Angels Among Us

I've been painting angels lately. My mind and my paintbrush have been consumed with them.

I'm not sure if the increase in my thoughts about angels has been in tandem with the recent loneliness I've felt, but I have certainly stepped up my study of them in Scripture.

Angels are among us.

Scripture confirms this over and over. Sometimes they are named. Sometimes they are part of a "heavenly host."

God sent His messages through an angel multiple times throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

My paintings and my studies are certainly not the end-all, be-all representation of what a biblical angel might be, but they are what I have been inspired to scrawl out on canvas.

When it came time for God to make His most important announcement ever, to begin the story of redemption for all of us, He chose to send the angel, Gabriel, to Mary. Let's take a moment and step back into that scene:
"And he came to her and said, 'Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is …

An Audience of One

We all have fears that have kept or keep us from pursuing the ___________ (fill in the blank) we know the Lord has put on our hearts.

Voices in our heads.

Taunting from a variety of places and spaces.

For me, those fears are all related to my writing or making art. I get stuck and feel like a fake. Then I write nothing. at. all.

Let's examine a couple of official terms for this oft-recurring deterrent to us having more good writing to read.

Imposter Syndrome: The imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. This article is a wonderful resource.

Comparison trap: "The temptation to compare is as near as your next chat with a friend, trip to the store, or check-in on social media. And whether you come out on top or come up lacking, there is simply no win in comparison. It’s a trap," according to Sandra Stanley. 

You can explore t…

Thursday Thanks Tank

(a time to intentionally redirect my gaze and give testimony to the ways God blesses me)
How is God filling my tank this week? 

Providing in ways I can only attribute to Him. People are praying, and He is answering in His time and in His own fashion.Through creation. Being a part of the team at AR Workshop Rome is a joy and an outlet for leaving a trail of beauty each time I cross the threshold. Being treated to a movie with my son. We had a great time at this one yesterday.Having time to explore some of my favorite things. I've been painting, sewing, and writing. All pursuits that bring me joy and set my soul at rest.My weighted blanket from Mosaic Weighted Blankets. I've had mine for about six months now, and it has made a world of difference in my sleep habits. Not only is mine pretty, but it provides me with a comfort level I had forgotten I could have during a night's sleep. I even drag it out to the sofa if I'm taking a nap.Relief from mind-numbing nerve pain. I am…

He Lights Up the Sky for You

Good morning, friends!
Let's talk about God's visible presence today.
Does anyone like storms?
I adore lightning. The last thing I saw before bed last night was what I know as "heat" lightning. No actual rain or thunder accompanying the lights in the sky, but fascinating to watch, nonetheless. I am ceaselessly enraptured by the displays God puts on for me.
Now my Heavenly Father works in my life all the time without visible results. His hand is moving without my provocation and He needn't consult me to enact His perfect will in my life. 
Yet, oh, isn't it lovely and glorious when He gives us visible signs of His majesty, His power, and His creative work?
I am stopped in my tracks at lightning in the sky. 
This works better for all involved if I'm not behind the wheel of a car, but I do try to keep my eyes on the road if a light show is in progress. 
The same goes for my rainbow chaser nature. I'm sure I regularly stump my neighbors as I go traipsing …

God Holds Both Light and Darkness

Light and darkness.

My favorite time of day on both ends of the spectrum is when those first slight streaks of daylight begin to break through the darkness, and the converse of it found in the very last moments of light left before the entire landscape is engulfed in velvety blackness.

I love the hope found in light splitting through the darkness and awakening a new day. I admire all creation staying hushed until daybreak as well, instinctively knowing the signal comes along with that rhythmic rising of the sun.

The end of the day has its charm in my heart, too. I find it endlessly satisfying to watch the sunset and see the stars emerge twinkling amidst the growing inkiness of the nighttime sky. Unique as the number of days in existence, the colors and display are ever-changing. Yet the cyclical nature of it brings comfort and peace.

Both the light and the darkness find their home with God. He spoke and they did His bidding. Until He called light into existence, darkness covered ever…

Don't Give Up!

Whatever it is, whatever you have planned or are afraid to plan.
That dream? You know the one. Yes, that one. The one you whisper in hushed tones to yourself or when you think no one is paying attention.

God hears you. He’s the One who planted that dream in your heart.

He’s the Master Gardener, and He is tending that dream for you--especially when you feel like you’ve run out of everything it takes to make that dream happen on your own.

See, it was NEVER meant to be that way.

Take your hands off your dreams.

Yes, you CAN have more than one!

Take your hands and open them. Loosen your grip and lay the pen down.

You are NOT writing your own story or fulfilling your own dreams!

Back to our verse for today, I need not grow weary in doing good.

In due season, I will reap if I don’t give up.

Friend, are you at all like me? Do you get tired of doing the “good” thing?

Do you find some days you just want to make bad choices and throw caution to the wind because it just doesn’t matter anyway?

The truth foun…

Thursday Thanks Tank Independence Day Edition

(a time to intentionally redirect my gaze and give testimony to the ways God blesses me)
How is God filling my tank this week? 

Freedom: I take it for granted way too often, but I am deeply proud and blessed to be an American. I am grateful for the men who signed the document all those years ago to intentionally set forth a different kind of place for people to live free. Have their ideals and convictions been compromised in more ways than I can enumerate here today? Absolutely. However, I still sit here in my home today, with the freedom to open my laptop and write what I want, when I want, and hit "PUBLISH"  for you to read when you want. Lots of our freedoms are still intact, and I am grateful.Fans: The heat of summer has been steady and steamy this week. I am extremely grateful for fans, both the ceiling kind and the portable tower one I've been toting around my house to whatever room I am currently using. At the moment it oscillates at the foot of my bed. Its remote i…