Proof of Life | Journal Entry No. 04

Proof of Life

Journal Entry No. 04

Welcome to the Proof of Life journal entry series.

Writing more in general, and specifically with you, is something I hope to continue throughout the year.

Like many of you, life has become clearer over the past year and there are many things I have dropped along the way that I deeply desire to pick back up. In turn, there are things I never want to pick up again.

From the very beginning, I have always felt like we are on this journey together and I can’t wait to hear what proof of life will come to mean to you.

 

 

Have you ever woken up and looked in the mirror and not recognized yourself?

 

Have you ever wondered what happened to…you?

 

Where did THAT girl go?

 

I had such an interesting conversation with a friend recently.

 

She is a stay at home mom with one child.

 

She is finding it hard to find herself again in the role of mother, wife, cook and housekeeper.

 

She was wondering if I have ever felt like that and if I had always honored the time to create.

 

I loved staying home with Jack from the moment he was born.  I didn’t feel isolated or resent being home at all.  I DID have a very hard time asking for time for myself.

 

I felt guilty about leaving him and even though I wanted time to myself on the weekends or evenings…I wasn’t one to ask for it like I should have. Not only did I not honor creating but I didn’t honor much when it came to just me.

 

I was always putting myself last.

 

At this time in my life the creativity was coming from hosting parties, decorating our home or scrapbooking (yes, scrapbooking).

 

Making our albums gave me the creative outlet that I longer for and I didn’t feel guilty because it was “for the family”. At least that is what I told myself. At the time that is how I justified asking for the time to create.

 

I am so thankful for those scrapbooks all those years ago. It was a slow and steady unraveling back to me in the simplest and sweetest ways. I don’t know if I would have made the time for creating in any other form without the belief at the time that I was doing something for the benefit of others. That put me on the most beautiful journey that led me to be honest with myself that I can create just for me. Once I resolved that in my head and heart I never scrapbooked again but started growing my creativity in new ways. What joy to discover that I don’t need to use anyone else as the excuse to honor my creativity. Poor Benjamin will probably never have his baby book finished but I hope growing up in a home where all forms of creativity have been honored will make up for it.

 

How does anyone else in our lives know how much we need something when we don’t ask for it?

 

Add another baby and then another or a million other beautiful parts of life and if we are not being honest with ourselves and others we can lose those other parts of how we have been creatively made.

 

We can get so caught up in the day to day that we forget so much about ourselves. We can make so many excuses. I did.

 

If I don’t honor the gifts the Lord has given me what am I saying to my children, husband, others and myself about not only my gifts…but THEIR GIFTS?

 

Giving myself time creating with scrapbooking and then the door that opened to everything you currently see in my life, art and business has literally CHANGED our life. It changed MY life. It changed how I see myself. See my gifts. See the things that growing up I thought made me feel different and sometimes weird. It has changed how I see my husband and children and how what they are cheered on to pursue. Seeing yourself clearly makes you the best cheerleader of others!

 

I don’t know what you could be not making time for right now but I know you do. Don’t push it aside. You have been given that gift from the One who made you. He doesn’t make mistakes and he doesn’t want you to hide the beauty that is you.

 

What are YOUR gifts? Are you honoring them with time? I want so much for you to look in the mirror and see someone who knows who she is and fights for her. I promise you that you will then also become a fighter for the gifts in others too.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Michelle E Black

    I have loved watching the evolution of your journey from afar as a kindred spirit, creating art, photography, image transfers on salvaged wood, photo styling for magazines as well as writing and creating numerous art projects for various Stampington magazines all while staying home and raising my three children. Life didn’t just give me permission I had to carve it out for myself. My children now my youngest 18 and graduating high school had an incredible life due in part to their mother was creatively fed, feeding their spirits in turn. One day we will meet face to face, I look forward to being a participant in one of your workshops, until then…stay awesome…I know I will try to do the same. Thank you for sharing the journey and not just the end results.

  2. Martha M Bryce

    I’m sure that this post resounds with many people as it did with me. Sadly and gladly, those years of early childhood are gone, but the fight to make time for myself and my gifts still continues. As women, we too often err by putting ourselves last even when it’s not necessary. We do it out of love, habit, our sense of identity, and many other reasons. I’ve had to learn discernment so that I can identify necessity from other motivators. Learning that finally gave me time to pursue my gifts and my passions. I hope your lovely post guides others to identifying their gifts and honoring them by investing time in them.

