Friday, July 3, 2020

The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow ⛵️

Like a ship that's tossed and driven
Battered by an angry sea
When the storms of life are raging
And their fury falls on me
I wonder what I have done
That makes this race so hard to run
Then I say to my soul, take courage
The Lord will make a way somehow
The Lord will make a way somehow

When beneath the stars I bow
He will take away each sorrow
There will be no sad tomorrow
Many a nights I toss in pain
Wondering what the day might be bringing
Then I say to my soul, take

 your courage
The Lord will make a way somehow

~Hezekiah Walker 🚢
♫🎜The lord will make a way somehow Al Green 🎜🎝

"Calm" Painted in oils 2020 Prints
I love a quiet morning.  Coffee, the small chat of birds as the sun sets on the dawn of a new day.  This day will be better, more productive, less stress and back to normal.  This is July, a lazy summer day right?  To the contrary, reminders everywhere that things aren't normal, at least not yet.

 I have kept myself busy, withdrawing to my own little art world is what I do best.  I know I have to look up from my work to check up on the ones I love, and of course pray.  There is so much out of our hands but prayer is powerful, especially in the hands of a believer. (look back on previous posts) 
"Quarantine"  Painted in oils 2020 Prints

Taking care of yourself is not enough , we must take care of eachother! 

A friend loves at all times

In the middle of this mess, my husband is out of work and is remodeling the kitchen.  There hasn't been much peace in all the upheaval in my house but grateful to get it done.  I have been updating my shop and art gallery.  I have one large painting to finish and two commissions, and I start work on Sunday in full protective gear.  Just another day in 2020, will I ever learn work/life balance?  I think all of this is teaching me just that, what's important in life.  

 One of the things I have been into over the last year is natural fabrics, organic products and nice light, non synthetic scents,  like the true flower, quiet and subtle. 
Artisan Gift Collection by Bannerandsail

I am a true believer in natural fabrics on the body!  Cotton, linen and wool are the best to wear.  Fabrics shouldn't be blended, it's hard to find non blended fabrics, but you can feel the difference in your mood while wearing them, at least we can, my husband agrees.  One of most difficult things about being quarantined is our Spotify wars, ;)  I love my music, and usually I am open to new music too, but my husband's music. 😬
"Thankful perspective".  Painting in oils 2020 Prints

The other problem is the social distancing part.  We have been careful here, wearing masks in stores, saying no to friend's get togethers. Honesty, it's been difficult to know where to draw the line, especially when you know others aren't following safe social distancing.  

My heart just broke when I saw this in a store yesterday and the clerk described some aggressive customers.  

She's just trying to provide for her family, not trying to impose a political statement.


So, let's do a little math,  you go to the store to buy something, and you may be exposed to 10 people or under, depending on what time of the day you go.  A retail worker is exposed to hundreds and at least one of them will most likely have Covid 19. 
I went to pick up my glasses at the eye doctors last week, and I saw that they are taking temperatures on each person arriving.  They told me that they turned away two people already that had a high fever in one week.  One of the temperatures they turned away was 104, and the customer insisted that he was fine and went away mad, so you see as a customer your odds are better not to be exposed than that of an employee. 

I'm confused these days, when did it become a political statement to love your neighbor?   Am I the only one going in a store and apologizing for other people's unloving behavior?  What is it going to be like on the receiving end of all this at my work?

And what about love?  Our brothers and sisters are still hurting, can't we stop and listen to the injustices that are sadly still happening in our day?

Introverts know how to isolate themselves and do the quarantine thing.

What is your experience? 
What do you all think of 2020?

Murder hornets
Racial injustice
Mask wars
Strange weather
Dust storms 
(I can go on)

I was reading the other day, that it was like a stormy ocean slamming against a sea wall and quieting down after each crash.

Yesterday at tennis, 
(Im very grateful for a social distancing sport)  
I saw the sparrows, the same sparrows I use to see at the tennis courts in our area, darting back and forth at play, as if all was normal.  

