Stop the noise and beat back the fear

I've been trying to figure out what to say on social media...Here it goes- My heart breaks for all the people who've lost those they love in this strife. The cycle is maddening, and the silence over it by too many people who should know better is the biggest clue that this will not end anytime soon. When people don't reach across these stupid dividing lines to talk to each other about things that matter, the cycle continues. When we go on with our lives as if this is "their" problem, the cycle continues. Politics will never change this. Opinions will never change this. It's a heart thing, and it's a me thing and it's a you thing. We can point fingers all day long, but the truth is that we must stop talking ABOUT the losses (there will be more) and start talking TO each other to get to know one another and make a change one relationship at a time. If you aren't willing to do that- to seek out cross cultural discussion, then, please, stop talking. It's just noise. This country can't handle anymore noise.

How am I doing in all of this? I am sad-mad over the necessity of yet another "are you aware of what's happened this time" conversation with my boys that leads to "just in case you forgot, this (I explain what "this" is) is how you must carry yourselves because your skin looks more like mine than your dad's". It brings me to tears that even though they are both super smart and talented and funny and loving, they still have to be aware of their "Blackness" because they have the social misfortune of having a Black mom. (By misfortune, I only mean that having darker brown skin is still a hindrance at times. If I was White, this conversation may not have even been a reality in my home. You know?) If they ever find themselves in a hashtag situation, it won't matter that they love Jesus or that their maternal great grandmother was smart as a whip or that their uncles are some of the coolest people I know or that my dad was a hard working man and a cowboy on the side or that my mom is an award winning educator. And, it definitely won't matter that their dad is White. Rich, poor, educated, uneducated, well behaved, trouble maker, North, South, East, West. It won't matter.

The one solace I find in all of this is that I know the One who is putting things to right, and I know that part of how Jesus is putting things to right is through people like you and me NOW, reaching out to each other and caring for each other because we are HUMAN.

Stop the noise and start beating back the fear with real discussions over coffee or a meal or a walk or a gift or whatever you can think of. Anything less than that is noise.


Wonder full, even now,




Hope driven sermon this morning. Psalm 23- set free to trust the Good Shepherd. Soul food.  

Man and man-boy are on a trip, so I made little man-boy and myself a smoothie after morning worship.  He lounged on the deck chaise lounge under an umbrella as if he were at some exotic resort rather than our deck which, just so you know, is quite definitely the opposite of an exotic resort. But he made it special.

 the yum of collage-- delectable.  

the yum of collage-- delectable.  

Then, I enjoyed a few minutes of collage planning in the studio. Relaxing. Such an easy way to keep learning about my creative voice and to simply keep my sense of composition growing.  

And now, I'm preparing for a nice afternoon nap. Yes. Hopefully I don't fall asleep before. I.    post.       th    i     sss


Thanks so much to those of you who stuck with me as I tried out hosting my art shop through my website for a few weeks. I've decided to move everything back to Etsy for the ease of it all, and Etsy is mobile which will be perfect when I start participating in art festivals again (hopefully this Fall!). It's the perfect inventory tracker and payment processor for me at this time. 

That's all for today!

Wonder full,


Is it worth it?

I've been working my butt off for the last little while. Painting and admin-ning and planning and researching. About every other day I wonder, "Is it worth it?"

My paintings are underpriced. I know that. I'm trying to take my work more seriously- counting time, materials, skill level- not because I want to but because it seems I must. 

The marketing, the clamoring for new ways to be seen so I can sell a painting to pay a bill or pay down debt, the hunt for other creative income streams...And college is upon us. It's all too much. It's exhausting. 

Oh God, help me trust you.

There's a very fine line between this joy of creating and the necessity of selling the products of the joy. Sometimes that thin line wraps itself around my hope and strangles any hint of an end in sight.

hope, mystele

Yet, I have seen God provide for what is needed over and over again. Sometimes He doesn't provide in the way I think is best, but there is always provision of some sort.

I see myself. I know that my struggle is with contentment and patience. "Is God enough?" is the real heart inquiry for me. I know that.

the sun will come out tomorrow, mystele

The tension arises as I see other artists in my "league" who have careers that are thriving financially, and I wonder, is it worth it? When will it be my turn? Does being me and not them mean that I will never see things fly off my studio shelves or gain a huge following of art lovers and art givers? How much harder do I have to work to "make it"? And, is that even what I want or need or am supposed to have? Why do I create in the first place?

send in the clowns, mystele

It follows that I must break up with this human centered notion of success. There are no clowns- no delight- in this approach. Not for me.

I am me. Mystele, Myste from Texas living in Illinois. I will inhabit my life. I will create. I will live. I will love Jesus. I will be me.

I create because it's in me- that image bearing, reflection of the Creator.

That is worth it.

Wonder full, 


PS (I am SO thankful for the many of you who support me & my family through art & class purchases and encouraging notes. Thank you so much.)