30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.
Today, I wanted to describe the journey that I have taken over the last five years and the events that have led up to my current investigations in Art. I do have an MA in painting and was an illustrator for a publishing company for five years and then I went to Scotland with my husband where I completed teacher training to become an Art teacher. In England, I taught art for seven years and loved my students and teaching. I began having ill-health during my sixth year of teaching, but I did not know the cause and tried to ignore the problem.
My husband was then asked to go to South Korea to work with a ministry there. I was happy to take our family and go on a new adventure. We loved South Korea and the people of that country. While in South Korea, my health problems became worse. I had growths in my spine that compressed nerves to my pelvic floor and colon. I had surgery in 2008 and developed life threatening peritonitis and had another emergency surgery that thankfully saved my life. When I had peritonitis my veins were collapsing and I would have gone into organ failure and died if it weren’t for the surgery and then high doses of many antibiotics. The recovery was long.
My children were affected by my ill-health and my three-year old daughter at the time was upset by the separation from me while I was in the hospital and then our homeless situation. My son was ten and the situation was also very difficult for him, but he bravely weathered the storm. We had flown back to the states with no jobs and no home. My beautiful and gracious Aunt took us in and helped me during the hospital stay and in the recovery process. My mom and sister were also very supportive and my brothers stayed by me the whole time. I am blessed with a caring family. I am also blessed with many friends and family who all contributed to my medical bills and filled my hospital room with flowers.
We then were looking for a new home. In the past year, my three-year old daughter had moved from England at two to South Korea and while in Korea we moved again to another apartment and then I had the illness and we had to come to the states. In one year, she had been rehomed three times. However, we are thankful that we have friends and family who love us and helped us during this time. We moved a fourth time to a home owned by the mission headquarters of Source of Light Ministries. Source of Light Ministries hired my husband to manage a project and that situation provided us new stability and financial security.
The times of trial were not yet over. Later that year, I had an attack of acute angle closure glaucoma and almost lost my eyesight. I have had four surgeries on my eyes that have thankfully saved my sight, but my vision has diminished and I have had to get stronger corrective lenses. My brother passed on to us some head-gear with flip down magnifying lenses. I use that to help with fine details in watercolor painting.
The past five years have been a physical, mental and emotional journey. I reordered my priorities and have abandoned self. I have a new understanding and perspective on religion. I no longer live to please and meet the approval of “man” or “man’s religion.” I seek only to honor God and only look to scripture for my guidance and not the edicts of man’s religion. I believe my first ministry is to be a good wife and mother and I put all of my energy into that.
Now, back to my art – I am painting as a way to help my family. We are living on a small pastor’s salary with some missionary support and I would like to contribute economically to our family through art. I feel that I am out of practice and a bit rusty. So, I am re-exploring my abilities. Acrylics are relatively a new medium for me, but I like them because they are very forgiving. Also, I can stop painting at any time and answer the call of a child without worrying the painting will be marred. With watercolor, if you are running a wash or working wet into wet, you can not stop in the middle or you risk unwanted water marks. With acrylics, I feel that I can free up my style. The landscape that I am working on is an exploration of the acrylic medium. I am not altogether pleased with the painting, but I am learning from the process. I don’t know if my art will ever become profitable, but maybe something will come out of blogging about it. Of course, these things – blogging and creating art – are tertiary to God and family.