I just added 5x7 Notecards to The Shepherd's Studio!!!
Go ahead....have a look!!!!
Scanned Original....Scanned Print below...so you can compare!
The simplicity of certain photos catches me. They scream for me to find calmness and quietness of soul. This one did.
I had to sketch it so I could paint it.
Most of you know how much I HATE running around!!! I hate being away from home. It's been a week of running...today I finally get to sit quietly with my thoughts and with The Lord teaching me that Joy is found in Serenity!
There was a time in my life.....WAY long ago when I was in my 30's, that home was a place I didn't want to be. It was through hours of counseling that truth was revealed deep in my soul.
Home for me was not a safe place as a child with alcoholic parents. There was never calmness or serenity. There was never certainty and routine to our lives.
As a result I was an adult of alcoholics and had my own cycles of sickness to break. It was never an overnight fix. Nothing worth keeping is.
I worked hard to create a home where I wanted to be. I learned and soaked up from others who "appeared" (as I know now, appearances can be deceiving...but that's not for today's lesson) to have a home where peace & serenity resided. Where The Lord was celebrated and love overflowed. I was a sponge.
Eventually, one day I realized my home was a place I WANTED to be. A place that others felt safe and loved. A place where Christ was on the throne and we were a family celebrating what he had done.
Of course we are all on a journey. It's never a complete story until we graduate and pass over to eternity with Him. But with His help, and the help of trained counselors we CAN overcome and find Joy in Serenity!!! I encourage you, IF you are stuck, to seek out a good Christian counselor who can assist. It's not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength.
(I am happy to say that my parents both have been and were sober for most of my "grown-up" life. They truly conquered great demons! So proud of them for finding peace. For finding God in the midst of their battles. As a result I found peace with them.)
"The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with
Working on this piece totally took me out of my comfort zone. But I am SO in love with it!
I was meditating on Zephania 3:17 which is a very special Scripture to me. I remember the first time I heard it. We were on our first cruise in 2001. Dr. Larry Crabb spoke it over me at a time in my life when I really needed to know that God not just rejoiced but danced over me with SINGING!!!
I hope that if you are at a place in your life today where you are not feelin it....TRUST in the TRUTH! He does rejoice & dance over YOU with singing!!!
You are absolutely beloved!
I get SO much satisfaction and joy from painting! Yesterday, it was way late in the afternoon before I picked up a brush and I confess to the bed being piled with 2 loads of laundry that needed folding! (of course I got that done so we could use the bed for sleeping!) Priorities!!!
I've been working on capturing expressions. It's not as easy as you might think. And I'm pretty sure that the secret is in the eyes.
You know what they say. The eyes are a window to the soul.
Hubs always tells me he loves it when my eyes smile.
I do too! It indicates an overflow of joy!
You know, how you always made your kids look you in the eye when they were trying to lie to you?!!!! Yes, the eyes tell the entire story.
As Those who have been bought with a price. Those who are heirs of His. Those who are a reflection of HIS glory.......shouldn't your eyes smile more? Shouldn't HIS glory be shining upon our faces and in our eyes.
I've looked around a room of Jehovah, Elohim, Yahweh, Jesus "believers" (I put it in " " for a reason....is it only in word but not in deed) and if looks alone told a story, you'd be reading a story of doom and gloom, sorrow and sadness. Faces that need lifting!
Are we not called out of the world to be a light!
I challenge you to allow HIS light to shine in your eyes this Christmas Season! When you find yourself frowning.....turn that frown upside down! And then feel it in your eyes...are they smiling too?
All of us need words of affirmation. Words that are spoken to encourage, strengthen, and show love. Words that build up not tear down. Words that are spoken softly not with harsh rough edges. Words that speak truth.
Unfortunately most of us did not grow up hearing them. It's a daily practice that needs a constant reminder. So I painted a girl who is dressed in Words of Affirmation! With her belt of truth being JOY!
I for one, was not very good at speaking words of affirmation when my kids were growing up. As a child, I didn't receive them either. It's a cycle. But cycles can be broken. And it is never too late.
It wasn't really until the early 21 Century that words of affirmation were even brought to my attention. We studied The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and one of the languages is Words of Affirmation. It was then, that my favorite word of affirmation became JOY!
Hubs and I went through some rough waters back then. So we began a steady course of learning each other's love languages and our kids. His are Words of Affirmation and Touch. Mine are Quality Time and Gifts. We began to study each other and offering our sacrifice of love. We began working hard at expressing our love in-spite of who we are. It was then, that I realized I wasn't very good at speaking words of affirmation. I was really good at complaining....SO, I set a path to change. Change is hard work. I'm nowhere near complete or perfect. But I am a changed girl today.
It was back then that Hubs would write me love letters (they are little gifts) and he would sign them, "You are my JOY!"
JOY is still my word today. It is something I aspire to every single day of my life. To not just find it but to live in JOY. God knows it's not easy sometimes. It's a choice I've made though. To find JOY!
CS Lewis in his book, Surprised By Joy says this about JOY;
"In a sense the central story of my life is about nothing else... The quality common to the three experiences... is that of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic, and one only, in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again... I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world. But then Joy is never in our power and Pleasure often is.”
"I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for Joy.”
It's my belief that happiness and joy are nothing alike. Joy, true Joy comes from the Lord; The Joy of The Lord is my strength, He is the Joy of your salvation. Happiness is something I believe we create inside ourselves which all too often relies upon circumstances.
Choosing to live in JOY has allowed me to speak words of affirmation at a greater degree!
JOY will be my word for 2015!