Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Biggest Gift of All

We're back from beautiful Arizona, well rested and sun kissed. Every time I visit Arizona, I am reminded of the beauty of the state. Katie fell absolutely in love with it this trip, and spent much of our vacation asking if we could move (permanently) there. I've been thinking a lot about making a permanent move for our family lately . . . we are pretty fortunate in Phil's job that it would be a relatively easy transition for him to relocate to a different place. Arizona might not be such a bad place to call home . . . hmmmm . . . wouldn't that be exciting?!?

But, until then . . . we are back in the mid-west. Chicago welcomed us home with gray skies and rain (a lot of it). Those last few "April showers" have stayed true to their words, and it's been so icky the last few days. It's ok, though . . . because there is always art.

And that makes it pretty awesome.

I just finished up four weeks straight of art classes for the two park districts I am teaching at. This month I taught a "Whimsical Birdcage" Mixed Media class at both the New Lenox and Bedford Park Park Districts, and I was absolutely thrilled with how the classes went. I'm so proud of the work and art that was made from ALL the participants, and said a silently prayer countless times during these sessions, thanking God for the opportunities I have been given in my life.

It is good, oh-so-good, to do what you love.

Here are just a couple pictures from the classes . . . (if you follow my facebook page, you may have already have seen them. I put a few extras in just in case.)



 




I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it feels to watch people take your idea, your vision, and unfold it into their own piece of art. It is a dream come true, I tell you . . . to support and empower others, to help give them the direction and tools, and then watch them make something that they should be proud of. Even when they think they can't, even when they aren't quite sure what they are doing . . . if they hang on, I am certain they will be amazed at the outcome.

I sometimes wonder if I get too carried away in all of my excitement. But I am proud. Of them. Of me. Of what we are doing. I don't know if they get it. But, each and every person who takes a class of mine . . . they are saving me. Really. They are saving me from the doubt I've had in my head way too many times in life. They are saving me. They are believing in me. They are supporting me.

And what an amazing gift that is. 

Life has changed so much for me in the past few years. I never would have imagined I would have found the courage to go after my dreams - to make art and put it out there into the world - to share so much of my words and thoughts and ideas with complete strangers - to put my faith into the unknown, and believe that the universe (and, most importantly, my God) will protect me.

But I have. It has. And I am so proud of today.

My wish, for all of you, is that you take a moment and be proud of yourself. For waking up and living your life - however it is that you are living it. For standing up for yourself. For following your dreams. For smiling, for laughing, for knowing that you are in control of all that happens in your day. You are, really.

And know that I believe in you. In all that you do.

Because you, my friend, believe in me, too.

Peace.

xo

6 comments:

  1. Talk about being proud!! Leanne...this project is ADORABLE and those ladies are having so much fun!! I am like you...I love that feeling when I see my students take my project and make it completely their own. It is exhilarating and so inspirational for me:)

    I am so happy for you that you get to teach!! I know you are amazing at it.

    Thanks for your support on my latest blog post. Your words meant the world to me.

    Love and hugs sweet friend.

    Leslie

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  2. It makes my heart happy to see you living your dreams. It inspires me so much. You are blessed beyond words - with a beautiful family, a man who loves you, and this - your dream. Now.. as for the moving, may I invite you to consider the south? We get four seasons (unlike Arizona,) and our winters are mild and short. :-)

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  3. I am proud of you! It takes a lot of courage, stamina, and inspiration to put yourself out there like this. Art is soul, and you are pouring out your beautifulness for everyone to see. And they are reflecting it back to you in an amazing way, and you completely deserve praise and happiness! Keep on keeping on!

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  4. I am so proud of you! You are such a beautiful soul, giving so much of yourself through your art. That takes so much stamina and courage. You deserve every praise and joy reflected back to you! Keep on keeping on.

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