On Monday evening, I posted a happy, celebratory story on social media, about a painting I had just finished and was excited to share.
On Tuesday, my daughter said, "Mom, you might want to hold off a day or two with your promotion, because of Blackout Tuesday.”
It was to be a day of quiet reflection, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
I apologize. I just didn't know.
I grew up in the 60's and 70's in white suburbia. I was taught to fear those with dark skin. Heard words of disrespect, and terms I am embarrassed to recall.
I just didn't know.
I had privilege as a white woman. Did I say "had"? Change that word to "have."
I just didn't know.
So now, it has all been magnified, and I do know.
Change the inflection in that statement.
SO WHAT do I do, now that I know?
It is said knowledge is power. But I'm not looking for power.
I want to know how to show love more deeply. To show compassion more widely. To help stop the madness, because I can no longer say "I just didn't know." Because now I do. Now we do.
And the question we all must ponder deep, deep in our heart becomes "What will I do differently, now that I know?"
"Pray, Paint, Run, Repeat" was a catchy idea for a new blog title. And then it became my life. Or maybe it was the other way around.
It is now a summary statement of my life in 2020.
And apparently my friends are noticing.
A group of them put together a lovely birthday party earlier this month, to celebrate my 60th. An old fashioned birthday party like we had as kids, complete with cake, ice cream, and PRESENTS!
When I sat down to write a list of those presents, so that I would be sure not to forget any thank you notes I wanted to write, I noticed that each and every one tied into those three words. Pray, Paint. Run.
To name just a few...
A driftwood cross.
Multiple gift cards (and some cash with specific directions!) for art supply stores.
A gift certificate to my favorite running shoes store. And several of them pooled resources to buy a Garmin fitness watch.
Pray. Paint. Run.
So is my life at age 60. Retired from the radio sales job at the end of 2019 to pursue Mimi's Art full time. Spending a minimum of 20 hours a week at the easel. With plans to re-open Mimi's Art Gallery this spring.
60. A somewhat daunting number. Though I feel so truly blessed and grateful to be here, as I know many who did not make it.
So much more to say, but I believe blogs should be short, and take no more than about a minute to read, so I'm going to wrap this one up here. Look for more on each of those three words in future entries...
I enter this decade feeling oh so loved by oh so many. THANK YOU to each and everyone one of you. ESPECIALLY to God, for blessing me with so many, and so much, in this beautiful life.
PS - yes, that's me. Chocolate chip cookie in one hand, and reaching for the icing with the other. Some things haven't changed 59 years later!
(Reposting this from Facebook, written today, simply so it does not get lost in the noise of all else.)
One year ago this morning, my friend and brother in Christ, Josh Zamira, experienced a brain aneurysm that would result in his death two weeks later, at the young age of 47. Those two weeks were a time of prayer warrior intensity like none I had experienced in life. People gathering to pray for this man who lived his life unabashedly for Christ, sharing the message of salvation with anyone and everyone God put in his path. Some of you knew him as the chef at Josh's at Davisville, others from Cape Cod Church, and still others from his morning breakfast Bible studies at Panera - what he lovingly referred to as his 'office.'
While Josh passed on to his heavenly home, and we know - WE KNOW he is just fine - and spoke to many of how much he knew heaven would be an awesome place - we here on this earth miss him dearly. May the legacy he left be an example of how we might witness to our faith - to stop being afraid to speak up - to reach out - to share the news of Christ's death and resurrection and the forgiveness and eternal life it offers, in this world that so struggles to find love. If you want to know more - if I have never shared my faith with you - please - just ask me, ok? I would love to speak with you - to share the story of how my life has been changed in these past several years. And Josh - oh my dear friend Josh - I had only started to get to know you. But you live on through so many others who shared that love of you. I don't have to say "rest in peace" because I KNOW you were greeted in heaven with a "well done, my son." Miss you.
And please - no need for "I'm sorry Mimi" posts - that is NOT the reason I've written this. I do so simply to honor his legacy - and to remind us of what it means to live fully for Christ. Josh certainly did!
Remember the line from Forrest Gump - Run Forrest, Run! Well, I've been running for the past year - and now it's on to PAINT Mimi, PAINT!
Even as I work to claim it as my livelihood, it still feels like a treat and indulgence. Last night, as I prayed before sleep about how I should spend today, the nudge was "be Mimi the artist."
Sounds like it should be so simple, but life intervenes.
I did spend the first hour or two at two different beaches, painting Mini-Mimi's in the front seat. Three new ones (below.)
Why did Forrest run? At first it was to run away from the bullies. Until he realized he was good at it.
I don't thinking I'm painting to run away from anything, but who knows, maybe on some level I am. Painting to run away from part-time job after part-time job that I thought would do the trick for me financially, and constantly fell short. Maybe when I paint more, I'll discover that it IS what God put me on this earth to do.
Gosh, I sure hope so.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned.
Been here before, though this time is different.
November 1, 2019. Today I announce to my radio sales clients that I am retiring at the end of this year to focus fully on Mimi the artist.
Different this time because I've prayed about it for the past two years, a fervent "what is it you want me to do, God?" and every time the quiet whisper of an answer has been "paint."
That's it. Just 'paint.'
Asked so many times that when I re-read my bullet journal from January 1 of this year, I tired myself out in hearing the question asked over and over and over and over again, like a whiney child in the backseat asking repeatedly, "are we there yet?"
I am thankful to God that God is patient with me, because even I got tired of hearing my same question repeated. To the same response.
So, wild as it may be, and quite honestly terrifying at times to ponder, I am retiring from the sales gig I have clung to for the past five years to re-focus my marketing and sales experience on Mimi's Art.
What will this decision look like a few months or years from now? Your guess is as good as mine. I simply know that I honestly have no choice but to listen at this time, because yes, Mimi, I think we are there now.
Time will tell.
Thank you for reading.
Here. I. Go!!!!!
PS - The photo? That's Dora, sitting on the table this morning as I wrote letters to my sales gig clients, watching the Secret Lives of Pets 2, totally intrigued by the cartoon cat!!! #toofunnyDora