Weekly Reflections

Diabetes Issues, Fun Shopping, Laughing, and Added Colors in My life!

Happy Monday! Happy Easter week! This week I’m mostly focused on Jesus, thinking of the price He paid for my salvation. When I really focus on the pain and the humiliation, the terrible violence of the nails He endured, I’m moved to tears. It is hard to watch reenactments and not crumble into a small heap of unworthiness. I cannot focus on the miracle and joy of His resurrection until after the deep, humble, acceptance of the payment He made. He came to serve and to give His body to ransome me. That love is beyond any other love I can imagine.

The week past, I’ve been struggling on identifying the source of my constant feelings of cold. It’s a condition I’ve felt for several years. Since the doctors haven’t been able to tell me why my body temperature is dropping to hypothermic levels, I’ve had to do some research on my own. It seems that Type 2 Diabetes plays a part in lowering metabolism. One of the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy is the feelings of always being cold. It also can cause anemia and cause circulatory issues. Several times when the weather has been in the low 70’s, I’ve been bundled in sweat pants, sweat shirts, heavy socks, gloves, and even under a blanket and wearing a hat, I’m cold. My core body temperature has dropped as low as 94.6.

What to do? I’m keeping my exerciser (called an elliptical trainer) set in front of the living room television. When I get cold, I exercise for 10 minutes. This actually triggers my metabolism and I get comfortably warm. This will last for a while. I do intend to ask the doctor to test my blood to see if I am low on iron, and even run a thyroid test since my mother had thyroid issues. But I’m doing better with trying to control this on my own. Well, not just me, but with the help of God. He is directing my path of research and action.

I had a wonderful week actually. For the past year, I haven’t done any shopping other than a quick run to the grocery store. Wednesday I went to Dollar Tree to pick up a few supplies, and made a visit to Target where I bought a few more needed supplies. Met a friend for lunch after and then traveled to Hobby Lobby. Disappointed they didn’t have the pens I wanted, but I did purchase a book by Phil Robertson. I love listening to his Unashamed podcast where I learn even more about scripture and how it applies to life. I planned to shop at Aldi’s then for my weekly groceries, but when I parked there, I realized I did not have a quarter! Ugh! So instead I headed to the gas station to fill up my tank, and to the Giant Eagle store near me to pick up groceries. I was exhausted when I got home! But also felt so good about being out and about. Maybe the two covid vaccines have helped make me feel God approves my adventures as long as they aren’t extreme!

At Target, I purchased a puzzle. Only 500 pieces, but it is one I thought might be challenging to work. Ha! I tried to work it on a large piece of cardboard on the ottoman while I watched tv. No way were the cats allowing that to happen. Giving up, I placed the pieces back in the box and ordered a puzzle board for the table. It has 4 drawers to hold puzzle pieces and a piece of felt to work the puzzle on and then (adding a blowup tube) you can roll up the puzzle and store it in a bag. The board then can be kept under a sofa. But I am choosing to leave it on the table with the felt to cover the puzzle. Visitors are rare, so it isn’t an inconvenience. I can eat at the breakfast bar.

On Friday I joined my daughter and her small group at Olive Garden for dinner. What a wonderful time I had! The beautiful person sitting on my right side and I had so much fun laughing together. We triggered the entire table to laugh with us! Honestly, I felt like a teenager again. There is something wonderful about sharing time with ladies with a heart for Jesus! I’ll be joining these ladies for the next four weeks on a Bible Study of Esther. Looking forward to that.

I only managed to color two pictures this past week. One I completed while sitting on my front porch! Oh, how wonderful that afternoon was! The sun felt so good, even though it tended to overheat my colored pencils making them very soft since they are wax based!

Here are the colors I added to my life during last week:

This is my puzzle board! It takes up nearly my entire table!
A picture of the puzzle when completed
The puzzle in progress!
This is the picture I colored mostly while sitting on my front porch enjoying the sunshine and listening to a book. It is in Colouring Heaven Issue 72 artist Herb Leonhard.
I had a so much fun coloring this image in Hanna Karlzon’s Magical Dawn coloring book. While I was in Target, I purchased a box of 120 crayons by Crayola. The entire picture was colored with crayons and I felt like a little girl again! Just proves one does not need expensive tools to have fun and color!

And that concludes my picture show for this week’s blog. I wish you all a blessed Easter week and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, your salvation, and the hope we have in Him! May your heart be filled with love and may your fruits be multiplied! Until next week…

Weekly Reflections

The Eyes of the Heart

How do you view the world? I fell into a slump last week when the weather shifted to cold and rainy. I felt totally out of touch with everything! I lost interest in coloring, in reading, in every escape I enjoy. I wanted to sleep to avoid what I lacked feeling. My emotions were topsy turvy and tears threatened constantly. Yet, I couldn’t understand why I was like this. It just wasn’t me.

