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Autumn Days

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Autumn has much the same feeling as New Year’s for me, for whatever reason. There seems to be a fresh start, with new winds blowing and the sun shining brighter (which it actually does), and everything changing with the bright colors and dancing leaves.

This autumn, my family’s had lots of lovely new opportunities for friendships and activities (yay Bible studies—so satisfying) to fill our days with, and I’m training to add some new responsibilities at work. Like I said, new things!

What I’ve been appreciating most this season, though, are the absolutely spectacular mornings. Every day, the sun rises with some measure of gold and glory, and christens the day with such beauty as would make you catch your breath. I’m usually at my quiet time when the sun crests the horizon, and it’s like the Lord’s own benediction on our time together.

As you can see, I gave my blog a little facelift (I can now change the header photo to suit my moods). I’ll keep posting some of my random thoughts and …

Little Blessings of Late

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Odd as it seems, God's goodness in our lives can be easy to lose sight of. I cringe even saying it, but it's true--between the busyness of each day, we let thankfulness fall in the cracks. So, I'd like to dig it back out and spend a few moments reviewing some of my blessings of the last week.

My wonderful young adults group. It not too small, not too big, filled with people who love the Lord and His Word. We have awesome spiritual discussions, and play games that make us laugh ourselves sick. And we do it every week! It's pretty cool.An impromptu video chat with dear friends I haven't seen in forever. Seriously, there's no pick-me-up like old friends that you miss! It was super spur-of-the-moment, completely unexpected, and so much fun.Doing a quick drawing that just "clicked." Like I was made to do it. And maybe I was.Sticking with my workout program...and seeing results! I've actually lost weight (not necessarily what I was looking for, ha!), bu…

Quick Sketch: Sleepy Dog

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My grandfather's art assignment for me the last few weeks (I do bi-weekly art lessons with him, as he is an accomplished southwest landscape painter and has much to share) has been loose contour sketches, like Shari Blaukopf's shown here. In her post, she mentions Charles Reid's "blind contour sketch" approach explained in his Watercolor Solutions—a method that has astonished me in its effectiveness. To put it briefly: keep your eye on the subject, your pen on the paper, and follow the outline (or contour) of the subject, checking occasionally to make adjustments on angle or proportion. I've been amazed at how accurate my drawings have been, while staying loose.

I used that method for the outline of this sketch, and added my own extras for detail and shading. The detail is fun—dipping the pen in from the outline for a quite squiggle that adds dimension and interest. I'll be using this method more in the future!

Materials: Strathmore 5.5" x 8.5"…

My best is yet ahead

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Incredibly, it has been over six months since I last posted. And what a full six months they have been!

For those that may not know, my family is caregiving for my widowed paternal grandmother. Caregiving is a journey...and that's the only way to say it. You learn lessons (often hard ones) all the time whether you want to or not--because every day, every action is determined by the next right thing. The last six months have been full of those lessons for my whole family, including my grandmother.

To be perfectly frank, I let myself flounder for much of the last year. Spiritually, physically, I let my personal responsibilities slide and simply did what I felt like doing. I learned so much the hard way through this, but I'm so glad I did:

I am utterly miserable when God is not the focus of my lifeI feel sick inside when I spend too much time on my own entertainmentMy body and mind feel like stagnant ponds in the middle of August when I decide I "don't feel" like ex…

Saturday Smiles

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A few things that made me smile this week:

1. These girls. They're part of my Living History group, and I got to see them last week at the Folk Arts Fair at my work. Who says friends have to be your same age?! I took pictures of them as they slaved away in the heat, hand-cranking ice cream, laughing all the while.


Here, they're scraping every last iota of cream off the mixer. That ice cream was good on a 100-degree day.

2. Late-night rain. This year, like always, June has swept in with cloudless brilliance and a parched heat. I try not to cringe at the barren skies, and pray that the monsoons arrive early. Last night, they did! It rained as I fell asleep, with that cool perfume sweeping in the windows. Today, we have massive cumulus clouds rolling across the sky, giving us shade and beauty. My soul feels quite refreshed after this break from that relentless Arizona sun!

3. Swap-meet treasures. This morning I joined my dad and uncle on a trip to the local swap meet, and was not…

...And He Shall Strengthen Your Heart

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"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!" Psalm 27:13-14
These verses have spoken so much to me lately, and today I began memorizing the whole psalm. It's so full of promises that bolster and embolden. Psalms is by far and away my favorite book of the Bible, and I find myself there often, savoring the sweet reminders of the Lord's provision, protection, love, majesty, and beauty. No need to fear, for He is confidence; no room for weakness, for He is strength; no place for emptiness, for He is boundless love. Oh, it's wonderful to read!
I'm reviving this blog after more than a year--in the blogosphere, I am nothing short of flaky, and I apologize. But I've been busy--I have a new website for my professional life as a graphic designer and illustrator, with a blog to go with it, and th…

The Issue of Pride (In Myself, Namely)

This post may seem a little ramble-y, as I don’t have a completely clear and stated thought on the whole thing yet, but so much of my spiritual growth lately has been centered around this area that I felt I had to post about it before talking about anything else. :PAnyway, the Lord has been convicting me of an area of sin in my life that I hardly knew was there. Yes, I had been aware that some part of this sin is in all of us, but never recognized it so plainly in myself. I am speaking, naturally, of pride.But this pride was not an honest pride in me, like the sort that makes you glad about something you did well, or even a pride that admires itself, and then laughingly admits it does so. This pride was that sneaking, insidious variety that patronizes its fellow man and then calls itself humble. Yes, I have been a willing victim to thinking too much of myself…and that’s dumb. So let’s start with the intellectual superiority bit.This sort of thing starts with perhaps a more knowledge-b…