The Most Meaningful & Impactful Artwork In Our House (The Story Behind The Artwork)

If I were to poll my readers and ask you what you think is the most meaningful piece of artwork in our house, I would imagine that most of you would choose the “watercolor” that hangs in our hallway.

That is one of my favorite photos from our wedding day that my mom turned into a “watercolor” using Photoshop. I do love that picture, and I love how it looks in our hallway. But as far as being the most meaningful and impactful artwork, I’d have to give that slot to another piece (or set) of artwork.

That honor actually goes to the colorful cut glass glitter word art that I made to go in our breakfast room. And I’m generally not a “word art” kind of person. It’s just not really my cup of tea. But I do love these that hang in our breakfast room. They’re words from a favorite passage of Scripture set on a background of colorful stripes and covered with two coats of cut glass glitter that sparkle like crazy in person (but is nearly impossible to capture in photos).

I went back recently and read my post about that project because I was curious to know exactly what information I shared with you about why I made those. I told you that I was inspired by a favorite artist (fact check: true), and that I wanted to make something similar for our house (fact check: true), and that instead of copying her outright, I decided to choose a passage from the Bible that had more meaning to me (fact check: true).

Yes, all of that was true. I didn’t share anything that was false. But my goodness, I really glossed over what was really going on in my life at that time to inspire me to make those at that particular time. The truth of the matter is that I was in a season of funk in my life, and it was affecting my attitude towards everything and everyone, including Matt.

All of my regular readers know our situation, but if you’re new around here, let me get you up to speed. Matt is my husband of 21 years. Two years after we got married, he was diagnosed with M.S. For the first few years, he could still manage life as usual — school, work, etc. And he did that until he couldn’t. So for the last ten years (at least), he has been in a wheelchair, he’s had periods of time when he’s been bedridden, he suffers from extreme exhaustion and weakness all day every day. So for those 10+ years, I’ve been his full-time caretaker.

Well, back in 2021, I had hit a wall. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and in every other way, I had hit a wall. I just wanted to kind of fade away and be left alone to do what I wanted to do without the responsibility of taking full-time care of another adult human. And my attitude was starting to affect how I was interacting with Matt.

Honestly, I don’t know if he even noticed. There have been times in our marriage when I’ve had a horrible attitude towards him, and have gone back later and said, “I’m sorry for my attitude earlier,” only for him to respond, “What are you talking about?” 😀 So he’s not the most perceptive when it comes to those things. 😀 He doesn’t always pick up what I’m laying down.

But during this particular season in life, whether or not Matt picked up on my attitude, it was starting to affect me tremendously. If he called me when I was working, and I picked up my phone to see that it was him, I would sigh and roll my eyes before answering. If he asked me for more water, I’d sigh and roll my eyes. If I needed to transfer him from his chair to the bed, I’d make sure my attitude conveyed what an inconvenience it was for me (even though, again, he probably didn’t even notice).

But even when he didn’t notice, my attitude was going from bad to worse, and was having a terrible impact on me. I’d get frustrated so easily. I’d start to feel bitterness and resentment at the fact that I had been at this caretaker thing for a decade and saw no end in sight.

Anyway, you get the point. It was a rough season, and I knew something inside me needed to change. I was so hyper focused on how things were impacting me, how things were inconveniencing me, how unfair things were for me. I was all about me, me, me. And these were the thoughts I was literally meditating on throughout the day.

Well, when those are the types of thoughts that you focus on throughout the day — the types of thoughts that are constantly filling your head — nothing is going to change. Nothing is going to get better. Meditating on those types of thoughts will not change a person’s attitude. They’ll only make things worse.

So one day, I decided I had had enough. I couldn’t keep going with that attitude. So I decided that I needed to change my focus. I needed to change the constant refrains that were going through my head all day long. And I needed to change my attitude towards Matt. I needed something to kick me out of my constant focus on myself, and to remind me that I LOVE Matt, he’s NOT an inconvenience to me, and I’ll do anything for him because I love him and made a commitment to him.

And that’s when I decided to make that artwork. I pass through the breakfast room many times a day, so that seemed like the perfect spot for it. And that passage from the Bible seemed like the perfect passage to read, meditate upon, memorize, and replace the constant negative and me-centered thoughts that were going through my head all day long.

