Let's get this clear right off the bat...
I do not think of myself as a SUPERHERO!
I know that I have powers beyond myself.
I had a roof over my head and parents that loved me.
But, my room was falling apart from termites eating my walls and our roof was leaking when it rained.
Not to mention, that scratching sound in my walls when I slept
(later found out there were roaches breeding for years).
I guess as a kid, you don't realize money being an issue.
I was happy enough... I learned to focus on the fun times and just keep going.
My parents always had enough money to give us a small bi-weekly allowance.
With the money I got, I would buy stuffed animals or jokes.
This filled me with love and laughs.
My mom found ways to get some cash creatively.
She loved to collect coupons, box tops, or cans for recycling.
My dad collected other things...
Like a room... or two... or three... of electronics and gadgets.
I think we were the first people in the neighborhood to own a home computer...
After I got skinny, MaryAnn invited me to her Birthday Party.
This was a sign that my life was about to change.
The gymnastic monkey bar swinging girl that once made fun of my stinky hair was finally accepting me...
To see a blog post dedicated to Mrs. Raines, go here...
(above and below were designed to go side by side)
High School was a hard place to be.
Just like above, I could not seem to find a place to fit in.
I did not have a lot of confidence in my abilities except the fact that I was creative.
But most of the creative types were into things I did not want to do.
(above and below were designed to go side by side)
I found a cheap way to express myself creatively...
THE STINKY STORE!
Thrifting did keep me somewhat occupied...
but i failed to get active in other positive school activities.
Out of boredom I found entertainment in my ever-changing crushes on boys.
Growing up in my teens, heartbreak was no stranger.
God was watching over me and keeping me safe throughout these wandering times...
Going to college gave me a new lease on life.
After dating jerks and pervs and users...
I was needing to change something.
I needed to quit picking the guys I thought I wanted
and trusted my love life in the hands that made my life...
soon after this...
I met him!
Shannon Seaton from Mineola, Texas (where is that?) in an art class called
Mask and Puppetry.
The class was... well..... InteRESting
Well, Shannon was not really the type of guy i was used to.
I come from a line of punks, so he was going to take some getting used to.
They always made the first move,
Shannon was shy, gentlemanly, and patient.
As friends, Shannon and I made lots of fun memories.
Playing cards, going out to eat, shopping, laughing...
But the friendship could only last so long...
New feelings started to arise...
But a decision had to be made.
Go away to the college of my dreams, or stay planted in the place I was...
I stayed planted!
My dreams changed!
and we ended up getting married, moved to Mineola, and having a family...
skip over a few years...
Shannon was my best friend. But, when I moved, I left all my good girlfriends behind.
I was lonely and in need of friendship of the female kind.
I needed a friend, but not just any friend. A strong Christian friend.
So, just like I prayed for a husband, I prayed for a friend.
I met Micah!
and amazing Christian Woman...
God answers prayers.
Even when I was apart from Micah,
her positive words lingered in my heart.
Those lingering words touched my imagination and fired me up!
I was volcanic...
A new lesson for my art room was born!
The Keith Haring Semiotics Posters...
I really wanted to go. Little did I know this trip would be my "volcano"
and Satan was going to do all he could to stop me.
He put doubts into my mind...
and fear in my bones...
But, God's perfect love released my doubts and fears!
It was amazing from the start.
It was like God opened up Heaven on earth!
I learned how to truly open up and worship Him in Spirit.
I learned how to meet with Him in my "Secret Place"...
Things were going to be different for sure. I was not sure how the family would take this new change...
I felt as though I was a different person...
This night is what created this book...
This book was orchestrated by my Father.
I took His lead and was His apprentice.
INSERT LOST SOCK PAGE HERE
Life flowed from this point on...
But I have not caputured it in illustrated from.
Although I have cointinued Creationg for my Creator.
My art gets me through every phase of my life.
When I am feeling crazy, it keeps me calm.
When I am happy, it helps me express it.
Some circumstances came up in the Summer of 2011, after the birth of my 2nd daughter,
that shook my world.
In one day, my trust took a crash.
Things that I never thought would happen... they did.
Satan can touch any area of your life if you let him.
And all it leaves behind is hurt and deception.
Somebody I love was pulled into the darkness, and when they came out...
it left me deeply confused and deceived.
I live and dwelled in the sadness for an entire year
When it was too hard and I was too stubborn to forgive,
God gave me a supernatural dream.
I went to a MegaChurch as a bistandard sitting as far up as I could.
I was hoping not to be noticed and just wanted to watch.
I didn't feel at home like I would at my own church.
The preacher was talking about leaving your burdens at the water and washing clean and was encouraging everyone to come down to the water to get cleaned.
I decided I was not ready to forgive and let go quite yet. I was not going to participate and was about to leave.
When all of a sudden, I looked up and God had brought the water up to my seat. The water was defying gravity and fighting my stubborness. I got soaked by the wave!
After I woke up, things seemed different. I was ready to get past this hold I had on things.
Despite ME not being ready, GOD was ready.
If I wouldn't put effort into walking down to get soaked and forgive,
He was just going to bring the water up to me.
Planet Shannon is gone now.
It took me a while to want to fix it as a team.
I wanted it to just be God and me...
But, God made me realize what a wonderful husband he gave me.
With God, we are growing stronger...
After our family was healing back together...
I decided to do a lot of re-retail therapy.
I became a thrift-a-holic.
But it was for a good purpose.