I prayed for God to help me. I didn’t even know what to ask for, other than His help.

Yesterday, Sunday arrived. I woke feeling much better. As the sun dawned on a beautiful morning, I decided to rearrange the living room just a little. I smiled as I did this, feeling energy rising through what had been a lethargic body. I smiled as the day brightened even more. I left for church wearing only a light flannel shirt over my clothes to warm my arms. As I sang, watching my youngest daughter on stage singing her love for Jesus with a beautiful smile, my heart lifted. God was in the sanctuary, as He always is on Sunday mornings.

After church, I enjoyed lunch with one of my best friends. A couple from church came in after us and we shared a smile and greeting. I laughed. I smiled. I felt in touch with God’s world again.

At home, I opened all the windows and breathed in the warm, fresh air. My son-in-love and grandson came by for a short visit and moved my round glass-top table to the porch. I cleaned the porch, sprayed to deter the spiders and bugs, and cleaned the sun screens. The porch is ready for mornings with Jesus!

I took a walk in the beautiful, warm, sunshine and was happy to complete four laps around the condo area! Slow but steady is building up my muscles and I so enjoyed walking with the warm sun hitting my body. All in all it was a beautiful day. As the sun set, I smiled thinking back over the awesome day God had provided. Then He spoke to me telling me why I’d been out of touch with everything. I had been looking at God’s world with my eyes, but not with my heart.

As I woke to another lovely spring morning, I looked out the window with the eyes of my heart. I saw a striking cardinal fly across and land in one of the pines. Nearly took my breath away! Oh, how much better I see when I look through the eyes of my heart!

I colored only 4 pictures last week which I’ll share with you now:

Book: 50 Nightime Mandalas by Kameliya Angelkova
I colored this using only glitter gel pens.

 

Book: Steampunk Special Issue 47 from Colouring Heaven
Artist: Hannah Lynn
Completed this one with markers.

 

Book: Chibi Girls Grayscale 2 by Jade Summer
Colored this with markers and white gel pen for accents.

 

Book: Fairies Grayscale Fantasy Coloring Book
Images by Ruth Sanderson
Colored this with oil pencils and added glitter.

 

I’m looking forward to this week. Weather is supposed to be in the mid sixties with sunshine most days. Planning outdoor walks and even some coloring on the porch. After being cooped up for so long, the freedom of enjoying the world outside the walls of my home is intoxicating. God reminds me He is still in control. Our pastor yesterday gave us this advice for when the devil reminds us of things in our past we have been forgiven for to remind satan of his future! I’m going to remember that! May you all have a fabulous week…until next time!

 

 

 

 

Weekly Reflections

Media Impacts on My Life…Thank Goodness for Coloring

There are times when I want to unplug my television and never turn it on again. Why? I don’t like the time I spend for winding down and relaxing to be a bombardment of things that are just the opposite. I believe in Jesus and stand on the truth of the Bible.

For the past couple of years I’ve been watching shows on Hulu instead of live. Yesterday I changed my subscription to no ads, because even the ads disturb me.

I don’t want to avoid what is happening in the world, so don’t misunderstand me. When my son was in Desert Storm, I glued myself to news constantly. I became very anxious and was unable to sleep. I clung to the worst of the worst media shoved at me and I suffered. One can be aware without being sucked in. Without living life in fear and hopelessness.

I worry about what the young children are dealing with. When all they see is the hatred and anger, the destruction, what are they learning? Are they learning to be better, productive people? Or are they learning how to commit crimes? How to release their fear and anger in the wrong way?

With all the distractions going on, it is easy to focus on the negatives instead of focusing on what we should be doing to prepare ourselves for eternity. See, the good news of the Bible is this: Jesus died on the cross and took my sins with Him, I am forgiven, and when I die I, too, will be resurrected to live eternally in heaven. The commandment I want to live by is to love God with all of my being, and to love my neighbors. If I do these things, then I will live the best life I can here on earth and I’ll be learning how to love the way Jesus did.

I sit here rereading what I’ve written and I almost want to delete every word and write something funny, or inspiring, or “fluffy.” But I needed to get this off my chest. My intent is not to offend anyone. It is just a brain dump of my personal thoughts. How I wish we could all learn to just love one another and find peace. I know this isn’t going to happen. The Bible is a living testament to this truth. But I can choose. I’m given that freedom. So I may choose to unplug.