And you know what? After hanging those up, I did notice a difference. It wasn’t an immediate, overnight change. It was gradual, but it was noticeable. Every time I would start to have a “poor me” thought, I’d make a point of replacing that “me” thought with, “I need to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” I’d remind myself constantly that these are the attitudes I need to have towards Matt. These are the attitudes that I need to have towards our situation in life. These are the attitudes I need to have in general.

After a while, those “poor me” thoughts really did go away, and they were replaced completely. That’s not to say that I’m now perfect. I’m far from it! 😀 But the “me” thoughts no longer control my mind. They may pop up every now and then, but they don’t take up permanent residence in my head like they did during that season of life back in 2021.

So why am I telling you this? Well, mainly because I would never want anyone to think that I’m not human, and I don’t have struggles, and that I’m just always perfectly content with our situation. I am human, I do have struggles, and I do have those times when I ask, “Why me?” or “Why Matt?” or “Why us?” And that does affect my attitude at times. And I don’t like that social media brings out the urge in people to only share the good, polished, perfect aspects of life, and to hide those ugly, real areas that make our lives seem imperfect.

As someone who has been a full-time caretaker of a disabled spouse for over a decade now, I’d never want anyone to think that ours has always been a perfect journey, and that we haven’t experienced bumps in the road. Our journey has definitely been imperfect, and there have been many bumps and potholes along the way. It is only by the grace of God that Matt and I have made it this far, and it will only be by His grace that we can continue on for however long He has us on this journey together.



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  1. Thank you for sharing this. I understand your frustration in the past and am currently experiencing caring for older husband with 4 surgeries in the last year, but my thoughts are more on the line of “Who is going to take care of me when I need it?” and feeling worried about that and a bit resentful at times. No family in the area; just one seriously ill brother and his incredible care-giving wife many many states away. I hope this will be helpful for me. You are such a good role model for taking action, whether it is planning / doing projects, prioritizing social connections, or working on self improvement!

    1. Bless you and Matt. Thanks for sharing your journey & that you turn to Scripture for strength, guidance and comfort. May your words be an encouragement. You are a remarkable young woman and a terrific designer.

  2. Although I’ve followed you faithfully for years, I rarely comment. But I wanted to tell you how much I love this post. I am at the front end of my workday here in Pacific Time, and this was a great reminder of how easy it is to focus on the hard stuff, the mountain to climb, the bumps in the road, and forget the good, the love, the view ahead. There are times for me, too, when the fruit of the Spirit is less than abundant. 🙂 Thank you for this beautiful reminder of what is important, and how a change in attitude can make all the difference in the world.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I will try to go to these inspirational words daily to improve my mindset which is not good a lot of times. I always look forward to your posts and your journey through your everyday responsibilities and your renovations.

  4. My 93 yr old mother lives with us. I am 72 and my husband is 82. My mom can’t hear and her memory is failing, while my husband is still in good health even with afib on Eliquis, and advanced macular degeneration. Neither can drive which leaves me as caretaker for both of them. So, I can so relate to the rolling eyes a with a hint of frustration. I appreciate this post and will concentrate on your posted scripture! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Kirsti, you are human. I lost my husband 4 weeks ago after a protracted battle that started with Diabetes – it never ends there.. it then affects your peripheral areas, countless surgeries for wounds that took ages to heal. He even survived a nasty bout of Covid when statistically he should not have. Then it slowly made it’s way to his kidneys and finally heart. During all of that – he never complained, was always grateful for the help I gave him , continued working hard and gave me so much love and was generous and kind to a fault – I would often get irritated and would moan – but we would laugh about it- because we both understood – I was just a human having to deal with a lot. The morning he passed away, he held me gently with his hands on my upper arms and said ” do you have any idea how much I love and appreciate everything you do for me” I assured him I did and assured him how much I loved him and taking care of him was my job as we took the “through sickness and health” part of our vows seriously. Looking back, I have regrets that I moaned at times, but I know he forgave me as he knew it was a lot of responsibility for one – (I am 60) but what a precious memory I have of that last embrace and assurance of his heartfelt feelings for me. I am sharing this as you have to forgive yourself too when things get rough – we are human and as humans we have moments where we fail others – what is important is to atone for it and try harder…(and never let the sun set with an unresolved issue as we never know if there is going to be a chance the next day) Continue inspiring us with your beautiful work, you are so talented and you are using what God gave you in the most amazing way… both in your work and in your outlook on life.

  6. Thank you, Kristi, for your honesty and for your experience of getting out of the mental traps we can feed without even realizing it. Thank God for your example of how to get beyond the ‘ME’ attitude.

