Broken Wings?

“Clipped wings, I was a broken thing, had a voice but I could not sing; you would wind me down, I struggled on the ground… I struggle to fly now” -Sia- Bird Set Free

I have loved this song from the moment I heard it for the first time. I related so much to these lyrics. It’s amazing how someone else’s experience would give them a creative expression that could touch many in places they didn’t know they needed to be touched, or reminded. I love that about the creative process!

Recently, I was interviewed by LaQuisha Hall (@confidentcanvas) as she was honoring the month of Domestic Violence awareness. It was my first time talking a little bit about my mom’s story and my own on social media. As you can imagine, many emotions, but for sure lot’s of gratitude for God’s redemption in our story and for the power of community.

I remember sharing about that day…the day when I had to make the tough choice of running away for my life while leaving my mom behind because she didn’t feel ready to escape with me. I bursted into tears as I shared about how I felt as if my wings were broken and began to heal that day…it’s almost as if a new pair of wings were being birth in me again. It was for sure going to take a long time for the healing process and for me to learn how to fly again…but I eventually did.

As Sia’s lyrics said: “you held me down but I fought back loud”… I had to fight my way out. I gathered a few scars in the process…but it was worth it. I am well aware that not all can scape or fight for their lives. It’s never easy, there is not a formula. However when we do…something beautiful begins to happen…your wings begin to heal. Part of my healing was found by helping other women and young girls that were struggling in similar areas. Your journey can serve as a healing to others as well.

There are many pieces of our stories that have caused our wings to be clipped. At times it’s hard to look at our wings and not feel scared. But we will fly again!

Don’t look at your broken wings with shame- look at them with compassion and love. Remember they’ve been through a lot…but they will be restored. They will feel like a brand new pair of wings when you heal.

For me, it began with realizing that I was made for more. Followed by the decision to scape, and being supported by my faith and my church community.

I don’t know if there are areas in your heart where you feel like you are being held down, and that you’re struggling to get back up…

Let me encourage you today…you were made for more. You matter. You’re worthy. You are loved. We were not created to live in fear, and held down by violence, injustice or abuse of any kind. We were created by love and for love. We were created to fly!

Consider to give your wings a chance to be healed…a chance to be free to fly again. You will not regret it.

This piece was inspired by the story of many survivors that decided to fight for their lives…and in honor to those that are still trying to find their way.

Hugs,

Jannette

Block it Out…

Sometimes before I start a new piece, I already have a clear idea of the structure and composition style that I would like to use. Other times, I have no clue- yet I still start working on it and trust my intuition to guide my process.

I’m recently learning that sometimes it’s OK to not know the outcome I want to see in a particular piece. That shouldn’t block me or prevent me from enjoying my creative process. I can still continue working on it and and see which parts I actually like and block out the rest. This is exactly what I had to do here.

This piece is not finished yet but I really love where is going. I had to block out a portion of it and paint over it:) I’m now starting to look at some new possibilities.

Trusting your intuition when creating something new is a great way to find beauty in the middle of the chaos. If you don’t like some of what you see…you can always block it out and keep moving. Before you know it you will find something beautiful and fun to continue to build upon.

-Jannette-

Framing our Perspective…

It is always fun for me to see my artwork framed. The frame finishes the piece bringing all the details together for me.

One thing I’m realizing is that my life is also like an art piece. It can be display and even look good without a frame , but sometimes my perspective can be out of place and my focal point in the opposite side of where it should be. Then, I realize that I need to frame my perspective. My views on myself, my choices, my circumstances and my realities.

Once all is framed properly, I can see it clearer and better. I can appreciate the beauty and shift my focal point to where it needs to be.

It sounds simple, but it actually takes practice.

Framing our perspective about ourselves and the life we are living is a regular practice, and it helps us stay the course. Is actually very similar to attuning an instrument. The more you practice the more you need to attune, and in time, before you know it, you find yourself playing a beautiful melody. One, that at certain point you weren’t able to play.

Framing perspective, it’s worth the effort.

What parts of your perspective are you being challenged to frame or reframe today?

Experimentation…

I am simply grateful that today I was able to try something new. Something out of my comfort zone.

I have been wanting to use Beeswax for ever, but I don’t have the right tools. I experimented with a medium today and I loved the process and the outcome.

Some times, that’s what is all about. What new technique have you been wanting to try in your creative process?

The Process

I am often fascinated by the uniqueness and detailed process that is required to create a piece of Artwork. Any kind.

Process matters.

From writing a piece of poetry to crafting an outfit or designing the architectural structure of a building…it all requires a detailed process.

A process requires patience, it requires diligence and intuitive grace. I can’t rush it, push it or fake it. It has to run its course.

This piece is not finished yet. However, it has taught me already a simple but valuable lesson: though things might end up being different than what I’ve planned, they are not necessarily a mistake. Each layer reminds me of why I love mixed media in the first place. There are no mistakes that holds no value in this form of art.

