In the Valley…PAJWLH

The other day my husband gave me a book called Peaks and Valleys, I haven’t started it yet but I believe the title is pretty self explanatory.

*photo copyright and property of Liz Hicks may be pinned or shared with credit given and link pack to original post*

It has been a month since my last blog post, and well some of you know that I have been dealing with some health issues for some time now. I wanted to update a little especially with the holidays approaching, I felt that it was important to share a little about myself going into this season.

My health, thank God is doing a lot better but I still have episodes of illness here and there. I have dealt with digestive issues for a while, being diagnosed with a multitude of things (which I will not ruin your lunch by going into detail). On September 17th I was cooking for my husbands birthday which was the next day. We were celebrating on this day since he worked late the next. Out of no where I became ill and it was violent. I had hot and cold flashes, I was buckled over in pain, my brain felt like it was in a blender, my eyes wouldn’t focus and I could not stop shivering. On top of all of this, my muscles ached horribly which was excruciating since I suffer from chronic pain (I was diagnosed earlier this year), so this was on top of my condition. From that day I was laid out on the couch for two months, pretty much just trying to be present in my children’s life.I would sit up or lay down on the couch and do homework with them, or cuddle and watch a movie… but this was pretty much as much as they got from me. I would have violent episodes where I would have to go to the emergency room and my amazing husband would organize who would watch our children and then rush to my side. I have to say that I hate the ER… but that is a different story.

I tell you all of this not so that you can sympathize or empathize with me, but that in hopes that this explains a bit of my absence on the blog and this next series of art journal prompts that I want to share with you.

During this time of illness which was about 2 months long, something changed in me. It is not this big outrageous come to Jesus kind of change, it was more of a time of rest in which I needed that allowed my perspective to be returned. I am pretty sure that this change was already inside of me, kinda like all the ingredients were there… I just hadn’t taken the time to add them all up and make sense of it all.

This month on the blog I had planned on having some close friends of mine help me out with sharing some home made gift ideas and resourceful ways of staying true to this next season. With my illness and some very unfortunate events in my friends lives, I have come to the conclusion that this is my story to tell. So I will invite my friends to help me out with this at the beginning of 2013 and hopefully we can share with you a different twist on what I had planned.

This next week, I want to take some time to share a little in depth of my journey this past two months, this past year…and even some of my earlier life. This is a scary moment for me because well, what I share on the blog is how-to’s, art, crafts, recipes and fun stuff, well the truth is that life doesn’t always add up to a whole bunch of fun stuff and I have found that even the hard stuff needs to be shared. So starting next week, I will be doing a straight through marathon of art journal prompts that I hope will help you this next holiday season. My goal is not to change you or give you some sort of Ah-Ha hallelujah moment but for those of you who may being having a tough time right now as we enter the holiday season… I just want you to know you are not alone. If you are struggling with illness, finances,loneliness, isolation, regret, separation, hurt… you are not alone and I pray that this series will unite those who are dealing with similar circumstances in restoration and understanding.

I mentioned the book Peaks and Valleys which I am about to read, but I found some quotes from the book on amazon that are right along the lines of what I wish to share this next week. The valley of course is in reference to our low times, or even hardships.

“The pain in a valley can wake you up to a truth you have been ignoring.”
“The path out of a valley appears when you choose to see things differently.”
I hope you will join me this next week as we share some moments of reflection and come together for the same purpose of understanding.
For today’s art journal prompt: take about 5 minutes to jot down your life right now. No art, just words. Jot down a description of your life right now and don’t stop for at least five minutes. Use adjectives, places, peoples names, feelings, colors, hopes dreams… everything the good and the bad… just write it down today in your book and date it. There is nothing pretty about this page, but this will help dig a bit into yourself and you might be surprised as to some of the words you find yourself writing.
Feel free to share in a comment some of the words you find yourself writing.
Thanks again for thinking of me and my family during this time, I can only hope that my time of reflection can somehow be shared effectively to you all and bring some sort of peace in knowing.. you are not alone.
~Liz ♥

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