Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 - A Year to Celebrate: The Beginning of my Adventure in Art

2015 - A Year to Celebrate: The Beginning of my Adventure in Art

As 2015 comes to close, I can’t help but be extremely thankful for all that I was able to accomplish this year. None of it would have been possible if it wasn’t for God. I know that sounds like a line from an acceptance speech, but in all seriousness, it was all done by the guidance, leading and strength from the Lord.
You know that line, “it’s all who you know” when it comes to advancing… you need to know the right people and at the right time, kind-of-thing? I have to chuckle a little because when you know Jesus, put your life into His hands, He will do remarkable things you can’t even try to accomplish on your own. You don’t have to strive to position yourself, get in front of the “right” people to get a “break,” He is all you need. He makes the paths straight and the doors open. Trust, patience, communication and obedience are all it takes.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
My 2015 is a testimony of this.
It all began with an open door in January. My cousin Kyle texted me a simple message, “Hey it’s your cousin, we are seeing a move of God breaking out in Indiana. The Lord laid you on my heart this morning to come down and prophetic paint on stage. Have you ever done this before? Would you be willing to come?”
Open doors require action. This was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. No matter how scary that sounded, I knew it was God holding the door wide open to what He’d already prepared for me by speaking to me through a dream, through prophetic words from others, through a shift in my heart and a spoken word to me about returning to my art, that He would take me places if I do it for Him.
The year before I had a hunger for more of God and He sure showed up. I dug into the Word, studied and learned to hear His voice, so what He was preparing me for – something I didn’t dream would actually happen – fell in my lap. When that happens, it’s go time.
One trip and 4 paintings later turned into 11 more trips to 7 different cities in Indiana, 48 paintings and a celebration I’ll never forget. If you told me I would paint in a stadium with over 6,000 people, I would of laughed. There is no way to prepare you for some of the experiences we had in reviveINDIANA.
I remember the first painting, on January 28, 2015, with trembling hands; I got up on stage and took a deep breath. I had only done this twice before, on a much smaller scale and smaller canvas. I really had no idea what I was doing…all I knew was when God is on it, He will be your strength. So, I asked Him to take over my hand, calm my fear and “First Love” came out of it.
Looking back, I find it so fitting that “First Love” was the beginning of my adventure in prophetic art. It will always be a reminder of staying true to my first love, in Jesus Christ. It all starts here.
After reviveINDIANA, we ventured to Mississippi for reviveTUPELO. God opened more doors and I got to see the birthplace of Elvis Presley. It was a site of humbling beginnings and the birthplace of rock n’ roll. Let’s just say, worship was awesome in Tupelo!
In November my husband was able to join me on a cruise we will never forget. Time to Revive was invited to board the Celebrity Summit Cruise line in San Juan, Puerto Rico to reviveSOUTHERNCARIBBEAN islands. This was a perfect time of relaxation, fun in the sun and sharing the Gospel to the people on the islands of Tortola, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas. Painting on a cruiseship was something I would have never dreamed of doing. It was truly unforgettable.
The last trip of 2015 was to Dallas, TX to paint for the Time to Revive annual banquet. “Here We Go” was a prophetic vision to wrap up all we did in 2015 and also launch us into 2016. Pack your bags to go out into the harvest. It’s time.
I completed 56 prophetic paintings in 2015 with Time to Revive. I also did a 30-day mini painting series of rest in my studio. (And completed several commissions during my time home).   I learned to never limit your abilities to accomplish goals. I had no idea I could paint this much art in one year. No clue.
2015 taught me to break off the chain of fear, nothing is impossible for God and with God. I learned perseverance and endurance, how to rest well to keep going, function on little sleep and no preparation. Walk by the Holy Spirit, trusting and learning to hear His voice. I saw the fruit and miracles by walking in obedience to the voice of the Lord. I saw the Body of Christ come together in unity, mobilize, equip and GO OUT to share the love of Jesus. I gained friendships that will last a lifetime, gathered a list of precious people I continue to pray for, and have a greater hunger to see God move and know Him more.
2016 I look forward to new levels. I have great anticipation for what’s coming. As the Body of Christ press into the calling and assignment the Lord has for each and every one of us, we will see the unexpected. We all have a mission field and a calling. The area the Lord has given you talents, dreams and a sphere of influence right where you are…is your mission. If He’s given you dreams and desires for more, ask Him to line up the path for your destiny. Be patient in His timing, it is perfect.
THANK YOU to all who supported me this year! Thank you for collecting little treasures of my art, for the prayer support from so many of you and the encouragement.
2016… Here We Go! I’m so pumped.
Blessing for a fabulous, adventurous NEW YEAR!
All Glory to Him,

