Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The (Thankful) View from Here

I am thankful God delights in expectancy and not in fulfilled expectations.

I am grateful that truth of His love is so much greater than the lies of the Deceiver.

I am overwhelmed, awed, and amazed that His Spirit is willing to dwell in me.

I am thankful that he never, ever, ever gives up on me.

I am thankful that I have experienced His love through other people...like my mother.

I'm thankful that there is still beauty to be found in this ole' world (I took all the flower pictures in my gardens this morning).

I'm grateful for things that make me smile...like 7 year old girls who asked their grandmother, "Am I a 'young adult'?"

I'm grateful for little girlies who like cold icy-pops on a hot summer afternoo (she really was eating one!).

I'm grateful for one last summer with the pool.

I'm thankful that I'm not a military wife who has to move many, many times....and thankful to those who are and are willing to do that.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

So....There you go!

In just 2 short weeks and 3 showings this is the sign that now sits in front of our house!! All that remains is the inspection. I'm praying that it goes well--I've never really had to deal with that part of selling a house before. So, as I said, I'm praying the inspector doesn't find anything major that would be a deal-breaker.

The people that are buying our house made us a good offer and we countered and met them in the middle. We were delighted with how that turned out. In addition--and this is the really great and amazing part--they agreed to close on July 30, but not take possession until August 31. That is nearly unheard of in the real estate world. I'm sure when they looked at our house, they said to themselves, "Wow, these people have A LOT of STUFF!" A small airport is wanting to buy their property and apparently they have given them adequate time to get out of their house. God is truly amazing in how He works things out!!

Meanwhile....I am enjoying the POOL!! :)

A friend from my hometown is coming tomorrow with 3 of her grandchildren. My daughter and her 2 wonderful girlies will join us, and we'll all have a great time in the pool until the "inspector" comes. Hopefully, then, we will be off to see Kung Fu Panda, or as Ellie says, "Whoo Haa Panda". What a great fun movie!!! Since it is supposed to be really hot here tomorrow, that will be a great thing to do while we're out of the house for "Mr. Inspector", "Clueso" I presume!! Ha!

So...the great PACKING has begun in earnest. I hauled 7 boxes of books to the local Used Book Store, 4 boxes of books to our church library, hauled 4 huge boxes of magazines to the recycling center and have already managed to fill our dumpster--and it won't be emptied until Wednesday. I have 2 rooms (albeit small rooms) almost totally packed. Not too bad considering we just signed the contracts last Wednesday. But believe me...there's still PLENTY to do. So if any of you are bored with your summer activities....feel free to come lend a hand!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pool Lessons

First, some background information.

*We weren't going to open the pool this year.

*Therefore we didn't cover it as well through winter.

*We didn't open it as early as usual.

*We are selling the house.

*The realtor said "Open the Pool!!"

*Because of first 3 points, the pool was dark brown in color and full of yucky, slimy leaves and algae.

*I should have taken a "Before" picture.

*Use your imagination--think coffee with floaties!

*Yesterday at 2 pm--the pool guy arrives.

*Dumps in about 20 LARGE containers of liquid chemicals.

Now for the lessons:

Now I have a better understanding about "walk by faith and not by sight". I had to vacuum that dark brown pool. The first step was to use the leaf sucker-upper. This device attaches to the hose and you then guide it over the biggest piles (which you can't see) in the bottom of the pool. The bottom was not in sight at all. I could see darker areas. I hauled out a lot of leaves. Then I vacuumed. I still could not see the bottom--in fact I had stirred up enough stuff that it was now even more murky! I just followed my usual pattern of vacuuming. It took longer than usual, but it was beginning to clear.

