Sunday Sketchbook - Quiet Waters

I sat on the cotton-threaded couch, toes wiggling in my shoes, my hands nervously rubbing my pant legs.  

"So, how does this work?" I asked. "What will we be talking about first?  Will there be homework assignments and self-help books to read?  Are there things that I can check off a list?  How will I know that I am making progress?"

These were the very first words that flew out of my mouth during my first session with my therapist.

She looked at me and smiled with kindness and knowing eyes.  "No, that's not how this works."

I shared this conversation with my sister.  I told her that I realized for the first time in my life that I might have some anxiety and control issues.  She laughed and kidded, "You didn't know?" 

I shared it with my husband too.  He said the same thing.  Apparently everybody knew this about me except for me.

I deal with a lot of anxiety.  It *might* have something to do with all of the coffee that I drink, but it probably has more to do with having a big imagination and a ton of empathy feelings.  I notice and feel everything.  I am a highly functioning person with anxiety.  

I love that God creates people with different wiring.  Some, like Paul, are great debaters.  Some, like Peter, are headstrong and bold leaders.  Some, like Barnabas, are naturally gifted with making friends.  Others, like Luke the doctor, are whip-smart and analytical.  And some, like myself, are big-time feeling, compassionate people who like to check things off their checklists because accomplishments and checklists make them feel good and in control in a very uncertain world.

But sometimes checklists can't fix big problems and big heartaches because that's not how life works. 

"That's not how this works."

One thing this wise sage of a woman helped me to learn is just to *be* instead of *do*.

Really, to breathe.

Watercolor journal pages by Jennifer Frith - Quiet Waters

I love that God offers stillness and quietness to people of all different types of wiring, including those who are wound up tighter than a corkscrew... like me.

Quiet Waters come when I take time out of my day to meet with Him during my early morning routine.  When I come to Him with my burdens and anxious thoughts, I'm reminded that a life of peace often first comes by being, not doing. That's when all is calm in my heart, and all is in His control.  It's from there that I can tackle my to-do list (which I fondly call my "accomplishment list"), not the other way around.  Then I can face the world and all of its uncertainties from a place of health and peace.

Watercolor journal pages by Jennifer Frith - Quiet Waters
Watercolor Journal Pages by Jennifer Frith

How are you wired?

What do quiet waters look like to you?

Sunday sketches in my hardbound journal, with Schmincke watercolors.  Inspired by my fish, Chuck.


Watercolor Etsy Print by Jennifer Frith - Courage
Watercolor Etsy Print by Jennifer Frith - Courage

Hi friends.   It's been a while.  I've been active on Instagram & with our Gratitude 52 Project, though, and I am having a bunch of fun connecting with you there.  

These past few months have been one of the most difficult I've ever experienced.   I wish I could share it with you, but I am not at liberty to talk about it.   All sorts of suckiness and heartache.  But,  I believe in hope and courage.   I believe that the sun is always shining, even if we can't see it... even when darkness seems to overtake everything.  I believe that He works all things together for good.  I believe that brokenness can lead to beauty.  

I made this watercolor piece to remind me of that.   It's available on Etsy.  15% off from now until Saturday, 4/23/16.  Just use the coupon code COURAGE at checkout.   

Watercolor Etsy Print by Jennifer Frith - Courage

The worlds is full of suffering.  It is also full of overcoming.  - Helen Keller

I appreciate all of you.

Journal Flip Through (Sunday Sketches)

I hope you've all been well.  
I've been busy with lots of life stuff and lots of art stuff; I hope you have too.
Over the fall I've been keeping up on my weekly personal project, Sunday Sketches, where I'd spend some quiet time by myself every Sunday morning, reading the Bible and sketching messages that spoke to my heart that day.

(I believe we all need personal projects to keep us sane and happy.  
This one helped pull me through some rough spots.)

Here's the flip through:
A Journal Flip Through of Jennifer Frith's Sunday Sketchbook

Take a gander on Youtube. 
The song is by Josh Garrels.  He's pretty cool, so you'll definitely want to check him out.

All pages in watercolor and gouache.

(P.S. the Gratitude 52 Project is coming very soon.)

Enjoy this holiday season.

Gratitude Journal: Modern Flight

gratitude journal pages in watercolor - by artist, Jennifer Frith 
gratitude journal pages in watercolor - by artist, Jennifer Frith

I recently traveled from Philadelphia to St. Paul, Minnesota and back.  

While I'm happy to be home, I'm always filled with wonder when flying above a sea of clouds.

Thankful for the pilots & staff who put in the countless hours of training to get us home safely to our loved ones.  The ingenuity, devotion, and passion of people just astound me.

. . .

Of which mode of transportation are you most in awe?
Whose devotion to their career makes your life a little bit (or a lot) better?

I've missed you guys.

If you'd like to see a flip-through of my Gratitude Journal pages, you can view them here.