Faith, Fun, Fashion, & Family

Faith, Fun, Fashion, & Family

Thursday, December 25, 2014

There's a Time for Everything...

Season of change will run through your life building your faith. Strength does not grow unless pressure is applied to a when pressure runs through your days, know God is building you for better. You are becoming more like your Father. Faith is based on what is unseen, so when you cannot see what His plan is... You must be humbled in obedience to trust something bigger that you cannot control. 
There are times in life that you are comfortable and rooted... Feel blessed and delight in this place. But know that at any moment, God may uproot & move you to experience a new adventure. This mysterious journey to your new soil may be uncomfortable, but it is faith building. Not having a place to plant leaves you exposed at the root, so make sure you are guarding your faith from anything that may destroy you. Hold onto the Rock, knowing that Earth is not your home...

Hebrews 13:14"For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come."

He says so... 

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11
Our hearts should hunger continually for a home that does not sit here. An eternal home cannot flood, rot, burn or crack at foundation. 

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."
Matthew 6:20

Use the eyes of your spirit to see your Heavenly Eternal Home that He is preparing for you... 

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 

If you are stripped of the ground beneath you here and are moved to a new place unknowing what lies ahead, find comfort in knowing that God does not allow pain in our lives without promises of something new... 

2 Corinthians 4:18
"In the same way, I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.” Isaiah 66:9
All artwork by Tabitha Seaton

Think of... Philippians 4:8

Monday, December 22, 2014

Turn Turn Turn...

The Bryds sing it well...
But the Bible says is best...
A Time for Everything
1There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9What do workers gain from their toil? 10I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yeta no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
15Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.b
16And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
17I said to myself,
“God will bring into judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time to judge every deed.”
18I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breathc ; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
22So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UnContainable Dreams

I had dreams in the past

That I held onto tight.
Like a child waits for a star
To shoot through the night, 
I waited & wished for it all to come, 
With my heart strongly beating like a drum. 
Then life brought a change, 
Surprising seasons age...
Now Dreams seem too far to touch, 
And my wrinkled hands loosen their clutch. 
My dreams I once tightly carried
Were bottled, corked & buried
Where the light no longer shines bright...
Forgotten and out of sight. 
My hearts became jaded 
As old dreams felt faded. 
Fear forcefully pushed the dirt tightly on top, 
To trap the dream's seed and produce no crop. 
I thought it better to suffocate the seed, 
That to live lonely with doubt & watch it bleed....
But the drumming dream beneath can't be hidden long, 
With it's everlasting joyful song.
The dream's drum cracks the bottle that contains, 
While the sun shines down and Heaven rains. 
Preparing a surface for my dreams to be reborn, 
Where roots grow up and soil is torn. 
The star shoots down and pulls the stem from below, 
Giving life to my dream and making it grow. 
The star I once waited for like a child each night, 
Is giving my dreams a new promise of light.

Art and Poetry by Tabitha Seaton
* A young widow's dreams can not stay bottled up. 
Inspired by new love & hope. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Up in the Air...

