Friday, November 20, 2015

Taking time for me... in Alaska

I want to thank all of you that left such encouraging words and thoughts on my husbands passing. Even though I might not have written all of you, I want you to know how much I appreciate you.
Thank you...
I am settling into somewhat of a routine and the house is starting to feel comfortable. I have been blessed with beautiful, thoughtful, and loving family and friends that have shown me so much love.

My family, celebrating my mother's 90th birthday this fall.

They have not only been here for me but have worked hard to help me get the house ready to sell in the spring. We've been painting and repairing, you know those projects that keep getting put to the back burner. 
A larger project was a new roof and repairs, cleaning the basement which filled a 20 yd. dumpster and cleaning the attic.

 Painting and ceiling repair

I like the end result, I think the warm grey was perfect for this light filled room.

I still have a lot of work ahead of me as you may know if you have followed this blog... I have a lot of stuff!  It hasn't been that many years since I had the shop and I still have a garage full, but I am slowly sifting and will be selling everything. My plan is to go into something very small that is easy upkeep, as I want to go into ministry full time. I have a call to the mission field on my life and I want to follow my dream that I feel is my destiny in my Kingdom walk.


With all that, I got the opportunity to travel with some very dear friends to Alaska, a little girl time is good for the soul. 
I had not been there before but my friend Nancy has been there many times, her daughter went to school there. 
So we were blessed to see Alaska through her eyes. 
Such a beautiful place. 

Just a sample of Alaska through my lens...

Over the Mountains...
Over the Sea...
Here you come running, my lover to me.
When I feel the cold of winter and this cloak of sadness, 
I need you.
All the evil things that shake me, all the words that break me, 
I need you.
Over the Mountains... 
Over the Sea... 
Here you come running, my lover to me.
Do not hide me from your presence, pull me from these shadows,
I need you.
Beauty, wrap your arms around me, sing your song of kindness,
I need you.
Over the Mountains,
Over the Sea,
Here you come running, my lover to me.
All through the valleys, through the dark of night, here you come running to hold me 'til its light. 
Hold me 'til its light... I'll come running, come running, come running, come running back to you...
(Song of Solomon by Jesus Culture)


Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor of Love

Labor Day 2015

Hello... and happy labor day, today we celebrate rest. Most of us need it. I hope you are taking this day to eat, play and refresh yourselves with family and friends.

I have taken a long rest from this blog, much longer than I intended, like so many Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc, has lured us away from our once beloved blog. I applaud those who have stayed faithful. 

Labor day marks the end of summer and the beginning of a new season. I forge forward into this new season with expectations of a better one. The summer winds brought about much change and sadness for our family. My loving husband went to be with his savior unexpectedly and quickly in June.  I praise God he did not suffer and the Lord honored Keith by taking him sweetly just as the man he was. He died of a heart attack, as we sat on our patio talking over the days events... one of his last words were, 
"this is a perfect day".
Keith was a man of integrity and grace, he honored me with praise and encouragement. He was always my launching pad, whatever hair brained scheme I hatched he was always there to encourage and finance... even though many times it was at a loss for him. We were married in 1990 and he loved me and embraced my 6 children as though they were his. He was a gift from God and he restored our family. Never being married before and coming from a family of 3 boys he forged new territory with 5 daughters and a son. He handled those early days with much laughter and amusement by shaking his head and saying, "girls are just so weird".  Eventually he got the hang of it and became Grandpa to eight loving grandchildren and they became the light of his life.
 He lived life well and I hope never to forget the ring of his laughter in the air. 
I did not intend this post to be a eulogy for my husband but I did want to tell you how I was so blessed and continue to be. 

I am working past the grief and now I am trying to carve out a new life and routine with myself. It is strange how everything seems different, the house is larger, the street is lonelier, my sitting chair no longer makes sense and the kitchen table has ceased to serve up food. The familiar is gone, what I once did depended on another from what I ate, to where I sat, to when I came home. For the very first time in my life I have no one else to consider. And yet...
It is well with my soul. 
I lean on my first love, my kinsman redeemer, my friend, my husband, my savior, my king. This labor day I reminded of the verse in Hebrews... There remains therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, He also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest...
There is sometimes a struggle or labor to rest in God, these days I chose to trust and rest in His peace that passes all understanding. 
I trust Him... and as I do He shows Himself strong. There is in me a  strong hope and expectation of a new day, a new adventure that God has for me...
Wishing you a most blessed labor day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Good to be here... it's been too long.
Thank you for allowing me to pop in and out of your world at times. I wish it could be more consistent but that isn't my life right now. Thank you for allowing me this indulgence.

