June 25, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: The Moment

. I will never forget the day I saw Vincent Van Gogh's work for the first time in person.  I was visiting a museum and turned the corner to come face to face with four of his paintings.  The placement was perfect.  The lighting was perfect.  It all seemed so perfect.  I sat down on the bench that was situated facing the wall of Van Gogh's work, and soaked in that moment.  I think I could have sat there all day. For a time I just sat in awe.  Then I began to observe the color, texture, movement, and subject matter of each piece.   I once again sat in awe.  I thought about all I had studied of Van Gogh, the history that surrounded the work, the life these paintings had lived, and the fact that Vincent himself had touched each painting with his masterful hands.  I went back to setting in awe. In that moment nothing else seemed to matter.  I was in the presence of greatness.

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.  Psalm 27:4

Sometimes we get distracted with life.  Even when we know we should be living in the moment we can find ourselves thinking about what is next & all we have to do to accomplish that task.  We could be distracted by relationships, work, home, or play, and all the would have, should have, could have that wasn't regarding those things.  It seems rare that we can embrace "the moment" and be fully present there.  Our minds are preoccupied on the past, present, and future and it rob us of the moment.  I believe if we take the time to know our God, work on the relationship we have through faith, read His word, spend time talking to Him through prayer, and just "BE" in His presence...we might actually experience more of what the author of Psalm 27:4 is speaking.  If you read this verse and find yourself disconnected from the author's heart/meaning....maybe you need to slow down & get to know your God better.  If I hadn't known all that I did about Van Gogh, if I had not studied, if I had not spent time looking at images of his work....I probably could have walked by with just a passing glance. But because I knew Van Gogh & his work....I sat in awe.  Because I recognized the marks of the master....I had to set quietly in the moment & take it all in.  I see people pass by many things in our world today...not realizing the Master's hand in it.  I want to be someone who can embrace the moment, and praise the Father for who He is & what He has done.  I want to set in awe of Him.

June 19, 2017


In getting ready for my kids camps this week & my teacher workshop next week...I've been shopping!  I went to SMART (Scrap Made Art) Supply Store during their $25 a week sale.  LOOK AT THE FUN STUFF I GOT!!!  Worth so much more than the $25 I spent!!!  
Learn more about SMArt at the link below! 

June 18, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: You Can See It

Many artists are like walking billboards for their craft.  When you are so passionate about something, it shows.  It comes out in how you talk, what you talk about, how you live your life, where you invest your time & money, and even sometimes on your clothing!   Your home & the homes of your friends & family look like your personal galleries.  It will often be that those you are close with will also sing your praises everywhere they go, and share your gifts & talents with others.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1

The artistry of God is undeniable.  His amazing work is everywhere we look.   However, we can become numb to this fact as we go about living our lives.  We can become distracted with work, family, friends, entertainment, or a host of other things vying for our attention.  When life becomes challenging, bad things happen, or stresses/worries threaten to overtake us....we can be reminded of God's goodness through the proclamation of His creation.  If we were to just look up & outside ourselves for a moment, we would be able to see the fingerprints of God all around us.  This brings such a reassurance of His faithfulness in our lives.  It reminds us of His awesome power.  It shows us of His never ending love for us.  

If you are struggling...make the time to spend with God in the midst of His creation. Being surrounded by His handy work reminds us that we can trust Him with all the things that are troubling us.  Even during the storms of life...His peace is real.  He is there.  He will meet you where you are. 

June 11, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Lighting is Everything

There have been many times that I've worked in rooms which were poorly lit.  Lighting is as important as quality supplies for an artist.  Often though, eyes adjust to the condition of  a room, and one believe that they are able to see just fine.  It isn't until the work is brought into a well lit room that the artist sees their glaring issues precipitated by lighting.  Sometimes they are minor things that can be quickly corrected.  However, there have been times that I've had to start completely over because the issues were too great.  Allowing yourself to believe you are "ok" to continue in darkness will create issues that will have to be dealt with at some point.  