Grieving is such an emotional roller coaster. It's been over a year since Shannon, my husband of 10 years, left for Eternal Paradise. There is peace in knowing that it was all part of God's plan. I know Shannon is up there with our Father preparing a place for us to go after here... But the part that grieves me the most is mostly self pity in whats left here on Earth for us to sort through. Just because the biggest bump in the ride is behind us doesn't mean we won't be thrown for loops ahead. They seem to come from nowhere... 
Ok... So just when I am starting to feel "happy" again, I am struck with panic and fear! New love is here with words of comforting promise... But I can't seem to shake a fear of moving forward in life. Right now my life is so "up in the air" and I am deeply desiring a place to land and re-root. It's hard to relax at times when you know your life is in a sort of transport stAte and there's nothing beneath but air just whisping through your dangling roots. Even scarier is knowing there's young life in the basket with you that is depending on you to comfort them in the time you are feeling craziest of all. 
The sad part is thAt through this life I've grown a little tougher & realer... And in the process grown to fear happiness. It seems that at that sudden moment in life when your heart takes a snap shot of all you hold and grasps the true meaning of happiness in life... Well, it all kind of crumbles away. Happiness is fleeting and temporary. It's a glimpse you soak in and remember in contrast to the crumbles. I was happy and know I will be again. But I realize too, that when happiness is only a worldly & temporary emotion... Joy is an everlasting spirit deep reality that is soaked so far into the root of me... That no matter where my life floats to, this Joy can never be removed from my spirit. Planted or plummeting... It follows me everywhere. My life is not defined by my circumstances that come and go, but is defined only by what my spirit roots eternally contain. 
Poem below & styrofoam breakfast plate art wAs created in a meeting that I lost control of my emotions in. Roller coaster emotions can not be planned out. You may cry in the middle of the check out line of a grocery store and have to abandon a cart of frozen food to get it all together in a private stall of a public bathroom! Who knows... But the point is that if we are "afraid" to cry loud in a crowd... Then we are cowards. It is those thAt cry in the midst of pride that find an unexplainable strength and power in just letting go.
So, after my panic attack... Roller coaster loop... Freak out session... Pity party...Or whatever  you want to label it, I had no choice but to grab the empty white things around me and fill them up with my mark, my art, my voice, my spirit, my faith, my feelings... I just let it all out. 

Take it from me... A young widow, single mom, starting life over lady; 
Don't be afraid grieving souls to Just take a cry... Take a breathe! When living day by day is too much , live breath by breath. When you can't breathe... When you feel like your drowning, Ask Him that rotates the Earth to breath for you & on you. Let Him give your spirit CPR, take you where you need to go. Let go of life and let Him carry you with His invisible love. For it is the things that we cannot see here on this EArth that will remAin in eternity. Joy, peace, love. Have faith in things that are beyond sight. Test your trust... In the breath of the One who gave you your first breath. 

Passion for Hot Air Balloons spills over into my classroom life.... 
see art lessons plans on this top here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Seeing Beauty in the Broken

