My parochial elementary school added weekly art classes when I was in third grade. That made Wednesday my favorite day. Our first project consisted of transforming our cursive-written names into colorful insect pictures. The image of Mrs. Moran’s loops and swirls, tracing, copying, and filling spaces with bright reds and blues remains fresh in my memory.
Something in me came alive with that little project, and soon I moved on to projects like copying pictures from my coloring books. Pencil drawings of Aladdin and Jasmine filled my sketchbook. By eighth grade, all my classmates knew I wanted to become an animator for Disney.
Behind that creative spirit was a mom who cheered me on. Not once in my life did I hear that pursuing the arts was a frivolous endeavor or money wasted. In fact, my mom and I regularly attended art and craft shows for inspiration. For several years, treks to Ann Arbor’s summer art fair on the University of Michigan’s campus were our summer standard—mile after mile of ceramic, photographic, textile, sculptural, and painted masterpieces waited for us. Together.
We frequented Ann Arbor for artist dates to feed our creative thirst throughout the year too. Roaming the aisles of decorative papers and bookmaking supplies at Hollander’s in the historic Kerrytown shops filled my creative tank for weeks. Attending a bookmaking workshop there together opened up a thrilling possibility: attending and teaching at a local altered arts conference.
Vulnerability lies at the heart of creative expression. My best work reveals my truest self, and sharing that with my mother at the conference workshops in which we created art together, and through the years, has been powerful.
To be seen, appreciated, and encouraged in my art, in being the person God made me to be, has been fundamental to a thriving life. It’s a precious gift that God has given me. So, it’s not surprising that it is also fuel for God-sized dreams, like creating a solo exhibition of original artwork as my senior project in college, traveling across the country for a 2-week art intensive for college credit, earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and continuing to create as each season of my life allows.
Grateful is an understatement for this undeserved blessing in my relationship with my mother. I realize that a relationship like this is one that not everyone enjoys, and I pray that I never take it for granted. If you struggle with mother wounds, it is my prayer that Jesus wraps you in His love and brings into your life those people who will walk alongside you and cheer wildly for who you are.
This space is your safe place to pursue who God made you to be. We love having you here. Thank you for being a part of our community.
And thank you, Mom, for being amazing. I love you!
Shared by: Mandy Mianecki