When Life is Chaos

The last two weeks of my life have been a bit chaotic. Well, especially this last one. It all started with a migraine two Thursdays ago that lasted a few days, and then a week of a totally packed schedule which included end-of-school festivities for my daughter, a few appointments, a nature play date to meet some of the local homeschool moms and kids, and my husband's birthday. At some point during this time my son, why suffers from a number of food allergies managed to ingest something he wasn't supposed to (I'm almost certain I know what it was), so there were the messes to clean with that. Thankfully today he seems to be back to normal.

When a storm is passing through, I still find the time to create. In fact, when life is most chaotic, that's when it's most important for me to create, draw, paint, ANYTHING. If I don't, I become totally consumed by the stress. I lose my mind, to put it mildly. Art brings me back to center. It forces me to slow down. It's very therapeutic.

That being said, I DID create my inspiration Friday drawing/painting last week, though I didn't post it due to the aforementioned birthday, so I'm sharing it today.

I'm sure most of you have seen the sexual assault case involving Brock Turner. This quote was at the end of his victim's statement. I'm not going to go into detail regarding my opinion on the matter - it's similar to that of the majority of the public. He got off easy, and she'll have to deal with this for the rest of her life. And his dad's letter to the judge? Wow. Let's just say I think he's a big part of the problem. (I honestly could care less about his son's eating habits and swimming accomplishments - neither have anything to do with his integrity, which is the real issue at hand.)

Regarding the quote, I love it (and as someone who loves sailing and the sea, it touched a special place in my heart). From my understanding, Lamott is a Christian spiritual writer, so in her context this quote likely meant don't go looking for people to convert, rather lead by example. However, I don't think in religious terms, so this means something a bit different - something beyond religion. Lighthouses remain standing tall and strong for decades, even centuries, under some of the harshest conditions (such as La Vieille). They serve as landmarks as well as a beacon of light, sparing countless lives from smashing against the rocks or getting lost at sea. Of course, on the surface this could be taken as don't go looking to be the hero, or give unsolicited advice, but I think it goes deeper than that. It means to stand tall and strong, even in the darkest of storms, to be a beacon of light to others, to model, inspire, to be a source of stability. I would take this even further - lighthouses are not affected by those they save or the weather they face. If you've ever been a crutch to someone (willingly or not), it is extremely difficult not to get drawn into their troubles. So to stand and shine like a lighthouse, that means that keeping your boundaries strong and clear, not allowing yourself to get knocked down, all while shining the light for them to help them avoid the rocky shore. Their happiness is ultimately up to them to figure out, not your responsibility.

So, all that being said, here's a little something for you for those days when things get a bit crazy and hectic, and you're in need of something to help you slow down and bring you back to center. A free coloring page for you, right out of my sketchbook! OK, so it's not a lighthouse. I wish I'd thought of that sooner, as it would've been totally appropriate given the context. If you click on the image, it should bring up a PDF which you can then print. If you DO color it, please share it on Facebook or Instagram (and/or share it on my FB page) with the hashtag #starmagnoliascoloringpage - I'd love to see what you do with it!