Friday, September 15, 2023
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Since we moved to Washington State full-time almost two years ago, I have been thinking about the difference between ROOTS and HOME. I believe this could be answered in different ways by different people, but for me, this is it:
My ROOTS are “where I am from” - and the term “roots” carries with it a depth of meaning.
My ROOTS are in Missouri. I spent most of my 75 years (so far) there (with time away for hubby’s military locations during his three years in the USMC).
I love my ROOTS. I love Missouri. It’s a great place to live and raise a family, especially in the rural areas, which is where we always lived.
I love the four seasons as they occur in Missouri. I even love the heat, because it is part of what defines Missouri.
I love the wildlife and the trees and the crop farms and the cattle farms. I love the state parks and the caves and the springs and the country roads.
I love the thunderstorms and the fact that when it “comes a rain,” I can know that it is going to be over soon and there will be sunny skies afterward (not to be confused with the months of rainy weather in Washington).
In Missouri, things just “seem to make sense” (quoting my daughter-in-law, who also has Missouri roots).
I could write a book about my roots.
When I was first married, my husband and I spoke of “home” when we were talking about our parents’ homes. When we were newlyweds and in college, for example, we would say “We are going home for the weekend.” We meant we are going to our parents’ homes, where we each grew up and lived until our marriage.
For some people, the place of their ROOTS is also the place of their HOME. They live where they always lived, likely where their parents lived and maybe their ancestors before that. So there may not be a clear differentiation between roots and home.
But, for me, now when I speak of HOME, I am talking about where I live…where my life is…where a large part of my family is…where the setting may sometimes feel “foreign” because I’m not “from here” (my roots are not here), but it’s still HOME because it’s where my life is right now. And that is by choice.
We really do miss Missouri, but we choose to live where there are now 10 of our immediate family (Hubby, me, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, grandson, granddaughter-in-law, three great grandchildren) who are in our home most every Sunday for dinner, after church (where our son is Pastor and our grandson is Pastor of Worship and Discipleship).
I know the saying is “Home is where the heart is.” And that’s true. Clearly, as I have described it, I love my ROOTS, and I love my HOME. But my heart is where I live, so, yes, my HOME is where my heart is, and that’s in Washington State right now.
My roots and my home are 32 driving hours apart. And that’s okay. This is where God has placed me for now.
My art sometimes reflects my roots and sometimes my home. I just painted a blue jay. We do not have blue jays in Washington state, but we had a lot of them in Missouri. They would always disrupt the peaceful environment of our bird feeders when they visited, scaring away all the birds who play nice (not to be confused with the blue jays, who were bossy). But I do miss them, because I associate them with my ROOTS.
They are fun to paint because they are so colorful.
This blue jay was painted with direction from a tutorial by Louise de Masi.
Monday, May 1, 2023
The entire book is filled with inspiring stories, written by someone who sees her mission in life as this (derived from Psalm 127): “To love and train my children as the gifts and rewards that God intends them to be and aim them toward the target of an influential life that honors God and impacts their world.” Quite a mission statement, and she has seen her mission fulfilled with all of her five children.
Psalms 78:2-7 CSB
Today I read further about what the Bible has to say about generations (it’s a lot—I only touch on it here).
I read this, “Modern Americans tend to think of our own life and—if marriage and kids are part of the picture—our children and perhaps grandchildren. But God thinks in terms of generations, a much longer view.”
Here are some verses that encourage us to think about family in terms of generations, generations of influence.
Genesis 9.12: And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations.”
Genesis 17.7: And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
Psalm 22.30: A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation…
Psalm 103:17-18: But from eternity to eternity the Lord’s faithful love is toward those who fear him, and his righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep his covenant, who remember to observe his precepts.
Joel 1.3: Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and their children the next generation.
Ephesians 3.21: …to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
From Pam Tebow’s Ripple Effects:
“What would happen if you decided that when you put this book down, you would influence people on purpose through the mission God has created for you? God designed you for influence. Your role is to seek Him by faith, day by day, for grace to live out the perfect plan He has for you. God’s part is to accomplish more than we could ask or think according to the power, the miraculous motivating power, that works within us (see Ephesians 3:10). And heaven will reveal the ripple effects when we fulfill our God-created missions.”