This is true in life as well.

I don’t always have to know the ending, or be able to predict the outcome…I can choose to trust the process. I can let the process show me where to go and what changes or adjustments to make. I can let it run its course and use the experiences of my life to create new layers, new ground, new expectations.

I indeed needed that reminder today as a mom.

I had a whole different idea of what motherhood was going to be like.

I had an initial plan, a strategy, sort of like a blueprint, an idea of the mom I wanted to be and how I wanted my relationship with my children to be. The problem is that I forgot about the process, and the intuitive grace that is required for this task!

Ahh… how wrong I was.

After all the hard work and all the books read, I still have not figured out. When I think I’ve got a better idea of how to make it work, the process shows me something different. 🙂 I feel most times like I do not know what I am doing. I don’t know what the outcome will be. Things are changing, kids are growing, I’m evolving and I no longer have the same blueprint. Actually, I don’t have one at all.

This I know, I will keep showing up. Even when I can’t guarantee the outcome, even when all I can see is one layer at a time…I know at the end of this process there will be a beautiful masterpiece.

That masterpiece will be a tender reminder that those layers were not in vane, those layers are proof that I’ve been moving through the seasons doing the work. Loving well, to the best of my ability. Not always perfect, but steady.

I can’t rush it, I can’t fake it.

I choose to trust the process. I choose to trust the One who placed me in this role in the first place. I leave the outcome in his hands.

I will be kind to myself in this process.

Jannette

#IamwhohesaysIam 

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I remember the conversation so clearly…

I was on my way home with kids after a play date with some friends  when an exchange of words with my 6 year old daughter brought me an unforgettable, tangible moment of awareness and realization.

At that time my son was still young, a cute little toddler with tons of volts of energy and well…I was pretty much in a complete state of exhaustion trying my best to juggle a job, navigate a family crisis, learning to parent and yet still, wanting to find the joy in that particular season of life.

As I drove home that afternoon I was lost in deep thoughts.  I was replaying in my head the moments that I got to spend with my friend and her kids that afternoon.  I kept asking myself how could I possibly ever reach that level of womanhood.

I mean, this girl had a vibrant relationship with Jesus.  On top of that, she was gorgeous, she had financial stability, a great marriage, tons of family support around her and most of all…she was an incredible mom.

The more I thought, the more I kept comparing my life to hers and felt like a failure. There was no way I could ever come any close to that.  So… I stared beating myself up internally.

My daughter was quietly observing me through the rear view mirror and saw the tears rolling down my eyes.

Are you OK mom? – she asked. Sorry sweet heart, I think Mommy is just a little bit overwhelmed -I answered.  I just wished God would have given you a mom that was in much better condition all together. A perfect mom. – I added.

“He did.” -She replied. “I do not need any other mommy,  because you are the perfect one for me!”…”You are perfect for me mom”. (Oh what I delight it would be to hear that from my teen daughter now.) 🙂

I am not going to lie…the crying got really ugly then. 🙂 It hit me hard. All of a sudden I was reminded of a couple of things:

1. When I’m exhausted and going through difficultly, that is not the best moment for me evaluate my growth and my performance in any of my roles. That’s indeed a time when I must find the courage to be kind to myself and take care of me, so that I can be able to do the next right thing.

2. When I compare myself and my journey to others I’m devaluing myself and my experience. Embracing and loving the totality of who I am is also a huge part of being brave.

God wasn’t caught by surprise with me. He knows everything about me, and yet he entrusted me with these precious children. I am sure he knew what they needed as well. And of course, that’s not to say that my kiddos won’t need therapy at some point, trust me they will! Lots of it. 😂 But ultimately, God will work in their lives just like he continues to work in mine. Even in my brokeness and inadequacies, my loved ones will be able to get from me what I can offer and my unique ways to love them. God will make up the difference!

My daughter’s words were not just a cute statement! They were a practical word from God that spoke to my very core and pierced through a whole lot of lies that I’ve told myself for many years.  It was a reminder of his approval for me to be and walk unashamed of who I am.

We all have hard days. Days when we feel that we are not enough. We all have experienced those moments of fear, doubt and insecurity.  I still have those days! I am not a stranger or inmune to some of those persistent voices that still scream or at times whisper to me when I am most vulnerable, trying to convince me to believe the lie: You are not enough!

Over these past few months I’ve been really struggling much uncertainty and  insecurities.  I’ve been hunted by high waves of anxiety and pulled under by fear. Then I was reminded again and again of one truth: I am His! I belong, I am loved. He’s for me and not against me.

Therefore, I can do the hard things. I’ve done it before, with Him and through Him.

I can be the woman that he’s calling me to be, even in my brokenness and inadequacies. I can do all things through Christ…through his strength.

Therefore, when those voices want to become louder and tell me otherwise, I must choose to remind myself of who He says I am. I am His.