Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Facing Fear...Stormy Nightmares & Rain-Soaked Flashbacks

Learning About COURAGE
One Letter At A Time
Since I chose the word "COURAGE"
as my one little word for 2010,
I will be using various ways of
discovering what it truly means to
have courage in my everyday life.
I will start by taking each letter
of the word courage, and find
a word starting with that letter
that indicates the true meaning
To Conquer in the sense that I
am using it, means to overcome
by physical, mental, emotional,
or moral force, to get the better of
one's adversary, to utterly defeat.
This year I seek to conquer fear
by learning to have courage
& be filled with determination
to conquer the things that hold
me down & keep me from
soaring on wings like an eagle.
My greatest example of Courage
is Christ on the Cross at Calvary.
He vanquished the enemy for all
time. It is now up to me to
conquer my fears by finding
the courage to
live, love, & laugh again.
So why did I take a picture of
rain to go with the word courage,
the letter C & the accompanying
word for C = Conquer?
Today, for the first time since my
son's tragic accident on that
stormy December morning, I
actually listened to the sound
of rain & running water. Since
that awful morning the sound of
running water &
rain which used to be such a
comfortable sound to me, now
brought only heart-rending
flashbacks during the day &
horrendous nightmares by night.
My mind was only connecting the
sound of rain & running water
with my son being trapped in his
car under eight feet of icy cold 
waters for four awful days while
we searched frantically for him...
Every time it rains, I try to shut
out the sounds of it with music
or by just hiding under the
pillows while the awful memories
tormented my heart & mind...
because I was unable to save
my babyboy...even though I
know it is unreasonable...I felt
I had failed him as a mother
by not being able to save him
from those horrible icy waters.
I began to literally hate the
sound of rain or running water.
Today, 1/20/10, as I write this,
I have my porch door by my
desk open wide...I have shut
off all music and even my
space heater that makes noise
under my desk...WHY???
I am making myself just listen
to the sound of the rain &
running water as it storms
outside today....It is falling
hard, cascading down from the
roof to splash on the ground 
running along the pavement,
collecting in puddles & running
beyond towards the street.
Then the rain began to compel
me, like it was taunting me,
daring me to come out into
the falling water-not just watch
& listen-but immerge myself
in its liquid cold grip. I thought
long & hard, deciding to rise
to the challenge, I took my
crutches & hobbled out into
the rain letting its cold icy water
mix with the warm tears that
stream down my face, soaking
my hair, my clothes, my skin.
I felt like it was penetrating to the
very depths of my broken heart.
 I look up towards heaven,
envisioning my son warm
safe in the arms of God, 
smiling & happy in heaven.
While standing in the rain &
listening to it pour down, my
mind was finally opened 
once more to the blessings of
rain & what it means to the
earth...the new life it gives to
fields, flowers, trees & crops.
Without rain we wouldn't have
the beauty & colors of flowers.
There would be no life without
rain & running water.
So, today for the first time
since December 2, 2005....I
can relate the sound of rain &
running water to represent life,
vitality & power, instead of it
holding just the crippling,
dreadful memory of my
only beloved son's death.
I am seeking to gain Courage
this year by striving to face
my fears one at a time.
In doing so, I am finding
beauty in the ashes & learning
Courage from the darkness of
that stormy December morning.
Yes, rain & running water will
probably always cause me to
get teary eyed...& occasionally
get the best of me, but by
opening not just the patio door
& forcing myself to watch &
listen to the rain...but to stand in it...
to let it's coldness soak into me...
I also opened the door of my grief,
for the first time, to accept the
healing rain of my Creator, to
feel the down-pouring of His
grace & mercy...that it might 
bring new life to my dry, parched
soul, beginning the journey to
heal my crushed & broken heart.
Ah, Yes...for me just watching...
listening to & feeling the
rain has been a lesson in
C = Conquer

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Graveyard of Buried Hopes and Dreams?

A Graveyard of Buried 
Hopes and Dreams?
Many things I have desired in life have
slipped silently into the graveyard
of my buried hopes and dreams.
Alas, I will not let this happen to
my dream of rising to new heights
this my dream of becoming
a better photographer and writer...
to my dream of learning music better
(despite the splints, crutches and
pain or only being able to use my
left hand for anything). Why?
Because I've chosen "courage" as
my one little word this year, I will
not break beneath the obstacles
that have fallen my way
in the last few weeks. - 
(no pun intended on the falling bit).
I will get up yet again and
work with just my left hand for
now to make my dream come true.
Because after all,
"To have courage, one must
first hold fast to
matter what the odds."
© 2010 Susan Reynolds ~ The Digital Artist

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Will be adding to my posts
when I get the splint off of my
right hand... just too hard
to type & can barely
use the righty mouse
 with my clumsy left hand
very good at all!
 This is so frustrating!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Out of Control or Not?!?!