Friday, 18 December 2015

New - Stretched Canvas Print - Option Now Available & Create Your Own Encouragment Wall

New - Stretched Canvas Print - Option Now Available & Create Your Own Encouragment Wall
Product Update:
I am so excited to now offer a STRETCHED CANVAS PRINT option on my website!  You will now find the option in my sizing pull-down, the option to choose a flat print on canvas or a pre-stretched canvas print option.  Also added is more information on my FAQ page.
The pre-stretched option is printed on the same fine art quality canvas, then stretched on a wood frame with a 1-inch depth, stapled and wired ready to hang.  It is also sealed with a UV protective coating for maximum protection.  This option eliminates the need to frame the print after receiving it. It is ready to hang!  (It's also a personal preference on how you would like it to look on the wall).
Now you have even more options to display my prints, creating unique ways to suit your personality. You can now choose:
1. Pre-stretched Canvas Prints (looks like the original canvas)
2. Flat canvas prints that you can be creative in framing yourself.  Frame with or without a mat.  Under glass or dry mount.  Or stretch them yourself over a wood stretcher bar.  Options are unlimited.
Create Your Own Encouragment Wall:
This past year, I have had fun creating what I am calling "encouragement walls" in my home.  A collection of visual reminders of God's character and goodness. A collection of reminders of where I've been, what the Lord is doing and saying, promises and reminders of the hope we have in Christ.  Art is a wonderful visual reminder of the beauty around us, a depiction that lifts our spirit and speaks directly to our heart. 
Things you may collect to create an "Encouragement Wall":
- Photo's of people dear to you, family and friends.  Relationships that are meaningful and people who encourage and inspire you.  
- Photo's or depictions of things you are thankful for.
- Prophetic Art reminders of God speaking hope and life into you.  Art that displays God's character.  
- Objects that hold meaning and speak to you.  (i.e. I have a key hung up... it reminds me of the key to life I have in Christ Jesus)
- Word Art of encouragment.  Word art is so big lately.  Also chalkboards!  These are great ways to display sayings, scripture, a word that you are encouraged by.  Words that hold truth.  
(My only stipulation is whatever is on this wall speaks life, not remind me of something negative or displays strongholds of the past.  Don't let things keep you in the past...create a visual of hope for the future.  Hope in who you are created to be.  Promises and pictures of life abundantly.) 
"No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead," (Philippians 3:13)
A wall of encouragment is a great way to visually bring hope.  We all need encouragement, sometimes more desperately than other days.  Biblical hope is much different than worldly hope, like a wish. Hope coupled with faith in God is a mighty power in our lives. Hope in ourselves alone just isn’t enough when the journey of life gets hard. Hope in God and in His power and strength to meet our needs is true encouragement for the soul. Hope in God is the anchor that holds us in the storms of life. Our eternal hope has already been solidified in Jesus, we have confident expectation in the hope of our future. 
"But encourage one another daily," (Hebrews 3:13)
Bless you all today and have fun being creative, collecting visuals that are personal to you for your very own "encouragement wall."

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Restoration Collection - Revisiting Unfinished Work

