The mountains of Utah
The Canyons of Utah are a gift from God. They teach us from nature about His goodness even in the cataclysmic events of life that change our landscapes forever.
The golden eagle still sits on the lectern with its outspread wings inviting people to read the instructions to love God and love their neighbor.
I have given you the key to open the door to new experiences that will build your resilience muscles for when life moves on and the inevitable changes are forced upon us that we have no control over.
Once you have turned the key in the door that unlocks the secrets to your anxiety, unease, and mental health, you will have begun the journey to healing yourself. This may take several years, so have patience with yourself and those who would help you.
Art bypasses the cognitive brain and your rational thinking and works in the liminal space between the subconscious, where you are much more likely to access solutions from deep within and your soul and heart center. Here is my list of Five Things to do when visiting an Art Gallery to help you find solutions to problems.
. Children are helpless to escape from traumatic or ongoing trauma, developing their own mechanisms, which become a learned behavior in their bodies.
Amazon Fores Photo by David Riaño Cortés on Pexels.com In welcoming you to my world this week I want to talk about the country I would most like to visit. I have always wanted to visit Brazil and see the Amazon. I have visited many countries in my lifetime, from the northern reaches of the… Continue reading IS THE TREE OF LIFE IN BRAZIL?
. No sooner had I thought this when a calming Presence said to me, "you are not alone, I am with you, and while you are about it why don't you just check out all the amazing plants, I created below you.” So, I got out my sketch pad and started to draw the wonderful and unique plants that I could see from my vantage point,
Through the process of creativity, God can begin His work of realigning thoughts and releasing the trauma that is held in the body with His redeeming love.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. All the other commandments and demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them.”
How can we live in Christ's victory or build resilience in the violent culture around us? How do we call out those in power to deal with unjust policies? It all starts in the Father's heart to forgive, as Jesus forgave, by His wounds we are healed. As individuals build resilience and heal, we bring healing into the world with us instead of carrying the guilt and shame of those who chose us as their' scapegoat.'
When the church is not the refuge we had hoped for and adds to the abuse, we have nowhere to turn.
"I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind's problems." "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." MLK. May we open our hearts to love to keep the flow of God's goodness into our hurting and broken world.
It has taken me most of my life to reconnect with this Father, the Creator, the Good Shepherd, the mother hen God who shelters and protects in the shadow of His wings. It has taken time to deconstruct the angry God and reconstruct the loving God, who protects, provides, and is the lover of my soul. How have I been able to do this?
Do you think we could ever get back to a place where we could live in harmony with nature, the seasons, and the Sacred Rhythms we were given? Do let me know what you think, I would be really interested to know.
Each century has had people who were critical catalysts for change in their lifetimes.
I documented how God took me through all those phases and eventually led to my healing. It was tough being a child of God and going through a divorce; I faced a lot, including many Christians rejecting me. I hope that my story will be an eye-opener for many other married people.
My art is informed by what is going on around me and how I perceive it. Any solution I may feel to the current integration and transformation of our society at this time, I will try to express through my art. I will meditate on what the Spirit is trying to convey through my artwork and hope that it inspires people to look deeper. Transformation is a process, and only when we take the time to meditate will we find the deeply embedded truths of the Spirit.
We want our children to embrace their uniqueness amongst all the noise of thousands of other children growing up within their generation.
These children will have a unique slot in history as the COVID babies. We have no control over the time slot we are born into in history neither over who our parents are; this is by God's grace.
We need to recognize when we are in the autumn of our lives. This is one of the hard transitions into the second half of life, admitting we need help and that we can’t do everything we used to be able to do.
I was sad that COVID had prevented a visit into the shopping precinct of Brisbane, but guess it also saved me some money! It was so good to have spent this time with my family making memories, as who knows if I will ever come back this way again!
On my walks I looked closely for interesting or exciting things as I observed the trees, plants and bird life around me. When you take the time to really look, it is amazing what will inspire you! I spent time sewing masks, painting and writing, so nothing really changed from my daily routine at home.
This is the second half of my trip to Western Australia, my hosts had planned the itinerary according to my love of nature and art. We often we travel with companions whose taste differs from ours, so what a treat to have friends who shared my interests and accommodated all my photo stops. The following… Continue reading Filling up My Creative Well in Margaret River
One of the things that many retired people look forward to is to travel, I was no exception, desiring to see the world and re connect with old friends. This trip to Australia was a fulfillment of those dreams. I was fortunate to have timed my trips just weeks ahead of the COVID 19 epidemic when this would not have been possible.
