Everyone seems to be drawn to one or the other. I suppose there are some of us who are drawn to the desert as well (who would have ever thought), but usually when you take off for parts unknown it is to the beaches or to the high places.
Here are some of my paintings from my Gallery entitled Ocean Breezes
Arizona does have mountains so I share some of these with you as well. I invite you to take a look at some more of my Arizona Dreaming gallery.
Praying for you as you start this new year! Believe good things for your life, step out in faith, trust the Lord and seek after the direction that tugs on your heart.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Arizona is beautiful! We have at least one of the wonders of the world with the Grand Canyon, but also have countless lakes, mountains, incredible rock formations, beautiful winter and spring weather, and, when summer shows up, we have heat like you can’t believe unless you’ve lived here! This week the heat showed up and 110 degrees in the shade is pretty HOT, thank you very much! I am thankful for air conditioning and a keyless car. I remember when I’d need a potholder in order to start my car without burning my fingers. Of course I still have to cover my steering wheel or I’ll burn my hands on that!
But I didn’t want to write this to complain. I love Arizona and thought it would be fun to share some of my Arizona paintings. I have shared a few of them with my recent trip to Sedona, but I have painted others as well. For those of you who love the desert, I hope you will enjoy these views of my home state. I’m about to start painting a few new ones from my trip. Maybe these will inspire me.🎨
Today I had a dear friend over who is finding some joy and respite doing watercolors with me. I hardly feel qualified to teach as I am still learning myself! I imagine this is a lifelong learning process. But what a joy to show some of the tricks I’ve learned and how to look at a grey sky and instead see purple and blue. I’m a long way from even thinking of starting a YouTube channel, LOL! But painting over 300 watercolors, illustrating 4 children’s books, being written up in a national magazine, and writing a blog was never on my radar at ALL! I can absolutely assure you of that.
I write and share to ENCOURAGE ANYONE who feels the best of life is behind them. That is not true at all. Keep on keeping on. PRAY! Seek the wisdom and direction of God Himself to help you find what might be a totally new direction. Turn off the nightly news and find hope and direction in the Good News of the Bible. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Find your passion, be blessed to be a blessing, TURN from the darkness, shine LIGHT✨and His light will shine on you.
This morning our pastor spoke on God’s model for mankind to take a day of rest as He rested on the 7th day. I have to confess something. . . I haven’t been very good at that~ I tend to be a bit of a social butterfly, I must admit. I flit from one event or project to another desperately trying to keep track of what day it is and what it is I am supposed to be doing on whatever day it is.
We are all VERY different. Not everyone lives in hyperdrive. But this morning I considered something I had forgotten. God modeled a day to cease from our striving and to rest. We don’t have to push every day! We can celebrate life, celebrate God’s creation – or take a nap! I loved reading Matthew 11:28-30 in the Message translation.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
Being burned out on religion is VERY common. It is all-pervasive in our world. Religion is striving and doing and effort. Faith is trust, believing, and resting – resting in what Jesus has done for us – in His “unforced rhythms of grace.” We are unable to do what Christ has done with all our “religious effort.” God came to earth and took on humanity forsaking His deity. And He willingly endured the agonizing penalty of all our sin on our behalf. All He asks is that we trust and walk with Him.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16. 17
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
The translation I am most familiar with of the above verse is “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
You may find rest listening to the pounding of ocean waves, watching the changing colors of a sunset, or watching the movement of shadows as the sun moves across the sky. You may find it in a treasured book. The desert, the mountains or the oceans may be your happy place. But even when we can’t be there, God has asked us to take a break, to rest. I invite you to give yourself permission to practice the discipline of rest. It may not be a Sunday for you. But devote a day to abstaining from the turmoils of busyness and walk humbly with your God, and you will find rest for your soul.