  • Lesson # 1 Work on the biggest areas of sin in your life first. They are what make your life so dark and ugly. Getting rid of them may seem to make life even more murky for a while. Once they are out of the way, you can begin to work on other areas. Even though it takes longer, as long as you are following the pattern God has given us for living--life does begin to take on a clearer look.
  • Lesson # 2 My life, without Jesus, is like that dark ugly pool with floaties. Jesus' blood is the "chlorine" that works to take out all the darkness and leaves us crystal clear.
  • Lesson # 3 Even with all the "chlorine", if I hadn't vacuumed, the pool would still be dark and ugly. God tells us to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling". We must be willing to vacuum all the darkness out of our lives so that the "chlorine" of his blood can make us crystal clear. Without His blood, all the vacuuming in the world would still leave us dark and ugly.
  • Lesson # 4 We don't have to wonder if the chlorine (His blood) is working. Less that 15 hours later, I took the "AFTER" picture posted here. His blood transforms us and makes us into a new creature--and anyone who looks at us can see the difference.
  • Lesson # 5 It takes constant care to keep our souls clean. The pool guy comes once a week--we take the Lord's supper once a week--and are reminded of what His blood does for our lives. But should we quit remembering, quit vacuuming out the bad, our lives will once again turn brown with floaties. It is a constant process.
  • Lesson # 6 We leave the pool pump on 24 hours a day to filter the pool. Everything we think and do should be filtered through Him. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable...think about [and do] such things.

Pretty good lessons from a dirtly 'ole pool.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Sermon BEFORE the Sermon

This morning, I was blessed by a father and his young daughter. They were sitting in front of us during church. We were asked to stand to sing a song. This father scooped up his young daughter (she must be about 4) in his arms and she wrapper her little arms around his neck. He sang in her ear. She hugged him close and with her little hands turned his face so she could whisper in his ear. He listened and then turned and whispered something back. And she snuggled close, and hugged him and kissed his neck. He, while singing, kissed the top of her head. He sang some more and the whole scenario repeated itself. And again.

And I thought to myself, "That's how God loves me!" I know my own Dad loved me the best he knew how, but I always felt I couldn't please him. And he was very strict and not very demonstrative of his love. But this daddy knew how to show his little girl how much he loves her! And isn't that how God is--always hugging us close and whispering how much He loves us. I could barely keep singing!
(Picture at right is artwork by David Bowman)

And then, the sermon started out in Zephaniah 3:17: "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."

Wow. That was exactly what I had just witnessed. The sermon was awesome. And the sermon BEFORE the sermon was even more awesome!!

And then this evening--while I was cleaning and sorting, I was listening to a GLAD cd. I've listened to it hundreds of times before. But tonight, the song called "Arise my Soul, Arise" really caught my attention. The original lyrics were by Charles Wesley, and then adapted by GLAD. And they seemed so fitting for everything the day brought today. So here they are:

Arise my soul, arise
Shake off your guilty fears.
The bleeding sacrifice
in my behalf appears
Before the throne He stands,
Before the throne He stands,
My name is written on His hands.

He ever lives above
for me to intercede
His all redeeming love,
His precious blood to plead
Before the throne of Grace
Before the throne of Grace.
He gladly takes my sinful place.

Five bleeding wounds He bears
Received on Calvary
They pour effectual prayers
They strongly plead for me
Forgive , forgive they cry
Forgive, forgive they cry
This ransomed sinner must not die.

The Father hears Him pray
His dear anointed One,
He cannot turn away
the presence of His Son,
He sees the priceless blood
He sees the priceless blood
And tells me I am born of God.

My God is reconciled
His pardoning voice I hear
He owns me for His child
I can no longer fear
With boldness I draw nigh
With boldness I draw nigh
And “Abba Father, Abba Father,
Abba Father”, I cry.

Arise my soul, arise
I can no longer fear.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lost My Head!

Well...I think I've lost my head--or at least I'm too tired to find it!! This is a pretty good depiction of how I'm feeling right now!

