Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Post Post & Wishes for What Comes Next

Christmas now past, I am thinking ahead to the blessings of a new year and what things should be important in my life. To hang onto that little touch of Eternity--that is one idea. To remember that whatever I plan, there is a greater plan that always supersedes my little thoughts. Last year was a year of change for me in many ways. While not being one to look for supernatural where it's not, I did see last spring that God sent me a message about sacrifice through a dream (btw, the first time and so far the last time, the Lord has communicated with me in such a manner. There are other routes He uses more frequently--for all of us who will listen, beginning with opening His Word. Okay, preaching ends now. :-D ). Not knowing where the sacrifice would come from, I trusted and started walking. The big one was changing Bible study. The second biggest was taking a position teaching art. These were both post-dream, and consequently post-husband's new self-employment--yeah! That was a big one, too--you betcha!

So, as I head into this year, I am wondering what changes lie ahead again. A friend recently sent me an e-mail about what changes she will be making and they are so inspiring, although small and not life-shattering. Do our changes always need to be monumental to be of consequence? Two degrees off isn't much when close to the locus, but it becomes a surprisingly large gap as one moves outward, until the two degrees feels likes miles off-course.

So, the little things are important after all. Does resolving to actually pick the flowers in my garden seem like a worthy goal? If I see them as messengers from God it suddenly does. Just choosing to be kind seems like an impossible task on some days, but I am convicted by remembering that what I do/do not do unto the least of my brethren, I have done/not done as service unto my King. These little tasks suddenly take on the largest importance. What will I sacrifice to make sure my treasures are stored correctly? What sacrifices will be asked of me that I was not expecting?

I may not know what is awaiting me in this new year, but I do know that my path, while dark, is not dark. Does that make sense? I feel like I am looking at the back side of the tapestry and the colors and patterns do not make sense. Yet I know that someday I will see the other side and it will be unexpectedly lovely because of the hand of the Maker. It certainly won't be the colors I've tried to hand Him, but what He has made of all these things, despite my so-called help. 'For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' (Jeremiah 29:11)

My desires for this year? Being more consistent in all things. Looking for opportunities to do unto the least. Remembering that my family is the training ground for my interaction with everyone else and not the place to let down my guard and show my natural heart (how do I forget this so continually? Yes, they still love me, but I'm not always sure why). Using the talents I've been given for His service (along with using the art supplies I've already amassed!). Enjoying those flowers this year and sharing them with others. Maybe, possibly, reading through all those books that come home with me on 50%-off-book-day at St. Vinny's. And holding tight to the touch of the Eternal that I feel so much stronger at Christmas, when I am thinking about the birth of the Saviour.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas musings

I have a CD from RBC, the publishers of "Our Daily Bread" devotionals that has the most lovely arrangement of this poem/song. I didn't realize what it was until it showed up on my daily calendar a couple days ago. What a wonderful image, and doesn't it effectively take us away, even for a moment, from what this season has become in our society today. No hustle and bustle, no stessful gift purchases to make, no meal planning and baking (actually the more stressful task for me), no frenzied cleaning. Just the thought of a tiny baby, love incarnate (1 John 4:8), born in a place that was an afterthought of the innkeeper, is enough to quiet my thoughts and my spirit despite the world around me.

1 John 4:9 tells us "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

Love all lovely, love divine indeed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A quiet start

Well, I'm taking the Etsy plunge. It's not exactly a rip-roaring start, but I've listed my first item. I'm starting with the last set of stars that I have left--the stars that were published last year in Somerset Studio's Gallery IV publication. You can look here for more information: (okay, I tried to make that a link, but it just isn't working for me. I apologize, but you'll have to cut and paste...)

As for my own home, well, we still don't have our Christmas tree up--it's a record--it's usually up soooo much sooner. But most of the rest of the decorating is done. Here is my set of stars, displayed on my buffet this year.

We have grouped things this year, so the piano has been dubbed "Christmas Town" by the kids, because of all the little houses. We also have angels on the mantle and snowfolk all over the table behind the couch. I'm pretty sure there is another small snowman hiding in the back closet, but he might just stay there this year. Hah! See what one gets for hiding! And if anyone reading this participated in the Advent tag swap I was in last year, we're enjoying opening all our little surprises everyday! But we still need our tree...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I'm supposed to be making a Christmas stocking for a dear friend. But I'm stuck--just not in the groove tonight, even though I've looked at hundreds of eye candy images trying to get groovy. So I'll procrastinate a bit and post some recent things.

First up, it's been a bird kind of life lately. We went on a field trip last week and en route saw this magnificent great blue heron standing in the icy river. Usually they fly away the moment you stop, but this one must be used to the people walking by in the park because it stayed put--even while we were in the movie. The students were excited to still see it when we left almost an hour later.

Then my daughter and I spent a day shopping (it wasn't meant to be whole day, but you know how things go--one sale just leads to another...) and upon returning home she spotted this owl in our willow tree. It watched me as I circled for the best shot, but I didn't want to antagonize it with the flash--something about birds of prey and their claws kept coming to mind. It is so amazing to see God's creatures so close. Sorry for the bit of blur--evening and all that.

Well, on to some recent projects. I've enjoyed making bottlecap bracelets and finally found the same small chain again this weekend (part of all that shopping!) at a local hardware store.

I've also made some angels, but I'm not sure if I'm happy enough with them to share. Stars; I need to make some stars to sell. Doll clothes and bath robes are also on the list of things to do. Cookies for an exchange this weekend. I made a wall hanging for a friend who recently married, but that is for another post because I photographed the process as I went. ATCs and Christmas cards. A sort of fat book page for a friend. Charms--ooh, I'll have to post those--they turned out great, but I haven't photographed them yet. I've been reading a fascinating book about decoding much of Western art--how to understand who the people in them are and why artists chose certain subjects, etc. Shakespeare posters for school: we're doing collagraphs and I'm flying blind on this one. Never done them and haven't had time to complete one at home ahead, but we'll make it work. Hmm, there just is always something.

So, to my dear friend, if you are reading this, don't worry--I'll get the stocking made, just probably not tonight...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pay It Forward

Well, I encountered this invitation on the blog of a member of my LMT group (thanks Zoe!) and it sounded like a fun thing. So I'll play too. :-)

What are we playing? "Pay it Forward." The first five people to respond to this post (via the comments section) will get some form of art made by me. I work in many mediums, but mostly paper and fabric, so let me pick and enjoy the surprise. ;-)

After you comment, please add your e-mail address so I can contact you for your snail mail address.

Oh, yes, most freebies have a catch and this one does, too. If you sign up, then you have to post this to your blog and continue the sharing. Tag!