LIfe's Journey takes us through many transitions, one of which is immigration. My generation grew up in a time of political turmoil in Africa, when the winds of change forced many of my friends and I to seek lands where we could once again put our shoulder to the wheel and flourish and bring up our families in safety. One of the purposes of this journey was to reconnect with old friends.
“to walk softly on country is to walk barefoot. If you choose to walk this way you will be walking alongside the creation ancestors respectfully. We have walked this country with our bare feet since the first sunrise. Our feet are our connection to the soul of our dreaming landscapes.”
This was what we had worked for all our lives – to enjoy old friends reminiscing about our youth, drinking milkshake
Life takes us on strange and difficult pathways that we would never have dreamt of, so I thought I would share this last intended grand trip with you! After my divorce, I made a dream list of what I wanted my life to look like. One of those dreams was to travel, I had no idea of how that could ever be possible, but other problems I faced in life were actually the opportunities to make this dream possible.
Moral of the story - keep looking for ways to make your dream come true and take a risk if it will help. Do not let your age and mindset stop you from living your dream!
When one is going into a new phase of life... Crossing another bridge - maybe the slightly fearful bridge to old age and all it entails- then it could be time to take stock of where you stand in relation to your spirit, mind and body!
And so now I am seventy and rather than fear old age I shall embrace the years to come. I will work on my bucket list and I will live life to the full with the help of my Lord in heaven. I am grateful for the blessing of good health and a zest for living … so watch this space!!
I have realized that one doesn't need outside things to make you content and happy. You can make yourself happy by finding things you enjoy –The thing is not to sit around and wait for old age or better days!
It is said the only constant is change. Therefore, embrace the changes that you make or that are perhaps forced upon you. Sometimes when you are in the doldrums all you need is a change of scene or a change of mindset.
Being single again has many challenges and loneliness is one of them. Denise shares her story with how she has been able to be content within her circumstances. This has been a day by day walk.
Denise has brought so much meaning into her life by being aware of her thoughts and attitudes, it can be so easy to slump into negative thoughts and attitudes, she has spent a lot of time cultivating the garden of her mind, pulling out the weeds of toxic thinking and replacing them with positive and affirming thoughts, this all manifests in her being able to take on her Festive Journey and enjoy the life she has been give
I was inventive in surviving the working years, but this builds in faith that God will provide, and I never once went without a roof over my head or food to eat. I my next blog I will show you how my adventurous life developed over the years.
I love to share other perspectives on what could have been a disaster and upset for us in these difficulties and show that God is able to work all things together for good, for His purposes. Sometimes it is a point of new growth and where once we were stunted, the dead wood had been trimmed away allowing new heathy growth to take place. Sometimes we just need a bit of help and guidance through the difficult places before we get that breakthrough.
If we each maintain our own identity and function and accept everyone else’s identity and function as God given and as part of the whole, together we can transform the Bride of Christ because the Church will be known “because they love one another”. A tree will not survive if any one of the four components are missing so we need each other to grow in love and unity so we may be THE Bride and not many brides.
I hope if you have struggled to find that God is Love, you may have the scales removed from your eyes so instead of seeing everything within rigid black and white lines, you can see the radiant burst of color and light that emanates from Him through His creation and eventually be able to appreciate that He is Love and loves you with an everlasting love.
Difficult and diverse life circumstances build resilience and faith in Someone who is bigger than you, who cares for you, protects and provides even though you may not see it in the moment.
Everything in nature is connected and our well being depends on us taking notice of the small things like leaves and choosing good habits and attitudes, treating the land and our neighbors with love and respect
Sometimes it is the quiet and inconspicuous things that we pass by, that would be the most helpful for us in processing our grief or our loss.
We may be able to manipulate the hands of a clock but in life what is done cannot be undone and what is past is gone.
Migration has been God’s way of preserving His people, from the nomadic Israelites to modern man. Yes, nature will inform you -your Heavenly Father loves and values you more than even the birds whom He feeds daily and takes infinite care of.
There are some people who are created like that walnut and it takes a lot of time and processing to become all of what God made them to be. This should be a lesson in patience for us with slow growers until their developing and bearing process comes to fruition.
We are like the sunflower seed, in the right conditions, we look at the Son and follow Him, our hearts will grow and in due course we will bear much fruit.
