This painting was my first oil painting on canvas. After doing ALL those birch trees, I didn't know if I ever wanted to paint again or see another birch tree. Well, as you can see, I didn't stop painting and living in a state, where the White Birch is the state tree, helped me to continue to see the beauty in birch trees. I love them now! I had put the painting up for awhile to take a break from all those trees. My mom encouraged me to finish it (actually, she was very persistent) and made me promise to enter it into one of the fairs being held in the fall. I promised, but was very nervous about entering something I did. The last time I had done that I was really embarrassed. The Lord was so gracious and allowed me to place. He receives the glory. As a Christmas gift that year, I gave the painting to my parents as a way of thanking my mom for encouraging me.
As I was trying to come up with a name for this painting, I would find myself mesmerized by the stillness of the setting. It reminded me of those times when I should be having those quiet moments with my Lord. I could almost feel the coolness of the snow hitting my face but yet at the same time, all I could think of was reflecting on the One who created the snow and the sunset.
How often do we allow the busyness of our lives to crowd out that special time we could have with the Lord. I know that I have allowed other things to occupy and keep me from my special time with Him. How sad! I miss so much when I do that, but gain so much more when I take that time to spend it with Him.
Living in New England, I see it snow a lot and I mean A LOT!!! Most of the time, I have to admit that when I see it coming down, I groan. I don't like to drive in it, nor do I like to shovel it (although, my husband does most of that) and I especially don't like to wear those clumsy boots. I actually don't have any boots, so my feet get cold wearing my cute, as my husband would say, "summer shoes". There are times, though, as I sit in my chair looking out the window, drinking hot chocolate or hot tea, that I find myself watching each little snowflake fall to the ground. Then there are those rare times when I do help with shoveling and marvel at the uniqueness of each individual snowflake. It is kind of relaxing and I start reflecting on the Creator who makes each of those snowflakes so different and unique...just like us.
If God cares so much about making each snowflake different how much more does He care about us. He cares so much, that not only did He provide a way for us to spend eternity with Him, but also to spend time with Him on a daily basis and that is through His Word. In Psalms 131, David talks about coming to the Lord with childlike trust.
Psalms 131 says, "O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore." (English Standard Version)
We miss out so much when we don't take that time to spend with Him. There are so many treasures for us to grasp, hold tight and to hide in our hearts. As a mother, I have weaned my children when they were little. It was hard at times as they didn't want to be weaned. There were many nights that I would just rock them in the rocking chair, holding them close to me and sing of God's truths to them as I would calm them down. I cherish those memories as I held my precious child close to me. How much more does our Heavenly Father want to hold us close to Him. Do we want to wait until we are going through a crisis before we spend that time with Him, or are we willing to cherish each "Quiet Moment" with Him now?
I was asked by a dear friend to paint a picture for her, as she was redoing the place that her and husband were moving into. She had always wanted a picture that would describe Proverbs 25:11 and wanted me to paint it for her. I prayed about it and told the Lord that I could only do it through Him. Before I would work on the painting each time, I would go in prayer, not only to pray for my friend and her family, but to also commit the work to Him, asking Him to place His Almighty, Artistic Hand over mine and let His work be magnified. It is through Him that this painting was completed and to Him alone is the glory given.
Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word fitly spoken, is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
As I read over the verse MANY times, the one thing that I felt the Lord was impressing upon me, was how do my words reflect the person I truly am. It says 'A word fitly spoken...' and that made me think about how my words fit in my relationship with the Lord. Do they glorify Him or do I bring shame to His name? I thought also about the next part of the verse where it says...'is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.' As I researched the word 'picture', the one thing that kept coming back was the word 'settings'. Instead of thinking about the actual word 'picture', I thought about how things are reflected in the different types of silver table settings. If you are great in polishing your silver, the reflection is so pure and clear that it is like a mirror, but if you are like me and neglect polishing your silver, they become tarnished and the reflection is dull or sometimes very hard to see. I want my words to be a reflection of my Savior, pure and clear as if on the cleanness of silver; that I am seeing the mirror reflection of my Lord. Many times, though, I am afraid my words are like the reflection on the tarnished silver pitcher in the painting, hard to see and very dull. Do my words lift (brighten) others up, or do they discourage (not reflect well) others. Many times, I am ashamed of my silver because I have neglected to polish them. Am I just as ashamed when I am careless with my words? I want my words to be fitly spoken to reflect my Savior, not me! I want my words to be "Golden Reflections" of the One who gave His life for me! What about you? How are your words reflected? Are they fitly spoken to reflect you or the Lord?
Karen's Artistic Thoughts
I decided as I was working on this website, that a blog would be a way to explain what goes through my mind as I work on each piece the Lord has laid on my heart.