Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Birthday, The Paint, The Whereabouts of PPP

Somehow or another, in between gingerbread house creations, Christmas ornaments, and too many toys that fell to their death on the floor where Spot found them and mutilated them into sad masses of torn material and drifting white fluff; somehow, the end of the year snuck up and disappeared into the dark, cold night.

I have not been on here much since then.  I celebrated a birthday this year that sent me into the decade everybody calls middle age; you know, the one that pretty much makes you think you've lived about half of your life...and I realized how quickly the first half went.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not trying to say I've been drowning myself in tears using box after box of tissues.  Quite the contrary.  I don't feel much older than I did a decade or so ago.  In fact, I like this stage of my life.  I don't worry about so many of the superficial things I did when I was 20...no more hours spent on getting my hair perfectly curled and sprayed into submission.  I don't worry about what everybody thinks of me anymore...I figure they'll get it straight eventually, and if not, perhaps there's somethings more I can learn...or change...nobody's ever perfect and we all learn along the way; or just agree to disagree.  Life isn't such a drama...well, most of the time.  (I'm sure my Farmer wouldn't always agree with this summation of my so-far life, but if he knew me when I was 18...)

But one thing did especially trouble me.

I began praying pretty steadily, asking God what it was He wanted for me in the next stage of life.  He didn't answer me immediately, which is never very much to my liking.  I like to know things right away, so I can plan and pursue.  The heat of a new direction always spurs me on with the most momentum, and I wanted to utilize that enthusiasm.  But as the days passed, I still wasn't getting any peace in my tumultuous thoughts.  I wanted to do something productive and worthwhile, but something that would enhance my duties at home and with my kids.  That's a hard bill to fill.

Before Christmas, I was asked to make some wildlife ornaments for the cemetery where my husband works.  They were decorating a Christmas tree in honor of a celebration at the Orianda House, a beautiful old mansion in the Baltimore area. 

I was a bit unsure about painting the ornaments which were to feature the wildlife seen in the cemetery as well as some of the trees there.

I started by base-coating the bulbs, because when I washed them with alcohol,
as is helpful to do before painting on glass,
the finish that was on the bulbs washed off.

I printed up some images from the internet.
(Thank you, kind people who posted pictures of these creatures on the internet!)

I then sketched with charcoal pencil in the shape of the images with a little bit of detail
to use as a guide when I applied paint.

I then etched in the fine detail with permanent calligraphy ink and my fine-tipped calligraphy pen.

I used Martha Stewart's all purpose paint for the color.


I realized as I was painting,
this is what I love.

It was challenging, but it was fun.

I asked God, "Is there a way you could use this somehow?
I have never felt like I am a fantastic artist, but I do love doing art
and using it in my home to fix things up."

I still felt as if I didn't know what God wanted for me,
I just knew that what I have been doing,
the different little things that seem to take me from my children,
were frustrating me and making me feel like I was missing out on them.

Creating small crafts for local Christmas craft sales was fun,
but the profit margin was so slim compared to how much time it was taking me away
from my kids, my house, my necessary work.

Not long after these thoughts were bumping around in my head,
I got an email from a friend asking me about possibly helping her daughter with her drawings,
maybe some tips to help her.

I have had several people tell me that their kids like to try out some of the crafts I have made
or the art lessons I give on my blog.

I used to teach a craft class for a few years at the camp where my father ministers,
and I taught art to a group of home-schoolers before I married and while my husband was in Iraq,
but since I had my children spread out in larger gaps of years
and have other responsibilities with my small plant nursery and craft sales,
the thought of throwing in the art classes was too much.

But I loved them when I did them.

I also helped teach a Bible study for kids
and enjoyed making the art pages for the kids to work on.

Memory verses are more fun to learn when there is a picture to color
or help one remember.

I got up from the computer and sat down at the table to give my daughter's schooling to her.

I opened her art book up and read through the lesson she was to be taught
and then the art project I had for her that we needed to finish...

and it hit me.

