Friday, April 11, 2014

time to paint

Hello, friends!  How are things in your worlds?

I wanted to write to tell you that I'm painting again!  I'm taking my first ever e-course right now, and I'm really enjoying myself.  It's been seriously fantastic to get my paints out, get messy, and have fun being creative.  I haven't really done that since before little miss was born.  Crazy that it's been so long.  It feels really good to intentionally spend time being creative each day.  I don't know that I would have done it if I didn't have this class as a reason to focus and make the time. 

Painting and being creative, being myself - it all feels God-honoring to me.  One, because God is the source of all creativity, and, two, because it's part of who He's created me to be.  And I'm embracing that part of myself - not hiding from it or ignoring it.

All of my old fears and insecurities popped up again as I started to paint.  What if this isn't right?  What if it's not as good as everyone else's?  What if it's been too long since I've painted?  What if, what if, what if?  A friend of mine told me all the fears come because this is my heart.  Painting, drawing, art, creating - it's my heart.  And doing it, and ESPECIALLY sharing it with others is vulnerable for me.  So the fears creep in.  And she's right.  I've dealt with all of this already, in the past - am I really surprised all the doubt would resurface again?  It always does when we share the truest parts of ourselves, our hearts, doesn't it?

So what do I do?  I remind myself of the Truth.  I remind myself that I'm not what I produce - I'm not the end product.  My value and worth are not tied up in whether someone likes or resonates with my art.  I remind myself to play, have fun, create, express myself, be messy, be MYSELF, make mistakes, keep going... and it's good, friends.

While my sweet girl naps, I'm going to go have fun playing with my art supplies and being creative.  Is there something in you, in your life, that brings you joy, that's part of the very core of who you are?  Music, writing, sewing, gardening, cooking?  Are you making time to honor that part of you?  Of who God created you to be?  I'd encourage you to make the time today - this week - over the weekend - to nurture and express that part of you.  It will be a gift to you.  To God.  To the world.  I really believe that.

Perhaps I'll share some photos of my newest work next time.  Until then, much love, dear ones!

Friday, January 31, 2014

up to date

Wow.  It's been a year and a half since I've posted on my blog.  Not so coincidentally, it's been about a year and a half since my little one was born.  I originally started this blog after moving back to Michigan from Texas.  I had planned on using it to post photos of life in the mitten state for friends back in Austin to see.  Once I started pursuing my dream of being a self-employed artist, this blog became a place for me to post about my artwork, my life, and my relationship with God.  Clearly blogging has never been an easy thing for me or one of my strong suits.  Even when I was doing my best to keep this thing updated, my posts were sporadic at best.  Life always seemed to happen, and living my life always seemed to take priority over writing about it here.  There have been moves, and new jobs, a baby, goodbyes, and loss.  Life.  I'm always super impressed by my friends (and strangers) who can do both.  Who can live the daily ups and downs of life, and seamlessly write about it on their blog with beautiful words and gorgeous, amazing, Photoshop-perfected pictures.  That's just not me.  I realize that in this technologically focused/saturated/crazy world, this might be seen as a negative thing - especially if and/or when the time comes and I begin to focus on selling my art and "getting it out there" again.  I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  For now, I just want to be honest about the fact that my posts will, most likely, continue to be as random (time and content-wise), as they've always been.  Perhaps, with a healthy dose of pics or ramblings about motherhood thrown in for good measure.  Because that's where I am in life right now.  I haven't created new artwork in... I, honestly, don't even know.  Since before our little miss was born, that's for sure.  And the creative part of me is aching to come out - to play with paint and paper and charcoal... oh just thinking about it makes me happy!  But becoming a mother has been a never ending string of lessons.  And the one I'm finally figuring out (I think), is that it's time for me to honor all parts of who God created me to be again.  Not just the "mama" part - as fantastic and wonderful as that piece of my being is.  So I've pulled out the art supplies.  They're in a huge pile in our back room, or "Spare Oom," as we lovingly refer to it.  Nothing is organized.  It's kind of a huge mess, actually.  But it's a start.  A place to start.  I love a new beginning, don't you?  And each day - each moment - we can have one.  Such possibility.
ALL of this to say, really, that this is where I am these days.  A lover of Jesus, a wife to Rick, a mother to Annaliese, an artist, and so much more...  And, perhaps, in the midst of all of this, I'll find my way back to this blog, to share my life with you.  I really hope to.
In the meantime, I hope this post finds you well, and that you are honoring who God has created YOU to be.
Much love to you, dear ones.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