We've been half-heartedly house hunting since last November or so. But since it is time for our pool to be open (and DH HATES HATES HATES the pool), we have been whole-heartedly hunting! We were nearly ready to make an offer on one that we had looked in several times. But then our realtor told us about one that had just come on the market. We looked at it once and were ready to make an offer. We really like it. So our own house will be listed Monday. So here are the top ten reasons why I'm going CRAZY and feel like my head has fallen off:

1. I am an artist.
2. Artists (especially mixed-media artists) have LOTS of stuff.
3. The realtor said, "Put it all away"! **OH MY!!!**
4. Artists (especially mixed-media artists) have LOTS of stuff.
5. The house is being listed on Monday.
6. Artists (especially mixed-media artists) have LOTS of stuff.
7. The realtor said we might have lookers as soon as Monday evening.
8. Artists (especially mixed-media artists) have LOTS of stuff.
9. Our new house will be quite a bit smaller.
10. Artists (especially mixed-media artists) have LOTS of stuff.

Going from well-lived in house to a show ready house is exhausting. I am exhauted. I can hardly stay awak at the computer. So that's all for now. More later.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Birthday Beauty!

Saturday was Addy's birthday. She turned 6. Unbelievable. It seems just yesterday we were visiting her when she was 2 months old and she and Grandpa were reading together.

She is one of the greatest joys of my life!! I love doing things for her and with her. She is very smart (even if I do say so myself) and very pretty (likewise).

She invited several friends to go see Kung Fu Panda and so, of course, Nana made her a Panda cake. I used to make these for her mom when she was little (also seems like yesterday....ok....maybe the day before yesterday).

Addy wanted to dress up like movie stars to go to the movie, so I made little sparkly belts for her and her friends--forgot to take a picture of that. I'll try to do that later. Her mom got her a pink boa, and sprayed her hair pink. She was *stunning*. *grin*


I made her "A Year In The Life Of" book that chronicled her last year. I will get it back and scan some of it and post it later. For only starting it a couple days before her birthday, I was very pleased with how it turned out.

Please keep this little one in your prayers. As I said, she is VERY smart and has put it together in her mind that the tornado killed her uncle and aunt. So now when the storms come, she is hysterical. My heart breaks for her. She is too young to be able to rationalize through this. Some of the rest of us have trouble as well! But in her own words, "I am TOO YOUNG to go through this!!"

I have not posted about the loss of Jayme's brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Although I knew Gary and he had been in our home a couple of times, I didn't know him well. I had never met Kim. But I know that they were very very very precious people to people that I love and care deeply for. It hurts to not be able to ease their grief. Especially my sweet sweet Jayme. It breaks my heart to see her hurt so. I wish I knew how to share in it with her. For now, I will hug her when I can....and hold her in my heart and my prayers always.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Table That Discussion!!

Just thought I'd let you in on the project I've been working on for the last couple of days. My DH and I, and this time, my daughter and SIL, purchase the contents of storage units that the owners have been deliquent on paying fees. A couple of months ago we bid on and purchased 5 units. Then we sort, clean, wash, price all the items and have a huge garage sale (which is next weekend). The fun part is keeping what you want--my daughter may say I've kept far more than my fair share!! I purchased a stamping magazine sometime back in '06 because I loved the altered table on the front cover. I bought some paper that I really liked to make a similar one....and in the storage unit was the PERFECT table!!!! So I snuck it in the house (DH says if somethings comes in--something else has to go out!). Of course I had to take it back out to the shop and take it apart and sand it--and so I got caught.

DH: What are you doing with THAT???

me: Ummmmm.....a project.

DH: What KIND of project??

me: Uhhhh...I'm painting/papering/and stamping this table (this was said very fast all in one breath)

DH: And then what are you going to do with it?

me: Ahhhhmmmmm....I'll find a home for it?

This morning, after I had finished it, I left it out for him to see--he usually is pretty complimentary of my work....and I LOVE that.

me: See my table?

DH: Hey! Wow! That's really neat!

me: Yeah, I really like the way it turned out!

DH: So.......how much are you going to SELL it for??
me: *sigh*

But all the same--I'm NOT going to sell it. At least not right now. I like it too much!! In fact, I have another little table......