So last week, I took some time off. Down time. I colored less. What time I did spend coloring was mostly with markers instead of pencils. I needed to destress and relax. Here is what I completed:

Rose Windows coloring book by Creative Haven. Illustrator Joel S. Avren
The following three mandalas are also from this book and illustrator.

 

 

 

 

Happy to report that the Rose Windows book is completely colored! Two books so far this year on my finished shelf.

 

Book: Chibi Girls Grayscale 2 books in 1 by Jade Summer.

 

Free extra design from Colouring Heaven as a prelude to the new book release Fairy Stories Special illustrated by Fabiana Attanasio.

 

I’m disappointed in the last picture I colored with pencils. I think I will print it on card stock and try again using markers. But I still had fun coloring her and am excited to receive the book. Unfortunately, due to delays in shipping from England, I still haven’t received the February release yet.

I wish all of you the best and leave you with these words taken from 1 Corinthians 13:7-8. “Love. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” May your lives be filled with love given and received. Until next time…

 

Weekly Reflections

Thinking About God’s Purpose for My Life

Purpose. I’ve been thinking this week about what God’s purpose means in my life. While I realize books attempt to show us how we are each given a purpose only we can carry out, I’m not convinced our purposes are uniquely individual. Oh, I do believe we are all here for a purpose, don’t get me wrong. But here is my humble opinion.

We are each given gifts. God has a plan for our lives. But, we are called to love the Lord, our God, with all our hearts, minds, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is the greatest commandment which sums up all the other commandments of the law into one. If we obey this commandment, we will live according to God’s plan. It is my humble opinion that the gifts we are given are to be used to bring glory to God, and to spread the truth of His goodness and grace to as many as possible. He expects us to do good to others, to be kind, to love, and to place our whole trust and faith in Him.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that God’s purpose for me, and maybe every one of us, is to love with every fiber of my being. This will show others the power of God’s goodness and glorify Him. Exodus 9:16 (NLT) says, “But I have spared you for a purpose–to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” Doesn’t love sum up everything? Isn’t God love? If I live my life with love in my heart, cultivating the fruit of the Holy Spirit, I will be living in God’s will. Galations 5:22 NLT: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

This is the kind of life I want to live. Am I there yet? Not 100%. I’m still a work in progress! I believe each day of our lives we learn how to become better people. Our earthly time just might be for that purpose. To learn how to truly love.

Since it was a quiet week, I actually did a lot of coloring. I just love color and how different shades go together to create something pleasing to the eye. I also experimented a bit with using Crayola crayons to color in backgrounds. I will admit holding a crayon feels a lot different than holding colored pencils. So here we go:

Book: Fairy and Fantasy 2
Illustrator: Christine Karron
Picture title: Beloved

 

Book: Jade Summer Chibi Girls Grayscale 2 books in one

 

Book: Magical Dawn
Illustrator: Hanna Karlzon

 

Book: Creative Haven Lovely Swirls
Illustrator: Stefania Miro (done with glitter gel pens)

 

Book: 50 Nighttime Mandalas
Illustrator: Kameliya Angelkova
Done with glitter gel pens

 

Book: Creative Haven Rose Windows
Illustrator: Joel S. Avren
This and the next two pictures are from the same book. I was experimenting with shades of the same colors.  Only four more pictures and this book will be complete. I wish they would publish another like this!

I love how these blue shades turned out!

 

A study in pinks

 

 

Book: Colouring Heaven Issue #47 Steampunk Special
Illustrator: Hannah Lynn

 

Book: Inspire Bible
Publisher: Tyndale
This Bible was a gift from my daughter a few years ago for Mother’s Day.
While waiting for church Sunday morning, I decided to pull out my gel pens.

 

I’ve been reading the book of Joshua for the first 4 weeks of Lent. Thus these were the two illustrations in the columns of the chapters I was reading earlier in the week were my focus.  At the end of this coming week, I’ll have Joshua illustrations completed. Next week I’ll begin reading Mark and I’ll color all the pictures that appear in this book as well. I don’t know that I’ll share them all or not!

 

And that’s the end of my sharing for this week. I wish you days of joy, love, and God’s goodness. Until next week…

 

Weekly Reflections

March Sneaking Past Old Man Winter

March is sneaking in on tiptoes so as not to trigger Old Man Winter’s breath of freezing temperatures and snow. Yesterday’s abundance of rain in high 50 degree weather was a blessing which brought a deep breathing of fresh air and hope for spring as the last bits of snow on the landscape disappeared.

