Monday, March 31, 2014

Photography Processing

I have always loved photography and am now expanding into that bit by bit. Since I can only travel once in a while, and then not very far, I have come to see that there is much in "my own back yard" that I can use as photographic fodder. I have also fallen in love with processing a photo, by using Photoshop and textures. I am still in the beginnings of understanding that, but it's fun. Because of the cognitive issues associated with ME, I tire very easily when doing it, because I am not at the point where it is second nature. But it's so enjoyable, and I am hoping my skills will expand over the next few months.

(click to see details)
This is a simple pile of rocks on the side area of our property. I took a shot while they were lightly dusted with snow and then processed it with filters and other steps to make a nice graphic image

(click to see details)
In an area we call "the meadow" (mainly because we don't mow there!), we have wild daisies in the spring. This shot was processed with several layers of textured backgrounds and then I colored in the middle of the daisies.

(click to see details)
The Iceland Poppy is a free stock photo which I again added to it texture layers, ending with one which had words printed from an old hymn. Someone purchased a copy of this with matting and a frame and it looked gorgeous. 


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

And Things Change

Yesterday was a hard day, as you know if you read my post. However, my spirits were lifted today when our pastor brought over the following framed picture:

This was taken by him (he climbed up on a ladder) of the crowd of people who came to opening ceremony for the church sponsored Art Show of 40 of my art works. The opening was on March 16th. Almost 100 people came for opening, and 10 pieces of art sold! As you look at the picture, you can see that the line of people just keeps going! I received several emails from attendees, saying how much they enjoyed it. The art will be hanging up there for a couple of months. 

It's a rare thing for a church to go to so much trouble for a member, but the love of Jesus just shines through their hearts. I could not attend, but I am quite moved by the love they showed me! What a blessing!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

At a low point

It's been so long since I wrote. I am in the midst of severe regression, lying still seems to be the biggest part of my life. ME is so draining and often I long to go home to Jesus, to be restored and in His presence. Even after all this time, I still struggle with how people see me. I have found that people even have expectations of how you "should" be when you are severely ill and there is no cure. Some accept it with love and concern, and accept completely what I can and cannot do. Then there are those who are still puzzled by the stringent limitations and want to accept but are not sure exactly what is going on (but don't trouble to learn about it). Then I have found there are some who want me to exhibit what they view are the traits of how a sick Christian person "should" behave - don't complain, model sincere belief in Christ and be a model for the rest of us. (think Mother Theresa)

ignorant thought- You lost your friends? Perhaps it was you own fault.
truth - I have found out who my true friends are. It is not my fault. The others disappeared and God opened my eyes.

ignorant thought - If you would just move and exercise a bit, you would feel better.
truth - If I exercise, I will get worse and could possibly strain my heart too much and die.

ignorant thought - You should not grieve or have sorrow while severely ill. Be a saint.
truth - You have had no experience with severe illness or have had the grace to learn. You are truly not my friend.

Even as I wrote this, I am conscious of how people will view it, so I try to choose my words carefully.

The Lord knows I want my life back. The Lord loves and councils me, holding me in His everlasting arms and gives me peace. I can cry out to Him. I can tell Him I feel so low. I know some people will view this as self pity, but isn't that an easy way to shrug off any need to learn about this devastating illness.

I sincerely pray that it never happens to you, or someone you love.

Postscript- I know a lot of why I'm low is because of how ME makes me feel, which I can't do anything about. It drains everything, not much I can do about it. And yes, I have had those things actually said to me, and much more, but I don't need to put everything down. Please be kind to those you know are truly struggling!