Tuesday, March 31, 2020

GATHER 3/31


"For where two or three are gathered in my name, 
there I am among them."

Matthew 18:20


Once again, little did I know when I wrote the original text (below) where we would be on April 1st, 2020.  I have been hoping we'd wake up to the news today "April Fool"
 and life would have returned to normal.  


Not in our wildest imagination, could we have seen our churches (and everything else!) closed...especially during Easter.  But somehow, in our true American spirit, we are finding new ways to gather in the midst of this pandemic storm.  

"Gather" takes on new meaning in these days.  We may not be able to physically connect in the ways we are used to, but we can emotionally.  FaceTime and Zoom are our new best friends.  We can participate (yes, participate, not just watch in real time) our worship services via YouTube and Facebook.  We can pick up the phone that's always in our pocket and chat with a friend that is "sheltering in place" in Australia or right next door.  

We live in an age of limitless possibilities for connecting.  And we are connecting in a deeper and more personal way that has long been taken for granted.  Cherish these opportunities to reach out and check on a loved one, or a neighbor.  

And while life is moving at this slower pace, we'd better rest up, my friends, because when this is over, more than ever we need to be the hands and feet of Christ.  

____________

I have always been intrigued by "Blue Zones."  
If you're not familiar, these are areas around the world where people typically live full, healthy lives to 100 years old and beyond, and what are the common denominators amongst them.   The obvious are genetics, diet and exercise, but equally important to their longevity are faith and community.  A heartfelt belief in God and quality time with friends and family.  

We are so blessed to live in a country and a community that cherish both of these, but it takes intention on our part.  Church and family can extend beyond the walls of the sanctuary or our immediate family.  Gather with those that fill your heart and build you up both socially as well as taking part in the many activities offered in our community and church.
  
And in the process, we can be the hands of feet of Christ across the world, through mission trips, volunteering at a local hospital or sharing a cup of coffee with your elderly neighbor.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

SHINE

"You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all the houses.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

Matthew 5:14




Now that we've "been transformed by the renewing of our mind" and can Trust in God for everything, we can jump for joy and SHINE for our Lord and Savior!  Whose watching you??  Your children, neighbors, co-workers, grandchildren... all of the above?  Even the checkout lady at the grocery store forms an opinion of you in the few minutes of interaction.  

Opportunity sometimes just knocks once!  
Let all the eyes on you, see your light shine for Him!  

Hi Friends!  Even though everything has changed in the last month, I'm leaving up my original text that I scheduled in early Feb. for Lent.   God is our ROCK.  While everything has changed, HE has not and this is a unique opportunity for us as Christians to SHINE for Him!  With negativity and fear surrounding us 24/7, we can rest assured knowing that God will prevail and will use this for His good.  We can send that message now to everyone we meet... spread the peace and confidence that "All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

TRUST

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving , present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6


I am a planner.  I like to come up with new ideas and then plan A to Z how to accomplish the task at hand.  Sometimes I get so pre-occupied with the plan I miss opportunities that God has placed square in my path, His little detours that make life what it's all about....

One of my favorite expressions is "If you want to give God a good laugh, just tell Him your plans!"

About 30 years ago when life was not going at all the way I'd planned it, I came across this poem and it totally changed my perspective and my life and now, all these years later, I can say without hesitation, it's been a great ride!!
Image

P.S.   I worked on these sketches and posts a few months ago!  Little did I know what was in store for all of us, our country, and the world!  And how timely, this pre-posted sketch and message would be for today.  To be honest, I've been glued to the TV for days and it's taken it's toll.  But today is a new day and I'm taking to heart "The Road of Life."  We never know from day to day what will happen, but we can TRUST in the fact that God is ALWAYS in control and He will make good of every situation.  I do think it's a little ironic that the situation we are in worldwide has occurred during Lent.  A time when we are to "give up" something and to spend that time tuned into God.  To Rest, Renew, Transform, TRUST  and Shine. 

for more, please read: https://herviewfromhome.com/faith-gods-plans-are-greater/

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

TRANSFORM

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

Romans 12:2




Do you ever feel like you've been stuck in a cocoon?  Waiting to become who you're meant to be?  That the expectations others have of you is not your true self.  Those inner voices that tell you to be quiet, or calm when you want to take flight and soar?   I have!  

