Thursday, 28 November 2013

Listening hard .... hearing nothing

In my earlier post 'His Way' I said that I was trying to commit all my plans to the Lord.  I was trying lay my plans before Him and seek His blessing before proceeding.  However, what's meant to happen if I can't seem to hear His answer?  

I had asked God about proceeding with something I wanted to do.  I prayed and asked and prayed and read my bible but I couldn't seem to get a clear yes or no!  What are we meant to do in these circumstances?

I believe God hears our every prayer and that He answers.  But I was listening hard and hearing nothing.  I think in the end I was listening too hard, maybe I was trying to hear one particular answer, a yes in this case!  So I tried to relax and asked God to speak to me through His word instead as I ask Him every day when I read the bible.  He lead me to this:


The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to His church.
Eph 5: 22 The Message

I felt God was asking me to ask Dominic, my husband!  So I did and Dominic got me to consider again whether I really wanted and had time to do this and only then did I get an answer.

So the lesson or lessons to me in all this:
  • Don't try very very hard to hear God speak, relax!  His answer will come.
  • Be open to hearing an answer you weren't expecting.
  • Be ready to hear God's answer from someone else.
  • Accept a no! or a wait.
This is what came out in my art journal:


This was a page where I had scraped excess paint while doing previous pages so it started off with random bits of different paint.  I added stenciled dots and stamped circles and map and then the journaling.  I love how the rough paint reflects the noise in my head of too much thinking.

The answer was yes.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

His Way

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, 
plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jer 29: 11

If ever I wonder what is going on with my life, I go back to this scripture.  God has plans for me, I trust Him to know what is best for me, therefore I won't worry but seek to learn from what is happening, and to grow.

I'm also learning to commit my plans to the Lord.  I used to be someone who would charge at things, loving to be busy busy busy.  Maybe that's why I ended up getting chronic fatigue!!!  God has taught me a lot in all this.  Being busy for the sake of being busy is not a good thing.  I've learnt to be in rest more and I'm learning to lay my plans before the Lord and ask His blessing, being ready to do something else at His prompting.  I say I'm learning, because I haven't completely learnt it yet!  I sometimes forget to lay my plans before Him and charge ahead - old habits die hard - but I'm getting there.  

Here's my art journal page:

My starting point for this page was a backround I'd done on a loose bit of paper, thinking I would make a man's card.  I liked how it came out so much that I decided to use it on an art journal page.  I tore it up and stuck the pieces around the page to reflect the fact that although we make plans we never see the whole picture.  Then I painted in the gaps, doodled my title and wrote the journaling all around. 

God's way is always best.  The scripture from Jeremiah goes on to say:


Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  
You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, 
I will be found by you, says the Lord.
Jer 29: 12-14

We rest in His plans, we call and pray and seek Him with all our hearts, and His promise is that we find Him.  Isn't that awesome.

May God bless your plans for today.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Optimism!


I really enjoyed doing this page - simple lines in colour with Derwent Inktense blocks which I love.  They are watercolour crayons with the most intense colour.  It always gives me a thrill when I brush water over the faint colour just applied and these vivid colours pop up - wonderful.  I stamped and doodled and then got on with the journaling which was the point of the page but I wrote in white so it wouldn't detract from the bright colours.

Obviously I was feeling good when I did this page!  I was so grateful to God and wanted to express that.  This autumn, right at the beginning of September, as usual I became unwell with another bout of chronic fatigue.  I say "as usual" because its been the 4th year on the trot that I've been plagued by fatigue after years of being ok.  I thought at the time, o no here we go again.  But I really prayed to God and said that I really really did not want to take any time off sick from work and I had to be well enough to jump on an airplane and go and visit my mother in Gibraltar with my daughter at the end of October.

God is so faithful!  He did hear my prayer and answered.  It wasn't easy but I only had 2 days off which I took as holiday and I managed to go on working (I only work 2 days a week) although not quite all my hours.  I also went to Gibraltar and even came back refreshed and better.  

Here is a picture of us on the beach in Gibraltar.  It was really warm and we could have gone swimming if only we'd had our bathing costumes. 





I trusted God and he answered.

The reason I put my art journal page right at the beginning of the post is that it has helped me to hang on when I've been in danger of losing that optimism.  Whenever I've felt myself starting to lose that spark I've remembered this page and said to myself, Optimism because I trust.  

So I trust God and remain full of optimism!

Friday, 8 November 2013

He Hears!

I just love to pray!  I don't know how I would manage without prayer.  There are so many needs for many of my family and friends, so much stuff I can't actually do anything about except take to God and pray.  

There are many words in the bible on prayer but the one most on my heart at the moment is:

Pray constantly
Thess 5: 17 

I feel so much better after praying.  I know God hears and answers my every prayer even though I may have to wait for it.

I was inspired to do this art journal page from an ad of a hot air balloon - I can't remember what it was advertising now!  But I just thought right away - the balloons are like our prayers all rising up to God.



The backround is blue and white acrylics painted with my fingers - messy and so much fun.  Then stamped with a script and circles.  The basket is paper and the lines are drawn in.  The balloons are punched circles some of which I raised on foam pads for depth and I wrote prayers on them.



 
I love this page and so does my husband, Dominic.  He wants me to frame it and hang it up....but its in my art journal with another favourite page on the other side!

I hope you will be encouraged to pray without ceasing too and imagine your prayers floating up to heaven to be answered by God.

Blessings to  you!

Monday, 4 November 2013

A New Chapter

I've come back from a few days away visiting my Mum with a new optimism and positivity.  This is a chance for a new beginning.  I want to put into practice what I feel God has been saying to me recently - I don't have to waste my time when I'm having to rest to recover from a bout of chronic fatigue.  I can still use this time well.  I may not have energy to 'do' lots of stuff but I can still pray, and prayer is so very crucial.  Prayer changes things because God hears and answers our every prayer - not always in the way we want or expect! but with what is needed.  

Then I got to thinking that I also need to use my time better when I'm well and have more energy and am able to do more.  I don't want to fritter this precious energy away but use it wisely.  So I decided to 'give' God my time.  I will ask Him to show me what are the important things to do and do those.

I'm excited by this new chapter in my life, my new beginning.  Its going to be an adventure!  I really will be walking with Jesus and doing what He wants.

Here's my art journal page:


This is a very simple and quick backround - ink pads stamped direct onto the paper applied with different pressure on each stamp to get a cool effect.  Its also an easy background to write lots on.  I added the stamped ribbon effect to separate each section plus some fancy circles in the non writing sections.  

It may not be New Year's Day, but its definitely a good new beginning!