1.13.2012

Studio Sneak Peek: Dig Deeper

E helping with coffee stained paper

I spent this week preparing for my oldest daughter to turn three today. I guess you could say that I spent this week "spoiling" her, but that's not really the right word. Giving her a bit more responsibility, allowing her to explore more freely, make some messes--like helping me "paint" with tea, coffee and coffee grounds--to show her that I know she's not a baby anymore!

We also dug in a little deeper with some discipline issues, dealt with some things that we'd been putting off simply because it's easier to pick *not* fighting the battles. And you know what? The wrestling was a beautiful thing. Not easy, but beautiful--because I love her and I know that a person develops character in facing the hard stuff. And in helping her to reflect on her heart and attitude, I'm really reflecting on mine too.

paper with coffee grounds

With every challenge--every time the soul sinks into the mud pit of realizing hard truths--there is an opportunity to absorb the richness of that deep soil. To take a "mud bath," if you will. Cake it on with abandon and then scrape it away to discover a subtle and most beautiful tint lingers--a life stained not with "ugly," but colored by the grace that is ever-present in life's grime. It's the joy of believing--of knowing--that the darkest soil is the most nourishing. That the things we fear will harm us, and often do hurt us and break our hearts, God will use for good (Genesis 50:20).

coffee stained paper

My personality leans toward the "flight" option when adrenaline is pumping and I'm faced with the choice to "fight" or to run away. I'd just rather not deal with things. I'll pretend things are fine even when I'm writhing on the inside, just to maintain the delicate balance and not risk hurting someone's feelings. Marriage has helped me to face this fact about myself and to practice "fighting"--really wrestling to work things out--with lots of love, of course! Parenthood is calling me to crawl deeper into the trenches because there simply isn't the option of running away from the people whose hearts beat under mine for nine months--and still do, in some ways.

This is what I'm learning: the building of a family--and a home--is the intertwining of hearts; wrapping yourself closer even at times when you'd rather gasp for fresh air and independence. Family is giving up yourself for other people on a daily basis, finding yourself in their eyes, even as the world warns you not to "lose yourself."

home in the trees blue crop

Made my coffee- and tea-stained paper to use as a background for my "Home in the Heart-Tree" illustration...but having trouble with lighting this week and couldn't capture the paper on camera very well. Since I had already splashed in a little blue watercolor, I played with hues and textures in Photoshop and came up with some pretty blues. What do you think?

Linking with Studio JRU and Paint Party. Have a happy weekend!

Love,

Sadee

33 comments:

  1. Your home in the heart tree is just awesome. Love the message behind it too. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I Love the blue, Sadee, and I Love listening to you digging deeper into the soul.

    You are so right! Loving our children sometimes means holding steady at the helm, as they learn to maneuver through rough waters. So many pull back, when forging ahead is, in the long run, what helps us all grow ~ both parent and child.

    I remember when ours were on the cusp of Three! I can say now, coming from eighteen years of parenting experience under my belt, that I would live through each and every *small* struggle over again in a heartbeat, to achieve what my husband and I have today with our children. It was SO worth it!

    I've been quiet, but have enjoyed all of your writings throughout the holidays! You are such a talented, wise and beautiful human being... and it shows.

    Love!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words, Scarlett. It means a lot to me to know that you are reading and enjoying! And it's encouraging to hear from other moms that all of the struggle is worth it. Parenting is a hard job, true--but it's worth every second!

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  3. I love it, Sadee - your painting and your true words. I love the heart entwined with the growing tree and the home in the midst of it all. I like the word picture of a mud bath, too :) My little ones are now 14 and 11. The battles are hard and they do hurt but are a necessary part of training and growing them (and me) up.

    Happy birthday to your little big curly girl!

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  4. Oh..i love this...such a contrast of the tree to the heart and the house..make it interesting to look at...great work....in the.kiddo note...keep consistent...3 is such a wonderful age...enjoy her...xxx

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  5. I love it. First off, your words are so powerful here, and so beautiful. I understand this all so well. I am still just freaking out about that heart in the tree. Incredible job

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    1. Thank you for reading, Daniele! "Freaking out"--what a wonderful compliment! Does my heart good and makes me smile! :)

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  6. I love your house in the heart tree. And your blog is very beautiful!!!!

