Monday, February 28, 2011

Choose Hope

"Look at the birds of the air,
that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not worth much more than they?"
Matt 6:26
If you have been here before, you know I'm crazy for birds! Note the new blog background:)
I just enjoy them so much, watching them , listening to them, photographing them.
I can even recognize many of their calls!
God willing, I will live to be the crazy old bird lady!
Last night we had a terrible storm and it poured down rain. The noise kept me up half the night, as the wind and rain hit the side of the house with such fury.
I awoke this morning to see my 11 yr old on the floor curled up in a ball. No room for her in the bed because all three dogs had already found refuge there, under the covers, afraid too from the storm. Many schools were delayed as homes and roads were struck with flooding water.
It was a mess!
the first sound I hear, besides the alarm, was the birds chirping outside my window.
After all the wind and beating rain, the birds sang out, happy.
This afternoon, the sun returned, and I captured these shots.
The birds were bathing and playing in my birdbath!!
How can it be that after such a terrible storm, these little guys could be playing and singing like that? Just like nothing happened, not a care in the world!

This scripture came to mind, it was also the reading at church this Sunday.

Where did these little guys go last night...where did they hide to be safe from the weather?

We have all been through storms, days upon weeks where we ask ourselves, "How am I gonna make it through this?!" Unfortunately for many, sometimes those days turn into years and we can become hopeless. Hopeless that the job will never come, the cancer will never heal, the house will never sell, the spouse will never return, the addiction will never stop, the child will never grow! Worry is such a burden to so many of us. It's that endless voice in our heads that nags and tears at us until we are heaped in the corner, defeated and alone.

Worry is the opposite of TRUST.

It is a lie.

LOOK AT THE BIRDS! His Word tells us to look at them...they do not worry. After the storm they play and sing, as if no storm ever came. Or maybe they are rejoicing in the aftermath of God's mercy.

I pray that whatever aftermath you are feeling today, good or bad, that you would see God somewhere in it. He is holding you in the palm of His hand, right this minute.

He is your hope, choose Him.

This is the start of a random series of posts called Choose Hope. Please pray with me that God would use our blogs to inspire HOPE in others and the desire to know Him more.

Linking up with my friend Jen at Finding Heaven today!

Thank you and may God Bless you!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I made this for you!!!

Julian just cracks me up... I wish you all love, laughter, and joy. Linking up with Sara over at YES, TEACHER. Stop on over to visit her Tickle Me Tuesdays post.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Outside My Comfort Zone

Ok, Ok....I know the last post was hard to take. Who do i think I am anyway??
Trust me...
I'm nobody and certainly didn't earn that day in any way.
It was awesome!
And I savoured every moment of it!!
So back to the day to day....
One of the goals I want to accomplish this year is to get back to the basics. In my art, my home, my health, my family. Try to live more simply and I guess more according to God's biblical plan for us all. I'm enjoying this and find it easier to do in some areas and harder in others.
My art is one of the hard areas.
Being a mixed media artist is so amazing to me because you're like a kid in a candy store holding a $100 bill. So many flavors, so much money. It's kinda like that in mixed media, so many supplies and techniques and your mind just goes to a happy place as you think of all the possibilities. Through my workshops I have discovered that this is not the case for all, and many artist find this to be a scattered, undisciplined medium that leaves them just plain frustrated. Funny, art truly is an extension of who we are.
With God knowing the direction I wanted to move in my life this year, He has so faithfully offered His guidance and has been sending all the right people. Faithful Sweet LORD!
One of my sweetest BFF's invited me this week to a figurative art class. I have not done figurative drawings in 20 years!! I was excited to be moving outside my comfort zone and get back to the basics of paper, charcoal and sketching the human form. We would be drawing 2, 1 minute poses; 2, 3 minute poses; and 2, 5 minute poses, with time after for painting. Really I thought it would be like riding a bike and I would pick up from where I left off 20 years ago.
Go ahead...laugh:)

They are funny!

BTW... the model is a beautiful, 25 year old girl that weighs about 100 lbs!