This triggered a need to clean my garage floor from the ravages of salt and road debris. Picture this. Me grabbing a broom (not a good straw broom) and sweeping the filth from the garage floor section by section (4 sections). I have a 2 car garage. I believe at 77, this was a great exercise. I did manage to sweep the floor fairly clean but it still needed to be washed. Next, picture me filling a two-quart pitcher with warm water from the kitchen sink and doling it out bit by bit onto the floor and sweeping and sweeping to clean and to push the water out of the garage. How many times did I fill that pitcher? Honestly, I lost count. I didn’t take a break, just kept at it until the floor was looking much better. Then I left the garage door open so the floor could dry.

This morning I smiled at the image of my husband on my laptop background. I thanked him for showing me how one can use ingenuity and muscle power to do anything they set their mind to! He was a genius at doing this. I also told him how much I missed him and that I was doing the best I could to keep on keeping on. All the while he smiled at me. I’ve had to learn how to do a lot of things I took for granted that he did to maintain our home. Today I’m feeling the muscle soreness of an accomplished work. I’m planning on purchasing an adapter for the kitchen sink and one of those expandible hoses for future cleanings of garage and porch. I could buy a long hose and attach it to the outside faucet on the end condo unit, but I really don’t want to do that. Small and compact are my standards of living now.

Thursday I received my 2nd COVID vaccine. As with the first one, I had discomfort in my arm for less than 24 hours. No other issues. My friend told me at church yesterday that a nurse said drinking a lot of water before and after receiving the vaccine would help to move the vaccine through the body. Maybe that’s why I have had minimal reactions. I drink water constantly all day and night long. It’s the only thing I drink beside a cup of decaffeinated or herbal tea in the morning. I would encourage anyone who is hesitant to receive the vaccine to just do it. We won’t receive all the answers to questions we harbor about all of this, but I’m trusting in God. He gives us wisdom through the Holy Spirit. We need to tap into that through prayer and He will guide us to make wise decisions.

One decision I made was to contact my internet provider and talk to them about bundling streaming tv onto my internet in hopes of eliminating the pay per month apps and still enjoying my favorite shows and saving money on my internet. Satisfied with what I was offered, I gave the go ahead. A couple of hours later, I searched and searched but could not find the provider’s app for streaming. Called them back and talked to a different person who told me the salesperson should have asked me what kind of tv I owned. Why? Because roku and my internet provider have not reached an agreement for streaming channels!! And I have a TCL Roku Smart TV. They suggested “casting” the app from a tablet or laptop onto the screen. What?? Sigh. So stop the billing immediately. I do have the privilege of changing to a different provider (only one other is in my area) but if I do I lose the benefit of paying only $14 a month for my cell phone usage. So, I’m going to be content with paying $80 a month for internet and additional charges for other channel apps. It’s painful how much money I spend for having the benefit of internet.

This past week, I ran quite a few errands along with my normal upkeep of home and laundry. I enjoyed quite a few tutorial videos on You Tube, mostly crafting. The remainder of the time I read two books and listened to two other ones while coloring and diamond painting. Oh, and I bought two foam poster boards which will work as a backing for two of my larger diamond paintings. I just have to think a little more about how I want to mount them. This will save tons of money it would have cost to frame them! I’ll show you all the results when completed.

And now, here are the pretty colors I added to my journey this week.

This is the buddy color with my daughters this month.
Book: Fairy Companions Grayscale
Illustrator: Selina Fenech

 

Book: Fairy and Fantasy 2 Grayscale
Illustrator: Christine Karron
Picture Title: Transience

 

Book: Chibi Girls 2 books in one Grayscale
Publisher: Jade Summer

 

Book: Colouring Heaven Issue 47 Steampunk Special
Illustrator: Hannah Lynn

 

Book: Creative Haven Rose Windows
Illustrator: Joel S. Avren

 

Book: Creative Haven Rose Windows
Illustrator: Joel S. Avren

 

And that finishes the coloring pages through yesterday. I do have two works in progress which I’ll add to next week’s unveiling. Oh, and please, if you read this blog, leave a comment on my blog to help me. All you need to do is click the “leave a comment” tag right under the title of the blog. Thanks a lot! I’m looking at a beautiful shade of blue sky peeking through an abundance of fluffy white clouds. It’s a gorgeous March day! May your views be awesome, your hearts be full, and you smiles be many through this week. Until next time…

 

Weekly Reflections

This Journey On the Other Side of the Hill

Each Monday, I think “What will I write about in my blog today?” Two days ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about, but since I didn’t document it, of course it just slipped away. Aging minds are not to be counted on.