God has been good, 
faithful to His promises.
Working some prints and cards

 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6

One day we will all look back at this and say...

"I have no idea" this is what my husband says.

"i learned this...
(Hopefully we all learned a lesson from this)" 

"I changed the things I needed to change"

"I have more compassion to the ones that are hurting, helping the poor and vulnerable".

"Remembering that life is fleeting, and eternity is forever".

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble".

"Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes."  — Henry David Thoreau 

Love breaks down barriers, 
it's the gift we always have to give to each other.

Sponsor a child today 

Love God, Love people

For now we trust that...

The Lord will make a way somehow

Have a good day!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Psalm 56:3

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. 
God is love. 
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 John 4:16
My views are my own

Stay Strong!
 Titus 🤍

Friday, April 24, 2020

Trust His Heart

"We see the present clearly
But He sees the first and the last
And like a tapestry He's weaving you and me,
To someday be just like Him
God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand
Trust His Heart".
~Babbie Mason
All Things are possible with God.

With all the recent layoffs we took a little time to spruce up my little kitchen.  There is no window in my kitchen, so I painted a mural painting to go over my kitchen sink to brighten it. I love toucans and feature them in some of my art pieces occasionally. 
🌺. This is going in my own kitchen and it tells a story. 
Basically it’s the three types of advocacy
1 - self-advocacy, 
2-individual advocacy and 
3 systems advocacy. 
In this painting the workers that can not be seen clearly in the background are the “behind the scenes people”, working the harvest fields and socializing (my husband liked that, because he can’t socialize with his friends at the moment). 
A few footnotes...

The first woman is sitting at the well learning, filling up, getting educated and listening. 
(Notice the dove for the Holy Spirit). 
Second woman is gathering and trimming the harvest. 
The third woman is carrying the weight of the harvest and advocating to the world. 
The Tree is a symbol of stability and strength.
The Toucan is communication. (a little too showy in his presentation). 
The Bird of paradise symbolizes freedom and joy.
The Pink flowers represent grace, gentility, and happiness.
The Plumeria symbolizes positivity.


World Vision's water projects

It was so heavy to carry water like this, It was hard on all of us!  The children do this multiple times a day and we hardly could do it once!  

Sign up for the virtual 6 K for water...#wecanhelp  
This little girl helped carry the water for us, no joke! 
She has to do it all the time. One of my team members sponsored her. 

One of my new sponsor kids, she didn't know it yet!
Overjoyed! I would love you to join me and sponsor a child too!

You can advocate for a child in need by sponsoring them.
Photo credit/ Jonathan Gomez

When I think of all the people helping these kids during this of Covid 19, I think that this what advocacy is all about.  
Speak up for the poor, vulnerable and oppressed,

It's that simple. 

And be kind to yourself a little!

Much Love 🤍

In the midst of troubles, God is already at work. Your words are heard, trust. He has not forgotten you. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”.
Psalm 46:1

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Restored hope

“Beautiful are those whose brokenness gives birth to transformation and wisdom.” 
John Mark Green

Packing for Cambodia was no small feat, the truth is that I was nervous about it.  The farthest I ever have gone before was Central America, but  I felt a tender nudging "trust me" I have something for you there.  

Cambodia was beautiful, dry and dusty.  Smoke filled the air as patches of land were burned traditionally for purification and planting as it was customary for generations. I found the people of Cambodia warm and friendly and rich in tradition.  I am so inspired by the local World Vision staff and their undeniable fierce faith. They felt like family immediately. 
Snacks for our journey 
  Bananas and fruit are staples here in Cambodia and they are good too.  Bananas are served regularly.  My favorite food was a bamboo stalk with sticky rice, coconut milk, banana leaves and black beans.  The style houses in the countryside were lovely;  they reminded me of tree houses made of one room buildings on stilts.   We were able to see one inside, where a lady said "excuse my mess", I smiled and said "It's a whole lot neater than my home".

