The Artist’s Lesson

No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw.

One of my earlier watercolor paintings.

Recently I took up painting with watercolor. As I sat at the table practicing on a small sheet of watercolor paper that I had for scrap I made a tree. The tree wasn’t quite the way I would have liked it but I was anxious, ready to work on a painting. I made the tree trunk on my paper and frowned. It was too dark and looked more like acrylics than watercolor. I extended the branches next. What a disaster. Next came the leaves, a mix of color because it’s fall. That was so so, I could live with it, but not quite what I had hoped. So my painting turned into another practice session. I took the different colors and made a small area of a colorful bush. I tried to fix the dark trunk that didn’t go over so well. I made it worse by trying to lighten it up with water. I finished my practice page sat back and frowned even more. I scribbled notes on the paper, criticizing everything that I had done wrong. I went over and sat next to my husband on the couch and whined. He stopped what he was doing and listened as I criticized my work. He looked it over, read my notes, and said practice. So not what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to tell me what was wrong, what I needed to work on. You know all the things I had already written down.

As an artist himself, I was looking for criticism -did I really say that?๐Ÿคจ- on what I should have done. (Honest criticism on what I needed to work on.) The problem with that is my husband doesn’t work with watercolor. He works with acrylics and oils so it’s hard to say what should be done except practice until its the way you want it. We both agree that working with watercolor is a whole different animal. If you make a mistake with acrylics or oils you can paint over it and continue on. With watercolor, not so much. Put a drawing pencil in my hand and I do fairly well with drawings and sketches. Working with pastels, I do okay and I can manage working with acrylics. But there is something about watercolor paintings that drew my attention and I wanted to learn how to paint with watercolor. I’ve learned that as an artist, I’m way to hard on myself. Actually, I’m probably way to hard on myself most of the time. ๐Ÿ˜… I should also mention that I’ve only been working with watercolor for about two weeks now. ๐Ÿคจ Yeah, way to hard on myself.

If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves falling into the enemy’s trap and instead of recognizing that it’s okay to make mistakes, we become critical and judgmental. If it isn’t perfect then there is something wrong with it. There is no such perfection here on earth. No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw. There is only one perfect man and His name is Jesus. As I chewed on that thought for a minute, I thought about what the Bible says.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

Save His people from their sins. Huh. Not a word about having to be perfect first.

And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

John 12:47

I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. So, no mention of having to be perfect first. Totally not judging the world but coming to save the world. Can you see where this is heading? Lies. The lies we believe. We know that Satan is a beautiful fallen angel. In my mind’s eye I can visualize him walking up to you or me with that winning smile, carrying on a conversation as he began whispering little things in your ear, things you may have already been thinking about yourself. He probably subtly mentioned you weren’t good enough. Might have even said something about Jesus being a perfect man, (you know after he realized Jesus wasn’t going to fall into temptation) and there was no way you could even be close to Him. Wait.

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:11

Save that which was lost. Well that sounds like Someone you can get close to. Which means we don’t have to be a perfect person first. That He takes us where we are, as we are, and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He begins to create a new person on the inside. God bless!

Resting As He Rested

As I sketched the above drawing, I originally started out practicing how to draw trees. Funny thing about that tree, drawing it on the left side of the paper proved to be harder for me than drawing it on the right side. ๐Ÿ˜„ One would think it would be the same. So after I finished with the tree, I thought about something a friend of mine said about writing a thought or something to go with the drawings. I decide to drop a fella in there resting against the tree. After adding the scripture in there I thought about the Friday devotional I needed to send out and since we were headed into the weekend it seemed to fit just right.

Six days we’re to work, to get things done. Whether we work in an office, an industrial setting, a farm, or in the medical field, we are to work six days and then rest. The seventh day is to be a day of rest. To give our bodies and minds a rest. If God, our Father, created the world in six days and on the seventh day rested, shouldn’t we follow His example and do the same? It isn’t that He needed the rest, as much as He was teaching us to rest. He knew that we couldn’t go seven days a week of working and not resting. Do you or someone you know fit in this category? I don’t think the day of the week matters as much as taking that seventh day to rest.

Remember that saying about burning the candle at both ends? Eventually the candle will burn all the way down to the middle and then burn out. Just as the candle burns out, we also will burn out if we aren’t careful. As long as we are here on this earth, there is work for us to do; and when our work is finished, then we will be with Him. I think maybe that’s why God wants us to have a day of rest, to recharge, and refresh so that we can handle the tasks He has for us to do.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

This coming from Jesus, as He goes on to say…

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:29

So take that seventh day to rest, recharge, and listen to the Lord as He refreshes your soul. God bless!

Start ~ Dawn of A New Day

From my sister’s yard.

Here it is the start of a new day. Yesterday’s problems have passed and today’s slate is…wait full? How is this so? It’s a new day and you haven’t even left your bed yet. You just opened your eyes and already your slate is full? How can this be? How indeed. Why did you wake to the morning remembering yesterday’s worries? After all they belong to yesterday, today is a new day. A new dawn. A fresh start, yet your slate is already filled with worries, regrets, stress and you haven’t even gotten out of bed!

Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for I trust in You. Teach me the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.

Psalm 143:8 AMP

And so

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

Isaiah 43:18 NIV

Meditate on God’s truths before you start your day. If there are any residual worries of yesterday, you can know that the enemy is messing with your mind and trying to start out your day in chaos. Don’t let him succeed in taking territory from you that isn’t his to take. Take back that territory and don’t let him steal from you what belongs to you. There is a reason we are told to forget the former things and not dwell on the past, it’s already gone and there isn’t anything we can do about it. We can only look at what is in front of us for today and take care of those things.

Now it’s time to get out of bed and start your day. God bless! โค

The Visitor…

She came for a visit needing a break from the bright sun. She found solace in the shade and so rested as her yearling and fawn grazed nearby. As she rested, the yearling and fawn soon took up a resting spot nearby and before long they began grooming themselves, making themselves presentable, after all they were visiting the King’s house. It was simply breathtaking to watch these beautiful creatures interact. As you can see our church is nestled on a beautiful wooded piece of property, so we often have visitors stopping by to rest or scrounge for food. As I watched them, I thought about what we are teaching our children. Children learn from the actions and instructions from their parents or guardians and even others around them. So what are we teaching the next generation?

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Obstacles – What Do You Do?

Look who came to visit!

Meet Fred. (Don’t ask, he needed a name so I gave him one.๐Ÿ˜… Not to judge, if he is a she then her name is Freida. Wasn’t about to go outside and check.) So about Fred. He came calling on a Saturday afternoon. My husband was the first to notice him staring at the door like it was going to open so he could continue with his journey. We watched him for a bit to see if he would move on but he just stayed there staring at the door so we went about our business. Our son had come over for a visit and I want to say we played a game of Risk. I’ll go ahead and tell you that it drives my family crazy when I win. They strategize and me, I haven’t a clue as to what I am doing so you can see why it drives them crazy when I win. (By the way for those of you who read the Mother’s Day post, I won at Risk -fair and square. ๐Ÿ˜‰) We checked on Fred during a short break but I guess he got tired of staring at the door and had left. Fred had an obstacle in his way but he managed to find a way around it. Thinking about Fred and his obstacle – a house not doubt- I thought about how we deal with our own obstacles.

Continue reading “Obstacles – What Do You Do?”