morning has broken

hey friends!  how are you?  can you believe that it's the end of june?  it's officially summer.  and i haven't posted since december.  and, honestly, it may be a bit until i post again.  as many of you know, i'm pregnant with our first little one.  she's due in the next couple of weeks, and since we found out we were pregnant the end of last year, life has truly not been the same.  

we can't wait to meet our little miss!  being pregnant has been a tremendous blessing - and a miracle, honestly.  we've been talking the last couple days about making a "baby mix" - music that is calming and encouraging and that makes us happy as we prepare for baby girl to arrive, for when we're at the hospital, etc.  i heard this song for the first time in a long time the other day, and it nestled itself into my heart.  i keep singing it to myself, thinking about the lyrics.  the words, in a way, speak to how i feel about this new life, our daughter, entering the world.  i told rick that it will definitely be on our baby mix. 

i've always loved this song, but it wasn't until today that i learned it's actually a hymn that cat stevens covered.  now i love it even more.

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

good news of great joy

hello friends!  how have you all been?  we're doing well in the jacoby household.  i'm sorry i've been absent from the blogosphere the last few months.  a lot of life stuff has been happening, and i've meant to get on here to share and connect with all of you, and then more life happens... we've had work, and lack of work, a death of someone very dear to us, grief, healing, blessings, time with family and friends, holidays - halloween, and thanksgiving.  and now christmas is upon us.  i'm truly amazed at how fast the year has gone by. 

i'm hoping to spend this season of advent (the four weeks leading up to christmas), re-centering my heart on Jesus.  i was at a wonderful advent retreat a couple nights ago, and this quote was hanging inside the door of the room we met in.

Something in us always needs to be called home.  We need to see what or who we lack inside.  Advent is a time to reclaim what we have lost in our hearts.  It is not meant to be a cozy, self-satisfied time in which we wait for "Baby Jesus" to be born.  The birth of Jesus is a historical event.  Advent focuses instead on our own place of exile and whether or not this Savior who was born and lived on our earth has made a difference in our lives.

Joyce Rupp 
this quote really stirred something in my heart.  especially the first part - "Something in us always needs to be called home" - and the last part - "whether or not this Savior who was born and lived on our earth has made a difference in our lives."

as things get busy over the holidays and everything winds down for the year, i pray that we would all take time to quiet our hearts and reflect on the fact that we are constantly being "called home" by the one who is Love.  God's love for us is unconditional and everlasting.  and, in my humble opinion, that Truth makes just about all the difference in the world.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11
blessings to you this holiday season, dear ones!  much, much love.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

art fair this saturday!

hi friends!  i wanted to let you know that i'll be participating in the saline harvest of the arts oktoberfest again this year.  it's this upcoming saturday, september 24th, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   if you're in the area and can stop by, i'd love to see you! 

this is a great family friendly event.  in addition to the art fair, the harvest of the arts will include a bier garten and german food favorites, fireman's chili challenge, baker's nook kinderplatz, culinary students' bake sale, hands-on activities for children led by the scrap box of ann arbor, adult hands-on art led by the two twelve arts center, all day live music on the main stage and local stage, and more!

well, i'm off to package up some prints, but i hope you're having a good week - and i hope to see some of you on saturday!  much love!