  3. Melanie

    If there is one thing you have taught me, it’s being true to yourself and finding that genuine place of creating that speaks to your own soul! Thank you! ❤️

    1. Janice Robinson

      Thank you for the thoughtfulness that you put in this post. I’m still new to your website and newsletters, but am enjoying the connection. I, too, did not leave time for my creativity bc I was so busy caring for my older relatives, and as sometimes happens, the Caregiver gives out. I was incapacitated at age 45, had a near death experience, had an unwise doctor that did my body harm, was unable to talk or chew food. My husband gave me baby food in jars and plain yogurt. But the experience drew me closer to the Lord, always stayed positive, and prayed for others. Now, 25 years later at age 70, I still have insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome and more. The point is through these rough times, I have been gaining more good days and started creating again. What a joy to release pent up emotions and use symbols to express my journey in life. Right now, I am enjoying your class “Story tellers and Mavericks”. Thank you, Jeanne and Kelly, for your generous offerings and love for Jesus.

  4. Cyndy Ross

    This really resonates with me. My oldest is 24 now and my youngest is 14. When the kids were little I couldn’t/wouldn’t ask for anything for myself either. I had a hard time even leaving the kids for short bits. I felt like I had to earn my stay-at-home-mom job by always being on task in that capacity. So I also found ways to be creative that I could justify as for the kids or family. I learned to knit and crochet to make things for the kids, I started art projects that were kid friendly and the kids could do as well, I sewed artsy craftsy things for the kids, I used cooking and baking as a way to be creative as well. About 4 years ago my mom life started to lighten up a bit and I found myself seeking out art again that is just for me. I started down the journey for my own creative goals. It has been so wonderful. I feel okay giving myself the time now. But a lot of that is because I feel I have earned it because I gave it all to the kids for so many years. I’m still mommy-ing my 2 teenage boys, but I have time for me now everyday and I LOVE it. 🙂

  5. Taylor Donaldson

    Very heartwarming and encouraging Jeanne! Thank you for sharing and providing such enlightenment for all of us to consider and act upon.
    Much appreciation to you. XoX

    1. Stefanie

      Thank you for writing down beautifully what many of us feel yet can not name or feel in a fog about it. Your post together with a finishing of sorting through pictures today helped clarifying that!

  6. Kelly Vran

    Brought me to tears!! Thank U for your post! It was so relevant for me!🙏🏻🌹🙏🏻

  7. Cindy Wahlstrom

    You and many on your sight speak my own truth. I am no longer going to feel guilty or unworthy of needing time for me.

  8. Theresa Boedeker

    I could so relate to you scrapbooking and justifying that it was for “the family.” Yes, have done that and been there. I am trying to be more honest with myself now. I need to create, and not just for the family, but for myself and my soul.

  9. Leoma Atkinson

    Such a relevant post, Really brought a lot in focus for me.Thank you for helping me reconnect to my creativity.

  10. Frannie Stevens-Meshorer

    FOLLOW YOUR BLISS. (Joseph Campbell). I have found those words have guided me and led me to always ‘make time for my bliss’. I’ve had a fun and interesting career, been the ‘mom’ of two beautiful daughters. I’m a grandmother to 6 precious ‘grandz’ .. and 14 years ago .. became a ‘grammie and a ‘great-grammie in the same week! Family is my first love and through that love, I realized early in my life the truth in the ‘sage advice”. .… IF MOMMA IS HAPPY .. EVERYBODY IS HAPPY! This is not to say that I have not seen both ‘the valleys and the mountaintops of life’. Both of which are important in teaching so many important life-lessons. ‘Making Time for Me’ is not selfish .. it is what keeps ‘bliss’ in our lives.

  11. Tonya Statler

    Thank you Jeanne for sharing from your heart. I also used to scrapbook. It was a wonderful creative outlet for me. Now I don’t do that anymore. the kids have grown and there are no grandkids, and I feel silly just scrapbooking my own life. I’m discovering a love for art I never realized I had. I discovered years ago that God had gifted me with “creative expression” and that I love working with my hands. I just have to make time for me and do it!

  12. Connie Eldrup

    D
    Hello Jeanne.
    Beautiful post and words. You just say it in a wonderful way. Those last words “look in the mirror and see someone who knows who she is and fights for her” – that is a sentence I will keep to look at, to always remind myself!

    I have started to follow your courses, and I think you are a really sweet, lovely and very inspiring person and artist!!!
    Allready what I have seen so far is truly inspiring me and is clearly shifting my way of thinking. It has started a really a wonderful process in my head and inside me. Another way of approaching art making, after having been stuck for a long time.
    As a teacher and inspirator you are really marvellous!

    Thank you for you!
    Sending love from Denmark, Scandinavia

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