I felt like with what God did with my life and my marriage was bring them both back to life in a renewed way. They were things that had lost their value and I wanted to reclaim value in all parts of my life.
I see thrift stores as a cemetary for clothes that have been given up on.
I want to rescue them and give them a new purpose. I will appreciate them even more than the original owner ever did. I will make them new and bring them back to style.
This makes me feel good... and I want it to be my legacy, just like my Mom made it for me.
(currently working on filling in the gap here...)
It took my Faith and my art to pull me out of the pit of sadness and doubt.
My faith art helped me heal. I incorporated the experience and feelings I traveled though into my art to help me come to a point of moving past the pain. When I started letting go and pulling out the pain for something good...
God took over. He turned the ashes into beauty.
Although what happened was born from Satan, God can take any situation and turn it around for His plan.
He can do anything as long as we trust Him.
The images below are linked to my process of healing...
God gives us gifts in times of pain to soothe our spirit.
Madelynn was my heart's music and she gave me peace.
She is a precious gift from God.
The Sky is Falling
sometimes when your world falls apart and the sky is falling,
it can be a beautiful thing.
If we are willing to let go of the past we can find peace waiting in the wings...
(click on image to see bigger)
It always helps me to see my problems the way He sees them...
He always has a greater plan.
We need to count our blessings in times of hardship.
When you can't seem to count, start with thanking him for your 10 fingers & 10 toes.
Life is all about making the choice to see the positive in life.
Sometimes we need to renew our prescription to see our glass half full.
As long as we keep a solid foundation,
NOTHING can tear us apart!
Sometimes it takes hardship in marriage and family
to realize the truth... We are all full of flaws and weaknesses.
It is only in weakness that we can see His strength.
Our love is full of flaws and no matter how hard we try, it is selfishly conditional.
Even Peter, Christ's closest disciple, betrayed him three times. Jesus told him this at the last supper, but Peter did not believe Him. Peter did not plan to betray Christ or want to. When we marry or have children, we do not plan to disappoint them... but it will eventually happen. Jesus loved Peter and loves us anyways. This all teaches us that no matter how much we think we love someone, human love will fail. But that is why we need God's love to bind our hearts.
Only Christ is flawless and can perfectly love.
Through Him we can learn to love each other in an eternally perfect way.
That's was life is all about... Trusting the Creator over His Creation.
If we were all perfect, Jesus's loving sacrifice would be meaningless.
Forgiveness is a requirement for survival.
I am seeing the color come back to my family every day...
TO BE CONTINUED...
Last time I typed here it was 3/1/13.
It is now 3/6/16... 3 years and 5 days later.
Since the healing of my marriage, my then husband of ten wonderful years joined our Father in Heaven on June 18th 2013. We had just renewed our vows after 10 years as a symbol of beginning new together. We were starting the Summer together as a blessed and joyful family. It was a wonderful morning. Shannon was excited about working in the yard. He had told me only a week before that working in the yard was his time of worship. Before he began working, we ate breakfast as a family on the front porch. Soon our oldest daughter Maisy (then 6) was upset and scared of the bugs on the porch so we told him it was time for us to all go in. There we saw him from the front door on his hands and knees pulling up sticker burs by the curb. He had tried for months to kill them with spray, but they just stubbornly stayed. So, he was going to pull them by hand. Us girls went inside and I gave Maisy some ice water to take out to him. She did. I am so glad she did. That was the last time she saw him. We got busy in the house playing and creating. Maisy couldn't find her IPAD so I went out to ask Shannon if he had seen it around. He knew where it was and told me, so I went back in to get it for her. That was the last time I saw him. Time passed and we had been thinking about lunch. I had not heard any lawn equipment noises in a bit, so I went out to the back to holler for Shannon. HE did not answer. It wasn't unusual for me to call out for him and he didn't answer. He thought it was funny the way I yelled out his name, "Sheeannon"! He would tease me about my accent and I thought he was just pulling my leg this time, like all the times before. But I didn't see him, so I went back through the house to the front yard. Again, I called "Sheeannon"!. No answer. So, I walked to the side yard and up the driveway and saw him laying under the tree on his back. I thought he was taking a rest and I kinda was tickled at the thought of it. I thought it was sweetly childish for him to lay like a little boy looking up at the sky. So, I came closer and noticed he was not asleep. I tried to wake him up... He was gone. I knew it. In my panic I screamed for help. A sweet woman heard me from across the neighborhood. She worked with both of us at the school & her husband was our daughter's principal. She helped give him CPR as I called 911. God shielded the girl's ears from my screams because they never heard me from inside. I am grateful for that. EMS came to pick us up. I watched him from the front of the ER car praying to God, "Lord, Hold Shannon in your arms, hold him in your arms, hold him...". I kept repeating it. A peace that passes understanding overtook me. I heard to lord say to my heart, "Tabitha, I am holding him. You do not need to pray for him anymore." I knew it was true, but the ER tried to revive him. It was too late. He was gone. Our girls Maisy and Madelynn were now left without an earthly father.
The season slowly ended. God held me too, but His hand extended from Heaven to Earth to comfort me and my girls.
I am here three years later with a different life. I want to share how God has taken care of us through this journey, but need prayer for the time and courage to draw out the rest of my testimony. If anyone is reading this, I pray you will give me words of encouragement to help me muster the guts to do it. My spirit tells me it's time to share. If It is GOd's will, I know He will give me the time to work and complete the story.
In His Glorious Name,