Restoration Collection - Revisiting Unfinished Work

Sitting in my studio this past week, contemplating what to work on, I stared at 3 unfinished pieces that have sat there half done for almost a year. Yes, that’s right… a whole year. Have you ever put a project or something on the back-burner so long that you forget about it? Or let time slip by so long you have no motivation to finish what you started? New, fresh ideas take over that seem better or more important, so the old just sits unfinished.
As I stared at those paintings, something came over me to get them done. I had a sudden burst of energy to revisit the unfinished work and complete it.  
I believe everything we do, every moment really, can be a chance to learn and grow when we take a look at it from heaven’s perspective. What is the Lord saying to me about this circumstance? I’ve learned that God is constantly speaking to us in every moment if we learn to hear Him. So, I asked, “What happened to these paintings I was once so excited to paint? Where did the lack of motivation and focus go that I neglected them for a year?” I stared at “Restored Beauty” the grey background with a sketch of antlers in white paint. The larger canvas with a blue background and a simple sketch of another antler, sat beside it. That was as far as I got. Starring at canvases with sketches of bones.
I remembered back to my initial plan to complete the paintings… I planned to do a series of antler paintings adorned with blossoming, beautiful flowers. When I started the paintings a year ago, antlers were quite popular in decorating and design, you would see them everywhere. Then the Lord reminded me of why I neglected them; I had a different mindset of looking at them from a worldly perspective. I had a fear that I wouldn’t be original enough because they were so popular, even though I loved the look. I over thought them to the point of not finishing them, because I was afraid to paint a subject matter that was trendy. Isn't that so silly?  
Boy have I come along way from that thinking… now I just do. I look at things from a different perspective. It doesn’t matter what things look like on the outside, if they are "trendy" or not, it’s the meaning that makes the difference.  The timing to revisiting these paintings were perfect.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)
Recently the Lord has been speaking to me about restoration. It is the subject that keeps coming back to me over and over. How He is restoring all things, making old things new.  I have dreams and ideas of this very subject written in my journal over the past several months. As I looked at the subject matter of the paintings I started, antlers with intensions of adding beautiful flowers to them… the Lord lead me to Ezekiel 37, along with many other verses in the Bible about restoration. He spoke to me about the strength and dominion of the Kingdom of Heaven being restored, new life sprouting out of dry bones.  My sudden burst of energy to finish what I had intended with these paintings a year ago was the Holy Spirit giving me new eyes to see what He is saying.  He ministered to my heart with the hope we have in Him as I layered pinks and greens of new life onto the canvas.
The initial motivation for painting these were just because I wanted a set of antlers on my wall, but I didn’t feel connected, obviously not enough to follow through with them to finish. But now I see the paintings in a whole new way…
As a representation of restoring old bones, adorning them into something new. From death to life.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
God restores.  He beautifully weaves restoration into the lives of those who allow Him to work. 
This is my collection of restoration.  

“and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,” (Isaiah 61:3)

“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10) 

"Restored Hope" - 11"x 14"
 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)

"Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit." (Psalm 51:12)

"The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life." (Ezekiel 37:1-10)

Reflecting on this subject of restoration, I found myself in a posture of thankfulness of all God has restored to me over the past two years.  He has restored every area of my life in some form.  I am honestly amazed at some of the miracles in my life in such a short time.  It's exciting that restoration is a process and more is yet to come!
Today I pray that each one of you are encouraged by God's restoring power through the Holy Spirit.  He is restoring all things.  We are in an exciting time of restoration.  
I also encourage you that there is nothing that can't be restored, revisited, revived.  Projects, ideas and passions from the past that have been neglected can be re-visited and completed.  Time doesn't matter.  You may just discover treasures you didn't see before.  The gold underneath that launches you to a new level of inspiration and breakthrough.  It's there.  We all have hidden treasures waiting to be uncovered. All it takes is a little action and faith to find them. 
Richest Blessings,

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Advent Calendar Treat Bags - Creating Memories with the True Meaning of Christmas

Advent Calendar Treat Bags - Creating Memories with the True Meaning of Christmas

