Friday, October 9, 2015



Psalm 1

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper...

I have parked my rear down to write this several times and I trip over my words. I cannot say it better than God (duh, Erin). When we tap into the "rivers of Water" (God's loving word/direction) and we LIVE there, we will come along in perfect timing.  Our souls will grow just right- not too fast that our roots are too shallow and not too slow that we miss our "season" of growth. In that season, we will offer the world the LIFE-CHANGING sustenance of His character (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control) and we will be prosperous in ways that are far more gratifying than we/this world could ever provide. 
Sounds pretty great right? Sign me up. The key is in the description just before the chapter: "The Way of the Righteous..." The Way is Jesus Christ. No one can come to the Father or any thing written above without Him. He IS the stream of living water that keeps us from the colorless, bitter world of sin, scorn and ungodly actions. The Way is also meant to be constant.  Like the beautiful color of life that drains from the flesh when our spirit departs our earthly body, so it is in our souls without that CONSTANT spiritual nourishment.

We are fully capable of walking in our beautifully adorned flesh (you know, the life that looks just "so") filled with parched, colorless souls- that are pushed to and fro with the winds of this world. But, if we hold onto God's promise that He WILL bless the one who meditates on His law day and night-who takes up SOUL residence in the River of living water- we can live in FULL Color no matter the surrounding lands. Dry and desolate or overflowing with abundant resources, we will not waver--Because He does not waver. He promises that we will grow and flourish in broken, hard to live places, while we await perfect eternity.

I desire that life. I hope you do, too! Love to hear from you, wherever you are. Email me:
Mixed media on Stretched Canvas




Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Fly Away" : The Middle- Between Salvation and Eternity

My mother-in-law told me a while back that deep thinkers are often artistic and use art form as a way to express their hearts. At first, I didn't think that applied much to me, but today I was reminded of it's truth.

I am head-strong, but not in the push people around/won't back down kind of way. I'm head-strong in the "chained" sense. Chains to my past, to my sins, to my fears and anxiety. I'm sure in some way we are all anchored to "prisons", but I have said several times to my husband that I feel as if I am a caged bird.

Before I knew Christ those deepest caged moments were so very dark and unnerving that it was almost maddening. Even knowing Him, I have moments when I feel as if my human frame cannot contain my overwhelmed existence.

But that is the beauty of the Cross. I can find freedom in Him. I know that in Him, those chains are broken and, while my circumstances may not change here earth-side, I know for a fact there will be Perfect solution when I meet Him. Knowing THAT and hanging on to that by my spiritual fingernails, truly brings a peace to this little caged bird-one that passes all understanding.

Today was a humdinger of a morning. It has been a busy week and a stressful weekend for many reasons. All was simmering low until the chaos of Sunday morning hit. You know, Sundays are supposed to be restful and a time to honor the One who gives us rest. Not surprising that Satan is here to make his best attempts to keep us from the Word, worship, and the rest that comes along with that surrender. It is hard work getting a family of five (and a naughty dog) prepared for AM church service. Mouths to feed, clothes to prep, hair to get done, and blah blah. Honestly, I'm tired before I get to church and then I have an 18month old to wrangle. I often leave church feeling tired, learning little, but thankful that I honored the Lord by going. ANYWAY, I lost my gourd this morning before church. I spewed out all the stress/angst that built up over who-in-the-world knows how long. My husband handled it with grace and for that I am thankful. I surrendered just enough to make it to church, not an ounce more. After all, dang it, I AM TIRED, PEOPLE.

Then, I went to church, heard the Word, and left both ashamed and grateful- ashamed at my rant and grateful to a God of many mercies. The song that came to my heart as I rocked my sweet boy was "I'll Fly Away."  I set out to worship God through the art of that song.

When the shadows of this life have gone,
I'll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away)