We have only one judge in this life, and He loves us more than we can imagine.  
As Christians, we are created in Christ's image, we have been filled with the Holy Spirit and will have everlasting life.   What could be better than that?
The time has come to jump for joy and soar to new heights! And to share the love of Christ to the world together!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

RENEW


" Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy."

Ephesians 4:23



I love new beginnings!  New Years Day, birthdays, sometimes just a Monday feels like an opportunity to begin again!

Lent is a time for a fresh start in our walk with Christ.  To walk with Him and talk with Him so that He can show us all He has prepared for us. 

"Renew" is a verb, it requires action.  A favorite expression of mine is "God can't steer a parked car," so it's time to get in gear and go!  He will show you the way.... He'll provide opportunities more than you can imagine and the means to make it happen.  Open your eyes and trust in that.  

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He has prepared in advance for us to do."
Ephesians 4:10


read more about renewal:
www.asymphonyofpraise.com/blog/renewyourmind

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

REST


"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest."

Matthew 11:28


"I come to the garden alone, 
while the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, 
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there, 
None other has ever known."


Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.


In my ladies Bible study at church recently we were asked what was our "word" (in lieu of a New Years Resolution) for the year.   Mine is "Today."  

Where busy-ness seems to have become a badge of honor in todays culture, I want to slow down.  To live more in the present, to do one thing at a time, without multi tasking.   Instead of emptying the dishwasher or making the bed while I chat on the phone with a friend,  I will sit and listen, be present.   To improve the quality, not the quantity of Today.

What's your word?  
Name it, claim it and live it for this Lenten season of 
Rest, Reflection and Renewal.




Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Join me this Lenten Season




If you've "followed" my blog for awhile, you'll know that each Easter I post a series of art, with scripture and a mini-message.   
I've always thought of my art work as a gift from God.  I do believe that He has blessed me with this talent so that I can share with others and praise Him in all things!   

Next Wednesday, is Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent.  This year will be my fourth year to post a "Lenten Series."   This year will be entirely new artwork, scripture and a message, found only on my blog.   It will arrive in your inbox on Wednesday mornings during the Lenten Season with a few extras during Holy Week.  

Join me as we Rest... Renew... Transform... Trust... Shine... and as we are Blessed, Remember, Forgive and Rejoice in the Risen Christ!  


I hope you'll share the Good News by forwarding them to others or invite them to sign up on my blog to receive the posts directly.

For those that made suggestions for scripture verses or posting ideas, thank you!!  I loved your input, and you may just see something familiar in the upcoming weeks!!


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Century Tree


Introducing Prints!  

After 10 years of commissioned art, I will now be offering prints of those "special places that create memories." 

The Century Tree holds a special place in the heart of many TAMU Aggies.  It is well over 100 years old and one of the first trees planted on the Texas A&M campus.   This beautiful live oak is the site of marriage proposals, weddings and the spot where countless couples fell in love.  So, I am happy to offer prints of both of these sketches available for those special Aggie lovebirds!


Above - "Century Tree"
Below - "Love under the Century Tree" is a closer up view and can be personalized with initials or names in a heart on the tree trunk, as space permits.  



More details coming soon with availability and pricing!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Women Build too!


Habitat for Humanity is near and dear to my heart!  

I've been involved with our local Habitat affiliate now for 18 years.  I've worn many hats over the years, but my pink hard hat is my favorite!  This home sketch is of our 2nd "Women Build too!" home, built by a team of amazing women, who call themselves the Can Do Crew, alongside our family partners, Juanita and Pedro.  From Raising the Walls to the finishing touches we did it all.  As Family Partners, Juanita and Pedro contribute 350 "sweat equity" hours before they assume ownership (and a 0% interest - 20 year mortgage!)  