I posted a couple photo's this morning on FB of this little advent project I've been working on for my kids... a friend posted that I should 'Blog it', so I thought good idea. 
This is a super fun way to do an advent calendar with your kids, or family of any age, using Scripture cards that tell the Christmas story of our Saviour's birth.  This year I wanted to focus on the true meaning of Christmas as family time with my kids.  We plan on opening one advent bag each night before dinner, read the scripture in the Bible, discuss and share a little treat.  Christmas can get so busy with the hustle and bustle, this will be a great way to have a devotion time with the family each night leading up to Christmas Day.
I can't take credit for any of the ideas, I got them all off Pinterest - and growing up my mom did this with us.  It was one of my favourite memories that I'm excited to pass on to my kids.
I got all the items from 3 stores: The Dollar Store, Michaels & Bulk Barn. (in Canada)
-The Scripture Cards were downloaded off a free printable site: click here to download
-White acrylic paint (you can use craft paint from a dollar store)
-Sponge brush
-Number stencil (found at Michaels)
-25 burlap bags with draw string (I found at the Dollar Store)
-25 treats, candies, ornaments, crafts, stickers, etc. to fill each bag (I have 3 boys, so I found 3 of each thing to be equal...) Some items I had only one thing (ex: baby Jesus figurine) and added 3 little candies for each of the kids.
-burlap string to tie on my ladder (I already had the ladder...I've seen branches used, hung from a curtain rods, put in a basket, so many fun ways to display!)
That's it!!  Have fun creating memories with your kids and sharing with them the true meaning of Christmas.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

I plan on using those little close-pins (bought at Michaels) to clip the scripture card on the front of each bag as we open them.  Then we can count down the days...
Happy Christmas Preparation!  May the focus be on the One who bridged the gap, bringing Heaven to Earth...Jesus Christ.  Thank you Father for sending your son to die for us so we can have life abundantly, here and now. 
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Many Blessings,

Friday, 20 November 2015

revive Southern Caribbean - Painting on a Cruise Ship

revive Southern Caribbean - Painting on a Cruise Ship

My husband and I had the privilege to travel with Time to Revive this past week, to the Southern Caribbean islands aboard a Celebrity Cruise.   Our focus was to balance rest and relaxation at the same time as sharing the love of Christ with people on the islands. The combination was truly amazing. We are continuing to learn that walking with the Holy Spirit isn’t just something you do when you feel like it; it’s a lifestyle that should never be turned off. Even while on the cruise ship, we found divine appointments set up by the Lord to touch people’s lives.

Prophetic painting on a cruise ship was a first for me. Learning to adapt to our environments was another focus on our trip. As we go out to advance the Kingdom of God, we need to be able to roll with any circumstance we are put in. Getting over the nausea of the sea the first few days, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and adventure of painting on the ship.
The painting that set the stage for myself was the anchor. With the obvious of being on a ship surrounded by nothing but sea, it was a reminder of the hope anchored in Christ.
Hebrews 6:19-20
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.”
We are secure tethered to the cross. The hope set out before us that have already been secured by Jesus. We have nothing to fear. He has gone before us, for us.

On two of our port stops, Grenada and St. Lucia, the Lord opened the doors for us to join with local churches to train, equip and go out together to share the Gospel to the locals. In only 2 short hours on the streets, we had 65 people to follow up with in Grenada and 77 people in St. Lucia! The islands are hungry for the love of Jesus. We continue to pray for the people there as they continue to revive the islands.

We are all like pearls in the Kingdom. Waiting to be discovered. Every person on earth is a precious pearl inside a shell that often we don’t deem valuable or worth anything.   God sees everyone precious. Every person can be restored, discovered and is valuable in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 13:45
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.”
One of the highlights for myself was seeing the need to love and serve the workers on the ship. The Lord opened doors for us to have the workers on the ship meet after their shifts at 11:00pm to have a worship service. We were there to serve them. Pour into their needs to get rest and refueling in the Lord. Crew workers from all different nations of the world met together as we prayed, sang, ministered, gave prophetic words and encouragement. We saw many come to Christ and the light shone brighter on the ship. The atmosphere shifted through the halls and rooms on the boat. It was incredible.

This will be an experience I will never forget. Enjoying fellowship, meeting new friends, soaking up the sun, fun, rest and ministry all at the same time.

Bless you all today!
*the paintings will be added to my website shortly.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Reviving Tupelo, Mississippi


Last week I had the privilege of traveling to Tupelo, MS to prophetic paint with Time to Revive. It was an incredible time. We experienced the Lord move in a mighty way. I love watching and being part of the body of Christ come together in unity. It is the most powerful thing to experience…not about one person, about one denomination or an event; it’s about the common core of our faith…Jesus.

