October 05, 2015

My Year of Jubliee

Did you know that the Jewish Year of Jubilee began on September 23? I just find it so awe-inspiring that while this is happening, I am beginning my own 50th year journey into freedom.

When I chose BRAVE as my One Word of 2015, I had no idea the path of bravery would take me into a closer walk with the Lord and lead me toward freedom in a way I've never experienced before. Sure, I've done a couple of brave things this year. I'm in a new job. I started an Etsy shop. I began sharing my artistic attempts online. I said yes to things I would have said no to before, just so I could say that I was being brave.

But what I am finding is that God is orchestrating a path into a sweet communion with Him through all this bravery. You see, bravery is not really being brave. It's being scared silly, yet taking the step to do it any because you know Who has your back and Who will catch you if you fall. It's about being okay with failure and enjoying the process in spite of the failure. It's about holding the Hand of God while leaping out of the boat, trusting that He can make you stand firm, knowing He loves you and has a great plan for your life.

I'm so excited to be alive in this year of Jubilee and cannot what to see what all God has in store. It is going to be a year of growth, bravery, solitude, and freedom....and so much more, I'm sure.

Isaiah 61The Voice (VOICE)

61 The Spirit of the Lord, the Eternal, is on me.
    The Lord has appointed me for a special purpose.
He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to repair broken hearts,
And to declare to those who are held captive and bound in prison,
    “Be free from your imprisonment!”
He has sent me to announce the year of jubilee, the season of the Eternal’s favor:
    for our enemies it will be a day of God’s wrath;
For those who mourn it will be a time of comfort.[a]
As for those who grieve over Zion,
    God has sent me to give them a beautiful crown in exchange for ashes,
To anoint them with gladness instead of sorrow,
    to wrap them in victory, joy, and praise instead of depression and sadness.
People will call them magnificent, like great towering trees
    standing for what is right.
They stand to the glory of the Eternal
    who planted them.
And they will rebuild this place from its ancient ruins;
    they will restore the ages-old, once-splendid structures;
They will renew Israel’s ruined cities
    from the ashes and debris that laid untouched for many generations.
And people will come from all over to serve you:
    Outsiders will tend your flocks, plough your fields, and prune your vines.
You will be known as the ones specially chosen by the Eternal as priests;
    people will speak of you as ministers of our God.
    And the wealth of nations will come to you for your delight and enrichment.
Many called you disgraced and defiled and said that shame should be your share of things.
    Yet you suffered doubly and lived in disgrace;
So double will be your share, and with joy everlasting.
Eternal One: For I, the Eternal, love justice.
        I hate stealing and all manner of wrongdoing.
    In faithfulness to those who do justice, I promise they will be rewardedfor their work;
        and I will establish an everlasting covenant with them.
    Furthermore, I will promise them My support for their children,
        so that all nations and everyone around
    Will see that they are the children blessed by the Eternal God.
10 I am filled with joy and my soul vibrates with exuberant hope,
    because of the Eternal my God;
For He has dressed me with the garment of salvation,
    wrapped me with the robe of righteousness.
It’s as though I’m dressed for my wedding day,[b]
    in the very best: a bridegroom’s garland and a bride’s jewels.
11 The whole earth sprouts newness and life in the springtime,
    and green shoots break through the well-seeded garden soil.
That’s what it is like with the Eternal’s victory
    the Lord will cause justice and praise to sprout up before all the nations, for all peoples to see.

Have a blessed Monday!

September 25, 2015

Have Courage and Be Kind....a Cinderalla Way of Living...a Godly Way of Life

At our family movie night with my parents last week, we watched Cinderella. It is a stunningly beautiful movie with a beautiful message. It's about a mistreated girl who listened to her dying mother's last words to be courageous and kind, no matter how hard it was.

Time and time again, Cinderella just swallowed her hurt when her step-mother and step-sisters were cruel: when they wouldn't let her eat with them; when they called her Cinderella because of the soot on her face; when they took her room and made her live in the attic; and when they tore her mother's dress apart. Yes, it hurts when others put is down, take advantage of us, or mistreat us.

And sometime it takes great courage to be kind in the face of such hurt.

Our society is big on self-sufficiency and not being treated as a doormat. We applaud those who stand up for themselves and demand their rights instead of letting others walk all over them, but I think that is where the courage part comes in.

It takes courage to face opposition with kindness and to turn the other cheek.

"Finally, all of you, be like-minded and show sympathy, love, compassion, and humility to and for each other-- not paying back evil with evil or insult with insult, but repaying the bad with a blessing. It was this you were called to do, so that you might inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3:8-9

"Even if you should suffer for doing what is right, you will receive a blessing. Don't let them frighten you. Don't be intimidated, but exalt Him as Lord in your heart." 1 Peter 3: 14-15

And inherit a blessing is what Cinderella did! She got the Prince! Not because of how beautiful she looked at the ball. She had already captured the Prince's heart while wearing rags, and he was smitten by her courageous and kind heart.

