Punch Fear in the Face!

I was asked to share my testimony with the women in the church I attended. I was petrified just thinking about doing it.

I’d rather eat worms than be on center stage. My heart races, my hands sweat, my legs turn to spaghetti, and my brain turns to mush. I feel as if I’m cut open and being dissected like a poor little frog. But at least the poor little frog is dead!

Yet, I agreed. That’s what good Christians are supposed to do, right? Share what God has done and continues doing in their lives, right? In spite of the fear and anxiety, it causes, right?

Right. God will give me the words to say. He will help me through my fear.

So I did it. I stood behind the podium, unzipped my skin, and exposed every inch of my quivering heart.

When the service was over, I was overwhelmed with hugs and tears and I’m praying for you. Relief washed over me like a trickling stream. My knees stopped knocking. My heart forgave me. Everything was good.

Well, not everything.

One well-meaning soul came up to me and blurted, “I always knew something was wrong with you, now I know what!”

No, I didn’t blacken her eyes. I just considered the source and laughed it off. You can do that when you own up to who you are and stop pretending to be what people want you to be in spite of your fear and anxiety. In spite of what people think.

So, yes, I was scared to death that Sunday night standing in the limelight and every eye aiming at me. Just as I was scared to death every time I stood up to sing or play the piano or my accordion or speak. Sometimes just walking into a crowded room was so overwhelming that I wanted to run back out the door.

Social anxiety disorder has wrecked my entire life. I don’t know where it came from and why it latched onto me, I just know it’s a monster that binges on fear.

Fear is a ravaging beast that kills dreams. Fear is why people wear masks, why they become people-pleasers, why they can’t be true to themselves.

So, yes, I’m afraid. I’m very afraid. But I’m learning to be brave and strong enough to push through my fear. To own my weaknesses. To try and fail. To be vulnerable. To speak out. To fall and get back up again. And again. And again.

Fear is losing its death grip.

And I’m feeling good about that.

“Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1 
 

Church is Wherever You Are

It’s Sunday

Buck and I had church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on the deck where the old pickup is temporarily parked

barefoot and in our PJ’s

 

 

beneath skies of blue

and drank coffee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and read our devotions

and held hands and prayed for renewed faith and trust in God during these dark and fearful times. And God was there . . .

 

 

 

 

Mama, I Love You So Much!

Meet Lucas, our sweet, three-year-old great-grandchild defying all the hardships and challenges of life.

For the first two years of his life, Lucas was poked and prodded by doctors and strange looking machines. He’s been run through a battery of tests ruling out autism, water on the brain, and everything in between before finally diagnosing him with a rare genetic disorder. And through all the sickness and doctors and therapists, all the fear and confusion, he has never lost his smile.

This morning, our granddaughter posted on Facebook the picture and the following conversation. We are living in dark times. Scary times. Confusing times. If only we could all see the world through Lucas’s eyes . . .

Lucas: mama, l love you SO MUCH!
Lucas: mama, come see me. I wanna give hugs.
Lucas: mama give me kiss
Lucas: mama, l so happy
Lucas: I SO EXCITED
Lucas: literally loving life and everything in it!

Everyone needs a Lucas in their life!

If You Believe Everything You Read on the Internet, Don’t!

This is an earwig. I was attacked (pinched) by one a few years ago. It was horrible. Like a zillion bee stings. The pain lasted all day.

I never knew such a bug existed so I didn’t know what it was until I looked it up.

It’s harmless, they said. It doesn’t even bite, they said. They pinch, that’s all.

The next day my arm was swollen but that’s a usual reaction for me after an insect bite, so I wasn’t concerned.

Day three my entire arm was red and swollen. And by day four, it was red hot with streaks running up and down and it looked more like a tree trunk than an arm. That’s when I realized the internet lied to me and went to the doctor.

He was quite alarmed when he saw it and thought I should go to the hospital. I had a bacterial infection. But, I had to go to work. So he prescribed a strong does of Amoxicillin and said if that didn’t work I’d have to go to the hospital. Thankfully, my arm got back to normal within a few days.

So, in spite of how harmless these guys are supposed to be, I murdered one on my back porch this morning. With the big rubber chainsaw blade my youngest grandson outgrew, I whacked and whacked the poor little guy till there was nothing left of him.

NOTHING!

I did feel guilty, though.

But, I got over it.

Real quick.

 

 

Surviving C-19 the Fun Way

I don’t know about you, but I’m really getting sick and tired of being stuck inside. I miss being with my family and friends. I miss eating out and shopping. I miss seeing real-live people in real-live places. Netflix can only do so much to keep me entertained. It’s a good thing I love to create!

