Monday, February 17, 2014

New spring prints and encouragement...

I'm sitting in my office finishing up a bit of work on this long weekend, reflecting on the past week.  It was so good and I got so many things accomplished in a non-stressful way, which was refreshing.  I'm sharing my new watercolors in this post and thrilled to offer these prints (a few also come in postcard sets) for your spring "nest feathering" and such.  (Pardon the pun.)  I've also put together a third print grab bag in my shop just in case you want a few that coordinate, but can't decide-get em all!  (Above, you see the "Birds of a feather grab bag" grouping, which features all three of the prints shown.)  I went a little crazy painting bird eggs.  Call it spring fever!!  (All prints (and post card sets) are available for purchase here.)

 One thing that really stood out from last week (besides watching West Side Story twice- my daughter is going through a massive Shakespear phase) was my She ReadsTruth devotional. I had just begun Women in the Bible, part 3 and it began with the story of Ruth, my favorite... and the sad story of her mother-in-law Naomi- a woman I tend to kind of skip over because she depresses me.  Just being honest.  Her life is in crumbles for most of the story, and it makes me sad even though it eventually has a happy ending- when she's old.  You can read the entire devotional and find the corresponding bible passages here, but the part that resonated with me and encouraged me deeply is pasted below because I had to share.  It follows the move from her homeland, the death of Naomi's husband, and both of her grown sons, and the fact that she's just asked people to quit calling her by her first name, and instead has given herself a new name that means "bitter".  I've read it through at least five times already because there is deep truth here for any of us who have questioned the path we've been given to walk and haven't particularly enjoyed it along the way because it wasn't the kind of season (or life?) we had planned out for ourselves.

Ever been there?  Yeah.  About that...

"All Naomi knows is that she is right smack dab in an awful season of her life. She does not realize she is also in the middle of one of the Bible’s most beautiful and redemptive love stories. She does not seem to remember that the Lord loves her and works all things together for the good of those who love Him, even when He allows pain and hardships to pass through His hands. She has not yet learned that it is very unwise to rename yourself something that does not line up with a biblical and holy view of the Lord.

We quote that beautiful line from Ruth all over town these days. Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay, I’ll stay. Your people, my people and your God – my God. There aren’t really more powerful words of devotion that a human can give to another human. And yet, Naomi seems to glance over it as if nothing has happened. She renames herself according to her pain instead of embracing the name God has given her by His grace.

Sister, don’t you rename yourself. You see a tiny portion of your life; you do not see the entire story. Don’t name your day or your life or your identity based on any untruth about the Lord. You don’t know what happens next in your story, but you absolutely know the Lord wants good for you all the days of your life. You absolutely can bet on the truth that you are loved with an everlasting Love and you have a Father who will take care of all that you need.

Wait for the Lord. Wait for Him to turn the page before you rename yourself."

The part that immediately got my attention was, "You see a tiny portion of your life; you do not see the entire story." I loved that.  It's so easy to get caught up in what's happened and how we didn't like it, or what we think might still happen and borrow those worries from tomorrow.  We can also define ourselves to others based on the pain in our past or the frustration we've had to deal with.  We so easily forget that He's got a grand plan that stretches from here to eternity and that He will work all things in our life together for GOOD. 

I don't know about you, but sometimes I struggle with not worrying about tomorrow.  I look at the past and I wrinkle my nose in irritation and I think to myself, "Oh no... what will be next?!" Last week, among my productive flurry, I painted a very personal piece of artwork to hang in my kitchen when my mind begins to focus on the past or the future and chew it to death. I painted "Just do today" with arrows going in either direction to represent how you can look forward and fret or backward and feel bitter but we are instructed to quit worrying about what we'll wear or eat or how God will provide and just trust Him with our today.  I hope you love it as much as I do. (In this photograph it looks a bit more blue than it actually is in real life... it's more shades of turquoise and greens and blues, and you can purchase it here as a print or postcards.) 
 Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

I think I just let out a big sigh... every time I look at that sign in my kitchen I will be reminded to just do today.


Lea said...

Oh, I love it! "Just do today" - how simple is that! I may just have to have that for sure! Blessings to you this new week!

Msmoozys Open House said...

Love that!!! Thanks for sharing and something to keep in mind. ~Hugs~ Have a blessed day.

Prince Snow Farm said...

Such sage advice Sasha!!!! I love the idea that we need to realize today is just a piece of the big picture. I also dwell in the moment….usually about what is gong wrong! As soon as I opened your page I saw those eggs and fell in love!

Lee said...

Oh, that painting of the arrows and "Just Do Today" made my heart cry out in recognition. What a valuable reminder!! Thanks for that.

begurl said...

That was such an incredible post. Thank you so much for sharing that.

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

really beautiful, sash!! the words of this post + the art + verses are all just perfect.

Jackie at Roots and Wings said...

Thank you for your words, Sasha. And I love your new prints! I've got spring fever, too--I'm painting rabbits and vegetable gardens right now. :) xoxo

Lorraine and Jessica said...

your new prints are Gorgeous!!!!! Thank you for sharing your devotional...what an incredible story Ruth has to share with us all and what a perfect print to remind us that He's got today, yesterday and tomorrow covered! Amen!!

Jeannie S said...

Great encouragement, pretty watercolors! Blessings to you.

Thirkellgirl said...

Love it, love it all. Shared your post with a friend who REALLY needed to hear it. Question re: your postcards... what are the dimensions? Want to share them with a boatload of friends, in frames.

Christy said...

I needed all of this today. Thank you very much. <3

Christina said...

I love all of the prints! They are beautiful and the meaning behind them/bible verses make them even more beautiful.

Momma Bug said...

So beautiful - all of it. Your paintings, words, photos, the precious truths...

Thank you

Farmgirl Paints said...

I love how you paint and practically the next day it's on your shop. Sigh... Always such a blessing. Yes you!

Tonya said...

considering i have had quite a few blogs with various names and alas, just changed my instagram name again yesterday, i love this post.

Between You and Me said...

I've read that story so many times and never really picked up on the fact that she renamed herself according to her circumstances. Gosh. How many times have I renamed myself NOT according to what God says about me and my circumstances? I'm sure I have!

Love your insight….and your art…beautiful things in your shop.

Jennifer said...

I am going to share this post with my husband. Just what I needed to read today <3

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