Thursday, January 10, 2013


As the New Year arrived I started reading a lot of blog posts that were mentioning something called 'One Word 365'.  I decided to investigate a bit.  I knew immediately that my word for the upcoming year would be HEAL.  I have had a very rough last few months dealing with anxiety and depression and trying hard to make changes to my life.  The good thing about the suffering I have been going through was that it really drove me literally and figuratively to my knees.  My prayer life has revived which has been pretty dry for quite some time.  I cried out to the Lord in desperation...and I know in my heart of hearts that He was listening.  He was there all the time just waiting for me to come back and rejoin the relationship process.  See, for me, the important thing about God is relationship - having a truly personal relationship.  But, for the last long while I have been going through all the motions - praying for others, reading some scripture daily, attending church every week, spending time with other Christians...but, the missing link was my PERSONAL relationship with my creator.  I was doing all the extraneous stuff but had totally ignored the most basic thing - to share personal time directly in communication with the Almighty for and about ME (and of course, the greater me - my life, children, friends and family).  During the time that I was going through the motions, He was still there, He was reaching out to me through beautiful Christian women that I know from some online groups as well as through making new relationships at the church we started attending when we moved here to Delaware in January 2012.  All of these held me together when the bottom fell out emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially.  I had BIG decisions to make and BIG changes to make.  None of these were easy (or will be easy as some of them are still to come).  But, I felt God stirring within me as the anxiety racked my mind and body telling me that no matter how bleak things were looking that I was going to be OK...that everything would eventually be OK.  I just needed to HEAL.  I needed time, peace, quiet, introspection, prayer time, bible study, counseling, medication, and to start eating normally again.  I had hardly eaten a full meal from mid October until New Years Eve.  I was sustaining myself with what little I could get down as well as drinking Ensure as I knew I needed to somehow keep up my strength because I have two children that needed me.

Now nearly 2 weeks into the New Year I can say that the healing process is really taking place.  I have been eating regularly.  I started counseling.  I've been spending some good daily time in prayer and reading.  I am working hard on trying to get my house in order as well as my life.  Although we are really struggling financially we have SO much excess.  So many things we aren't using or haven't used in a long time that can go to good use.  I hate throwing away things that still have life and purpose in them so I have ended up burying myself (and a storage unit) in clutter.  I arrived at the conclusion that it was not healthy for me or for my children to go on living amidst all the chaos.  I have made some small dents around the house and today picked up a bunch of toys and books from the storage unit to donate to children that lost everything in a fire in my apartment complex the week before Christmas, as well as for the grandchildren of some dear friends of mine.  This is just a small start but it is progress.  It is the beginning of the healing of our environment.  The beginning of healing from hoarding.

During these weeks and months of struggle I lost my ability to create which was normally something that would sustain me through the difficult times and bring me some joy.  I still am not back to any regular art activity - all I have done so far recently is something I needed to do for my DT position and 2 cards for a contest I have been in all year.  And, this art journaling page which has been progressing in layers every few days.  That was part of the process of healing too.

Since healing is a process that goes through many layers and takes many different things to complete it that was how I viewed the process of this page.  I started off layering my page with gesso - my usual layer of white topped off with a layer of black gesso.  I added some torn tissue tape to form the word HEAL.  I used some Derwent Inktense Blocks and added the words BODY, MIND and SPIRIT.  They didn't show up much until I added some irridescent glitter paint over the top.  My next layer was a watered down layer of white gesso to dull some of the pain of the black.  I adheared the tissue tape with a little bit of gel medium as it was curling up.  I added more of the Derwent Inktense this time onto the top of the tissue tape.  I then covered it all up with more watered down gessso.  This dragged color all over the page changing from the blackest black to the grey and now to having a little tint of color.  

I then outlined my tissue tape with my favorite black Pitt pen.  I used an embossing pen to trace over the very faint images of my other words and topped it with purple foil embossing powder.  It was starting to look like I was feeling.  I little bit lighter.  A little bit brighter.  I knew I was getting there.  I decided to add some glitz - I used a stencil of a starburst with some gold perfect pearls.  Then I added some doodling with a few shades of glitter and finally I wanted to add a bit of something red so I took the embossing pen and some red tinsel embossing powder and voila!  I think that it is finally in it's last state.  Which is the beginning of my journey towards healing my art process.

It's much more vibrant and has more life to it in person but if I used flash the glitter just glowed far too much and took away from the feeling of the page.

So here's to 365 days of HEALING.

It's a process.  I'm sure over the course of this period of my life and year of the word HEAL I will add more posts about how the HEALING process is coming along in my life.  In my MIND, my BODY and my SPIRIT.

If you are doing Word 365 please send me a link to your post so that I can share in the journey with you.  If you are interested in learning more about it check out Word 365 at

Thank you for sharing with me in this journey towards total HEALth.


  1. Hello, Paula - (here via [in]design group)
    Thank You for sharing Your Heart... I thought I was the only one who felt like this, and although I am sorry that You do, it helps knowing that someone else does... I hope your year of HEAL-ing I hope my year of PERSEVERE-ing does... ;-}

  2. I am believing that this is your year for Healing... and that it will come to you in amazing and unexpected ways! Love the page too!

  3. Wow...great page. I loved that you gave us the story and showed us it progressing. Praying for your healing this year!

  4. Way to go, Paula! I am praying that you experience healing in powerful ways throughout your year! My word is similar: freedom, which comes through healing. My one word post is: I also recently finished a blog series about living a life free from overwhelming fear, anxiety, discouragement, and insecurity. The links to that are here: Blessings, fellow (in)designer!

  5. I could use some healing right now as I battle the bug that is sweeping across the country.

    Epiphany is my word for 2013. I'm excited to see God revealed in new ways as the year unfolds.

  6. thank you for sharing your story! you are dear to me my friend! God is good!

  7. Paula-thank you for sharing this deeply personal and inspiring post and your work of art. I will continue to hold you in my prayers!

  8. Hi Paula...what a great post! I certainly can identify with much that you wrote...and whether you realize it or not, being so transparent with your feelings and your life helps me to not feel I'm has a way of throwing curve balls at us, and sometimes just getting through one day is difficult...I praise God for bringing you through and pray that He will continue to actively work in your life. Thank you for this! Love and hugs!

  9. Praying for you this year and believing that you will experience the true healing only God can give. Last year I went through an intense period of anxiety. So much of your experience sounds so similar to mine. I have the perspective now of looking back, of seeing how it forced me to my knees, to allow those areas I was still trying to control to die to Christ, and to spurn me forward in my pursuit to live the life I was was created to live. Much love to you this year as you heal. Our God is good, faithful and true. Rest in Him.

  10. Although everyone's situation is different, I can so identify with the emotions you're having. The worst year of my life was 2001. I felt that particular New Year was a new beginning. I sincerely hope this year will be the same for you.

  11. Wow.. This is so powerful... Thank you for sharing your special word!! I hope this year brings you special times and smiles for help you HEAL.. Many blessing, Toni.. xoxo