The past three weekends have been an amazing but exhausting race. I've been traveling back and forth to my home town to see my family, new love, & looking for answers to where life is taking me... It's all so fast and I'm getting slightly dizzy. So... God lovingly weaved a weekend of peace and tranquility for me that was much needed!
Today was such a blessing! I was spoiled this Saturday morning by waking up late (never happends) in a home all alone. My 2 girls were staying at their Graham's the night. So, I was psyched to have some time alone. I was desperately seeking to spend time fully focused on hearing Gods voice... After my coffee, shower, and another cup of coffee I headed out to just be free...
As always, when I have free time, my initial plan is to meet God at the Nature Preserve... But on my way there, 
I decided to stop by the Kindness Cottage, one of our local thrift shops. Pulling out of my garage, I took the long way to the shop so I could see one of my favorite houses in town. This is a house that a year ago, my late husband and I were somewhat dreaming of buying and restoring. We live in a beautiful new home that we fashioned to look old... but always talked about how much we long for a real old home. This old home had been previously owned by some drug addicts that had greatly neglected it. That fact & the sad estate of it all scared us too bad to further consider the possibility. But is was a very special house because of it's unique architectural features; rounded doorways and windows, inlet brickwork, intricate windows, and more. Every roll past this house tugged at my heart in hope for more, knowing it was not fulfilling it's purpose. It was destined for greater life. It was undeniably unique, but never the less... Broken. 
As I drove by the house while listening to my Jesus Jams, singing loud and smiling with my windows down & head in the clouds. I was expecting to see the usual overgrown weeds, empty flower beds and brokenness...
But as I looked up from steering, I was shocked! It was an unexpected scene that appeared before my eyes. The broken house was now beautiful! What was brown before was now green, what was tilted was now straight, what was dirty was now clean, what was hidden was now exposed, what was broken was now mended, and what was dead was now alive with love! 
My eyes welled up with tears... I was not only sweetly surprised by the restored beauty but even more surprised by dramatic yet sincere reaction. Why was I crying? Then I noticed the owner looking out the window of the rounded door and I felt like an emotionally unstable psycho stalker lady. So I Snapped a photo and drove off...
Why was I crying?... No!! I'm not PMSing, not menapausal, not pregnant... It was the Spirit touching me. He was revealing Himself to me. 
 That house was a dream we were  scared to live. The risk was too great & task too big! We saw the beauty but were not strong enough for the job. In our reality... It wasn't worth it.  But somebody else took it on! What dreams do I have that I am letting slip by out of fear? God saw me 6 years ago, when I was broken... All my intricately unique qualities that I had covered with selfish sin. I let things slip, neglected my own keep up, and felt worthless and broken.  He saw all my vain wasted talent, knowing I could be doing more. He was just waiting for my surrender.... When I opened my door to Him, He cleaned me up with love so that others could see my real beauty and my true purpose in life could begin. 
God created us in His image, as creative restorers designed to see beauty in brokenness. He hides beauty so we can uncover, discover, and restore it to it's original design... It's intended purposeful beauty. We are designed to search for the best in things, to peel back old layers in excitement & hope for the new. We long to find treasure, to discover a unique design. We appreciate differences in structures & finding beauty in the broken. Just as our heart longs for these things... This is Our Father's heart too! His greatest desire is To see us surrender, open up our doors, so that He can come in to restore His design to its original purpose that got lost in the brokenness. 
God's will is the Garden of Eden, Heaven on Earth, a place of perfect peace where His creation can walk hand in hand with Him in daily communion...
 But just like that house, our sinfully dirty addictions messed the perfect design & plan all up! We seem hopeless to worldly spectators with little faith. But He knows the blueprint of our lives & this world... His greatest desire is now to restore His will here. He wants to bring earth & all His creation back to it's original design!!! 
Strangely, This transformed house and my shopping plans began to connect... The thrill I get from thrift shopping was a way for me to connect to my Creator's Heart. I feel such deep fulfillment in seeing worth in broken or unwanted things that are surrendered to second hands. They are entrusted to my hands to make them new again. It's my purpose to mend the holes, rid the stains, or embellish the imperfections. Through eyes of hope, I see them as new again. 
Driving away from this house towards the thrift shop, I felt The Lord so close. I felt like He was laying out special spots along my day's path like rose petals leading to treasure. 
(Above: Treasure at Kindness Cottage that inspired me)

So, I made it to my Heaven on Earth... The Mineola Nature Preserve.
I plopped myself on a picnic blanket, ate my Sonic kids meal, listened to my Jesus Jams some more, and pulled out my art kit. What should I draw Lord? What are you telling me today?

Sitting here connecting, praising & creating is when I feel my absolute closest to God... My true worship and expression of love. Out in vast space of Nature all around me, alone with no distraction. Every sense is revealing His presence ; sounds of praise filling my ears (from my playlist & nature), smell of grass, sights of never ending country, and the feel of the wArm sun and cool breeze combined. The beauty of it all is the very One that Created this is calling me, a broken sinner, to create for Him!!! My every intricate detail of how He created me to live is being fulfilled here... I am living the Legacy He planned for me... Here is where He fills me up to overflowing! Here is my Heaven on Earth, my Garden of Eden.
Now this filling can't be contained! That's the whole point.... It is designed to spill out for others to see His love through my work. It is the most satisfying feeling I will ever have. 
God is trying to tell me... Tell Everybody, to slow down. Live in the moment, the here and now. Smell the flowers, feel the sun, raise your antennas to Him and listen for His voice. What is He showing you NOW? Shhhhhhhh..... Listen close. Be still. Escape the noise and run to His sanctuary. There you will find Heavenly peace that surpasses Earthly understanding.
It's time to leave my Secret Place and go pick up my bundles of Blessings from their Graham's house. She sits with her girls on her front porch. She tells us that the porch is her "Heaven on Earth". This is where she sits to devote her moments to Him, where she feels Him close. We all have our own idea of Heaven...