 I am so happy to be doing what I love to do and that is creating.
I am so happy to be able to get up each morning and walk down the path to my studio and work with my hands. I am thankful for the gift that God has given me. A gift that still needs to be honed, developed, molded, shaped and nurtured. I am not always happy with the result of the hand that holds the brush but it gives me opportunity to grow... it gives me opportunity to fail, it gives me freedom. It allows my weakness for God's strength to grow.

The source of my creativity is the overflow of my heart. It is my relationship with God, for He has my heart. 
The language of art speaks to the imagination, it speaks to that bridge inside us between the heart and mind. Imagination is what enables us to think with the heart and feel with the mind. 
God speaks to us in pictures, Jesus spoke in parabolic language... He speaks to the imagination.
 Brennan Manning said, "If God is speaking, then nothing else matters but to listen!"

A community of artists is needed to create a safe place, a Christ centered community. 
The definition of community is: cum with; moenia, (fortifications)
a place with protective walls.
The Renaissance period was the greatest period of creativity which was a result of community. Community forms respect and trust... learning from one another in a safe place. It encourages and builds up. Art should not and cannot happen in a void. Apprenticeship reminds us that creativity does not occur in a vacuum, it requires a community. Passing on experience there by art grows and develops.

Windows in this area need to be opened and let the fresh air sweep away the stale dusty attitudes of ownership and originality. The sweet air of nurturing and sharing. 

The author of Scribbling in the Sand Micheal Card, said what has been on my heart for so long now.
Remember that only God can imagine and make something out of nothing. In this sense, he is the only one who deserves the title Creator. 
We are merely creative. That is we can only imagine and make something out of something else... something that has already been imagined and made, whether in the creation itself or from the work of creative people.

Not one person... I don't care how talented they are has an original thought or piece of art. Somewhere along the way you were influenced by someone! 
This means, I do not consider my work as much original as individual...

Your work will always be out of what you have somehow come across and into what others will eventually come across.
 The best artists begin by being influenced and end up influencing. 
Yes, I am saying borrow art...and grow from the borrowing. If you find an idea here... borrow it!  It is not mine to clutch and hold tightly to anyway...

I am challenging us to embrace "Community" the school of thought, to be a limitless person to others.
Community calls creativity forth. The need for kindness, beauty, and truth all cry out for the creative fingerprints in each of us with various creative gifts...
 To edify, instead of tear down, to influence instead of accuse, to nurture instead of exclude... and just maybe we will stretch others more than our art...


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Gift


March is such a special month in our family because we celebrate a number of birthdays. But there is one birthday in March that is very special to me, this week I celebrate the 43rd birthday of my only son, James.

 Forty three years ago, I was a very young mother of a rambunctious three year old and a nursing three month old. My husband and I had a cute little house in the suburbs of Mpls. and he worked the night shift. I was a busy stay at home mom, raising our family and active in my fathers church. 

At my 6 week check up after the birth of my second daughter Kerri, the doctor told me about a new birth control he thought I should try called an IUD. He said nothing else about this device other then, "I would be a good candidate for it because birth control pills didn't agree with me". At the time I did not know it sloughed off the fertilized egg, at the time I did not know what questions to ask, at the time one did not question the advice of your doctor, it was a different time and I was a naive twenty year old. And so with much pain he inserted the IUD, it took me almost a week to be able to function normally and at the time I did not know that this was not normal. 

As I mentioned, I was nursing Kerri and by her third month I was having trouble keeping my milk up and I was feeling tired and nauseated.  I remembered the doctor telling me if the IUD slipped out of place I could have pregnancy like symptoms, so I made an appointment while dreading the pain I might have to go through again.
As I lay on the table waiting for the doctor to return, I wasn't prepared for what he was about to tell me, "everything looks good, the IUD is in place but... you are pregnant". I started to cry. "We cannot remove the IUD or the baby will abort, but don't worry the IUD will just float along side the baby and it will come out with the afterbirth".
 As I got into the car where my mother was waiting to pick me up, I burst into another flood of tears and told her the news. She looked at me and without a blink she said, "Well, the way I see it you have two choices... you can cry and feel sorry for yourself and make this pregnancy hard on you and the baby or you can accept this baby as a gift and start thanking the Lord for it now. 
There in the car, at that moment I chose to thank God for my new gift.

