Are you an Ocean or a Mountain Person?

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

Thoughts on the Storms of Life🎨

Sometimes life takes us places we never dreamed we would go and sometimes those places are hard! I have friends who have suffered significant losses and injury in the last year. It has been a learning curve for all of us as we’ve seen the tides go out and watched waves crash over our castles of sand. But when we build on The Rock, regardless what storms brew around us, we are safe in the arms of our Savior. I pray you would trust Him: believe His Words are Truth for our lives. If we reach out to Jesus in faith, He will restore, redeem and renew that which was broken. And along with restoring, redeeming and renewing, will come REJOICING. “Rejoice and be glad, for our Lord has done marvelous things.” Joel 2:21

Promises from the Word of God on renewal.

The prayer below was written by Christian author and blogger, Jack Watts. Did you know him? He is the creative writer of a Blog called, Pushing Jesus. I’d like to share some powerful words he penned and I trust his message will speak to your heart wherever you find yourself today. This prayer speaks to me as I “give of my talents, my time, and energy” seeking to bless rather than be another clanging cymbal.

Father,  Allow me to serve others with a joyful heart; never keeping score; always giving; never expecting to receive.

Allow me to give of myself, to give of my talents and of my goods, to give of my time and of my energy, to give of my heart and of my soul.

Help me understand the needs of others, never criticizing, demeaning, scolding, or condemning.

You have been so gracious to me, always Loving, always forgiving, always restoring; never gloating over my defeats, even when I have been so wrong.

Father, keep a condemning spirit Far from my heart and further from my lips. Allow me to serve others as You serve, with gentleness, compassion, and tenderness,

Never diminishing the worth of another, choosing to extend mercy to the brokenhearted, Like You have repeatedly shown it to me, Amen. — Jack Watts

I have been painting watercolors for six years now. I have been writing a blog sharing my thoughts here on WordPress for one year now. Neither of these activities even crossed my mind prior to 2015. I am doing things I never imagined I would do, let alone writing words I’d share with the world. But evidently, God had a plan for me and I am praying my way through to be faithful to His leading.

The paintings above are just a few from my Ocean Breezes Collection mostly painted from photos taken in Kauai and Maui. The above tree, ”Off the Road to Hana” is a tree that we saw standing alone over a cliff that looks down upon the crashing waves below. It just struck me. I love this watercolor memory of a solitary sentinel standing firm amid the ocean breezes.

All my paintings are accessed through prayersandpaintbrushes.com which connects with the very creative website, Fine Art America. FAA makes my nearly 300 paintings available as framed prints (or canvas, paper, metal, wood), but also as throw pillows, hand towels, round towels, yoga mats, shower curtains, coffee mugs, spiral notebooks, stickers, T-shirts, note cards, tote bags and masks. Masks! Who would ever have imagined that one just a couple of years ago~

I am grateful for the encouragement I receive from my up close and personal as well as online friends. It is your feedback and kind words which keep me pulling out my paintbrushes.

Praying over you in whatever storm you may find yourself. May you find a sweet moment to bless you today.

ALOHA

Have you been to the “Islands”? An island? Or even just the beach? Most of the time just being there – wherever THERE is – is therapy for the soul: R&R. I have loved trying to capture the colors, but also the sound of the ocean. Can sound be captured with a paintbrush?! I honestly don’t know, but I’ve tried to capture the peace, relaxation and beauty of the ocean waves.

I invite you to envision one of these paintings on a coffee mug, on a wall in your home, on a throw pillow or a tote bag! All these are but a few of the many options on my wonderful website, Prayers and Paintbrushes at https://prayersandpaintbrushes in the Gallery section. The 300 paintings are also available as framed prints, on canvas, metal, wood or poster board. Let me know if you have a question, my friend.
THANK YOU for visiting my website!

I love the above painting of a solitary tree on a bluff overlooking the Pacific ocean. You can’t see the water from this vantage point, but as you walk to the tree you can hear then see it down below. I thought this was just magical! I is called Off the Road to Hana.

The painting below is a favorite because it was from the first trip to the islands, Kauai to be specific, that my husband and I made together. This painting is called, Kauai Hoaloha. I hadn’t been painting very long. This would probably look a bit different were I to paint it now. LOL

Aloha, my friends!

READY, SET, VOTE!!! (No, not THAT!)

I have been entered in an art contest with Fine Art America!

Life is short, do something crazy, enter a painting contest?!? Well, why not! I hope you will take a minute and vote for your favorite of the three paintings chosen! Here is a link to the contest. Please CLICK ->

The above is Cactus Flower
The above for Puppy Lovebug

The above is Off the Road to Hana

and these are the paintings that were entered. Please vote above and, of course, you can vote for someone else if you choose. In fact, you can vote 100 times, I believe. But only once for any of my paintings.

Let me know what you think. Was it hard, easy, fun, surprising, WAY too much trouble, or “why not bless someone today!”

Thank you for your time!

Tired? Worn Out? Burned Out?

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.

Cheryl