Painting and Crafts- Since When?

I have never had any artistic abilities, nor crafting… nor any talent in what could even loosely be called art. Not until about a year ago, after I switched churches and saw an episode of Steve Harvey. You may wonder what the two have in common. Well, nothing really, other than being pieces to the puzzle that is my creativity.

I used to freelance for The Williamson County Sun in Georgetown, Texas back in the late 90’s. That was my favorite job of all time. Man, could I write!  Little did I know that it was because I had bipolar disorder and was not on any medication for it. Once I got on medication, my creativity- captured in my words all but dried up. I left the Williamson County Sun when I decided to move back to Dallas.  I don’t want to get into a big hooha of all that, but suffice it to say that I couldn’t even do a word find in the newspaper after that.

In later years, my medication was shifted- I came off some of it and put on some others, changed churches and watched Steve Harvey and my creativity came back with a fervor I’ve yet to really understand. My husband and I began going to The Gathering- a church for the unhoused-but not homeless as they had the church. I began doing things for people less fortunate than I and loving it completely. I loved people I had previously thought were loveless and was being blessed all the while unknowingly.

My daughter, Amanda, had been in town for Christmas last year when we caught an episode of Steve Harvey, where a lady asked Steve why men don’t get abstract art. She brought her abstract with her and said she was asking $4000.00 for it. Steve was going to help her sell it. The painting wasn’t all that. I mean, I wouldn’t have it in my living room, but that’s neither here nor there. I looked at my daughter and said, ” I can do better than that and I can’t even paint. ” So, I got supplies and went to work. I began selling my paintings! What? I never could draw, never painted, always said I had no creative bones in my body and I had begun selling paintings! Weirdness. So, that is why i attribute it to loving my church, loving the people there and Steve Harvey.

I quit painting , though for a couple of months- just haven’t really painted anything I thought was worthwhile. But, my grand daughter loves art and likes doing it with me, so, the other night I painted a couple of things and posted them here. I was so surprised to find people reblogging  my art work and telling me they liked it. It, like the first thing I ever sold, blew me away. So, I painted two more projects and humbly submit them for your approval. Gosh! I sure wish I could get discovered because I love art so much now- I could do it for a living…. yep- that and writing and paper crafting. So, if anyone is out there and wants to discover me- thanks in advance!  While I say this in jest- wouldn’t it be so cool if it actually happened!

Fools Gold
Fools Gold
Luminous Remembrances
Luminous Remembrances

Learning Church Without Walls- Come and See Weekend

Our flight into Philly landed about 3 in the afternoon -Friday. After obtaining a rental car, we were off to the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia. We started out about 3.30 p.m and reached our destination through many neighborhoods, roads -twists and turns via Lyn’s telephone GPS. Why the GPS didn’t lead us through the main thoroughfares, no one knows. It led us off the highway and into the abyss that are the streets of Philly. Tourists with no idea where we were going. A true adventure , if I ever saw one. Frustration mounted as the GPS led us from one turn to another. Something was said, someone cried. Everyone tired.

Eventually, we got to the Best Western where Lyn and Tom checked in and then by 6 o’clock to the Seminary for the conference on serving an unhoused and housed communities. Some people may call the population we serve homeless. They may be without houses, but they always have a home within the church and with God.

The first night of the “come and see” was a time of getting to know the others, finding out where in the United States they were from and what their ministry entailed and dinner. Oh my. Dinner. Real Philly Cheesesteaks, Real Philly pizza, Real Philly pretzels. I was in heaven and had not even died yet! A glass of wine to top it off and I was set to go. It was a wonderful evening, but I was exhausted. Knowing how difficult it is for me to be civil while exhausted, I went to my room and got ready for bed- hung out -being mostly quiet- well, except for calling my husband and daughter.

It was a very quiet night for me – no howling coyotes, no howling, barking dogs , braying donkeys-the music  of my soul-nothing but quiet. I had to get out of bed , turn on the music and begin walking in place and then around the room for a few  minutes. I read my facebook and email and finally fell asleep.

Saturday morning, we had interesting  and challenging sessions with topics such as focusing on criminal justice, social enterprise, trauma and the subject of racism, homophobia and sexism in our congregations. A key to being able to serve your congregation in a way that benefits them best is to know them. Know who they are, what they have been through and then you can sort out how best to help them.

It’s Sunday now and today, we will go to the parkway in Philadelphia at 3 and worship with the people of the Welcome Church. I know it will be a great experience and I can’t wait. I have found a passion in this ministry such as I have never had before for or in church. I guess I have just found my niche.

In the next post, I will be writing about the service and the plane ride home! Have a mahvelous day!10359221_10203767165234526_5540952237518008767_n (1)1779976_10203767164954519_1900002060732461418_n

seeing Philly from the car.
seeing Philly from the car.

Mission Trips-Send Your Kids and They Will Never Forget It

A couple of weeks ago, my husband, Stephen and I decided to invite a few of the homeless people we knew who had a been working and trying to better their situations to our house for a brisket dinner. The clergy, and other leaders came as well and we all had a great time eating, playing with the animals and just hanging out.

I want to go back a bit and say that David and Micah and their sister Amanda, always went on mission trips as youth in the church. It’s always a useful and productive thing to send your kids on mission trips to teach them compassion, empathy and learn how to help and love people who often feel unloved, unworthy. I always thought it was a good thing, but never really thought about actually seeing the fruits of the mission trips themselves. That’s because I’d seen it in subtle ways- nothing like I was about to experience the day of the cookout.

Stephen and I went to church down at Thanksgiving Square- Ervay and Pacific in Dallas, as usual. After church, we had to wait until the chairs were put away, the musicians put away their instruments and we sorted out who was riding with who. Once all that was done, we were on our way to the farm. Once we got there, David, his wife Natalie, Micah and his wife, Laura had continued to prepare dinner and it was ready to put on plates. The kids served our guests without hesitation and kept them at ease and comfortable.

Chris, the music guy at church,brought out his guitar and we all starting singing old songs- “horse with no name” and other such oldies, songs with gestures, fun songs to sing. I looked up to see that the kids were making plates for our guests to take for dinner that night. As our guests left, the kids handed the plates to them, one by one. Kinda like Jesus did-exactly like Jesus did.

I was almost brought to tears. My children took what they had learned on their mission trips- how to be more like Jesus- and was applying it now- right this minute! What a beautiful thing to see. They did it with such grace, compassion and empathy. I have never been more proud of the kids, never loved them quite as much as I did in that moment, and was never so humbled by my own children.

So, if you can send your kids on mission trips, do it by all means. Oh my gosh, the rewards they and you will reap and the blessings that go with all that are almost more than you can stand.

Later on, Natalie smiled and said, “i’m tired.”  I smiled back and said, “it’s a good tired, though, isn’t it?” She smiled and nodded her head.

It’s just a little piece of heaven in an otherwise cruel world.