The signs of transition are all about us. Do we recognize them? Do we desire, plan, expect and prepare for them?
Art has that effect on me, something you can’t put into words, something that speaks directly to the soul.
When your new life is in place and you have done the hard work you will become that person God created you to be, as his Holy Spirit takes up residence and completes your transformation leading you into his ordained purpose.
Most of all learn to enjoy your own company while you are working through this loss, rather like a butterfly when it is in the chrysalis, quietly transforming on the inside, until you are ready to emerge in glorious technicolor.
Rejection affects the way we think and feel about ourselves and can spiral out of control into a depression.
In many ways it is much easier to understand spiritual concepts through metaphors and as an artist, I understand a lot more about God’s love through nature when I can see practical evidence than through mere words which do not capture my imagination, but often sound judgmental. So, what can ‘being grafted in’ mean for… Continue reading GRAFTED INTO THE LIVING TREE
Sometimes we may have escaped from a situation where we felt like there was no fruit, no joy and no blessings, that we were being punished for what has gone wrong in our lives and bad choices we had made, our person-hood was under siege or we were the victim of other people’s choices. When next you look at trees, stop to think about what they symbolize –
When we go through transitions, we are like trees that need to rest, to conserve and renew our energy, it is the end of that season in our life. We may even be transplanted if we move to a new location, this will take a long time before our roots settle down into the new soil and find their food and nutrients.
Take those happy memory snapshots to keep with you, but also learn to plan ahead for your future needs, which like a tree need time to grow. Remember the provision of God and the beauty in the variety of your inner and outer landscapes, you can grow with them and mature like those beautiful trees.
‘You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book.” Just as I came to realize when you must collect your own water, you wont waste it. How amazing that God will not let your tears be wasted either. He stores them for refreshment later.
“All your waves and billows have gone over me, and floods of sorrow pour upon me like a thundering cataract.”
I was born in a country that has two great rivers for borders, the one was the Zambezi on which the Victoria Falls is situated and is a treacherous river with crocodiles and hippopotami. It is also one of the most beautiful rivers when the sun is setting, and the sounds of wildlife and birds… Continue reading WHEN YOU GO THROUGH THE RIVER OF DIFFICULTY, YOU WONT DROWN
Let the joy of sparkling water droplets be the words that fall from your lips to sustain the suffering another day
This is a time to value one another, who you are and what each contributes to the relationship. Celebrate the goodness of God and His provision for you both, and having grown together at a new and deeper level, with lessons learned from your past, you will travel the next part of your journey through life together
What is the difference between thriving and surviving? Indigenous plants flourish and thrive because they are in their home environment and have adapted to the conditions, so they grow strong and healthy. Ask God where He wants you to bloom, be it the desert, mountains or meadows. Wherever it is He will display His glory through you.
Sometimes when we are going through a time of intense grief and struggle, trials and tribulations, God is using the same process that the protea requires. Perhaps there are a lot of old ideas and beliefs that hinder us and need to be burnt out. Perhaps our ‘shell’ is so hard it takes the extreme heat of the trials to trigger growth for us. Perhaps it is the timing - it is also unpredictable.
Like a windmill when you are facing difficult situations, you need the courage to face them head on, as a windmill faces into the strongest wind, the sails or blade of the windmill are set to capture the most energy.
"there are some things that you cant be sure of, you just have to take the chance and plant your seeds anyway"
There are times in transitions that you will feel thoroughly depleted as you have used all your energy to cope with just getting through the day. But as the journey progresses you learn new ways to cope or it is necessary to take a regular rest breaks to recover. What you really need is that refreshing rain to bring you to life again and flourish and thrive.
This thought terrified me, to be so totally alone on the face of the globe, as I hung there dangling and swaying above the forest.
Passing a cemetery, I looked at the rows of graves covered in snow, with the wind blowing snow across the desolate landscape. Immediately I thought of the finality and coldness of death. People long gone planted beneath the frozen sod, covered in a blanket of snow. And yet this picture gave me hope as well.
We will have learned many things, intellectually, physically and spiritually which have left an emotional footprint in our hearts.
Thank you for joining me! You chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where where I am. Psalm 139:3 (NLV) "YOU ARE THE HERO OF YOUR LIFE'S JOURNEY - no one else can do it for you, others can point out the best route, they… Continue reading You are the Hero of Your Life’s Journey