I'll fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

"Fly Away"
10'x8" on glass
Original SOLD
As you can see, the chain has been severed from the prison bars, leaving the bird free to fly but the chain remains attached. I needed to remember today I'm that bird, and if you know Jesus you are the bird, too.  I AM IN THE MIDDLE. At the cross in Calvary He broke that bondage of judgment and death. There is no longer condemnation. While I'm on this earth, though, I will still feel the the lingering chains of this fallen world- pain, regret, doubt, heartache and brokenness.  I'm in the middle, promised eternity, but living in brokenness. I haven't made it yet, and that is ok, because Christ continues to wait with merciful arms until Heaven.  
I am no longer chained to the bars of my judgment, but with the knowledge that one day I will be FULLY free of the chains when I am with Christ. And THAT is the difference maker. That truth allows for peace when we navigate the darkest of days. It allows for healing that makes us "experienced" to offer support to others support when they hit those same dark spots. And it makes it possible to stop and STAND on the truth that we are here for a purpose rather than being *stuck* in the prison of doubt, guilt, or shame. We can get up and keep walking, head held high to Heaven--even if our steps are so weak we are crawling.
If you don't know Christ, this may sound like quite the rosy painting of suffering and suckiness that comes with life. Like a "Jesus" way of explaining optimism. But optimism without follow through is shallow and fruitless. He will follow through. The suffering will ultimately be met with FREEDOM from pain and suffering. There IS beauty beyond our understanding in eternity with Christ. If you want to know Christ, email me at

Sunday, September 6, 2015

"Many Plans"

Proverbs 16:9 says "Many are the plans of a man's heart, but the Lord determines his steps."

I actually started this painting with a different verse in mind.It was full of color. Lots of warm circles of yellow, orange and red, surrounded by a stormy sea of cool blues. Then, between my first and second day painting, my heart was no longer moving in that direction.

I know I could have left it-come back to it, but that just isn't my style. I feel like I need to see a painting through before I can start another. It is as if my heart is hanging out there distracted by it until it is DONE.

Also, I just *know* when a painting is finished. I always marvel at the thought, that my feelings keep working themselves out on the canvas until they are a completely free and untangled sight to see.

So, in this case, the fireball that was there the day before was smoothed away little by little-- A myriad of colors made their way in circular motion until I stepped aside and said, "Finished!"

This time, what I set out to do wasn't at all what came to completion.  Yet, it was exactly what it was meant to be all along. You see, I believe somewhere out there is someone who is meant for this painting, and this painting meant for him/her. I love that thought so very much.

So, since the heart of the painter moved, so too, did the paint on the window. The previous verse no longer fit and Proverbs 16:9 called to me. "Many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the LORD who determines his steps."
Sometimes life is so clear; things we walk out are straight-forward and sure. But in so many ways, I think some of the sweetest moments in life are born out of complete dependence on the Creator to determine our steps-to take us to the beauty only He can see on the other side.

When life takes a turn or my plans look to be shattered, I can take two perspectives: frustration and disappointment, or complete trust that God's not through yet. That His path is ultimately to an infinitely better destination. I believe this whole-heartedly and my life is so much sweeter when I keep my eyes on that truth. Trust me, I spend too much time on the other side. When I do, I'm left with discontent, confusion, and a whole lot of self-focused wheel-spinning.

Oh, but when I spiritually release my heart and mind to the Creator, like a baby finds safety and security in the lap of Momma, it is the ultimate sweet spot.

I'm not saying when we do this our worlds will be magically free of pain, cancer, abuse, grief, or any of the other head-shaking God doubt-makers out there. Oh but Satan sure would love for us to hang there in that despair.  Instead, I'm encouraging you to see the TRUTH of the Perfect God who doesn't need magic to win my heart, to win yours. The truth of One who promises that He sees this fallen world with all it's fallible, painful circumstances. The One who promises an eternity free from all of this. Yes, eternity.

 If you don't know Him, please know He desires to pull your heart up to His Sovereign chest and keep you safe from spiritual harm. He desires to guide your heart across a dry and weary land. He most certainly desires to give you joy and peace as you walk out a life that often doesn't feel right or good. He desires to guide your life steps back to Him for a perfect good. See? Even a glimpse?  Even a spark of curiosity? I sure hope so and He does infinitely more deeply than I. What would it hurt to give those weary steps over to this "Perfect Creator" of Whom I speak? If I'm wrong, it will just be another little side walk. However, if I'm right your life will be eternally changed for a good so deep you and I can't wrap our minds around it. Want to do that? I'd love to hear from you. email me at:

For my followers who know that Truth, let the Lord continue to win your heart with His goodness, in the straightforward times, and the confusing ones. Choose to lift your chin to Christ and keep walking upright as you lean into His shelter. Let Him fill you with joy in the land of suffering and sorrow. Many are the plans...


"Many Plans"
Mixed Media
42"x24"x2.5" on Vintage Glass

Friday, August 7, 2015


He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. Job 5:10

I love rain. I love the sound and the smell. I love a good, healthy non-threatening thunderstorm. The sounds remind me of His great might.