Me pregnant in my eighth month holding Kerri.

 I am not going to tell you the next few months were easy, I was tired and had morning sickness while trying to keep up with a three year old and a new baby. During that time my husband got laid off his job, we sold our house and moved to a farm farther north, which is another story in itself. The house was later condemned because of rats and we moved again before the end of my pregnancy... but I am getting off my story. 

Around my sixth month, I was having what I thought were Braxton Hicks pains, it was slight and I ignored it thinking nothing of it. During this time we were having a series of meetings at our church with a visiting speaker, who was well known for his prophetic gift. We were a Charismatic church believing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. During one of the services the speaker called me up to the front of the church and told me the Lord had a word for me, to this day I wished I could have recorded the prophecy. What I do  remember is vivid, he said that I carried a son and the Lord has His hand on him, he will be blessed. That the Lord has set him apart for His glory and He will be used by the Lord. The Lord has a work for him.

I carried my baby full term without anymore problems. I gave birth to a healthy seven pound, 19" boy named James after his father, the Hebrew name means, One who follows.
After James was taken away by the nurses, the doctor was having trouble finding the IUD. I was aware that there was a problem and we joked about the baby not handing him the IUD... I was not a fan of the anesthetic at the time, so I had a natural childbirth without anything. I was Aware. Not finding the IUD he scheduled me for a D and C the next morning and I signed the papers. 
I woke up from the D and C with great pain in my abdomen and also a large incision. The head of obstetrics came in and explained to me exactly what they found. The IUD was initially inserted wrong and perforated my cervix, thus my pregnancy... it never worked (a relief for me after finding out how it functioned). But it also tore a hole in the uterine wall, traveled through it and eventually lodged in my intestines. I carried this baby full term with a hole in my uterus. The doctor was quite excited over all this, he said they also found my appendix swollen twice it's size and removed it (hmmm a two for, I thought).
 He went on to give me the statistics of this birth and the healthy condition of the baby and ended by saying... he was a miracle baby.

 For the next 5 days, I met doctors from various floors of the hospital coming down to examine "the miracle baby". They all said the same thing concerning his condition, he was one of the healthiest babies they have seen, in all aspects and especially in his muscle tone without taking in the circumstances in which he was born. God was true to His word.
The pre and post natal care, hospital bill and surgery was all taken care of by my attending physician. No, I did not sue, Yes, I had a case but does one bring allegations for an unwanted pregnancy against someone... when that pregnancy is from the hand of God... not this person nor my husband.

I later had three more beautiful baby girls, each one a blessing and all my five daughters a story for another time. 

James my only son blessed by God in health throughout his life with hardly even colds or flu, favored with a successful career and above all a generous heart now celebrates his 43rd birthday.
 One of the greatest joys of my heart and a blessing to my soul.
Happy Birthday to my son, my gift and my blessing. 

Sometimes life gives you a challenge that you didn't ask for or you thought was not wanted or needed. At the time it seemed to look like a mountain of a burden.
 In my life, I believe all things come from God or is allowed by God, I am His child. Whatever comes my way He has already  prepared a way for me, when I seek Him first. He only has good things for me, just as a loving father has for his child, even though sometimes we do not understand the gifts. Even though we do not perceive them as gifts but trials or mountains or insurmountable problems.
 And we know that all things work together for good, for those that love God and are called according to His purpose. 
Romans 8:28
I wonder if while sitting in that car 43 years ago listening to my mother's words and the choice I had before me... what if I had chosen not to be thankful, what if I had chosen to just go with my selfish feelings and let the circumstances of what I thought them to be overwhelm me... I wonder if the outcome would have been the same.
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning you. 1Thess. 5:18  
 I believe our choices allow God to work and we see His glory in our lives the more we choose to just trust him.
We all have choices, sometimes we don't always make the right ones and I am the first in line for bad choices but I believe God's grace is sufficient for those also. And as we become more aware of our choices and choose to be thankful and trust Him, the more we will see the hand of God clearly.
Today if you are facing a mountain you seem to think is impassable I encourage you to give it over to God, start thanking Him for the gift that He has in this challenge. Trust Him, He will not fail you.
Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation, neither shadow cast by turning. James 1:17