the painting of a life...

my good friend (and future neighbor) clive staples lewis (i will call him "jack" when we are neighbors) penned this apt description of God as an artist. and us as a painting. a painting that sometimes wishes for less "attention to detail" that God the artist painstakingly and albeit sometimes (most of the time) PAINFULLY puts into His masterpieces... because He loves us too much to let us be anything less than Masterpieces. 

We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character…

Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of His life – the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves his God, He will take endless trouble, and would, doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient.

One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scrapped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute.

In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had destined for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny but then we are wishing not for more love, but for less.

C. S. Lewis

the reader. by frank benson (my 2nd favorite artist. God being my 1st favorite.)

the reader. by frank benson (my 2nd favorite artist. God being my 1st favorite.)

nothing is more fun...

...than shooting a senior photo session in the rain. well, at least it wasn't 145 degrees in the blazing sun. but it was fun to see how many covered places we could find to use at the picturesque pebble hill plantation this morning in a steady drizzle of rain. we found several really neato and little quirky (and slightly less damp) places. sometimes being limited just makes you extra creative. and soaking wet. i really should carry an umbrella. 

you can check out the fruits of our rainy day at the photos: seniors2012 album above. or click on this link... stay dry.


home works...

i know that it is SLOW AND STEADY that wins the race...

i read that tortoise and hare fable... well, i skimmed it because i was in a hurry to get to the end.

but i like thing done RIGHT NOW. quick. one step. 

so my family room has been in transition for 18 months. i had the new furniture. well, the sofas. not the three ottomans. and i still only have one out of three...


remind me never to pray for patience. because God might have you actually LEARN it...

but i do finally have the wall shelf that i wanted. and i did make some little arty Scripture things for it. of course i did. did you expect any less of me? no, you didn’t.

and don’t be really impressed. i saw something like those in a store once, but they were all on one poster and i wrote down the 5 different words and the verses and then kept it in a file called “MAKE THESE”. it is a full file.

i want to change out the artwork on that shelf seasonally. have some nature photos blown up. or IF we ever take a family vacation somewhere have those photos blown up. or perhaps if YOUR family has some nice family vacation photos we could put them up there...

any way.... i now had a plethora of art to go in the living room. and i could NOT figure out how to make it all work. so i called in an expert. a really clever expert that i have used before to help me make some house decor decisions. my friend, clay sechrest. of the sechrest design company.  though mostly he comes over, listens to me, and then tells me that i can do what i want to do and helps me find an inexpensive way to do it. and he suggests fabrics to go with the one fabric that i like. and we are his only clients who ever made their own furniture. so i think he likes us. 

anyway, he has been a huge supporter of us NOT opening up the family room to the living room because he thought it would cost too much, be too loud in the back bedrooms, and that one day we would need a room like the living room for our teens to entertain. or for adam and i to be “near but not too near”, while our teens had friends over to watch movies on the tv hung over the fireplace (which was an idea that clay fully supported when i was hesitant to “ruin” our fireplace. adam is very grateful to clay for this support).

and clay worked his sechrest magic on the living room. and it is AMAZING! i had told him that i wanted a space to do my morning Bible study in there. and now i have this lovely haywood wakefield table (which i already owned) by the window. and there is NOTHING new in there. just everything rearranged and functional and inviting. i love to sit in there while maxx is practicing the piano. and all of my favorite art work is on the wall. a set of five prints that i bought for about a dollar apiece on a street in london when i was 20 years old. a mirror from my mom and dad’s house over the piano, and then the benson prints that adam and i collected when we were double income and no kids... aah, the “dink” days. when we bought “art”.

it reminds me of a gallery room in the metropolitan museum of art. which is one of my favorite places ever. well, besides my new and improved living room. which now can be used for living. 

and i KNOW that you want photos of all this fabulousness... and i am a people pleaser...


so rosie’s elementary school did this art for the sky project. they all had to dress in certain colors and come out to the field and get in place (crouching down on the ground with their heads tucked under their bodies an dtheir backs toward the sky). and wait for this artist to go up in the crane and take their photo. and yes, he went up and took some photos and then announced on his megaphone that he had to come back down and get another lens and so everyone break for 5 minutes and then come back... ummm, has he worked with kids ever before?

anyway they did it and it was cool and i kind of wish that i had gone up in that crane and i kind of think i might have thrown up and it might have fallen on some cute kid and that would have been bad.

but i was on the ground taking pictures from that angle and here are some of my photos...

and the whole thing reminded me of this poem (to the left) that i found cleaning out my grandmother’s desk after she died. it was on a little bookmark and i keep it in my Bible. 