Did you know that thunder is actually the sound of lightning? Essentially, when lightning is discharged, the intensity of it's heat expands so rapidly we actually *hear* the air being ripped apart. Frightening, really. Powerful, to be sure. But NOTHING in comparison to the might of God.

When I am startled by a huge thunderclap, I ALWAYS think of that raw power and the Power of the infinitely more Powerful One. He could crush me. Easily. In the instant that I heard that crash of thunder, His wrath could fall upon me. And guess what? I'd deserve it.

In the eyes of a Perfect God, I will never, ever measure up. A good storm needs two big ingredients, a cold front and a warm front. We bring our COLD, wretched selves up to the Heat of the Perfect flame of justice and it is a recipe for a massive storm of judgment. But he knew that before we took our first gulp of air, and He sent His Perfect Son on my behalf and on yours.

It's like the gentle drops of rain that come with those mighty storms. Drip. Drip. Drip. Cool and soft, reminding me of the perfect balance only Christ can bring at the cross.
With each sin we have committed and the ones ahead to be surrendered, His sacrifice pays our price, and whispers healing words of forgiveness and worth. Because when we surrender and accept that pardon we are no longer held for that ransom. Instead we are free to believe the sweet, calm words dripping down from above: "I've paid the price. You're redeemed. You're set free. You are of infinite worth."

Mixed Media on 24"x42" vintage glass window
Original Available
The picture doesn't do it justice. Come on over to get a peek :)

Monday, July 13, 2015

"Tucked Away"

Phillipians 4:13 says " I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

I'm a "can't-er." There, I said it. God has made me, in His goodness, an encourager of others, but when it comes to myself, the resonating screams of "I can't" often bounce wildly around my brain. Then from my brain into my soul, until I'm forgetting the One who ALWAYS can. The forgetting is never, ever a good thing.

I was talking to my mother-in-law, whom I aptly refer to as my mother-in-love, last night. She is such a beautiful example of grace and wisdom. She tells the truth seasoned with such humility, it's truly remarkable. Anyway, She mentioned to me that artists are often deep thinkers who use creativity as an outlet. This obviously makes sense, but it really struck a chord in me.

When started painting a few years ago I was just beginning to understand being in the thick of a full-time wife/mom. I traded my Chuck Taylors and clinic hours, for diapers and 24/7 crazy-mommy lady.  Point being, I spent a great deal of time serving others, and lost most (almost all) time for understanding or expressing myself. While I wouldn't change one iota of that gift (children now up to three :)), I can see how painting made its way to the surface. The first little painting I did was completely freeing, but when I thought of others seeing it, the "I can'ts" were flying. Fastforward to actually painting for others... oh, what my poor family and friends had to hear come from this self-conscious nitwit.

To be honest, I still deal with the "I can'ts," but there was a BIG change this spring. I let go and said, "If when I paint I'm only worried if You'll be pleased, Lord, then I can paint whatever I want." LIBERATING. SO, amazingly liberating. If my only criteria is that I paint to honor the Lord, then it doesn't much matter if one ever sells or if Bobby down the street thinks I'm a total lune-ball who paints things that look like his dog barfed up. I am, for the record, I lune-ball, but I hope my paintings don't make people think of dog vomitus.

For Pete's sake with the digression, SORRY. Anyway, I wanted to see if I could do detailed landscape with lots of color because *I* can't even cut straight with scissors. But, with Christ, I can do anything He allows.
****Side note: We can do ALL things through Christ, in His will, with His permission, for His Glory. I'm definitely not saying, that when you become a Christian you can do whatever the dickens you want- sometimes including good, awesome Godly things. But, when you know and love the Lord,  I do believe He delights in blessing us in ways that bring us joy. Accomplishing an "I can't" brought me immense joy.

Mooooving on :)
Years ago if I were able to see this painting I would have most certainly said, "I couldn't do that." And back then, I couldn't. I hadn't tasted and seen the goodness of God as I am presently. I didn't have the Godly confidence to paint that then. I will look back on this moment, too, Lord willing, and see how His love has made me grow/mature in my heart and my art.

I've learned just as this little cabin is tucked away in nature's splendor, our souls have potential waiting to be unleashed, As we surrender and lean into God, may we experience His intricately personal  "All things through Christ."