I had finished some research this morning on when one should stop getting mammograms…surprisingly, after 75 those who do test positive for breast cancer have a low chance of survival. Seems 1/3 of the elderly die after diagnosis. Interesting. For those who have no history of breast cancer in families, the probability of getting breast cancer must drop since it is after 75 they mammograms are no longer considered a necessity. So as I sat on hold waiting to make my annual mammogram appointment at age 77, I was torn as to whether to continue waiting or make the decision to not schedule. I disconnected the call.

Then my brain began thinking about something I read when Obama was preseident. There was a paragraph talking about teaching the elderly to die gracefully. Not sure if any of this was true, by the way. It’s just the way politics seem to try to create disruption. But I did think about it. I’d never heard until recently about not having those annual mammograms. Could this be part of teaching the elderly to accept their lives are nearing an end? If I were to be diagnosed with breast cancer, I’m not sure I would elect any treatment. I’ve lived a good life and I fully believe God is the one in control of my numbered days on earth. I’m not afraid of dying. I know I’ll be dying only to receive eternal life in heaven. I only worry about my loved ones and any adversity they might face when I’m gone. That comes from my maternal instinct to “protect” and yes, I admit “control.”

So I decided to let go of this mammogram thought and picked up my devotional Walking in Grace by Dalene Reyburn. Today’s reading included this: “Like change, suffering can be a catalyst that awakens something in you — a deeper urge and urgency to live fully. To invest your time and your potential in things that matter more. And that is such an excellent thing.”

This caused me to reflect on the journey I’ve traveled since my beloved husband, Ron, was called to his eternal home. I can honestly say this broke me into little pieces. Even though his health was failing, I never focused on us not being a twosome. I was lost. Only my faith in God, my relationship with Jesus, kept me walking one step at at time. It was through this grief and change that I began to focus on eternity. Fear no longer had a hold on me. I knew without even thinking about it that God is always in control and that He listens to our prayers. Sometimes He answers them as we have asked, but sometimes He has a different plan and even though this may include our suffering, His plan is ultimately good.

In this devotion I also read these words from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

And so, through my grief and suffering, I believe I found found this appreciation, sensitivity and understanding of life. Through God’s grace I find compassion, gentleness and loving concern for others. I cry when I pray or even when I think about communing with God. He is my lifeline. And I know I am blessed.

Please excuse me for being maudlin. I had no idea this is what I was going to write today. Sometimes God just takes control of my hands and my mind and the words flow. I pray only that someone will find a closer relationship with Jesus through reading these God-ordained words.

And now, to take a peak at the color I added to my life this week while being snowed in and very grateful for heat, electricity and water.

Book: Woodland Fairies Special (Colouring Heaven Issue 49)
Illustrator: Christine Karron
Picture Title: Northern Lights Fairy

 

Book: Creative Haven Rose Windows
Illustrator: Joel S. Avren

 

Book: Spellbinding Images
Illustrator: Nikki Burnette
With this picture, I have completely colored every picature in this book. My first completed book!

 

I cannot give credit to the publisher or illustrator of this book. All the words are written in Chinese. I won this book from the beautiful and gracious Ann on “A Colorful Life” You Tube channel. The book is truly lovely!

And that is the last of the pictures I colored this past week. I did complete the Christmas diamond painting! It is really beautiful. It is waiting, along with two other completed diamond paintings, to be framed. I also started a new diamond painting and am excited to finish and display it here. May your week be beautiful, may your smiles be many, and may your blessings overflow. Until next week…

 

Weekly Reflections

I Was a Writer….

Once upon a time I dreamed of writing a book. It was many, many years later, after being let go from a corporate job during a downsizing before that dream became a reality. I had time to write and so I did. I finally found my niche in the Christian/inspirational genre and today still have several books on Amazon available for e-readers. I retired about a year ago because I lost the passion for writing novels.

BUT, there is no such thing as a past tense writer. Once God gives you a gift and a passion to use it, the gift remains even if your mind decides to retire. So not…I was a writer, but I am a writer.

Thus, the passion to write kept burning. My Facebook timeline has always been a ministry of sharing the hope and joy of having a relationship with God. After telling my mind I was no longer going to write novels, I needed another way to continue sharing my gift. And, thus, this blog was born.

Along with sharing thoughts and emotions, I also share my hobby of coloring, which has kept me busy and sane during the isolation days of the worldwide pandemic. Color makes me happy. Writing makes me happy. A perfect pairing.

I scribbled these words in a small 2 inch by 4 inch notepad while waiting for my optometrist to call me into the room for my actual exam. And in this waiting period my eyes were being dilated. Thankfully, I could still see fine, but I also realized I need to carry a larger notepad with me for such a time as this.