Spinning Out of Control
Have you ever felt like life was spinning
out of you would be
thrown off of the proverbial
"merry-go-round of life" so to
speak any second? I know the
feeling. I have felt that way
many times before.
It is only after careful
consideration of all the "things" 
in my everyday life that clutter
up my mind that, I am able to 
take a deep breath & stop  for a
moment...even if it means
dragging my feet on the asphalt to
come to a screeching halt, that I
realize how much more is going
on in the world around me than
just the menagarie in my head.
Every day new life has made its
way into the world through the
birth of a new-born child.
Everyday there are occasions to
stop and spend a moment in
quiet give true
thankfulness for the gifts so
freely bequeathed unto me.
Everywhere I look around me,
there are blessings that I don't
deserve, yet still were graciously
bestowed upon me by my
heavenly Father.
He alone, can stop my mind
from spinning
out of control...from seeing
only the spiraling & reeling back 
& forth between the known
& the unknown-which leads to
fear, anxiety and self-doubt.
That is when He brings back the
scripture to my mind
that is threatening
to spin out of control:
"Great peace have they which love
your law and nothing can make
them stumble." (Psalms 119:165 NIV)
This one simple scripture assures me
that when my mind seems to be
spinning out of control, I can still
be grounded in the love of God...
I can allow Him to guide me when
I feel ready to stumble & fall...for
"God is my refuge & strength, a
very present help in trouble."
Psalms 46:1 (NAS)

God's Litte Instruction Book

God's Little Instruction Book I, II & III
Finding quotes from this little book
often helps me overcome a situation
where I would normally just cave...
You know...the term for giving in?
But so many time I have looked to
this little book with its infinite 
quotes of wisdom accompanied
by verses of Scripture and it
always gives me the strength
to hang on for a little longer.
It helps me not to "cave" or 
"give-in" & let doubt or negative
self talk bring me down. 
So to all of the fine folks that 
published "God's Little Instruction
Book Volumes I,II and III,
I applaud you and & thank you 
for giving me words to live by. 
Quotes from around the world 
to shape my own little world. 
I find many references to 
'Courage'-the word I chose for
'My One Little Word for 2010' 
ensconced throughout the pages
of this little book.
May Courage 'take the reins' so 
speak, during the course of my
life in the year 2010!
P.S. Oh, and by the way, God's Big
Instruction Book is the Bible!
© 2010 Susan Reynolds
The Digital Artist

Drawn To The Flame

As a moth is drawn to the light
of a flame, so are people drawn to
any form of light. Light is often
conveyed through art in any form
such as photography, painting,
music or the written word.
I seek to draw people to the beauty
of light through photography
accompanied with the written word.
For the most part, I am a
self-taught photographer. I have
a library of books on the subect
that grows larger every year.
The only "classes" I've taken
for photography have been
online through
I've come a little way since
I first started years ago, but 
through my studies,  I've learned
that one can never "finish"
learning when it comes to the
art of photography or anything
 else for that matter.
Some may argue that photography
is not art, but I will say that it IS!
Photography is the silent language
that speaks to all nations around
the world regardless of where you
were born and raised - no matter
what language you speak. 
Photography transcends every
language barrier in its unique
ability to portray emotion, pride, 
accomplishents large & small,
even the rise & fall of nations
can be told in any language
through photography. 
Photography captures both joy
and sadness. It conveys through the
lens, the life that is seamed with
wrinkles of ageless wisdom, or the 
exuberant physical strength of young
men & women in the prime of
life, as the well as the sparkling
innocence found in the eyes of a child.
It represents a record, in lasting
form, of every life accomplishment 
as well as moments of
phenomenal historical impact.
Without photography, we would
have try to remember every
single exploit and situation that
life has sent our way.
The art of photography gives us 
the ability to capture those
'Moments of Time"
and immortalize them beyond
the span of a single lifetime for
generations to come.
I just wish I could have gotten a
moth, at a flame! But,
since you've all probably seen that
before, you can "picture it" in your
mind...thus...mission accomplished!
© Susan Reynolds
The Digital Artist

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Contemplating Courage

Contemplating Courage

"Courage is not inherited
in one's DNA...
it is learned by facing
heartbreak, danger, pain
 or difficulty without fear."

© 2010 Susan Reynolds
The Digital Artist

(One of which for me would include learning to be
in front of the camera as well as behind it.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Let it Flow...Let it Flow...Let it Flow

Let it Flow...Let it Flow...Let it Flow
Creativity needs an outlet. We cannot stop
it up or store it behind a dam as we do
with water.
Why? Because it becomes stagnate.
What happens to water as it becomes
stagnate? It becomes stale and foul,
 full of muck and slime from standing.
This is what happens to our creativity
if we let it become stagnate...
It ceases to flow...uninhibited in our
minds. When we stop using our creativity,
it stops stops growing...
it stops advancing.
Our minds become sluggish and dull
while we become incapable of
progressing mentally and broadening
our creative horizons.
The originality of our thoughts and
expressions becomes mired like the
slime and muck of stagnant water.
Our very soul can languish and
slowly dry withers away merely by
being allowed to deteriorate from disuse.
So today and every day...
My goal is to let the creativity flow
directly from the Divine hand of God
Almighty to the very heart and soul
of my being...that my mind will
always be stimulated...impassioned
with the talent and creativity that our
 Creator has instilled within me.
To each person God has given a gift.
A gift meant to be used and shared
with others. Sharing your talents with
others can encourage and stimulate their
own desire to wake up the creative
dreams express themselves
through art, music, the written word etc.

