Monday, June 20, 2016

You can make a Difference if you don't Give Up

"Tansy's Pride"
In addition to loving books written about the Depression Era and World War II, I enjoy novels about slavery, especially from the perspective of a slave. Once immersed in the heartaches and hardships that come out of these historical time periods, you can better relate to the families that came after and those in the present day.

Everyone has a different memory of the same event. There were courageous and honest people who helped others and made their own lives count, and there were shallow people whose actions were hateful and spiteful. There were those who committed monstrous acts of violence and treachery that can only be called evil.

In the book "On to Richmond 1861-1862" The second book in the Civil War series written by Ginny Dye, the slave Rose asks her mama "How do you endure? How do I endure, Mama?" Her mother answered: "by going around every obstacle and embracing every hard time as if it were a friend carrying you to your final goal." Talk about positive attitude.

Reading opens up your world. You can gain understanding of other peoples and races. You can learn new skills. Education may expand your thinking and change the way you see your life. With knowledge comes responsibility. Your capacity to change your circumstances and conversely change the world becomes tangible. You can make a difference!

I taught myself to do many things while I raised six children. Each week we selected 10 books from the library that they could share. I also chose a few for myself. I studied writing, I read plays, I created scripts. I went on to study art in all of its forms. I experimented. I grew. I hungered to learn. I think my children caught my enthusiasm because they were full of never-ending questions.

If you're feeling trapped and think that you don't have the time or money for classes or that you'll be stuck in the same rut for the rest of your life, think again. You have it in your hands to create the life you want.

Think creatively. Reach out for help. Don't give up just because your life doesn't fit in with the pattern of others. Like the slave Rose learned from her mama, "embrace every obstacle, every hard time as if it were a friend carrying you to your final goal."

Nothing worthwhile is easy. You've probably heard that many times. It's easy to give up. You give into your fears, your imperfections, your lack of self-confidence. But you don't have to! Your state of mind determines where you go in life and how you end up. Take the reins of your thoughts and accomplish what God intended for you.

Norman Vincent Peale a famous Pastor and the author of many motivational books wrote this challenge in "Positive Thinking for Every Day of the Year:"
"Are you going to live all your life and never feel the presence of God?"

I issue a similar challenge. Are you going to live the rest of your life never feeling the exhilaration of overcoming weakness or the power that comes from self-control? Be in charge of your life. Don't succumb to indifference, laziness or fear.

The painting below is the first coat of paint on a gesso board. You can still see the white gesso show through in come places. I will show this work-in-progress over the next few weeks.
(Work in Progress)