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  7. Very powerfull image! ...and lovely post, so true. :)

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  8. I love the photo of your daughter painting. Your words about fight or flight are right on - I've discovered for me that sometimes I fight like mad and sometimes I don't. I call it "picking my battles" but sometimes it's more like downright tiredness or, worse, being a coward. However, I also realized that the "mad fighting" is for something that is really important to me. Like my daughter. So far she's turned out fine (she's a teenager now which opens up totally new challenges), but it wasn't always easy and I also made many mistakes. Oh parenting... it's so hard.

    I think you are doing a wonderful job - both with your family and with your art. You seem so honest to me, so very much from the heart, and it reflects in your art as well.

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  9. Wow! thats a strong and thoughtful imaginary art! Life is full of tangles and hardship but love and calmness can solve it all! good job!

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  10. Just beautiful and so meaningful, is your home in the heart tree!

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  11. Good job and very nice reflections. Saludos

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  12. Your home in the heart tree is fantastic!!!

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  13. Beautiful Sadee...I popped over to the shop and saw some of your photoshopped digital download art...isn't it fun!? Yes, I think this piece turned out quite well! Of course its beginnings were awesome, too : ). My "Sneak Peek" is something I did in Photoshop too...and I am giving it as a free download for all...so come on over!

    Blessings!

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  14. I absolutely love this piece. Your tree is perfect... the whole thing is perfect. LOL
    Nicole/Beadwright

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  15. Your daughter looks like she is having so much fun! And your family tree is so unique and amazing! ;-)

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  16. Reading,hearing, putting this more deeply into practice. Love your heart and your intentional living Sadee. xoRobin

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  17. This is great...love how the branches are braided together. You do have a way with illustrating a metaphor.

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    1. What a wonderful compliment! I do indeed love metaphors...

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  18. Beautiful work and words! What a fun way to incorporate your daughter into your work as well. Happy PPF!

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  19. Beautiful post and gorgeous work! I love the blues.

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  20. I'm so glad I found your blog, the thought processes, the inspiration, the peeks into your family joys (& messes LOL) & the talent make this a little oasis in the virtual world :)

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    1. I'm glad you found me too! An "oasis"--don't think I could hope for a better compliment than that. Thank you.

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  21. I love how you said... "Family is giving up yourself for other people on a daily basis, finding yourself in their eyes." Beautiful! I love using coffee on paper too. It makes such an amazing color! Love this piece Sadee! :)

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! This was my first time using the coffee and I will definitely do it again!

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  22. I'm more of a flight than fight person too but I've had to learn to fight. Sadee, sometimes I just wanna fill a quote book with your words. And today I'd choose these:

    Parenthood is calling me to crawl deeper into the trenches because there simply isn't the option of running away from the people whose hearts beat under mine for nine months--and still do, in some ways.

    This is what I'm learning: the building of a family--and a home--is the intertwining of hearts; wrapping yourself closer even at times when you'd rather gasp for fresh air and independence. Family is giving up yourself for other people on a daily basis, finding yourself in their eyes, even as the world warns you not to "lose yourself."

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Catherine! I'm learning to fight too. Sometimes I'm surprised at the "Mama Bear" that sometimes comes out!

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  24. I just found your blog through my cousin's, RC Reese, known by family as Rhonda. I'm just plugging in here to say you really have original artwork, spunky and meaningful. Your "mud bath" is very close to my writings, in that we must work in the dirt to get the flowers. Do you sell your artwork? Vanessa

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    1. Thank you, Vanessa, for your encouraging words! I'm so glad you stopped by. I've got dirt under my fingernails again today--this time, playing in the sandbox with my girls! :)

      I do sell my work, on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PicturebookLife?ref=si_shop You can also see some thumb-nails and link there on my right-hand side bar.

      Thanks again, and nice to meet you!

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Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!