Really I'm such a newbie at this that I am still shocked when I actually see a message from etsy that an order has been placed or an inquiry has come in. I mean, it is what I wanted and what I hoped would happen. But I'm still shocked when it does.
I got a custom order for gifts for a couple of interns who work for a youth pastor. I love knowing a little bit about the people I'm working on a print for so that I can be praying for them while I do.
I have this really intense prayer connection with God while I'm working and listening to my pandora praise music. I love it. It's therapeutic and enlightening and just plain fun.
So my absence yesterday for the 100 Days of Joy was because I was busy making a new print and changing the skin and hair on another. You'll have to check out the shop.
My Joy #30 in the 100 Reasons for Joy Challenge is finishing this painting to go with Zephaniah 3:17.
"The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
I love every word in this scripture.
But the part, "He will quiet you with His love" became a life-line for me when I was having major anxiety due to the piles of hair falling out for months on end in the Spring/Summer of 2009. One day when I went to blow-dry my bangs, they fell out right on the counter. Then months proceeded with a red, burning scalp and hair loss worse than post-pregnancy loss. I had no idea the cause and no end in sight. It was so hard having to shower and brush my hair. I would just meditate on that scripture, begging God to quiet my racing mind with His love.
It took over three months to get into my approved dermatologist. And that began the journey into discovering the cause. More than a month later, after a scalp biopsy I received a call that it was lupus. The doctor told me it was a scarring alopecia and could be permanent.
This began a journey for me that was really about releasing everything to God and trusting in Him. I had no control over what was happening. It was really rough at times, but praise God I'm feeling so much better and my scalp has healed. It's no longer red and the loss is now normal. And, another praise it has filled in.. so it wasn't permanent.
This is also why getting to work on these drawings is such a joy and an praise. There was a time my joints ached too much. And I was so emotionally drained I was in a mode of just getting through the day. I had nothing left to pour into something creative.
Joy #31 I got my first real haircut in a year and a half last week. I hadn't written about it partially because our cameras are acting up and I don't have a picture. But because of the loss I stopped getting my hair cut altogether for about nine months. It was just too much for me to have to sit in front of a mirror with the strong lights and watching my hair come out in someone's hands.
Then there was a part of me that kept thinking, what if it returns and it starts up again. I only had a couple of trims in the last half a year and I was overdo for a real haircut. So this was a big deal for me. I know it sounds silly, but it was one of the many ways I've been feeling strongholds released in the last several months. And that is a HUGE joy!
Joy #32 As I was preparing dinner and hanging out with my kids I was acknowledging that it is a joy to 'get' to stay home with them. So often I'm trying to keep up with everything on our plate and I feel like I can't stop to just soak it all in as much as I'd like. But I wanted to acknowledge that this is a joy and a priviledge and higher calling being a mom and getting to guide and mold these little people who're mine for such a short while really. Even though some days it doesn't feel short. I know everyone says it goes so fast and one day I'll look back and wonder where the time went.
But hopefully stopping to be in the moment and even this joy journal of sorts will help me hold onto this time and these joys so they won't feel so fleeting.