Friday, September 16, 2011

2 months later

hello!  so, it's been two months since i've posted on here.  where has the time gone?  i've been busy with fun things - a sons of anarchy themed party for my sister's birthday, an art camp for kids at our friends' church, a trip to newburgh, NY with rick for a gig at the orange county choppers' headquarters... but there have also been some not-so-fun things going on, too. 

ever since some health issues came up last fall/winter, i feel like the momentum i had been gaining regarding my art came screeching to a halt.  part of the last 10 months or so has been me just figuring out how to get through the day.  clearly, not every day is just about survival, but that's definitely been a piece of this season of my life.  being in pain, being exhausted, feeling pretty awful - it's been difficult to feel very creative, let alone have the energy or motivation to do the work (like creating new art, updating my etsy, posting on my blog).  treatment options are pretty bleak, and it's been hard to be hopeful about my health situation.  there are days i feel fine, days i feel great, but there are a lot of days that i don't.  rick's been gone a lot this summer with the band, and as thankful as i am that he's working, being at home alone this much when i'm feeling the way i've been feeling hasn't been the easiest adjustment.

i feel guilty when i look at my workspace, because it's been so long since i've created anything new, and i feel like there's so much i "should" be doing.  as a friend put it the other day, "art has become very loaded" for me.  i have an art fair next saturday (i'll post about that soon), and i'd hoped to have completed a lot of new work to share there, but that just hasn't happened.  i've been looking at job postings, thinking that maybe if i had a day job (and income from it), i'd feel free to create, and it would become a joyful, pleasurable outlet for me again.  with the way i've been feeling the last several months, though, i've been wondering if i can realistically work full time.

there are so many things to figure out.  what do i do about my health situation?  can i push through some of the pain and fatigue?  what do i do about my art?  do i get a day job?  if so, what kind of job? 

and then it hit me the other day - where's God in the mix?  i've been trying to sort all this out on my own.  i think about asking Him for help, but then i feel like i shouldn't until i've got my stuff together.  until i'm reading my Bible more.  until He and i are "okay."  if a friend said the same thing to me, i'd tell them that that's not truth, that God wants them to return to Him, that He loves them, that He's pursuing them... 

this past week i feel like i've been reminded that God meets me where i am.  He's been reminding me of what is true.  even in the midst of the hard stuff, there are joyful moments.  time with rick.  new friends.  laughter.  the beginning of fall.  the desire to paint, not for the purpose of selling, but for my own benefit and expression.  He blesses me when i'm not looking for or expecting it.  He's patient and tender and gracious to me.  i don't have all the answers to the questions i've been asking, but i have hope.  and, at least for today, that's enough for me.

when doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
psalm 94:19

whatever season you're in right now, i pray that God would be your comfort, and that He would fill your hearts with hope.  much love to you, friends.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

9 3/4

i can't believe that the last harry potter movie comes out in a couple days!  rick and i are HUGE fans of the books - and the movies.  the world created by j.k. rowling is just so fantastically rich.  this week, in honor of the last film, i've been sporting the "dumbledore lives" pin my sister bought for me and drinking out of the fabulous hedwig mug friends brought back from me after their visit to "the wizarding world of harry potter" a few months ago.  i've been meaning to share the video our super crazy talented friend made after their trip to the orlando park for a few months now.  our friend's creativity - and all things harry potter - are such sources of inspiration for me.  as you prepare for the final film, this glimpse into the "wizarding world" will definitely get you in the harry potter mood - if you weren't already.  enjoy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

summer night

i just got home from an evening walk with my 70-something year old neighbor.  it feels like tonight was a little gift to me from God.  He knew just what i needed.  to get out.  to have company.  to see and hear kids on summer vacation, laughing and riding their bikes together.  to smell the flowers in bloom.  to see the beautiful sky as the sun was setting behind purple clouds.  to watch the fireflies guiding me home.  things that would shake off the weird mood i was fighting today.  things that would make my heart feel full.

i'm going to bed tonight a thankful girl.  i pray this summer holds more nights like tonight - for me, and for you, too, dear ones.  much love.

