Beautiful destinations

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My family LOVES survival and natural monster shows.  I don’t even know the names of all of them they watch so many on NatGeo, History, Discovery, etc.  Nothing stops them in their tracks like somebody purposefully lost in a swamp, jungle of Costa Rica, or the forests of Alaska.  Seriously.  They love nothing more than seeing people eat bugs.

The cool thing is we see lots of beautiful places, learn some anthropology (River Monsters is actually excellent for this), survivalist techniques, geography, the scientific method, inventing,  and live vicariously through these people.  That is good tv.  And I really love when it coincides with something we learned in homeschooling.  Bonus!

I especially love the scenery.  It inspires me.  And the journey of it all.

I have been working on path/journey quotes for several clients recently.  In fact, four of my last major projects had this theme.  It makes sense, the journey of life is something that speaks to us all.

I have been writing about my own journey–and how my directions are all mixed up and I need to be centered again.  I love the above image because that is exactly what it shows.  A meandering path through a dry and desolate area, but it ends in the center of a lush green landscape.  A lot like the survivalists in the shows.  We all love when they catch that fish, find that civilization, or are even picked up by a helicopter.  Their faces are always joyous.    I know when I get my path figured out it will refill with joy.

Most of the survivalists do not have compasses to find their way.  They look to the sun.  To the light.  My light is Jesus.  He is my compass on my journey.  He will light my face with joy.  He is yours, too.  And whether they are faithful or not, He is guiding those survivalists as well.  Because, really we are all survivalists in this great big world.

Here’s hoping your paths are clear and destinations are beautiful.  That Jesus is lighting your way.  And that your suvival skills are honed in on Him.

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Light my path

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Jesus is with us.  He is trying so hard to light our paths, to direct us.  Sometimes it seems like there is a fog hiding the light doesn’t it?  Or maybe even the bulb burned out.  Then other times it feels like He has his brights on and is flashing like crazy in our eyes.  Seriously, there are times when I feel like he took the lamp and hit me over the head.  But then others, I feel like I missed the light switch and fell down the stairs.

You know that puzzle?  I am feeling the last example up there in this case.  I think He has been lighting my path all along and I just missed it.  So God finally took that lamp, not a gorgeous crystal one from West Elm, of course, but a nasty Goodwill one (that I can’t even repaint) and BROKE it right over my head.  BAM.  He was like, “Girlfriend, GET ON WITH IT!  HELLO!”

So no more dragging my feet.  The time has come to walk that yellow brick road of golden light.  The time has come to follow God’s plan and path, not my own.

Oh, Lordy, pray for me.  I will pray for you.  🙂  Maybe we walk our paths together.

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Looking for the puzzle pieces

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I am feeling torn in pieces lately.  I am feeling pulled in a lot of different directions.  In all reality, I know what I need to do, but I am having a hard time just doing it.  I know that when I finally do make the leap that I will find peace.

Life is like a big jigsaw puzzle isn’t it?  I have pieces that are marriage, children, family, friends, food, shelter.  I have pieces that are homeschooling, art, reading books.  I should have more pieces that are exercising.  I have pieces that are baseball, dance, art class, basketball that belong to my kids.  I have pieces that are cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry.  I have pieces that are Jeff’s company.  My faith is woven throughout, holding all the pieces together, but it also has pieces of it’s own.

I have a corner of my puzzle that is broken, a few pieces are lost.  I am frustrated looking for the solution.  How am I going to complete this puzzle?  Several of the other areas are just not fitting together right.  They are jumbled and I need to sit down, organize them, and put them back where they belong.  Or they made need new homes.

Ever feel that way?

What’s funny, is I painted this artwork last fall.  I put a little post it note on my blog calendar to share it today.  God is so great.  How did He know I would need to see this art today?  That I would need to reflect on this very thing?

I know what I am doing this afternoon now.  Of course, a nap is the first order of business, because really, one should never make big decisions without one.  🙂  But after that, I am going to sit down and REALLY prioritize and organize what needs to be done to make all the pieces fit together again.  I need peace.  I am ready for clarity.

Don’t we all?  I hope that you are able to align all of your pieces.  I hope the peace of Jesus floods through you and it all becomes clear.

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one name

the song:  The Only Name by Big Daddy Weave

the artwork:

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There is one name who saves us.  There was only one who died for us on the cross.  There is only one who rose again and is waiting for us in heaven.  There is only one who gives grace freely to those He created. Jesus.  Just that name.

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Jamie Grace

The song:  Hold Me by Jamie Grace

The artwork:IMG_0001

 

Hurrumph.  This is one of my all time favorites.  So, I made this artwork.  Hummed the song the entire time.  And then I put up the link, and realized.  I painted/wrote love me instead of hold me.  Oh well.  Guess I was thinking about the awesome love Jesus gives us as He holds us.  Anyway, another happy song that I adore belting out and dancing to.  I took the kids to see her a couple summers ago and she was awesome.  I am a die hard fan.  I want to see her in concert again.

You know God is holding all of us right?  Creating us, watching us, staying with us through it all.  Pretty darn cool.  Never are we alone.  Never does He stop loving us.  Never does He not hold us.  I love that promise.

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Amen

The song:  All the People Said Amen by Matt Maher

The artwork:  IMG_0007

 

I love that our church says this…and all God’s people say…and everyone exclaims AMEN.  The kids are the best, they all YELL it.  They high five Pastor Dorothy and say amen.  It is so happy, praise full, and we are one.  My kids say it at home after prayers.  Tanner wanders around saying it.

AMEN, amen, amen.  Such a simple word, but it means so much.  We agree, we accept, we believe, we will follow, we will go, we will serve, we will.  Amen.

 

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Inspired Changes–Finished Version

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Isn’t that an awesome concept?

