Restoration

This word “restore” and all variations of it has been speaking into my life lately. The thing I am learning about it is that it’s  a process. The last two years of our life has seemed to be a pruning season for us. While beneficial in the long run, I’m glad the pruning only lasted two years. Jason has found his niche in his new job and is loving it. I, on the other hand, still felt like I was running in place. Lost and going nowhere. Happy for my husband and thankful for a paycheck, but still lost. I blame some of that on post-partum and hormones of a nursing mom but regardless of that I was emotionally drained.

The funny thing was I still felt like we moved. We’ve obviously kept all our old friends, but since the new job we’ve made a handful of unexpected brand new ones and the whole lot of them have been a part of this time of restoration whether they know it or not.

A year ago we were busy digging out our childhood savings bonds, flipping couch cushions and peaking under car seats (of our own car:) for change to deposit in our checking account. We never imagined that Jason would get a new job that would pay less and even with me still staying at home that all of our current needs and financial obligations would be completely met. Every month. And there has been extra. We are dumbfounded. How? It doesn’t make sense at all, but I can tell you that we believe God has been providing for us. Even when I hit my lowest point this summer and my faith seemed to be the most fragile, He knew what was ahead. We had no choice but to say no to fear and just trust His promise to us. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring and know that all sorts of trials and challenges lay ahead of our young lives, but taking every day at a time and being in awe at how all of our needs are being met right now is enough to be thankful for.

Part of how we’re being provided for is that after three years of me being a stay at home mom/freelance graphic designer, I’m finally getting a regular flow of work opportunities. My small group can attest to the fact that not even a year ago I had no motivation- no desire to do much graphic design anymore at all. I was in a very discouraged state- when I got the inkling to just suck it up, make myself a new logo, do some low-key promoting and put myself out there a little more. It wasn’t long before I started getting some more jobs. I’m especially grateful to Lawgix International, my dad’s company, who have never let me go long without some kind of design job;) While mostly I assume I just get their business because I’m the CEO’s daughter and I am quick and reasonably priced, I also have a dad who is incredibly encouraging that I have a talent. And for all my other clients in the past and the ones that are becoming more than just a few right now, thank you!! I have a new found excitement for projects and have gotten enough work that I can afford to pay my good friend to babysit for me one afternoon every week so I can spend quality DAY time on my projects. I get way too run down staying up until 1:30 every night plugging away at my computer with two very active kids during the day to do that for long. You are all part of God’s plan in restoring me and who I am at the core. I’m a mom, but I’m also an artist. I have to create things. I lost that for a while, but little by little I’m finding ways to create (thank you for crafting inspiration, Friday Night Finishers!) get some exercise and simultaneous rest through my wonderful yoga class and hope to be getting back into my fine art background soon as well.

How? Well here’s the best part. Just over a week ago, my dreamer of a husband watched me make some art on a corner of our dining room table and listened to me vow to become really serious about doing an art or craft show in 2013 at some point. He said, “Why don’t we just make this room your work space?”

I just said, “You’re insane.”

We NEED a dining room. Our house isn’t huge to begin with and we already have a small 4-seater dining table, how would that ever work? He suggested getting a smaller round table to put in our kitchen. There was space in there, but I still thought it would be incredibly selfish of me to take up a whole room with my stuff and make us sit within arms reach of the sink, stove and fridge. He assured me there was plenty of room. I wasn’t biting. Then he gave this moving little speech about how he wants me to be happy and for my emotional well being we needed to do this- yada yada yada, those of you who know him know he is a persuasive albeit persistent fella. To be honest he didn’t need to twist my arm too much. What husband would say sure! All your art crap can be in the room people first walk into when they come in our house and it also happens to be where we eat meals? Mine does, apparently.

So the process started. We searched out a few things we needed to complete my “vision” for it. Of course I drew up rough plans and measured and allowed myself to get excited about something we were ultimately doing just, well, for me. I mean don’t get me wrong, painting in my basement did make me feel all warm and fuzzy…

…and doing design work on my couch, bed, kitchen counter wasn’t promoting my horrible posture or back spasms… Okay I’m lying. It wasn’t effective, or healthy and with out parameters of what was my workspace, my taking care of kids space, my making meals space frankly I was going nuts. I thought soon someone would come take me away. So before that happened, my loving husband intervened.

We spent the weekend turning this:

into this:

Between getting a small break in the middle of the week to get out of the house now as well and having a space of my own in the house has made all the difference! My mood is so much better and I feel much more efficient and inspired. The small investment of new paint on the walls, a few shelves and a couple small pieces of furniture was worth it. In this space I have room to do graphic design, paint, draw, make baby headbands, make wreaths, sew, scrapbook, collage, store all my supplies, scan photos, even spread out papers and folders to do genealogy research or incorporate it in my personal artwork. And it’s all right there for me- accessible and I don’t have to feel like I have to put it away and clean up after an hour of working on something. Plus, it’s cozy and I even have a little space to set Miles up with some crayons and paper or playdoh and Clementine has floor space (until she starts crawling- then I’m giving her the boot! 😉 if I have to do something while the kids are awake and I’m the only adult in the house.

I’m learning to balance my mom side and my work side a little more and give each side boundaries. It’s been too long blended together. I’m not one or the other. I’m loving that I am beginning to feel renewed and restored emotionally and creatively by this small change in our house, which is a very BIG deal to me.

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