Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Do You Hope Or Do You Trust?

Reprint from 2011.  Art added today.

Pen and Ink
Original Not Available.  Prints Any Size.

Hope Versus Trust

Have you ever pondered the difference in Hope and Trust?  Three times in the last couple of weeks, out of the blue, "hoping" versus "trusting" has popped up....on a TV program, in a totally unrelated novel, and from a friend.  I don't know about you but when something shows up for me that frequently I pay attention.  I think a message is trying to get through and I don't want to miss it.

Think about how often you use the word 'hope'.....not in a heavy, serious way...just in everyday conversation.  If you have a "big issue" going on in your life right now, I bet you use the word "hope" even more often.  Casually, we hope for something, meaning we wish for it.   It's a "wouldn't it be nice" kind of thought.  Or it could be more of a desperate desire.

Hope is saying, "I really want this.  Maybe it'll happen.  But I know it may not."

"Trust" carries a totally different message.  When I trust that something will go a certain way, I am knowing at a deeper level.  Some might call that Faith.  Or Confidence.  Or just Knowing.  When I trust, I am willing to let go of my fears, my worries, my "what ifs" and replace those feelings of upset with peace, with calmness, with certainty that the bigger picture is "all good".

Obviously there is so much more going on than any of us could possibly imagine.  We can worry about the unknown, fret, wish, and hope.  Or we can give our heart to the good and relax into Trust, knowing that all is well in the big picture.

So, guess what I am working on these days?  Whenever a concern, large or small, comes up I am consciously choosing to Trust that all is well, that things will work out, that God has a plan much better than I can imagine.  It's been said that "Worry is the misuse of imagination."  Why not use that imagination in a more positive way and imagine it "turning out for the best".

Simple, as they say, but maybe not always so easy.  It is our choice though, isn't it.

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

An Angel Kind of Day

Angel Glitter
8x10 Collage On Canvas

I don't even remember all the mediums I used to make this Sky Angel.   She's a little bit of everything.  I like having her around to remind me of all the earth angels and heavenly angels in our lives.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Three Churches Again

Note:  This is a repeat and edited post from several years that really touches my own heart.  Maybe it will touch yours too.

It's true.  I have three churches. 

Original Oil Not For Sale.  Prints Available.  Email me.

 Many people have one church.  Their lives may even center around that church and what it offers them.  Other people have  no church.  There are many un-churched among us....for a whole lot of different reasons.  Me?  I have, at various times in my life, been in both of those categories.  Now I am at the other end of the spectrum and I really do have three churches.

One of my churches is the one I attended today.  It is really my mother's church...a very traditional mainline denomination.  It's Methodist; not the actual church of my childhood but the denomination of my childhood.  Since Mother is unable to get there under her own steam, and since it's vital that she see her friends and stay connected to her "heart place", I take her a couple times a month.  You know, honestly, I wasn't crazy about this idea at first.  I did it anyway, and must admit, over this year, I have come to feel that Fayetteville First United Methodist is indeed 'my church'.  I know the faces, I am at home there. They have a good message.  The Methodist Church is in my DNA and I am grateful for that.

Then there is my second church, my neighborhood church, my convenient church, the one close to my house where I, and occasionally my husband, go when we can.  We like being a part of where we live, knowing the flavor of the community, being a part of  outreach right here...rather than in Africa or Bangladesh.  This church gives us a backpack to fill for a child when school starts, and packs the altar with thick, new, wool blankets and socks in the winter for anyone  living on the streets on cold nights...and feeds the hungry in the big person.

My third church is, well, the church where I grew new spiritual legs.  It's the nontraditional church, too far to drive every Sunday, where I stretched to learn new things, where I am inspired, where I grow and expand.  The church where I really learned about unconditional love and forgiveness, about our Oneness with God, where I learned to trust the process and surrender to the God of my understanding, to see the gift, always.  

It's all good.  I love all my churches. They all contribute to who I am.  They all inspire me to be better.  I really hope God doesn't see fit to put a 4th church in my path.....I mean really.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Do You Listen To Your Head Or Your Heart?

It is completely foolish not to consult your head before making decisions.  Everyone would agree with that.

It is even "more completely" foolish not to consult your heart, too.  

Isn't it nice when they agree?

If they don't.....I the wisdom of my later years.....consult your head and respect what it says.  Then let your heart make the final decision.  Yep, that is what I say.  

6" x 6" Print Calligraphy

February is Heart Health Month.  Take care of your heart.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Planting Seeds and Planting Thoughts

Now that the ice and snow are gone from the deep South we are claiming every nice, blue-sky beautiful day as a big step toward Spring.  It's a little cool today but definitely on the Spring side of things.

Last week, after learning that scanning my artwork produces much better results than photographing it, I had a lot of scanning to do.  I unearthed this little watercolor practice piece and am giving it new life.   It was in a drawer way too long! Years ago I painted it when I was thinking of my father-in-law. 