So, back to gifts. One can go for years without accepting and utilizing their gifts. I was young, elementary school age, when I discovered my love of reading which led to a strong desire to write. I wanted to entertain people, but being shy this discouraged any chance at an acting or singing career. Well, that and having no talent in either.

Even though I have “retired” from writing books, a part of me is still in love with being a writer. I can’t not write. Yes, that is correct grammar, despite what my son-in-love says. And so, I embrace this gift as I sit at my desk with my laptop and transfer my thoughts to my fingers to tap out the words. And I thank God.

Today I am waiting for the next round of snow to hit in a few hours. The wind is howling as it blows outside my condo, the sound battling with the sound of the furnace. It’s like a battle of forces to see which is stronger. There is still about four inches of snow on the ground with another round of 6 to 10 inches to come. The temperature is 24 degrees which isn’t bad considering…it is the wind chill causing a desire to stay inside. I spoke with my brother and my sister, both of whom live in Texas, and they are experiencing ice, snow and bone chilling temperatures. One of my friends lives in an area of southern Texas and she has 5 inches of snow!

So much change is affecting our nation, not just the changes due to the pandemic. I feel God is speaking loud and clear…”Children, wake up! Repent!” And so I wait quietly, sitting in His presence, knowing nothing is in my control. It is faith, trust, and hope that sustain me. The Bible is my lifeline. I pray you will remember what is important and be grateful, not snarling and snapping because things are not to your liking. The one thing you can control is your attitude. Choose happiness.

And now, I come to the time where I share my hobby results from this week. I had a slow start coloring because I wanted to finish my diamond painting. I didn’t finish it completely, but hopefully it will be finished today. I did spend many hours enjoying the splash of color both in my diamond painting efforts and applying color to my coloring pages.

Diamond Painting from Diamond Art Club. I love this scene. You should see how well it sparkles!

 

Book: Beautiful Angels
Publisher: Creative Haven
Illustrator: Marjorie Sarnat

 

Book: Chibi Girls Grayscale 2 books in One
Publisher: Jade Summer

 

Book: Creative Haven Rose Windows
Illustrator Joel S. Avren

 

Book: Colouring Heaven Steampunk Special Issue #47
Illustrator: Hannah Lynn

 

Book: Fairy and Fantasy 2 Grayscale Coloring Book
Illustrator: Christine Karron
Page Title: Leaf Rider

And that, my friends, brings today’s blog to a close. I wish you well. I wish you happiness. I wish you love. Until next week…

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Reflections

On the Wings of Time

Another week has come and gone, flying swiftly on the wings of time. Memories drift into a special depository to be used as warmth and comfort on a future day. I cannot control the passing of time, in fact, I cannot control any facet of my life, not really. Each moment, each hour, each day is in the hands of Almighty God. He is the Creator and Ordainer of time. So I smile at this new day, a precious gift, each more treasured with the passing of time.

Today I bask in the blessing of warm air, protecting me from the bitter temperatures outside my home. Snuggled in sweatshirt, sweatpants, and fuzzy slippers I live the dream of long ago as my fingers tap, tap, tap words onto the page. No longer the author of fiction, but now the author of reality. Life lived as a widow, as a senior citizen, as a blessed child of God. And I am grateful.

Thursday God opened an appointment for me to receive my first COVID vaccine. I highly recommend that everyone who can, get the vaccine. I had a slightly sore arm the first day, but that disappeared within 24 hours. I am hopeful for a future where the disease is not a pandemic and where we can share loving hugs again.

With Lent quickly approaching, I think about the many times I chose to give up or sacrifice something for Lenten season, not because I fully understood, but because it seemed the right thing to do. Many of my friends, and even family, were relinquishing something during this sacred time. I confess I gave up things (in the past) to try and change a habit to something good. Like eliminating sugar to lose weight, eliminating shopping on Amazon to save money, eliminating chocolate because my mother did and I, too, loved chocolate. But now I realize these were not the things, nor the reasons, I should choose.

So, I’ve been thinking and praying about Lent. One of my daughters gifted me with a box from She Reads Truth. The box contains three books to read/study during Lent. The first book is reading the book of Joshua with reflections and notes at the end of each week. The second book is reading the book of Mark with reflections and notes at the end of each week. There is a devotional booklet to go along with this. The idea of She Reads Truth is to focus on spending time in God’s Word on a daily basis, something I am not faithful in doing. My daughter is giving up her social media platforms for Lent. By “giving up” this time, she is filling it with God’s Word through this study.