Living in kindness takes courage at times, but we are up to the task. We have the Lord on our side and can stand firm in the knowledge that He has our back no matter what. Our courage and kindness brings a smile to His face.

So have courage and be kind today.

You will find blessing indeed.

**I am not condoning any kind of abuse in marriage or in families. That is never okay. While we can be kind in return, it truly does not make it right and we do not have to stay in those types of relationships.**

September 21, 2015

More Whimsical Painting Attempts Equals Bobble Heads

I attempted more whimsical painting this weekend, this time doing project 2 of the Painting for the Heart Class by Juliette Crane. Being the "rebel" that I am, I wanted to do my own thing, yet learn the new techniques of loose and whimsical painting. The prompt was 3 lions, but I thought it would be fun to do 3 whimsical girls...like sisters.

So that is what I did...and it turned out rather weird. They look a lot like bobble heads, but oh well. I like the way the paint pooled for their lips and their rosy cheeks. That's my favorite part.

But then I decided to go ahead and try to do the lions in the prompt.I used different paint colors for the background, but really tried to do the lions like Juliette Crane did. I'm happy with them, and feel like I am learning a little about being looser.

Here are a few pictures of the process...

And here are a few pictures of the lions during its creation.

Have a great Monday!

September 18, 2015

Painting For the Heart Class Project 1

Whimsical painting draws me in for reason. I don't know if it is just the messiness, the out of proportion at times, the broken rules, the freedom to do whatever, but I love it and I really want to learn how to do it.

So I joined an online class called Painting for the Heart by Juliette Crane. She is excellent. Her first class showed how to do a bunny. I'm not really into animals, but the techniques here really good.

I think one of my favorite things so far is the freedom to paint over whatever it is you don't like. Before, I lived with whatever I did, not wanting to "waste" all that work I had already done. But last night I painted over the whole bottom half of the bunny's face because it was just too dark.

Freedom to do whatever.

I love it and can't wait to try the next project this weekend.

Here's a few pictures from start to finish.

Adding painted paper and book pages to cardboard.

Painted white on the background.

This was the difficult part...had to keep changing and painting
 and covering up until I liked it. 

I love finger painting!

I squeezed a bottle of distress paint and the whole cap flew
 off....and splatted onto my hardwood floor! Yikes!

September 14, 2015

Whimsical Faces and Identity Crisis

I checked out the book, Drawing and Painting Whimsical Faces by Jane Davenport and tried out a little whimsical face for myself. It was so hard, but fun to try something new. When I was finished, I decided to write something around her head and hair and this is what I wrote:

Though she be afraid, she was brave and stepped out in freedom to be the woman God designed her to be....a woman of faith.

I've been thinking a lot about identity and how I perceive my value. I have always needed other's approval, being the people pleaser that I am, but I'm learning that is definitely not where my value comes from. I'm learning to be who God designed me to be. 

I may not be the perfect poised and proper preacher's wife. And I may never dress with style. I may be silly and laugh out loud a lot, and may just be the worst housekeeper in the world, but I am learning to just be me. 

I am creative, messy, goofy, and sometimes too transparent, but God has designed me for a purpose. I have my identity in Him because He is my creator and knows me inside and out. 

And He likes the way He made me, so why shouldn't I?

Here are a few pictures of my journal page in various stages. 

I hope you have a super Monday filled with lots of laughter. 

September 08, 2015

The Freedom of Art Journaling

There is such freedom in art journaling. Art and color have a way of leading the thought processes and freeing the feelings in a unique way. As I began this piece with a big black drippy blob, I thought about all the embarrassing things about me that make me feel unworthy. I smeared some pink, orange, and blue over the black, realizing as I did so, I try to be great at things,,,like a Super Sherrinda... in order to cover up all the yuck that makes me ashamed. I left some black here and there because in reality all those things are things I am working on. They cannot be covered up, Only through Jesus' grace and mercy can those things disappear.

I've been thinking a lot about my need for applause. I've heard that the oldest of the family has a tendency to seek approval and need the verbal affirmation that others in the birth order don't. Yes, I'm the oldest, and yes, I am learning that this is true of me....alas, still...at 50 years of age.

But I am learning that my worth is not bound up in what other's think of me. God created me to be me. My calling is to live in love with the One who made me. To share that love. To express that love in what I do and what I say. He is the One and Only.

My worth come from the One who made me.
My worth comes from Jesus who gave His life to make me perfect in His sight.
My worth is in Him.

Ah, the freedom that comes from Jesus. There is nothing like it.

I am His.

I am loved.

I am enough.

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