Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Times They Are A Changin'...

Hello dear ones....Do you ever have those months (no, not days MONTHS) where everything seems to just get turned completely upside down? Nothing is as it was...and it is scary as heck. You have trouble falling asleep, no matter how tired you are and then you wake up in the middle of the night with your heart pounding and fear is the blanket you are sleeping under?  That's what I've been living. And you know what....I am so grateful for it. Granted I'll be equally as grateful when it's over...but I needed to go through this. I needed to turn my life in a different direction. I screw things up fairly regularly in my life and God just keeps reminding me I am a Child of Grace and He is looking out for me...in His own kick-my-butt kind of way.  I insisted on sailing my ship in MY direction...and He kept showing me the GPS (God Positioning System)  and said I was gonna get lost. I didn't listen...really...just sort of...sure that he would turn my ship at the last minute just like he always had. This time though....he sank my battleship.

I began having trouble with my arm in early August. A slight ache that wouldn't go away after my long drive to and from L.A. became an injury that really limited my life. I thought one had to serve tennis balls for a couple of decades to get a rotator cuff injury. Alas....'tis not the case. Apparently ten years of ripping fabric will do the trick. So for two months now I have been in almost constant discomfort. Sometimes out and out pain, mostly just uncomfortable and limited in what I can do. Now if you are someone who knows me at all...me and limitations are not the best of friends. But it became very clear to me in early September that there was no way in the world I was going to be able to drive to and from the East Coast. Even flying was considered and then decided against. I was just in too much pain too often. So with a heavy heart....I canceled a 5 week teaching tour. Very sad. I was so thankful for all the wonderful support from those on the other end of the trip that was not to be.

So I stood under my grapevine covered arbor out in my garden every morning and talked to God. After all He IS the Vine. Many times I felt like David in the book of Psalms....."Hellooooooo are you there? I'm dyin' here!"  David might have been a tad bit more eloquent. But God became silent and still (except for the moments he was busy sinking my ship) and I started to feel rejected, confused and then angry. What the heck! I'm doing my best here! You told me this is what you wanted me to do! You said to teach! Give it all away. Well I'm trying to teach....I have given it all away and you have completely abandoned me! Hellooooooo!

Then my niece Meghan came to live with us. An angel. My angel. Through her eyes I began to see things differently. She had just been through a really rough time and was so grateful for every little thing. She started posting pictures on her Facebook in an album called "My New Life." Pictures of a raspberry bush, a funny looking little dog, an art studio, a leaf on the ground, a peach pie on a countertop, sun tea on a deck railing.  I looked at those pictures and I smiled. Nice new life ya got there, kid. But wait a minute...the life she was taking pictures of was mine. That was my dog and my peach pie!

And then I thought about David again.

Yes, he had railed against God and complained that he had abandoned him in his time of greatest need, but he also did something I had stopped doing. I had stopped being grateful....I mean REALLY grateful. Not the kind of grateful after you are almost in a car wreck, but avoided it. I am talking about a state of thankfulness. Grateful for a raspberry bush. David would complain (alot actually) but he usually sandwiched it in between thanking God and saying He was good. I mostly complained. I see now that God wants me to trust Him. I can not trust Him to take care of me...to clear the road for me...when I am not grateful for the road in the first place. And so I stopped complaining (mostly) and started thanking him in the time under my grapevine. And you know what? He said to me just this morning...."Ok...new ship...get on it...trust me to be the wind in the sails."

Now? Yep...now.

2011 will be the last year I will be teaching my collage techniques in a strictly Art Workshop environment. Oh I'll still make art...I'll make lots and lots of art. I will no longer teach what I do unless it is a part of something a bit more meaningful...more well rounded. After 2011, I will begin to limit myself to teaching in my Colorado Collage Conference held twice a year and in my Imagination Congregation, also twice a year. One will focus on Art, Marketing and Motivation and the later on God and Art....combining the two into a creative life that will change lives. I am determined to finish my book of humorous, personal essays called "The Trinity and The Trailer Park" and to speak around the country about the art I love and the Grace that saved my life in more ways than one. I'm gonna be an Art Preacher.  I'm going to dedicate myself to a Mixed Media Ministry.

So this is the new ship. The U.S.S. Honor the Father.  Wanna sail with me?

Love you. Mean it.


To see the schedule for Imagination Congregation visit www.studioretreats.ning.com

27 comments:

Dorthe said...

