Hand in hand With Spirit Wind

Digital Camera

This is a post that has been simmering in me for over a month now… but I just couldn’t seem to put it into words for you until now… (Notice the way even the trees seem to be ‘holding hands’ in these photos… :) )

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It was one of those enticing October-only days when skies turn up the collar of their gray coats against the chill, but autumn races hand in hand with the wind, best friends, like two children skipping, laughing, ringing their joy across the playground and inviting all who will to their game.

Jaunting down the 45-mile an hour country lane, I spied these two imps steal the “r” from “gray” with their radiance, transforming that descriptive back to the original meaning of the old English word for when our hearts were old-fashioned, light and merry, calling me to stop and join them there in the wood. I had barely pulled into the adjacent church lot and clutched my camera to do so, was just opening my car door, when they fairly yanked it out of my grasp, clasped my hands and pulled me forward with the “O, let me show you this exuberance of youth.

If I’d been wearing a hat (I suddenly had a lightness of feeling to my head, as though I were), I might have reached quickly to stop it flying off — such was the gaiety behind that beckoning wind! I loved the buoyancy in it that made me feel as if I could walk on and on.

The wind was brisk and whipping my hair up and about my face, with movement everywhere. Leaves skitter-danced their crackling song at my feet, leading me round the ordinary bend of coiffured lawn to a sea of enchanting dreams in a wild wood. There they spread out in waves of gold and amber before me, swooping into my very spirit and taking my breath with wonder. For the moment I stood alone in the simultaneous hush yet constant murmuring sound of it (save my two friends dancing their glee in circles round me), and found myself breathing right out loud

Ohhhh… my…gosh! Is this real?

Digital CameraLike coming upon a fairy wood, it was, even more so than I’d caught peripherally from the car window. Interspersed here there, tree trunks watched majestic over their glory carpet, dark and rich in tone, whispering in their open branches of kingdom and castle and streets of gold. Round and round my feet, the leafy crackling chase was on, sending piles in drifts, stirring up light and fire and racing it over me.

Off across the expanse of this leaf-strewn glen, I could see a rosy lamp glow behind the windows of a charming white colonial farmhouse. My favorite kind. Bright orbs of orange pumpkins lined the porch steps like guards on welcome duty, and drifts of smoke curled from the chimney as if to say, “There’s a pot of stew waiting, fresh bread warming on the stove…”

Still, I felt as an interloper upon this magic scene. Like stepping into a painting behind the artist’s back… knowing I was snapping shot after shot of stolen vignettes, but not wanting to miss capturing a trace of it.

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“Are you watching me from your windows?” I wondered as I relished the dearness of this house set on this land expanse of golden light. “Are you, too, savoring this view from the opposite end? Could it ever just be commonplace to you?

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Misting behind my lashes, this uncommon beauty and warmth and coming home feel of it, everything felt as if it were drawing the Father’s arms close about this set apart place.

Turning reluctantly to leave, gold leaf fell into my hands as if one last benediction to hold it all close, stinging again tears behind my eyes for reasons that seemed inexpressible… until His heart seemed to say it in the stirring at my feet…

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See this sea of golden waves?
Feel the wind racing, stirring?
This is my Spirit moving over my people even now.
Not all are hearing my call…

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O that my Own would begin to cover the land with their prayers, allow Me to carpet and blanket the world with them, mix with radiant color and fire and stir all hearts back unto Me!
This before you is a picture of what I would do, if my people would humble themselves, join hands and hearts with Me and pray, pray, pray!
I would stretch out your prayers in an endless sea of transforming Glory!
I am calling you, calling all… I am praying for you…
Wake up! Listen to my stirring song and sing it out!
Time is short and harvesting is the Glory I want to spread before you.
Pray for My forgiveness and protection and healing on your land that I may stay what may come if My Bride remains asleep...

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Pray for My hope and light to sweep the nations’ hearts.
Pray for My Kingdom Come, My Will be done, as you never have before.
Pray in and amongst all the moments of your days… and see what I will do.
My Heart and Spirit are waiting for your open hands to receive the gold that pours out from such prayers. But you don’t lift your hands to take it.
You are my Beloved. Stay not asleep.

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Once again, I was jaunting down the same country road one November week. Color lingers there like torn banners caught on bare branches, now. A late-turning burst of radiance stands out as loosely-strewn jewel, spotty reminders of warmth. But as I pass the wood of my enchanted October moment, I find an aching catch in my voice as once again words rush aloud …

“Oh! You have stripped the wonder away!”

For now, the lawn is pristine of raked up leafy carpet, as if I’d come back to Brigadoon… only to find the glory hidden once more in the mists. It doesn’t seem nearly as expansive, and the fairy-like cottage winks a bit forlorn, stripped of raiment now.

“How could you do it?” I think, a bit unfairly, I know.  Raking is inevitable.

Still… I will remember and hold close your picture of prayer Glory there, Father…

Your glow that teems the atmosphere with living embers.

