Ruah 

Two weeks ago, I was slowly waking up around my usual 7am, and was gently coming out of a dream. In the dream I was painting a picture of a girl, eyes closed, head to the sky, arms wide open and behind her as her wild hair flowed about her, turning into mountains behind her.

I usually don’t have an idea of exactly what I want to paint when I begin a new piece- I usually just start painting. But this one I had a general idea- although as I started to paint, as always, the creation took it’s own form.

The first few days of painting, resulted in this (photo above).
I loved the color and movement, and as I painting I could feel the breath of her lungs, connecting to the air around her. The dove represents that spirit of peace that she finds through that connection.

The mountains and night sky behind her, incorporated into her hair, shows her oneness with the earth in which she was created from. (Genesis 1:24 ; Genesis 2:7)

This was just a stopping point for the week, and I knew it was no where near finished.

I came back to it a week or so later and it slowly took a whole new form, even though the meaning was still there.
As I blended the dove into the painting, I did this knowing I didn’t want the dove to be obviously seen (although I knew it was still there, hidden within)- just as the Spirit is in our own lives- there, yet unseen.

I felt a pain in this painting, but a real peace that she holds throughout it. Closing her eyes through a storm, as if not to be distracted by the circumstances around her, but simply finding that peace of the Spirit within- again, knowing He is there in the unseen.

I also felt this pain was the pain of birth- a spiritual birth that she was going through.
God has been speaking this to me a lot recently- the pain of childbirth and how in life, as we step into these new seasons, we experience a difficult time as we go through the process of ‘birthing’ something new.

So here is this woman- her name is Ruah. I knew this would be her name from the beginning. She walks by faith- being blind by choice as she closes her eyes to the storm of impossibilities around her- moving forward from the peace that guides her from within.
Knowing this pain of spiritual birth is actually just the promise of the miracle to come.

Ruah is the Hebrew word for ‘breath’ and ‘spirit’.
It is the word used in Genesis (the story of creation) for the Spirit of God.

 

This is my own meaning from this painting, and what I felt creating it.
However, I know (after hearing so many amazing interpretations from posting it online), it speaks so much to several different people. This makes my heart so happy.
I hope when you look at this peace, the Spirit speaks it’s own special meaning to you, as you go through whatever season you are facing in life.
May it bless you with peace, knowing that Ruah is within you, and with you.

X

Reflections on a Year of Marriage

Yesterday was me and Shanen’s one year aniversary.

It had us doing a lot of reflecting on life, and the incredible ‘wedding week’ we had a year ago, which started out with a blessing ceremony here in the UK; and then a group of family and friends flying across the ocean, to come together in Charleston, South Carolina- my hometown- to celebrate with us as we were united in marriage.

Me and Shanen never do anything traditionally- and we wanted to make our wedding our own; to us, marriage is about complete unity- and we wanted our wedding day to reflect this. Not just unity for me and him, but unity in all of us there- as people came from 3 different countries, and several other different cultures and states; we wanted the whole day to be a representation and celebration that we are all unified and coming together as one, in the spirit of God- and his incredible love.

For that’s what the day truly was. If it was just me and Shanen, the wedding would not have come together.

We had people cooking, decorating, giving us their home and land for the wedding, and rooms for guests; people filming; singing; playing instruments… people photographing, and doing several behind-the-scenes things to get the day ready and in order. The whole entire wedding was all done in the love and unity from our friends and family, and that’s what made this day so special to us.

It was truly the best day of our lives.

It was amazing having friends and family from the UK and Germany actually be in my beloved hometown, meeting my friends from America. My heart had never been so happy as I looked around and saw the mix of faces; especially when Shanen’s family was first meeting mine.

The week honestly was the most stressful week of my life and had many ups and downs. Poor Shanen even got really badly stung by a jellyfish at my favorite beach! But even of all the stress of trying to coordinate airport pick ups, cars, houses, the to-do list, sight seeing, and our wedding day; Even though it came to be the most stressful week I’ve had, it was also the best week of my life, and I would gladly do it all over again in every way! (Except I would tell Shanen not to go swimming on the day he was stung by the jellyfish!)

The week went by too fast, and it was suddenly our wedding day- it was as if this amazing week was all just to lead up to the best day, being the first day of me and Shanen’s new life together as One.

 

Last night we re-watched the Facebook Live video from that day (We did this so our friends and family overseas or in America that couldn’t be with us could still virtually be with us).

It brought tears to my eyes seeing all my friends and family together again, and even hearing the locus and forest sounds sing around us.

As we remembered the day, and listed to our vows again- I started to reflect on the last year, and how much of an adventure it has been. And how, just like that wedding week, even in the difficult times of this past year, the good times far outweigh the bad, and it has been one of the best years of my life in many ways.

Starting off with the Honeymoon, as we took a road trip back down to Florida to stay one night at Disney, and enjoy the fireworks from our hotel.

Then boarding a cruise ship to the beautiful Bahamas

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Coming back to the UK, and taking weekend hiking trips in England- just thankful to be living together as a married couple, and able to simply do the things we love, and finding adventure wherever we can.

Having date nights in, and watching films on the laptop as we enjoy our home cooked curries. (this is probably one of our most frequent date nights).
I’m so thankful to marry a man who loves garlic and onions in food as much as I do! 🙂

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I had to return to the states for three weeks in December to re-apply for a visa and wait on a decision. That was an intense three weeks- but I was so happy to see my family again, at my most favorite time of the year; along with taking long walks on the beach in the evenings when I needed to clear my head from the worry of not being approved. Those were bittersweet walks.

I made it home to my love for Christmas Day, and my gift was a trip to Leeds to see Cirque Du Soleil (Something I’ve Dreamed of seeing my whole life).

We spent new years in Scotland, hiking, and enjoying the fireworks in Edinburgh.

In March we flew back to the States to go to Disney World with my Family!
Me and my family are HUGE Disney fans… okay not just fans, but we are obsessed. Moana is my spirit princess. My sister Morgan is Ariel. We each have our own Disney Character we relate to- and I’ve always called Shanen my Aladdin. (Ironically I always said I would marry a man who looked like Aladdin- and he really does!)

We got to see the fireworks once again, reminding us of the Honeymoon- but this time we were actually in the park, and able to fully enjoy them!

Below is my parents in Epcots UK, enjoying a Guiness and standing in front of an English Telephone booth! I was trying to pretend they were in England, but the sunshine makes it unconvincing. 😉
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Shanen flew back and I stayed behind to bring the last member of our happy little family back to the UK with us… our beloved KuttaBear! He finally made the big trip across the Atlantic, and we are so happy to have him with us, completing our little family (for now).

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(above – me and kuttabear with jetlag in Amsterdam)

This summer we took Kutta on his first hike in Wales…

…and took some family photo at the top of a mountain.

It’s been an amazing year. These pics of course are our highlights, and next weekend we will be taking another trip together – all three of us – to Scotland to celebrate our one year anniversary.
We ended our first year in an amazing way- by celebrating two good friends here in the UK becoming one. As we dressed up to go to a beautiful wedding, it just reminded us even more of the excitement we each had within us a year ago, as we prepared for our own wedding day.

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But as good as the wedding day was, and as amazing as our of our adventures so far have been- I wouldn’t want to go back… because life is about living, and I know there is an adventure in every day- even if that adventure is just being us in a normal day. I don’t believe in the good ole days- even tho the past does hold good times and great memories- along with great wisdom. I believe in our future and all it holds- because I believe the best is always yet to come.

x

Jeremiah 29:11 (God always has a plan, and hope for our future)