**if you're interested in purchasing this painting or a print, please contact me at:
"Tucked Away"
20"x16" Acrylic on stretched canvas

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bird's Eye View

I have no idea why I am constantly surprised by God's display of His infinite knowledge in my life. So many times, He wows me and I am slack-jawed, shaking my head as if to take it right off its axis. He's perfect. He's Sovereign. He loves BIG and perfectly. And, of course, being human, I forget that and then, He wows me. Hence, the bird's eye view. The dictionary defines it something along this line: A view from high over head, as if from a bird's perspective. To see something in its entirety from above. Isn't that just how God is?

If our lives were compared to a photograph, we would see but a few pixels at a time. A few specks of blurred color, seemingly offering ZERO significance. Sure, we may see some small effects to our causes, in life, but truly we have no idea how each detail of our life is multiplied to affect so many other areas in our own lives and in the lives of others. The role they play in the now and the FOREVER.

Oh, but God, in His amazingly awesome perfection, can see the minute detail of the pixel and the full beauty of the entire picture.

Case in point: my most recent project. A custom, requested by a sweet lady I've gotten to know online. I won't begin to explain the many, many details of His assured presence, but trust me when I say, He was with me. And for that, I'm grateful. One simple example is the title. As I prayed for wisdom and creative direction, before I had an inkling of what the painting would be, the name of the painting came: "Bird's Eye View." .

Anyway, this online friend of mine, wanted to bless a family they had befriended years ago (her husband and this gentleman served together in the military). They were expecting about the same time, but this family had a heart-breaking loss of their little, sweet gift after just 36 days of life on earth. The request was simple, a "star" theme and then she gave me the backstory.

Here's a condensed version:
It was a perfect pregnancy. Baby and momma did great. But, the night she went into labor, baby's heart rate dropped and an emergency c-section was performed. He went several minutes without oxygen. One night, his momma and daddy held him close on the lawn of the children's hospital. There, God gave them a beautiful display of His majesty--Shooting stars, and apparently, a good amount of them. Just a few short hours later, he was gone. His momma later wrote that they find comfort every time they see one, because it reminds them of their sweet boy.

As I do with all my paintings (and Lord make me quit the day I don't do this), I prayed for the family. Then, I began to read up on the scientific information on shooting stars. Shooting stars, aren't stars at all. They are dust/debris entering earth's atmosphere. When this occurs, they change in physical/chemical composition and they literally burn away before having the opportunity to meet earth's crust. You know, because if they didn't, we wouldn't survive. :)

When I read this, and its significance sunk in, I lost it. I mean, I started aching so deeply that I overflowed with tears. It was such a beautiful combination of identifying ever so slightly with their grief and an even smaller understanding of God's goodness.

The thing that stuck with this family was an insignificant, lifeless piece of dust; a piece of material that NO ONE on earth EVER would have known of, if it hadn't been obliterated as it entered into our atmosphere.

Cosmic dust has been burning to a crisp, and capturing the eyeballs and hearts of human beings since the beginning of time. Thing is, it had to be utterly destroyed to display its beauty and achieve its purpose. And a whole bunch fiery destruction happened that night.  A blessing to this family, on the day their precious son went to meet Him; a beautiful reminder of His Sovereignty- His perfect control over the ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

It was as if the Heavens opened up and GOD said, "I am here. I'm with you. Just as it takes an incredible amount of pressure/heat/change to convert this dust to beauty, so I desire to offer you love and make beautiful things out of this event that is crushing you, today and the days to come."

If He could take a seriously insignificant piece of dust and  make it gloriously beautiful, how much more does He have for you and me?  If He does something so monumental through something that literally means nothing in the big scheme, how much more involved is He longing to be in our every day? He wants to do His Big Things through us.

He. Is. Present. In our mundane. In our joys. And, very much in our hardships. He is with us. We may not see it. We may be looking at a few mere "pixels," but He simultaneously sees our pixels and the WHOLE Shebang! He gets it and His word says, He wants His best for us.

Dust can't fall from the universe without majestic display. Sparrows don't fall without His knowledge. Every hair on your head is accounted for by Him. And every single star in the sky strategically placed by the hand of the Artist.