On the very first day I heard one of the most amazing stories I ever heard.   This topic would be a theme that I would hear throughout our stay.  I kept hearing  "healing and transformation"  from the first story and it trickled down to the very smallest of speakers, the children.   A grandmother's legacy, a lost boy, a child who is broken, a listening ear, resilience in advocacy, neighbors sharing their land for the greater good of the community and restored hope.  

I was deeply moved by the traumatized look on a few of the children's faces. 

It's hard to explain,  kind of a far away longing look, 
I will never forget. 

Photo credit Jonathan Gomez  
A thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.

"We are #chosen by God and have chosen to love him through the lives of precious children. Like a stunning flower in the midst of dark skies, our Creator has chosen each one of us".
Chaundra M Tangi

Photo credit Jonathan Gomez  
This photo and moment was one of my favorites. The World Vision Operation Director of this area trimming the nails of a little boy of parents that are dealing with domestic violence and alcohol abuse. He cares so much and told me a word that he has for the people here “transformation”. This is such a dedicated staff here in Cambodia, they have a really big heart for these children here. I loved hearing his heart for this work and I feel like transformation is coming from the seeds that were planted here. These kids here are so worth it! What they face just to learn and dream. The resilience of the grandmother’s stepping in to raise their grandchildren is beyond amazing and is mentioned many times by the staff here.
Unity and trust 

TEAM CAMBODIA. We are a group people who have come from different places and walks of life. Together we have a sage, a servant leader, a portal, a fierce one, a warrior, a healer, a defender, a peacemaker, a nurturer and a joyful one. We are many parts but 1 Body with the purpose to serve. This trip is over but we will always have Cambodia.
Jonathan Gomez

School is so much more than learning, sometimes it's a safe place to be away from abuse. 
"We had the sacred privilege of being present and listening. These strong and beautiful girls invited us into their lives and shared how lack of clean water impacts not only their present health and activities, but also severely limits the opportunity to live into their God given potential and dream for their future.  

A WV-Cambodia staff member summed it up perfectly this afternoon when she said, "They hear [the love of Jesus] with their eyes."  We truly witnessed Love lived out through multiple expressions of word, sign, and deed.

Sponsorship is transforming lives, bridging hope and opportunity to communities, and serving as a very real expression of who the Church is called to be. 
You can be a part of the story God is writing around the world".
Traci Espeseth

"Our team thanked the mothers for allowing us to come visit them, and encouraged them to keep up the good work. "From a mother to mother", I said, "you all are doing a great job!!!"
Photo credit Heather Maher
"As we wrap up our Cambodia trip we’ve been able to see the transformation that World Vision has made in the communities. The difference is night and day. The areas where the work has not begun are full of despair and poverty. The areas where the work is underway are full of joy and hope and we got a front row seat of the the stark realities. Thank you World Vision for broadening my world view and showing me the vision".
Photo credit 
Jonathan Gomez  
Photo credit Jonathan Gomez 

"Don't give up on your dreams, 
if you stay in school, study and learn, 
you can achieve your dreams". 
Jo Carlson 

Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”
Bob Pierce

Still processing, most likely it will come out in a painting.

"I loved this precious baby! Met her at a Mommy & me nutrition class in Cambodia! World Vision was helping teach the community how to feed and keep their little ones growing healthy and strong".
Jen Parks

Some children did not know their lives would change because World Vision was bringing sponsorship to their village.
All things new!
In this reading camp it was bright and colorful, 
a huge contrast from the first places we visited.  

Father, I pray that your hand would be on this World Vision staff and your spirit would pour onto this land.  Search every nook and cranny for the lost and find the most vulnerable and heal every last child and heart.  I pray that the grandmother's resilience be rewarded with renewal in strength.  I pray that you would equip this staff for your work, protect them and their families.  Place them in your will for the coming wave of transformation and healing that will come to Cambodia's beautiful people.  
Do what only you can do!  All things are possible with God!
May this light spark  today!

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Cor 3:18
Sponsor a child from Cambodia 🤍

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
1 Cor 1:10