"Once we clearly acknowledge the soul, we can learn to hear it's cries. - Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart."

It takes courage to pursue our dreams. It takes time and patience to unearth buried treasure. But I believe with all my heart that we must do both.

7.16.2010

learning to pay attention

This is a photo I use often in my work.  It reminds me of me as a child.  Well, the dark hair and size of the child does.  The freedom, enjoyment and security I perceive from the picture not so much.  
But I am drawn to it over and over.


This is the journal spread I did last week.  
Remember this image happened by "accident"


This is the journal spread I did this week.



This does not happen all the time, but it has happened enough that I pay attention.  I have in the past added elements to a page with no particular reason in mind, to come back to them later and see meaning in them. Sometimes I can hear God's whispers of love to me through the images and words.  Okay, not audibly, but in my heart and spirit.  Maybe impressed upon me is a better phrase.  

These speak to me of freedom to continue on the road of openness, 
 being free to sing, 
 being secure and loved, 
 daring to live joyfully!

Even the word "releasing" above has "sing" in it.  


Does this happen to anyone else???  I would love to hear your stories.  I really think a lot of seeing, and healing comes from our journal pages.  Well it comes from God, through the pages.

Blessings!


(about the first photo - I found it somewhere on the internet but cannot remember where.  If you recognize it as your work and would prefer me to remove it please let me know.  I have only used in in my personal journal pages.)  

19 comments:

PaperPumpkin said...

I must be feeling your feelings, Mary. Last night when I took a slow walk, I was thinking about how much I have changed in six months. I started art journaling, but for the first time, in january, I made myself (forced) to put one online, in front of others, for a class I was taking. It felt so 'open' and I was terrified. But now I feel that it was the best thing I could have done. Now I have grown in openness. I have shared my thoughts and feelings, but I have felt them stronger in the process. I have been much more in touch with my own workings of my head and heart and spirit, you know? I was always more of a loner, an introvert, but I am opening up. I feel the closeness and support of bloggy friends as well as the hand of God wrapped around me when i need it most. I wish this all for you as you try to Open more, if this is what you need. (I think you are wonderful and perfect!) Love, Kathy

Jo Reimer said...

Thanks Mary, for leaving the comment about my tree drawing! It’s such fun to draw on the collaged backgrounds… makes me want to draw more and more. I love trees; like your photo today it’s almost as if they were made to praise God with their uplifted arms.
See, there you go. I never thought of that before. When I pay attention hidden meanings and a heretofore unnoticed richness is revealed, especially in God's creation.

Butterfly Works said...

I have definitely been "spoken" to in my art joiurnaling...back from the first one I did I thought I was describing a general spiritual situation and then I realized it was about me...

At each retreat this has happened with each person participating....they start out with a picture of something that interest them make a collage and every single time when we finish and start to discuss their picture an issue they have been working has shown up in the picture. It's amazing....but then you think about how they use art to help children identify sexual abuse, etc. and you realize how important one's art is in helping see what's below the surface. Once seen, you can identify
and receive healing....And I don't think it's just for issues we're dealing with but also God uses them to remind us of His great love for us, like hugs and encouragement....

I am sorry this is so long but you spoke to something that is very important to me and I think it's an incredible gift......Mary, you're
always challenging us to go deeper and I love you for that.....thanks for sharing what's in your heart.

Hugs and blessings

Bren said...

Happens all the time Mar, I think it is amazing how he uses image and colour and such unconscious selection and elements to get to our deepest heart. I just blogged about the discoveries I've made while art journaling and working my way though things.
Great, great post Mar.

Bev said...

there are times when i visit a blog and images or words put a lump in my throat and almost bring me to tears. it has been happening alot lately, and it just happened now. there is something about this image that does invoke a sense of freedom, lightheartedness...my art journey is helping me to do that...really, my inspiration is god-breathed it seems...his way of speaking to me, through me for myself and others...
thank you mary for your beautiful self....

lori vliegen said...

i believe that there are no mistakes in art......and i'm always amazed at what is revealed when we allow these creative spirits that we've been blessed with to "come out and play"! you always inspire me to dig a little further and think.....hugs to you for that, and so much more, dear mary!!!
xox, :))

Denise said...

Such beautiful thoughts and art expressed here. I believe God speaks to us through our journaling.

Sandra Hall said...

I love how art journaling gives space for God to work... sometimes, I think I'M making choices, choosing images, quotes and even colour etc, but then God unfolds so much to me as I look back through my journal...
I love your image Mary, (the girl on the beach with arms open in abandonment) it is very powerful.

DJ said...

Someday...
We'll all dance together and join in raising hands & voices of praise at One Throne...
I like to think that will be the ultimate
FREEDOM and JOY !

Perhaps we should practice...now?

Jennifer Richardson said...

That happens to me all the time, too! It's so comforting to know how often it happens to all of you. Thanks for pointing that out, Mary. I think we often miss layers and layers of love letters and sweet somethings as heaven blows us a kiss....if we're not already watching, we don't always catch them when they come. I want to pay attention more better:) -Jennifer

DJ said...

Sometimes child-like celebrations are best...
Meet ya on the beach!
I'll bring peanut butter samiches...you bring a bucket...
:-)

Say It In Color said...