Heaven to me is feeling free, fearless, careless, safe, secure, worshipful and joyfulness.
Our only purpose there will be to Praise and Worship the Father in whatever way that is to us.
That may be creating art, rocking on the porch, or making mud pies.
The Bible says we are to be like a child to enter the Kingdom.
There will be no parental responsibilities for us to bear, no worry of their safety.
We are all His children and He is our Great Father!
So, when we enter Heaven we become in care of the Greatest Father ever. We will be safe and secure, no tear will appear, no darkness, no time, no hurry, no fear of death, no negative words, just pure worship and freedom to be adventurous in the never ending openness of the Heaven Realms. There will be new discovery around EVERY corner. We can swim the depths of the ocean and not be afraid. We can climb the tallest tree and never fall. We can run across the fields and not get thorns in our feet. 
We are free to play because our Father is watching us and He is everywhere!

It is Gods' will for Heaven to enter earth.
"Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our Daily Bread..."
Let Heaven come to us as we do your will here, and let us not worry about the morrow, but trust in today's blessings.
Don't hurry, don't worry, don't forget to smell the flowers...

Ended the beautiful blessed day with dirt and water....
Which when you add them together... They make mud pies... Something dirty to others, but beautiful in my eyes. 
Maybe in Heaven, Mud Pies will taste delicious. I am sure they will. 

May you be blessed by reading this. I pray that each person find beauty in the broken, treasure in trash, & hope and purpose in something as simple as a "lost sock". Amen. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Isaiah 66:7-9 spirit illustration

This paper-cut out illustration is a branch-off from my previous post...

I am using clippings from obituaries in the newspaper as the blooms from the flowers. To me, this symbolizes pain from loss of a loved one not being in vain. God does not give death the last word. From the pain of loss comes new growth and new hope. Isaiah 66:7-9 says, "Before her pain came, she delivered a son. Who has heard of such a thing? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?... I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born." Just as the pains of birth come, so follows new life. Nothing good comes easily. Nothing strong is built quickly. Sacrifice births life and peace. Look at the cross. 
Sometimes tragedy happens to us and we are left with nothing but questions and possibly doubt. Personally, Through death my faith grew. Our perspective changed. We live still... But in a new light. I believe more now in what I can't see, trust more in the unknown, and cling to hope for new life and second chances. I will never know why The Lord too my husband from his family at the young age of 35. But I will never selfishly want him to return the this world of death, because I know where he is nothing ever dies. It is hope I hold to and faith in eternity that keeps me moving. I refuse to let death defeat me or my family and the life we are still living here on Earth. God is not done with us... We still have a purpose. God is using us for His kingdom and we are gonna keep making life. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jeremiah 17: 7-8 Spirit illustration

Jeremiah 17:7-8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
"[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord,
 and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit."
Above 1: After Sharpie doodle
Above 2: After colored pencil shading and highlighting
Usually I get ideas by being inspired by music, quotes, my surroundings, or other artists work. 
I was very inspired by this Del Barber poster I found online...
I loved the layers of the subdued colors stacked together with the texture defining brown lines on all the objects. I was fascinated by the way they exposed the layers of dirt below to show the roots and it reminded me of how we should root ourselves in Christ... or we will be fearful & fruitless.
So, I used the verse in Jeremiah for my Biblical Inspiration.
As an art teacher, I just got done teaching my students about Paper Cut-Out method done by Henri Matisse. So, I decided to use the paper cut out to get the layers I wanted of the background paper to doodle on top of. 
I started with manilla for my foreground (tree trunk and dirt), 
then brown (leaves, nest, grass, and roots), 
pink (bird and fruit),
baby blue (water), 
and finally sage green (background sky). 

You can see some of the Matisse lessons we did here if desired on my LostSock Art Teacher Blog...

