Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Suzanne and I attended the Creative Spirit retreat at Pendle Hill lead by Melanie Weidner. It was fantastic!!! If you are in the area and she is speaking, don't hesitate - just go. You will be blessed.
At this retreat, we prayed and created and prayed while creating. "Juicy" poetry stimulated our spirits to dig deep and express ourselves with paint, collage, boxes, altered books.... Oh what bliss!!!!
There were 16 of us. We began as strangers and ended with a hug-fest, with promises to see each other next year. When I got home, there was already an email thread connecting us and a round robin project developing between us.
As I write this, a week has past and I am still spiritually high and blissful. The peace that comes after turning monster fears into angel blessings on paper and in the heart is true healing.
On a side note but not connected to our retreat, I came upon an article on how art can aid healing from trauma and the resultant PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It is from a trusted source and you may be interested in seeing it: http://www.ptsdspirituality.com/2010/08/22/ptsd-spirituality-art-and-craft-can-heal-ptsd-soul-wounds/
It's amazing what God can do with paper, brushes, scraps, and a willing heart.
Blessings on your journey, W
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Be still - its still winter.
Be still - hold still, breathe, rest.
Be still - know that I am and that You are.
Be still - know that I AM God.
Be still - pray, breathe, rest - its OK - really.
Be still - just be, become, come and be still.
Be still - its still winter.
Monday, February 15, 2010
I hate paying bills! There is never enough cash to clean the slate every month. I keep thinking there has to be a better way to do this, to not feel so frustrated and anxious every two weeks. So, I wondered, is there a way to turn bill paying into a spiritual practice that would contribute toward shaping me in a contemplative way?
Jesus taught that we should not be anxious as to what we will eat, what we will wear, or where we will lay our heads, because our loving God is aware that we need all these things and has provided us with abundant resources. I do have all those things and so much, much more. As I look around my place I see the vestiges of the materialistic society I have bought into. Maybe there are things here I do not need that drain my resources in maintaining them.
Also, the priniciples of simplicity and generosity come into play. We are not to squander our resources to the point that we can not share our abundance with others who are in need, who have less than we do. I believe God gives some people an abundance of resources in order to cultivate compassion in them to share with those who have much less. There are materials in my craft room which I could make into gifts, an extra table and gently used clothes I could donate to a charity resale shop.
Then there is gratitude. My grandmother always told me to count my blessings. In fact she loved to play a hymn about it on her organ. She survived the Great Depression and the World Wars by relying on and thanking God for everything she did have – which wasn’t much.The disciple of gratitude keeps our minds on the blessings that we do have instead of moaning over the things we do not have. This will clue me in to the abundance provided to me by a generous God, much of which I don’t stop to notice.
So, back to the bills. I think if I look at each bill and contemplate how that service or item benefited me (or those I blessed with gifts purchased), then gratitude would swell instead of anxiety. Thanks, God, for providing enough for that dental bill, and for guiding me to a gentle, compassion and skillful dentist. Thank you for the roof over my head and for a place where my family feels safe and cared for. Thank you for the abundance of food available to me every day.
And while I’m at it, I could write a check to my church or favorite charity who uses the resources to help others who need the basic elements of life which I take for granted.
Maybe if I consider these principles while paying my bills, it won’t be such an onerous chore!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Wanda and I are so pleased to offer a free sample of our Book Drawing Nearer on our website Drawingnearer.com. Check out our website for more information on the workshops we offer and insights on retreating, praying and creating.
Coming very soon you will be able to down load the whole book! We are completing the final edits and have set up a PayPal account for your convenience.
When Wanda & I first started leading art & prayer programs and workshops together two years ago we had no idea God would be calling us to create a whole book on the process of these workshops - a real labor of love! We feel so blessed to be able to offer this book to you as a resource for your personal devotion or retreat time with encouragement to spend time each day praying and creating.
We look forward to hearing from you! Try out the sample page for free and let us know how your experience went. You may comment here on our blog or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
I can relate.
I have many self-imposed 'shoulds' to do today - this blog entry being one of them. Some of these shoulds are for work, some are for this adventure, Wanda and I have called, "Drawing Nearer" and some are to actually create artwork for an art show I'm in next week.