Perhaps I should start a blog where I could teach some art tips,
make time to work on art goals that I have had my whole life,
create memory verse pages or coloring books for kids,
and share home projects I have done for the older readers as well.

I would be reaching for the things I see as important now
instead of putting them off til next year...
or next decade...
or when my kids are grown...
or when I'm retired.

 I love this blog, and all that I have been able to share here,
but sometimes I think my mind gets jumbled with what to do best with the time I have.

I don't want to let this blog go:
I love to write the bits and pieces of my life on this virtual diary.

I just think it is time to create a more specific place
to fill in a gap that may be needing some specific colors of paint.

I am not the most knowledgeable or masterful artist,
and sometimes I think that that is what holds us back from pursuing our best for God,
our own selves questioning our abilities, fearing the possibility of failure or inadequacy,
 like Moses did in Exodus 4: 10-12,
"And Moses said unto the LORD,
O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant:
but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth?
or who maketh the dumb,
or deaf,
or the seeing,
or the blind?
have not I the LORD?
Now therefore go,
and I will be with thy mouth,
and teach thee what thou shalt say."

So that is where I have been...
and I've been afraid to share it,
because commitment and change always scares me a little.

I haven't forgotten you and I cannot tell you how amazed I am that you come by
to hear my ramblings at this place.
Thank you.
It is amazing to me that so many friends are people I have never met.

I will still come here to write
although probably not as much as I had in the past.

(I need this place to type out the wordy versions of my life's lessons.)

That is where I have been,
heaping up mounds of art sketches and ideas,
sketching out pictures onto verse pages,
creating artwork around the house,
taking pictures,
trying to figure out exactly how and with what kind of schedule and plans I aim to go,
trying to get this half-painted bathroom from 6 months ago finally finished,
cleaning up after 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 1 cat stuck in a house all winter,
and praying that God will use the second half of my life,
if He blesses me with such,
with His guidance
and lots of colorful pails of paint.


  1. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. You are such an amazing woman and you inspire me. It's funny, but I have decided to pursue art and that is what led me to your blog in the first place. I look forward to your future posts and how I can learn more from you along the way.

  2. Thank you so much for painting the bulbs for Green Mount. The Director of Orianda House said that our tree was voted the best tree and that visitors to the open house actually took their chairs and circled the tree, so as to have "the best seat in the house"

    1. How fun!! Thanks for letting me know. It was such fun painting those! I'd love to get down and visit the Orianda House sometime soon!!!

  3. Love your new header Tonya! You must pass on the gifts that God has blessed you with. I've always admired how you write down your thoughts as well and will look forward to those times. Go with what you love!

    1. Thank you, Silverfeather. :) Thank you for being such an encourager. :)

  4. This is wonderful! You have such talent! So sweet to want to pass it along and share with all. Those ornaments are amazing! Looking forward to seeing your new blog and getting some more great tips :)

  5. I agree with Tammy. God has gifted you , so go for it !

  6. No matter what you do or how you express your artistry, I will be waiting and watching patiently.


  7. Wow that ωaѕ unusual. I just ωrote
    an гeally long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all thаt over again.
    Anyhοw, just wanted to say grеat blog!

    Feеl free to suгf to my web-site - vancouver weight loss
    Also see my web site > hcg diet weight loss

    1. Well, that's a frustrating situation! Thank you for taking the time to try, and for leaving a comment anyhow! :)

  8. This is beautiful. Really enjoyed catching up with your blog. What a great painting. There

    were so many amazing views - I could have painted many more too.
    painters edmonton
    painting contractor edmonton

  9. Thаnκѕ foг anу other exсеllent artісlе.
    Where elѕe mаy just anyone get that κind of informatiοn in such a perfect method of writing?
    I've a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such info.

    Here is my weblog - okc Roofers
    Also see my website > oklahoma city roofing company

  10. Absolutely beautiful work.

    I love your honest and candor in sharing your soul searching.

    Life is such a journey...

    I admire how you live every single day of yours!

    1. Oh, Jenny, you are so kind. Thank you for your words!!


I love your comments!