Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Japan - Before and After

 I remember 9/ mind unable to truly comprehend what I was seeing - belief that I was actually watching a plane crash into a tower live, on TV, suspended...emotional numbness continuing as the fullness of the disaster unfolded before our eyes in this technological environment that allows us to witness tragedy first hand. without warning. becoming sojourners with those directly affected, yet far enough removed to pray, to donate, to lend uplifting hands.

I haven't written about what happened in Japan...Like 9/11, my mind cannot comprehend the reality; it is still too large to put words even define the "it" that is too large; that too is emotionally numbing - 

it:  an entire country, one that can trace its ancestry for hundreds to thousands of years, changed forever in a moment;
it: tainted natural resources
it: death and devastation
it: production of parts and technology brought to an abrupt halt by God-directed nature
it: water: too much of its force, its life-sustaining ability only available in limited quantities
it: shock
it: horror
it: suffering humanity
it: moments of miracles
it: people finding their loved ones - alive!
it: d.e.a.t.h
it: not knowing how this will affect world economics, or weather, or other patterns of nature
it: .....

I was given this link - satellite photos of before and after.  Don't click if you might still be too tender to view (I could only look at two); but the concept is a good one...a memorial of sorts...

The story isn't top news anymore...but the people are no less in our hearts...

Linking up with Tiffini at Word Women Wednesday and
Emily at imperfect prose 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

A picture for thought I am sharing: An ACEO I made a while reminds me of spring!

March 29, 2011...

Outside my window...grey rainy skies - we need some rain!  Hopefully it will make the blue-bonnets run wild!

I am thinking...about Angel's curriculum...does it need tweeking? (It's book-fair time you know!)

I am thankful for....another quiet morning around the house.

From the learning rooms...research on forensic archeology(!)

From the kitchen....I was given this great site for slow cooker recipes -  You'll be glad you visited!

I am jeans and a long-sleeved brown tunic

I am creating...more mixed media panels; and I am sewing up my stash (making slow headway)

I am have to plan Easter dinner soon.

I am reading..."C.S. Lewis" from the Heroes of History series to Angel.  I just finished reading Kelly Rae Roberts' e-book on creative business - wonderful resources!  I have now started a new Kindle book, a free download, titled "Mom's Ultimate Guide to the Tween Girl World" by Nancy Rue and published by Zondervan...another great resource for our stage of life!

I am get some garden preparation done this week.

I am hearing...the dog starting to wake up in her kennel.

Around the house...lot's of arts and crafts going on right now!

One of my favorite things...Angel's smile.

A few plans for the rest of the skating field trip at the Dr. Pepper Center and another Casa Manana play!  And plans in place to see Wanda and the boys on Sunday afternoon!

The Simple Woman's Daybook
(click here to find other simple daybooks)

Monday, March 28, 2011

1000 gifts and then some...

Continuing the count - at least the written count (#79- #81) - and remembering gifts given through out time:

The touchable stillness of dawn, just before the birds begin to stir...

Psalm 46:10...

Cold air that hangs in space like a thick blanket covering the world, inviting us to stay still just a few minutes longer; to just be...

Joining other grateful and gracious souls at Ann's:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday - Come into my living room

If you came over to my house for a chat, you would most probably end up sitting here, in our living room, with a cup of coffee or tea.  It is still a work in progress, and I haven't gotten candles to replace the pillars that we melted by having the floor candlesticks too close to the fireplace this winter! (The floor candlestick is that long thing to the right of the fireplace - there is a twin on the left side).  I am thinking about changing out the beaded mica shade for a black shade on that little lamp on the mantle.  The round coffee table has a black leather top when the tablecloth is removed, and I like the idea of a few black accents.

Well, you can also see the pale blue 1980's carpet...I can't wait to change this out for wood floors!  Scheduled for sometime in the next two years...but other than those little cosmetic changes (which never keeps me from entertaining!) the room is great! (Did I mention we bought this Victorian style home in 2004?  It was built in 1985 - the carpet is the final stronghold of that decade!)  Tons of 8 1/2 foot windows that face east, 10 foot high ceilings, an antique fireplace, and ornate crown molding really create a sense of character.  Immediately behind the burgundy chair is a circular room - consisting of 3 4-foot wide walls with windows and 2 4-foot wide solid walls...currently with no furniture, but you can see the view out the windows here as well as the lace curtains that I have framing each view...the light is great in this area, and I am on the lookout for the perfect writing desk or secretary to put there. Of course, the round room is where the Christmas Tree is placed each year!  So whatever I do put in that round room will have to able to slide into another space during November and December!

