Ancient Doors

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I have been growing so much lately.  No, I’m not getting any taller at my age- I mean the emotional and spiritual growth thing.  I’ll just tell you upfront, it isn’t all that fun.  Spring is beautiful and all, but do you know the work that goes into all that green stuff coming up out of the ground? I’m no farmer or anything, but I know how to use Google.  The energy that is needed to substantiate growth is incredible.  Now, I’m not a pretty blossom on an apple tree so I can’t really say whether or not they enjoy the growth process.  But I’m a woman who really likes when things are comfortable, easy, familiar.  I’m not a fan of what it takes to grow.  Maybe you are similar?1980-01-01 00.04.14

 

Our pastor preached a few weeks back on “Ancient pathways”.  He spoke about both crossroads in life and cornerstones.  For so many reasons this particular sermon really stuck with me.  History has always been fascinating to me.  Sure I love a good story, but I’m drawn in by wanting to know what compels people to do what they do.  As our pastor talked I scribbled his definition of Crossroads and Cornerstones.

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Church scribbles

 

Cornerstones are what decisions in life are built on.
Crossroads are a critical turning point in our life based on a decision we make.

It became clear to me how this can really impact your decision making, particularly in a season of growth, as I currently am.  Identifying whether or not you are facing a cornerstone or crossroad is critical.  But what happens when a crossroad and a cornerstone collide?  Can that happen?  Or is this a crazy question?  Is it just late at night and I need to go to bed?  Did I have too much coffee today or not enough?  As an artist, I want an answer.  And truthfully, I think I have one.

If you are familiar with me as an artist you probably know that I love doors.  The older the better.  I could sit and look at an old door for a really long time and just imagine so many stories surrounding its existence. But now in light of this new question of mine, I’m wondering if my enthrallment with doors, cornerstones and crossroads is all connected.  What if a door, could be the combination of a cornerstone and crossroad?

This is going too deep… Let’s back up a bit.

So last week my friend Trish and I had the great blessing of painting during the worship at our church again.  We usually end up chatting about what we might (or might not!) be feeling led to paint.  Trish had been reading about Daniel’s obedience to pray to God through his open window, in spite of the king’s decree not to pray to anyone but the king himself (Daniel 6:10).  She had gotten the idea to paint a window!

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Trish and I with our paintings

I had received a great deal of encouragement the week before to get back to ‘my paintings’.  Since the start of my business I haven’t taken the time to paint a single painting in my own typical style.  And since my style usually includes a door or a window (and Trish was going with a window) I felt like it was time to get back to painting what I love- DOORS!  With the inspiration of the ‘ancient paths’ recently, I knew it should be an ancient door.

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An Ancient Door

 

Posting an unfinished photo of my painting isn’t easy.  I would like to show it in the completed stage.  But sticking to the topic, I think it’s only fitting that I share the painting as it is.  Similar to the decisions facing me whether or not they be a crossroad, cornerstone or a door- the decisions are as of yet, unfinished.  In the process of growing, you ask a lot of questions.  And God doesn’t work like Google.  He isn’t a search engine who works at lightening fast speed to deliver you multiple answers to your query.  He allows for time to pass by and in the process you find you grow as you wait for answers.  You search the Word of God more.  You clear away clutter so you can hear the answer when it comes.  You sometimes have a temper-tantrum in the middle of a long run on a country road and spend a few minutes yelling out your frustrations to the Almighty (not that I’ve ever done that). You continue to ask because you know eventually He will answer.  Will our decisions in life bring us to a crossroad where we experience a critical turning point in our life? Will we walk through an ancient door to find something new?  Will we be faithful to remember that no matter the decisions, they begin with the call to “Follow me”?

I believe we will.  Because after all, it’s an ancient path, and all the directions are already written down for us…

 

Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

 

 

Get Your Art on!

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Read this amazing blog post by Christina from Wear Out There about her recent experience as a participant at Social Art KW. I was so happy when I read it that I literally teared up!

Thanks Christina for such a wonderful positive inside look at Social Art!

Someone once told me “all children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” This famous Pablo Picasso quote really resonates with me as I do feel growing up I’ve lost some of my creativity. Life gets busy and frankly it’s difficult to find the time to express yourself creatively. As a child I was fearless and loved arts and crafts. I would try anything and just go with it. As a young adult, I’ve lost this form of personal expression, but truly miss it. Which is why some girlfriends and I signed up for Social Art – where they help you unleash your inner Picasso, Rembrandt or Da Vinci (okay, that may be a bit of an overstatement on my part…but you get the point :)). With step-by-step instructions you manage to transform blank canvas into a lovely take-home piece.

Can I say…

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Golden Fields

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Today was an incredible day. A few weeks back an artist friend of mine had asked me to join in a worship service at our church by painting. Today marks the beginning of the summer season at our church, therefore we have one service instead of two. It was decided that the entire service would be worship through music and art, without a typical sermon or message. My friend asked if I would join her and three other artists who would create some piece of art throughout the service.

While most days when I paint alone I am listening to music and having my own time with God, I have never painted in a setting such as this. As is pretty typical for me, I was running sightly behind this morning and arrived at church about two minutes early. After dragging in my supplies, which a few people pitched in and helped me with… (In fact I even asked a lady to park my car for me!) I was directed to my spot where I would be working. Turns out I would be perched above the congregation in a small balcony overlooking the platform. Nice, I was thinking… I won’t be distracted to look around and see what others are doing. Just me and some worship time with God!

I could talk about the painting itself and how I feel about it, but the truth is it’s not about that. Today driving home after church I was weeping with joy over one fact: God made me. Today was a joy to use a gift that I was freely given to worship the One who gave the gift in the first place.

Simply put, I am creative because I was created by a Creator.

After church I had several offers to purchase the painting. I knew this one especially was not to be sold, but given away. It was freely given to me and freely it will be given away.

I’m going to bed tonight with a full heart. Amazing how full one can feel after being emptied.  

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Svobodné Hamry

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When my husband and I lived in Czech Republic with our daughters years ago, we used to go to this small village where a friend of ours ran a restaurant. The food and atmosphere was perfectly Czech. Not the Czech you experience in Prague although there is a time and place for that as well. But the Czech feeling and life which rolls on and on day after day without too many people taking notice. On the occasional Friday night there would be a group of old men and their even older musical instruments singing even older songs. Magical. Across the road from the restaurant which was called Penzion Jonáš, there was a small horse stable and old water wheel. I’ve never seen the wheel in use so I’m assuming that it is no longer functioning, but that in a way simply adds to the mystery and beauty of the place. I’ve used this photo as inspiration in my latest painting.

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As I set out on my journey of old Czech, I wanted my painting to be springtime. The hint of a warm breeze on the skin and a dream in my head. Since this was one of the last in a series for a Pediatrician, I knew it had I have a medical note to it. However as I painted the boy fishing, I couldn’t disturb him. He was so peaceful. I knew the medical note in this painting was in the name, “When I am Well”.
This one is for all the boys and girls who have dreams of what they will do when they are well.

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Update on Kayla’s Scooter

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Finished product. I’m in love with this painting.

My dear ten year old friend Kayla wrote me a nice note which I now have framed in my art corner.  Here is a screen shot of the note:

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In case you can’t make out all the words here is what it says:

Dear Rachel,
I love my painting. You picked a perfect setting I love Paris! It is so cute how you made the cobblestone it’s very nice. You are the best artist but I do like Mona Lisa and Pablo Picasso, but you are way better. Keep up the great work!
From Kayla”

Sigh, thanks Kayla!  Wonder if Picasso would agree with you?

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