The first night I arrived, I painted “Come to the Table”. I received this vision a few days before heading to Tupelo. As I was praying for the area, the Lord showed me a picture of an empty wooden table in a field. He said, “Come. Come to the table and bring nothing but yourself.” I felt the significance of the table being in a field. It was outside, in His kingdom not in a building. It's an invitation right in front of us, waiting for fellowship with the Spirit. As believers we carry the Kingdom wherever we go. Come to the table, just yourself. He prepares the table before you. Empty yourself so the Holy Spirit can move through you. Often times it’s not the way we think or want in our human flesh, the Lord has different plans – much better plans than what we come up with. Empty yourself from agenda’s, plans, meetings, “the way we do things” and just come with hunger for God to move. Let God be God.

The second day I was there, I kept seeing a mental picture of a door. There was this open door in the Spirit and all we have to do is open it and walk through. This requires action and obeidence.  The door represented different layers of openings. First the open door to those who meet Jesus for the first time. Scripture says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) Jesus is waiting patiently, knocking at the door for salvation, forgiveness, freedom and life. This door is for every person who enters. The second layer I felt was for the Church to open the door of breakthrough of more in the Spirit. Cast out strongholds and step into a deeper level of breakthrough in the Spirit. The door of humility and unity. At the end of the day we all enter the Kingdom through the same door, the door of the simple Gospel.

The third night was so much fun. The day before I went to Elvis Presley’s childhood home. What a humbling site of small beginnings. Our worship leader, Jon and I had a wonderful discussion on worship that evening. I had a vision of black and white guitar exploding into color as it played. The Lord spoke to me about a breakthrough in the area of worship for the region. It was one of those “doors” for breakthrough. Reviving old roots of music, which is so strong to this area, it is the “birthplace of America’s music” after all.   The key was to worship in unity, let everything go and simply worship with one voice. That morning in prayer time, Kyle felt the Lord wanted to release an impartation of worship. Wow. As we worshiped I felt angels with fire dropping on all those who were open to receive a deeper level for the heart of worship. It was a morning I will never forget. A new sound. 

The fourth day I woke up with a violent stomach attack. It wasn’t very fun, but I rested through it and took the day to read the Word and pray for a word to paint that evening. In the later afternoon, I felt the urge to go outside for fresh air. I didn’t realize the door locked behind me, so I found myself locked out of the house. Before I panicked I felt the Lord had a reason for me to be out there…I was forced to sit outside in His presence. It was the most beautiful time I’ve had in a long time. I look around at my surroundings, a yard full of towering oak trees. They were magificent and huge. The Lord spoke to me about the army of rising oaks. He spoke of the component of planting seeds in good soil for deep roots to run. With the heartbeat of discipleship emerging, the roots grow deep and can't be shaken. It was a sweet time where I was assured of the word He spoke to me a month earlier of “roots to run.” “Display His Splendor” was a painting that came out of simply being in the beauty of my surroundings and communicating with the Lord. God speaks to us in such amazing ways. He is very creative in connecting the dots.

Lastly, I painted “Pouring Out,” a picture of what I saw in the Spirit over the people of Tupelo and beyond. As they unite stronger and stronger with the simple Gospel, the Holy Spirit will keep pouring out His mighty living water. It was refreshing to paint.

I am grateful for Tupelo! Humbled and thankful to be part of a small piece of a greater plan God is unfolding. Thank you Tupelo for the warm welcome and amazing time. May God continue the spark and ignite revival throughout the Church…

Thursday, 15 October 2015

The Transition

The last couple of months have been a season of transition in my life. Transition = change. And through change comes process. We don’t always welcome change when it means letting go of things from the past and walking into new territory we may have no clue about. Change can be hard, but also very exciting when you know that God’s timing is always perfect and trusting Him through the process. Over a year ago, I heard God speak to me about my own life and how He is transitioning things, literally like the seasonal changes in a calendar year.
The latter part of the summer, after I came home from reviveINDIANA, I had the urge to focus on our house, re-painting, de-cluttering, cleaning and fixing up things that were neglected while I was traveling. I devoted about a month and a half to that. The Lord spoke to my heart about clearing out the junk. Making my living space more manageable for the next season. Time to clean up and clear out for a NEW SEASON. It was a ton of work, but very refreshing! I knew it was necessary as a preparation for new things to come. All part of the process.