The living room is the "Chick Room"...where my girlfriends and I talk, where counseling takes place, where the dear daughter and I have tea parties...friends have said there is a feeling of peace and groundedness here...a friend gave me the metal angel wing that sits on the mantel, and you might recognize the art block - made by Jennifer at Studio JRU and that I won through an {in}-courage give away  (think happy dances)!   These are the photos that I have included in my "about" page, but I wanted to share them with you, too!  Oh, and the things on my art table this week are more "Affirmation Blocks" and a piece I was designing for a friend...her word for the year is "Prophecy"...she told me the colors she liked, and I think I really like how it turned out!  Enough that I went to bed last night thinking of other pieces I could make with the same technique...
Linking up with other creatives at Studio JRU's Sneak Peek Friday

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Response to Him - The Beauty of Holiness 1

Fitful sleep,
I want to write "part 2" of "The Beauty of Holiness" series, but my mind is easily distracted, well because the family needs me, too...

Coughing wakes me up again...I check my emails while I sip some water
I received an email from Voice of the Lord talking about the word "worship" and that it means to kiss towards...I've learned that before; noted it in my Bible at Psalm 2:12...

back to bed with the thoughts of worship being beautiful and the description of Jesus from Psalm 45 being so beautiful and kisses given and received - what we call worship - and the intimacy of that meandering around in my brain...

I lay down murmuring to Him that I want to write what He wants to say...and there are words in my mind...I try to catch them... Me...share...your response...

And I am asleep...coughing wakes me in an hour, but there is a worship song already playing within me...the Holy Spirit is so faithful to be the vehicle of spirit communication...and I know this song is really my response to Him, to the Beauty of Holiness part 1...someone else wrote the words, but it is my song too, and I share it with you...

Lyrics to "You are so good to me" by Third Day
You are so good to me
You heal my broken heart
You are my Father in heaven [2x]
You ride upon the clouds
You lead me to the truth
You are the Spirit inside me [2x]
You poured out all your blood
You died upon the cross
You are my Jesus who loves me [2x]
You are beautiful my sweet, sweet, song [3x]
I will sing again

You are my strong melody
You are my dancing rhythm
You are my perfect rhyme
And I want to sing forever

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones
Linking up with Tiffani at the House of Belonging and snuggling with a throw on the couch...

Monday, March 21, 2011

1000 gifts and then some...

Continuing the count - at least the written count (#69- 78) - and remembering gifts given through out time:
(The supermoon rising behind the Lincoln Memorial)
moon shadows cast by a "supermoon".

barking dogs and howling coyotes who saw the moon as an invitation to give overlapping concerts!

a trip to Amarillo for spring break...

a daughter delighted in new-found creativity (and especially excited as her dyslexia has prevented her from pursuing this particular art form in the past)...

His Word of healing that comes in so many forms and His daughter so freely sharing it here...

Encouragement to rest here...

Fresh water...

Food on the shelves of Super Walmart and the ability to buy it...

Freedom to immerse myself here...

 the new song sung by a bird we can never find (but he is wonderfully loudly persistent in his praises!)...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Beauty of Holiness...

Linking up with Tiffini at the House of Belonging and Emily at Imperfect Prose...

This week's prompt (at the House of Belonging) was something to encourage or inspire women on their daily journeys...maybe go on a "beauty hunt"...and immediately there it was - that whispering voice ticker taping another verse in my head.   The verse was this: Psalm 29:2b - and He quoted it in King James English (yes He did!)

...worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

The beauty of holiness!  Beauty, holiness, worship...the three are enter-twined intimately and incredibly and imaginatively(?).  What images are sparked in the mind by this phrase!  Holiness speaks of God's very nature and here the Word of Truth declares holiness to be beautiful!  Just a glance out of any window gives a hint of this nature of God, where beauty and holiness first are expanse of creation that our mind can hardly comprehend, full of incredible color and texture - elements that artists throughout time have tried to re-express!  Each color has endless variety and nuance of hue and tone and transparency - depending on if it is expressed through water, earth, air or fire.  And to think, that this is a fallen world!  What were the textures and colors like before the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden? I wonder!  

We may never know, but we do get a glimpse of God's heavenly dwelling place (and ours!) through several places in Scripture.  There is a "pavement" like sapphire under His feet, and His throne is made all of sapphire like brilliance, a rainbow in shades of green is over His throne, His city is made up of streets of transparent gold, and walls encrusted with precious gems as jasper, chalcedony, sapphire, emerald, topaz, and more.  Mighty pearls are the gates and a river "clear as crystal" flows through His "city".