So any way....I hope you enjoy the pictures of said table!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The View From Here

So, here is the view from the swing in my frog garden. It's a lovely place to just sit and relax, feel the breeze ruffle my hair and listen to the fountain in the little pond.

These two pictures aren't in my frog garden, but I thought you might like to see some other pretty sites from our place. The honeysuckle is on a fence off of our back deck. I think it is 2 years old now, and it is really beautiful this year.

The clematis is climbing up a wheel on an old buckboard wagon. My DH loves old farm implements--he grew up on a farm. So we have several in our yard. They look really neat, but I especially love the old wagon. I need to plant some more clematis around some of the others. It really gives them a sort of "vintage" feel.

Blessings to you this day.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


True confessions.

I am a frog lover. I have a lovely peaceful garden in front of our house. It has a small garden pond in it. Lots of shade plants--because it is totally in the shade. A swing, where I love to sit and read, eat, doze, and dream. And, oh, maybe 35 frogs of various shapes and sizes, colors, and materials. Each one a treasure. Some are life-like--others very whimsical.

But today I was looking out the BACK door--at our swimming pool--still covered, because *sigh* I guess we're not opening it this year. And there on the edge of the cover sat a frog. Quite peaceful. Usually, they startle easily. This one didn't. I went and got my camera. Went our the door. And still he stayed there--not moving. I took a picture. Crept closer. He stayed. I clicked. Crept closer. He stayed. I clicked. And once more!! I couldn't believe it! Even the cat walked between me and the frog.

That little frog brought a message. Fully Relying On God. I'd heard it before. But it was a message I needed to hear again. He never did move. I finally took my camera and these wonderful pictures and came back inside. And now, tonight, as I write this, I can hear him out in the water on top of the pool cover. Singing his sweet message to me again.
God is good. All the time. And all the time, God is good.
Fully Rely On God.

Friday, May 30, 2008

13 things--even if it's not Thursday

Here are just 13 things I've done since I last posted (it could be 1013!!).

1. Displayed my art at two Final Friday Gallery Crawls. Didn't sell a thing--but at least heard some very positive comments (and a few others....) and got some good exposure. After the first "no-seller" I considered burning all my pieces...but then my daughter reminded me that they were inspired by the Holy Spirit and that I might be inviting lightning!!

2. Attended a funeral for my son-in-law's brother and his wife. *sigh*

3. Attended a track meet where my oldest grandson qualified for State in the 4X800.

4. Attended high school graduation out-of-town for same grandson.

5. Made a quilt in two weeks--if you knew my history of how long it takes me to make a quilt, you would be incredibly impressed--for same grandson.

6. Spent an afternoon in a waiting room while my almost 6-year old granddaughter had work done on her teeth under anethesia.

7. Had a graduation party for my long-time friend (since we were in 8th grade) who graduated with her master's degree. There were 22 people in attendace.

8. Made same friend a piece of "spoon" art for a graduation present.

9. Spent a week with friends at Lake Texoma fishing.

10. Made 11 personalized coasters for my sister to give her orchestra booster parents.

11. Completed 50 greeting cards that a lady ordered to sell in her shop.

12. Nearly completed getting ready for a garage sale (sorting, washing, marking the contents of six storage units that we purchased for this purpose)

13. Made a "Believe" mini-scrapbook for a friend to give to her pastor who was leaving.

Ummmm and 13 1/2...made a "So Very" mini-scrapbook for a new baby of an "almost" relative.

Ummmm and 13 3/4....made a "So Very" mini-scrapbook for a young mother at church.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Peanut Butter or a Stone

I've had my two sweet grand babies this week. They make me smile soooo much!! For example:

Ellie (the 3-year old): Nanny, Nanny, Nanny!
(I'm really "Nana", but in her little sweetness way, when she is excited, it becomes "Nanny!"

Me: What Ellie?

Ellie: (with her hands around her eyes like binoculars--her cute little peculiar way of asking for something) I need sumpin to EAT!

Me: You DO? What do you want?

