Thursday, February 8, 2018

Divorce Care | How I Spend Most Lunch Breaks

John wouldn't let me leave the house yesterday morning without my "Mom" bracelet that he made for me at Divorce Care. We searched all over and I finally found it in my gym bag, slipped it on and headed out the door to drop my boys off at school. He was wearing his too. John was happy; we matched. 
Schedules change unexpectedly sometimes. Work was not on my schedule yesterday, but my boss asked if I would come in to cover a few hours for a co-worker who had broken her foot. Of course, I said, I didn't even have to think about it. So, I finished my short workday and headed to my usual lunch spot. Super Target is conveniently located close to my workplace. More often than not, I spend my lunch breaks in the Starbucks Cafe. Because of the rush this morning, I forgot to pack anything to eat. I had an hour before I needed to be en route to pick up the boys from school. I grabbed the cheapest low-calorie sandwich I could find in the deli, picked up a few toiletry items and checked out. Lunch time is busy at the Starbucks Cafe, I like sitting by the window, which was vacant. I dropped my things and set up my little lunch...I couldn't stop staring at my bracelet. I smiled at it, remembering. 

Julian, John and I started Divorce Care in the fall of 2016, the year I deemed for healing. I first heard about Divorce Care through a friend I made in my lifegroup from church. She suggested Divorce Care and gave rave reviews about the curriculum covered in the 13 week course. Yes, it's a class that meets once a week for 13 weeks. Each week has a theme that is studied during the week on your own and then discussed in group at the meeting time. There was an adult class and a children's class, so the boys and I could talk about the theme during the week together. I'll use another post to describe our experience, but let me share that it wasn't was brave though. It was brave that the 3 of us took Divorce Care. It's a brave act to get help where you need it. It's brave to accept an invitation from a friend who has your best interest at heart. It's brave to talk about the circumstances that make you sad, or angry, or indifferent. Can I offer you this? Can I offer this encouragement to you?  If you have gone through a divorce or even a long-term cohabitation that ended in a breakup and you have children, consider seeking a church that offers Divorce Care. I didn't know how much we needed it until we started going. I didn't know how much we needed to talk about until we started this class. Divorce Care gives you the strategies and the Godly-wisdom to travel this broken road. It's not a magical class that will suddenly heal you and make the feelings you don't want to feel go away, but Divorce Care proved to be a needed tool to help us along this path. We learned so much, the boys and I. Divorce Care was such a valuable experience, though difficult, I would even venture to take the class again. Whatever is brave, say so. Whatever is lovely or praiseworthy, share it. Whatever is helpful and wise, extend it. I love my "Mom" bracelet; I'm so thankful for this little reminder of a good decision we made while traveling a difficult road. 

God is Good. Love is Life.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Piedmont Park | Engagement Session & Sequential Photography

Saturday, I met Jenna and Jason at Piedmont Park for their engagement session. Even though we were freezing our tushies off, the lighting was lovely. Walking through the park, I had a few random thoughts that I shared with the love-birds: 

1. "This is the 3rd time I've shot an engagement session in Piedmont Park."
2. "I wish the park had a hot beverage cart to grab something to warm us up."
3. "There are a lot of photographers here today!"

What's pretty cool about the area is that the artists are respectful of each other's time and space.
This little lookout spot at the park was occupied by a photographer when we walked up. Another photographer was already waiting in the spot for a proposal session. And yet another photographer used the spot for a magazine shoot complete with model, lighting and makeup artist.
 Jenna & Jason braved the cold with me. Just as we were walking up the steps to head to our next location, another photographer was waiting behind. 
Saturday evening was quite a busy photo day at Piedmont Park.

Look at them enjoying each other. It's almost like I'm not here. You can feel the love, am I right?!
I love love love sequential photography. 

Oh, this is not Jenna & Jason's official engagement session blog post. This is just me signing on real quick to say I'm here; I'm creating and working on the things that I love.

God is Good. Love if Life.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Post Holiday | Merry Christmas & Happy 2018

Did you receive our Christmas Card? If not, here is yours. And before you think to yourself, wait! Why aren't you in it? I assure you; I am! Zoom in real close and you can see my reflection in John's sunglasses. Clever, eh?! I thought so. Actually, catching myself in the reflection was a happy accident. My boys are WAY cuter than good ole' mom anyway.

 I was super stoked about venturing out to update my boys' pictures. We drove into Atlanta and made several stops from East Lake to Kirkwood. Krispie Kreme was our breakfast stop and also served as bribery for my little men to cooperate in front of my camera. They had more fun than they'll admit and they laughed so hard at some of the outtakes. The guitar and drum sticks aren't just props though. For their birthdays, which are both in the spring, Julian and John started music lessons. A few years ago I decided I wanted to invest in experiences that would create memories for them instead of buying toys and things they'd get bored with and grow out of.  They each chose the instrument they wanted to learn. Julian wanted to learn the guitar and John, the drums. Both of them love Beastie Boys specifically and rock music in general. THEY ARE MINE (insert praise hands)! As their Mom, it has been rewarding for me to watch them learn something they enjoy. Connecting with them through this experience has brought us closer. Music has given us a new set of topics to talk about on the way to school. Listening to music together has opened a new door for better communication because we are sharing this commonality, this respect for music. Having something to relate to with my boys has grown our relationship. I am so thankful.

More about the past year...

Below, is the product of an art making experience that I took part in September, 2017, 30 Days of Bible Lettering. I thought it was appropriate to sketch out a quick watercolor of my first place to correlate with this particular verse. You read that right, my first place. With the compassionate and patient help of my dear friend, Gwen, I signed a lease and moved into my very first place. This happened with some kicking, screaming, crying and all out reluctance. I didn't want to rent; I wanted to buy. I had just spent a whole year painstakingly researching and looking and looking, almost (SUPER-SCARY-CLOSE) to purchasing 2 places. I'm glad those places didn't work out, more on this part of the story in another blog post. We, my boys and I, are happy in our little place that may not look like much from the outside compared to where we had been living with my parents, but it is ours. We are learning to live grateful. Living grateful is a process. 

In 2017, I pursued love with abandon. I chased dreams, sold my art, passed a difficult exam, traveled. I became independent. I sought counseling. I spent intentional time with God, my sons and family. 
I did much needed Heart-Work...and the Heart-Work is HARD WORK! All things to be thankful for. Before you are tempted to assume how great all this sounds, 2017 proved to be a year of mountain highs and valley lows. Well, valleys can be very pretty and have great views of the mountains. So maybe it would be more appropriate to say, ditch lows, or miry pit lows. Intentionally leaving you hanging here..

I'll end this post with our Christmas Card, but will be back to smooth out some of these life-clumps I've sporadically plopped here and there. Not that I owe an explanation, nor do I intend to divulge every detail. As a woman seeking truth in love, I have discovered that it helps a whole lot when another human being can relate to your trials in the midst of others' public celebrations and seemingly victory-filled lives. Discovering that there's so much more to the story than the various posts on Facebook and the tiny squares on Instagram, is not only encouraging to the heart that fights daily battles, but is also essential to understanding the reasons behind what people do and why they do it. These stories, the ones behind the pretty pictures and eloquent words are imperative to a honest perspective of one's life. 

God is Good. Love is Life.

Karrie B Fine Art
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