Exceeded the Goal!

See this beach day oil painting come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

It was a day at the beach! No, it was a day spent in the driveway selling our things in the yard sale, but my daughter and I got sunburned as if we’d been at the beach sans sunscreen and common sense. I’m only sunburned on my face, but my daughter is quite red. Yikes! (She says she’s fine and I’m sure she will be)

The happy news is that we exceeded our goal! I wanted to raise the money for moving expenses, specifically the cost of two pods. I hoped to exceed our goal so we’d have a bit extra toward a last minute truck for things that we don’t want in the pods (like mattresses, other items we need to use right up to the last day, and live plants), and we DID! So, our basic moving expenses are now funded!

I’ve won the first round of “Unexpected Life Change”, and I will now advance to round two. In round two, the lender will reveal the magic numbers that will determine the range of housing options we can hunt for. If that number is lower than expected, we’ll then enter the Challenge Round. I hope not to enter that round.

I’ll focus on the win of today! Wow, I can’t believe we did it, and that it’s OVER! I turn yard sales into events, so it was about more than just selling stuff- it was an EXPERIENCE. People will remember our sale for a long while to come. I can write about that sometime, but that’s probably how I earn so much money from these. Maybe I should create a business where I am hired to put on a successful yard/garage sale for people? (NO! NOOOOOO! I’m absolutely joking! I am always thrilled when I’ve finished one of these, and always hope it’s my LAST one!)

All the work of the Yard Sale Event is done and I can now pack everything we have left, as we’ve determined that we want everything that we didn’t put in the sale. The thinking part is over. Now, just pack, pack, pack.

I still don’t know where I’m going, but at least I feel much more ready to leave the place where I currently am. That’s a big hurdle to jump over. I’ve cleared it!

It’s late here, and today was beyond exhausting. I’m off to bed. Good night, dear friends! Always remember that we have a most excellent chance of doing things that others think are impossible when we believe that we can, and then work to make it happen. But try to remember sunscreen if the impossible is outdoors on a sunny day!

Letting Go – Again

See angel releasing dove oil painting with real beach shells come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I’ve used this same painting for a very similar blog post called “Letting Go”. In that post I said these wise words “We may not have control over time, and future events, but we always have a spiritual choice about how we respond to change.” Ha! I better take my own advice to heart, lest I be a hypocrite. The past couple of days I was in a sour sullen snit about the shocking news of learning that we have to move in about two months, when we intended to continue renting this house until after my husband’s graduation (he’d gone back to school after losing his job when the company he worked for moved out of the country, and he’s nearly done- graduates in June- but too late to get us out from under this predicament).

Today I pushed myself to start the taping of the Easter show even though that was the last thing I wanted to do, as I need to start packing! But I’d already committed to doing the show and had invested in it. Yesterday I finished making my dress and I finished the set design this afternoon. Taping has begun! The first segment is done- and it went much better than I thought it would. No matter what’s going on in our lives, we have to choose whether or not to let those temporary circumstances paralyze, discourage, or destroy our purpose. I could have canceled the show, but that would have been wrong.

Letting go of worry, anxiety, dread, fear, resentment, bitterness, despair, and anger is a perpetual experience. Life will never be perfect and if we allow our human condition to stop us from acting on our plans, we will leave things unsaid, inspirations never created, places never traveled, and destinies never reached. So, we must plow through and do the things our heart is stirred to do, even when we don’t feel like it. “Fake it ’till you make it” is real. Not only will we get to where we want to be if we keep doing it, regardless of how close to the bottom we are when we start, but we’ll also become joyful if we fake feeling joy.

Today’s work on the Easter show included dressing up in an outrageously festive gown and singing songs that are truly joyful. I may have started out faking the joy, but shortly after I forced myself to be joyful, I really was! I had a happy time today. I am glad I gave up my stubborn attitude and chose to let go.

My stressful circumstances will change, with or without my cooperative attitude. I can stomp my feet and tantrum my way through this ordeal, or I can aim for high energy to work at a smooth transition. I can look for positive serendipitous events that fall neatly into place. If I look for these things, I will find them. If I work for a smooth transition, I am likely to have one. Change is often difficult. We can hate every minute of it and be no better off. Or, we can rise to the challenge and fake joyfulness until we feel the joy.

Peace to You

Watch this beach painting come to life in under 1 minute (time lapse)

Another new week begins. Rest, reflect, and prepare your spirit to be strong, focused, and positive. God bless you and your families.

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“My Kids at the Beach”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)

“For me, this painting is sweet & happy. It is the memory of a special day- my son and youngest daughter at the beach on Tybee Island. It was just a few days after we moved here, before we were even fully unpacked. We were trying to fit in a short family vacation before my husband started his new job.It was the first time we visited what would soon become our favorite place. We had been through a very difficult and prolonged chapter of loss. But all of that felt so far away when looking at the vast ocean, the waters meeting the sky, in endless light and color. The birds, without a care in the world, flew and walked among us, pulling us into their world. Nothing mattered but that moment of pure joy.

It’s been over two years since that day, and I still feel the same every time I see the ocean. I can’t imagine ever living far from the sea ever again. When I was a small child, my favorite song was ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ who lived by the sea. I’d never seen the ocean, and thought it was a magical place I’d maybe never see, let alone be privileged to live by. It took me much longer than I would have liked to settle in the right place, but I am finally where I belong.”

My Kids at the Beach oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119


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