Ellie: Keenut Butter!

Me: Oh, really? On crackers?

Ellie: Noooo, just Keenut Butter.

Me: You mean on a spoon?

Ellie: Yes. Keenut Butter on a spoon!

Now how is a Nana supposed to resist such sweetness as that??

But it made me think about the scripture that says, "Would a father give his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread?" How much more will your Heavenly Father give what is good to those who ask Him?

Me: Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!!! ....

If only we would remember to ask for "Keenut Butter" when we're "hungry"...

Ezekiel's Window

This piece of art is my (broad) interpretation of Ezekiel chapter 1. The text talks about Ezekiels vision of 4 winged creatures that rode in wheeled objects. The wheeled objects had eyes all around the rims. It says that!! I promise!! Check it out for yourself!

At any rate this is what I imagined it might have looked like had Ezekiel seen this through a window. My interpretation is a much tamer vision than the actual vision. Had I seen the same thing Ezekiel saw, I wouldn't have been able to describe it in such detail--'cause I would have fainted dead away in awe!!

Road Revival

Artist Statement: Bring me your rusted, your throw aways, your "what the heck is this thing," your "oh this is trash now," your "I have to dump this stuff," your broken, your older than dirt and I will make it into a piece of art that you will be amazed with. I will work my magic on your junk and turn it into art that you could never find anywhere else. And isn't this just what our Heavenly Father does for us...He takes us where He finds us--cast off, worn out, dirty, and broken, and He cleans us up and molds and shapes us into something beautiful and useful. He takes the ordinary and turns us into the extraordinary. He brings new life to us. So as a reflection of His love for us, I bring to you my "Road Revival Art".

The first set of pictures added here are of a piece called Elijah and the Raven. The raven is made out of tire tread and the insides of the wraps for hot coffee cups. Elijah is made from an old piece of rope, a twisted piece of metal, and "something" with a grid on it for his face. I stamped an image of a man's face on this "something", but it doesn't show well in the picture. The raven is bringing "food" to Elijah--these are "beads" that I made out of scraps of paper. The word definitions in the bottom left corner are adhered to skeleton leaves--which also don't show well in the photo. Hopefully, you get idea, even though the photo does not do the piece justice.

I seem to be having difficulty uploading pictures right now so will try more later.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On the Road AGAIN!

Finally the second piece is finished. Other than showing it to my DH, no one else has seen it--so I'm sharing it with all of you next!! This piece is also done on a 16x20 canvas covered by fabric. It is called "Precious in His Sight". The figures on each of the playing cards represents a child of a different race and class. I had a blast "styling" each child's hair! Jayleigh, there's even a copper curly head, just like you!! In fact, Jayleigh, I thought of you often while I was putting this one together.

The King, of course, represents our Heavenly Father, who with his huge "heart" loves all his children equally.

Perhaps it is unnecessary to point out the following (but I shall anyway!):

The four quadrants are red, yellow, black, and white.

The four rows are red, yellow, black, and white.

In each row, the "triangle" of paper on the cards is a variant of the color of the first card in the row.

I reserved the last row (higher ranking cards) for the "white" row because many whites "think" they are superior. But at the foot of the cross, in the shadow of His love, we are all truly equal. Each child is precious and worth more than all the treasure on earth.

You, dear friend, are precious in His sight!

Here are a few more pictures to show some of the details.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

On the Road

No, it's not quite what you think. We really are at home. At least for a while.

I told you about the art explosion thing goin' on with me. Well...for several months I've been picking up road trash. You know, old metal bottle caps, wire, pieces of tire tread, etc.

And it has been in bags. or boxes. or piles.

Last week some of it got together in my brain. And I really like the way it turned out. It is done on a 16x20 canvas covered in fabric. So here it is:
I took it to church Wednesday night. It was interesting to see who "got it" and who didn't. Most men laughed. Although a few "got it".
Some women didn't get it either. At least they didn't laugh--they just said "Oh. That's nice."
But the ones who "got it" really liked it. So mostly I am encouraged. Because the picture is small compared to its actual size, it loses some of the detail. Those are wheel weights on the edges of the picture of the earth. The scripture on the card that goes in the pocket is John 3:16.
To those of you who "get it" I hope it brings a blessing to you.
Piece number 2 is already in the works.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Which "sun" do you hold?