Monday, June 20, 2011

fun times at the berkley art bash

hi friends!  how have you been?  last week was a good one over here.  things have slowed down a little after the berkley art bash last saturday - thanks to those of you who came out to visit me!  even though it was supposed to rain and storm most of the day, we only had a few sprinkles, and it ended up being a really nice day.  i met a bunch of super nice people (artists and customers), sold some artwork (yay!), and had a truly wonderful time!

a few pics for you from the day:

shoppers perusing handmade goodies

one of the ads w/ my "anchor" piece hanging in a local store's front window!

me, in my booth, waving at my cute sis =)

that's all for now, kids.  hope you're all having a lovely day!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the two As: artwork and ABBA

that's some crazy swedish goodness, if i do say so myself!  the ABBA greatest hits cd is what i've been listening to the last few days as i've been busy preparing for the 10th annual berkley art bash this saturday.  what can i say?  it makes me happy.

hope you're all having a fabulous week!  if you're in the berkley area on saturday, i'll be there from 10-6 - i'd love to see you! 

much love, friends!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


hello friends!  how are you?  did you have a nice holiday weekend?  rick had gigs this weekend, so he stayed home busy with work while i went up north with my family to my family's cabin.  my grandpa lives down the road from our cabin, so going up north also means spending time with him - something we all always look forward to.

we were all just up north at the cabin a few weeks ago in april to celebrate my grandpa's 92nd birthday (see cutie below).  the person he is and the way he lives his life inspire me.  he's almost a century old, for starters - and he still drives and lives on his own.  he's irish catholic.  a teamster and a WWII vet.  he's loyal.  he's tough as nails.  he's survived things most of us couldn't imagine living through.  he's a fighter.  and a sweetheart.  i love him dearly.

the weekend away with my family was a lot of fun, and i'm thankful to have been able to spend that time with them and my grandpa.  now that i'm back home, i'm back to work, getting ready for the berkley art bash next saturday.  i still have a lot to get done, but i'm really looking forward to it! 

hope you all had a great weekend - and that you have a wonderful week!  much love!

Friday, May 20, 2011

berkley art bash - june 11

hey all!  taking a quick break from reorganizing my art area to let you know that i'm going to be taking part in the 10th annual berkley art bash on saturday, june 11th from 10-6.  i was really excited to be accepted into this art fair - and then when i saw the above ad with my "anchor" artwork on it, i was all smiles.  i really hope you can stop by!

back to cleaning for me... and then, hopefully, some painting!  hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  much love!

Monday, May 9, 2011

sunshine days

hey all!  hope monday is being nice to you.  feeling pretty good after checking some things off my list of to-dos.  also - the sunshine the last few days has been so fantastic.  i think the nice weather has definitely lifted my spirits.  spring may have finally arrived in michigan - and we michiganders are loving it.  everyone's outside, cleaning cars, planting flowers, walking, biking, bbq-ing...

on saturday, k and i went to plymouth's green street fair.  lot of vendors selling or promoting green, eco-friendly, and/or organic goods.  pretty fun.  we didn't buy anything (other than chicken fingers and corn dogs), but just walking outside in the sunshine, chatting with a dear friend was wonderful. 

mother's day was spent at my mom's.  we all spent the day working in my mom's yard - raking leaves, picking up sticks, moving bushes.  again, great to be outside, getting my hands dirty with the fam. 

here's what i was up to a little earlier today:

planted some flowers

cleaned off my super-cute adirondack chairs

filled the bird feeder hanging on this tree - only a few weeks ago the limbs were bare

off to start dinner... maybe we'll eat outside in our freshly cleaned yellow chairs... probably safe to say that spring is definitely here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

easter saturday, easter sunday

there are two videos that i've seen over the last couple of days that have really spoken to my heart.  one has to do with easter saturday, a day when hope was seemingly lost, and one has to do with easter sunday, a day when hope reigns in the love and power and glory of Jesus' resurrection.

my friend, anne, posted this video on her blog, and it really resonated with me.  it's about the silence of easter saturday.  i love pete greig and his honesty.

they showed the following video at church yesterday.

here are the lyrics to the song by matt maher:

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You've bled for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven's will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He's alive! He's alive!

even when the world is dark, and things seem so bleak, there is always hope.  He's alive.  Christ is risen.  God is love.

