Spring of Hope

See this oil painting “Flower Angel” come to life in 2 minutes

Today was much better! It was a beautifully gorgeous sunny and warm spring day. I was right, my next blog post isn’t a dreary “Losing Hope” theme like yesterday’s. I worked at packing for the unwanted move, while opening my mind more to the idea that this will end up good for us in some way in the end. I worked on my painting and transplanted more bell peppers for our plant sale. The first created something new, the second is letting go of my garden since we have to vacate before harvest time. Life is often this way, something gained while something is lost.

I imagine our lives as a train station where tracks run both directions. Sometimes they run at equal speeds, sometimes not. Sometimes you can see both trains at the same time, other times not. But one train doesn’t negate the other, even if their journeys and destinations are different. I have to remind myself of this often because I have a tendency to feel as if I can’t enjoy the pleasure trip if a crisis trip is running alongside on the other track. But most of the time there’s an overlap of good things and bad things. We can’t wait for all of the bad things to go away- we must live our lives and find joy where we can.

So, on that philosophical note, I’ll wrap up by saying that our housing problem is unresolved. In fact, it’s worse. There are now NO homes that meet our needs listed for rent by the property management, and very few outside of that company either. What few are available are ridiculously expensive. It’s not a good outlook at the moment. It could change any day. If it doesn’t, we’ll muster through somehow. I’ll take one day at a time. It was a good day because I had a better attitude. I got a lot done. And my husband brought home cookies.


Letting Go – Again

See angel releasing dove oil painting with real beach shells come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I’ve used this same painting for a very similar blog post called “Letting Go”. In that post I said these wise words “We may not have control over time, and future events, but we always have a spiritual choice about how we respond to change.” Ha! I better take my own advice to heart, lest I be a hypocrite. The past couple of days I was in a sour sullen snit about the shocking news of learning that we have to move in about two months, when we intended to continue renting this house until after my husband’s graduation (he’d gone back to school after losing his job when the company he worked for moved out of the country, and he’s nearly done- graduates in June- but too late to get us out from under this predicament).

Today I pushed myself to start the taping of the Easter show even though that was the last thing I wanted to do, as I need to start packing! But I’d already committed to doing the show and had invested in it. Yesterday I finished making my dress and I finished the set design this afternoon. Taping has begun! The first segment is done- and it went much better than I thought it would. No matter what’s going on in our lives, we have to choose whether or not to let those temporary circumstances paralyze, discourage, or destroy our purpose. I could have canceled the show, but that would have been wrong.

Letting go of worry, anxiety, dread, fear, resentment, bitterness, despair, and anger is a perpetual experience. Life will never be perfect and if we allow our human condition to stop us from acting on our plans, we will leave things unsaid, inspirations never created, places never traveled, and destinies never reached. So, we must plow through and do the things our heart is stirred to do, even when we don’t feel like it. “Fake it ’till you make it” is real. Not only will we get to where we want to be if we keep doing it, regardless of how close to the bottom we are when we start, but we’ll also become joyful if we fake feeling joy.

Today’s work on the Easter show included dressing up in an outrageously festive gown and singing songs that are truly joyful. I may have started out faking the joy, but shortly after I forced myself to be joyful, I really was! I had a happy time today. I am glad I gave up my stubborn attitude and chose to let go.

My stressful circumstances will change, with or without my cooperative attitude. I can stomp my feet and tantrum my way through this ordeal, or I can aim for high energy to work at a smooth transition. I can look for positive serendipitous events that fall neatly into place. If I look for these things, I will find them. If I work for a smooth transition, I am likely to have one. Change is often difficult. We can hate every minute of it and be no better off. Or, we can rise to the challenge and fake joyfulness until we feel the joy.


The Unexpected

See oil painting “Porch Flowers” come to life in about 30 seconds (time lapse)

Here’s what I originally wrote about this art:

“When we moved here, I didn’t know that the shrubs near the front porch were the flowering kind, until one day they burst out in beautiful pink and white blossoms. The flowers graced the ground when they fell, leaving a carpet of petals. The floral shower right outside our door was such a nice surprise!