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Digital Drawing7Digital Drawing12Digital Drawing6Digital Drawing10DigitalArt5DigitalArt6Digital Drawing3Digital Drawing5Digital Drawing4DigitalArt7Digital Drawing9Digital Drawing11DigitalArt4Digital Drawing16Digital Drawing1Digital Drawing2Digital Drawing14DigitalArt3Digital Drawing15Digital Drawing13Digital Drawing8DigitalArt2DigitalArt1

My Fruity Creations

The world may be on lockdown, but we can still have some fun and laughs . . .

Straight from the Heart

SillyFruit16

I’m addicted to digital art. Every day I create. Hour after hour after hour I create. I should be committed.

It’s difficult for me to explain how I come up with my creations because I don’t have any certain method. PaintShop Pro comes with an array of colors and textures and I play around with them till I come up with the look I want. Also, I use other plugins, like Harry’s Filters (harrys-filters.en.softonic.com) and flaming pear (http://www.flamingpear.com).

As you can tell, I like anything out of the norm. That’s what makes life interesting.

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You Can Do Anything if You Want to Bad Enough

Digital DrawingThis is my first attempt at digital drawing. I don’t draw using a pencil and paper let alone using a mouse and a computer screen. I create most of my designs using picture tubes or photos. Sometimes, I create them using shapes and the warp tool in PaintShop Pro. That’s a lot of fun. But, today, I actually drew a face using the pallet knife tool. Several times I thought of trashing it. But, I kept working with it till I was finally satisfied.

I had the most trouble with the eyes. I’m still not 100% happy with them, but they’re better than they were before I changed them a million times.

I used to draw as a kid, but I never thought I was good at it, so I took up other interests, like playing the accordion, organ, and piano. And I enjoyed singing, too. So, what drawing skills I may have had are full of spiders and cobwebs, now.

Thanks for stopping by! 

A Crab’s Life through a Child’s Eyes

Talon, my great-grandson is six going on twenty. He is smart and quirky and extremely perceptive for his age. When he looks at you it’s as if he can see into your soul. I love this little boy. He is truly a gift!

With my granddaughter’s permission, I’ve posted Talon’s written school assignment. It is just too darned cute not to share.

Talon’s perception of a crab’s life . . .

Our Little Ray of Sunshine

Lucas, our great-grandson, had a rough start in this world, from being born with an enlarged head, a hole in his heart, and respiratory and swallowing problems. Later he developed muscular weakness, preventing him from walking. Just weeks following his birth came a battery of tests ruling out fluid on the brain, autism, and downs syndrome. He’s had physical therapists, speech therapists, and chewing and swallowing therapists. And through it all, he has never lost his beautiful, contagious smile. Lucas will be three next month. He is walking and talking and knows how to spell his name. He may be delayed in some things, but smiling isn’t one of them. He is truly a ray of sunshine wherever he goes and teaches us many, many things about life. We love you, Lucas!

 

I’m Not Stubborn!

I’d rather have eaten a can of worms than have my hair washed. And my parents would have gladly fed them to me rather than wrestled with me to wash it.

We didn’t have modern conveniences like indoor plumbing, walk-in showers, and bathtubs. We had electricity, though, thanks to one of my dad’s many skills.

And speaking of daddy, he rarely ever raised his voice, never lost his cool and never liked whipping us kids. Mom did, though. She liked law and order and didn’t hesitate to exercise her militant authority when needed. You’d have thought she was the one that served in the army instead of my dad.

But to keep peace with mom, during Saturday’s hair-washing night, daddy reluctantly sat beside the galvanized tub with a long, skinny switch; the kind that wrapped around your legs several times like a leather strap. Mom picked it out.

Like a stern-faced Sargeant, mom sat me down on the stool and leaned my head back, allowing my long red hair to cascade into the metal tub. Then the waterboarding began.

As if being electrocuted, I kicked and screamed and wriggled my slippery, half-naked body free from daddy’s firm grip and flew out the door, across the porch, down the steps, and down the dirt lane. If we had had any neighbors, they would have been standing on their porches with shotguns thinking a mass murderer was on the loose.

We lived in the heart of the woods where the only light we had was the moon and the stars. For a little six-year-old with a big imagination and afraid of the dark, that was just a tiny spark in a cave. Every tree was a leaping bear; every sound a prowling monster looking for children to eat.

Suddenly, I came to my senses and decided I’d rather be drowned than eaten alive and shot like a bullet back into the house.

And there they were, mom standing triumphantly with the pitcher of water in her hand and daddy sitting, seemingly amused, still holding the switch.

There were other Saturday night hair washings. But, remembering the monsters lurking outside in the pitch dark, I stayed glued to the stool. That doesn’t mean I didn’t cry and kick and scream and make it easy for my mother to torture me. Oh, no! She always had to pay for her evil crimes!