It's hard to live in the north. Following our USA vacation, I'm more aware of that than ever. There's a fresh 4 inches of snow outside on this May morning, and even when it's not snowing, spring has felt so chilly! At least the leaves are finally emerging. I thrill to that golden green mist creeping across the hills.
It would be easy to complain about our region for other reasons as well. The difficulty of being an artist in an oilfield town where the priorities fall more to diesel trucks and snowmobiles than fine paintings, where galleries are few and struggling. It's tempting to expect failure when there are so many reasons one might not succeed.
But I do love living here. There are many pluses to rural life - the peace & open spaces, the small town community dynamic, the subtle and rugged beauty of the north. The northern lights, the wildlife, the Peace River.
It takes faith to believe that I am where I am supposed to be, not just in the north, but in my family, career, goals & dreams, and I believe strongly in rejecting negative attitudes about the challenges and expectations of making a career in art. There is a little voice in all of us that shouts, "CAN'T" when we dream and plan and this voice has done more to defeat dreams than any location, obstacle or outside force.
There are no promises to any of us; life can change in an instant, and faith doesn't eliminate the possibility of things going wrong. But in believing that God has placed me here, I can choose to be content. Pursue my dreams within the boundaries and celebrate being able to live this amazing artistic life.
Writing on this topic periodically - I'm ambitious and love that my career has grown, in more ways than I could have dreamed, but it can be hard not to fixate on the times I have had to say "no" to opportunities because of family commitments. I believe the Bible is true and it says in Romans 8:28:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
and Psalm 37:4: Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I'm thankful for this promise of peace and joy in the midst of whatever I'm going through, even third-grade math agonies (we are doing double-digit multiplication and it's a LONG school day). Blessings to you!