Sometimes in life we fear the unexpected- the call we don’t ever want to receive, the news we can’t bear- but there are times when the unexpected is a blessing. From the big surprises we didn’t see coming, to the small ones, an ordinary day can change in an instant over a cascade of flowers.”

So, here we are several years later, and these flowers are in bloom again. If you’ve read my recent blog posts, you might recall that there have been some unexpected developments- shocking sudden deaths- four of them within a few months of each other. I thought there were five, but my mind seems to have inflated that count. Now I’m worried that there IS a fifth one that I’ll learn about soon.

That’s a lot of “unexpected”- and not the good kind. Yes, an ordinary day can change in an instant. This time around, I feel sad when I see these flowers. They seem to be funeral flowers at the moment.

This is how life is, beauty is in the perspective. We can see something beautiful and feel joy, or feel sadness, or something else entirely. Here’s hoping that the next unexpected thing that comes our way is a blessing.

Peace be with you and your family.


Let your Light Shine!

See this oil painting of a lighthouse come alive in 1 minute (time lapse)

How long will we be paralyzed by the dystopia of 2020+? During the past couple of years I’ve taken up gardening and sewing, but I let my musical instruments dust over. Today I spent time playing music. My fingers are sore, I’ll have to build up callouses. I’m going to add music to my weekly schedule. If not now, then when?

Let your light shine! Time is being stolen from us, and if we let it happen, we’ve surrendered. What have we always wanted to do? Our lists may look different, but our goals are probably similar. We want to do things that bring us joy. The pursuit of happiness may need to be worked hard for and it may be hard to make the time, but if we put in a few minutes every week and never give up, we will do the things we’ve always wanted to do.


Fun in 2 Minutes

See this oil painting of a puffin come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I uploaded this art video today to YouTube and I was thinking about how this fun little guy comes to life in 2 minutes. How many other things are fun in 2 minutes? Eating a chocolate truffle? Pausing to say hello to a neighbor before continuing on our way? Stopping to look up at the stars or observing a sunrise?

Two minutes is a short time, yet we often need a reminder to invest two minutes into something that makes us happy. Don’t wait for the world to get better, your schedule to get easier, or for life to give you permission. Two minutes goes by fast. If you don’t grab it now, it’s gone.

Challenge: be mindful this weekend of how long two minutes is, and make a willful choice to spend at least two minutes absorbed in a simple joy.


The Journey

See this oil painting of a double rainbow “God’s Promise” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I saw this double rainbow above the trees behind our house. You will see these trees and a rainbow in the video I share next. My painting is symbolic and simplistic, and in the end, I felt insecure about it. I really wanted to make the rainbows faint and more realistic, but in the end, I kept them bold and childlike. When I received a very unkind comment about this art I stopped sharing it, as it confirmed my own misgivings and regrets about this painting.

However, I have since said to myself that the journey is where the joy is. I hung a new lawn flag with the inscription “Joy is in the Journey” just today. I put it near my dormant rose bush, knowing that in the early spring the roses will bloom and the inscription will be beautifully metaphorical.

I painted this with the intention in my heart of sharing the beauty and joy that I saw. If others see only what I saw in it (the failure to create a masterpiece, and instead it “looks like a five year old did this”), then they are missing the love I tried to share. They are not seeing the language, only the literal paint on the canvas. What that rude person didn’t know, is that I have painted over 100 paintings (or more, I’ve lost track), since this rainbow art. I am a special person who he has dismissed.

Below is a video I took behind our house. The world is a wonderful place, and often it is the imperfect, childlike journey that matters most. This is the world that I see, and I try to share it with you the best that I can. God bless and keep you, this day and always, and may you always have hope.

Watch this hummingbird flying into a double rainbow! (second rainbow faint)

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve!