So I dutifully made my list and set forth to conquer all that needs to be accomplished before I can go to sleep again this evening. However, when I sit at the computer to get started, my attention is drawn to the scene out the window. One of a very swollen and fast moving stream due to all the rain - its raining now - hard! I remember I need to put mail in the box at the end of our driveway, so I get the mail, slip on my outdoor shoes, grab an umbrella and venture outside in the rain, in my pajamas.
The driveway is long and covered with downed limbs and branches from all the wind. I kick them to the stream side of the yard in a variety of fancy footing (this was fun!) I reach the end of the driveway and a steady flow of water cascades down the hill from around our neighbor's house across our driveway into leaves, sticks and undergrowth and eventually pours over the edge of the road into the stream below. This activity transfixes me and I pick up a stick to brush away some of the leaves and twigs which are creating little dams, pooling up the water, impeding its flow.
With umbrella repositioned, I crouch down and used a nearby stick to break-up some of the jams, instantly delighted by the reinvigorated flow of the water. Time stops - I'm not sure how long I was out there playing with the water, in the rain, in my pajamas, but it was totally satisfying!
I was creating flow-paths, patterns, releasing energy and was 'lost' in the moment - in essence, on my own spontaneous mini-retreat. While walking back up the driveway, I realized how rejuvenated I felt. My own inner-energies were flowing in a way that making a list didn't do - and really never will.
All this is to say - go ahead and play! Do something silly or child like. Break up those creative dams and jams. Let your energies flow and see what becomes of it!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Check it out!
Ancient labyrinths enjoying a resurgence
Fans tout their spiritually calming influence
By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I made a promise to myself today…no work, just creative play. But as I sat down for lunch I found myself making a list of artsy things I wanted to accomplish. A list… Really??? When I make a list, I drive myself to complete everything on it and feel guilty for the things I missed. Then fun becomes a chore. I don’t need the stress of making a list for playtime.
Then I thought about the wonderful craft and mixed-media books I’ve bought and browsed through. I’ve waded into them at some point and put them aside for when I have more time to work with them. Should I choose one of them? Which one? Where am I in the book and do I need to accomplish the next step before moving deeper between the book covers? But again I found myself wanting to follow its list, a list of things that someone else thinks I need to be doing. Fun things to experiment with, yes, but with the goal of working toward an end product or a certain technique the author wants me to try. As a writer I am aware that exercises are created with an end result in mind – what is it that I hope my reader will learn or take-away from the experience? When I’m the reader, there are times like this when I feel confined by the author’s parameters.
Instead, I want to play with no goal in mind like I did as a child. All I had to do was gaze at all the goodies and gadgets and what-not I’ve collected and mix them up until something felt right. I had a drawer full of yarn ends, a well-used paint box, Barbie shoes, clothes pins, beads, bells and buttons, tokens missing their game board, and various odds and ends. Remember your play days? What were the things you collected as a child?
Today my drawer has morphed into an entire room with adult treasures: bubble wrap, cigar boxes, scrap papers, charms, a rainbow of pastels and paints, sculpy clay, bits of lace and metallic threads. The possibilities are endless!
So – what are we waiting for? The last one to the craft room is a hardened lump of glue!...
Sunday, January 10, 2010
And goals I try
To see if they are reach - able
This blog is one
Praying through Art another
Especially when words fail me
As the spiral rises
The torch I carry
Mountain top experience obtained
But down on the ground
Is where I am found
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
After hearing canned Christmas music in stores and restaurants since October, adnausium, most of us are sick and tired of it. The day after the big one, we race to pack away our CDs and decorations until next year.
In church, though, the four weeks leading up to the big birthday, we don’t sing the joyous hymns. We wait until the Eve to celebrate in full voice. I have found that because of this I don’t get tired of rejoicing so quickly.
Officially, according to the church calendar, the Christmas season is not officially over until Epiphany. This year that occurs on Jan 6. And that’s a good thing, because those beautiful hymns are still running through my brain.
I forget who said it, but I love the quote, “One who sings prayers twice.” That is so true for me. I love the old hymns throughout the year because the melodies are haunting and the lyrics poetic. I was amazed growing up that as I learned new things in the Bible and new concepts of faith, I was often surprised to find them within the words we sang. And I love those melodies still.
I wonder, if a church decides to favor contemporary praise music over those old hymns, will the lyrics be as moving? Will we still be praying as we sing? I’d like to believe many styles of music can lift our hearts to God no matter the genre.
When did you pack away your holiday tunes?
Are there lyrics that sink deep into your soul and draw you ever nearer to God?