Dearest KC,
yes sometimes life gets rued, and we can`t seem to figure out what to do, and where and how, to learn to understand,what is going on, and how to get on, without loosing our self, and the meaning with life.
You found a beautifull new direction, dear KC, and I wish you from my heart the best of luck, and happiness, with the road chosen.
Love you too, -and mean it-
Hugs, Dorthe

Mar said...

your revelation is helping mY revelations...you put it to print better than i could though!!

ty

Sandra at 7th St. Studio said...

funny how He can stop us in our tracks! But then when we do stop long enough to listen, we see He has a greater plan than ours! I loved reading this and seeing what He shared with you!!!! Can not wait to meet you in person and be a member of the congregation that is hearing the Art Preacher!!!

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

I don't know what to say except..we love you and all of us {I speak for the whole peanut gallery? Who decided that??}anyway, we're so glad you are finding your way..enjoying the small things..sharing what you love and can appreciate the gifts given to you by the Big Guy..God loves us and has us go through lessons when we are ready to learn..you are on the correct path. I..uh we..all hope your pain will diminish and your full range of motion will be restored. In the meantime, rest, recoup and rediscover all the gifts YOU have given us..WE are all grateful for YOU!

Rhonda said...

KC - you will have your band of bloggers and followers right behind you. No matter what you do, we love you, too!

Janet Ghio said...

Take care of yourself KC. Your new path sounds exciting! Hugs

janie said...

K.C. You are speaking MY story! My little shop, Nest in colorado was totally a God thing - teaching women skills to make a living with their own 2 hands. (I'm not sure if I ever really told you my whole story for that endeavor- we need to talk)Financially, it was the Titanic! But, I and, hopefully, the women we touched, will never be the same! I am still determined in the same mission. So, I am here to help you do the same! "Where there are 2 gathered...."

Lee said...

WOW- wonderful post. And very timely. I too, struggle with listening... and being grateful. I am in the throes of worryng a lot, and have been forgetting. Oh, I say my gratitude prayers, but I have been forgetting the "you're the Driver" part. So, I'm trying. Headed back to church last weekend- and surprise- guess what the sermon was about?? Believing (which many of us do) vs. FAITH (believing that God knows best and will steer us where we need to be- not many of us do that). SIGH. I got my ears on now. xoxo

Glenna @ Hollyhock Quilts said...

I absolutely understand where you are. I had to make many of the same decisions a couple of years ago. God Bless You for listenting to the Spirit and being obedient to God's direction. Your life will be blessed beyond your imagination! And take care of that arm please!

KC Willis said...

Thank you so much! It has been so great to get these comments to begin my day. Please share this post. Much love to you.

Lorrie said...

I did a post today on dreams - how they are sometimes taken away, but new ones will come.

I'm in the in between phase, waiting, not very patiently, for the new dream that God will bring into my life. It's hard, this wilderness, and it's so encouraging to read your post and know that God uses these times to readjust our sailing direction.

Being thankful for the small things is something I'm learning and putting into practice. Like David, who was so very honest with God, I want to share my feelings with Him, and then be thankful. And praise. Even when I don't feel like it.

I'm so glad for you. And thankful that you share your heart.

Lorrie

Jeanne said...

KC,

After watching all of your DVD's, I feel that I know you! You are talented beyond measure and generous in sharing those talents. My husband has had 4 shoulder surgeries, so if you need the name of a good doctor, let me know. Of course, you'd have to move to Chicago, but it would be great having you here!

Anonymous said...

Dear one, You know I support any choice you make for your life. I, too have stood at that crossroads. It can be a very scary place. I look forward to our time together soon and some interesting talks. May God's love and understanding surround you and give you Peace. Blessings Dear One. Anne W

Davielle aka Princess Magpie said...

sweeet sweet K.C. - wow. that is one powerful post, girl, and I am so proud of you - for slowing down long enough to listen not just to your body, but to God. He is truly in charge, isn't He? Bless you, bless your life, and bless your niece - and all your family - for giving you all the lovelies to BE thankful for ... right? You are an amazing woman, and I thank you for pointing me to your post when I'd just had such a bad-upon-bad day. I may have eventually got around to it - but not RIGHT NOW WHEN I NEEDED IT MOST. "love you, mean it" right back to you. xo Davi

Jules said...

