Thursday, March 17, 2022

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I have been having SO MUCH FUN experimenting lately with color pages and wanted to share the love. Download below my "dots" version to paint with Q-tips or the black and white page for a regular coloring.

DOWNLOAD Q-TIP COLOR

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Dark Night of the Soul

 When I pray, sometimes I BEG for heavenly poetry: divine designs that turn the details of my life into the Universe’s art canvas.

A year ago on my 33rd birthday I demanded poetry. I thought about Jesus Christ, predicted to have lived to be about 33 years old. I wanted that year of MY life to be spiritually significant, dedicated to my Savior, and full of growth with God as my major focal point.

It was a significant year... But not at all in the way I was expecting. 

Turns out, it became the HARDEST year for my faith. A spiritual crisis is an understatement. It felt like a religious obsessive compulsive disorder full of anxiety over spiritual matters. There was so much confusion and pain as I dug deep into what I’ve always believed, why I believed it, the God I had grown close to and whether He/She matched up with the God I was studying in scripture, in history, and in the actions of the people around me. It has been the most intense, sobering, beautiful spiritual roller-coaster.


That’s when I turned to art for therapy. My sketches became the oxygen-tube getting me through the days and overcoming the shame that shadowed every question or doubt I found myself wrestling with. I struggled to trust the revelations inside of me when it clashed with outside sources or teachings I’d been taught my whole life.

https://www.instagram.com/upon.lines/

There’s a term some use called “The Dark Night of the Soul”. Like a spiritual depression. Mother Teresa was thought to have experienced it from writings in her journals, Saint John of the Cross, Joseph Smith in Carthage jail... I think the majority of us will go through a form of this at some season in our lives. 


A full year went by and I found myself staring into the reflection of a now 34-year-old with a few more white strips of hair behind her ears and a tired, worn-down soul. I remembered that birthday wish I had prayed for the year before of growing closer and understanding Christ more and felt a bit of disappointment.

Then a familiar voice inside of me whispered, “In His last year of life, wouldn’t it have been Christ’s darkest hour? His time of most confusion? Of feeling alone? Of sorrow for the choices made by others and wishing that they saw God as He did? Don’t you think THIS was the best way for you to truly understand Him? Wasn’t it your most spiritual year after all?”

Oh, isn’t THAT poetry?


Although it may have felt like a winter of darkness, I have never, EVER felt closer to my Creator. My hand has been held every step of the way by something outside of myself that whispers of unconditional love and of pure patience as I stumble and fall and lift myself up again.


I am learning to trust that whisper inside of myself and trusting that God gave me this heart for a purpose to navigate through this living experience.

God is with me. God is inside of me. Like a child is literally half of her mother and half of her father, I am literally made out of God.

I am OF God.


This is now my season to look inside of myself and trust. And continue to search for and appreciate my Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother's poetry and the divine artists that They are.




Sunday, May 16, 2021

A Mixed Faith Family Home Evening Lesson

When church members open their Come Follow Me family lesson manuals each week, all families are taught to follow the guidance of the Spirit and cater to their individual family situations. While most family lessons on average probably deliver the same spiritual lesson, there is DEFINITELY a unique, challenging twist to the lessons in an interfaith family like ours. I don't think there are quite as many people with the bumper sticker badge of Mom belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Dad, who's not a fan of labels, but if he had to be categorized, would probably go with Athiest/Religious Resister.

I REALLY wanted to share this post to help others see that you CAN respectfully merge two different worlds together and bring your family closer to each other and to their own spirituality.

Today we talked about our heart compasses

I first gathered a few of the kid's stuffed animals and we discussed times in nature where animals have to trust their instincts. We mentioned how salmon always know to swim upstream, how birds and whales and butterflies migrate in the seasons, and how baby sea turtles hatch from their eggs and go straight to the ocean without anyone there to guide them. 

We then talked about how our "spiritual instincts" work the same way and how inside of each of us, we are magnetically drawn to those BIG questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? What happens after I die?

I love the episode of BLUEY where Bluey asks her dad where she came from before she was born. He very vulnerably and honestly answers her, "I don't know, Kid. That's something you get to figure out for yourself."

And ultimately, aren't we all agents unto ourselves? No one can live our lives for us and every person's spiritual journey will be personal and different.

We then talked about how we all have access in our lives to different places that can bring us closer to light and truth. And how it is up to US to listen to our hearts and learn for ourselves what is true and what is important.

Download the lesson visual printable HERE.

We have times when we can feel a warmth in our hearts and trust it

We have the people around us (who are all listening to their own personal heart compasses) that we can choose to learn from: our parents, our relatives, our friends, our teachers, our leaders, prophets, heroes, strangers

We have things we can read: books, articles, journals, scriptures, magazines, words of others who have already passed on

We have churches and religion, or for my hubby, a good, long hike in nature to remind him how rare and beautiful this life is and his place in it

And my personal favorite... we can look to the stars. Nothing rattles my heart-compass and magnetically draws me closer to my spiritual instincts than gazing up at the night sky and feeling love showered back down from something bigger than me. It's a love that I personally feel comes from my loving Heavenly Parents, and I'm pretty sure most people, at some point in their lives, have felt some acknowledgement from the universe and their importance in it.

One thing I have grown to love about the uniqueness of our family is how my children have the opportunity to grow up "spiritually bilingual". I'm so grateful for the empathy they'll be able to have for others as they see everyone learn and grow spiritually in different ways.

Please, please know that you don't have to fit the cookie-cutter mould. I have always loved Christ's parable of the servants and the talents. We are all given a different number of talents and we take what we have and make the best of it. If your family home evening lessons look way different from others around you, you can rock your version and your circumstances. You are beautiful exactly how you are. ❤️

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

 Did I dye my two-year-old's hair red and dress her up like a Nephite for my book trailer? Absolutely I did. Regrets? Zero. Shampoo took the red out in 2.5 seconds.

Huge, HUGE thank you to my mom for writing the music for this.

And thank you to my crazy awesome SIL, Lydia, who has the BEST Hollywood horror scream ever.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

While My Brother Sleeps

 


When her city is captured by her sworn enemies, the last thing Keziah expected was to battle feelings of forbidden love for the military captain of the Lamanite army. 

Along with the pain the Lamanites had caused her people for generations, Keziah had a mark of hatred burned inside her heart for intimate reason. 

They were the Blood Hunters.

Follow along as she learns lessons from her ancestors of courage, love, forgiveness, and fighting for what she truly believes in.

I am CRAZY EXCITED to finally share with everyone my new book, WHILE MY BROTHER SLEEPS.
I love you all and I am so, so grateful for all of your support.


Click HERE to order my book from Amazon!!
Or HERE for the eBook!

Romeo and Juliet melts into the Book of Mormon, turning classic scripture stories into something that breathes with a warm, beating heart.

           

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