We're currently working on our third home in Cedar Creek, the all Habitat community in Conroe.  You can follow our progress on our Facebook Page "Women Build too!"


    






Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A Family Tradition



I've mentioned in the past how fun it is for me to get to know my clients and their families. 

By now, I feel like a member of the family for my clients, Judy and Rob.  This, their daughters new home in Bridgeland is the tenth home I've sketched for them in the last couple of years.  (see blog post October 24, 2018)  They've just moved in and it was a Christmas surprise!

From their own "newlywed" home in Sugar Land, to their Hill Country getaway in Fayetteville, TX and the various homes their daughters have lived in over the years... this is where memories are made! 

Once again, thanks for letting me capture these special places for you and yours!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Habitat Gala Silent Auction donation


I'm always curious when I donate a sketch of "Your Favorite Place" to a Silent Auction what I will be sketching!  Usually it's a home, although I've done a club house at a golf course as well as a couple of churches!  This time, it was a treat to sketch a home that was in the neighborhood next to mine and one I walk by from time to time!!

An added bonus....the recipient of this sketch just happened to be chairing the silent auction for "Chip in for a Cure" supporting Canopy at Memorial Hermann Hospital in The Woodlands.  So now, I'm anxious to hear from the next winning bidder and see what's next!


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Big Sky Barn in Montgomery, TX


Big Sky Barn

Historic Charm - Modern Luxury


There are few places that are more special then where you get married.  

I have two daughters, one got married in a big church with "the" dress, attendants, candles and flowers and I was honored to walk her down the aisle.  The other was barefoot, surrounded by her parents and her sister in the living room with her step mom, a judge, officiating.  Both memories are priceless to me and I wouldn't change a thing!

I can just imagine that my client, Laurel was beaming with pride when her daughter was married last December at Big Sky Barn in Montgomery, Texas.  

She commissioned me to do this sketch as a wedding present to the bride and groom and I hope it will be treasured for many years to come.  
The Big Sky Barn tagline: Historic Charm - Modern Luxury sums it up with its wedding chapel, reception hall and charming covered bridge.

Congratulations to the newlyweds, Lane and Kyle!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Journey Home


One of the things I love the most about this "job" of mine, is being able to donate my time and talents to other organizations.  A "friend of a friend" introduced me to Billie Beasley, and immediately I wanted to help her make her dream become a reality.

She wanted to offer women a warm and safe environment for them to live while pregnant or caring for their new baby when they had no place else to turn.  A much needed alternative in today's society.  We first met last summer, and at that time the dream was just starting to take root.  Now, I'm thrilled to say they have a home with open doors for those in need.  As you can imagine they still have many needs... from fundraising to furniture.  I hope you'll visit their website or Facebook page and find out more about how you can help.

www.journeyhometx.org

"Journey Home is a Christ-centered non-profit Maternity Home existing to encourage and empower the women that walk through their doors to live the lives God intended for them to live."



                                                     

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year!

Have you missed me?  I've taken some time off from posting on my blog (7 months ) to tackle some projects at home, do a little traveling and just "catch my breath!"  Wow, even I didn't realize it had been that long til I just counted on my fingers!
But now it's 2020, a new year and a new decade and I am raring to go!  

I began "Accents in Art" in 2010, sketching homes and over the years have added churches and other "favorite places" ... like this bridge in the woods near my home where I enjoy my morning walk.  When I sketched this last spring, it was to remind me of the path we are all taking in our daily lives... and now wondering what will this new year will bring.  
I've been kicking around thoughts of expanding my art work for some time now and while these ideas are still "cooking" I hope you'll stay tuned for some fun, new developments in the near future!

In the meantime... we have packed up Christmas, cheered in the New Year and Easter is right around the corner.  This will be my fourth year for a "Lent series" and I hope to have all new artwork and verses beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 26th.
 I'd love to hear your suggestions for a favorite verse or scene that is special to you!
e-mail me at accentsinart@gmail.com

Wishing you all a Happy and Blessed New Year!