Kindness, Smiles, Laughter, God’s Light

Often I think about shining God’s light and wonder if I’m truly living this way. I visited my local pet store last week and the minute I walked in the door a lovely young girl smiled at me and welcomed me. She was busy, but kept that smile every time I saw her as I went up and down the aisles. She was also the one who rang up my purchases. Always with a kind voice and a smile. As I left the store, I felt really good. I was smiling and feeling happy about my small shopping trip. I thought about that experience all the way home and realized I’d been in the presence of one who shared God’s light. I’ve had bad experiences while shopping, some which left me so sour, I haven’t returned to those establishments. Church is that way, too. I’m welcomed by happy, smiling faces on Sunday mornings. Not a single person is frowning and no one is treated like a stranger. That’s the light I want to shine to others. Not just sometimes, but always.

God’s light also shone in my home yesterday. My post of weekly reflections was delayed to today. Not because it was a holiday, but because my kitchen light decided to give me some indoor fireworks on Sunday evening and then all four of the florescent bulbs went out! Thanks to children who are willing to give up part of their day, the ballast was replaced and now the lights are working great! God answered my prayers through my youngest daughter and my son in love. My neighbor stopped by to help, too! We had times of laughter and my heart was full with knowing how richly God has blessed me.

Another thing happened…my youngest daughter finished the puzzle while I was supervising watching the electrical work being done. It is such a beautiful puzzle. It’s rather large–26 in. by 26 in. There is no way I’m going to take it apart! It is a beautiful reminder of God’s love. I want to seal it and then have it framed at Michael’s so it can hang on my wall. This was an awesome Mother’s Day gift that will keep on giving.

Though the week was fairly quiet, I did have some times where I felt a little stressed. When this happens, I turn to a color by number book and markers. I pray and commune with God while I color these picture. I did a record number of three! Those are all the mandala pictures below. The first picture is the buddy color picture I did with two of my daughters. It was done with Star Joy oil pencils. It is always fun to see how differently each of us brings the picture to life! The picture just before and the one just after the finished puzzle were done with markers. Just some fun coloring. The next to last picture was colored with my Black Widow wax based pencils. I enjoyed bringing this one to life and especially like how the berries turned out.

That’s all I have for this week. I leave you with these thoughts. Appreciate the beautiful colors in your life and try always to shine the light of Christ with kindness and love. Until next time…

What is Therapeutic About Coloring?

Sometimes I feel embarrassed to admit that I spend so much time coloring. Like when my dentist asked me if I have any hobbies. How can anyone who doesn’t understand the world of colorists, not wonder what I’m talking about? Do they picture an old lady with a box of crayons and a child’s coloring book? Though that would probably be fun. I always loved to color when I was growing up and a new box of crayons made me happy!

Coloring makes me happy. It is my therapy. Coloring takes my mind off things that make me feel stressed. It lowers my blood pressure. It keeps me from snacking incessantly. It is a perfect time for me to listen to a book and escape into another world. It is a time to look outside my window at all the gifts God has made.

What once were long, lonely hours of each day is now filled with creating something pretty out of a black and white hand drawn picture. It adds color to my life, lifts my heart, and I learn something new all the time. Sometimes I watch videos by other colorists that keeps me company and teaches me something new, not always about the craft of coloring, but about life. I’ve made online friends through coloring.

Sometimes I have conversations with God while I color. I realize all these colors are gifts from Him. God loves color and so do I. I love all the colors of the world.

Being a senior, a widow, an introvert isn’t always easy. Others might see me as unsociable. Not true. I’m just uncomfortable with people I don’t know. I miss people, human voices, and interaction. These things can cause sadness, so coloring takes my mind off these things.

Yes, coloring is a hobby, but it is so much more for me. It is therapeutic. It makes me smile. It is a creative outlet. And it makes me happy, happy, happy.

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…

 

But…Then God Sent Sunshine

What a week…is all I can say about the first full week of January. It’s been a week where I’ve been really happy to stay at home and away from the news and social media as much as possible. Though most of the week was heavily overcast, God did send sunshine! The last days of the week and most of the weekend, though cold, were filled with beautiful rays of warmth from the sun. Sunshine makes me smile and lifts my spirits.

It has been a week of prayer and tears for our country and for several of my loved ones. My granddaughter’s dog had to have surgery and has been severely ill. He was given a 50/50 chance to pull through. However, he seems to be doing good and should be coming home today. When I heard about the surgery, I cried and couldn’t stop until I turned and saw that God had sent fingers of sunlight to warm and paint my front porch. God gave me a heart for animals and for the connection their family has with them. I don’t understand why, but I accept it. I seem to feel for them very deeply, and I pray for them. When God directs our hearts in a certain direction, we should accept and do what we can. Prayer is powerful!

For me, I tried to fill this week with positivity and color. I love looking at an array of colored pencils or markers! Seeing them makes me smile. I open a book and find a picture that is speaking to me and begin to add color to the blank page. Watching the picture come to life, gives me pleasure. My work isn’t up to par with so many accomplished colorists, but for me it is all about bringing joy and having fun. And, shouldn’t we all have these things in our life? No matter what hobby you might have, I hope you find joy and fun in the creating.

I’ve been working on the “buddy color” picture with two of my daughters. I’ll save the “disaster” story about this picture for the end of the month when I can share the finished product. LOL! As for now, here are the pictures I completed this past week.

Creative Haven Rose Windows book, Illustrated by Joel S. Avren. Colored with Caliart Alcohol markers.

Illustration purchased on Etsy at Leanasanjoseart. Printed on tan paper and colored with Prismacolor Premier pencils.

Jade Summer Chibi Girls grayscale. Colored with Beileza alcohol markers.

Sheri Baldy My Besties Fluffy Girls. Colored with Castle Arts colored pencils.

And that is all from me for this week! I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. Stay safe, and may God bless you and yours. Until next time…