My Dear Addye, With All My Love, Susan

Hello, dear readers of Butterfly Confessions. Lauren of My Postpartum Voice here. I’ve recruited some of Addye’s friends to write posts for her blog while Addye babymoons with hear new little one. This letter is the first guest post and it’s written by the fabulous Susan of Learned Happiness. If you’d like to submit a guest post to be published while Addye is babymooning, email me at mypostpartumvoice (@) gmail with “For Butterfly Confessions” in the subject line!

Without further ado, I present Susan’s lovely words for Addye…..

 

My Dear Addye,

You and I have been friends for 3 years, now.  And in that time, I have watched you transform into a wholehearted woman.  You took chances with your life and made huge leaps of faith – faith in yourself more than any one person.  You have learned to be honest with yourself about who you are and who you want to be.  Your integrity has been hard-fought and is well-deserved.  You honor me with your friendship.

You said when you married Bert and took his name that it was the beginning of a new life – one written by you and you alone.  One that speaks to all you hold sacred and points to a fulfilling life with your family.  And this baby?  Is a part of that new life.  I can see it in your eyes – in the way you look at him and hold him.  I have experienced the hope brought by a new baby birthed in joy and a sense of calm.  It renews the spirit.  And I couldn’t have wished a better birth experience for you.

SusanQuoteRemember that no matter how good your birth (or how much you love that amazing tiny man), having a newborn is a special kind of torture.  The nights are long and the days are even longer.  And no matter how happy you are, it’s okay to be exhausted.  It’s okay to be emotional.  And it’s okay to still need help.  This is not a test of your spirit.  You are not being graded on how gracefully you weather the fourth trimester.  There will be beautiful moments and there will be unbearable ones.  And your tribe?  Will be standing beside you for both.

I hope with all of my heart that the darkness you fear is blotted out by your joy.  But if it’s not, if it all becomes too much, you are armed and you are never alone.

With all my love,
Susan

FRESH PAINT: New Horizons & A Foreboding Joy

I painted two pieces last week, and tried something new with both of them.

First, instead of reaching for the 16×20 bundle packs I normally grab (and can afford) I listened to a heart whisper and went BIG, purchasing sizes I had yet to explore: 24×48 and 36×48.

(How would I fill such large spaces? What was my inner creative longing to release that required more space to tell it’s message on?)

Second, instead of reaching for the brushes in my box, I found my hand landing on the rag I normally use to wipe my brushes on, and used it to distribute the paint across each canvas’ surface.

The results? Left me breathless to be honest. I look at both pieces now, in my living room and am in awe of what’s staring back at me. Maybe it’s vain to say I absolutely love these pieces and I think the messages they convey are important ones for me…but…it’s the truth-my truth anyway and it’s not often I find myself in love with something I’ve created on canvas.

Two of my words for this year are “explore,” and “pursue.” In regards to painting I told myself  that I would explore my new found passion for painting and experiment with various styles and techniques to find what “fits,” if that makes sense. Working with a rag and my hands instead of brush and with larger spaces exposed me to a freedom I hadn’t realized my inner creative had been longing for. I’m looking forward to doing more in this fashion, and I think I have a theme that can make the pieces in this style an actual collection….we’ll see.

Both pieces are up for sale in the shop along with other pieces from the last 7 months. Feel free to stop by for a look….

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“New Horizons” 24×48

This one was inspired by a lyric from the song “New Horizons,” by Flyleaf: “Bring your normalcy to the edge and watch it drown in new horizons…new horizons…” It speaks to the new horizons that have been stretching themselves across my life these past months: new decade (30’s!), new city & home (AUSTIN!), new marriage (details and photos in a forthcoming post) and…..one completely unexpected and unplanned that I will share in a post later this week :)

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“A Foreboding Joy” 36×48

This one took me by surprise-it started out very dark with just black and white paint blending together to create a very heavy, grayish-moody base. I didn’t really think about it much as I worked, adding layers of color and I moved quickly through it, finding myself a little winded at it’s end. As I sat back to wonder what the hell it was, my mind rested on a comment made by Dr. Brene Brown regarding joy: “If you ask me what’s the most terrifying, difficult emotion we feel as humans, I would say joy.” She had made the comment to Oprah, during a Super Soul Sunday discussion, and was speaking to how joy terrifies us so we never allow ourselves to experience it in it’s fullest. Watch her discuss it here: http://www.yidio.com/show/super-soul-sunday/season-0/episode-0/3088395102

I realized that as overwhelmed and happy I am about all of the newness in my life, every time I’ve felt joy trying to take over, I’ve immediately pushed it away…this piece represents that tension, that fear….

So…those are my latest pieces. Thoughts?

Music That Moves: Let Me Feel You Shine

This song literally had me jumping out of my chair to dance about 5 mins ago….my new battle song for when I’m in the low place and I don’t know what to say to God….”If I could feel you shine your perpetual night, then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight….” YES YES YES!