I can't imagine their grief and I am not attempting to offer empty words when I say, "God knows what is best." Because He isn't offering that kind of consolation. He mourns every tear that momma and daddy have shed and will ever shed. He is present with them and He is present with each of us in our suffering. Just as the dust of the universe is crushed to make something spectacular, He longs to make ALL THINGS good for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Are you feeling pressed within an inch of being crushed? Feeling so lost in your circumstance you feel like you can't be found? His word says that there will be a day when He will wipe every tear away. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. He is with us in this broken world.
Irwin Lutzer said it beautifully, "The bible is a smooth path for a very difficult journey." The bible is clear that because we live in a broken, imperfect, sinful world, we will have struggles. BUT, it is also  says 365 times, "do not fear"-- one for every day of the year, because He knows we weren't equipped to handle this. He made us in His image, and to be in His perfect presence. So until we meet the ultimate Holder of the bird's eye view, we have to know His Truth, take comfort in His promises and see His presence in the shooting stars of our hard days here.

Love, Erin

Friday, May 22, 2015

The First Flag

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."- John 15:13

How in the world could I begin to paint a picture of Arlington National Cemetery? How?
If you've never seen it, look it up. Both breath-taking and heart-breaking at the same time. Lines and lines and lines of beautifully white washed stones, each one there for a soul who gave a life for our freedoms. For our country. For you. For me.

Tears flowed freely as I looked at photos of family members clinging to the memory of that soldier, clutching that stone as if to grab a piece of their beloved once again. And the soldiers saluting, I cannot even begin to describe the combination of absolute pride and brokenness. I wont even pretend to understand how it would feel to stand there on this side of heaven, looking on all my fallen friends.

When a friend of mine asked me to do this, I knew it was going to be incredibly challenging. Not only was it a whole lot of lines to paint, but the significance of the sacrifice these people made, the representation of each individual who served and gave his life, there was no way I could capture it. I still haven't, but I knew I could take a lifetime and wouldn't get it, and I had to be okay with that. Because I could never confine the beauty of that sacrifice to a canvas. As I type that I think of the Lord and shake my head at even trying to contain His Majesty.

I knew in my heart I could not do this justice, but I sure would give it on over to the Lord. The landscape aspect came naturally. The stones were a dickens to paint-ALL THE LINES.  In fact, I felt like the stones needed more space, so I scraped a section of the painting and started over.

But the soldier, planting that first flag through the crust of the soil he vowed to protect-- I couldn't give him a face. I just could not define him, because he needed to be a representation of all our men and women who serve, who leave family and home to defend our country.

There he is, back pack full of flags, meant to honor each and every one of those souls who died to protect us. A rectangular piece of fabric with our beloved stars and stripes, which beautifully depicts all we should stand for. That piece of fabric seems such a small way to honor that amazing sacrifice; but, I beam inside knowing what Old Glory represents.  I just want to hug that person- to say "Thank you for your service, for loving your country, and for honoring these people who died for you and me." I know I would never ever get those words out because I'm tearing up now, only seeing that opportunity in my mind's eye.

I pray that the Lord is pleased with this most feeble attempt to capture and honor Arlington National Cemetery, the people who are laid to rest there, and all those who have served past and present.

I love our country and its foundation in Christ. I am so grateful for the souls who have and currently serve. To those folks, I say "Thanks."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I am in a big, fat, stinky funk. I hate funks. Well, except the 70s style. I know that this funk is likely (definitely) a result of my busyness. When I get too busy, I get too dang near-sighted. Then I start to creep away from my Center- Jesus.

Just like the Earth is so perfectly placed that if it is moved one degree closer to the sun we burn to a crisp, one the other direction we freeze to death, so it is with Our Creator. When I get away from the sweet spot of resting in Him, I begin to quench the Spirit.

Bringing my heart back to His beauty by honoring Him here.

I worked on a project awhile back. I think I've mentioned before how I absolutely LOVE all things old/worn/lived in. I just love worn down wood, old homes, and things that show the wear of the world.

That said, my mother-in-law requested me to paint a piece of glass to hang in an opening above a doorway of her beautiful, old victorian home. The glass was about a foot and a half by five feet. Big. The plan was to nestle it right into the rich, warm original woodwork that stood above the huge doorway between the formal/informal living rooms.

She gave me free range, except with a few color requests. She offered ideas of folk art, or even foliage. I love folk art and that would have been fun. I love landscapes and they are cool, too, but I needed to honor the style of this home. So, I remembered seeing a piece of victorian floral fabric on a pillow in her living room years ago.

That was it. I found my inspiration. So off I went. I loved this part, designing the "bones."

Then Layer.

By Layer.

By Layer.

Until it was complete.