After I glued down the paper cut-outs, I then used Sharpies (brown, green, and rasperry) to doodle the texture on each part. After the doodle, I used colored pencils to add shading and highlights to the landscape. For the final step, I used this iridescent paper that I have been hording since childhood to cut a piece just right to layer over my water. 
I enjoyed this process so much I am planning on making more in the very near future!
Now you can too!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Light & Salvation by Tabitha Seaton

I cannot get rid of this image in my head the last week. It is of a strong bold and colorful flower growing toward the sun. It gravitates towards the source of it's strength as if it is only think that matters. Although the other flowers around it are growing a different way, it is not concerned with it's surroundings. The only thing that matters in this landscape is that the flower and "Son" are one. They are beyond the physical realm and exist in the spirit. The "Son" is the Light where the flower is drawn to for strength and the blood is the nourishing Salvation.
Since my life has been drastically changed by circumstance, I feel as though I am this flower. Hard rains may beat me down here, but it's moisture makes me stronger. I am aware there is a season for all things in order to make His will work. In the seasons of storms, I learn to lean on a higher power beyond my own. I am here on earth, knowing it is His plan for me... But my gaze is upward, my heart is His, my hope is Heaven, and my desire to to point others to Him. The more I grow towards the Spirit, the more the things around me become only silhouettes on the horizon. My gaze is higher as I gain a new perspective.

 I used the same image here in a lesson example for my students 
while studying Henri Matisse's paper cut out methods.
Read more about Matisse Paper Cut-outs here...
and how to teach the technique to students here..

Friday, April 4, 2014

Matisse Paper Cut-Outs

Matisse was an artist who's life was full of mistakes. He selfishly drug his family through hardships in order to fulfill his dream. He was an artwork-aholic, putting his art before his family his entire life. Not until he discovered himself old, sick, and alone does he realize what love really was... Sacrifice. 
Despite his selfishness, I have to admire his guts to produce art that was different than any other in his time. And when he did finally come to the end, despite his immobility and loneliness, he grabbed onto the only thing he had left. He took his God given talent and creatively stayed head above water in his fight for life. When he could not stand up to paint, he laid down to cut! This is when his masterpiece cut-outs were born... In the pit of pain & loneliness came an artistic force of life. He let his art be his last breath. 
I teach my students at school about Master Matisse and introduce them to the method of paper cut-outs. 
As they cut, I do too! 

Intricacy & Purity
Bright  white light robed in a rainbow of color
I love You like no other
Your light fills me with intricacy
And Your blood turns me to purity. 
My limbs gravitate to your radiating beams
My stem growing strength from it's glowing beams.
All others are dying silhouettes on the horizon behind
My life I will never hope to rewind
But grow closer to the eternal finish
Where my spirit will cease to diminish. 
In the shadow of your sacrifice I stand
To your cross I will lift my empty hand.
As light beams of color project from your graven post, 
In this crucifixion cross I mysteriously feel life the most. 
Somehow, In your spirit and invisibility
Is mysteriously the height of all I see. 
For in this casted shadow there is no shame
After tasting your love I will never be the same
In Your shadow there is no dark rigid cold
For in its stretch over this land is where my love has been sold. 
For you bought my spirit with a limitless price
I've lived in darkness and will never go twice. 
For only a fool would walk back to that place
My life of dark shame you have now erased. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cup of Sand

Drip doubt drip doubt
Like slow trickle from a water spout.
Searching outside for my thirst to be soothed
But there's no thing that will make my fever smoothed.
My melting ego needs some relief
A compliment sincere enough to believe.
I could search every crevice of this land
To find no water... Only sand.
I'll fill my cup with its grains and take it in
Only to result in a stronger quench within. 
Each sip bringing me closer to death
Drying my lungs as I struggle for a breath...
I close my eyes and drop the cup I clenched
To find a love inside that is sure to drench.
It's always there when all else fails
After I've searched all other dry dead trails.
My compass core always brings my back to You
My overflowing water cup and North so true. 
Why do I get lost so easily so steered astray
When You've proven me time & time the only true way. 
You love this girl who is lost & dizzy from her selfish circling
Always falling tired and thirsty from the vain dance she's swirling. 
You catch me in Your arms so strong
And love me all my journey long. 
Thank You for Your merciful patience with me
For You are my greatest love J.C.

Tabitha Seaton

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

spirit doodles... medicine for my soul.

