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To read about the art piece "Out of the Remnant" and #art4sarah please visit my post: A Special Announcement #art4sarah

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Opening a Book: An Introduction.

Thanks to Mother and the Rosary - Mixed media on paper - 3 1/2 in x 5 1/2 in
Art by Ruth J Smucker - Thanks to Mother and the Rosary. 
First, I feel like it is important that I introduce myself a little bit. 

For a more complete picture of myself and my history, I would suggest you visit my Biography page and the About page on the At the Smucker Homestead website.  I’ve written there about my personal history and what I am up to in life. 

Second, why am I suddenly blogging online?  It really is for a spiritual reason. 

Up until very recently I have led a quiet life online.  It’s funny that for many years I have been helping others with their online presence, and I myself have not maintained a presence of my own.  When I first graduated from college I had a somewhat comprehensive website about my design work, and later, for a while I did the Facebook thing.  When others would ask about my own online presence, I would often reference the case of the cobbler’s children going without shoes. 

What changed?  I had two experiences in prayer.  

If you read the Biography page, and the About page, you will find that my husband and I became Catholic in 2007.  We converted from Mennonite to Catholic.  Part of that conversion had to do with a particular Rosary I prayed in late 2006. 

At the time my husband and I were on the fence, and we knew that if we were not to be impaled by the fence, we had to get off of it and choose to be Catholic or to remain Mennonite.  Making that decision was excruciating. 

Then, during that Rosary in late 2006, a clear call to do artwork for the Lord was given to me.  It was laid on my heart that He had artwork for me to do for which I would need the strength given to me by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion, and that I could only receive His True Presence in the Catholic Church.  That solidified it, we made the jump off the fence and over into the Catholic Church. 

Since then it has taken me seven years to open myself up to that call, and to begin to be able see where God was calling. 

Late in 2013, I had yet another experience in prayer that clarified that call received in 2006.  I will not write of the experience in particular.  That is between myself, and those within the Church that I have consulted regarding that experience.  I will share however that it shed light on my artwork, on my journaling, on my relationship with God and my relationship with others.  It changed everything. 

I have much penance to do for the “lost years” in between 2006-2013, but at the same time, I don’t think I could embark on what I am doing now, if it were not for all of the experiences of those years in between.  As the cliche goes, God writes straight with crooked lines. 

So, what is this “open journal” idea? The idea is to open up and share my journaling. 

I have been journaling for years.  I began doing a little journaling in high school, then even more so in college, and then after college I seriously worked through the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  It is several weeks of intense exercises and writing, and had been recommended to me by the Mennonite pastor (a former graphic designer) who officiated at our wedding.  It was through my personal work during The Artist’s Way course that I really began to discover the Catholic Church, and since then, I have hardly not journaled.  It was encouraged too by my spiritual directors and confessors. 

What my experience in prayer in 2013 really called me to, regarding my writing, was to begin to share my life’s story and spiritual writings from my journals with others.  The best way to do that at this place in time, and given my background in design and multimedia, was blogging. 

I hope this gives a premise for what I am about to begin on this blog. 

I hope my sharing on this blog will give to those who God allows to fall upon it something to warm their heart and help them grow toward Him.