MY STORY – Prayers & Paintbrushes🎨

On a Hill Far Away

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✨

Walking through a valley

Ballet at Sunset




This has been a difficult week. Much in my life has been shaken and tilted and each day has been an exhausting and emotional spiritual rollercoaster. The stress has forced me to consider where my strength comes from, where my hope lies, and how much I trust God as He walks me through the inevitable valleys and chaos of life.

God has blessed me. He gave me a whole new life at a time when most people are winding down the one they’ve had all along! I look back on the last 7 years of my life in astonishment at how different they are than the many years before. One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I knew from my heart this meant that God loves us, hears us, KNOWS us, and pays attention to our deepest longings. He is not a genie anxious to grant us every passing wish. He is a Heavenly Father loving on His children. And God blessed me with a husband and a life I never could have dreamed in times past.

This week I’ve had to trust my man to Jesus to do what I cannot do, to heal what I cannot fix and to restore him to health. It has been stressful and I’ve had many anxious moments. He is slowly coming back, but it is a process. I wanted to share this because so many are struggling for so many reasons. If you are hurting, you are not alone! If you are anxious, I certainly can understand. We are often faced with unimaginable circumstances and find ourselves feeling so unprepared for where we find ourselves. This is where I’ve found myself this week.

God’s Word holds countless promises to encourage us in our struggles. We live in unprecedented times and regardless of our circumstances are unsettled by the turmoil and chaos around us. So I invite you to join me, whatever battle you fight, to seek His face, soak in His Word and claim His promises for the valleys you walk – and I walk – today.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:6-7

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

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

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20