What's In a Word? More Than You Think.



My journey in creating the Good Word Collection has been a personal one. I began this “experiment” after finding some flash cards that someone had given me to use for my art. They had words on them that I connected with: “believe,” “smile,” “wish” and I wanted to bring them to life by pairing them with images and color that would set them apart from the chatter of all the other words we hear in our heads and around us. I did this mainly for myself, but realized that these words have value for others as well. Folks gave me more words to play with and illustrate. I kept going. I loved the journey of arranging designs that captured the tone and meaning of each word. I would browse my vintage magazines, newspapers and yearbooks. It was like a treasure hunt! I took a break on the series and thought it was complete. Time to move on to something different.


Nope. Actually, the series was just getting started.




It seemed that everywhere I looked, I was finding new words that reminded me of what I was actually after in this life. Joy, hope, peace. Care, faith, abide, and listen. All these words point to the good we so desperately seek after. We want to see these attributes in ourselves and in the people we love because we know, deep down, that THESE things are lasting things, while other things that often hold our attention like to-do lists, money, and toys will fade away. I believe that God made us to strive after valuable things like this.


But it's so hard! Yeah, most things that are valuable will be challenging and something we have to fight for.


And if I'm honest, I've never regretted fighting for the things that matter most to me. This series has been a way for me to fight for what matters. I've had to carefully consider the words I'm working with and find images that really get to the heart of the word. In doing so, I've grown in my understanding of these words and also my desire to pursue their presence in my life.


I've already started to feel my resolutions starting to slip. Actions to help me stay focused on my goal of listening like putting my phone aside in the morning and praying or putting my work aside to listen to what my six-year-old instead of saying, "just a minute!" has become harder because the newness has started to wear off.



But I'm not giving up. Yes, I'm now in the "grind" of pursuing this value of listening, but that's where it really starts to stick. What has helped me so much is having a piece of art near by that reminds me to listen. I see it everyday and it brings me back to not only my initial desire, but it also reminds me that this is an important word to chase. The art reminds me of its value.


I have other pieces in the house that are directly related to what I want to remember and their presence in my home is an everyday help. My Cody Winiecki piece reminds me to keep my hands open. My Mollie Walker Freeman piece reminds me that it's ok to sit and rest for a while.


Summer Reveries by Mollie Walker Freeman
Summer Reveries by Mollie Walker Freeman

Open hand depicted in the light
Original Oil Painting by Cody Winiecki

So, I hope that you will find some words to focus on this year to help you pursue what really matters to you. If you haven't found your word yet and need some guidance, you can download my free guide right here.


It's my hope that knowing the heart from which this Good Word Collection came will help you not only see the power in the art around your home, but also encourage you to not settle this year for lesser things, but pursue the good, the valuable, the things that won't pass away.


If you want a sneak peek at my new Good Word Series, you can click here.


Here's to a GREAT year full of good words!



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