Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Simplicity of the Cross...

Another one for the Charity Auction coming up in February...a request from the charity's director...

Background: textural photo from the Fort Worth Zoo (Texas Wild area)
Kim Klaussen's "Simplicity" texture at softlight; 2 times, 2nd time with a layer mask "frame"
Cross cropped out of another image of the wall of our house

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sneak Peak Friday - Angel of Progress finds her identity

From humble beginnings - discarded, but with hope blooming:
She "became"...

In each passing season, she emerged more fully...

She gained more details, her uniqueness emerged, her true image drawn out of the background...

And she wasn't exactly as she was at the beginning of her journey....

She embraced the change (she really didn't want it any other way)...

She let her wings unfurl...

and contemplated her future...
Forgive my shadow in the upper corner?
She knew she could guard the progress of her charges now,
she knew she was the Angel of Progress...

She will be part of a charity auction in February - my largest painting to date at 24" x 20"

Joining with Jennifer and other creatives...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

6 word Memoirs - Texture Tuesday

Tuesday's are the day I try to share my Photoshop learnings with Texture Tuesdays. I am also participating in "Beyond Layers" - a year-long, simple guiding course offered by Kim Klaussen as well...

kk - simplicity texture - normal; 100%
Color fill - white; soft light; 100%
My image - layer masked
Text layer - papyrus

The challenge, fun exploration this week in "Beyond Layers" is to write your six word memoir as featured in Smith Magazine....

Here are a few I have come up with:

she learned the lesson of creativity
learning to live with clear vision
walking away from perfection, she grew
alive. beloved. chosen. delighted. embraced. flourished.

Some favorites from others...

less is more...simplify my life.
trying to simplify...it's complicated
Grace came; I am changed forever
planted, wilted, rooted, established, nurtured, strengthened 

Another of mine
my image - background edited with blur filter
black & white adjustment layer set at 80 % opacity to allow some color + layer mask to allow more color in foreground flower 
Text - vtremingtion in a shade picked from the flowers
Joining with Texture Tuesday

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Others May, You Cannot"

Today I am sharing a little pamphlet that I have kept tucked inside my Bible for years!  It is in the public domain, so please feel free to copy and print if it resonates with your spirit!....

Image Credit
I liked the image because it reminded me of a window in a monastery; which sort of really speaks to my word for this year of "Contemplate" ...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sparrow practice...

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word:
freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
-Sir Winston Churchill
My single words:
fullness.  simplicity.  stretching.  joy.  stillness.  sanctuary.  shelter.  peace.  contentment.

Working on painting birds without sketching first,
enjoying my 36 days with the Lord,
Him calling together the thoughts taking wing,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sneak Peak Friday - Birds and Bees and...

This is a 10" x 10" (finished and printed) image I created this week...
a response to all your kind comments of last Friday : )

The bees and thistle greens come from this site:

I created the bee hive based on an image I found online.

I did a little digital painting to add a hint of color...

The image is clickable - I'm giving it to my Sneak Peek friends - *smile*.

More inspiration from all your sweet comments last week coming soon...been listening to God (check it out to see more playing with photoshop with the image I created), homeschooling, and keeping up with family responsibilities (well, and Pinterest!)...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Behold, A Son!

Today we take a look at the first of the 12 tribes of Israel, Reuben…

Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said,
“Because the Lord has seen my affliction…Genesis 29:32

Perhaps it is because time hasn’t slipped very far from the season of Advent, when the ancient prophecy is repeated “…Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 KJV, that makes me think of Jesus at Leah’s declaration…you see, Reuben means Behold, a son! in the Hebrew language.

