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
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV
What a POWERFUL statement the prophet Isaiah made so long ago – Forget the former things – do not dwell on the past. As our Pastor Chad Moore said, we can’t move in any direction except forward. We are only able to LIVE in the present. When we are stuck looking behind us at the “if only’s” or trying to imagine the “what ifs,” we lose sight of what actually IS going on in our lives in the present. And the Lord said He is making a way of renewal and revival for us in this time. So take hold of those words of encouragement and truth and hang on for the ride!
Happy New Year to you who took the time to stop in and connect. Thank you for that gift! And I pray a blessing of renewal over you as you begin this new year. Keep your eyes and your heart open for signs that the Lord is guiding and gifting you. His blessings come in many forms. No one is exempt from His great redeeming love and matchless grace. . .regardless of what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or what’s been done to you.
Take WING in this new month/new year and seek ways you can be blessed to be a blessing to a friend or a stranger, a family member or even a FB member. 😄 Someone needs something you have that likely costs nothing to give that may completely turn their day or even life around. Help us Lord, to be Your hands and feet in this chaotic and often discouraging world. Truth CAN be found in You and Your Word. And that is where I seek my direction.
“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalms 139:9-10 NIV
Every week I come to ‘this place’ asking the Lord to give me a message of encouragement, direction, and/or hope to share. I felt a strong pull on my heart many years ago to post something other than memes and political wrangling on social media. My weekly ”blog” was birthed on my Prayers and Paintbrushes Facebook page. It has been almost a year and a half that I have had an official blog on my prayersandpaintbrushes website and though one soul may read my words – or 100 – each soul is prayed over. I am retired after a lifetime of working. I never thought retirement would be a possibility and I certainly never thought I’d be writing a blog let alone being a watercolor artist with well over 300 watercolors and a website! Today I feel led to share a little bit of my story hoping it might encourage you to keep on keeping on – regardless of where you find yourself today.
At the age of 60 I was living a new chapter of my life. Recently divorced and living alone for the first time ever, I never expected to marry again. Several years later without one blind date or attempt at internet matching, I did marry again – a wonderful newly widowed gentleman I had known slightly from church and my office. At the age of 65 I was a bride! A year later I found myself unexpectedly retired and after over a year of soul-searching and even trying to find work again, with my husband’s encouragement and support, I realized it was OK for me to be retired. But I am a bit of a social butterfly and I missed the daily interaction and purpose for my days.
At the invitation of a friend to a painting party, I picked up paintbrushes and wasn’t able to put them down! That single time event became a catalyst for another new chapter in my life. in 2016, Prayers and Paintbrushes was born. I have painted commission people, pets and places and prayed with each painting that I wouldn’t screw it up! That’s where “Prayers and Paintbrushes” originated. Shortly after I began sharing my artwork on Facebook I felt the urge to point to my Source of hope and direction and my writing career began.
I share this very abbreviated story to share these thoughts with you… I am in my 70’s. Much of the world looking at my age would think my life is finished – I have nothing left to contribute. But I beg to differ. Speaking for ANYONE of ANY AGE reading these words, I remind you your life isn’t over until it’s over. Regardless where you find yourself, God can use and bless you. Seek Him! ASK HIM! Invite Him in and ask Him to show up and show off in your life! He loves you. He has a plan for you even if you cannot even begin to see it. You may have one day left of your life! Some reading this may feel that is truth. Some may have have decades left – but we can only live one day at a time REGARDLESS of how many we have left. Give that day to the One who can in all things work for good – in your life and through your life.
In a very dark time many years back, God very literally spoke this verse to me:
I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper YOU and not to harm you, plans to give you A hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart“ Jeremiah 29:11-13
Even when I could not see the reality of these words, I clung to them. I pounded on the gates of heaven and reminded God I was believing Him for these words to be true in my life. And he’s been faithful and true. CALL on Him. Come and PRAY to Him. SEEK Him with ALL your Heart. Believe Him even in your disbelief! FAITH doesn’t mean knowing – it means trusting.
What does God want of me, of you? He wants us to give our lives to Him and believe Him for the outcome.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16, 17
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6
Whether one person hears these words I write and finds our Savior, or one hundred, I lay this effort at His feet. I seek to be used by Him with or without my paintbrushes.Please comment or message me privately if you need encouragement as you live out your story✨
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.
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.