Tag Archives: Bethany Hamilton

Honest thoughts.

Praise Him for the unexpected and the unlikely, for the daily and the difficult. The more you count, the more gifts you will see.

~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.

My initial blog intentions for today’s post was to write a “follow-up” from my last post about painting. I was going to write why I love painting versus writing with a pen or even typing…leading into the new struggles with my physical conditions in my hands. I have a few blog posts that I have been putting off for a few weeks now, because I was a bit upset by a comment I received about my blog posts. In a way, the comment made me think of my writings…as a form of “checks and balances” to see if what they were saying about my blog were true; but it left me with more wounded thoughts than anything else. I don’t even think it wounded my pride. It just hurt.

There are times when writing a blog about your physical conditons is emotionally difficult. Ok, maybe not–“at times”–it is hard to write about my physical conditions. I desire to be honest about what I experience and try to relate to the readers the best I can what I live with everyday. I cannot write all details or even describe fully how my days are filled, because some are just inappropriate to write about for a blog and others are just unexplainable. I even have a hard time describing different pains to my doctors. I have to get creative–if you will–to describe something. Like this new obnoxious ringing in my ears. I finally started describing to my family what the different simutaniously ringing noises sounded like by describing them in terms of instruments and rhythms. Then the annoyance seemed more light-hearted and I laughed at a few that I described.

So this morning as I started to think of how to start writing these posts of “updates” on my physical health, my thoughts took a turn when I read Ann Voskamp’s quote; then I finished reading my friend’s non-profit blog about their trip to Rio, the work they did there and the people they grew to love; then I read a bit of updates on what Bethany Hamilton is doing in Morocco and that Nick Vujicic has a new devotional book out (his first book, Life without Limits, is an inspiring read; I recommend it!) I started to think about my looming blog entry I had not even started yet and decided, “Today I am not going to write about my physical conditons…my limitations. Today I am going to count my blessings.”

I think it is easier to count your trials more than your blessings. Indeed, our trials can be our blessings should we choose to persevere through them. I still desire to write about my life with NF2. Afterall, it is the biggest aspect of my life in every way. As I ate lunch with my dad on Friday, I said, “My life would be boring without it.” I try not to focus on the negative aspects, but I am human and in all honesty…there are days when persevering takes all the effort of my energy. There are some days that I do not feel like counting my blessings and just mope around the house. But today is not that day. As I finish my Matcha Madness Green tea and step out from my favorite coffee shop back into the daily routines in life, I am a humbled. God continues to show me that yes, I go through rare physical conditons that leave me with accumulating limitations, but He is greater than my limitations. He shows me through others who have persevered through their own physical limitations that God can still use me right where I am. And for that, I truly can count my blessings.

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Paintings, Random

Freshly Squeezed Lemonade

Today is Lemonade Day! At least it was at work. I am a big fan of lemonade mostly because I don’t like the taste of water. Isn’t that odd? Water (unless it is salt water) does not taste like anything. Of course, Denver water did taste–and it was a nasty taste!! My habbit of drinking Sobe Lifewaters or lemonade is the key to quenching my thirst. Nothing like lemonade on a hot summer day!

Lemonade fits any occasion…small patio parties or barbeques; kid’s lemonade stand with cookies; reading on a lawn chair; at baseball games or any other outside event; or even a tasty treat when I paint. 🙂 How did you like that transition sentence?? 😉 No really, I wanted to share with you the latest of my summer theme paintings:

Tidal wave

8×10

I painted this a few days after watching Soul Surfer with my sister. Believe it or not, it was my first time watching it. Bethany Hamilton’s story of faith and perseverance is inspiring. I was encouraged to hear the questions she faced in going through losing her arm. Even with totally different health issues, I think we asked some of the same questions. Bethany lives out Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” So when I went to paint a few days later, I had her story in mind.

Seeing people surf amazes me. They hold onto the water like a wall. The waves are rolling in and coming down, but they continue on…persevering to get to the end of the wave and come out on the other end. Reminds me of Psalm 42:7-8,

Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your  waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,     and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

 My next paintings were just for fun…

8×10

(I know it looks a lot like the one I did for my Mom. The only painting I have ever tried to copy a 2nd time around. Nothing better than the first one. 🙂 Lesson learned.)

Country Pleasures

11×14

Buckeye Pride

8×10

Notice the way I used a map behind? I used Mod Podge glue. 🙂 Also notice you are staring at the northwest part of the state. Well, I used the other half on Dad’s Christmas present (which was a painting), LOL. If you don’t know what this stands for…it is The Ohio State University logo. A mere try, but the leaf turned out more Maple looking I think.

Sunset

12×12

For this last piece, I found my favorite hymns (I own several hymn books) and used them as the background. I wanted it to be more just an outline of paint so most of the words showed, but it turned out better. The mod podge worked great, but when I went to paint, the papers shifted a little, leaving texture on the mountains. I like the way it turned out!

A few of the hymns I used: The Old Rugged Cross, For the Beauty of the Earth, All Creatures of our God and King, Draw me Nearer, Standing on the Promises, Crown Him with Many Crowns, Heaven Came Down, Surely Goodness and Mercy, To God be the Glory, and a few more. 🙂

18×24

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Amen.

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Filed under Paintings