My favorite Christmas sentiment - a small tract I have kept for years

It’s that word “Behold” that He uses to link the two for me…and I know I must find out more about this word…hinneh in Hebrew, pronounced hin-nay’. It is first found in Genesis, at the Creation, on the evening of the sixth day, when He looks at all He has made – including man – and declares it “very good”.  It is found 1326 times in the King James Bible.  It is a bidding to attend to what is being said; to look; to see.  There is a liveliness, a vivacity associated with the word…think of a young mother, delighted that the Lord has blessed her, and “showing off” her baby, when you read the name “Reuben”.  Imagine the Lord extending His figurative hand at all of Creation and with passion, even excitement, bidding us to actually, really see what He has doneand demonstrating the same delight and anticipation as He announces the plan for the coming of His Son.  He points specifically, gives detailed description, helps to direct our gaze, focuses our attention to what He has provided for us!

“Behold, a Son” to “Behold, His Son”…

and in this is the foundation, the beginning,
of His dealings with His people,
with those who embrace the Son,
with me…

it all begins with Jesus…
And God bids us to LOOK, to SEE, to FOCUS
to behold Jesus…

and as we do so, we enter into worship, almost without effort,
because as we behold Him,
we receive a fresh revelation of Him
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld (– to behold, look upon, view attentively, contemplate,  take a view of as when meeting with a person, to learn by looking, to see with the eyes, to perceive – )His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,  full of grace and truth.         John 1:14
 God looked across time, because He saw our affliction
sent His Son,
and cried out...


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tithing the year...

I posted this on the ministry website, but thought I would share it here, too...
I wish there were a way that the post would automatically publish in both places...maybe if I was more "techy" it would?  But, here is the body of what I wrote as well...no need to "click over" - smiles!

This is what He said, what He wanted for me at the first of this year,
was to give to Him the first of the year,
“…the tithe of time for this year“.

36 days! One tenth of 365…

I counted it – all the way to February 5th (or 6th).

 10 days in I know how easy it is to fail…

which is always the reason I must fall on grace.

 I NEED grace continually -
the walk of faith means walking in recognition of my constant need for Him,
returning to Him anew, every moment I find that I have strayed from His side…

And my creativity is to be His (I believe He guides this anyway); 
I am to attempt to share more of how these twelve tribes reflect His love and promises towards us….
36 days. 3 x 12. The numbers even tell a story – “3″ the Triune God 
and “12″ – the people who became the nation that displayed:

His worship,

His will,

His kindness,

His covenant,

His promises,

His redemption.

The nation which would bring the Messiah to the world…

I am part of that nation by faith ...

3 x 12 = the product of the Trinity's faithfulness in my life!
3 x 12 = the poem He is writing through me...

  It’s not too late…
 would you like to tithe the time with me?

Tomorrow begins the deeper reflection over these twelve tribes…

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Today's Grace - Homeschoolers and future homeschoolers please read


I am so grateful that the Lord was telling me
- during our homeschooling days of last fall -
that we would be finishing up "last fall's goals" 
at the end of January 2012...

He knows...
Trust Him...
Have fun...

The ultimate goal is to please Him anyway, and He sees our lives, and knows...

Hear His Voice...

Trust His Vision..

even when it changes from what you thought was true when you began...

Blessings from me to you...

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Only Thing We Really Need...

If I am going to set a goal, if I am going to develop a new habit at the beginning of this new year, my year of "Contemplate"; shouldn't it be a goal that:

compliments His leadings for me

develops a habit that has value beyond what I might see -

is something that transcends what I might (in my human frailty) miss because I am focused 
on a weakness or a need or a want that may loom in importance in my fallen heart, but miss the mark of what He has for me?

Shouldn't it be a goal or habit that reaches beyond what I can do in my own strength?  That must tap into His power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20)?  That releases in us something immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine?

 And couldn't this goal have eternal value, for "... physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (1 Timothy 4:8 NIV)?

Out of all the voices clamoring for our attention in these days, how does anyone really know what the one thing they need is?  Just for fun, I typed "the one thing we need" into my google search window and got....

2,300,000,000 results!

(and I hadn't posted this yet, so add "one" to that number!


 "One thing" typed into my favorite online Bible program yielded only 6 results, with 4 being applicable to me today:

Psalm 62:11(NIV) One thing God has spoken,
Where is your quiet road taking you?
           two things have I heard:
           that you, O God, are strong,
           12and that you, O Lord, are loving...

