Thursday, April 29, 2010
During this whole time of "becoming" His artist, it has been a time of much joy, and much anguish. Other artists will relate to the tug-of-war that grips your soul as you fight to become your destiny, despite loved ones and the world's, expectations of who they think you should be. And all the while wondering, somewhat floundering at times in faith, if God has really called you to be this thing, an artist.
When Jacob was directed by his father to go and find a wife to the house of Bethuel, a near relation, he spent the night in Bethel on his way there. It was the night before his destiny, the night before the blessing became reality. With a rock for his pillow, and the cold earth under him, I can imagine him looking up at the stars, and saying to God, " Do you really want me? Was I wrong to take that blessing? Who really, am I , God?" The brazen young con man, when faced with the reality of his actions, suddenly wondered what he had gotten himself into and was he really man for the job. He closed his eyes and dreamed. He saw a stairway from the ground to the heavens with angels going up and down it, and the Lord was standing there beside him, saying to him, that He will give him and his offspring the very land he was sleeping on, that his offspring would be like the dust of the earth, too numerous to count, they would be spread over all the earth, and the people of the earth would be blessed through him and his offspring!! Not only that, but the Lord tells him He would be with him and watch over him wherever he went, and He wouldn't leave him until He would do all that he promised Jacob.
Jacob, awestruck, awoke and calls the place, Bethel, or house of God. He makes a marker there, and makes a vow: That if God will be with him, and watch over him on this journey, and if He gives him food to eat and clothing to wear, and if he returns safely to his father's house, then the Lord would be his God, and he will give God a tenth of all He gives him.
We fledgling artists, are much like Jacob, and are in the time of the night before our destiny, at the cusp of our change, feeling alone, uncertain, and wondering, like Jacob, will God provide? Will He carry us through this? Like Jacob, we say well, IF He does this, and IF He does that, THEN I will honor Him with my devotion and my tithe. Until then, God, you are on notice with me...is that what we're saying?
If Jacob had only said, God WILL provide, He WILL give me food to eat and clothing to wear, I WILL return safely to my fathers house, and God IS my God, and I will give Him a tenth of all I have, maybe he won't have had to work so long and hard at Laban's.
Times are tough, and the fatted cows are getting lean, still, who is my Provider? If I look to the Labans of this world for the fulfillment of my destiny and calling, I will be a slave to the Labans of this world, for alot longer than I ever wanted. So I call those things into being that are not, and I rest in knowing I am in His perfect will. I make a marker in this place, of recycled plate glass, having no money to buy the glass I want, I use what He has provided. I fuse the pattern of steps going upward and downward, I carve feathers for angels out of glass that was given to me, fuse them and carve again, fire them again, carve their shadow on the stairs. This studio, is my Bethel, and He is here, and I knew it not. Selah.
Jacob's Ladder pictured above, I recently completed after 2 months of hard work. It is priced at $500.
Friday, April 16, 2010
I have had a little antique plaque for years, probably done in the 1920's, that simply says "Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a mystery; today is THE DAY --LET'S GO!!" I loved it, but to be honest, I haven't lived it.
Until yesterday. For some reason, I finally got the revelation, that meditating, dwelling, remembering the past, will keep me in the past. If I keep those sorrows, regrets, mourning's, ever present, I will be defined by them.
In Christ, I am much more than my past. With Christ, I can live in the now, unburdened, and unchained. Living for today, I am remembering that THIS is the day the Lord has made, a day not made for sorrows past, but a day reflecting on His hope for our future!
I am not my past - Christ has redeemed me from EVERY curse spoken against me, and daily, I am being conformed into His image, not the worldview of me. And I know the more He transforms me into His image, the more I will be hated by some, but I will also be loved by even more.
I will arise, once broken, now transformed, fused together by the fire of His love, not a vessel of dishonor, but of honor; not by any works of mine, no, only He makes me worthy, His love for me that no man, government, demon, can take or shake.
He is My Christ, He is My King only. And when He threw me into that fire He fashioned something more beautiful than I could ever imagine.
In the fire, what satan bound me with, was burned off of me.
In the fire, the coverings of shame, were burned off my body.
In the fire, every accusation, curse, condemnation that satan threw at me, was burned up, destroyed, and made no more.
In the fire, He was there with me, and He was enough.
To all who are going through a season of brokenness, the fire of discouragement, I can testify that He IS with you, and He is enough.....
