Finding Meaning

img_7838I’m reflecting a lot on how my motherhood affects and influences my art.  When I was a little girl I dreamed of being the perfect mother. My children would be beautiful, well behaved, smart and civilized. They would love and adore me, and I would be so complete and fulfilled by them; there could be nothing else and I couldn’t wait to become a mom. And my children are all those things, mostly, sometimes, on occasion; and raising them is fulfilling. But the reality is its freaking hard, stressful, hectic and crazy 90% of the time, at least for me and my herd of 5. Sometimes I feel like they are more chimpanzee than child and sometimes God’s grace is the only thing that keeps me from going crazy. Sometimes I feel like such a complete failure, I cant even fathom why God would give such an incompetent person like myself children to care and be responsible for.

As an artist I’m very drawn to the Blessed Mother. My desire is to draw her in many beautiful, bold and striking ways. Different ways that will draw people closer to the beautiful mystery of her. Maybe in drawing her I’m hoping to discover or collect for myself a little of her perfection. She was the perfect mother, the ultimate example of everything I want to be.  I wonder do I subconsciously hope that maybe somehow by drawing her, studying her, I might infuse her peace into myself and into my home? I hope I do that, isn’t that a lovely thought. It helps me to calm down sometimes to walk to where her and Jesus’ picture hang on my wall and just look at her. When I am really feeling bad about my performance as a mother, I remind myself that even she lost her child once, she was human too, and that brings me great comfort.

In writing this I am seeing more and more my dependence on God and the peace that His beautiful mother brings to the world. I pray that maybe my drawings of her will help to bring peace to other mothers and families when they look at her on there wall.  I hereby dedicate my drawings of our Queen of Peace to all mothers out there, especially the ones who struggle to get it right. I pray they find hope, guidance, relief and peace in the eyes of their most perfect Mother.



Finding Myself

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.  Theodore Retke

I love this quote! It is a source of hope and a reminder that our light is already in us, sometimes it’s just buried really deep. Every time I read it I’m taken back to one of those moments when I realized I had forgotten that I still had “light” inside of me.

It was just another day with three small kids to meet the needs of and we were all in the kitchen around supper time. My oldest son, who was in first  grade at the time, had implied that I didn’t know anything and couldn’t help him with whatever he was working on. It was hurtful to hear how incapable he thought I was of helping beyond feeding him, washing his clothes and being there to meet his daily needs.

My husband, seeing the look on my face, jumped in immediately and said, “your mom graduated from college Summa Kum Laude and that’s really good! She made all A’s in school and she had a really good job with a famous photographer before we were married. She could have become anything she wanted to, but she chose to stay home and take care of you.”

My son was surprised and impressed. He said “really?” with an incredulous look on his face. I was more surprised than him. Time froze as my heart sank to my toes. I had forgotten that. I had forgotten that I existed, that I was good at something once. I had completely forgotten who I once was. For a brief moment I mourned that loss. Then time resumed and life moved on at the speed of light.

Flash forward five years and two more kids later, I was sitting in a waiting room flipping through an issue of Better Homes and Gardens when I saw it. That quote by Theodore Retke. I read it, then I read it again and then I had another one of those time stands still moments. I realized that the person I used to be still did exist. She wasn’t actually lost after all.

I’ll wrap this up with something a blogger wrote that very eloquently sums up what this quote speaks to me:

        “There is nothing simpler than listening to our own heart and soul, when you are ready to listen. They will not guide you wrong. And the first thing they will tell you is that YOU ALREADY ARE. You already are exactly the way you were made to be, you already are everything you need.” Jessica Eve


Finding Balance

As I begin my journey to become “Charcoal Meg” I am wondering, as a mother of 5 young children, can I be a “really good” mom and a successful artist? Is it even possible? How do I find balance? Where is that perfect spot in the middle where the stars align and everything just falls into place?

Motherhood is a fulltime 24/7, often monotonous, job filled with unexplainable moments of pure delight, joy and satisfaction, but I still feel sometimes that there is something missing from my life….and then I feel GUILTY about it. Not just any old guilt but the big nagging mommy guilt. I willingly and eagerly signed up for parenthood and I’d never change my decision, but is it ok for me to want other things as well?

I have so many questions for myself, so many answers to find. How can I use my vocation of motherhood to better my art, influence it? How can I use my faith and gifts from God to inspire and improve it? How can I guard my heart against ever  feeling resentful of my motherhood, especially when it seems to block me from being able to focus on anything else?

So I invite you to come along with me as I strive to answer some of these questions and become a “little charcoal pencil” in the hand of God.