To be honest, in the middle somewhere I wanted to quit. It looked "weird" and my eyes were so strained. I thought, 'I am totally screwing this dang thing up."

But, I persisted and kept thinking this is how it is with the Lord. As a new creation freshly bought with salvation blood, we feel free, vibrant, and our raw potential in Christ feels so clean. Kind of like the bare bones of this painting. It was simple and looked nice as it was, but there was a lot of hard work ahead for it to be complete.

In the same way as the paint sloooowly progressed, we experience the daily strain of having the Holy Spirit encased in sinful flesh, in a sinful world- we aren't complete. We are a work in progress.  As the verse in proverbs says  we are being made "ever brighter until the day of Christ." I know that , like this painting, I am in the middle, where Christ is adding layer upon layer of His goodness. It comes in the form of blessing, simple joys, hardship and loss. And we are to be continually sanctified until we meet Him face to face.

I'm forever grateful that if no other soul on earth gets my heart, my Heavenly Father does. And He patiently keeps working on me, making me "ever brighter until the day of Christ." Thank You, Lord!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

New Heart

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."- Ezekiel 36:26

I cannot tell you the  comfort this verse brings. It tells me so many things. It tells me God saw the hardness of heart in me and He loves me enough to remove it and replace it with a fresh, vibrant one. Thing is, I think that this not only happens in a big, eternal way-through salvation- but in the small, hard-hearted everyday stuff that steals our joy.

I have prayed this verse over my own heart so many times, yearning to be set free of selfish, near-sighted life-walking. It is no wonder that it would make it to canvas. But how it surfaced, came as it often does, through the lives of others.

I was scrolling along facebook when I came across a family's page for their little one who was in need of a new heart. While I don't know the family personally,  I had been following the story, praying along. This post was an update, baby had gotten a new heart! Praise God! There, photographed so beautifully, was her "sick" heart, . It struck me, searing its image so deep, I still see it in my head so clearly. It really was beautiful. My mind was blown at the brilliant minds/hearts involved in removing this VITAL organ from a living, breathing child and replacing it with one that would work for her. And it was blown, too, that something so beautiful could be "worthless."

Isn't that how it is with us?  On first inspection, our exterior may be polished and beautiful. Even our intentions can be good. But, honestly, even with the best attempts, our hearts are bound to be sick. Because we are made to be eternally connected with the Creator of the world. Our hearts are made to yearn for the Best One, not the best things of this life. He offers that freedom. When we come to Him, naturally, the damaged, scarred areas of our innermost are removed and replaced with His best. The mental picture is so beautiful. Exchanging Stone for Flesh. The Inanimate for the eternally living.

That indelible image, stirred that verse right out of my heart and onto the canvas.

I love that I was able to pray for that baby girl, and for her family. Little girl, may the LORD fill your spiritual tank to overflowing and that your "new" heart will beat wildly for Him.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,

    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;



    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:14-16
Not a single thing in all of my existence as a new creation in Jesus has lit a fire under my soul's rear like the role of mother. I couldn't have had the relationship with Christ I do, without my three, little nuggets. Each birth brought a different lesson for my heart and each joy, struggle, storm and laugh along the way is used to shape me for His glory.
Goodness, I couldn't have fully appreciated these words without seeing that first ultrasound; without holding that fresh, warm, soft newborn in my arms. I cannot, will not ever be able to describe that joy. And because of that feeling, that fierce love, I can understand just a minute amount of the love Christ has for us.
He sees us. He formed us (especially those who are handicapped or deemed "different") PERFECTLY for His master plan. He makes no mistakes. Nope. He sure doesn't.  Because He is perfectly sovereign. Doesn't matter, dear one, what the heck you've done or what the world tells you of your worth. Oh, you are so loved. You were INTRICATELY woven together by the Creator of the world. Oh yes, you are here for a Mighty purpose.

To the ones who have carried that precious life in their womb and never had the chance to experience life with that soul this side of Heaven, and for those who had to return their child (0-80 years), to the arms of God, too soon for the human heart to comprehend-I'm broken for you. I cannot fathom the grief you must feel as the world keeps spinning, with your heart suspended out there-forced to keep moving.