Watch oil painting “Time” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

Are you ready to say goodbye to 2021 tomorrow night at midnight? I think most people are impatient to see these troubled years go. We are reflecting on the past, in the hope that the future will be better. Yet we are all here at this particular time in history for a reason. May we experience the joys regardless of the grief surrounding us, may we see the beauty of time, even when the journey is painful, and may we find healing when we are broken. Here is a blog post that may inspire you to believe in the perfect synchronicity of your individual life and time:

The Beauty of Time The mysterious and miraculous story begins a little way down the page, scroll past the quote in the brown box. Here is the opening paragraph: “When I was Mom’s caregiver, I knew her little apartment inside and out because I was the one who cleaned it. Yet it looked completely different when Mom was no longer in it. That first time I entered the place after she had passed was when the first round of grief attacked me. Her tea cup was still sitting by her chair. It wasn’t right that it should be there if she was never coming back. Yet moving her cup was wrong too…” What unfolds is much more than a coincidence, serendipity. It is a reminder that every life matters, and we never leave or enter this world without our time here divinely connected to a greater picture. Think of each life as paint on a canvas. Separately, we may think we don’t form anything, but together we are a masterpiece. Read this story.


New Painting, Nativity Scene

See oil painting “Nativity Scene” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

This is the short time lapse version of one of the featured paintings in Christmas Show 2021 (the full 45 minute variety show with painting, singing and dancing is available on this site, YouTube, and BitChute). This nativity scene is larger than the one I’ve done in the past, as this one includes more than the central figures of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus. Added are the wise men, shepherds, animals (cow, donkey, sheep) and angel. The Christmas star is included in both paintings.

“Nativity Scene” oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

I hope that you are enjoying a peaceful time with your loved ones, as we reflect on what Christmas means to us as individuals, and as we participate in our family traditions. Speaking of traditions, old and new: Tonight was the last surprise meal for our Secret Santa game. I said yesterday that I’d talk with you about that, so here it is: our youngest daughter made chicken gnocchi, and it was DELICIOUS!

Our youngest daughter’s chicken gnocchi
She took a lot of care to slow cook the chicken, grate the carrots, finely chop the celery, and chop the fresh spinach and onion. She spent two hours preparing and cooking this dish.
Here it is, served up and ready for me to light the candles before we pray together and eat.

We had a wonderful Secret Santa exchange this year and now we have gourmet leftovers to help us through the busy day tomorrow. I hope our family has inspired you to give this idea a try sometime. The week leading up to Christmas is a good time for families to share the cooking and try new special dishes.

Tomorrow is already Christmas Eve! I wish all of you peace, love, and joy. God bless you and your families.


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CHRISTMAS SHOW 2021!

Enjoy 45 minutes of Christmas holiday sentiment, merriment, and JOY!

Painting, singing, and dancing ~ so much JOY! Please share my special 45 minute show video with all of your connections. It is free, with no paywall or advertising. I hope that you will find this event so unique, fun, and uplifting that you’ll want others to see it. So, grab a cup of your favorite Christmas drink and a good round of snacks. Settle in, and be prepared for sweetness, laughs, and a positive experience. May you feel the Christmas spirit warm your heart and carry you through the next year!

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Aww, Christmas Love Story

Watch oil painting “Rose of Joy” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

Aww, sweet story… my daughter does freelance and commission work. She usually works with data or websites- she has a Math degree, but sometimes she does art related work or something unusual. Today it was something unusual. She was assigned the task of typing a love letter on behalf of a client for her husband. She (likely an elderly person as most on that client list are) wanted her husband to have a professionally transcribed letter from her cursive handwriting. This is for Christmas. Aww, it just warms my heart. I love this story, don’t you? Thought you’d like hearing this simple little thing that inspires us to feel good about humanity.

That’s all for today. The progress on the show is going very well, right on track! Good night, dear friends. Sleep well. God bless and keep you, may His face shine upon you, and give you peace.