Thursday, May 30, 2013

Circling Grace and Beauty - photo art

Flowers and petals from our yard - words from Ann Voskamp here

Beauty and grace...
Grace is beautiful...


To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower,hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.


"Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Give Thanks to the Lord - His Love Endures Forever...



More flowers from our yard this spring, pulled apart petal by petal for this arrangement. To me, the circle represents eternity...and thus the words:

Give thanks to the Lord,
For He is good,
His love endures forever...

(found in several Psalms)

Processed with "Tea Time" and "Grunged up Frame" - both at softlight blend mode and both are from the MiniMay collelction...

 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bringing in the Early Harvest...{Finding Sanctuary, Part 26}

A reminder that the harvest can be full of beautiful variety...



It is no coincidence - I am learning - of this counting of 40 Days of Preparation leading towards Passover + 50 days of counting, leading to the day of Pentecost (which marks the early harvest). These have been days of identifying and  releasing an old habit(s) that resulted in heart turbulence and of developing and strengthening a new one(s) that would keep our hearts in peace, regardless of life pressures, emotional triggers and other life circumstances...



The origins of Pentecost connect with the harvest cycles of the Promised Land, of the early wheat harvest being brought in and thanksgiving being made for the harvest...the wheat came to maturity 50 days after the barley crop (at First Fruits).  But the very FIRST Pentecost, just as the FIRST Passover, is intimately related to the Israelites' release from bondage in Egypt...50 days is the length of time it took for Israel to travel from Egypt to Mount Sinai:

from a land where they served harsh taskmasters 
to the place where God lovingly claimed them as His own people; 

from a place of crisis to a place of covenant; 

from work to worship;

from slavery to sanctuary;

 

Their journey wasn't totally clear to them, the old ways of Egypt sometimes looked more attractive than the new life of freedom...it took effort to leave the old and figure out the new...the journey was filled with challenges and risks, new enemies and new problems...they needed new sources of sustenance - to satisfy their thirst and their hunger, they were pursuing freedom and the promise of a resting place...

a sanctuary...







 And like the Israelites, we now have walked our own 50 day journey: through new challenges and tests till we find that place of renewed covenant, the place of worship filled wonder,  a place of rest for our weary souls...leaving behind old bondages and walking into freedom....our hearts finding more and more room for His Presence as old habits unravel...




finding new sources, better sources, of satisfying soul thirst and spirit hunger - being filled afresh with His Holy Spirit...

and we experience our own personal Pentecost again and again...


Other posts in the Finding Sanctuary Series here:


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tranquility...



Blossoms from our yard this spring...we came across a pink bluebonnet!
The image was processed in photoshop and holds a layer of Kim Klassen's texture "Clarity".

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Simple Devotion...



A simple faith is to be desired...
It can be summed up in one word -
Jesus.
And that is all we need.
Discovering all we can about 
His person
His work
His desires
will take us an
Eternity.

I can think of no better way to live it...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

When you need help after your heart has been stoned...{Finding Sanctuary - Part 25}







I know it has been quite a few days since I last posted in the "Finding Sanctuary" series...



I just wasn't prepared for the next test I was given,  my heart struggled to remain at peace; abiding at the altar of the Lord, in the midst of this storm.


I was reminded of the old nursery rhyme "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never harm me..."





The image in my mind during this storm was of a heart, and small stones - representing the words being slung around - slamming against the heart...


The nursery rhyme isn't the truth...


When I saw this image of hands cupping rocks, it struck me of how we cup in our hands the things we hold dear - and if we hold our own opinions, our own perception of truth, unfiltered through the lens of how Jesus sees - as more valuable than another's heart...then these unfiltered opinions and perceptions cause our words and actions to become like these stones...


a look in our eyes,
the tone of our voice,
the words we choose...

are they stones?
Or
are they life?








When a stone hits your heart (and the heart of someone you love)...what will come out of the brokenness?

The words to the left say "Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first..." -
me - in other words, find your place of Sanctuary...






Scripture prayers to stabilize the mind...

"Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips." Psalm 141:3

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8

"He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
me - the last part of Psalm 46:10 so ministered to me...as if He was proclaiming His sovereignty - over the situation, over my feelings, over offenses...and promising that by His design He would receive much glory...

I am beginning to see when we have found sanctuary in the Shelter of the Lord - we can "become a sanctuary" for someone else...a safe place to make mistakes, a shelter in their storm, a place of calm, even if their turbulence is directed at and swirling around us...because my sanctuary doesn't depend on circumstances, but on the Lord's Participating Presence in each moment of my life...


If you would like to answer this question with some sort of creativity, you can download a sketch of cupped hands here... 

Draw or collage what you WANT to have in your hands...share in the comments below if you want!




Related posts from others 

My friend, Jodene Shaw wrote about a similar thing this very week...

And please check out Ann Voskamp's post from May 8, 2013 here






All the Finding Sanctuary posts at the button below

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Floating on a Cloud of Possibility...


A picture of sweet tweener's orchid that she got for her birthday - a "Birthday Bloom"
 Processed with Kim Klassen's texture "Clarity" at 'darker color' blend mode plus a few more tweaks...

Font is Windsong...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sparrow and Feathers Watercolors and words...

2013 is my year to dabble with watercolors...here are some "playtimes" - using my favorite little birds and working on feathers...
Sweet Sparrow - Watercolors on coffee splattered paper.
Checking how they look together...

blue feather + Psalm 91:4 card



Frame size is 5 x 7 inches

This feather is painted on coffee painted and splattered paper

The edges are torn and it is in the same style 5 x 7 inch frame
I'm still playing with "do I want to try realistic" vs. feathers with a doodled quality...for the feathers I have been enjoying letting the colors flow together and mix, creating their own effect...I am happy with how the little sparrow turned out...I am ready to go and paint different poses for this little fellow.  Watercolor nests sound good to, don't you think?  And there are so many good scriptures to include!  They'll be in the etsy shop later today!