On the other hand, I live alone. No interruptions. No one to cook for, to care for, to clean for. Each day is a clean slate with a lot of hours to fill. I don’t have to give up anything to do the study. Unless it is an hour filled with doing little…maybe coloring, diamond painting, or watching learning videos on You Tube. This will not be a true sacrifice. I now believe when one “gives up” something for Lent, it is to allow more time to focus on God and to build a closer relationship with Him. So, this year, I have decided there is nothing to give up. Just plenty of time to fill up. Fill up with God’s Word. My social media platform is Facebook, but I don’t spend hours of my day scrolling and interacting there. Instead I have a morning ministry of sharing something inspirational, something to offer hope in order to show God’s love in action. It is my way of honoring the gift God has given me.

And so, as this week dawns, I reflect back on what my hands created during the past week. I share my colorful journey in pictures that filled some lonely hours.

Book: Colouring Heaven, Issue 49
Illustrator: Christine Karron

 

Image Illustrator: Mystic Art Mirrors

 

Book: Chibi Girls Grayscale
Publisher: Jade Summer

 

Book: Rose Windows
Publisher: Creative Haven
Illustrator: Joel S. Avren

These next three pictures are from a new book. I wanted to have mandalas on black background so I could use my glitter gel pens to color each of them. The book is Nighttime Mandalas illustrated by Kameliya Angelkova.

Book: Nighttime Mandalas
Illustrator: Kameliya Angnelkova

 

Book: Nighttime Mandalas
Illustrator: Kameliya Angnelkova

 

Book: Nighttime Mandalas
Illustrator: Kameliya Angnelkova

 

My dear friends, may your week be filled with laughter and happiness. Remember your happiness does not come from other people, but from inside yourself. Choose happiness over bitterness. God bless…until next time…

Weekly Reflections

Swatching Colors is Satisfying, Snowstorm, and Masks

This week I’ve been busy with swatching all my coloring tools into a new book. Why? Because the book I was using has been revised and is in a larger size edition. It is so much nicer and has great space for adding color pallettes and blends. And, I will admit, I’ve always been good at organizing in past worklife and still love to organize! Plus, it is just plain easy on the brain and satisfying to swatch colors. LOL!

I received a new text letting me know that I’m still on the registration list for my COVID vaccine. Still no idea when I’ll be able to schedule an appointment, but I don’t mind waiting. As I write this blog, my cat Wilbur is loudly meowing right at my shoulder, so I am going to have to take a break and feed him and his brother.

………………

Okay, I’m back! Naptime for the cats, so I should be able to finish without interruptions.

We had a snowstorm on Saturday night that put us at a level 2 snow emergency because of the bad roads and church was cancelled. I’m so grateful that I’m able to watch church online when I need to! But I miss the outing. Staying homebound on Sunday, which is the one day I can count on getting out of the house, seeing family, and having lunch with my best friend, made it difficult today. Seems like I haven’t seen anyone’s face or spoken to a human being in too long! Though I don’t mind entertaining myself most days, knowing I have Sunday makes it much easier. Sigh. Hard to believe it has been almost a year since our lives changed so drastically and face masks became normal attire.

Speaking of face masks, how many of you are wearing the disposable masks and how many of you have purchased more fashionable masks? I admit I purchased two pretty black masks with blue flowers and blue butterflies. They are much softer than the disposable ones so they don’t scratch my face. When this first happened, I remember saying the clothing industry would not miss the opportunity to offer outfits with matching masks. Yep, I’ve seen that! Some of my more talented sewing friends have made a nice business out of making masks for people.

Lately, I’ve spent more time praying for our country, and for relief from the rising crime rates which is making life even more difficult for struggling business owners and individuals. Sometimes I fear I might become a real hermit staying away from the danger outside my door. I’m sure many, especially elderly, people feel the same.

But, enough about the negatives. Overall, life is beautiful. I’m thankful for every day and for knowing that God has a better plan for me and for all who have chosen salvation. This home is only temporary. He says we will have pain and struggles on this earth, but not to worry because He has overcome the world. I hope you believe His Word and that you trust Him as I do.

And, now, for the reveal of the pictures I’ve colored this past week.

Book: Colouring Heaven Sarah Kay Collection

I love this book with the cute children reminiscent of an earlier time. This litle girl with her teddy bear just called to me to color her.

Book: Spellbinding Images
Illustrated by: Nikki Burnette

I’ve had this coloring book for almost two years. I’d forgotten about it and pulled it from the shelf to discover I had only a couple of pictures to color to finish the entire book! I will be so happy to see some finished books on my shelf by the end of this year, God willing.