 J.C. was a farmer his whole life.  He grew a lot of seed corn, soybeans and tobacco, and sometimes raised hogs.  He loved what he did.  I remember making this art with him in mind one day, and unless he had ESP, he never even knew it. 

 Why do we not tell someone that they have been in our thoughts,  that we respect them,  that we admire them?  I could have even given this to him.  Then maybe it would have been found among his prized possessions instead of in a pile of junk in my closet with it's voice still in it.

Watercolor and Ink Calligraphy

Friday, February 7, 2014

What Is Going On With Me Today

This is more a diary entry for today than a regular post.  I realize my blog is my journal, a record of what is on my mind.  Maybe I should have it private so as not to bore the world.....but not right now.  Too many other things take first place over making that change.  So...

1.  I am realizing I need to know more about photography and getting good images of my art and anything else I post.  This morning I took a lot of pictures the shade, sun at my back, sun on the object, to compare and learn what works best.  If I do this at various times during the day, I will find what works best.  Please share with me any photography tips/guidelines you use.

2.  Do you use Dropbox?  I am learning to use it and I love it!  Now whenever I take a picture with my phone, the photo "automatically" finds it's way to my laptop.  It seems like a miracle to me.  I took a picture this morning.  Then got ready to import it to my computer a few minutes later only to find it was already there.  A miracle, I tell you.  You must download Dropbox (free) and then, it seems, the rest is magic.

3.  Later today I will be packing for Denver.  Leaving in the morning for a quick trip to see my son and meet his fiancee.  Excited does not even begin to describe me right now.  We are only staying two nights this time.  I will be on my best behavior and can't wait to give her (and John) a big hug.

4.  Last night was Jay Leno's last show after 22 years.  I love watching "last shows" when someone says goodbye to a part of themselves they have shared with us for a very long time.  When Oprah left her show, I was watching.  When Regis left his show, I was watching.  When Larry King left his show, I was watching.  And, I tell you, Leno's was the best yet.  Try to catch it online if you least his last 5 minutes of comments.  It was entertaining with Carole Burnett, Oprah, Jack Black, Garth Brooks, and others....So good.  As you would expect, he was very open and expressive saying goodbye.  I love it when a grown man knows he can cry and still be strong.  And his last comments?  "I'm on my way home, Babe."  Sweet.

5.  While watching American Idol and Jay Leno I picked up a pencil and tried my hand at portrait sketching.  Here is what I came up with.  These are two children I know very husband and me.  I am not saying they bear the slightest resemblance to us but that is who they are!

6.  Had a wonderful devotional time this morning which led me to my next "work of art".  It will be a compilation of powerful statements that are true universal principles and also are Bible based.  Practical spirituality that imparts a powerful message.  I will surely share it when I finish it.  And I promise you it will make you feel like a million bucks.  Yep, the truth shall surely set you free.

7.  Enough for now.  Can't wait to see what comes up in the rest of the day.  I know it is going to be a good one!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Good For The Heart

Isn't it nice when we like what research proves to be true?  We like it that chocolate and an occasional glass of wine are good things for our health.  We like that Extra gum and Trident sweetened with Xylitol are good for our teeth, and that both a little sunshine and a lot of laughter make us healthier.  We like that having a pet to love and care for...and love us good for us.

And we love that having friends is a very healthy thing to do.  Laughing together, sharing secrets, playing, praying and generally having a "go to" group when you need them is good for the heart!

So here's to our friends this Valentine's Season.  If you have a friend you've lost touch with, this month just might be the perfect time to be in touch.

Friends are like balloons;

Once you let them go, you might not get them

back. Sometimes we get so busy with our own

lives and problems that we may not even notice

that we've let them fly away. Sometimes we are so

caught up in who's right and who's wrong that we

forget what's right and wrong.. Sometimes we just

don't realize what real friendship means until it

is too late. I don't want to let that happen so

I'm going to tie you to my heart so I never lose

you.  (Source Unknown)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Original Mixed Media Valentine "Card" With Handwritten Love Letter Inside

Had no idea where this was going but just had a ball playing with hot colors, layering, and filling with messages.  The photos don't do it justice.  The sheen you see?  It's a glaze.  I like shiny sometimes and it gives it a protective finish as well.  And the fat gold ribbon you don't see ties it all together with a splash.

Part of Front Cover

Bottom Of Front Cover
Original watercolor pair from another project found it's way here.  And sweet little girl dress collage piece found a new home too.  Great way to recycle your art stash.
Goodies tucked inside envelope

Messages and more messages and ways to say "I Love you!"
A Little Collage With 1" Art

Oh my goodness!  A real old fashioned love letter has found it's way here too. 
You'll find it tucked inside a second envelope pocket to be discovered by the lucky recipient.

Handwritten Love Letter Tucked Inside Another Envelope
Back Cover 
Tags Inside
Special Place for The Love Letter

All this loveliness and fun is tied with a beautifully sheer ribbon and "Be My Valentine" tag.
I had fun, sticky fingers, paint everywhere when I made this.  I recycled so much stuff and I love doing that.  Instead of the trash, it is all a hot hit!