i’m not sure where my way of faith has gotten me. always one step forward & four steps back & with each recoil i doubt myself a bit more. my relationship with Him feels fragile. i’m two curse words from being thrown off the shelf, never to be redeemed & holy again. who decided that? how did that come to be the rule? all the rules. i really feel like i just can’t handle them. i’m always unsure because i am always on the verge of breaking one & disappointing someone & it all just feels so wrong. i’m supposed to be a rebel. not this closet- whatever i’ve succumbed to being.
the way i thought was right has flipped & all the paths look the same
before i was sure, now i wonder
who decided it was right in the first place?
here i go
can i listen truly
or will the voices along the way disrupt my journey again?
they don’t know me
they accept only the tidy parts of me, not the messy whole, they call it love
he knows all of me & calls this mess beauty
he sees me
& loves me greater for it
they see a lost one, someone needing to be changed by their ideas of love
their love works to change the outer, his wrecks the inner
how do i still end up confused?
is it easier to believe i need to change than to accept myself broken?
messy morning sadness
my heart aches for direction
it’s not always pretty
i’m tired from
tearing down seemingly endless walls
& my bones ache from growth
but there is one thing i know
warriors must carry on
this evenings featured blogger has become so dear to me. her art seems to scream what my heart is whispering to me. she is such an inspiring & encouraging beauty. meet mary freeman <3
Hello dear Jodi, you are so kind to ask me more about myself and to share it with your readers.
My name is Mary Freeman. I am 57 years old/young. My husband Greg and I have been married for 36 years. We have three children, ages 33, 31 and 21, and two precious grandchildren. I have lived in Georgia for most of my adult life.
You ask who I am. To be quite honest, I am still figuring that out. Yep, at my age!! I spent my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s being first someone’s wife and mom. My days were spent driving to school and back. Driving to sports, dance, and other activities, you know the mom stuff. Trying hard to get a handle on the stuff that I believed was not the stuff a good wife and mom should feel. Especially one that had a good husband, great kids a great home with all the stuff one could want. But underneath there was always this restlessness that would not go away. I became really good at pushing it down, covering it up with activities and obsessions. When I hit 50 the pain of living a half-life was more than I could bear. I cried out to God (I had known him for many years at this point) and asked him if this was all there was, and where was the fricking abundant life he promised. It’s like he had just been waiting for me to ask those questions. I finally said to him that I did not care what it took, or what he took away, I wanted more…I wanted him! I was tired of pretending all was well in my life and in my soul. I was tired of thinking that if you are a child of God your life should be all tied up in this neat little package.
My life became extremely messy!!! God began to take me back to my childhood and into my heart and swim around in all the muck…still swimming…He began to show me my heart and what I believed about who I was. And he began to show me who He believes me to be.
I am a woman in process. I am a woman of beauty and ugly. I am a woman learning to be okay in that. I am a woman learning to live in the unfinished.
My art is an overflow of all I am learning. I was 50 when I first picked up a paint brush. God began a new work in my life that year, one that would take me down a creative path I never expected. I began to visual journal and then to paint on canvas. I began to share this with other women that were struggling and beginning to ask the hard questions. This flowed into teaching monthly visual journaling workshops at my home church and in my studio.
What inspires me? I am inspired by women and men who are not afraid to be honest with themselves. I am inspired by the heart. I am inspired by the great love God has for his creation (which includes us.) I am inspired by his capacity to love the unlovely, and his incredible abundant grace.
You asked about my creative rituals and routines. I am incredibly un-routine. It would probably do me a world of good to be more so. I am very un-disciplined. God and I are working on that. I tend to work in spurts. I will be in my studio for days, then absent from it for days or weeks. I do keep a visual journal where I have many backgrounds painted to write on as I desire. I have found when I am feeling particularly restless I need to stop and ask God what is going on. Working in my studio or working in my journal can help me flesh/paint things out .
What might people be surprised to learn about me? I am pretty insecure, and I am just learning that I am beautiful! I know! It took me awhile…it’s taken a lot of unlearning.
How do I stay motivated you ask? All the junk still in my trunk!!!!
My goals: To know God in increasing measure. To become all God has created me to be. To be a little further along that path at the end of each year. To keep moving forward. To help other women shed the masks they have worn a lifetime.
5 top quirks – 1. Gum snapping/smacking drives me nuts, kind of like fingernails on a chalkboard.
2. I kind of have an obsession with re-arranging furniture.
3. I love the beach, but I don’t like to get wet.
4. I hate hot weather, and I don’t like to sweat.
5. I have an aversion to anything fake.
My favorite quote: “God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” (Psalm 18:24 The Message)
My favorite color: If you have seen photos of my home you know I love color. I have a really hard time narrowing it down to one color. But if I could only pick one color it would be red and turquoise…oh, that’s two colors….sorry
My favorite book changes….right now it’s Beauty and the Bitch!
My favorite band: again, I can’t narrow it down to just one. So here’s a list, sorry Jodi. Over the Rhine; The Lumineers; Sandra McCracken; Mark Tedder and the Worshiplanet Band; Norah Jones; Matthew Browne (he’s my pastor); Mumford and Sons; The Civil Wars.
5 words to describe me: open; approachable; generous; sassy; and unconventional
You can purchase my cards at www.asplendidadventure.etsy.com I will have prints available in my shop shortly. You can contact me at email@example.com if you are interested in purchasing one before they are listed or if you have any questions.
here i am dancing in this field. full with your joy & purpose. & the rain beings to pour. raindrops hit my skin & i feel your love. i am surrounded by beautiful glass jars that begin to overflow gold. the field is outlined in sunshine. i dance on crying golden tears of thanks. darkness meets the sunshine, but does not overtake. the enemy watches in disbelief of my fearlessness of the storm that surrounds me. doubt, fear, hate, gossip, failure, worry try to catch my eye, but i am so enamored with my papa’s heart that they have lost their power. with tangled hair i twirl, & fire begins to dance around the perimeter of the field. it grows into a holy wildfire & pushes the storm away. “i will not be shaken, i will not be moved, you alone are steadfast, you are good.” i stand in the midst of ashes & they begin to take form. where worry & doubt once stood i see freedom. cageless birds take flight. i see beauty from ashes. you saw treasure where i saw shame.