WHAT IS YOUR STORY? And WHO is editing YOUR story, anyway?

Maybe you are a “partier” who loves to dress in bright colors and dance the night away. Maybe you’d rather sit quietly with a mocha and a good book. You might be the one who finds joy in making or listening to music and process life through the power of melody. It is always a relief and a joy when we can return to what gives us comfort and relaxation. Regardless of which personality you identify with, you are not able to be that person 24/7. The loves of your life find place in your day but do not own your day. Life has a way of pulling us in many different and often painful directions.

Whether you are walking in sunlight, nightlight, or ”beach light”, you do not walk alone. If your life is painful, stressful or fearful, look up. Reach up! and fall to your knees in prayer. Ask the Orchestrator of all that is, to guide you on whatever path you find yourself.
Life is a journey. And ”it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” Don’t quit! Don’t lose hope! In these very different days we are living in, do not crawl down a rabbit hole and get lost in the chaos and darkness. There is Hope and direction to be found in the person of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, He IS. The world tells you He is not. But there is very little truth to be found in the voices clamoring for attention in our world. Consider these words written so very long ago yet filled with truth and hope for the ages:

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isa 26:3

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

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.”    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.”    Psalms‬ ‭34:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I tried to edit the life stories of those I loved as I was a younger person. I didn’t want them to suffer harm or hurt, and if I could FIX IT, I would try to do that. Many years and much personal pain and loss later, I learned that I am not the one who can fix anything! But I know the One who can. I pray and entrust those I love to my Savior. I give what I can’t handle straight to the loving arms of God and say, ”This is YOURS, Lord. These problems are way out of my league. So I give them to You.”

Whatever season in which you find yourself today, I encourage you to trust the Lord even in your lack of faith. Even if you have never considered that faith in God can change your life, TRUST HIM. He just may change the direction of your life in ways you could never have imagined.

“…to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power (HIS POWER✨) that works in us,” Ephesians‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I never could have dreamed I would have a platform where I might speak into YOUR life. I certainly never imagined I would paint watercolors that could appear on someone’s coffee mug or throw pillow. It was beyond any expectation that my life would have gone from such a very painful place to the birth of Prayers and Paintbrushes. But God had a plan so I just held on tight and BELIEVED HIM for what I never could have imagined.

Praying for you to find HOPE this day.


ARIZONA

I have included above only 9 of 65 paintings featuring the colorful state of Arizona in my Arizona Dreaming Gallery. I invite you to visit my GALLERY. Take a digital walk around and see if you might find a view that speaks to your heart. Below are two of my favorites.

Today the sky is overcast and that is a wonderful September Surprise for us this morning. Will we have rain – even Weatherbug can’t answer that question until the first drops actually fall. God knows. He, after all, oversees weather:

For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ And to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong.’ Job 37:6

He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalm 107:29

So I pray peace over you this day – wherever you find yourself and in whatever climate. And, should your day allow you the opportunity, stop by and wander among the red rocks, quaking aspens, and spiny cactus of my GALLERY. You will be welcomed.

Seek joy today

WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

All Aboard

My husband and I were so fortunate to spend two weeks in Colorado last month. We had a wonderful time walking, touring and bike-riding all over beautiful, charming Breckenridge for one week, then driving south through Salida (very fun and pretty) to Pagosa Springs. From there we took a touring bus to the old mining town of Silverton. There we boarded and rode the wonderful Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway back to Durango. I had never taken this trip before and it was more than I had ever imagined! Even the sounds were thrilling – listening to the clickety-clack of the heavy train over the rails, the haunting call of the train whistle, the sounds of the Animas River below. My husband, who loves me almost as much as he loves his camera, hung out the back of the train and took amazing photographs – this being one of them. So I had to paint this as a gift for him. But you can have it as well on my website by clicking on the All Aboard link above.

