As promised, I’ve put together a singing video with the lyrics for the instrumental hymn that was in yesterday’s painting video. Maybe you already know this one? It’s a popular old hymn that many people love.
I have added this art to my new store. If you order anything, would you please consider taking a picture of what you buy and letting me know if you like how it turned out? Eventually I’d like to own all of these products so that I have a sample of everything and know what things look like, but that would be too expensive to do all at once. It’s amazing to see my art on things we can use for our homes, gifts, clothes, jewelry – just about anything! It makes me feel that my paintings can have more life to them after the videos fade from memory and are forgotten. I hope this adventure works out! If it does, I’ll add a lot more paintings to the store. If there are any favorites in particular you want me to add first, feel free to let me know.
See my new cardinal oil painting “Cardinal in July” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse video). I have lost track of how many cardinals I’ve painted, but I know this won’t be the last one. Cardinals are a recurring theme in my life and I know that many of you find special meaning, healing, hope, peace, and serendipitous sightings of them also. Those who have lost a loved one often report mysterious interactions with cardinals and healing spiritual experiences. If seeing a cardinal painting helps you feel inspired, I am happy to keep painting them.
If you are a subscriber to my blog viewing from your e-mail, you may have to click thru directly to this post to see the video. I’ll put together a singing video of the lyrics of the instrumental hymn used in the painting video and post that soon. You might already be familiar with it, as it is a popular old hymn called “When Peace Like a River (it is well)”.
I hope all is well with you and your family. It’s a hot summer here in Georgia, USA and the time is going by fast. Because the world is so chaotic, it’s good to keep busy and remain hopeful for the future by focusing on the good things. Stay strong. God bless you.
The song in the video is a piano instrumental version of the hymn “In Christ Alone”.
“In Christ Alone”
In Christ alone my hope is found He is my light, my strength, my song This Cornerstone, this solid Ground Firm through the fiercest drought and storm What heights of love, what depths of peace When fears are stilled, when strivings cease My Comforter, my All in All Here in the love of Christ I stand
No guilt in life, no fear in death This is the power of Christ in me From life’s first cry to final breath Jesus commands my destiny No power of hell, no scheme of man Can ever pluck me from His hand Till He returns or calls me home Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand”
(there are more verses, but those are the ones that I feel fit the theme of the painting the most)
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I hope you are enjoying this Easter weekend with loved ones and are feeling peace in your spirit. I’ve uploaded the Easter Show 2022 in separate short videos of the different segments (two oil paintings “Easter Lily” and “Jesus at Calvary”, two songs “I’ll Fly Away” and Irish hymn “Be Thou my Vision”). The best viewing experience is here on this site because I can upload the highest quality large HD files. However, your family and friends probably prefer to click on a platform link that they know, so I’ve put these clips and the entire show on YouTube also.
The above painting was inspired by our first hurricane evacuation after moving here to Georgia about five years ago. It’s not hurricane season yet, but it looks like we might get our first spring thunderstorm tonight. The sky is ominous. Two of my family members are on their way home, so I hope they get in before the rain starts.
Below is a video I’ve shared before of me singing “How Great Thou Art”, the hymn in the painting video. I always feel the inspiration of these lyrics when a storm rolls in.
These are tough times. Every day can feel like a storm, even if the skies are sunny. Whatever you’re facing today, please know that you are not alone. I’m still reeling from the shock of a few things- such as the sudden death that occurred on our recent wedding anniversary- serendipitously, the death was our young ringbearer (grown up, but still too young)! I want to talk more about this, but I really must respect that the family may stumble upon my blog and I don’t want to cause them any distress. I will say this: I am deeply saddened and I wish the news weren’t true.
Grief is a storm. Any of you going through grief, it’s a dangerous and frightening time of emotional chaos, and a surreal view of what it means to be alive. And just like a storm, the worst of it ends, leaving behind a spiritual mess to sift through. It can take years to feel a sense of normal again, and some losses can never be recovered. Every life matters, and every heart matters when a life is lost. I find it helpful to make it a mission to live my life to the very fullest- out of respect for those who can no longer be here, while I’m still here, still alive another day.
As I typed that last line, a beautiful cardinal is sitting on the patio bird feeder. He’s taking his time nibbling seeds and making eye contact with me as I sit here clacking away at the keyboard in view of the glass patio doors. Now he’s closer! I don’t think he will let me take a pic of him. He’s drinking from the bird bath and staring right at me! Darn, I reached for my phone to take a pic and he flew away. Didn’t think he’d let me do that. I have to stand from the side and take photos of the wild birds when they can’t see me. Well, you’ll just have to imagine him there. Moments like these validate everything good, don’t they? That cardinal is alive. And seeing him made me happy.
God bless you and keep you, this day and always. We are here for a reason.
Sharing this hymn again. Maybe someday I’ll sing this properly instead of just standing near the patio doors while reading the lyrics I’d forgotten off my computer screen. But this will have to do. I haven’t the heart to write much of a blog post. I lost another young relative who “died unexpectedly“. I knew no one who died in the past five years. Now the death toll is FIVE within the past six months- none of them old enough to have died from natural old age related causes.
For privacy reasons, I won’t say anything else, but I do want to say- how did I find out? That little bird was acting weird again and I was thinking, “oh no, not again!” Surely just a coincidence THIS time, right? (read about the other incident I blogged about from last month) But a quick search for a family surname showed another fresh obituary. So it’s been dreams, messages from beyond, and birds acting funky until I pay attention. The bird has left now. I guess I got the message. If you are going through a season of grief, may I offer you these words of comfort: God sees, and we are getting help through this.
When we were planning our move to Ireland, I was grieving the loss of my only remaining parent, my mom (Dad died when I was a child). We let go of nearly everything that we had- my husband had lost his job after the company moved out of the country, something I’ve blogged about before, and because of this, we needed to sell our house. My teaching studio was in the lower level of our home, so I lost my job too. When Mom died, there was no family to stay for, no jobs to stay for, and my kids were in between school choices.
There was nothing to keep us from moving to an island far, far away… away from the snow and ice, to a place where wild dolphins swim free. Have you ever felt this way, even if you didn’t actually lose your family, your home, your job and most of your possessions? Maybe you regardless have felt that all you had left were the people in your own little family, or even just yourself- alone.
In times of solitude, we may yearn for more solitude, as there is no greater loneliness than to feel alone in a crowd. The moody skies, brisk salty wind through our hair, and the mystery of the cliffs at the Celtic Sea Coast overwhelmed my heart. I will never forget that magical place that healed something in me that I didn’t even know was broken.
But we couldn’t stay. I had to cancel my month-long solo art show, and the kids had to cancel their school plans. My son had a scholarship, but alas, it was not meant to be. We couldn’t get our “permission to remain” visa. So, we had to come back home, to America. And by then, I knew that I couldn’t keep running. I would have to begin again, and make a new life where I was born, raised, and where I belong.
This is me (in yellow) singing “Amazing Grace” with my kids, shortly after we moved to the Deep South, here in Georgia. We didn’t return to the north, or to the midwestern states we’d lived in. We chose a coastal state where my dad had once been and had told me I’d love. We came here sight unseen, on a leap of faith.
I will post the lyrics here. If you are feeling heavy in your heart, this traditional hymn may be of familiar comfort to you.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.