Hello, and welcome to my brand new blog, The Abundant Heart. As the title suggests, my heart is filled to overflowing with things I want to say, things I believe are worth sharing. In the weeks to come, I will share these matters with you, but today is an interview day, where you get to question me.
Who are you?
I am many things. My primary identity is as a believer in Christ. On December 27, 1989, Jesus saved my soul from sin. Now He loves and protects me every day, gives me strength in my weakness, directs my steps one at a time, answers my prayers, and forgives me when I fail Him. I owe Him everything.
On the horizontal plane, I am a wife of 22 years, a mother of 3 almost-adult children, an artist, musician, poet, teacher, amateur photographer, and tax preparer—an Enrolled Agent, in fact. I am a college graduate with a BA in English (Spanish minor). I’ve been to Bolivia and Mexico on short-term mission trips. I paid off my school loan in 6 months by working as a translator. I’ve taught Spanish, music, math, and English on both high school and elementary levels. Eighth-grade English was my favorite class—such a wonderful group of students with open minds ready to discover new things!
Six months ago I lost a major part of my identity. My family and I moved 900 miles from the place that had been my home for 35 years; from a church full of precious friends, where for 27 years I played the piano and helped out with the choir in whatever way was needed; from a nursing home ministry, where with others I had ministered for over 5 years with piano, guitar, and singing, to brighten the lives of some dear old folks (What a joy to be reunited with them a few weeks ago!); from a growing community of followers of my art, where I first discovered a knack for painting, drawing, and making things from scraps of old pianos, and where I was experiencing some success at local craft fairs.
But along with loss comes an opportunity to grow. Pruning makes the rose bush more abundant with beautiful blossoms, and that is exactly what I plan to do with my life. I want to bloom where I’ve been planted, and so I’m reaching inward to discover in what new ways I can reach out. We are in a new church, and I’ve joined the choir. We are in a new region, and I’ve taken steps to build a brand new following for my art. We are near a new school, and I’ve begun making plans to finish my master’s degree, even if I have to wait until my children are done with college. But that won’t be long. The way time is flying by, I’ll blink twice and my baby will be crossing the platform to receive her diploma!
Why are you here at Word Press?
A few months ago I launched a website to showcase my artwork, and on that website was a blog page. I decided to rotate through the topics, setting a particular theme for each week throughout the month. But there were at least two problems: (1) the topics were too disjointed, making it very hard for me to write, and perhaps harder still for my readers to follow; and (2) only a small percentage of the articles pertained directly to my art, so they seemed out of place on the website.
As mentioned earlier, I do taxes. Though no longer employed by a popular tax agency, I do have a handful of loyal clients, so in April I returned to my hometown of Chesapeake, Virginia, to prepare their returns. It was wonderful getting to spend three whole weeks in North Carolina and Virginia, mixing just enough business with the right amount of pleasure, and setting aside the paint brush and color pencils to pick up a few good books. In fact, I spent quite a lot of time reading, studying, delving, and picking the brains of experts in the entrepreneurial world. My excitement grew the more I learned. I found online support groups and joined them. I found webinars and blogs about how to utilize various social media sites and selling platforms to build my business.
And speaking of blogs, I found a particularly helpful blog linked to a post in one of those groups. I clicked on it and read it, taking copious notes which I’ve already begun to incorporate. But that blog did more than simply change the path of my art business; it also changed the direction of my blog. It was published through Word Press, and I was so impressed with the layout that I decided to open my own Word Press account and start my blog anew right here. In this way, I can keep the blog separate from the art and allow each to take its own course. How liberating!
Where is this blog going?
Glad you asked! Although you, the reader, may learn a thing or two from me, my aim is not to provide an advice column or a series of instructional segments. Rather, I simply want to share the things I have learned in my nearly-half-a-century of breathing. Sometimes it will make you laugh, while other times you may want to have a tissue handy. Sometimes it will be conversational, and other times I’ll open up my bulging poetry folder and let you read one of those.
The title for my blog was chosen carefully, based on Luke 6:45, which says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” [emphasis mine]. I hope you will find what I say to be good—not because I am good, but because my God is good, and He has filled my heart with good things.
How can I learn more?
To see samples of my art and learn more about how it came to be, or to read my earliest blogs, you may visit my website. And for those of you who find a strong connection with my art, it is available for sale both there and on Etsy. You can also follow me on Instagram and Pinterest.
Naturally, I want you to follow my blog here; or better yet, leave a comment below and I will answer it.
Thank you, dear reader! God bless you.