Oh Mary,I feel it..you have no idea how much! Over the years I have written a lot! and I just need to do some art along side but the freedom thing has hit lately harder than ever,I mean I have felt freer than ever lately, I think the Lord lets you be separated from even good people because you need to be free and dependent only on Him and not leaning or depending on them especially them building you up maybe even falsely!...(Close friends)when something "bizarre and hurtful" happens and there is a division that is confusing, at best, then you are totally alone without the closeness of those close friends to vent to or justify to or cry with or even ask "why" with,"it is not really a bad thing" because it has forced me to have only my husband and my Lord to talk to with the hurt and it has really brought us two or three closer,so it feels much freer!! I feel like my very own person more that ever! It took awhile but God never fails you and people do all the time. I DO feel freer, more loved & secure because I am finally learning where my security comes from, and it isn't my hubby either, but has been nice to feel his protectiveness of me lately with the weirdness that has happened thru Christian friends. I haven't depended on organized devo's, or church or a schedule to be sure I was involved even tho I wanted to be....BUT it has been my very own choice to worship or adore privately..So all I can say is ...."You (the devil) meant it for evil, but God used it for good!!" somewhere in Genesis. I LOVE JOSEPH's story. Amazing how such a negative thing can almost make you laugh after awhile with great forgiveness, even when not asked for, because of what the Lord has done with it in your life, Anyway, that has been lately for me.....tomorrow....I hope I will feel and know the same! Thanks for that wonderful picture.....I have an imagined wonderful picture since I was a child that I still cherish....it is me as a child...curled up next to a big ole mama cow chewing grass in a beautiful pasture with lots of flowers...but curled up in warmth and acceptance. Now WHY a cow? Because they don't expect you to perform to make them happy....and they aren't liars and they aren't sneaky...and I loved my grandfather's ole holstein cows and all their babies....when we were visiting there for the summer, my security was walking alone to retrieve the milk cows from the pasture across the road....I would sing Jesus loves me all the way and enjoy the grasses, bugs, flowers and even rocks....and my evil molesting uncle was too busy working at the dairy to bother me (age 7 to 8)....so I was safe with those cows! So you can see that trusting and being free have been a life long struggle for me.....you trust yourself....most of the time....but that isn't very free. Now,.... you have stirred in me to rethink all the precious scenes in paintings or photos or thoughts that I cherish.....thanks for a wonderful post!! Now to draw me curled up beside a big ole mama cow laying in a beautiful pasture.....probably in Leon, Spain below the mountains where we moved until I was almost thirteen...3 1/2 years of bliss!! (God moved us there to protect me, I really think!) A note....for many years no one knew (we all suppressed it and never told, the family was so tight)about my uncle, now passed on, but when it began to come out at age forty something for me....they all (cousins, neighbors) came out of the wood work....those who had been affected by him as well! He died fairly young with kidney failure....I was able to forgive him, verbally, but emotionally it took years.....but before he died, I told him ,thru his wife, on the phone that I forgave him....it was also so that I could pray the WHOLE Lord's Prayer....and get rid of the hate....he died a week later....oh my.....yap, yap, yap....I should write a book!

Lily said...

Definitely has happened to me too! It's amazing how our subconscious drives our actions. Thank you for sharing your most recent run in with yours! Your work is gorgeous as always!

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Well Mary, you did it again. You gone and inspired and touched my heart with your child fav picture, and words through art. Tonight, I did a quick journal page and posted it on my blog. It was a quicky and my first, and it felt so good to express what's going on in my heart this way. I'm anxious to see what happens as I begin doing more art journaling. I've been so inspired through you. I have also been inspired through the other comments tonight on your post that I've read. So so awesome!

Thank you Mary!

Lee Ann

WINDOWLAD said...

Dear Mary,

Your creations always bring light into my eyes... what had happened to you was no different with what i'm feeling each time i write a piece or poem... i've just visited Miss Connie's page to see you there and i really enjoyed reading her interview with you... i got to know you better through interview... it was a success, i could say... i leave my comment on her page... i hope she can read it... Congrats Mary and all the best luck in life!!!:D

God Bless!!!:)

>Kelvin

Buffy said...

I think when God whispers to us he has to repeat himself several times in order for us to hear him only because we don't pay enough attention to hear him. He has'nt done this to me in my journal yet,in less I'm not paying attention but he has in other ways. In your case I think he is definitely trying to tell you something.

Poetic Artist said...

Mary,
You always have a spirit of inspiration.
Thank you for all your prayers.
Love,
Katelen

Mollye said...

Oh Mary, I don't know if I'll ever be able to journal again. I try to write about love and it all comes out as anger. Love you, Mollye

Bevie said...

Hi Sis, I do see you in that picture of the little girl with her arms wide open...you have been freeing yourself from the past and your now and future is totally full of God's awesome grace and love...I hurt for that little girl way back then, but rejoice in all that God has blessed you with...He is using you to reach so many....touching our hearts with your inspiration everytime you write something..HIS love permeates in and thru you my blessed sister!!! I've grown so much in the past year listening to my comforter more and more, and knowing my relationship with my husband is growing in leaps and bounds because we are actually feeling God's love in all we do...being able to share all of me with him is what God wants for us...I love you!!!