Sunday, April 11, 2010
On April 11, 1981, I gave birth to Alana, my first born.....but she never saw me or her dad, because hers was a birthday back into heaven. The unthinkable happened on a beautiful, spring day. When all of life was coming back and blooming, life, that I had longed to hold and see, was denied. When I left to go to the hospital, I left behind a nursery full of circus themed nursery decorations, that I had lovingly made for her arrival. When I came back, there was nothing but an empty room. My husband and family had put away all the decorations, thinking it would be too painful for me to see; instead, the emptiness of that room was more than I could bear.
Her life was cut short by doctor negligence. The umbilical cord had wrapped around her neck, and though there were signs of distress, the doctors and nurse chose to ignore it, despite my cry's of alarm --"You first time mothers think you know it all!", the nurse said. But every Mother knows when her child is in trouble. And so, as my husband prayed for her resurrection that never came, I held her beautiful, still, body in my arms, and looked at the beautiful eyes that couldn't see us, the beginning of curls on her head, her aquiline nose, and lovely mouth....
One day, I will see her again. Until then, she is safe in Jesus's arms. I can't forget her, though it's taboo to talk about a dead child, I don't care. "Stillborn" doesn't negate the beauty that didn't have a chance to be. Somehow, that term has the connotation that maybe that life didn't count; she wasn't, in essence, born, if she wasn't born alive. She was real, though, not a dream, though there are very few days that I don't think of her. I don't tell anyone. They would think it "morbid". I have news for the world. Alana's life was precious, and for that matter, so is ALL life.
Time passes, and another spring comes. This time, there is joy; this time, another doctor doesn't take any chances. It is a tricky delivery, but in the end, my beautiful Shoshana was born. I am so ecstatic, that I can't sleep for a day...I am forever at the nursery window, totally awed at the most beautiful baby....
Time passes, and more springs....and that beautiful daughter has grown distant....the tears I cry for her are no different from the ones cried for her sister...but still the same hope; that Jesus is holding her in His arms, and one day, He will give both of them back to me.
My piece, "Tears for My Daughters" was created on a glass canvas of broken shards of glass on the right that transitions to more solid pieces, that illustrates the brokenness of my life and the process of healing. Various shapes were cut and fused on top, and then illustrated with translucent glass paints. For all mothers with broken hearts, He is our Peace.....
Friday, April 9, 2010
Sunday was a beautiful, clear day top of our friend Cord's hill. He had erected 3 very large crosses using large telephone poles on top of his hill on his farm. We knew the weather was going to be nice, so we decided to have it there. Cord is undergoing chemo right now, and he was really weak this past week. So Beth, his wife, shelpped the chairs on the golf cart up the hill. My friend Lauren, was there with her harp, and her husband Nils. Barb came and did a wonderful job of worship, and my husband, Dennis gave a great message. There is something so inspiring when you are on a hill overlooking beautiful, rolling farmland, with the wind gently blowing, and hitting the strings of the harp, in an aeolian mode....(you have to hear it to believe it!! - It's out of this world!)
I looked at our wonderful "family" and could see the power of His resurrection in each of our lives; Cord and family, getting through his illness, with an overcoming spirit, Irmie and Ralph, serving and loving each other through a major stroke, and back problems, Barb, Bailey and Tom - who constantly keep me in awe with their faith walk through every major illness, family crisis, and "mountain" that the enemy tries to throw at them. Lauren and Nils, my models who mentored for me the life of His grace in all the trials they have gone through, with children, and most recently, Nils bout with cancer.
And then there's myself and Dennis whom He has brought out of ashes into truly a "new song".....
Thank you, my dear Savior, thank you, for healing THIS heart.....
Friday, April 2, 2010
It was a glorious day today, sun shinning, temperature 74 degrees. I was running around getting things for Sunday's dinner, not as mindful as I should have been on this day, the day of our Lord's suffering...so know, when the business of the day has settled, I'd like to give a moment and meditate on one thing: how when Pilate asked Him what He had to say for Himself, He said nothing. In that moment of betrayal, with His accusers shouting for His death, He didn't defend, justify, or prove to anyone who He was. He could have, but He didn't. He had already done that, and there was nothing more to be said.
The times ahead of us are fraught with danger, persecution. Have we lived our life to the point that when we are to stand before our accusers charging us with "intolerance", and other "crimes", we can stand silent, knowing we have lived a life for Christ where nothing more needs to be said?
Lord, give me the grace to get to that point.
In creating my Blue Ice Recycled Glass Heart necklace, I was inspired how beautiful broken shards can become when put into a fiery furnace. Just like His love for all of us, He will transform the brokenness of our lives, as a beautiful adornment for His glory!
Bless you all, and Happy Resurrection Day!