Sunday, January 12, 2014

Happy Thoughts 365 ~ #4 ~ Opening up to Infinite Possibilities

#happythoughts365 ~ Sandra Martin ~ Creative Currents
Transcription: Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, 
but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is. ~ Maxim Gorky
2013 brought a lot of grief and change in my life, the biggest heartache being the loss of my mother last March, for whom I was a primary caregiver. Since then, I stepped into a new chapter, but I feel much like I did in my early 20's...trying to decide what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. I walked a portion of the Appalachian Trail with my husband shortly after she passed away (something we had planned prior and my mother had even given her blessing), and that began to open possibilities that I never imagined. We've opened up ourselves to the idea of leaving our humdrum existence in Indiana, traveling the road in an RV or camper trailer - a huge change of perspective for a shy Hoosier home bird like me!

I shared the inspiration here why I decided to start the Happy Thoughts 365 art project. I floundered for the first few days wondering how I would create art for this project (size, material, etc.) Things began to come together when I revisited a mixed-media art journal I began a couple months ago. I saw how most pages dealt with happiness (and a couple with the other side of the coin...grief). Here's an early shot of one spread that deals with the theme of Transformation and New Beginnings:

I love the light colors very much, especially the greens and oranges. But I began adding layers and quotes to the spread for the New Year. The butterfly has darker, jewel-like tones that resemble a stained-glass window. (The lighting isn't very good for this shot, so it doesn't "shine" as much as it does in person.) On the right, you can see a couple quotes I added for Happy Thoughts #1 and #2

I believe 2014 will be a Year of Transformation. Some of my struggles lately feel like I'm emerging from a cocoon and trying to test out my wings in some new areas. On dreary, dark winter days, it's sometimes hard to see the bright visions of our future. They do seem to be hidden and just out of reach. But I know deep inside they're not impossible to reach. I have only to look at my dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail. It took four years to see that dream begin to materialize. I took the tentative first steps, feeling like a fish out of water, and enjoyed the transformative journey. I spread my wings on the mountaintops and enjoyed the 360 degree panoramic view. I breathed the fresh air and opened up to new experiences and friendships. I experienced clarity to see further ahead on the trail, and that possibility of being a pair of "wandering gypsies" looking for new adventures. 

At this very moment, I feel old fears creeping into the edges of this bright happy vision, and the reality of the hiking the AT seems distant and unattainable once again. My view of life has narrowed again. I feel I have become shortsighted. The elf-like Legolas vision has dimmed. 

But deep inside, I know that I am loved by a God of the Impossible...a God of Infinite Possibilities. I believe He gave me these big dreams to start with, and He will help see me through. I am encouraged by something Brenda Craig shared in her Journals of the Heart (God-whispers she has recorded and shared with others). 

I have so much in store for you in the world of adventure as you prepare for the continuation of your journey Home. As I direct your heart and gear all your dreams—all your visions for My Kingdom—you will ride in the soft touch of My protective arms while I smile, laugh and sing over you (Zephaniah 3:17). I am opening up portals in heaven and sending great visions I wish to accomplish through you. Yes, all things beyond your wildest imagination shall come to pass. The time of going forth has come.....Visions, visions, visions . . . they will hound and follow you to no end until all comes to pass and My plans for you have been completed. Yes, My perfect plans for the one I love so much (Jeremiah 29:11). You are My chosen one and I delight in you more than you will ever know. No one can fathom and measure My infinite love for you. I am your God of Infinite Love and Goodness!!! Indeed, I am who you say I AM.
Happiness is a choice, just as faith is a choice. I choose to believe in Infinite Possibilities for 2014. How about you? What vision do you have for this year? What possibilities do you see?