Just a note about the picture at the top of my "new" blog. This past summer, E and I spent 3 weeks on a mission trip to Africa. Not all of me came back. I left part of my heart there. The country is beautiful. When we were there in late June early July, it was their winter. I would love to see their spring--I know it would be incredible.

We were in Zimbabwe at Nhowe mission. It is a mission our church supports. It has a hospital/medical facility and a school. The school also provides "home" to many orphans. Through our church, over 1700 orphans have been given food, clothing, and an opportunity to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The political situation and the resulting economic situation in Zimbabwe are grim to say the least. Even the school was running out of food in November. At this point, I'm not sure how the school is faring. I heard recently that over 1/4 of the population of the country has vacated. I weep when I think about the orphans who have no where to go...and no one to take them.

Back to the picture. We hiked up a large hill before sunrise one morning. The sunrise was incredible. A doctor friend of mine took this picture of me "holding" the rising sun in my hands. It is one of my favorites. The sun that rises and sets over Zimbabwe is the same sun that rises and sets here. It keeps me close. But, even more, when we hold the Son, we are so close than nothing can ever separate us.

God's richest blessings to all of you.

For I am convinced that my Savior loves me. -me

Horizon card collection

As promised, here are the pictures of the cards I created after watching the wonder of God's new day. The first is the original which shows the sunrise as I watched it. The rest are from other pictures in my mind of the view out my kitchen window. I created these with inks (direct to paper) and then stamped the tree images over the ink. This is a new process to me and I find it fascinating and wonderful to use. I am pleased with the results. And with such wonderful inspiration from what God has created...well, it just comes together well.

Surely you've heard about the little boy riding in a car with his dad, admiring the sunset:

Dad: Son, isn't that a beautiful sunset?

Son: Uh-huh, it is.


Son: And to think God did that left-handed!

Dad: What?

Son: God painted that left-handed.

(Dad considers this for awhile)

Dad: Why do you say He painted it left-handed?

Son: Well, the Bible tells us that Jesus is sitting on His right hand!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Re-entering Blogdom

Almost two years. I'd even forgotten my password.
And still I have dial-up. *SIGH*
These past two years have been busy. Much has happened. Too much to catch up on all at once. But maybe gradually over a few posts I can give you some highlights.

But mostly I've just continued on. And as I re-enter this blogdom world, I must be careful not to let it take over. When you have dial-up, it can take up a LOT of time. So if any of you still happen to check to see if I'm here--and should you happen to comment--please know that I am delighted you have stopped by!! But know, also, that I may not reciprocate often--just because I am trying to limit my computer time.

One big thing that has happened for me in the last couple of years is an explosion of art in my soul. It screams to get out!! Last night it woke me at 3 a.m.--with the second in a series of mixed media art pictures (and the first is not yet complete!). I'll be posting some pictures of what I've been creating. They are a part of me. They are a gift from God. I hope they will bring some small bit of something to any who happen to view them here.

For those who have read my blog before...I think you will find my art reflects that same themes that my blog has always had--just now in a more visual form.

For instance....
Monday morning I stood at the kitchen window watching the sunrise. It was awesome. I stood there, drinking it in--like an excellent cup of coffee. But like the coffee....it doesn't last long. It changes...and fades...and turns into day. And then....I couldn't wait to get downstairs to put what I had witnessed onto paper. The result is a collection of 4 cards. I'll post the pictures later today.

For now, I'm off to the gym with my DH to play raquet-ball. If these ole' knees will let me....!

If you happen to find yourself visiting here as an old friend--thanks for coming back. If you're here as a new friend. Welcome.

As for me....

For I am convinced that my Savior loves me. -me