We don’t always get to GO some place to escape from everyday life. It was a blessing for us to have this precious time away seeing new things and having new experiences. And we are grateful! Most of the time we continue hammering on with our everyday jobs, regardless what they are. Whether we stay or wherever we go, ‘there we are’ — We cannot escape ourselves and often, we drag the worries and burdens along with us. And, in case we forget them for a few minutes, we turn on the TV or pick up the phone, and there they are again.

So, today I share wiith you a beautiful place and a different landscape. I invite you to listen to the echo of the train whistle, hear the metallic sounds of the train riding the rails, enjoy the soothing sound of the rushing river below and realize this too is part of our world – beauty and peace. Let’s celebrate the beauty all around and turn off the cacophony of dissenting voices and differing opinions for just a little bit.

Shut your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath, SEEK GOD~ Reach out to Him and grab onto His robe. Maybe you can find no words – and that is okay! “Be still and know that I AM God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted on the earth.” Psalm 46:10. If you are struggling with your present, with your future – or your past; if you are uncertain of where you are going and how you will get there – take a step of faith and TRUST JESUS, who came to purchase our ticket complete with a passport to Heaven.

The stamps on our passport read:

Paid in Full. Name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

For God SO LOVED the world that He sent His only Son so that whoever would believe in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life. 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     

It is not what you have done or even could do that matters. What matters is what Jesus has done for you – and His gift which cost Him everything, is a free gift. RECEIVE IT with gratitude and repentence. And you will start on a new destination.\

All Aboard✨

In This World You Will Have Tribulation

But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. These are the words of Jesus Christ, spoken to His disciples about the “end of the age” in John 16:33. The end of the age seems to be getting closer by the minute. The news is not good, the state of our country and our world so discouraging.

SO, I cling to the hope that these times are no surprise to the Creator and Author of The Book. The Bible warns us from cover to cover of how things would look as we neared the times most famously illustrated in the book of Revelation…but don’t skip Isaiah, Ezekial, Daniel, or Romans just to name a few.

Desiring to seek to encourage and brighten a dark world as best I am able, I point to Jesus for truth and hope. But I also share my watercolors because it is my gift to hopefully shower some brightness and color into your world. Know that as I share these words, there are heavy prayers in my heart – for miracles and for redemption – to flood in every direction. Jesus’ name is POWERFUL! His is the only name people swear by, have you ever considered that? There is a reason – and it is because there is great power in His name. So I pray, in JESUS’ NAME, for the healing of our land and the future of our world. Amen✨

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

Power in Weakness

I felt vulnerable and discouraged a couple of times this past week. I’s not as if anything threatening was happening. But life sideswiped me. Maybe you can relate.

I read something Sunday morning that I’d seen before, but this day it just jumped off the page at me. Think about a personal message to you from God Himself! Wouldn’t that just get your attention and make you perk up your ears?! The Apostle Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians tells us that at one time many years prior, God spoke to him and said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9 NIV Think about the Creator God, our Lord and Savior, telling you that His incredible, unimaginable power works best or is perfected in and through us in our weakness. And here we are trying so hard to fix things, to strive, to earn His love (and maybe the favor of others~) And all the while, He says – No. It’s not in your power but in mine. Oh! What freedom that brings. Let go of your problems, let God help you solve them. I took comfort in those words and share them with you this morning. It made me feel safe to accept what I can’t change, realizing He can, in His time. Maybe His power is most visible as we just let go of what holds us back. Lord, help us to rest in and trust You more. Blue Moon

Praying these paintings make you smile for those moments you might feel “sideswiped” by life.

Cool water views for our hot weather! These watercolor views speak peace to me. Beaches, bays, waterfalls, rivers. For the moment I can dream. Do you have a favorite? What sound is comfort to your mind – waves crashing on the shore, the steady splashing of a waterfall, the bubbling of a creek? Paintbrushes don’t come complete with sound, but they manage to take me away for a little while.

Praying you find His strength where you might feel weakness this day.

Cheryl