  7. Beautiful and much needed post. From looking at the comments, many of us needed this reminder today. We are having our house renovated while living here and our brand new high end fridge malfunctioned and we woke up to a flooded in-process kitchen. Luckily, contractors are here and nothing was ruined, but I needed a little less self-pity today. Thank you for this reminder that there are blessings all around.

  8. Thank you, Kristi for being real.
    You are absolutely right, our focus needs to be on God/Jesus and His goodness to us.

  9. dear Kristi, thank you for this lovely pot and the insights coming from it. I think, 2021 might have been so difficult because it was such a hard situation in the world (and has alas not improved since, sigh) and a lot of people (most perhaps?) were distinctly thin-skinned by then. I still haven’t come back to my former self (a lot of personal catastrophe in between), but I have reached a place where I realised that love and joy and gratefulness and so many other things of the mind and heart are worth so much more than what we think/get told is important. And your artwork frames those important things in a beautiful way. Thank you for sharing the story and again the art work!

  10. Kristi,

    This post affected me deeply. I’m teary. . .
    I spent more than 7 years bed-ridden, with my eyes covered and ears plugged, in extreme pain, and dependent on others for the most basic of functions, so I read what you wrote from the “Matt perspective.” I understand oh so well the tremendous stress that being so disabled places on caregivers who are working, often, as you do, around the clock, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. . . . It’s hard for the caregiver; it’s hard for the person being cared for, despite knowing it’s not their fault, to see the stress it inevitably causes at times. (Though, from what you say, maybe Matt is an exception. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your perspective. It’s easy for people to ignore, when they see someone like you, who is so devoted to her husband, what the day-to-day grind can do, when you see no end in sight. I’m glad that you were able to reframe your thoughts and attitude and reinforce it with the beautiful world art that you created. My best to both of you.

  11. Thank you for sharing the ‘Real’.
    Life is hard for the caretaker & those that we care for.
    I cared for my mother in law for 4 years. Then for twelve years I cared for my parents. My dad was an amputee & my mom had Parkinson’s & Leukemia. They both passed away 2 years ago.
    Now I’m raising my great niece. She has Arthrogryposis. It is a hard & sometimes lonely life , but the joy outweighs the bad!! I love serving, but sometimes I’m so tired!!! My prayers are with you!!

  12. My niece was married to a man who had severe Crohn’s disease along with other adjacent problems that started about five years into their marriage. I didn’t know at the time, because the family was in a bad place where we lost touch. Towards his end of life (after over 12 years of illness) we managed to reconnect, and I, along with her cousin, were her only family with her besides her Dad. She was so strong throughout his illness and eventual death, but she had times where she wanted a normal life, of course. She credited his home health team with keeping her sane and able to keep going. And also her job as an administrator in the school district she grew up in, and where her entire family were also a part of. I think if she had not had that outside support, that gave her some “normal” in her life, I don’t know how she would have made it. So to you, I say you are doing great. You were both dealt with a heavy task, and having support around you helps keep you from the “poor me s.” And you are SO entitled to have bad days, as everyone does!!! Even more so, with all you do in a day!

  13. Wow, this was just what I needed to read today. I’ve been so busy lately feeling anger toward my spouse and having a “poor me” attitude, and this really hit the nail on the head as to where my thoughts should be.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing about that season in your life! It has helped me so much as I care for my husband as well. He was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis and a brain tumor within a week of each other in 2017. The brain surgery left some trauma for him. Peripheral vision on right side is gone. Comprehension of conversations is gone. He can’t read like he used to. The MG affects his muscles, his language center as well, his eyes…. you name it…. the MG affects. That’s why I appreciate you sharing your story!!! Sometimes, I feel really alone with it all!!

  15. That is just so beautiful. Thank you for sharing For all of us who are caretakers, we have been in your shoes and have struggled with how to get out of a slump.

  16. Thank you for saying these words. I’m in your shoes now and I really needed to hear those words. Bless you Kristi!

  17. Bless your heart. I imagine it took courage for you to post this, but reading it will definitely help many of us struggling with our own issues. May you continue to be filled with God’s peace and joy.

