"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.


a few journal backgrounds

Wanted to show you all a few of my new backgrounds.  I am not sure what I will do with them, maybe a photograph and a little journaling. I like the backgrounds so much as they are I don't want to add too much to them.

After I posted the "Entering Loneliness" article yesterday I got to thinking about it. The definition of loneliness is:
without company
companion less
standing apart
destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship 

But we can feel alone even in the company of others.  When our hearts are missed and not understood. When the needs and desires God placed in our hearts are not met. Sometimes that "loneliness" is far worse then just being alone.

We all need affirmation, acceptance, understanding and love.  We desire these from the people we love, and expect to get our needs met by them.  But we love and are loved by imperfect people.  People that do not love well much of the time.  And when those needs are not met we feel alone.  Sometimes that loneliness come out as anger, either to others (outward) or at ourselves (internal).  For me I would internalize that loneliness.  To relieve the pain I would buy some shiny new bauble, or eat something yummy, or endlessly move furniture among other things, then when that did not alleviate the pain (and it doesn't for long) I would explode in anger to be noticed.

I am changing.  I am learning to take that pain to the One who has the power to fill that need perfectly because we were made for Him.

And it's interesting to me that Solitude is one of things God is using to accomplish that change.

Richard Foster says this:  "Loneliness is inner emptiness.  Solitude is inner fulfillment".

A friend of mine saw this in fulfillment - ful-fill-me.

I am learning that when my need for affirmation, unconditional love and acceptance are met (filled) by the One who made me and knows me inside and out better than anyone else I am less demanding of others in my life to meet those needs.  I still desire those things from my loved ones, we all do, but I give them grace when they cannot meet them for one reason or another.

Grace received and given is so healing.

Greg and I are heading for the mountains for a long weekend.  The main Lodge has a computer, but I am going to try to stay away from it.  (we will see how well that goes)  I want to spend time listening to my Father, with my precious husband, good books, my journal, beautiful surroundings, and yes good food.

Grace and peace


Buffy said...

These journal pages are just yummy!! I love them all. Hope you have a great time at the mountain. Sounds relaxing.

Lisa said...

Your pages are really nice Mary. Have a great weekend!

Bren said...

Love your art Mar, wish those first two were on canvas :-)
Great post, I so relate. Have a wonderful weekend away

Just Be Real said...

Oh so very nice Mary. I thank you for always sharing your work. Blessings.

mystele said...

scrumptious art and words. thank you!

Bevie said...

You know I love those journal pages...I actually got to see you do them...and am so happy you shared the process with me. Thanks for sharing this post! I pray that you and Greg enjoy this long weekend sharing, reading and listening to God...oh and of course working in your journal...love you sis!!!

Butterfly Works said...

They are better in person...because in person they have so much depth and the colors zing...
You're right not many words needed on these pages.....

I love how you get the bottom of an issue and are so real and transparant....I am coming to find out that I must turn to God to meet my many needs as humans, no matter how much they love us just don't always have it in them to do it....I still get disappointed but it's getting less.....

I pray you and Greg will have a wonderful weekend together and come back to the world refreshed and renewed....

Love ya girlfriend,,,,

Janet said...

I don't blame you....I wouldn't want to cover up those yummy backgrounds either! The windows look great on the last pages. LOVE them all!!

Denise said...

I love these.

jgr said...

Wonderful backgrounds!! I can see why you might not want to cover them up.

Sandy said...

This post and the one prior are speaking to me so profoundly! I thank you for both! May I use your words to explain a crisis I am having right now on my blog? I will credit you as the author......I couldn't have said this any better....God was truly using you to speak to me, of that I am sure! I come over often, but rarely comment....again thank you for writing this!!!!! Sandy

PaperPumpkin said...

This is so beautiful, Mary. Thank you very much. Timely. I wish you and your husband a peaceful, loving long weekend. ~Kathy xo

Ophelia said...

These are so incredible Mary!! And yes, your messages and posts are always so timely and perfect!! Take care girlfriend!

rachel awes said...

i'll look forward to seeing what you do with these backgrounds...as well as the background
of your lovely heart... :)

Jennifer Richardson said...

Love the backgrounds...especially the starry windows.
And I so admire the balance you've built
into your life, Mary.
Your posts give me such a sense of stability
and balance even while you follow
your heart into adventure after adventure.
So beautiful, this life of yours:)

Francois said...

"But we can feel alone even in the company of others. When our hearts are missed and not understood. When the needs and desires God placed in our hearts are not met. Sometimes that "loneliness" is far worse then just being alone."

I like and recognize the truth in that statement.
Have a great weekend away from the distractions that keep you from our Father.

Dena E's Blog said...

