Spring is a wonderful time of the year. Just as Spring refreshes our spirit, each Spring, knowing and walking with God does each day. A few days ago a friend of mine asked me what scripture was my favorite and I didn't have an immediate answer which puzzled me. I finally told her "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me" but got the verse reference wrong. I remember studying so hard to learn special scriptures along with the verse reference so we could tell others and through following the scripture verses we could show how to know Jesus. It was surprising to me that I couldn't recall the verse reference. Then and there I made a commitment to myself that I would make a concerted effort to remember the verses special to me.
Thy word have I hid in my heart so that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11
Last night my precious grandchildren spent the night with me. What fun we had right up until bedtime and we all tried to sleep together. I had forgotten how little girls like to sleep cross ways, upside down, and with legs and arms on top of pillows and other people. Carley Ann was bothered by Anna Claire so I tried to sleep in the middle. Sleeping in the middle was a trick because I only had one side protected from someone falling off, so I slept with my arms around Anna Claire. I wish I had pictures to share. We looked like a family of worms. :)
Just as a reminder to myself I'm adding making a CD of my paintings and photographs. It must be a simple thing to do, but learning anything new automatically gets put off as long as I can.
What I plan to do is check out some of the free software already on my computer that came preloaded from Dell on my son's computer and from Sony on my laptop. I know my son uses the free software to make CD's of the children's pictures and he puts music to them and sometimes words. I like what he did, so I might just ask for his help ... or read the help files (sigh). Also, inside my computer program files I noticed that microsoft has some free stuff that looks like it might do what I want and my printer is a HP, and when the printer software was installed, it also installed some CD burning stuff that looks even more interesting. I don't plan to use my CD for sending to galleries, but I really want to have an archive of my paintings and maybe some thoughts that go along with the painting to jog my memory as I get progressively older and can't remember. Now don't laugh... it's true... I can't remember like I once did. The other day my daughter-in-law called me on the phone and asked me what I was doing and I told her I was watching Phil Donahue. "What??, who's that??, she said." LOL... I guess my brain just went back a few years and that's what came out of my mouth. I was watching Oprah. sigh.
Anyway, I think I can figure out how to do this. The only problem now is finding time. I can't believe how my days just fly by.
As artists we are always concerned with shadows because we have learned that shadows tell the story of the object we are painting. If you are trying to paint a shadow it helps if you squint to fix your eyes on the shape. By squinting we simpfly the shape and don't get bogged down in details.
As Christians we are also concerned with shadows, our shadow and God's shadow. You see, just as in art, our shadows are important because it tells a story. In my mail box this moring was a message from my Sunday School prayer group leader, Marilyn who asked the question at the end of all the prayer requests, "In your daily lives, what type of shadow do you cast? Does it point to God or elsewhere?" This is what I am thinking on today.
The last several days I've been painting at Callaway Gardens with my painting friends some of which have been spending the night at my house. It's been fun to be around them and hear laughter at all the tall tales and hear about plein air adventures from everyone. We've done lots of painting but more than that we have been able to share our visions of how we want to grow into our art in more ways than one.
I'm reminded that God is always doing a new work in us. I think because we are made in his image, we are always trying to do the same. It doesn't matter that we or others don't see we are growing and changing, God sees. Our work as artists changes as we grow, and so do our hearts. God says in Isaiah 43:19, Behold I am doing a new thing. Can you not perceive it? This means we don't have to wait for change; he is changing us every minute we live.
I was reading in the International Artist magazine this morning a thought from Harley Brown and he was talking about how artists sometimes hide in their art. I think this is true for lots of us even those that aren't artist types. We can get lost in our art, or sometimes get lost with other things we do just to escape from life. In getting lost with making art we can cover up or redo the mistakes we make, but it's harder to do in real life. The mistakes we make in real life can come back to haunt us over and over again. Because I am a Christian, I know that my mistakes in life are forgiven as I have asked for forgiveness, but the haunting continues because I remember them or others remind me of my imperfections. This is when I take a deep breath and thank God for his presence in my life. I'm thankful that we don't have to live in the past, that we can go forward. I thank God that He has plans for me and everyone. I thank God that I can claim that knowledge and be comforted by His words that He is always with us and will never leave us.