The Year of Grace {...happy new year, friends...}

The photograph above is so appropriate...because it was one of my very first "official" creative projects that someone actually purchased from me.  I worked so hard to learn how to watermark...and I put that silly watermark on the actual picture...the one that sold...not just the digital copy.  That's how bad of a newbie I was.  The year was 2012.

Seriously.  In 2012, I had no art studio, no website (just a blog), no online store, no clients, no small business, no Facebook business page, no Instagram account, no mailing list, and no idea what God was about to do...

...He was about to wreak His incredible goodness all up in this place.

And it couldn't have come at a more appointed time.

See, a little over a year before, in 2010, because I was so stuck in the middle of great pain,  I started "naming" my year.  Sure, that's become very old news here in 2015.  Everyone has done it and blogged about it, and almost no one does it anymore.  But then it was pretty cool and revolutionary, and now I will never stop naming the years.

I named 2010 "Create" - and with that, I began to create intentionally and have not stopped since.  That naming thing was the end of life as I had known it up to that point.  Naming carries with it some incredibly good juju, dating all the way back to the book of Genesis.

I named 2011 "Sow!"  {with the exclamation point...because I felt such urgency in it.  I could not have been more spot-on.}  In 2011, I kept creating...and I also began a very intentional mentoring of the next generation - finally taking it outside my own household, and in a structured way.

My own daughters, whether they knew it or valued it or not (and they did, and they do) had been on the receiving end of years of my mentoring while they lived at home.  It was (and is) their time to put action to all they had received.  My nest was emptying, and I clearly heard the Lord that I was to sow into young lives "not my own".  So...I did.  Later that same year, I realized that the results of the simple decision to sow and mentor intentionally just...well, the results rocked my world.  God's smile was all over me, as I "sowed" with all my heart.

2012 received its christening as "Cultivate".  As I re-read that last blog post, I get goose bumps, because I see this in the final paragraph:

I'm beyond excited at the prospects for the coming year.  I know I will be working even harder than last year, because I will be creating the environment for the growth of what ever else sprouts from 2011. What if every bit of it sprouts?  Oh.  Mah.  Werd.  I'll be working twelve hour days.  Cultivation is a bit more involved than sowing, but the rewards are...

...a flourishing harvest.

Um...yeah.  I sort of have been working a lotta lotta 12 hour days in the last two years.

2013 was "Harvest".  That was also the year I took up the "31 Days October Challenge" and wrote for 31 days straight on the topic of celebrating middle age.  I still get emails about it - massive fruit still coming from that project, which will become a book - dare I say this year?

2014 was "Lavish", but I was too busy working those 12 hour days to write much about it.  God has lavished me with His goodness this past year.  But even more than that, 2014 was a year {...and I still can't believe the whole thing is in the rear view mirror...} when I really worked to renew my mind with the truth of God's abundance.  2014 was a year to leave all the old mindsets behind - getting tuned in to a brand new spiritual frequency of "increase".  That is hard for this die-hard anti-prosperity-gospel girl.  I will always see the "prosperity gospel" as a false gospel - but that does not mean that my God is not a God of lavish abundance.

I feel I am still working on this, in some ways.  But then again, the lessons of each and every year have always been carried into the next.  

2014 has been a year of massive, yet quiet, G-R-O-W-T-H.  I began podcasting...became a CLC (certified life coach)...did many hours of live coaching...developed my own coaching published in a Stampington art magazine, (still a future issue)...

...was juried into two art shows (one of which I opted out of, to exhibit in the other show, which was local), and experienced a breakthrough, technically speaking,  in my artistic style.  My art is showing a more fine-art, impressionistic leaning, a leaning that was not there before, and I am not sure where it came from, to be honest.   

God lavished me, and I lavished my work with time and sweat and blood (literally) and tears.

2015 has been freshly christened:


I know, right?  I'm at it again.  Christ-centric and grace-besotted.  I will never leave the doctrines of grace.  

Besides - I have a feeling that in the coming year I will need unearned, undeserved favor from God...favor from strangers and friends...and will even get favor from enemies.  Unearned, undeserved, unexplainable, freaky favor.  

I'm not above admitting that I need favor to succeed in anything.  I need supernatural favor.

It's on its way.