This place is trying to break my belief 
But my faith is bigger than all I can see 
What I need is redemption 
What I need is for You for to put me back on my feet 

Wha ah ooooh ooooh oooh 
Wha ah ooooh ooooh ooh oh 

I swear I’m trying to give everything 
But I feel I’m falling, oh make me believe 
What I need is resurrection 
What I need is for You to put me back on my feet 

Wha ah ooooh ooooh oooh 
Wha ah ooooh ooooh ooh ohhh 

If I could feel You shine Your perpetual light 
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight 
If I could feel You feel You shine 
Oh let me feel yYou shine 
So beautiful and warm 
So beautiful and bright 
Like a sun comin’ out of a rainy sky 
Oh let me feel You shine Oh, 
Let me feel You shine 

I lift the knife to the thing I love most 
Praying You’ll come so I can have both 
What I need is for You to touch me 
What I need is for You to be the thing that I need 

Wha ah ooooh ooooh oooh 
Wha ah ooooh ooooh ooh ohhh 

If I could feel You shine your perpetual light 
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight 
If I could feel You feel You shine 
Oh let me feel You shine 
So beautiful and warm 
So beautiful and bright 
Like a sun comin’ out of a rainy sky 
Oh let me feel You shine 
God I need a Savior 
O come Generous King 
O God I need a Savior 
To come rescue me 

Oh let me feel You shine Your magnificent light 
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight 
If You let me feel You feel You shine 
Oh let me feel You shine 
So beautiful and warm 
So beautiful and bright 
Like a sun comin’ out of a rainy sky 
Oh let me feel You shine 

Let me feel You shine 
Let me feel You shine

Wordless Wednesday: Laughter is the Best Kind of Medicine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Lemonade Without Sugar Having Joy Without a Reason

Soooooooooo as if the current pile of stress in my life couldn’t get any heavier or wackier, it just did this morning. On the first day of a very crucial “I’m praying and hoping things I need to work out, work out” kind of week. The day after God told me, “Hey, I got this-just do what you can and I’ll do the rest. No worries. Just trust me kid.” The day after a much needed 2 day break from my boys that left me feeling relaxed, and ready to get back in the ring.

And then….another ingredient was added to the stew, another brick on the load added to see if I’m going to let the pot boil over, or buckle under the weight. Well guess what, LIFE? I’M NOT. (And yes, my hands are on my hips and I’m sticking my tongue out at you)

I have no internet so I can’t work, no car so I can’t drive, and the little money I have is for emergencies, not fun. The Earth and the Sun have launched their evil plan to scorch and choke us to death with heat and humidity, so going outside might not be an option. And I’m moving this weekend.

That’s a lot of lemons folks. Enough to make your mouth pucker. But I vowed to myself that the boys and I were going to have a good summer, one that we enjoyed before I got back into the full-time student grind this fall. It hasn’t gone the way I planned or thought it would, it hasn’t been what I expected. But I see how through it all He’s been teaching me the difference between happiness and being joyful, and how to pursue the latter inspite of the circumstances.

So, I’m just going to take this latest round of events as a chance to just take a little vacation and focus on joy. A vacation. In my apartment. From everything. No internet & no Facebook, Google +, & Twitter on the Blackberry. Not even the Bible on my Blackberry. Not even blogging. Maybe a phone call, maybe a text here or there, but that’s it. I’m going to spend the week finding a way to keep two wild boys occupied, writing/journaling, reading, building forts, coloring and creating some meals on a serious shoestring budget.

I’m going to make the best tasting lemonade EVER this week. It won’t be easy to sweeten without any sugar, but I’m sure He’ll show me a way. So, I hope you all enJOY your week, try your best to keep the heat from evaporating you, and are productive in whatever it is you do in your corners of the world.

As for me and my house-we on vacation ya’ll. Blog you next week! ;)

“Even if the fig tree does not bloom and the vines have no grapes, even if the olive tree fails to produce and the fields yield no food, even if the sheep pen is empty and the stalls have no cattle — even then, I will be happy with the Lord. I will truly find joy in God, who saves me.” Habakkuk 3:17-18

addyeB

Recovering With a Smile

I’m smiling right now. I’m not really sure why, but I am. I should be crying. I should be a wreck….But I’m not. I’m smiling a little. I do feel some twinges of sadness, when I think about what I had hoped would be, but I’m not reeling from the shock and pain of it like I was before.

Strength. That’s what I felt this morning when I woke up. Quiet strength undergirding me, carrying me, making me feel stronger than I’ve felt in months. Strong like its going to be okay, I can do this, we will make it through these choppy waters, God has never failed me even when I mess up strong. Even the tears I shed a couple of times felt strong.

Acceptance. I felt acceptance.

I did feel some twinges of fear, some “OMG what am I going to do!!!” But the strength I was feeling in my gut spoke louder than the voice of fear.

And I’m smiling. Because I’ve let go. Of the ambiguity. Of the uncertainty. Of the game of hot and cold. Smiling because even though it looks grim right now, and even though it will hurt from time to time, I feel in control. Of my emotions, of my health, of my life. I haven’t felt like this in….I don’t know how long. Smiling because I’m looking at my boys and they are smiling at me, Brennan with his loving gaze and Alex with that ever present mischievious and playful glint in his eye. He climbs into my lap, Brennan starts doing one of his silly dances to the Fresh Beat Band, and I laugh. One of those deep down from the gut laughs that leaves you gasping for air. And its in that moment that strength speaks loud and clear in my head: “See? I’ve got you. All you’ve got to do is just trust Me and let my joy be your strength. You’ll get through this. “

I don’t know why I let circumstances, situations, or mistakes I’ve made give me amnesia and forget-He will never let us go.

And so, I’m just going to keep smiling :)

Are Problems Necessary?

I saw this on Faith Baby’s Facebook page (who by the way has adorable clothes for wee ones):

Every problem is a character-building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fiber. Problems also force us to look at God and to depend on Him instead of ourselves. 

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

Just wanted to share their post because it’s good food for thought ( at least it is for me), especially when deciding what’s better to strive for: a life of happiness, or one filled with joy

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.. ”

James 1:2-4 MSG

Kissing Happiness Goodbye

My pastor brought up this subject a few weeks ago in his message and its been weighing down my thoughts ever since… What does it mean to be happy? What is happiness exactly? How do you go about attaining it? … Continue reading

Song of the Day…or Week