Walking through a valley

Ballet at Sunset

This has been a difficult week. Much in my life has been shaken and tilted and each day has been an exhausting and emotional spiritual rollercoaster. The stress has forced me to consider where my strength comes from, where my hope lies, and how much I trust God as He walks me through the inevitable valleys and chaos of life.

God has blessed me. He gave me a whole new life at a time when most people are winding down the one they’ve had all along! I look back on the last 7 years of my life in astonishment at how different they are than the many years before. One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I knew from my heart this meant that God loves us, hears us, KNOWS us, and pays attention to our deepest longings. He is not a genie anxious to grant us every passing wish. He is a Heavenly Father loving on His children. And God blessed me with a husband and a life I never could have dreamed in times past.

This week I’ve had to trust my man to Jesus to do what I cannot do, to heal what I cannot fix and to restore him to health. It has been stressful and I’ve had many anxious moments. He is slowly coming back, but it is a process. I wanted to share this because so many are struggling for so many reasons. If you are hurting, you are not alone! If you are anxious, I certainly can understand. We are often faced with unimaginable circumstances and find ourselves feeling so unprepared for where we find ourselves. This is where I’ve found myself this week.

God’s Word holds countless promises to encourage us in our struggles. We live in unprecedented times and regardless of our circumstances are unsettled by the turmoil and chaos around us. So I invite you to join me, whatever battle you fight, to seek His face, soak in His Word and claim His promises for the valleys you walk – and I walk – today.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:6-7

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Therefore, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time. Casting all your anxiety upon Him for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6, 7

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

Fur friends

Especially in these days of lockdown and social distancing, furry and feathered friends have been some of our only constant and ever-present companions. It has been a blessing to have had several opportunities to capture special memories of beloved pets with my paintbrushes.

Not every photograph a painting can make, so to speak. But you know when you find just the perfect shot -and you wish you could save it forever. Well, you can. And I would be honored to have the opportunity to try to bring that happy moment to life and continually bring a smile to your face as you see it on your wall.

I love watercolor! It fills my empty time and spaces and gives me a sense of mission and productivity. When the whole world seems to be shutting down and locking us out, it offers a sense of hope to have something positive to engage in. For me, it is with my paintbrushes.

What, I wonder brings mission and fulfillment to you? Journalling, calling and encouraging friends and family, reading? I’d love to know. And, should you have just the right photographic memory you have always wished you could bring to life, I hope you will message me and give me a chance to speak with you.

Find what brings you joy and be blessed to be a blessing.

Art Prints

Thank You, Lord

Lord, thank You for Your great, unmerited and undeserved love of us. Because so many don’t believe the name Jesus has any eternal meaning other than an exclamation of frustration, I still feel blessed that I know and trust who You are – and I’m grateful! We thank You for the gift of faith. Such as it is. Weak as it sometimes is. Flawed and misled, surely. But we trust Your watchcare over us on our journey through life. And we pray in the POWER of Jesus’ name.

Thank You for our health, such as it is with our age, our “issues”,“conditions” and even our viruses. We thank You that, for the most part, this infamous Virus is usually not terribly severe and there are even now treatments that work. But nonetheless, this virus has wreaked havoc on our entire world. So we ask for Your helping hand. I would be remiss not to thank You for our first responders as well, Lord. We are blessed to have access to physicians, police, fire and others when we need them. Where would we be without them on duty watching out and caring for us! Especially now, we pray for them in the stress of their work environment these days.

Thank You for relationships, Lord. They have certainly taken a hit lately as we’ve been so locked down and limited in our ability to get together. But we are grateful for the gift of friends, family, and community who enrich and bless our lives. I pray we would be more mindful to reach out via our electronic devices and stay in touch. We need one another. Remind us to listen to that still, small voice whispering the name of someone who might desperately need to hear from a caring friend or neighbor. I pray we might be a voice of encouragement to someone who badly needs a positive word.

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the (message of the) Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

Cards on sale all day Nov 16

Cactus Flower

Have you visited The Gallery at Prayers and Paintbrushes? I would like to open the doors to this magical website for you and give you a glimpse what you will discover. You will find yourself on the Wall Art page where all my art is grouped in Collections. As you click on one that catches your eye, it will open to reveal all the paintings in that gallery. On the right side of the page you will see all the product options available to you

I invite you to take a few minutes to consider a very special, customizable gift for someone special, or maybe for yourself! All my art can be printed as cards and come with envelopes. These cards can be printed vertically or horizontally as best fits the art, you can minimize them and add a custom border should you wish, and you can create a text on the inside if you choose.

All cards are on sale at 25% off all day November 16 only. In addition, we always have spiral notebooks, tote bags, coffee mugs, throw pillows, ZIGSAW PUZZLES, and more available. So put your feet up, grab a cup of coffee and a notepad so you can write down your favorites (!) and spend a few comfortable minutes with Prayers and Paintbrushes Gallery. No masks required! I hope you will enjoy your time spent and that you might comment on any of your special favorites or, leave a note here on my blog. That would be such a blessing to me and I pray to you as well!