Sunday, August 14, 2016

Christian Fiction Writers Conference

 ACFW has a writer's conference each year, and this year it is this month, the 25th - the 28th. I just became a member last month, and wasn't sure I could afford the conference.  So I missed the deadline, and decide to count on it for next year.  

 Last week I saw a post asking if anyone was interested in taking someone else's place.  I looked into it and now it has all come together. WOW!   Plus I get to share a room with a published author!  I get to take seminars on revising, editing and pitching book proposals, along with a workshop on writing like a pro..... And I get to speak with an agent. I am more than a little excited to see what the Lord is going to do next!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Faith, the substance of things hoped for

So much sorrow in the world.  So much pain and suffering.  Not only from terrorists and evil forces, but just in everyday living.  We all have loved ones we ache for.

My pastor's wife recently shared a truth with me that has helped me walk through the shadow of death with my mother-in- law.  My husband also faces serious health issues. Sometimes I feel like my life revolves around suffering and death.

"Hold your hands out, palms up and say, 'Father, I receive the strength and the grace you have already provided for me for this situation,' instead of continually asking.  It's alright to ask, but we also need to receive!"

This is especially helpful when my faith is not so strong, and the tears have taken over.  Now I am seeing the Father's hand at work. Prayers are being answered, and faith grows.  Not just in me, but in those I pray for too.

May Daddy God, Abba Father, put his truth in your mouth as you do the work and study his word! May he bless you and your loved ones mightily!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Not walking in the shadow of death

My life has been enveloped in the sick and dying.  My mother-in-law (98 years old) has been in and out of the hospital many times the past few years.  This time she gave up for over a week.  My husband of 16 years, who is quite a bit older than I am, has also been through many serious life threatening events.  We have come through cancer, respiratory failure, two brain surgeries (non cancer related), and now severe COPD.  He and his mother have both been in the hospital at the same time this past week.  It threw me for a loop.  Spending so much time at their bed sides can be emotionally draining to say the least.

I started to head into a deep depression again, but this time I took some time out and went for a walk to clear my head. This is a splendid time of year in Florida.  The cool breezes and warm sun are amazing. I went for a walk at sunset up on the levy at the lake.  This is one of my favorite things to do to rise above the circumstances.  My husband is home now, and his mother is doing better, so that helps too.

While I was out walking, I saw this little area across the rim canal that was lit up with pinks from the sunset.  I have seen this little stream coming into the canal before, but this time I decided I needed to paint it.  So after supper I pulled out a large canvas and painted it! It was exhilarating to be inspired and motivated and stay up late to create something so compelling!  It pulled me out of the downward spin I was giving into.  

This world is on a downward pull, always throwing things at us to destroy us.  If we don't fight it, it gets overwhelming!  I am finding out some things that help me fight back: getting up early to have time to pray and have devotions, painting at work (even if for just for short periods of time), walks at sunset, playing Christian music, and painting at home in the evenings.

Looks like the shadow of death has moved on, and I am living again. Currently I'm working on some animal portraits, which is always my favorite subject matter! It is amazing that even in the middle of the pain and chaos I can find joy and see goodness and truth!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Goals

Trying to get back to painting more often and posting more too.  Seems like the most important thing (painting) gets put on the back burner more than anything else. Feels good to get up earlier to paint, and get back to better habits than watching tv or oversleeping!

Have to stay with it this time, and not give up.  Hard to be inspired these days.  Most of the time I am teaching art classes or creating frames, so I am really tired, and certainly not motivated.  So I have to make my painting time come first.  Then the rest of the day can fall into place.

Having said all that, now I must make it a personal challenge, and find ways to stay inspired. Paintings that have a deeper meaning, or that have things hiding in them seem to hold my interest the most.  But if they do not come together right off the bat, then I tend to put them aside and resolve them later.

 I need to plan ahead better, and stick with it.  Also, I need to not start the new ones until I finish current paintings.  When I enter some art shows I tend to get excited and finish up a few more too.

My problem is that I don't see  results very often.  A sale now and then, A commission.  A ribbon or an award here and there; it is all encouraging, but hard to make enough to make a living.  So I teach more classes, or take in more framing jobs. Then I don't have the time to paint.....not a good cycle.

I am open to hearing ideas on how you get inspired or what helps you stay on track.