2 Weeks of Death

According to my Dr. this virus is ‘unknown’, but several others, 5 just the day Clark and I went in, had come into the office with the same symptoms. Here are the symptoms:

  • Non-stop migraines… so bad you want your head to just explode…. I had a constant migraine [manageable in pain] for an entire week before the rest of the symptoms manifested. Even when the rest manifested, my migraines never went away – even today (2 weeks later, I still have headache).
  • Fever over 102
  • Chills … you’re switching between feeling super hot to feeling super cold to where your entire body is trembling
  • Throwing up for days
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Delirious/Hallucination — I think is just a result of not being able to keep anything down for days
  • Body-aches “hurts everywhere”
  • Stiffness in neck

Just when you feel almost back to normal, this virus rebounds – thankfully not as bad as the fever+chills stage, but back to migraines and throwing up. All in all, it’s 2 weeks of death. The most horrible sickness I have ever gone through. I don’t wish this on anyone.


Losing Friends & Loved Ones…Never Gets Easier

Today I received news of a good friend of mine who passed away. The loss of my brother in 2011 was the hardest thing I have ever experienced. Losing my best-friend in high-school to suicide was previously, the hardest thing I ever went through. I think what makes loss especially hard, is when the news comes unexpectedly. This friend of mine has been sick for sometime, but the news of his passing was just unexpected…

This friend of mine entered my life during the time of my best-friend’s passing. He and a counselor at my high school both sought me out when I was on my way to a very dark place. I stopped eating for several weeks, began to isolate myself and was just full of utter despair. I had a lot of anger inside me, and wasn’t really taking care of myself well. He saw the darkness filling me, and he reached out and took me in. In a way you could say his friendship was a huge part of saving me. He was a major part of saving my spirit from falling away. He was an angel, an instrument in God’s hands. That’s what true friendship can do, it can make a huge impact. He wasn’t a doctor, he acted as a counselor who just let me talk whenever I needed to talk. Whenever we crossed paths, he stopped whatever he was doing to sincerely ask me how I was doing. If I needed to talk, he canceled his plans and let me ‘unload’. I’m having a really hard time with this news that he passed away. He has a wonderful – beautiful family who I’m sure is really struggling. He affected several lives. He will be an excellent angel. It’s just hard to accept the fact that he no longer walks this earth. 😥 Losing a friend/loved one never gets easier… I’m just grateful he isn’t forever “lost”, we will see him again, and he will continue to help us through the remainder of our earthly lives. ♥

Dear Self: Happy New Year

I’m taking my nieces challenge of writing a letter to myself for this new year. Read her letter here…

Dear Self (+the rest of the world),ClarkMe_DEC2014

Last night you watched the movie Ephraims Rescue. It’s about a man who began life wanting nothing more than to please his parents. He tried so hard, but came up short each time he tried. All he wanted was to do good, but also recognized he wasn’t perfect. He was simply a man, trying his best in life. Because he never gave up trying to do good, he ended up living a life full of service, helping others and performing many miracles that changed several hundred lives. It was an inspiring movie, because it showed you how even the seemingly greatest people in life have their imperfections, in their own way they have insecurities – but most everyone has a good heart and simply wants to do good.

This year you’ve made your mistakes, fell short at times – but you simply wanted to do good. You’ve fulfilled several goals you’ve had for many years. Let me highlight a few:

  • You’ve wanted for so long to live a lifestyle of a full-time artist. You’re closer to that by far, than you’ve ever been. In large part, because of your 365 day drawing challenge and a great deal of help and support from your family and friends. You’ve completed more commissions in a year, than you’ve ever had, and this makes you very happy! 🙂
  • You’ve found the blessing of focusing on GRATITUDE. Life hit you with some unexpected surprises, that clouded your vision for awhile – BUT you broke FREE of that clouded vision and now you see a BRIGHT and happy life! Your spirit is healing, you’re growing stronger, and life is full of so much love, good friends, family and security. You’ve learned that just because some things are not going the way you’d prefer them to be, may mean that God has something else in store for you. Trust in HIM.
  • Probably one of the biggest life lessons you learned this year is to live each day as if there is no tomorrow. This isn’t a doom and gloom lesson, you’ve had some interesting experiences that lead you to learn this valuable lesson. You had a small scare with cancer (no worries – it’s gone… hopefully 🙂 ), and other incredible experiences and they all reminded you that life isn’t yours to control. We’re here to do the Lord’s work, and serve a higher power. HE decides when we come home. That could be ANY DAY – at any age – at any level or status of health. So live each day to the fullest. Be found by Him in the act of serving others. “Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. 

You may think ‘how could life get any better than today?’. Oh Self.. 🙂 Thankfully each year you become wiser, because you keep climbing up. Sometimes you slip and fall, but you keep getting up, dusting yourself off, and keep pressing forward. Good job. Keep that up, and you’ll do just fine. But here are some hopes for the next year:

  • Focus more on others needs. It’s easy to get caught up in your own thoughts, desires, and concerns/worries. Let that all go. It’s OK to treat yourself sometimes, but put more focus on others needs. Serve, serve, serve. With your talent in art, with your TIME, with your thoughts. Focus more on others.
  • Learn more of the purpose of LIFE. Why are we here? Who am I to become? How can I become better? These questions and MORE are ALL answered in the scriptures. Study, study, study.
  • Forgive others, and forgive YOURSELF. It’s easy and tempting to want to be ‘perfect’ and when you make a mistake in what you say, or what you do, it’s easy to get really down. It seems that there is always more you could have done, or you could have said or did something differently or better. Practice letting it go. Practice worrying less, and practice by saying aloud in those moments ‘it is what it is’ or ‘they are who they are’. Let it go, and carry on changing what YOU can change. As long as you’re moving forward, you’re doing good.
  • Continue living each day as if there is no tomorrow. Each day is one more day to work towards being stronger emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’ll be much easier to work on all of that here in this life, than in the next life – so take advantage of each day you wake up in this life. Live each day to the fullest, and be grateful that you have this time.
  • Be kind. Speak soft words. Let’s be real, and recognize the human mortal side of us can at times be caught up in stressful moments and feelings. Keep trying, never stop trying to control your words. Practice being slow to react. Choose your words carefully. Let charity guide your reaction when possible. HOPING that one day you’ll live a life guided by only love, in every act, in every thought, and in every word you speak.

Live ‘light’, care-free, and stay busy. If you’re on the errand of the Lord you’ll find joy, satisfaction, and you’ll find that all your needs are met. Be slow to respond, in tune with the Spirit, and savor every moment of every day. 🙂

That’s all I’ve got to say, hope this serves as a reminder throughout this coming year. 🙂



I now challenge YOU to write a letter to yourself for this new year. Post a link to your letter in a comment below! 🙂 Or just comment below in general if you’d like. Either way I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Sketch A Day – 365 day Drawing Challenge – Round Up #2

This drawing challenge has been awesome! I am loving the variety of topics and the encouragement for creativity that results from having a daily task to accomplish. It’s very motivating, and I am so pleased with the results! If you haven’t yet subscribed to my portfolio site or ‘Liked’ my Facebook page, please do so to get immediate updates whenever I publish a new sketch! 🙂

Here are a few of my favorite sketches from the challenge:

Day 4 – Romance

Day 5 – Euphoria

Day 6 – a Self Portrait

Day 11 – An Advertisement

Day 12 – An Illustration of Stick Figures

Day 12 – Alone

Day 14 – Agony

Day 17 – Forever

Day 19 – Good vs Evil

Day 20 – Christ Loves Everyone

Day 22 – Music – Kurt Bestor

Day 23 – Shooting Stars

View the full list of sketches here: Drawing Challenge