On another note, here’s my artwork from last week:
Carolina Wren in Watercolor
#generationstocome #influenceofawoman #PamTebow #RippleEffects #MyMissionStatement
Friday, March 10, 2023
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
My Journal of Gratitude
Depression and anxiety are suffocating emotions. During a particularly difficult season in my life, I fought back the onslaught of both. To name a few of the issues: my teens were lying, my parents were dying, we were dog broke, and I was dealing with too many menopausal issues to count. I was spinning plates as fast as I could, and yet there was no peace on the horizon. Life felt extremely heavy! The burdens I carried were weighing me down into a miserable pit. But as a Christian, I even piled shame on myself for feeling this way. Wasn’t I supposed to be living an abundant life? BUT GOD! He graciously intervened.
During that particularly difficult season, I read the book 1000 Gifts by Anne Voskamp. Desperately needing some oxygen for living, and inspired by Anne’s story, I started journaling everything that I could possibly be grateful for. I asked God to open my eyes to even the smallest gift . . . like a knuckle to help wrap my finger around my coffee cup, like heating and air conditioning, like toilet paper, like fresh air. This daily exercise didn’t lift me out of my pit immediately, but it started a rich journey toward a new type of wholeness—a wholeness birthed through the lens of a grateful heart.
As I continue to diligently open my eyes and my heart to all the gifts in my life, I began to recognize them everywhere. It was like there was a whole new world to appreciate that I hadn’t taken the time to see or made the choice to notice.
Across weeks of writing down and” naming” these gifts, a light-heartedness developed even amidst the trials of each day. My grateful heart slowly pushed out the weightiness of my days. I began to realize that a grateful heart and an anxious heart could not simultaneously reside in the same person at the same time. It was either anxiety or gratitude taking up the space of my heart. I became excited to venture into each new day with new eyes to see new gifts. Depression gave way to a gratitude, and gratitude became my best antidepressant. Not just a “one and done” type gratitude, but a consistent diligent gratitude that almost refused to be sucked back into that pit of despair again. My life was too precious to live that way.
I flew through 1,000 gifts within months and decided that this was a new way of life. A grateful heart had transformed my days. Even more exciting, my grateful heart began to permeate my home and my family. So many things began to change when I changed my heart. This is a battle ground worth fighting on. I celebrated this new life-giving habit. I found that there is transforming power in a grateful heart.
Ponder the tension between your gratitude and depression, between joy and sadness. How can you make deliberate choices to open your eyes and journal all the gifts you have been given?
Lord, help me constantly and daily choose to see Your gifts everywhere. Open my eyes to gratitude and the choice to give You thanks in all things.
*So, I have read the book by Anne Voskamp. At one time I started listing hundreds of things, small and large, to be thankful for. It was a good thing to do.
I’m deciding to do that again, with the desired outcome of increasing my joy.
Some days I will only list one thing. Other days, several things.
I need to develop an attitude of gratitude and learn to be aware of all the thousands of things that I have to be grateful for--big things, small things.
BECOME MORE AWARE.
Today I am thankful for the awareness that I am “back on track” with my favorite hobby, watercolor art. It has been a bit of a challenge, after taking a break through November and December. I am now able to move forward, and although I always know that I need to improve--a lot--I do allow myself to enjoy feeling good about a piece that I have completed.
Yesterday and today I was able to follow along with a tutorial by Louise de Masi to complete this sweet little giraffe.
So, I’m thankful for this today.
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Having a bit of a hard time getting back into the comfortable feel of painting where I was before the long break over the holidays. I am not particularly proud of either of these two pieces, but I share them in the interest of being accountable.
The righteous thrive like a palm tree and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they thrive in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, healthy and green, to declare, “The Lord is just; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.””
Psalms 92:12-15 CSB
#watercolorpainting #watercolorpuppy #watercolorapple #encouragingwordaboutoldage