KC - you continue to wow me! I think many, many people are looking for encouraging words today and you relate your experiences in such a positive, humble and spiritual way. Hooray for you! I enjoy every word you pour out and will be following your journey for sure. I have no doubt that your new journey will bless you (and me) :-)
Much love,
Julie (Jules)

Sandra said...

It's so good when we, finally, *realize* it's God who is in charge and not we, ourselves -smile-. He has a way of getting our attention when we're ready to throw up our hands and hearts to Him in absolute devotional surrender.
Sure wish I could take your class in NC; I'll know for sure next week.
God's blessings on you, yours and the work of your hands and heart.

Miss Sandy said...

KC,

I am deeply touched by your commitment to follow the Lord's leading and see His fingerprints all over your plans. Many blessings on your new journey.

Bevie said...

I'm so happy you asked me to come here and read your blog for you are truly a Child of God who has listened, and now obeying God's word in the most humbling way. Only God can give us what we truly need, and long for! Being more like Jesus sharing God's love. Blessings to my sister in Christ!!

P.S. said...

God Bless your new endevours. I Love the idea of God and Art. He is the ultimate artist, I am amazed at hie creation!

sonya said...

Hi KC,
Wow! Did you get my e-mail? I sent you a picture of a collage I did after I ordered your DVD's. Mine was a little different than yours. Yours is much better but I thought after reading this post it was kind of funny, you know? Because I wanted to do mine along the lines of ministry too.
I'm sorry to hear about your shoulder. That can be very painful I know. I had surgery on mine. But I know how frustrating it is that pain like that can keep you from doing what you enjoy.
Blessings on your journey, friend, I will pray for you.
Sonya

Bohemian said...

Dear KC... You could have been writing about ME... your Post is so similar to what I have also been experiencing and having an epiphany about, I Blogged about it just the other day in fact. I came to the same conclusion... accept the limitations that come with the privilege of growing old... quit being angry or complaining about it... and remain in a state of thankfulness and an attitude of gratitude. I have suddenly begun to notice the "little things" too and be grateful for them... and the simple pleasures which we so often take for granted or miss when we're moving at warp speed. So I'm rather glad the Lord slowed me down... I can still create... but at a much more relaxed pace... and enjoy the entire journey and not just have my eyes on the destination. I'm sailing with ya on the USS Honor The Father, it's gonna be a swell trip...

Dawn... The Bohemian

Niki said...

Good for you, KC! It is so easy to get distracted and forget to be grateful in the little things of life. My "word" for the past several years has been gratitude. I have it in big letters when I first enter my studio. Helps me to always remember who I am and who paid the price for me.

Jillayne said...

Sometimes we are so enthusiastic about something we get busy right away with it, before thinking about what we really want, what would really make sense for us. This is that gentle, guiding hand bopping you on the shoulder to get your attention I guess and bring you back to where you need to be. I think your plans to teach in Colorado sound like such a wonderful event and I would love to be able to come - it's a bit of a hike from here but someday I hope to get there! Best of luck KC - I'm sure it will be a smashing success!

Whimsey Creations said...

KC, I think we must be sailing on similar ships right now. I used to be joyful in art but the past year or so the joy just hasn't been there and it's been more about the 'work' of it all. I haven't liked that. I'm reading a great book suggested by a friend called Sabbath (by Wayne Mueller)which is all about listening...something I haven't been doing in a long time. Your blog spoke to me and I wish you the very best. Big hugs!

KC Willis said...

You make me wanna be brave.

Lynn Richards said...

Hi. I found your blog from Quill Cottage. Oh, am I ever glad I did.
I just had a long talk just last night with my husband about seeking some counsel over grieving issues, and then about turning my thoughts in a different direction when the negative thoughts tumble in.
I often wonder what God is doing with me and my passion for art...it is a complete three steps forward, two or three steps back in starts and fits. But the passion is always there!
I am humbled to have found this particular post and will be thinking about it for a while. I love the picture you paint so honestly about standing under your grape vine....How silent God can be at times. How silent I need to be!!
Thank you so much.
Lynn

Lovey said...

We never know why somethings happen and sometimes we just have to embrace the change when we can't change it. I know you love what you do and we have all learned so much from you that we are blessed and better because you are in our lives. We may not see you in person at a workshop, but we have you here always in our hearts, in the videos and online. We can't go wrong. Everything happens for a reason and season. I'm glad that in 2009, my reason and season came in the form of finding My KC online, forever in my heart...forever changed my creative journey into fiber. My very own "Fabric She-Ro"..See change is Good! I Love You!