a fair or circus. Then I thought I must have been feeling like I was in a 3-ring circus having to do things for my parents and sometimes my aunt. Then still do what must be done for my family. My art was literally imitating my life. I just didn't realize it at first. Am I coming to a realization each week? So if you should decide to take my artistic challenge, you too might see where your art imitates your life.

Another thing I discovered today.... One of my motivational calendars had this quote:

"Open a dictionary at random, close your eyes, and point to a word. Read the definition. Then use the word in conversation or correspondence before the day ends."
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.-

I did this. My word was:

contagion - n. 1. The communication of disease by contact, direct or indirect, or figuratively, of mental states by suggestion or association. 2. Pestilental influence; pestilence; plaque. 3. The medium of transmission of disease; contagium. Syn. infection. etc...

I seriously doubt I will be using this word in a conversation today unless I worked in the medical field which I do not. LOL So I have used it in this form of correspondence. I am thankful I don't HAVE to use this word. I hope it never becomes one of my challenges.

I am thankful for the t-shirt I bought Rhett at Kohl's yesterday for $1.40! I am thankful for the wedding frame I got on sale with a 20 percent discount for a lovely couple at church who are getting married in May. There are still two other gifts I want to get them. I am thankful my Daddy's hand has healed and he doesn't have to bandage it anymore. I am thankful for my husband who went to put a dead bolt on my aunt's door today. He had to buy tools to do it. I am thankful for the rain even if I complain about it. Such as why it couldn't wait 5 more minutes until I got inside work this morning. Everything is so pretty and green.

If you would like to participate in Thankful Thursday please go to the following...
hosted by Laurie who had an excellent post about hope. If I had read it first, I might have done somehing hopeful as well although I do feel my post is hopeful. Stop by and read her post.
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Denise said...

I love you my friend, praying sweet blessings upon you.

PERBS said...

You lead a most interesting life. I can't particitate in your art challenge -- I have Easter cards to get making yet!!!!!!!!! Yikes! Of course my cards are sorta what you are doing. lol

LAURIE said...

What a great TT post today. And challenging too. Thanks for sharing your grateful (and creative) heart with us today. -Laurie

Serendipity said...

I find myself nodding as I read through your post. Not that I'm a mother of a teen LOL but that reminded me of my brother who gave my mom a hard time over the same thing too, among many others. Talk about growing pains LOL!

Thanks for sharing this creatively challenging post! God bless!

becky aka theRAV said...

I love you to Denise. Thanks. I am sending those blessings back to you. I guess I never thought I really led an interesting life until you said that statement, Paulie. Thanks for the reminder. I needed that. Good luck with your Easter cards. Can't wait to see them. Hi Laurie. Thank you for the compliments. Thank YOU for doing Thankful Thursday. Serendipity, it is nice to know you nodded along. That made me feel good. God bless you too. Thank you all for stopping by and commenting.