It's good to be humbled!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Yesterday...A Day in the Life

I am linking up today with an amazing lady named Tiffini. Her blog is beautiful and her heart is beautiful. Tiff invited me to participate over the weekend and I thought it sounded fun, but honestly I thought " who cares what a day in my life would look like?" I'm a mom of two and most of my days consist of doing the mom things...making lunches, cleaning the house, carpooling, homework, cooking dinner and lots of prayer that God will give me the strength to do it all and still have some time for Him and me. And if you read my last post I was in the midst of "climbing down the mountain of God's Glory" and I was feeling pretty chilly.

BUT....let me tell you...God's Glory did show up yesterday! I guess He wanted you all to see Him:) Bare with me as this is the longest post ever and probably has a lot of spelling and grammar errors!

-Wake at 7:30 as usual, not a morning person so I was the last one up. Talk to God in prayer before I open my eyes and offer Him my day...I have few rules but this is one of them and it has helped transform my life.

-Let my posse outside to do their business ( 3 black dogs who follow me around and wait for me to look their way or possibly drop some food)

-Make the kids lunches, brush my sons hair, and kiss them on their way out the door.

-Let dogs out 3 more times!

- Read a little of the paper, answer a few emails, drink coffee.

- My sweet friend calls and we talk about God and how great he is for 45 min! We agree on meeting for adoration (prayer in God's Holy presence through the Eucharist) on Friday am and to do a nine day prayer (novena) for her prayer intentions.

-Meanwhile my alarm is going off up stairs for 2 hours...chirping birds and I kinda like it so I leave it.

- My amazing bible study group arrives at 9:15 and because I have been yackin on the phone I answer the door in my pj's and haven't brushed my hair or teeth. Luckily they love me and luckily I don't care...I just got off the phone with a godly women and I was high as a kite.

-Bible study lasts for 2 1/2 hours as one of my sisters was going through some hard things and she needed lots of prayer and council. After the convo. we were all pumped up because we had some hope in her struggle which had not been there for a very long time. Around that time an Eastern Blue Bird shows up right outside the window, a few feet from where we were sitting. Well the Holy Spirit knows I love birds and they all stand for different things in my heart when i see them...hope, love, peace, danger, God's presence He sends them to me all the time.

The Eastern Blue Bird just happens to stand for HOPE and the girls had never even seen one! We were in awe of that little bird as we knew He heard our cries. Big hugs and they leave.

- Brush hair and 11:30, YUCK!

- Work-out to Jackie Warner on-demand video for 35 minutes and she kicks my fat butt. Thanks Jackie, needed it!

-Shower, and get ready.

- Answer a few more emails and make a few calls.

- Pick up the kids at 3:00. Listen about there day and always enjoy hearing it. Unless they are at each others throats and I then tell them to stop talking.

- Run over to get groceries at ALDI, my favorite place, besides TRADER JOES, for food shopping.

-Spend 25 minutes getting groceries and get up to check-out line to pay. The cash I thought i put in my purse is not there and my atm card is not working. ALDI's doesn't take credit so I ask the cashier to put a hold on my receipt and let others go through the line while I call my hubby (who says " what do you want me to do" I don't know, wave your magic wand?) and frantically search my purse. As I'm looking through my purse, a women comes over, hands me my receipt, and says " here, I've taken care of it". I say in shock " What? Oh please no". And she turns and heads right out the door with me yelling 'THANK YOU!" I immediately start crying like a baby because of her generosity, but mostly because of the experience I had shopping the week prior.

  • Week prior-My son and I were at Aldi's , doing my weekly food shopping. We start talking with a elderly man in a wheelchair while grabbing a carton of milk. He was poor in appearance and had a strong odor and he started to tell me where I could get free groceries and free meals. We chatted for awhile and I went on with my shopping, helping him here in there, put food in his bag whenever i saw him needing assistance. While I was in the last aisle of the store, getting ready to check out, the Holy Spirit says " Buy that man's food". So I tell the Holy Spirit " OK, I will if he gets behind me in line" I know, pretty stubborn, huh? So of course the old man gets behind me in the line and I purchase his food. Really it was no big deal and more a Blessing to me then the old man I'm sure. Plus my son was all jazzed and it was a great opportunity to witness to him as well that sweet old man.

