Wednesday, January 27, 2010

behind the scenes: psalm 119

this behind the scenes is not so much about how i created the art, but rather for whom i made it.

today i sadly had to attend the funeral of my former pastor's wife who was a truly amazing woman. even though i really only knew her for a year, i consider her one of my lifelong spiritual mentors. the love, wisdom, and encouragement that she showed everyone around her was truly a gift from the Lord. there are a few conversations we had that i will never forget; her just praying for me, speaking Scripture left & right, and being so gentle and gracious.

another way she influenced me was in my life verse business. at the beginning of this journey, she was by far my biggest customer, a great fan. she asked me to do the above psalm for her, as well as at least 6 other passages for her family & friends. she would send me notes thanking me for my work & encouraging me to keep using my talents for the Lord.
today at the funeral, her daughter-in-law read proverbs 31. it described her exactly. i just sat there (balling my eyes out), pondering this worthy life she had lived, hoping that someday i will reflect that type of character too.

being there today boiled it down to the basics of life for me:
1. Love God
2. Love my hubby (for she & pastor had an incredible marriage & were still completely in love after all those years)
3. Love my children
4. Serve others

lately i have so many tugs and desires with my art, and yet find it hard to find the time to get them out of my head & onto paper... but, after today i just feel like i have the rest of my life to create and want to continue to make effort to put my family and their needs first and have freedom in it.

mourning with sorrow, and yet peace, joy, and hope knowing that she is free.

grace & peace,

Friday, January 22, 2010

behind the scenes: isaiah 40

last year at this time, my favorite little mister & i took a field trip to starved rock state park in search of seeing BALD EAGLES! yes, they come here for the winter since there is a dam in the river so the water never freezes in that area and they can fish all winter long.
we had a great time "snow hiking" and we even got to see some ice climbers. it was a great date that i hope neither of us will ever forget!
a good friend let me borrow his telescopic camera lens (it was so long, it was actually hard to carry with my gloves, etc... & the fact that i am a weakling)... anyways, most of the shots even with that awesome lens were like the above. the eagles were either in their trees or soaring so high, they looked like the typical images you see (which is not what i wanted, of course). so, we started praying. i really wanted the shot, as i really wanted to design this verse. (plus, i did not want to stay out there all day since i think it was all of 12 degrees outside!)
this was one of my next shots! do you see the fish in his talons?! so tough!
here's another different guy with another fish he had just caught.
and, here is the same guy whom i caught swooping over my head with the fish in his grip. you see, we had been down by the river at the lookout and suddenly this eagle came down to fish and literally flew over my head. i just kept shooting, not even knowing what i was getting (they are very hard to shoot, as they are so fast!)

but, alas, i got my shot.
here is the final result. i love that it is a bit abstract and different from what's typically out there. i love the composition and the suggestion of power.

i also wanted to design more of the total isaiah passage than is normally done, as to me the key to the whole passage is found in the fact that our strength only comes because of His strength, so i wanted to include His character in the art.

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

print available here

OH, so i am hoping to go back this year with the girls also to see how they like hiking in the snow!

grace & peace,

Friday, January 15, 2010

behind the scenes: john 3:16

i have had this verse on my "to-do" list forever, and in light of the recent earthquake and devestation in haiti, i have finally been motivated to create it. though it is so hard to fathom the pain and heartache there, i believe in my heart that God wants to pour out His hope and love on their lives.

you can be a part of this movement also.

i encourage you to give to a great organization called World Relief, who not only brings aid, but along with it the message of the gospel.

i also wanted you to know that a portion of all of my sales goes to World Relief, as we believe in their organization and we just want to be a small part of reaching the world.
another reason why i wanted to create this art is that i have thought of this Scripture every night as we tuck our kids. it is our new family tradition to pick a country every night to pray for the people there. the kids (well, at least the older 2 :) have really embraced it, as they take turns picking which country they would like to pray for.

of course, the last few nights we have chosen haiti. we have also chosen italy one night because we had pasta that night; we have chosen taiwan as that is part of their heritage; and even antartica because they love their penguin movie!

please pray for the world, that they would know and embrace the love of Jesus.

oh, this art will be available in my shop soon!

grace & peace,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

a fresh start

i am feeling renewed & refreshed in this new year & have high hopes to see what God will do in me, through me, as well as with my family & art.

we ended the year by taking a quick trip to kansas city, missouri to visit Demdaco (which is absolutely beautiful & made me AGAIN in awe that i have the privilege of being one of their artists!!!! pinch me now). we also attended the "one thing" conference put on by ihop (international house of prayer ... not the pancakes). sam & i actually had time alone, i think the first trip we've done without the kids since pumpkin-poo's has been born.

it was really quite an amazing experience and very spiritually refreshing. you see, though my whole focus & intent is on Scripture art & bringing God's Word "to life" in a new & visual way, i had, by the end of last year, gotten away from my own hunger & thirst for His Word. when i did make time for my readings, it was just that ... reading. not much life to it. just another task to check off in my life.

so, to enter into "one thing" where there were literally more than 15,000 people just waiting to meet with God and be touched by His Spirit, it was inspiring and brought me back to who i really am... His child. there is much to say about the conference, but i think i will sum it up in a few things i felt i learned there:

1. God's salvation truly creates a new life. (which is why the above image is posted). He came to set us free, to give us a living hope, redemption, and healing. i think sometimes i must think that is for the future when i am in heaven, but now i am more & more convinced that we are to live out those promises every day, really embracing and asking God for wholeness, restoration, & healing in whatever needed area in our lives.

2. He is our perfect Father who loves us madly, has chosen us, dances over us, sings over us, and cares for us more than we can imagine.

3. We are to partake in His mission in His world. He chooses to work through our giftings, our passions, our brokenness, our entire life (if we let Him) (more on this later)

4. I was actually incredibly encouraged in my artwork & had a few dreams of future work (cannot wait to get them out of my head this year :)

ok, that was much more than i wanted to say...
in any case, i do not normally make new year resolutions, but this year i must. i am telling you, by december of last year i felt like a robot at times. i am a work horse. i can get a million tasks done, but i just felt worn & a bit lost.

so, i have decided (prayerfully & with the accountability of a friend :) that we will be reading the Bible chronologically, using Tyndale's one year chronological Bible to force me into His Word daily. (plus, i love the design of this cover, even though in this image you cannot see the 2 woodcut fish)

i am actually almost done with genesis. i am not an avid reader, so this will be a challenge, but i just hope God keeps me faithful to Himself this year.

gotta go, i should be reading...

grace & peace,