Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Confession

"More Me"
 Copyright 2016, Sharon J. Palmer (ARR).
The painting above I did on my own. By that I mean, after learning a certain technique, I mixed the colors I saw in my mind and made a landscape more reflective of my personality.  Pink is symbolic of "holiness", and I am definitely set apart for God's Kingdom works as are a host of brothers and sisters in Jesus throughout the world. I like pink; I recall my mother looking at me as I wore a powder-pink sweater and saying, "Sharon, pink is your color, honey." That was one of the first times I'd ever actually looked closely at myself in pink; albeit not realizing the deeply prophetic value and foreshadowing it carried for me, I liked what I saw.

So, what's the "confession" mentioned in the title of this post?

It's that, upon close examination of this painting only hours after splashing it onto the canvas, I didn't like it.  I didn't like it so much, I was a bit ashamed of it.  One cloud looks like a croissant, another a Manatee... in my heart, I started denigrating it and decided that - although it's cute and it IS truly reflective of me... um... I just didn't like it.

So I gave it to Lynette and asked her to take it to work. Being the sweet, loyal friend (and "fan") of mine she is, when I showed it to her she declared she DID like it. What better recourse for my displeasure than to give the work to her and let her be reminded of it every day!

Am I fishing for compliments among you all regarding this painting? Believe it or not, the answer is a happy no, because just a couple days ago Lynette passed on a manifest encouragement to me; one absolutely sent by the Lord to my fledgling artist coffers.  A woman walked in to her office to speak to her, caught a glimpse of this painting and L-O-V-E-D it! She enthusiastically asked the artist's identity and expressed genuine admiration of it!  Wow!

The priceless moral is a lifetime truism: One woman's "floor" is another woman's "ceiling", folks... and let me never forget it!  My uncharacteristically pessimistic, critical eyes have been opened concerning what God has given me.  The truth is, you never know what will touch a person's heart, and God's expression within you - no matter how humbly basic - will be a solid blessing for someone. I've been reminded that His works and His words never return to Him void; they always generate good things. Hallelujah.

Merciful God, I repent of all dissatisfaction with the expression of my soul and myself in this painting. You gave the artistic impartation to me, and it is well with my soul. It is a good thing and, for it, I bless Your Holy Name. Amen. I love You.

DADDY'S GIRL


"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Got Peace?

The Peace of God is with me, and I know it. The stabilizing force of His confidence will settle a house into sweet stillness; it’s a Rock that is with all those who choose to embrace it. His Presence is all the help in the world. 

Nothing to worry or fret or stress about; nothing to fear. (Fear is NOT a natural part of Christian life.) Think about it... whenever a strong heart is around, you don’t want them to leave; the settling, calming, stabilizing security of Holy Spirit dwells within them, and you know the Presence of God is there; you know everything is anchored in His safety and security; you feel good. I've known souls like that, and now I am one of them. How grateful I am to Almighty God for accomplishing it! It’s HIS mercy and power that causes me to dwell in safety day by day knowing that, by His supernatural Presence, all things in my life are held together.  Where would I be without that Peace?  Where would any of us be? O, how we need Him! And when Christ is with us - the very embodiment of Peace that “passes understanding” - the world can go its way without adversely affecting us.  Truly, we are in it but not of it.
 
The Peace of God indeed confounds fleshly understanding; constantly and simultaneously, the world is baffled by it, yet craves it. That same magnificently awesome, steady, confident, pure, joyously unshakable Peace of God is with me, and I know it.  The unconquerable, incomparable Peace of God; is it with you? I pray so. 
 
DADDY’S GIRL
 
"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)
 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Rejuvenation

I’m discovering Daddy’s heart in a new way, in the ways He uncovers me. By that I mean, no one can tell me about my personality like He can, because He created me.  He’s used many things to forward my education and discovery over the years but, this time, He’s giving me a front-row seat to my personality coming through art; specifically, what I paint.  God is using art to show me to me.

Developing the Gift

A few years ago, as a reward for perseverance and obedience, Daddy asked me to choose three things that He would give me. (Before I could feel really weird about it, I remembered how He approached Solomon in a dream and said to him, “Ask what I will give you…”  It made me feel better about accepting such an amazing opportunity; it also taught me more about the kind of God we serve; indeed, He is no respecter of persons.) After much consideration, one of the three things I chose was the ability to paint. I’d only drawn stick figures my whole life, and I wanted to experience what it was like to express myself artistically, on canvas.  Holy Spirit told me it would be necessary for me to first become acquainted with light and shading, via drawing/sketching. “First, you must understand ‘light,’ ” He softly said.  I know now that understanding light better is understanding God better (1 John 1:5), and my journey in this regarding is proving to be one of the most staggeringly fascinating of my existence. (Read more about His impartation in this 2013 post.)
My nephew Reuben is an artist; he was born with that ability, so I spoke with him at length about the gift once it manifested in me.  Reuben is a stunningly intelligent man. Talking with him introduced me to the deep understanding of light and its tendencies couched within his bosom.  To say it impressed me cheapens the true effect; honestly, I was profoundly touched.  IMO, Reuben is abundantly blessed with an understanding of the ‘personality’ of light - its characteristics , preferences, and predilections. That's lovely.  He is friends with light, and I am greatly inspired and moved by that.  He has been used of God to encourage me as I yield to new discoveries of myself through this imbuement. It's so like my darling Abba to orchestrate that for me.
Initially, I’d asked for the ability to paint in oils, and I completed several projects in oils, most of which I gave away to friends just as stunned as I was with God’s miracle. That was a fabulous time!

Fast-forward, Five Years

Now, the journey has begun anew with the acrylics medium, and I am even more delighted with what God has given me. I am so touched by His lasting tenderness toward me. His gifts are without repentance, folks; He's been storing it up within me for His use while He blesses me in other areas of life. He's brought a new husband, ministry, and a whole new life to my coffers according to His Faithful promise... so it's also time to revisit the pleasurable reward He graciously bestowed to my soul years ago in tribute to His own Spirit of obedience in me. O, how I love Him!
Here’s the latest project I’ve completed, which truly tugged on my emotions.  I call it, “Prayer Trees”:

"Prayer Trees"
Copyright 2016, S. Palmer.
All Rights Reserved.
The background appears periwinkle in this photo, but it’s actually purple (my camera skills aren’t that great!) because I adore the combination of purple and green.
To me, these four trees represent the Godhead and me (I’m the tiny one in the middle) and our secret, quiet time together in a place I always can trust.  I like it that I can “feel” this painting, know what I mean? I’m not all that accustomed to that because writing has historically been my place of emotional solace in terms of the work of my hands.  Abba is gracious.

The Best is Yet to Come!

I solicit your prayers as I continue traveling the roads God sets before me.  I’m realizing as I grow in Him that He alone possesses knowledge of my true depths; realms within me only He has plumbed.  I'm thrilled to know there's more to me, even at 50! I’m fascinated and willing to learn, and I am indelibly blessed to know that Daddy is even more willing to teach me. I ever bless His Precious, Holy Name.  Amen.
 
DADDY’S GIRL
 
"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)