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.  John 8:12

The imagery of light is used throughout scripture.  It is something that everyone can understand.  When you operate in the dark bad things can happen.  How many times have I kicked my toes on the side of the bed when I've tried to find my way in the dark.  I thought I could handle it....making my way from the bathroom to the bed with the lights out.  We think we can until we can't. We usually come to that realization because of negative outcomes.  There are many times in our life where we think we can do things on our own.  We feel that we know what is best, and we don't need the Lord's guidance.  WE'VE GOT THIS.  And you know what...we do have it...right up until we don't.  Then what?  Where do you turn when you realize the darkness you've been walking in has betrayed you. You look at your situation, your life, your relationships, and you see the holes in them.  You see that things don't appear as good as you once thought the did. The good news is that you can find your way when you turn to the Light.  That light doesn't just illuminate the negative where you find yourself , but it guides you to the path of where you truly want & need to be.  The lighting is everything!!

June 06, 2017

Reflecting On A Year That Was

So even though school has been out for over a week now...I've been back to my room 3 times!?!!?  
I wanted to finish cleaning my supply closet (my one place of disorder in my room), and wanted to start prepping my bulletin boards for next school year.  Today I'm back because I forgot something I needed for the summer.  In another week or so I'll be back to start setting up for my summer workshop?!?!?!  I promise...in July...I more than likely will not be back to my room (I think?).  

With my room looking like this...it makes me very reflective of what I've done, what I could do better, and what needs to change.  We all need to tweak things...even with 20 yrs under my belt...I know that I've not arrived & can not cruise on through till retirement (which is probably not in 10 yrs when I hit the 30 yr mark of teaching...because I'll only be 53 & I'll have an 18 yr old, a 16 yr old, and a 13 yr old!  Yep...Mr. E will be teaching till he is a 100!!! ha ha)  I had an especially odd year with my diagnosis and subsequent 101 trips to the doctors (I'll share an update soon on my health!!).  I'm looking forward to getting back to "normal" & being more mentally/physically present doing what I love!!!

What are your tweaks/changes for the new year?

(My room is going to be very colorful this year...after the past few years being more subdued)

June 04, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Smells Like...

I love the smell of art, art making, art supplies, and art places!  Smells have a way of transporting you to a time & place where your memories connect to your senses. I think these smells stick with me most of all because they revolve around where & what I've invested so much of my life.  I spent hours with my Aunt Bonnie coloring as a child.  She had an old cookie tin she would keep the crayons that she collected from the floors of the school I grew up going to where she was a custodian.   That cookie tin had such a distinct smell, but every once and awhile I catch a whiff of something that reminds me of it.  Instantly I'm back on the floor coloring with her.....my start in art.   I've used the same watercolor palette since I was in college.  Watercolors have a distinct smell about them as well. I smell the paint, see the colors, feel the palette....and I'm reminded of so many hours, ideas, works of art, successes, and failures.  It is just amazing how a smell can remind you of so much more than the object producing the odor.  

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ has loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.  Ephesians 5: 1-2

Is it odd to think God can "smell" things?  Ephesians uses the term "fragrant aroma" in regards to our offering & sacrifice to God.  This aroma is connected to our heart, mind, and effort as we strive to serve God.  He calls us to be imitators of Him. He calls us to walk in love.  He calls us to be like Christ.  The aroma is so much more than one "thing"...it is connected.  It should smell like...JESUS.  Our good works are like dirty rags(Isaiah 64:6).  I can't imagine that would smell very good to the Lord.  It is a reminder though that we can not live this life out of our own efforts. It is through Christ, in Christ, and because of Christ that we are sons & daughters of God.  The ultimate offering & sacrifice was the life & death of Jesus. (The ultimate victory was rising from the dead!)  I want people to see Jesus in me.  I want people to feel & know the love of Christ through my words, attitudes, and actions.  And I guess...I want people to smell Jesus too! ha ha