Book Rose Windows
Illustrated by Joel S. Avren (Creative Haven publisher)

I grabbed two blue tone markers the other evening while watching television, and colored this mandala. It is really vibrant but I’m not sure it shows up as bright in the picture. I love coloring these with markers. They are quick and fun.

Book: Fairy Companions
Illustrator: Selena Fenech

This picture is the one chosen for my two daughters and I to color this month. I used markers for this version and pastel pencils on the one below.

Book: Fairy Companions
Illustrator: Selena Fenech

I’m still working on learning how to use these pastel pencils to color pictures. I love how they lay down but I need to add more layers to get more vibrant colors. I’ll keep practicing!

Book: Fairy Companions
Illustrated by: Selena Fenech

This picture was colored in December by me and my daughters, but since there are two copies in the book, I decided this morning to color the second one use pencils. The one for December I finished in markers. My goal is to complete the book by using markers on the first set of pictures, and pencils on the second set.

And that is all the coloring I completed this past week. I hope you all have a wonderful week and stay healthy and safe. Until next time, may God bless you and yours!

Weekly Reflections

Coloring, Covid Vaccine, God’s Timing!

This has been a quiet week for me. Our small group decided to meet at our church where we could be socially distanced and we met on Tuesday afternoon. However, everyone took off their masks since the feeling was social distance made it safe and easier to talk. Then on Saurday, I learned that our facilitator was very ill and pretty sure she had Covid. Ugh. So that meant I had to postpone a lunch scheduled for that day with my daughters. And I missed church. I decided to self-quarantine just to make sure I didn’t pass any germs on to other people. I am pretty sure I already had this virus in March of 2020 before doctors were diagnosing this virus. Instead the doctor said I had a very bad strain of the flu. It was the worst ever and I don’t get sick…don’t get the flu. I did recover without having to be hospitalized and for that I give all thanks to God!

And though I really want to get the vaccine, I didn’t realize how nearly impossible it would be to get an appointment! I am, as I write this, in an online “in line” queue to see if there is any availability at the grocery/pharmacy chain I frequent. I still have 20 more minutes to wait to even check for availability. I received an email from my local hospital at 5:43pm on Friday with a link to register. I clicked to get an appointment at 5:55pm and all appointments had been filled! Should it be so difficult? But I have given this over to God, because all things happen in His timing, not mine. When it is time, I will be scheduled. It’s the impatient part of being human that causes the frustration! UPDATE: After my time came, I learned nothing was available around me. I’ve tried all my alternatives and today is the first day for those over 75. As I said, all in God’s time.

All in all, I accomplished very little outside of normal cleaning, laundry, and picking up my new glasses. So my hours were filled with listening to audio books and coloring. I played around with pencils, markers, and my new pastel pencils. Below are the pictures I finished. Coloring makes me happy and fills in a lot of empty hours in my day. I thank God every day my youngest daughter got me started with this hobby! I am constantly learning and it’s fun!

Illustrator: Hannah Lynn
Book: Sweet and Simple Whimsy Girls

I pulled out my pastel pencils to color this lovely lady. I found it so much fun to use the pastels and they were super easy to blend! I’ll be using these more as time passes.

Illustrator: Jane Maday
Book: Adorable Animals

I’ve had this book for a while, but I rarely color in it. As I looked through, I found a picture I’d started and never finished. So I grabbed pencils and finished coloring! I love the result of coloring this picture with various pencils.

Illustrator: Jane Maday
Book: Adorable Animals

Another picture I found partially colored. I only had the birds, apples and a couple of flowers to color to finish it.

Book: Chibi Girls Grayscale Published by Jade Summer

I used markers to color this fun picture. I wanted to make a pink motorcycle, so that put me in a dilemma as to what color to use for her outfit. I think the light green turned out okay.

Book: Chibi Girls Grayscale
Published by Jade Summer

Another marker picture. These are fun and don’t take a lot of time. Relaxing.

Image purchased from Etsy store: leanasanjoseart

Colored this beauty on tan paper with Prismacolor Premier pencils. I like the result achieved, though camera doesn’t do justice to the coloring. Next are the pictures I colored with markers while watching television!

Rose Windows book by Creative Haven, Illustrator: Joel S. Avren

Rose Windows book by Creative Haven Illustrator: Joel S. Avren

Rose Windows book by Creative Haven, Illustrator: Joel S. Avren

Rose Windows book by Creative Haven, Illustrator: Joel S. Avren

I wish you all a beautiful week filled with joy and God’s blessings! Until next week…