Driving home and not intending on stopping, something told me it was deeply necessary. Necessary because the world depends on it? Well, no. But rather necessary because my soul needed it. It’s been a while.
But I don’t have time!
But I’m expected home right now!
With art supplies in the back seat, I was able to focus on this scene and contemplate nature…the way the horizon looks a tinge peach even though I am facing east and it’s an hour from sunset…the way the dried golden grasses reflect in the water…the way the tiny foreground tree has tiny gnarly twigs…
And suddenly it is well with my soul.
I am learning lately to relinquish control and listen to that still small voice. I cannot fail if I trust in God even if I cannot fully see the situation. Today was a favorable situation and I enjoyed my quick impromptu painting, but can I still have that same positive attitude with a less favorable condition? Do I trust? Can I let go of control? Will it still be well with my soul?
Now that would be some kind of faith.
To trust in God, to trust He has a plan even when things don’t go my way or perhaps when suffering is involved, if total control is relinquished, that’s not only courageous faith, but peace and freedom too. And that faith will not go unaided, for He said:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Cor 12:9
Posted in art, Artwork, Chicago, God, nature, Paint His Love, sketch book, sketchbook, watercolor painting, watercolor sketching
Tagged art, Artwork, faith, God, hidden lake, nature, painting, sketchbook, trust, watercolor
Weathered but strong for the moment
A safe space made by man.
Time and the elements will destroy
But God in the heart of man, a safe space forevermore.
For no force against can deploy.
My watercolor was made from this picture I took at CITW of a birdhouse on the fringe of a field with dried goldenrods still bobbing their heads in the breeze. It was peaceful to look at and I contemplate the story behind…think of the hands that made the birdhouse and the successful broods of birds now alive and flourishing because of this man made safe space.
Posted in art, Artwork, God, nature, Paint His Love, poetry, sketch book, sketchbook, watercolor painting, watercolor sketching, wildlife
Tagged art, Artwork, birdhouse watercolor, God, nature, poetry, sketchbook, watercolor
There are miracles in just about everything.
For example, think of the growing process in which these gourds and pumpkin developed: From a small seed by which itself is useless, but with the right combination, a combination we cannot materialize with our own human hands….sunlight, oxygen, soil, rain, in just the right amounts… not too little, not too much, can produce the most amazing fruits. Those fruits are beneficial to us, to nourish us, and bless us.
I want to view everything around me as a miracle and not take anything for granted. This way of thinking kills the negativity that creeps into one’s mind. When we choose to be thankful, when we choose to think positive thoughts, we choose to have a good day. And then guess what, somehow the day is good.
These gourds and one pumpkin gave me an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and blessing, especially because of the company I was in, sitting with a dear friend. I painted with brush in hand and thankfulness in heart.
Posted in art, Artwork, nature, Paint His Love, sketch book, sketchbook, watercolor painting, watercolor sketching
Tagged art, Artwork, autumn, nature, painting, pumpkin, sketch, sketchbook, thankful, watercolor
I found this beautiful weed climbing on a friend’s fence. Beautiful but rather toxic. While not as poisonous as its cousin, Deadly Nightshade, Bittersweet Nightshade should not be consumed.
On this particular vine, the berries were in every stage of color. The berries start green and are most toxic during this state. Next, the berries ripen into an orange color, until they reach their final deep red color.
But what attracts me the most are those purple and yellow flowers….the pre-berry stage. And so it did as a child, attracted me to them. It’s a fond childhood memory of mine, finding these tiny flowers pop all over chain link fences.
In Thessalonians we are reminded to be thankful in all circumstances.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Being that this is a weed, but so beautiful, I can be thankful for weeds. On that thought, what about the things in life that we can’t see a silver lining for? Can we still be thankful then? For example, when you are without something you need or when someone back stabs you…can you still find a reason to be thankful?
Oh, now that’s difficult! But that’s what we are lovingly instructed to do. Why?
I found myself upset about a personal situation. I thought about it for many hours, how I was unjustly wronged. But in this moment, I had two choices…..
- Dwell on it and be upset, causing me to be in a negative mood and affect other areas in my life.
- Be thankful for something, ANYTHING in that situation and meditate on positive thoughts.
In reading the New Testament, I am reminded of Christ’s example. While hanging on the Cross he said, “Father, please forgive them, they know not what they do.
How’s that for finding the positive?
While I can’t come close to living like Christ, I can try to follow in His direction. And how good it feels to be set free like that! Even if it doesn’t seem like it…these bizarre life hacks (to find the positive in all situations) are for our own wellness. To give us life and hope.
Posted in art, Artwork, nature, Nature Sketching, Paint His Love, sketch book, sketchbook, watercolor sketching
Tagged art, Artwork, bittersweet nightshade, journal, sketch, sketchbook, thankful, watercolor, weed
In light of recent abhorrent events in the United States, one can find themselves in a state of disbelief, sorrow, confusion, and have a slew of unanswered questions. The answer to the question why, may never come. Violence never solved a thing and it never will.
When current events get me down, I hear the words of Paul in my mind…
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Phil 4:8
Sitting in my backyard, I stare at potted flowers. I notice them waggle in the wind. Sunlight dapples in between leaves. The makeshift plant pedestal has evidence of tiny holes and I know my woodpecker friend was here. This beauty is simple but lovely. It is good and it is pure. It uplifts my spirits for a time, but it is not the answer. No, dwelling on lovely is not the answer.
Love is the answer.
Just this morning, I came upon these statements:
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 1 John 4:10-12
It makes complete sense. Nobody has seen God, but when we love one another He is actually dwelling in us. And what better example of love than our Father who sacrificed His Son for us? Not to receive anything back, not to have fame, but out of total self sacrifice to pay for our sins and make a way for us, even while we still rejected Him. That’s love.
There is no room for hate and violence in this kind of love. Let’s serve one another in love, let God dwell in the midst of this love, for underneath skin we all have the same color blood.
Posted in art, Artwork, God, nature, Paint His Love, sketch book, sketchbook, watercolor sketching
Tagged art, Artwork, God, Jesus, love, nature, no hate, no violence, sketch, sketchbook, watercolor