  18. You know, it’s nice to hear that you are human…maybe a super human in our eyes for what you do, but still a human with the same struggles and needs as the rest of us. You do such a wonderful job with Matt, and I totally get it as I had some guilt when I was taking care of my mom for the last weeks of life. I was exhausted, couldn’t find time for a shower for me, and said some words to her I regretted immediately. My mom and I were always very close…we had 65 years together! She was adored by the entire family, and she was my mom and best friend. I took her in my arms and apologized, and told her we would always be together – she forgave me and we cried. Some days are just tougher than others and we fail…after all, we are only human.

  19. It took enormous strength and courage to share your honest thoughts and feelings about being a caregiver for a husband with MS. I cried while reading about how you changed your attitude about the situation which you were dealt with the help of your religious faith. God bless you and Matt.

  20. I love this! The Fruits of the Spirit are a great reminder of what is really most important.
    2021 was a hard year for so many of us. You found a perfect way to not let it get the best of you.

  21. Kristi thanks for sharing this post with us. You are human and the funk you went through in 2021 is human. I’ll bet there isn’t one person on here, or anywhere else who wouldn’t say you are an incredible and wonderful person. I am definitely in tune with the funk you went through in 2021. Being a caretaker takes our minds into so many different avenues, and a lot of them are rough to travel. So glad you created two beautiful things that helped you get through the funk. God is amazing and His Grace gets us through things that seem hopeless. I am glad He lead you toward His word to get through that brick wall.
    I am the sole caretaker of my husband of 61 years. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s eight years ago. I’ve traveled through a lot of rough roads and God gets me through them.

  22. This is for me, by far the most valuable post that you have ever made. Gives me a lot to consider in the way I have been feeling and my relationships. Thank you

  23. I feel for you Kristi. I have been through the caregiver routine for about 17 years before my husband passed away. I don’t know how you have done it caring for Matt. I’ve been an RN since 1971 and my clinical experience was Critical Care until I burned out after 13 years. Caring for my husband was hard despite my training and knowledge. I had many of those same thoughts but, like you, I had to change my thinking. I’m glad you have the house to occupy your mind. I chose my passion for fiber arts to give my mind something else to think about.
    I think you are normal in that nobody signs up to be a long term caregiver. It provokes lots of feelings. Some good, some bad. I have come to the conclusion that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. You have a very large group of people who pray for you and Matt. Take comfort in that.

  24. Dear Kristi,

    I’ll start by saying I have not been a caregiver; but I know that with every situation that requires long-term effort, we need a break. And if we don’t get a break, we tend to go a bit crazy and just want to quit – the effort, the situation, anything and everything and nothing in particular. Just quit, put a pause in life, go in limbo, whatever, just stop the effort, just make it all stop. And if we can’t, we can get into a perma-annoyed state. It’s less visible in some people, more visible in others, but it’s what tends to happen. Maybe it’s less visible in your case, or maybe it’s Matt’s choice to “not notice”. But it is normal – it’s not a self-centered streak, it’s the “need to rest a bit, but can’t” reaction.

    You get a rest from the house stuff every year on purpose, to avoid this. But neither one of you gets a rest of MS, you can’t pause it. Don’t ever add feelings of guilt for being tired to the list of the things you have to deal with (and this goes to both of you). I do hope now you are able to go out of the house and do things together helps! (Also, I want to add, I envy a bit how you support each other with planning and decisions and the emotional burden of going through life, I’ve been meaning to say this for a while, but there was never a place for it). Wishing you both strength!

  25. Thanks for sharing this story behind your artwork with us Kristi. I think social media sometimes (often) just shows the positive aspect of things and it can make us feel less if our situation isn’t always sunshine and roses, when in fact, we’re all human and we all have sad times and times when we’re not our best selves and we shouldn’t be afraid to show that. Just another thing I love about you Kristi

  26. I appreciate you sharing the deeper story behind this! Praise God, for he is truly good 🙂 I need a good dose of “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” when it comes to shifting sucky attitudes but it is definitely possible (not to mention life giving).

  27. I have no words ~ simply admiration for the human being you are and sending you much love, many prayers, and lots and lots of positive chi. Keep it up. You are really an inspiration!

  28. Very honest, moving post, I’m teary eyed. I noticed there was something wrong, I just thought it was COVID. I was glad to see you started posting more and were perkier. Bless you both.

  29. This is why we love you. You are honest. I aspire to be like you daily. Not only your talent, but your attitude about real life. Thank you for sharing. You may have just lifted me out of my bad attitude today.

  30. What a beautiful, encouraging testimony. God’s word IS powerful. And it makes GREAT art! Thank you for sharing your story. I’m feeling convicted.