We cannot change others.  But we can inspire them.  We can model other ways of thinking and doing.  The people who really influence others make the changes themselves first.  They show us how to be faithful, obedient, grateful, and so many other things.  I know this is a lesson I need all the time.  I want to “fix” things.  But really I need to step back and adjust myself first.

I read these two books this winter.  In some ways they were difficult to get through–but mostly because I needed to time to process and be influenced by these two amazing women.  These were not books to stay glued to for one night, but to be affected by over time.

  Left to Tell  Brain on Fire

These women are survivors, one of a holocaust and the other of mental illness brought on suddenly by sickness.  They made it through.  And they came out stronger.  They have now written books to influence others to make changes in their lives for the better.  I highly recommend both books.  I know these are two influential women in my life who have inspired me.

 

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My Lighthouse

Today is:  My Lighthouse by Rend Collective  You have to listen, and clap, and maybe do a polka with it.  I mean YOU HAVE TO.  I am not kidding, or at least I have to.  It goes back to that always dancing and singing thing for me.

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God is my light…I now think of Him in yellow.  Really, I do.  And there have been so many times in my life of darkness and it has been His Light that truly has saved me and led me back to the safe path. Anytime I see sun rays shining down through a cloud I think of God.  And angels. Bright blue skies make me want to raise my hands and praise God for shining that day. The sun’s rays of light and warmth mark our days, make the moon shine, the waters flow, living things grow.  That is a lot of power.  That is God.  Power, light, growth, warmth, LIFE.

LIFE, people.

Follow it safely to your own shore.  Go  forth and let it shine from you.  🙂

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Do something

Here is the link to today’s song:  Do Something by Matthew West .  I figured out how to make the title the link.

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This is sort of the theme at our church right now.  We are calling everyone to think about what we can each do, no matter how small or how big, to share the word of God and to build His church.  Pastor Dorothy talked about how we can start with just kind words and letting  our faith be visible, and move up from there.  I also loved a couple of the examples she gave:  of water that needs to flow freely to stay healthy, or if it is dammed up it can become toxic to itself and of protecting and hiding our valuables, including our talents, or else they end up unused for their intended purpose.  It is time to risk our pride/dignity/confidence and make sure that the world is hearing about God’s worth and the power of a relationship with Jesus, and we need to DO SOMETHING about it.  DO SOMETHING.  ANYTHING.

(Yes, I take notes during sermons…you never know when a good art piece idea or blog might happen!)

 

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thrive

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Link:  Thrive by Casting Crowns  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ71RWJhS_M&hd=1

This song speaks to me in so many ways:  I love the melody, the music style.  But the lyrics are so incredibly powerful.  So encouraging.  Perfect for every single day.  But encouraging to me on my journey from depression to joy–my journey sharing my art–my journey with my church.  I want to THRIVE.

 ***Jeff just asked if I had blogged about the beginning of baseball.  Hmmm.  No.    We have already watched five Twins games.  Jeff, Annika, and Tanner are sucked in to little league and the bigs.  We will have their full attention again after the series in October.  So there, I just blogged about baseball.  Job complete.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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God Makes Everything Glorious

The start of the Music Collection

 I LOVE music.  I am that crazy woman you see rocking out in her car at the stoplight, who is whistling in the parking lot, singing under my breath in stores, dancing in my backyard.  So if those places why not hands up at church bouncing more than the kids to the beat.

 Ok, I admit it.  I dance and sing everywhere.  EVERY where.   I cannot help it.

This is the first in several art pieces I am going to share with you that have been inspired by music.  Some are old, some I am doing specifically for this series.  And each one will have a link underneath for you to listen.  🙂

And dance.  You really should dance.

With out further ado, #1.
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Go to here to hear the song:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81dK2Vu1IUs&hd=1

David Crowder

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Other Christians

IMG_0003I think I came across this a while ago in my devotions.  I have been thinking a lot about different churches, different religions, different Christian faiths. We are all such different individuals.  Our needs are so different.  We all have different love languages.  Why shouldn’t our faith be different?  Why isn’t it okay among Christians to respect those different needs?

And why shouldn’t we spend time with non Christians, non believers. Even those of different denominations.  Learn, share, and encourage each other.

Jesus did.

He even said.  It will not matter when it comes to judgement.  Because the person who believed for one day is as important as the life long Christian.  Jesus is not partial.

How awesome is that? On the days that I question if my belief is strong enough, “right” enough, vocal enough, service enough I can come back to this. God wants us ALL.  No matter what.  He knows what my needs are.  He knows what I am capable of.  And He accepts that.

And the same goes for you.

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Its Lent

IMG_0001It is lent–that church calendar time when we prepare for Easter. I am not giving up anything–well, I am trying to cut down on my sugar intake. Instead, I am adding–to my faith through study, art, and writing.   My relationship with God is more personal, deeper, more…dare I say fun.  

I feel closer to Jesus than ever.  And sharing that love, that relationship is uplifting.  He knew that it would be…that is why he encourages us to share!  I am sure of that now.  Not to preach and judge.  But to bring this super cool deep feeling of love and acceptance to ourselves and others.

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Gratitude in Obedience

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So this is the Part two to God’s top ten.  THIS is why we try.  This is why we stretch to be who God wants us to be.  This is why we learn more about His Word, to learn more of how to stretch.  And to be reminded constantly that we are rewarded for trying to be obedient.  Gold stars for us–in GRACE.

How amazing is it that God understands?How amazing is it that He still wants us and loves us?

That Jesus came, died, and rose again because He planned on us messing up and needing that grace? How can we not be absolutely Grateful for that??So amazingly cool.

What a crazy awesome gift, Grace.  I know I am grateful from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.  I know it makes me want to give a gift back to God.    And all He asks for in return is Faith.  Belief.  The least we can do is Obey.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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