My art for the last 6 years has been funneled from my soul.
It was the Summer's end of 2008 when something changed...
Just like Sara Groves sings about.
See her sing it here on YouTube, "Something Changed"
Since then...
Whatever I live, think, feel, absorb, learn, believe, experience, or need emphasized in my life is what comes out of my hand and onto the emptiness. If I keep all these things in, it can be dangerous to me in many ways; spiritually, emotional, mentally, and physically. If I go too long without letting it out, I go crazy. Art is my way of letting go of things needed to be let go of, sharing what needs to be shared, putting things behind me that I cannot carry any more, or today... it is more of my preaching to myself. 
Over and over and over again I am learning that living in Christ means living for the day at hand. I always thought planning, saving, worrying over what is next was a mature perspective. 
But I am not sure where I learned that from. God is continually calling me in life to NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW! Sit and be still in where you are now and BRING TO ME ALL YOU ARE BURDENED WITH.
Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 
Philippians 4:6
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Matthew 6:33-34
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:27
"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

I have been going crazy here the last 2 weeks working on projects that were good, but not from my heart. God has been calling me to work with Him creatively so that He could once again flood me with His peace. Creating for my Heavenly Father is one way I worship. It is a connection that brings Heaven down to the very place I sit to create. I sat today not knowing what to create... God searched my heart to the core of my fears inside. He pulled them out and showed them to me giving me a new perspective on His word and Promises. 
I do not know where my life is going, not sure at all where I will be or what I will be doing months from now. I know God is stirring in my life and that there is a change on the horizon. I have to trust Him daily to show me His way. Fear takes over every so often and He pulls me back into His strong but gentle grip of peace reassuring me that He has me in His Hand... And is NEVER letting go.

SO, I will move on in my day looking for Him and what He plants in my path. I will tune my ear to His voice following like a lost lamb. For I am His child and He is my Father, I am his little lamb and He is my good shepherd.

Jesus Calling - 
Enjoying Peace in His Presence
By Sarah Young 
day March 29th 

After I sat to write this post, I decided to do my daily exercise at the trails of the Mineola nature preserve insteD of the usual gym. 
I have been walking on the same trail since July when my husband & best friend of 10 years, Shannon, passed. Each time I walked, I would go a little further and gain more courage on the trails. I would pass the "wiggly bridge" (my daughter Maisy calls it) every hike but it was always roped off with DANGER tape. I always wanted to walk it and was continually curious if it would be fixed or not... 
Today was the day! As I got closer a fear came over me. I studied it close thinking maybe kids just tore off the tape and it was still really "dangerous". I felt like Peter walking on the water as I slowly footed my way a few feet and turned back in fear. I wondered if God really wanted me to do it. As I wondered I saw little white butterfly float it's way across the bridge as if it was telling me it was safe...
So... I DID IT! 
Finally I walked the wiggly bridge! 
I can't help but feel it as symbolic of coming into a new trust in my life. Letting the old go, walking on wiggly wood across a swamp, while looking ahead into the eyes of my Savior as he whispers, 
"It's ok my child, you're safe."
I will follow Him wherever He leads without looking back. Faith has brought me this far, I'd be a fool not to follow. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Illustrations of the Heart...

I often get inspired after worship at church while sitting and listening to the sermon. My mind's wheels start spinning, producing ideas, hands scribbling all over my paper program in all open spaces, inspired by the Spirit to help others understand how it feels to feel God's love the way I do. Being a Christian is about being set apart from what the world gives. 

In these two pictures, I am showing that when you move with the Maker, you are moving differently than the rest of the world. Things that we do and roads that we walk down may seem crazy to people that are not of the Faith. In the eyes of the world, it doesn't make sense. Honestly, to the Christian.. it doesn't either! That is where trust plays a part. We walk by faith, not by sight. 
2 Corinthians 5:7 

I will never forget the scene from Indian Jones Holy Grain Leap of Faith...