Friday, April 22, 2011

good friday

“God so loved the world, ” John writes, “that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That is to say that God so loved the world that he gave his only son even to this obscene horror; so loved the world that in some ultimately indescribable way and at some ultimately immeasurable cost he gave the world himself. Out of this terrible death, John says, came eternal life not just in the sense of resurrection to life after death but in the sense of life so precious even this side of death that to live it is to stand with one foot already in eternity. To participate in the sacrificial life and death of Jesus Christ is to live already in his kingdom. This is the essence of the Christian message, the heart of the Good News, and it is why the cross has become the chief Christian symbol. A cross of all things–a guillotine, a gallows–but the cross at the same time as the crossroads of eternity and time, as the place where such a mighty heart was broken that the healing power of God himself could flow through it into a sick and broken world. It was for this reason that of all possible words they could have used to describe the day of his death, the word they settled on was “good.” Good Friday.
- Frederick Buechner

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


hey peeps!  so, you may have noticed, but i haven't been on top of the blogging so far this year.  i thought i'd share with you why that's been the case.

first, let's back up a couple of months to right after the last time i posted on here.

in february we had many birthdays in our family. lots of get-togethers and good times were had.  then the end of february we took a trip with my mom, two of my sisters, and my sister's husband, to disneyworld. a very fantastic, crazy, magical, exhausting, fun time.  we returned from florida, hoping to ease back into life, and focus on art, music, etc. that wasn't the case, though.

some health stuff happened that scared us both a bit. a couple trips to the emergency room, a hospital admittance, a slew of tests... march was off to a rocky start.  things have relatively calmed down over the last month, but the health stuff definitely shook us up. it also helped us to put some things into perspective. basically, i went into protective mode, and anything or anyone that i felt was stressing rick out or not a healthy part of our life at the time was out.  God gave me the strength to have some strong boundaries.  boundaries to protect rick, to protect me, to protect our family.  and it felt good to do that. to support rick and love him the way he constantly and consistently supports and loves me.

in the midst of all of that, though, some good things - things we love, people we love - were moved to the back burner.  things went undone (blog posts, for instance).  emails went unwritten.  even all the art stuff - creating it, working on my etsy, taking prints to catching fireflies - it became less of a priority.  rick and our family were the top priority.  taking care of him and of us came first.  everything else i'd just have to sort out later.

and here we are at "later."  i've wrestled with guilt about not focusing on my art and the business the last few months.  and not spending time doing it has led me to my share of doubts, too.  "is art even what i should be doing right now?" "do i really want to be doing it?" "is this realistic?"  i'd go to write on here and wonder if i should share the doubts - share honestly about where i was emotionally right then.  but then i'd think that maybe i should wait until i had more encouraging, positive things to write about. 

i was thinking about my desire to put on a happy face in the midst of my doubts and frustrations.  in my experience i've found that it can be a little alienating and isolating when people only share about the highs (and never the lows) in their lives.  i think sometimes the people who only share the good stuff are really positive, grateful people.  sometimes, though, i think they're people who are afraid to admit how hard things can be.  there's this unspoken lie going around that sharing your fears, doubts, and insecurities says something negative about who you are, and that you're the only one who feels that way.  operative word here: lie. 

the truth is, we all have those days when things seem so hard, when the world seems so dark, when anxiety threatens to take over.  i've found comfort and encouragement in those times from people who are willing to admit they have days like that too.  they're kindred spirits that i feel like God has given me to walk with along the journey, reminding me that i'm not alone.

the last couple of months have truly been a perspective check for me.  three (of the many) things i've been reminded of through all of this are:

1) life has a way of interrupting our best laid plans (i.e. creating new artwork, getting together with friends, writing emails, posting regularly on a blog...)

2) when that happens, have grace for yourself - it's okay, and

3) i want to live my life honestly.  this blog is a teeny-tiny glimpse into my life, so it makes sense that on days when i'm frustrated, my blog posts will reflect that.  on days i'm encouraged, my blog posts will reflect that.  and so on, and so forth.

all of that being said, i'm off to deal with another one of life's interruptions - a leaking kitchen ceiling.

hope you are well, friends.  much love!