PEN and PAINTBRUSH

This was a VERY fun picture to paint. It’s my granddaughter, can you tell? She loves music, her guitar, and definitely her coffee. She’s not a baby any more but she’ll always be my sweet Sara. This painting makes me smile and I hope it makes her smile as well.

As much as this is a watercolor “portrait,” it certainly doesn’t define all that makes her who she is any more than any photograph captures the reality of what the camera captures. Most of the time we crop out the bad parts, photoshop the good, and discard the rest. A painting as with a photo, gives us a lasting view of a memory or emotion we can treasure, and sometimes it will make us smile. That is always my hope. Love Song and Latté captures just some of what makes her so precious to me.

We ALL have something we can do to bless someone else: a phone call, an email, a text, a card (and I WILL paint custom cards should you wish~) a lunch date, a glass of wine – or a latté!

I never thought I would paint watercolors and certainly not for such a long stretch of time! I have done over 350 paintings. Every painting has challenged me and will, I hope, bless someone.

Here are more of my Pen and Paintbrush paintings.

Seek to be a blessing to someone today.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Cheryl

Prayers, Paintbrushes and Piano Keys!

I was wondering if I should change the name of my website to ”Prayers, Paintbrushes and Piano Keys” this week. Doesn’t it just have a ring to it? Of course I won’t change it, 🤩 but I share this with joy because like so many, I missed so much of my life this past year. This week I was invited to be at the piano a bit more often for our traditional church worship time as we slowly bring back Choir, Music! Singing! 🎶 Celebrating Jesus and celebrating life! ✨ A week from Sunday we celebrate Easter and His resurrection. This majestic celebration brings such JOY to so many as we raise our voices together in song!

I love being busy, and I wonder if you can relate —-? All has been so quiet on so many fronts for so long, but it seems it is beginning to change. Do you see it? Do you feel a frisson (I love that word!) of joy surprising you lately? There are people out walking and occasionally smiling (with teeth!), there are cars in parking lots, small groups at restaurants, and life seems to be returning to normal in some ways, at least in our communities. It is so encouraging! SPRING is BRINGING a NEW RESURRECTION this year🌻 with hope for a return to maybe a “new normal.” We hope for reconnections with family and friends, a NEW APPRECIATION for relationships, for activities, for life itself that seemed to drain away with each passing month in this last difficult year of 2020.

In this beautiful springtime, I will live my life with newfound hope. I will start by polishing my piano keys and leading people back into singing, worshiping, and making a joyful noise to the Lord. I will also pull out my paintbrushes now and again to try to capture a bit of the majesty of our Creator in our world. I will Attempt to encourage those the Lord has given me, to enjoy this spring season of life and hope.

For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. . .”” 1 Peter‬ ‭3:10-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What is YOUR Music? What have you almost forgotten this past year that you need to remember or relearn? I confess I need to relearn walking, moving, YOGA – oh my gosh- I miss yoga! There are so many things that seemed to be taken from us. But we can all take babysteps. I pray each of us would begin the process of healing by looking UP and OUT and reaching a hand to help someone up from their darkness. We also might seek to give ourselves permission to live our lives and to find JOY and WONDER in the process. Many have been lost in all that this last year has wrought, and we remember and seek to comfort those who grieve. For those of us who remain, we ask that we might celebrate the gift of life and the amazing Truth of Resurrection as we move forward one baby step at a time.

Praying blessings and a Song of Spring over you today.

A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven

What is this life about anyway? Several mornings I’ve started my day wondering what I’m supposed to be doing, and why, for goodness sake! People still tussle: is it safe to ___? my rights vs the “greater good”? VAX or no? When can I take this mask off? I confess I’ve had to have lots of heart to heart talks with myself these days! I’ve had to do some serious digging into my Control Issues Department. Can anyone relate? Are you singing along with me, “Let It Go, Let it Go~”🎶

Where do you find joy these days? Where do you find purpose? What keeps you keeping on when times are stressful and uncertain?

Sit quietly, close your eyes, taste that latté you are drinking, hear the sounds of life around you or intentionally shut them out for quiet, and ask the Lord to come join you where you are in this present moment. Give Him your weariness and discouragement and ask Him for purpose and strength for this day.

Who do I know that is struggling, lonely or hurting, who is discouraged, or needs a hand reaching out or incoming friendly text or voice? Maybe someone needs to talk and, more importantly, needs me to listen and to care about them.

Maybe I need respite. Sing or play joyful music, share a latté with a friend, take a walk and smell the roses. Life is short – we have only this moment and our hopes for tomorrow.

New Every Morning

I paint watercolors because it gives me purpose and joy. It also takes me out of myself, and sometimes getting out of ourselves is just where we need to be. Reading a good book also does that. I recommend Jan Karon’s wonderful Mitford series, starting with “At Home in Mitford”. Rereading it has brought me a remembered and treasured joy. Her writing brings some fresh perspectives on difficult times. I hope you might enjoy this treasured series.

But the best way to get out of myself is by getting into God’s Word. We desperately need to refesh our soul and spirit, and the Bible, God’s love story to us, is the best resource available to us. Packed with stories of flawed people as they were used by God, we find wisdom, truth and hope. And through it all, we find the sacrificial love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. When He was asked what were the most important commandments, Jesus said to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
‭Mark‬ ‭12:30-31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Help us to love You, Lord, first and foremost, as we seek to find meaning and purpose in our days. Sometimes difficulties hijack our emotions and it is a struggle to climb out of discouragement. But you said the needs of our neighbor (friend, family, community) are as great and oftentimes greater than our own. Help us to take good, wise care of ourselves! But, also give us the strength and the courage to reach out to and love on others who You have put on our hearts. This road we walk called Life, is sometimes dark and discouraging, but You are always by our side and eternally Faithful.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”   ‭‭Phil ‭4:13‬ ‭

Thank You for Your strength, Your purpose, and Your great Love Story guiding us through, Heavenly Father. Help us to keep on keeping on!