Philippians 3:13(NAS) Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

John 9:25 (NIV) He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” 

Psalm 27:4 (NAS) One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
         That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
         To behold the beauty of the LORD
         And to meditate in His temple. 

These are my true "goal-setting" questions:

What do these verses teach me about the one thing I desire?
What is the one thing God desires of me?
Is there one thing that satisfies the criteria listed above?

Which direction is He quietly leading in?

The Psalm 62 passage guides towards the "one thing" - 

there is one thing is that the Lord does...
He speaks!

and that leads to the  
one thing we really need:

 that is...
to hear Him!
That was His first desire in all of Creation, to share Himself with us, and when that sweet fellowship was severed in the fall, He came seeking and SPEAKING to restore what was lost...and our first mother and father heard!  And in His dealings with His creation ever since, He has reached out to us through speaking - and those we regard as heroes....h.e.a.r.d...

That one thing, that habit, that goal which facilitates my contemplation, that encompasses the enormity of Him, that has the ability to transcend my feebleness AND my misguided "strengths", that has a benefit for this life and the one to come ...

is developing my hearing ear for His constant, guiding, seeking, healing, restorative voice.

Ancient doors leading to new possibilities...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2 Are Better Than One + Monograms

I've been having fun with Photoshop during our holiday break, AND with my new 
"Flip Pal Portable Scanner"...to scan backgrounds, photos we have from before the digital age, 
and my art to make prints from...
I've always loved the silhouette images found in old children's books, and got inspired when I found some vector images online...so I opened up Photoshop again to play...the Scripture one above is what was playing in my mind at first, and then the monogram idea came as well, giving more versatility to the art work
What animal silhouette's do you like?

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Goals Lists Review - Find You...


The web is full of New Years goals ideas AND I subscribe to several sites, and of course,  goal setting is on everyone's minds! 

Here are several places if you would like guidance in your review of 2011 and preparation for 2012:

5 steps to Making New Year's Resolutions... at A Holy Experience

Goals for accessing your homeschooling adventure at the midway point...at Simple Homeschool

20 Questions for reflecting on your 2011...at incourage.me

Give Yourself a New Year's Planning Retreat...at Keeper of the Home

All containing wonderful "how-tos" and ideas and questions to help one focus...even tho' somewhat overwhelming...

Here is a simplified list...

What are you most proud of

What excited you this year?

What joyful things happened?

How did you stretch yourself?

How did you step out of your comfort zone?

What have you learned?

Did you take any “falls” that you learned from?

What did you enjoy doing that you want to do more of in the coming year?

What do you need to stop doing, to let go of?

But the ONE goal,
focus -
that has already been leading and guiding my preparations for 2012 is the....

Direct leading of the Lord!

Every year since 1986 (the year I fully surrendered my life to Him - tho' I was already a Christian) He has shared with me the area He wanted to work in for the coming year - as soon as I find my list that I have  kept I will share it with you!  I usually start to "hear" the lesson sometime in December, with the leading confirmed by the end of January...

It seems similar to the "My One Word" movement that I see around the internet, but it is so much better since it is directed by the One who knows my heart and soul best of all...

This year...was different.  I knew my next year's leading by August!  Yes, August!  And it hasn't changed, only gotten stronger...2012 is built from the 2011 leading - "Celebrate" - as well as linked to all before, but it was as if He couldn't wait to move me into the next one...in fact, this might be the LAST one, as it could define the rest of our journey together...(yes, it really could!)...

The word/leading/life defining lesson of 2012 and beyond is..........


And the words, lessons, phrases, conversation drifting through my spirit and soul don't necessarily fit in with any of the guided questions and exercises I included above...they seem to be unstructured, unbound, unable to be totally experienced in one mere year, or even lifetime...the only limit being what we (the Lord and I) discover while my hand is grasped in His...

This is the one thing I do...
walking with God - 
always imperfectly - 
often failing - 
sometimes successfully - 
always trying tho'

and I will share...
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