January 2013 Archive

Real Life

ImageYou guys, I have to be honest, I have butterflies in my stomach right now as I sit down to write this post. It’s not that I don’t want to, in fact, I think I really need to. It’s just very personal and I’m nervous about putting so much of myself “out there.” But in the spirit of trying to have a real and transparent voice in everything I do, I’m gonna go for it.

Have you ever noticed how when you get distracted by things that the Lord has a way of drawing your attention back toward Him and the things that really matter most? When I left my job over a year ago, I knew it was His timing. I knew He had a plan. I knew that eventually, we’d have kids and that I wanted the flexibility of being at home with them while still doing what I love: making beautiful things that would encourage people to connect with each other. I really believe that these were and still are pretty admirable goals. But somewhere along the way, other selfish goals crept in. Ones that slowly brought darkness into my happy little vision. Maybe a small success caused me to praise myself rather than thanking the One who gave me creativity in the first place. Or maybe I would drive through the beautiful historic neighborhoods here in Greenville and think to myself “one day….” Or maybe I grew impatient with the pace that my business was growing. I was doing ANYTHING but being still and resting in His perfect plan for me, my family, and my business. I was trying to control it all. Slowly, that darkness was sucking up the light. Fear was taking hold.

Fast forward to around Christmastime. Our sweet baby Bennett was about two months old and I was slowly getting back to work. I was going through a mentorship program and really felt like I was making some progress with my business plans and dreams. I was slowly realizing the mistakes I’d been making. It was around this time, however, that I found a lump in my breast while feeding our baby. No big deal, was my initial thought. I had some previous complications with breastfeeding and figured this was just leftover drama from all of that. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor just to be safe. She recommended I give it a week or two. Well, that’s plenty of time for me to google the heck out of whatever it could be and that’s when this new fear began to completely take over. This new fear blew all of my other mini fears out of the water. Over the next few weeks, I’d seen my regular doctor twice, a radiologist twice, and even a breast surgeon. No one could tell me 100% that this thing was nothing to worry about. I was scheduled for an aspiration (basically a biopsy) and had about a week to wait. Y’all, I really think that week changed me. There was nothing I could do but wait. Be still. These things are super hard for me. But the Lord knew I needed the practice. He knew there was a void of scripture in my life to turn to when I’m tempted to fear. In the meantime, I turned 30. On my birthday, my mom gave me Isaiah 49:16 in my card. The next day, a sweet friend gave me the same verse.

See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.

I had no choice but to hide this in my heart and ask Him to take away my fear. And He did. By shifting my focus back towards His love and His provision. It was a miracle really. A worry wort like myself went into the doctor’s office with an unexplainable peace. And the next day when the results came back, this worry wort praised Him for His protection and for His provision for me and my family. We got the results back- and they were the good kind. We were dumbstruck by His care for us.

All this to say, I’ve been all over the place this past year: I can almost map my worry. Worries about being a mom, worries about being a good wife, worries about being a good friend, about making things that people will like…on and on, around and around. The Lord used the scariest time in my life to reveal to me my need for utter dependence on Him. It probably isn’t how I would have chosen to learn this lesson, but I’m thankful that He is at work. I’m thankful that He is daily, moment by moment revealing to me how much He loves me: through the coos of little Bennett, though the selfless acts of my husband, and through His word that I so desperately need to hide in my heart so that when these storms come, I am much better prepared to rest in Him.

How has all of this affected Miss Wyolene? It certainly doesn’t mean I stop doing what I’m doing. It does mean that I have refocused: I have clearer direction on what is most important. Miss Wyolene is a gift and a blessing: and one that I can’t control. I will do it well, but I will remember His provision. And any blessings that come as a result are from Him. His is the only direction I want to go.

Our pastor encourages us to build an altar and remember His goodness. We forget so easily. Thank you for stopping by mine. And just because I need all the help I can get in remembering, I made the above artwork into a desktop background. Feel free to download here for your personal use.

Love,
misswyolene_smallstamp-yellow

Life Update…and Some Stationery, Of Course

Dear Readers and Fellow Paper Enthusiasts,

First of all, please forgive my sporadic blogging over the past few months. As you might have guessed, I took some time to have a baby which, turns out, was a pretty big deal. Despite my best efforts to be superwoman and blog each and every day with brand new paper items, it just didn’t happen. Truly, I’m glad it didn’t. Our little Bennett has been the wildest and best ride we could have ever imagined. He definitely has been keeping us on our toes!

Of course, like any good Southern gentleman, he does have his own man-baby stationery. He’s working on his writing skills. For now, it’s pretty much our interpretation of his squeals and coos. (A job we definitely enjoy!) Those of you who are familiar with Miss Wyolene’s work have probably noticed my affinity for all things pink, floral, and cursive. As you can imagine, this was a fun little exercise into a cute, but more dude-ish look. (And BLUE!) You might notice the hand drawn arrows that occur on both pieces? I took inspiration from the verse in Psalms that says:

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! (Psalms 127:3-5)

Bennett means “blessed” and we have been beyond measure. His presence in our family has given me fresh perspective on God, life, love, and even on business. As such, 2013 will likely be a wild year. In addition to caring for and loving on this little guy, I’ll be working on Miss Wyolene’s very first full collection! (There, I’ve put it out there. Into cyberspace. Talk about accountability!) While it’s all still in the very beginning stages, you can expect lots of hand drawn goodness, bright colors, and a few little treats along the way!

So here’s to 2013- mine and yours. Let’s make it the best year ever:  by loving more and creating more.

Update: Please forgive me, as this post is under construction. In an effort to maintain privacy for my family, I am going to reshoot the elements of little man’s stationery that do not include his picture. Thank you for your patience! If you are interested in baby stationery, drop me a line and I will happily email you pieces from my baby portfolio.

Love,

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