 (References - in order:  Exodus 24:10; Ezekiel 10:11; Revelation 4:3 Revelation 21:21; Revelation 21:19-20; Revelation 21:21; Revelation 22:1)

 This revelation of pure beauty may have been well known to our first mother and father.  I can only contemplate it, based on the description in Holy writ, and as I do, I realize that I place this beautiful  vision far away from me and at some distant time from now.  Could this be the reason I can struggle seeing myself the way He does in the "right now", the way my life is today?  Yes, much of the description is from the book that reveals the end of time...but isn't that scene the way heaven looks now?  Is it somehow easier to perceive the color and texture of the fallen world, because it is easier to seeIs that why it is easier to believe the world's messages that are all around me? Those messages that tell me that I need to be "more than" I am right now, in this moment, that I am somehow "less than" if I choose a more narrow path? And yet His handiwork is still visible in this physical realm that is groaning for its redemption (Romans 8:22-23).  I am His handiwork, too, and His imprint is still visible in me!

To continue this "beauty hunt", take five minutes to write down as much texture and color you can actually see from right where you are sitting.  Then take five minutes to write out as much of the Lord's handiwork in YOU that you can "see".  In this portion of the exercise, use what you know by faith (even if you do not yet embrace it), positive comments that others say they notice about you, as well as Godly attributes that you DO know you have - use the "strengths" word cloud above to get ideas...and finally, take five minutes to enjoy this video and write out the beauty of the Lord Himself that is inspired by the worship. 

There are other verses that contain the phrase "the beauty of holiness", and we will look at them later in the series, because this is, as I discovered in my own journey this week, a series and that there is something mighty that the Lord wants to say (and I will share this learning walk with you) that is best said in several smaller bites that will be easier to chew through...and we will look at an incredible beautification process that the Lord has embedded in the Scripture, one that I am sure you will recognize has already begun in you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sneak Peek Comments winner..........................

I so appreciated everyone's comments last Friday!  I realized I had just gotten tunnel vision on this piece, and through your help I have gotten beyond it!  I was so focused on what I wanted the swirling to do, that I didn't just let it swirl!  Still that old control/perfectionism being worked out - and isn't it wonderful that God can use art to bring healing into deeper areas of the heart!   And why didn't I think about painting with fingers, or using something unique!  Ha, ha!

So the winner will receive one of these little affirmation canvasses...they are 4" by 4", sides painted black and a hanger attached on the back.  It can sit on a shelf or hang just about anywhere.  The mini-chalkboard is the perfect place to put a word you need to see over and over, a character trait you are developing in your life more fully...or even a doodle (the sides are painted black).

So, the winner is.......(drum rrrrrrrrroooooooolllllll please!)....Diana Mulder!  Picked by my girl with the sparkly eyes as I asked her to pick a number between 0 and 10, and she picked number 7 (her favorite number)...and thank you again Diana for the encouragement you gave me...I am taking that to heart too!

Congratulations Diana!

Monday, March 14, 2011

1000 gifts and then some...

Continuing the count - at least the written count - and remembering gifts given through out time:

#56 - 68.  Grace for the moment when we need it - not a moment too soon or too late...child's night-whispered "I love you sooooo much"...light pink fading in favor of the hot variety...warm bath water....scented oils for skin...the smell of curly hair formulated conditioner on wet ringlets...emerging girl growing to for toiletries that speak to changes...the smile on her face as she contemplates them...good books that stimulate intelligent discussion...paper hearts...
stars - glowing on the ceiling, twinkling in the night sky, sparkling in her eyes...
experiencing the reality that God's law is written on her heart by His Spirit...

Joining other grateful and gracious souls at Ann's


Friday, March 11, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday - Commission help!

Remember this sneak peek from a few weeks ago?  I am still working on the grouping...
 Here it is at the top...(still have some finishing touches to put on the "El" painting!)
The wings pictures with blue edges are finished...and I think you can see the color movement from one picture to another in the grouping...
In the photo above, you can see the movement to purples in the 7th piece there on the right - still in progress, of course!  There will be 13 total in the grouping!  Ughhh - my work surface is a MESS!
Above is the piece I am stuck on...I have repainted it twice....trying to get a swirly design, like the blue is swirling up and exploding with white and red and the resulting shades of purple - the text is the definition of compassion, which I do want to keep as a main component..but I don't know - I walk away and come back to it...I have started moving on to the other pieces in the grouping just to see if I can gain perspective...On one day I thought about how van Gogh did his starry night piece, and thought maybe that technique - white strokes over what I already had might give it the touch it needs!

Please share your ideas! I wish I could say that I will offer a prize from a random drawing for all ideas...oh, wait a minute...I guess I can! But it will have to be a surprise! So, if you leave an idea of how to fix this "compassion" piece in the comments, I will select a winner on Tuesday - March 15th - OK? I appreciate all of your creative input!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Celebrate - with Zephaniah 3:17

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about my word for 2011 - Celebrate!  And I have been "emerging", practicing thankfulness, looking for ways to enjoy each day...with the wings of that word tapping my   mind ever so gently...