Of course it feels crazy to walk blind-folded a path that you cannot see, but in the grand scheme of things.. it is what we see that is temporary and what we do not see that is eternal! 
2 Corinthians 4:18

We are instructed by Christ to NOT FOLLOW the world, but to rise above it.
That is the only way to gain a good perspective of what HIS will is in our lives, to look from His eyes above our bodies (my interpretation)...
Romans 12:2

by Tabitha Seaton

It's so easy to tap your feet to the beat of a song. Sometimes we follow a song that we don't even understand the words to! That's what the world does. It makes you want to join into the beat, to follow along. We have to be careful not to get carried away by the beat of the world... 
We have to follow the beat and voice of our Shepard and get out of trances of the World. 
Because this world once belonged to Satan... he became the "prince of this world" when he fell from Heaven as an angel of the Lord! John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11

by Tabitha Seaton

My poem...
All pride aside
no treasure will I hide.
I give it all to you
the only value true. 
All my trophies I lay at your feet
knowing with your love I've won final defeat.
This world holds no value in my heart
your love cherished is my core's deepest part.
I've won the greatest prize
 when I saw true sacrifice in your eyes.
All I win here will be fore your Glory, 
so that my life will shine light onYour story.

Matthew 6:19 Tells is to not store up for ourselves earthly treasures. These things will be destroyed by rust or stolen by thieves in the end. Our true treasure is in the promise that we will be able to enter the Kingdom as children of the King forever and ever. Not because we earned enough trophies, accumulated enough gold, or sat high on a throne here on earth... but because of what HE did and the price HE paid on the cross that will buy our pass into Heaven. Our earthly wealth will have nothing to do with our Heavenly wealth... it actually may have the reverse effect since dependance on money tends to lead to independence from Christ. Matthew 19:24 say that is is harder for a rich man to make it to Heaven just as it is hard for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle. 
Matthew 6:24 also states that if you worship money you cannot worship Him. 
If you try to worship both, you will in turn hate one and love the other. You cannot love God and Money at the same time. 
So, if not money, whatever you rely on that gives you pride... Lay it Down at His feet. 
Make what you do best for His glory, not your own. Be willing to let it all go and let this world see Him through you. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 Says that in all we do (eating, drinking, moving) we should do for others above ourselves to reveal God's glory. It is all for HIM, not ourselves. Since He is in us, we desire to lift others up above ourselves since it is His greatest commandment.

Monday, March 10, 2014

In His Hand...

God gives us family, friends, children, and people of faith to give us a new perspective & help guide us through our walk with Him. I am more than ever now desiring to walk closely to my Heavenly Father because His Hand has proven present in how far I have come! I want more than my own breathe to make every move in His will. I am stronger now than I have been in my faith walk, but in my circumstances I am extremely weak an vulnerable. So my everyday prayer is for Christ to give me His perspective and discernment as I step forward in this mysterious journey of a young widow and single mother of faith.
 Almost 8 months ago, my 35 year old husband & BFF, Shannon, of 10 years suddenly went to his eternal home and left behind a family that has to learn daily to survive without his presence. Old Relationships take a new confusing definition and time will only reveal their new structures. Times bring changes that were not wanted, but faith brings courage to take these changes and we continually find new life through what has died. Through our grief and despite our weakness, we grasp even stronger to the One that is solid and unchanging... Christ. 
About 5 months ago, God have me a vision of a caterpillar in a pupa and revealed to me that this was my state He desired for my present to prepare me for what was to come. I wrote a post about it here if you desire to read it...
Maisy created this during her free time in  Sunday School as a surprise for me, not knowing the vision God had given me a week or so before...

Maisy created this months later during church service... 

God showed me that this vision He gave me was real by using those around me to confirm it. My daughter maisy, 6 years old, created these drawings above in church to give me much peace on confirmation of the vision. 
As I went through a metamorphosis, I began to grow stronger in dependence upon Him only. I also learned what elements if my life needed some weeding & pruning. See blog post here....
Through this walk (and still today) I craved to be in His presence in the wide open. When i am alone in the Secret place, i feel His presence. A place I like to run to and retreat in order to meditate is to the Mineola Nature  Preserve. It is so big and grand that it makes me feel so small and humble. I feel Him all around!