Back to yesterday...weeping in Aldi's. People are staring of course and all I could hear the Holy Spirit say was " I will never be out done in generosity". WOW, what a moment! I will be donating $83.12 to my church, the exact amount the kind women paid for my groceries.

- Run home, unload the food and get on homework with the kids.

-Go out at 5:oo to my sisters boutique for a open house she has been working very hard to plan. Drink champagne and get treated like "Pretty Women" as i buy the cutest hat and purse for $40 with %50 off, bill equals my exact budget! Yeah! I usually hate shopping but had a blast and felt really cute and very frugal leaving her cute little shop .

- 7:00, go and visit my girlfriend and her new baby who arrived almost 2 month premature. While holding the 4 1/2 lbs. baby boy, looking over his tiny hands, I feel the presence of God's might and perfection.

-Get home at 8:30 and at 8:45 a dear girlfriend calls, crying over a really sad issue she has been dealing with. We talk for 45 minutes and we both feel better, hopeful that God has this all under control.

- Kids asleep, disappointment because i didn't kiss them goodnight. Bad Mommy!!

-Husband waiting in our prayer room to do 2 Novenas and Holy Rosary.

- End prayer at 9:57 and kiss hubby goodnight. He goes to bed at 10:00 every night...he's so good!

- Answer a few more emails and watch TV for an hour, flipping through the stations because it is all trash. Give up and go to bed.

- Prayers of gratitude as I'm in awe of God's Glory and that He would allow me, a lowly housewife, be a witness to His Kingdom! Fall fast asleep.

I KNOW!!!! Crazy good stuff huh?! What a week I'm having as one of my bff's is picking me up in an hour to do portrait drawing with a live model for 3 hours!

I love this crazy roller-coaster ride God has me on! So why was I in the valley last week? I guess so that the mountain would be even higher. Like my Priest always reminds me, this is not Heaven. But boy, I felt like i was there yesterday.

I pray that you too yearn for His Glory. He is faithful, never outdone.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Freeze

To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it. Mother Teresa

Here in the Mid-West, Indianapolis to be exact, we are going through a deep freeze. I woke up this morning to 2 inches of ice and wind gust of up to 50 miles an hour! Crazy stuff with trees and power lines falling down.

You know what is really crazy? That's how I feel spiritually right know. Before my feet hit the floor this morning, i spent some time with the Lord and I asked Him to forgive me for my sins and give me back the deep emotion that comes from loving Him. If the feeling I have is a feeling of familiarity or complacency, I don't want it. I never for one minute want to take for granted His love, but lately it feels like i have.

So what has changed? I'm doing all the same things to be close to Him. I'm active in my Church and prayer life, as well as alms giving and ministering to those in need. But as much as I don't want to admit it, without the emotion, I am just going through the motions of loving Him.

Kinda like I do with my family sometimes, another thing I don't want to admit. And though I put myself there sometimes, they (HE) still loves me.

I can't help but think of Mother Teresa, who went through a 50 year period which she calls a dark night of the soul. St Francis also experienced this as it is said he felt unworthy of God grace. And lets not forget Job, wow! Talk about a dark night of the soul! Now don't get me wrong, I'm not even in the same ballpark as these souls, not even the parking lot of the ballpark! But it does give me some reassurence to know that dark nights happen sometimes.

What are we to learn from being away from Him?

Could God be testing me?
Is He testing my faith?
When the freeze comes will I fall like the mighty trees and power lines?
They look so strong.
Or will I bend like the willow and find shelter like the birds?
They look so fragile... I feel so fragile.
I guess I was a little to comfortable in that peace He was giving me:)
Psalms 27:13-14
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
When I climb down the mountain and get back to my life I won't settle for ordinary things Third Day