My life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.

my life daily looks like those photos i took. jumbled, messy, chaotic, everyone hunched over trying to stay in the

right place... 

and i bet one day i will look at the whole thing from the perspective that God was using...

i really don’t want to see a whooping crane.

really, i don’t. 

a whooping crane? what was this guy thinking? 

and in the spirit of my wonderful haiku comment from anonymous the other day, i will write a couple of new stanzas for the poem...

the kids in dark hoodies are so necessary
in the artist’s palatte on school playing field.
they accentuate the wing span,
man, i bet that was a long time to kneel.

not till the field is quiet
and the kids are on their bus.
will we see the lovely photo
and realize that it was worth all the fuss.

yes, they all made such a sight.
crouching down, backs toward the sky.
they made a really big whooping crane.
one that looks like it could fly.

happy mother's day...

i woke up early this morning and wrote an entire sappy mother’s day homage to my mom, crying big fat tears the whole time, and right as i was finished...

our power went out.

i think it was nice message from God (who likes to smite things to get my attention) to stop whining and just do the day in a way that HONORS my mom, not mourns her...

so i got myself up from the computer, got dressed (in the dark), woke the two children up who had to be at church at 8:30 (an hour and a half earlier than usual because they were singing today. let’s just chat for a moment about how mother’s day should be a day that the MOTHER is able to sleep in and not have to go to church EARLY and for two services... but i digress and digress with much bitterness).

i made 20 hamburger patties( in the dark), emptied the dishwasher from last night’s dinner (in the dark), are you sensing a theme here with the permeating darkness, fed those two children breakfast and skidaddled off to church with hair and makeup looking like someone who had gotten ready IN THE DARK. i came home early from the second service to get ready for lunch for my family, adam’s mom (who came down this weekend to stay with us), and some special invited guests (mr, and mrs. gardner). and thank goodness the power was back on for the food that needed to go into the oven!

just in case you think i am a martyr, i did manage a nice starbucks trip (since i couldn’t make tea at my house this morning) with a friend from church (we skipped part of sunday school, but since we had to be at church for two services we thought we deserved a little break).

we had a nice lunch with the family. my dad and mr. gardner played the wii and i think my dad beat him at tennis with all the grandkids cheering him on to victory. after everyone left and all was cleaned up, adam and i took the kids to see the movie “speed racer” this afternoon while adam’s mom rested at the house.

o.k. i have to admit that i LOVED speed racer. i love that his mom talked about how when he raced he made art. i tried to think about what i do that i am so passionate about, that i would do no matter what the cost, that is almost like making art.

and i decided that it is car racing.


and it certainly isn’t blogging, though i do like blogging. i don’t think i have reached the making art level. the making doo doo level, perhaps...

i hope that the thing i do that is art-like is the way i love God and love people. i hope that the things i do with my family and my friends and those i interact with anywhere and at anytime resonates with others as a piece of the finest artwork. i hope that my life makes others think deeply, love passionately, and search for Truth in the only place it is ever found, with God. i want my life to beautify this little corner of an ugly world. 

and not this kind of art...a bag filled with trash that is actually a work of “art” that the janitors mistake for trash and throw out of the museum.

more like this kind of art...

“Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself 

at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, 

and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters 

without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance.” 
{Hans Urs von Balthasar} 

yes, i am all about the mysterious vengeance of beauty, courage, decision, truth and goodness. or as my beth moore bible study this week said... “being a vessel of confrontational goodness”. i want that on a t-shirt... “i am merely vessel of confrontational goodness”. doesn’t that just sound like a t-shirt i need?

also, i hope my kids don’t grow up to race cars. because no matter what susan sarandon may say... i would have a hard time watching them race cars around a track and seeing “art” instead of “hospital visits aplenty”. 

so in case you were hoping for a sappy “i miss my mother” blog, you only missed out on that because the power went out. too bad because it was a real tear jerker, two tissue blog.

i do miss my mother, but i know she is with her mother this mother’s day and i have way too many wonderful memories to sustain me through any sadness. i am only a good mother because she was such a good mother. i will not diminish her legacy by being any less than she would expect me to be...

which is a race car driver...