A lot of tourists go there because of their curiosity of BigFoot, but I go there because serenity of the BigHand ;)
After all the times of going to the preserve to pray, draw, walk, and think... I never realized that I was literally in the "Palm of God's Hand"! 
This is a view of the area where I often sit at the park to draw out what God has laid on my heart to create. This is my way to release cathartically what I have inside to share with others around me , or sometimes just for me and Him. 

I took a special new artist friend here on a trip months ago, to share with Him how I like to be in the panarama of the earth to feel His presence when I create. We were all set to draw with pencils, charcoal, and sketch pads... Looking in and around , just Waiting on inspiration. As I looked within me, he looked outside of himself at what was around us both. As I curiously sat to see what he would draw, I found that he had a special observing eye for the external that I was myself was lacking. As we both looked out onto these rows of marsh below us, he saw something amazing...The Hand of God! 
       "God's Hand" by Todd Morgan

So, that is what he drew! I love it... God truly does bring friends to us to widen our perspective & show us things we would not have seen on our own! Sometimes these things are right in front of our face just waiting to be noticed!
Through these months in between I was wiggling out of my spiritual pupa, but unsure of the safety to come out. Was God done remaking me? Were my new wings strong enough to go higher? We're new eyes prepared enough to see the light again?
 I prayed for a sign of whether or not I was strong enough & ready to move on from the pain and loss of my husband from 7 months earlier. God has been singing lullabies to me in my state and I had grown very comfortable there in the spiritual routine of my life. My Nights had gone from dark and lonely to calm and comfortable knowing I was resting in His loving winged embrace in the stillness of my pupa of peace. His shadow has no darkness! 

Although I had grown comfortable into this place, I knew it was not God's will for me to stay forever. God had bigger plans for me that required me to fly... And He was almost done nursing me back to health. So, I began to pray and wait for God to show me the right time to move forward & let go of the painful past... There was light on the horizon and I glimpsed the sliver of it's glimmer and felt the warmth of it's light!

Months after this eye-opening artistic adventure with my new friend and prayers for His gentle nudge to flutter forward, my wiser & older sister, Debby shared with me a vision God had given her for me. She said that she awoke late one night to seeing me sitting on my regular spot at the nature preserve with my art tools at hand. I was looking within and waiting for inspiration to begin drawing. I looked out at the windmill, a symbol of a physical object powered by something invisible (faith) and watched a butterfly fluttering in the distance (my metamorphic state). Still, seeing these things I continued looking deeper within for inspiration. As I continued searching for it to come, the butterfly came closer and began to flutter in my face and make me smile, laugh and be happy! God had put my inspiration there in the physical and I was still looking inside! I had to change my perspective to see what He was trying to show me! I was ready to make my move, draw my mark on the empty white page that laid at my hand. No more waiting for His nudge... He was dangling my happiness right there in front of me and I was too busy with my head in the clouds over-analyzing and being introverted (how my spaghetti brain works!)
So, I know God is lovingly pushing me from my comfortable nest to spread my widow wings and search the wide open world for His Greater Plan! 
On this beautiful day I am blessed to get away once again to my special spot of peace, God's Hand at the Mineola Nature Preserve! My girls are at their Graham's house and Spring is in the warm windy air. I'm pulling back my hair and putting on my shorts to go have my time with my main man, my J.C., my Heavenly Father, the Prince of my Peace, my Healer, my Everything... Jesus!
Packing up my prayer shawl and daily devotional to meditate and pray for God to clear the way...
Ponder face... 
Besides the Bible, this is THE BEST book I have ever read in all my walk. It guides me though my grief and into His presence day by day. It's always right on key with exactly what I need! 
Sitting here inside His palm the view is different. I am sitting by the pinky of His left hand, probably the weakest finger on the weakest hand... But His strength is ever present in my weakness. 
His peace with you on your journey. Thank you Lord for giving me friends and family to share their perspective with love & without judgement. May I always learn to take these nuggets of truth to You, My Heavenly Father, to give me the weight and value of the words. May I focus on my blessings more than my problems, and your strength more than my fears. For your left pinky holds more power than this world could ever ponder... In Your Son Jesus's  Holy Name, Amen.