Sweet Sweet Mary,,1st let me say I stopped by to tell you this~~~I Soooooo LOVE You Sis,,,and then WOW!!! I read your post.. Did you know I'd be stopping by!!!??? :0)
Your notes are such a JOY for me to see because
even when I'm not at your blog I'm thinking of you soooooo often. Last month I never did a blogiversary thing didn't know if it would interest enough womderful ladies.. Plus It was like God just telling me,, "Dena you need to just send Mary a gift since she was your 1st blog Sister and friend". Its true it was
God and you Mary that sooooo INSPIRED me to keep blogging when I'd get down about few followers and comments.. And also who encouraged me to just be myself and post about Jesus as much as I felt.. So now I have a 2nd blog also... And if you recall you were my very 1st follower btw!!! So one of these days we will be sending you a special gift and a few cards to go along with it ads a THANK YOU Sis for always being there~~~ Ooops, here for me and soooooo many other wonderful women such as you who follow Jesus Christ..
He is such a part of my every minute and I know that through blogging with you and others my walk has grown closer to Him and so has my Super~Hubb's..
Jesus is my hearts desire,,my every breath and with women like You Mary and Sweet Vicki G~~~WOW it just makes His Awesome path even more so!!!
And if we never meet on earth I know we will in Heaven Sis!!!
In fact if God has angels here on earth you and Vicki would each be one...
I love you Ooooooodles!!!!

May the light of Our Sweet Savior,, continue to shine through you,, with blessings from above as,, you follow God with all of your spirit mind and love~~~ Amen
Hugs Dena

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Love the windows and stars page so much! Mary, God is sure showing himself through YOU. Your words were written as if God had his hand on yours and helped you move the pen. Your words blessed my heart so much. Such beautiful insight and truth.

Oh please have such a wonderful time up in the mountains with your sweet hubby and with your heavenly Father. Then you can come back and inspire us some more!

Love ya,
Lee Ann


....you can make photographs out of those backgrounds, that for me is beautiful... and wow, you have left a very inspiring and encouraging words here... for me, loneliness is just inside our minds... it will not affect a person unless he/she let it otherwise... feel blessed my friend.!!!:)

"...bein' happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect... it means you have decided to see life beyond the imperfections... don't say you're happy because everything is alright... but be happy because while everything is complicated you are still doing fine...":)

I wish you all the best in your Mountain trip!!!:)



laurel said...

Love the backgrounds and I can see why you don't want to cover them up. Great words on loneliness. I think another way out of loneliness is to choose to be thankful for what you do have instead of what you don't have. One of the loneliest times of my life was self inflicted because I concentrated so hard on not having a spouse and finally found the end of it when I could be thankful for the richness in my life because of my wonderful family and friends.

Have a wonderful time in the mountains!

Msartist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Msartist said...

(Sorry, It didn't post correctly on the first try!)
Beautiful backgrounds and thoughtful words. I often do not add words to pages I love. I hope that you and your husband have a wonderful trip.
~All my best, Theresa

CountryDreaming said...

Love the journal backgrounds ... especially the first two more abstract ones. The first one reminds me of dice! :-)

Great insight on the difference between loneliness and solitude. And on depending on God rather than man.

May your time in the mountains bring you refreshment and peace.

Shelley Malone said...

Ohhh, Mary, these are AMAZING!! I feel so inspired. I understand why you might not want to cover these, they are gorgeous just as they are!

Vicki said...

Mary, dear friend - so glad to see your smiling face yesterday and hope you have a wonderful trip! This post is right-on target - resonates so deeply with me. Lots of wisdom here.

Love your journal backgrounds - gorgeous. You've inspired me, ministered to me, loved me, and been a true example of grace. Love ya bunches, dear friend. Thanks for caring.

Anonymous said...

Mary, I love your journal page backgrounds. I really like the one at the very top. Thanks for sharing them and thanks for sharing your words about loneliness and solitude. I hope you have a refreshing weekend in the mountains!

Teri Leigh said...

The pages are great. I too like them just as they are. I also appreciate you sharing from your heart. so much of what you say resonates with what I too am experiencing in life. Have a great weekend with your husband. It sounds wonderful.

Kim Mailhot said...

Have a wonderful weekend, Mary. May you find lots of that sweet loving from within. Enjoy !

Erin Butson said...

Beautifully put, Mary. I identify with every single syllable. You given me some much needed clarity and reminders and hope. happy computer free weekend! xoxo

sarah said...

this is so interesting Mary...I used to feel so alone...but now I love going alone in the woods...just me and HIm....and knowing.....I'm never alone....He's there...always..in my corner...running with me. And He's there....always....in your corner...running with you too. ☺

S. Etole said...

That is such a good quote by Richard Foster ... and I like your new journal pages. Hope your week-end is blessed with peace.

Lily said...

I love the last one. It is gorgeous. Your words on loneliness and fulfillment hit home for me. Thank you for sharing them. Hope your weekend was glorious.

JANN said...

Mary Hello,
your blog is looking great and doing so well. Enjoyed visiting you once again and marveling at all you have done & how far God has brought you. It's marvelous. Would love for you to join my/our FRIENDSHIP BLOG or at least drop by for a quick look. Thank you and have another great week.
That photo of you on Bevie's blog is just fantastic , you look so gorgeous. ( the image of you holding the camera )
Happy Autumn


Anonymous said...

These backgrounds are AMAZING!!! Someone has been reading LK Ludwigs new book! ;-) I love them!!!