Be Thou my Vision

Singing “Be Thou my Vision” in English and Irish (Gaelic) with my daughters for Easter Show 2022

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.

Not even Solomon

See oil painting “Lily” come to life in just over 1 minute (time lapse)

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you” Matthew 6:28b-30a

I’ve fallen behind on my plan to upload my painting videos to YouTube, making edits as needed (due to copyright claims on the music or some other reason why the video would be better if updated). This lily painting video is one that could use a little sprucing up. But, for now, I’ll re-share the original version. The message feels important to share today rather than wait for a revised video.

I see a lot of worries cast about, and it seems like a good time to focus on flowers, like lilies and wild flowers. I’ve started a new butterfly garden– in a container this time, as we are still living in a temporary place. Today I noticed that many of the flowers have germinated. I look forward to seeing them! I also look forward to the hummingbirds and butterflies they will attract. But, meanwhile, I need to look after them.

There is a danger of frost tomorrow night so I’ve covered my butterfly garden pot, as well as my other plants. I did this tonight because I was disoriented by a chaotic schedule and thought today was Saturday. But, tomorrow is forecast to be very windy and cold- with a possibility of a severe thunderstorm with large hail, so it is probably good to have done this tonight instead of tomorrow. Hopefully all will be well, and I’ve not made things worse.

Chances are good that my flowers will be just fine, regardless of the storm and the cold coming in. And most of the time, we humans are fine too. We weather through many hardships and, through it all, we’re taken care of. Just like I tried to protect my flowers, we are protected too. While someday we may need a miracle that never comes, most of the time we move from one day to the next without anything bad happening to us that we can’t endure.

Worrying won’t prevent bad things, but it will definitely make life more difficult to persevere, overcome, and thrive. An image of a lily may be helpful to meditate on when anxiety settles in. If you’ve not yet planted any flowers this season, may I strongly suggest that you do so? It’s hard to explain why flowers bring encouragement, comfort and hope– they just do. And those three things I wish for you, dear friends. God bless you and keep you, this day and always.

Are your seeds growing?

Watch this oil painting of a lily come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

I had lilies just like this one in the painting, when I lived in Minnesota. They grow wild and are very hardy. They spread very easily. People use them for ground cover to fill in unused areas of property. Indeed, it was very easy to maintain these flowers. All it took were a few transplants and they took off on their own.

I’d heard that the same is true for chives. At a property we were staying in, in Indiana, the grass in the back yard had been overrun with chives. My husband noticed the distinctive onion smell when he walked out there. The chives were like weeds.

So, when I wanted to plant them here, where I’ve been living for the past four years in the Deep South (Georgia), I thought it would be easy. It was not. I went through two chive plants that we bought from the store. Dead. And dead. Then I planted from seed. They didn’t even germinate. I tried again. Nothing!

I wondered if I should plant something else in the lifeless pot. Why was it so difficult to plant chives? True, it’s been hot here, and chives like cooler weather. But there’s been a break in the heat and still nothing! All that was growing in there were a couple of pea spouts, from seeds that the birds had carried from my patio garden container over to the pot I’d intended for chives (cardinals, they’ve been caught in the act of transplanting my garden seeds several times!).

Today I read about something called a “prayer walk”. The author said you should walk prayerfully and be open to receiving a gift that will have spiritual meaning to you when you see it. I wanted to try this, so I did. But I didn’t see any gift and I shrugged it off as “oh well, I guess that didn’t do anything for me”.

I was heading back into the house when a flash of vivid brilliant red caught my attention. There was a red butterfly flying in my line of sight. I looked it up just now to see what I could have seen, and I think it’s a “red admiral”, a migratory butterfly that spends the winter in warmer states, such as Georgia. The red is only in the markings on the body, but it is so bright that when in flight, a flash of red would definitely be possible. I think that’s what I saw.

It was flying in the distance, across from the pot of soil where I’d planted chives seeds. I looked at the pot, considering whether or not to pull the errant pea sprouts planted by the cardinals. Lo and behold! My chives had sprouted! There were many tiny stems! Spiritually, this felt like my gift, and I instantly realized it was a metaphor for life in general.

When I want something to happen, I must be persistent. Try a new way. If the seeds don’t grow, try again. And I must live my life without obsessing and watching the pot. The seeds I planted and thought would never grow may just sprout, just when I was about to give up.

Have you planted seeds? You may not think your work is making an impact, but maybe it is! You might feel as if your efforts are never going to pay off, but maybe they will! Perhaps you’ll see a red butterfly and look down to find that the seeds you’d planted have sprouted. I mean this figuratively, metaphorically, and spiritually, but wouldn’t it be amazing if you literally saw a red butterfly too? You never know!