"To not use the talent
that God has given us
is to abuse it." ©2009 S. Reynolds
I dare not to be like the servant that
was given but one talent and hid it in
the earth...he was called wicked
and slothful...the single talent he
had was taken from him and
given to the one that had the most
and the unprofitable servant
was cast into outer darkness.
Matt 25:30 (KJV)
My prayer today and everyday is that I
will strive to the best of my capability
to use the talents and abilities
that God so graciously has given to me.
I want to be one that stands before the
 throne of Heaven some day
and have the Lord say to me
"Well done thou good and faithful
servant, Thou hast been faithful
over a few things, I will make
thee ruler over many things: enter
thou into the joy of thy Lord."
Matt 25:23 (KJV)
(This post is original in content with
the exception of the quotes from the
Holy Bible, King James Version
for which the references were given.)
© 2010 Susan Reynolds
The Digital Artist

Friday, January 08, 2010

I Refuse To Listen!

p.s. I know it's a funky
Photo, but it nailed how
I am feeling today while waiting
patiently for the announcement
on January 8, 2010 goes!
I Refuse To Listen -
to the negative voices that clamor
for attention
in my head...trying so hard to
get in-telling me that I can not
Reach my Dream...That I can not
fulfill my God-given abilities.
I refuse to listen to those voices!
I will think good thoughts...
Positive thinking
Leads to Positive actions
which in turn
leads to positive habits.
I am learning to
Make positive choices
& close my ears and my mind to
those negative voices that
try so hard to get in & struggle
to control my life. I've learned
that many things I have thought
& said to myself were but mere
first drafts of the final outcome
of my life story.
So, the negative ideas,
the memories of past failures,
the fear of future mistakes,
the fear of people looking at me...
these are ALL now 
by the blood of
Jesus Christ
The Greatest Teacher of All Time 
Who forgives...Who Forgets...
Who Empowers me to move on &
up to become the lady He specifically 
molded just For ME to Become.
It is Jesus who renews my strength 
each day...It is Jesus picks me up
when I fall so I can TRY AGAIN! 
It is now up to me to allow
myself to become pliable in the
Master's Hands, so he may mold &
shape me into the Divine Creation
he has designed 'JUST FOR ME'
to become...To aspire to be
the woman He destined me to be...
That is why those negative
little guys you see trying to
get in my head in the photo
above...with their negative
pessimisstic voices...
I refuse them admittance!

I refuse to even listen! Why?
Because I am on a mission of 
Optimism & Courage in 2010
All because of this scripture:
Ephesians 4:29
" Do not use harmful words, but
only helpful words, the kind that
build up & provide what is needed,
so that what you say will do good 
to those who hear you." (GNT)
I am also finding courage from the
people God has placed in my Life,
my precious family and friends,
for putting up with me these
past few years.
I am thankful for Me Ra Koh
who offered the schoarship
which helped me step out of
my comfort zone & back into
the "Real World".
I must also give an extra 
special thanks to my husband,
Matt & my daughter, Charlotte,
my sister, Sherry, Ethie Burns,
Marchelle Myers, & Jean Johnson,
for caring enough to be honest
with me...
(& know who you are)
for standing by me & giving me
a push to get me back to
living again. I also cannot end
this without an extra-special
thank you to Marchelle Meyers
for being completely honest
with me about the negativity
I have lived in for years...
Teaching me about being Positive...
& helping me with the montage.
Without Marchelle, I couldn't
have ever submitted one...
I thank God for all of you!
My husband deserves a
Golden Medal of Honor
for seeing me through &
standing by me throughout
the toughest times of our lives!
You are my hero!
© 2009 Susan Reynolds
The Digital Artist

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

What Inspires Me?

What Inspires Me?
Most of all...The Word of God

The Look of Love in
My Husband's Eyes...

His strength and courage 
through not just the good
times but the hard times too...

My daughter, Charlotte, with her beautiful
smile, her words of encouragement
to me everyday...Her charm and poise...

Memories of my son William, his laughter,
his music, his zest for anything extreme...

Music inspires me,
and the memories of music
as it echoed through our home...
made by my daugther and my son...

Books of all kinds...Old and New
Give me Inspiration

I am inspired by journals of
Yesteryear and days gone by...

It may seem strange, but
Pencils, Pens and Blank
Paper inspire me

The Beauty of Nature
is a constant source
of Inspiration

The Miracle of New Life Inspires Me
and Words...
Yes, that sounds strange, but it's
true! Words inspire me...
Because words have the power
to encourage others, to speak of
Love. Words can bring strength
to those who are weak in spirit
Words can help to heal a broken heart.
Words have even built nations..
But the most powerful words
ever written come from
God's Holy Word...
My biggest inspiration of all!
© 2010 Susan Reynolds
The Digital Artist
P.S. Anything even remotely 
dealing with photography
inspires me, too!