Now the sweet challenge of Zephaniah 3:17 has me moving deeper into what He wants to impart to me through this word...this year...

Here is the verse as found in the New American Standard Bible:  "The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."

Definitions are important...and here is what the butterfly wings have been dancing to the fore front of my brain...the connection to "rejoicing" found in the first definition of the word:


1. To observe (a day or event) with ceremonies of respect, festivity, or rejoicing.

Celebrate emphasizes observance in the form of rejoicing or festivity: a surprise party to celebrate her birthday.

Zephaniah 3:17 is a picture of our Lord celebrating...I picture Jesus, with his full robes flying in all directions, as this personal expression of His rejoicing - celebrating! - over me formed...

My Zephaniah 3:17

Yahweh, the breath of all Life, the breath of MY life,
the self-existent, three-in-one who gives life to my spirit
and dwells in my inmost being...
He is a victorious warrior -
Mighty in His ability and desire to save,
to avenge,
to defend,
to deliver,
to help,
to preserve,
to rescue,

Enforcing HIS Victory...
beginning in the center of my being
invading my emotions, my thoughts, my will,

and flowing out into my everyday life!
  He will leap up, spring forth
in gaity and laughter, pleasure, joy and gladness

because of me,
on behalf of me,
together with me,
in spite of me
(yes, it really says that and most times this is true!)
He will be quiet in His love,
He will spin, and dance, and twirl
over me, with me,
around me, towards me,
beside me...
and with joyful shouts
joyful shouts
joyful shouts
of joy!

Joining with Emily and other imperfects at Imperfect Prose, Word Women Wednesday at the House of Belonging

Monday, March 7, 2011

1000 gifts and then some...

Giving thanks this week for a husband who is a master:

He is the one in the black vest to the left, looking down range..
41. finger bandager
42. spider smasher
43. make a daughter feel like a princess-er
44. comforter
45. cowboy action shooter
46. spiritual leader
47. provider
48. protector
49. guide-or
50. take care of supper spontaneously-er
51. kid wrangler
52. listener
53. wise word-er
54. friend
55. make me feel special-er

Joining other grateful and gracious souls at Ann's

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday -Time in art

Time is the topic this week at my place...and I have enjoyed the Holy Spirit's musings!  Here is the first in a series of "time" and "prayer" art clocks I have been inspired to create...

It is almost finished, I just need to add the words sitting on the art table, more black distress ink around the edges, seal it and place the hands.  The clock face is a recycled CD, about 5 inches in diameter, with scraps of paper collaged on the front and back with a quartz battery powered movement...I think it is small enough to fit on a desk, bookcase or fact, I wasn't sure the words would all fit!  I have other series of twelve words written in a sketch book - but this is the fruits of the Spirit plus three, so I decided to NOT put the fruits in order around the face.  

Here is a little bit more of a close-up:


Thursday, March 3, 2011

On the issue of time...

It takes time to spin - to draft the roving, to let the spindle twist the fiber into thread, and enough thread to form a skein of yarn. My daughter spins. I don't - I never learned this art, but I love the times when she sits beside me, spindle in hand, fibers twisting through her fingers...
This week has been about time for me - it wasn't a plan, but a serendipitous spinning and twisting as my life passed through the fingers of the Holy Spirit! (You will have to come over again tomorrow for coffee and a sneak peek at what is on the art table...) And this "time journey" has been good - not necessarily new information, but deeper exploration of what I do know to be true...

that time is precious
that time is a gift
that time is a sacrifice
that time is something I must be a steward over.

I spent time (lots of it!) searching for the book in which I KNEW I had marked this quote by Annie Dillard, thinking I might make an inspiration piece out of it to remind me of the power of time: How we live our how we live our lives."  (Found in Crazy Love by Francis Chan, page 165.)

A few days ago, I was playing with the word itself - making an acrostic out of it...
T - the
I - intimate
M - memories
E - experience

This one was specifically created as I considered the importance of the days I am spending with my dear daughter, and holding close to my heart intimate conversations that spontaneously erupt throughout the day. Or how about "To Interest My Energies".  Perhaps "terribly irrationally managing emotions" ("Just to let you know how it CAN be over here," said laughingly) Try it! It really is fun.

And then, of course, this little verse became a ticker tape in my mind:  making the most of your time, because the days are evil - Ephesians 5:16.  You know it, too, don't you!
I already knew that He was going to talk to me about the word "time" in the original language, right?  And "time" isn't just the 1a. nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently
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