Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Illustration Friday: Song

I love the topic for Illustration Friday this week: Song. Although I am not much of a singer, I LOVE to sing and do so all day long - in the car, in the shower, in the grocery store along with the Musac (when I momentarily forget where I'm at). I love all kinds of music, but I especially like to sing praise and worship songs. God has so filled my life with His love and grace and mercy that I want to spend my days singing with a heart of gratitude back to Him.

"Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it. I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of your love--"
Psalm 89:1-2 (the Message)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Illustration Friday: Simple

For this week's Illustration Friday topic: Simple, I chose to illustrate a quote from one of my all time favorite children's authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder. For those who may not be familiar with her work, she wrote the "Little House" series of books about growing up during the late 18oo's on the American frontier. I LOVED those books and read them over and over again throughout my childhood....and not too long ago too. She describes in glorious detail the simple (yet complex and dangerous) lives they led. Wonderful books!

When contemplating how to illustrate the quote, I decided to do an homage to another childhood favorite of mine, Holly Hobbie - the prairie-bound figures that celebrated girlhood, wildflowers, homespun calico and life's simple pleasures. I spent countless hours in the 70's drawing Holly Hobbie figures with their big, floppy bonnets - I loved them. I still do - they were an undeniable influence on my artistic style. I'm happy to see that good old Holly Hobbie is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. Good for her! (check out the Holly Hobbie e-cards - cute stuff)

So here's to the simple joys of life - may our days be filled with them and our lives enriched by them - and may we stop long enough to savor them!

"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Illustration Friday: Chair

I found this quote and thought is was appropriate for this week's Illustration Friday topic: Chair. It is also particularly fitting for my frame of mind. One of the hardest things about moving away to another state was leaving my dear girlfriends behind. I miss them dearly. But they are a part of me, woven into me for all eternity - they are the type of friends that you pick right up with where you left off - even if it's been a year or two since you spoke.

Just recently I met a wonderful group of folks here at my new church - they are part of the large Singles ministry here, and they have adopted me - and it's wonderful. So I have now been blessed with great new friends. God knew that I needed to avoid isolation and re-connect, and He led me right into their path. So, I am rich in friendships, both old and new.

And I cannot forget my virtual friends on the internet - ones I've never had the pleasure of meeting face to face. We have shared sorrows and triumphs , inspirations and pet peeves, hopes and dreams. Plus, I've met people from all over the world that I never would have met otherwise - the internet is a wonderful tool for connecting, and I am forever blessed by those fine folks I've crossed virtual paths with.

So to all friends, old, new, and virtual I say:

"Tea pot is on, the cups are waiting, favorite chairs anticipating. No matter what I have to do, my Friend there's always time for you."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why I'm Back in the Heart of Texas

Well, I thought it was about time that I told you why I moved back to Texas. There's no nifty, easy way to say it: I am getting a divorce. I was married for 22 years, exactly half of my life, and now I am launching into a new life. My wonderful parents have graciously invited me to move in with them while I finalize the divorce and sort through the financial issues and obstacles in preparation for buying my own little home. My job with the large technology firm is in tact - I still work from home and am all set up with my home office here, so I am in good shape with work. My husband and I were never able to have children, so we did not have to deal with that painful issue. All in all, I am in pretty good shape. But I'm not kidding myself - I have had and will continue to have pain and loss to deal with - you don't unwind and untangle two souls in a few weeks.

But God has been more than gracious throughout every step of the move, and He is continuing to provide one thing after another that I need. I am SO GRATEUL to be back in the midst of my wonderful family - they have been so wise and fun and caring and sweet and supportive through everything. My parents now have all their kids and their families within a 30 minutes drive. That hasn't happened since we all lived at home more than 22 years ago! It's been such fun!

Starting over again is scary and exciting at the same time. I am looking forward to the things God has in store for me here...He has a plan for me, and it is a good one. I trust Him, and therefore I have peace.

I'll share more soon about the many ideas I have for my new home as well as the plans I have for promoting my art, and so on. Stay tuned and thanks from the bottom of my heart for stopping guys mean a lot to me!