In early September, I painted at a conference called “The Stirring” with Global Awakening. It was a pivotal weekend where I knew I would re-focus on my artwork again. Time to get back to work! It was the kick-off of another shift of transition.
When praying into what the Lord wanted me to prophetic paint, I heard Him speak clearly on the transition in the spirit. “The Transition” was painted during the first night of the conference. I saw a picture of the leaves falling as the summer turned to fall. The Lord focused my attention on capturing the moment where a leaf falls off the branch and floats gently to the ground. That time is very short. He spoke to my heart to embrace that time of transition when I feel like I’m “free floating” frustrated and impatient without knowing where I’ll land, to simply enjoy the process rather than be anxious. Time is short. It moves quicker than we think. In the midst of change, take the time to enjoy it. We do not know what will happen tomorrow. Today I am thankful for what God is showing me, where He has placed me in this moment; thankful for the mighty plans He has in the future. I choose to trust Him in the process of transition. He always has our best interest in mind as we grow and mature. We never stop that process in life, no matter what accomplishments we achieve, there is always more.
I have spent September working on commissions and compiling a lot of new ideas. This painting has inspired a whole series of new paintings I am currently working on. My goal is to have them ready before Christmas, so stay tuned. Next week I begin to travel again with Time to Revive… heading down to Tupelo, Mississippi. I am excited to see what God has in store down there.
Bless you all today. Whatever season of transition you are currently going through, trust in the Lord to bring you through with hope and joy in the anticipation of what’s to come. It’s all a process of growth and maturity for the better.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
“Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
To collect a fine art print of 'The Transition' click here.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Beauty From Ashes

Wow, it’s been a while since I last wrote. I’ve been so busy with life and different things and honestly; I just kept forgetting to write. So what have I been up to? Well…a ton of projects and commissions that have been backed up for way too long.

A couple of the commissions I was asked to do were charcoal drawings, a medium I haven’t done in a long time. I studied studio drawing in art school, kind of my first love in art. I forgot how much I missed working with this medium. (A lesson that it’s never too late to try something that lay dormant! A whole other topic.)
A mother asked me to draw her daughter a ballerina for her bedroom. As I began to sketch out this beautiful dancer with a stick of charcoal, the Lord reminded me of the verse Isaiah 61:3:
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
He began to speak to me about restoring beauty from ashes. He can take any of my difficulties or hardships and turn them into beauty.   He is refining and burning out impurities in this life journey to make something beautiful. As I began to draw, I took a series of photos of my process. I felt like the Lord was showing me that there is a process to growth, much like a drawing. I kind-of chuckled as I was literally holding a stick of ash and creating this graceful, beautiful dancer. (I think the Holy Spirit has a great sense of humor.)
The definition of charcoal:
Charcoal is a light, black residue, consisting of carbon and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen.
When everything is burnt, all that’s left is a pile of ash. (I’m so excited that someone thought up charcoal as a medium for art…I bet the Lord gave someone the idea that they can take ash and use it to create and communicate! Brillant.) God knows our struggles and we may be “burnt” by life’s circumstances. But He also promises us He can turn a pile of ash into something beautiful. We all struggle with hard things, today I choose to say, Lord you take my ashes and turn them into something beautiful. I trust in your plan for my life. And teach me in the process to learn and grow, burning out the impurities that I need to overcome. You make all things new.
Here is the progression of the latest drawings I did… it’s fun to see them develop from ash into works of art.
  1. The Dancer – Commission: this speaks of grace, beauty and strength. I couldn’t help but think of all the hard work and training a ballerina goes through as I drew this, but look at the beauty of her hard work.  

  1. The Sky – Commission: even in a black and white drawing, this shows the majesty and glory of the heavens above. God is truly the master artist. The composition of a sky is new everyday and changes throughout the day; it’s amazing.

  1. The Feather – I had to do this one for me. I was on a roll! I love the simplicity and beauty of a feather. Weightless, yet having the strength to fly. It also reminds me of God’s promise to protect us when we abide under the shadow of His wings.

What are the ashes in your life? Nothing is too far-gone for God to make beautiful. He is in the business of restoring all things new. When we give Jesus the charcoal of our life, He will draw the most beautiful picture.
Bless you all today,