Searching for Beautiful

Looking for Beautiful

I painted this from a photo I took while in Bisbee, Arizona about five years ago. What a charming little mining town it is! We were walking down the old streets near the Copper Queen Hotel and I saw the most beautiful garden. It just screamed Paint Me! You can’t tell anything about the location by looking at this painting. My camera captured a tiny sliver of a moment in time. I found the beautiful because I was looking for it and I chose to ignore everything else around it when I painted it.

This is a reminder to me to focus on what is positive and good. The Apostle Paul, brilliant man that he was, said, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.Phil. 4:8

There is a lot of opportunity to be frustrated or anxious by events happening in our world. We have to sift through a lot of noise and despairing views to find beautiful lately. The not so beautiful seems to get way more attention. But we have been called to think about what we think about. Maybe we have the opportunity to bring joy with acts of kindness and compassion. We can also seek to acknowledge kindness in the actions of someone else by speaking a blessing over them.

There is opportunity in every direction to be in opposition. Sometimes we must take a stand. But it is more important to be loving and grace-filled than to be “right.” We can be right and be hateful. But Jesus said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 We are to love. It is hard in these days where right is now considered wrong, truth is now hidden, and dark calls itself light. But Truth will win out. And shining the light of Christ’s love is our primary mission statement.

Heavenly Father, help us to watch for Your hand at work in our world. Please help us to reflect Your love in our lives as a beacon of hope to others. And help us to spend more time searching for beauty and truth than despairing about ashes and chaos. “…provide for those who grieve a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:3

Help us to love one another as You first loved us, Lord, and help us to focus on the beautiful.

Bisbee, Arizona
Cheryl

So What is a Businesstry Anyway?

When I started painting watercolors in 2015, I had no idea what I was to do with this painting gig I had begun. The more paintings I had the opportunity to paint for others, 🎨 the more I realized this was as much a ministry as it was a business. That is when I found the word “businesstry” beginning to define my passion. Painting is a means whereby I can hopefully create something unique that will bring joy. I paint because it also brings me joy and enables me to hopefully bless people in my own way.

The article below was printed in our local paper in 2019. It was a great privilege for me to be interviewed and to tell my story.

I have painted over 300 watercolors. I have painted portraits, animals, places I’ve seen and places you’ve been.

If you just like to window shop, all my 300+ paintings are available in the following formats: as prints (canvas, paper, framed, matted or not, wood, metal) throw pillows, towels, T-shirts, coffee cups, masks, shower curtains, phone covers, tote bags, cards, spiral notebooks, Yoga mats – I’m probably forgetting something.

I want to celebrate life. Truly many of us are struggling with the sharp turns our lives have made in the last year or so. But I believe we should choose to make our lives count for something. I feel I have been incredibly blessed and I am grateful I know and trust Jesus with my present, my future – my eternity! I want my life to reflect the truth of God’s handiwork in our world and tell of His incredible sacrifice on our behalf. I believe Him! I KNOW Him. I love Him. I pray that my paintings would bless someone. I pray that my words would encourage someone to pray and ask for faith to believe and to walk the rest of their lives with Him by their side. He is FAITHFUL.

I never would have imagined I would paint, or would blog, or would have articles written about me (in 3 places!) There has been a lot of painful loss in my life, but the Lord never abandoned me. He led me through and He guides my steps. So this is my description of my “Businesstry,” that I might prayerfully paint and thoughfully compose – that I might shine light on your path today – whichever road you are on – and bless you.

I would be privileged to paint something that would be special for you: a person, a pet, a place or a magical moment in your life. I invite you to message me.

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

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!

WHAT Do You Want God to Do for You?

I love the author and pastor, Mark Batterson, of National Community Church in Washington, DC. One of his recent books is called “Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God.” It is wonderful and thought provoking reminding us of the many ways we can know God is speaking to us. Obviously, the first place is in His Word, the Bible. A blind man called out to Jesus from the side of the road. Jesus asked Him what seems an obvious question in Luke 18:41

”What do you want me to do for you?”

Mark Batterson said: “We’re out of touch with what we really want. If we don’t know what we want, how are we going to know when we get it? Maybe it’s time to take inventory. What do you want God to do for you? You owe it to Him to answer that question.”

Mark went on to say, “We let the expectations of others override the desires God has put in our hearts.” (pg 92 “Whisper”) Just think about that statement for a minute… Is there something you’ve always had as a secret desire deep in your heart that you have stuffed away?

Let’s each look deep within today sifting through all the COVID clutter to find our one and only true life. This is our now, our gift of breath – our present. We don’t get to do this over. What is a deep longing that You can bring to Jesus’ feet and ask Him to bless and prosper? Are you hiding from a calling because you are afraid of failure? Do you long for a good friend but have fears about their condemnation or disapproval? Do you have something you have always wanted to do or be?

What do you want Jesus to do for you?

Watercolor and writing have always been a secret desire for me. Hidden away in notebooks and closets for a lifetime, I strove to meet the expectations and needs of others oblivious to what God had placed in my heart…until I heard His call and knew it was His time.

What place in your heart aches to be filled? In James 4:2b James says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Those are pretty powerful words… I encourage you to ask Him to clear away the cobwebs and clutter around you and dust off your passions. Go before God and ASK Him for what is deep within You.
It is too easy to fill those empty spaces with very wrong things: eating too much, falling into depression, unwise choices. None of us are strangers to these things…So I pray honesty, vulnerability, WISDOM and TRUST in this process.

One of my favorite promises of Scripture is Psalm 37:4. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

What is your heart’s desire today? Are you lonely, frustrated, fearful, hiding? Is there a secret part of you that wants to poke your head out and shine? ASK Him. TRUST Him. BELIEVE Him. Because He sees you as you sit by the road. He only wants to know from your heart, what it is you need from Him. And maybe more than anything, you need Jesus Himself.