2014 was a great year for me...quite possibly the best year of my life.
The beginning of 2014 started off the same as 2013 ended, I was a tutor at an Elementary School and teaching the kids about art every chance I got. I had my website and my friend Jill was doing all the shipping, packing, emailing, driving, delivering....everything except making. When we started our ValerieWienersArt.com Adventure in the Summer of 2013 I said that I didn't want to do anything except make things and that's exactly what i did. We found someone to do everything else that Jill couldn't do and most of the time we were frustrated with how things turned out.
In April (I think) I started Packing the orders too and began listing custom paintings for sale. That's when things started to sort of "take off.'' I quickly became a very busy person trying to do most everything for the website and still work my tutoring job, i did it but i did it exhausted. In May my grant ended with the school and i was jobless... that was ok though because I was able to really focus on my art and making and didn't have a schedule. I spent my summer days getting creative and learning new things.
Most of you know my story, but some of you might not if you're a new follower so i will do a quick recap. From age 10-25 I struggled with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. It was very secret until I was 18 when my mom found out. For years she tried to get me in treatment but it was too expensive. My eating disorder was really out of control in my 20th year and I got a job at a strip club because i knew i could make a lot of money so i could buy a lot of food and binge. My life was a constant cycle of eat/puke. Entire days were wasted like this.
In March of 2008 i was raped and that led to me Drinking and drinking led to drugs. I overdosed on a mixture of Cocaine and Ecstasy the day before my 21 birthday. I spent my New Years Eve of 2008 in a hotel room that I had rented with a Fake I.D. doing a whole mess of drugs with tons of people. Way too many people were in this room with me and way too many drugs were there. Way too many terrible things were going on...it was all around just a bad night. Three nights later would be the night that changed my life.
January 3 around 7am I drove myself to the hospital because I couldn't breathe. i was dying. my body was shutting down...this was the overdose.
i had nothing.
i was nothing.
I had wasted my life and i felt such shame. i didn't know Jesus yet so i had no hope...i parked in the parking lot, looked at my 3 rolled up $1 bills and the small rock of cocaine i had left, crushed it, snorted it, and then went inside. walking first, then running, then screaming.
I landed myself in a hospital bed with cords hooked into me and demanded to watch EPSN (That's how i know i was high)....Eventaully my parents walked in, they discovered what i was doing and we all were crying. I was a mess. I'm still a mess in a very different way.
My mom and brother spent the next 5 days taking turns watching me in our house as i detoxed. apparently it was 5 days of hell, those are the stories i hear. after those days were up we, as a family, drove to Arizona and they dropped me off for 45 days to find myself.
i found Jesus.
in finding Jesus I learned about me. In finding jesus i learned about hope. in finding jesus i learned that no one is to far gone to begin again. In finding jesus i found love...and it wasn't the kind of love that demanded something from me like the love i had known. it wasn't the love that required me to do something in order to maybe feel a hint of acceptance. it was real love...no strings attached. That kind of love changes things. it changed my story.
so....that recap of things moves into this- When I was raped that really began my "no" phase..i didn't trust anyone or anything. If i was asked to do something or go somewhere i would say no. In may of this year I said my First "Yes" and went with a few friends to new mexico for the weekend. It was hard but i was tired of being the same person..the "No" person. In June I took my second trip with my friend Carissa..That was a much easier yes but still very very hard.
At the Beginning of July I began dating Bradlee Massie, my most favorite human on the whole earth. He has taught me so much, loved me well, forgiven me often, and encouraged me. He shows me what love is like and i like this adventure our lives are on right now. It's exciting and a little bit scary but I'm saying yes.
In September, ValerieWienersArt Turned 1 and we Celebrated at a way fancy restaurant and talked about VWA's first year.
November and December were huge In the Art world. I was very very busy and a tad bit overwhelmed at some times but I am and was thankful that i have my dream job.
Christmas with Mr. Massie was Amazing. He is an amazing Gift Giver and I had so much fun with him the Holiday Season. I tried not to go overboard with Christmas movies but we sure did watch some. I even made him a fan of The Family Stone which is one of my favorites..
Today is that last day of 2014 and I'm sad to see it go but, I am so super excited about 2015...i think its going to be big.
I'm banking on Ephesians 3:20 that says God will do far more than we ask or imagine and I'm imagining Big Things and asking him for big things. 2015 i hope is full of love and life and my dreams coming true.
Things I think I would like to offer in 2015 and am praying about are:
t-shirts, stationery, journals, kids classes, a devotional book, I'd like to venture into the magazine world, and create more printables...
we have the next 365 days to make 2015 the best year ever...make your 2015 count. Do things that matter and live with intention. I'm praying I will.
God, be with us in this year and keep our eyes on you. Sometimes in the world we live in my mind gets foggy with earthly things, gently remind me that you are why I'm here and sharing you is my purpose. watch out for us on this snowy day and into the year. you are my shield. you are my strength. i love you, amen.