To the woman with a barren womb, how could I even understand? How could I, a mother of three, even utter comforting thoughts your way? I cannot, other than to say that there is a Great Comforter that can provide peace that surpasses understanding. The peace would have to surprass understanding, wouldn't it? Because your arms ache so bad for something so many treat as "common place" or "insignificant." I say, here, you aren't forgotten by me and NEVER forgotten by God.
Then, you know, there are so many women who are hurting out there because they find themselves in a society that says the child they are carrying will throw them off, mess them up, or that they just won't  be able to "handle it." Some of those women now grieve because they made the choice they thought was right and now the "would haves" come and go-birthdays, dances, and other  rites of passage aren't forgotten. Man alive, I hurt for those women. I can't imagine the heartache. If you are that woman, I sure love you and I'm just a piddly, little grouchbag. Broken heart, The Creator loves you so beyond what you can ask or even imagine.  Trust this big sinful disaster when I say that there is literally nothing you have done that can separate you from the love of Christ. He is there waiting.
And the teenage mom, who is scared out of her gourd. Girl, my heart is so huge for you. So big, that I often dream of having a place, a BIG place, for you to come stay. To be safe, loved and cherished. To be encouraged and helped along the way because you and your precious babe is so worthy of love.
I didn't realize where this post was going before I sat here to peck it out. What a mix of emotions. Gratitude, that God is who He is and He never, ever changes. That He makes no mistakes and He has a plan (numbered the days, even) just for me. Just for you, too. Humility, that He might offer me children to open my eyes to His love as a Father. Brokenness, for those who can't or haven't yet tasted the goodness of Jesus. Sad, for those mamas who grieve the loss of their babies and for the ones, still, who are feeling hopeless in real-time. And HOPE, for those who find Christ out there in the feeble hands and hearts of those who serve Him here on earth.
He made us not for this world, that superficially builds us, wrecks us, and forgets us--He made us for Him, to be infinitely loved and a part of His daily family affairs.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Inspired by the verse Matthew 10:26, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care."

This verse has been bouncing around my head and heart for over a year now. It hit me just right; in the midst of transition from two children to three. Sleepless nights of newborn life mixed with the busyness of caring for a newborn, two siblings, and a naughty weimaraner puppy- my life felt a blur. As I read those words, it was like my monotonous offerings meant something to the Creator of the world. As if He said "No worries, Child, I notice ALL things." Not a bird of the air, seemingly so ordinary and forgettable by the world, escapes His care. How much more does He love me.

Why? I'm a messy disaster, literally in my mommy attire, and even more in the deepest places of my heart. I began to see this mix of color and a vision of just how my heart would paint such a verse. But, again, three kids, husband, life, and the naughty dog.

 Six months passed and my heart's desire to paint this was renewed. Though, we've never met, though they don't know of my existence, I learned of theirs and my heart was incredibly changed. See, their last name is Sparrow and they experienced and incredibly painful journey of loss that I cannot begin to understand-truthfully, I hope I never do. I'd love to share more, but don't' feel I can without actually meeting this folks and having their blessing.  I share this much to say God wastes nothing. Their faithfulness to share their RAW, fresh hurt with the world brought to surface something that had already been ignited within me and made it anew. Let's not forget that folks. Little bits of love and faithfulness are multiplied in ways we often will never know and make differences we cannot even fathom. Why? Because God is big and He wastes NADA. Nothing. Not one thing. He is good and He is for us.

Slow but sure this painting came along as I prayed it through and prayed for the family who boosted it from the depths. As I pray for the hearts who will eventually call it theirs. What a privilege. For average, little me.

I started with a BIG (44" x 24" x 2.25") double-pane window we found nestled safe and sound in an abandoned shed in Southeastern Iowa. They were abandoned from a project and left for over fifty years. Untouched by life. Until we found them. I love things old and worn. Things forgotten. Ah, to give it life again. LOVE that. Just like God does in us, slow but sure.

I tried something different and new to me. An acrylic mixed-media piece. Notice my childhood towl made by my Great Great Aunt Fern? Love that it is always there with me. She was an incredible woman. Anyway, the main features here. Notice the little mama and baby sparrow? Not yet, I'll show you later :)
 I flipped the painting over and slowly but surely layered a warm, deep sky.

 Back over it went for more fine details. More layers of color and love. There's that mama and baby. Nestled in. Noticed and cared for.
 And here she is finished. I decided to leave that wood frame free, unpainted/unstained. Raw and natural as we found it.
I hope to list this somewhere, some day to find its home. Until then, I love to see it. I love to be reminded of God's tender, intricate care for me and for us all. And I appreciate the reminder to pray for the Sparrows of this world, who need reminding of His love, His blessings for those who seek after Him.