And though winter seem to cover, help us keep your smoldering fires burning!

I will see our prayers as you do, innumerable as the sands and mixed with holy fire, poured forth from heaven’s golden incensed bowls. The prayers of your people, and those from You, our intercessor before the Golden Throne…

Sorrows, joys, you turn to glory, Lord. 

Help us take heart and hands with You.

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What have you heard Him speaking through fall this year?

© Pam Depoyan

photos: mine.

 

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When you take a leap of faith…and offer up a dream

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The Art of Notes By Hand…

When words are written on paper and cards, they remain

to savor

encourage,

invite,

over and again.

Especially at Christmas.

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Free Christmas Ornaments Clipart

So, um, I have a confession to make.

Something in me cringes every time I consider marketing my own art.

  (I know exactly what Kristen from  Chasing Blue Skies means in her post here: http://chasingblueskies.net/in-which-i-find-some-courage-and-talk-to-you-about-my-book/   – because when it comes to this,  I too have marbles in my mouth.)

I’m just not sure how to go about it in a way that invites you in to what I’m offering.

How to tell you all that is in my heart for those who might give or receive them. How I’ve prayed over each piece… and felt Him teaching me how to work with pen and ink with more warmth than I knew previously.

Yet, here in what seems to be my second chapter of life, He has me out on a bridge.  I mean… there’s a reason there are so many starving artists and writers, right?

His encouragement flashes light above the thunder of fear, doubt, worry… assuring me He has ways of provision for us, dreams He puts in us that also speak light, story, beauty, hope into others… just when we feel snowed under by economic turnarounds and can’t seem to see the way through…

Brightly coloured party lights illuminating Christmas baubles and decorations in the foreground   “Is this just a hobby?” a store manager innocently asked the other day as she agreed to display my Christmas cards on consignment.

No, no… I wanted to shout. But I smiled sweetly, calmly explained how I am having fun putting these ideas into illustration, but overall it’s an important way I feel the Lord leading in employment needs…

…And once again, I felt that creeping, crawling cringe about how to put my own work across, heard these taunting whispers…

  • People will only be turned off, thinking you are boasting.

Or on this blog in particular…

  • The minute they see you pitching, they’ll click away, maybe never come back…misconstrue and believe you are just using your platform to lure them in for sales…

That’s why I have been putting a toe in the water here… one inch at a time.

Dropping in one or two of newest drawings among my posts. (And worrying every single time that you might think…who does she think she is?)

Offering a giveaway of a drawing of your choice, and then of my note cards… (and praying, let someone want them!  :) )

You’d think it would be more natural for me since I wrote marketing communications for years and love putting just the right words to express and invite others to how much they might enjoy or use a product. Or to write a review that makes someone want to run right out and buy, borrow or discover a new book.

But when it comes to myself… mm, not so natural.

So… I’m thinking… there’s just one way.

To put my cards here on the table, just in time for your Christmas shopping.  :) And maybe inspire you with thoughts of friends and family you know who might need

a word of encouragement,

a warm hello,

a prayer they can tuck into heart and hand and pull out again and again,

a story moment they may even want to frame as a keepsake from you…

For less than a brand name card… a uniquely hand drawn design that maybe reminds them of Christmas dreams and prayers and candlelight memories of their own…

For that is what they mean to me. And what I pray He makes of them for you.

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narrow depth of field image of many lit christmas candles

Here are the ten candlelight designs now ready for mix and match of your choice (due to mailing/currency constraints, only available in U.S. for now; see pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS   for ordering details.) – $1.75 for individual cards, with discounted prices for orders of ten and over:

Note:  Though scanning makes these look like pencil, these cards are all in crisp black ink on white paper…  (click thumbnails to see larger)

scan0001 I grew up where white Christmas was just a song and a beautiful dream among palm trees and 80 degree days, so I was always trying to add a bit of silver white to our season.   Now I often feel like I’m in a living Christmas card when it snows.  I wanted to capture that feeling with this card…

As I drew this Victorian home — with candles in the windows, snow flurry falling off stately evergreens, the snowman telling of the children who lovingly built it, the box on the snow revealing someone behind the scenes stringing lights — a feeling of light sparkled over me at the thought of our Father, sending Jesus to us.  How wondrous is His invitation to cradle the Light of the World in our hearts forever!

scan0013This old church reminds me of those I’ve seen in my favorite classic Christmas films, the kind where candles are glowing shadows on old brick walls, while boy choirs rehearse carols on a wintry afternoon…   In my mind, a story formed of one little boy’s best companion waiting patiently in the snow near the sled of his owner…  listening to the songs floating with snowflakes on the air… and sensing God’s presence in the swirling round…

Forming a Christmas prayer to send a loved one …  This Christmas may you hear His Name in snowfall whispers, feel His arms slip close round you, breathe in, the Prince of Peace

scan0012 Remember the first time you saw a floor to ceiling Christmas tree, ornaments bigger than pumpkins gleaming in and out those evergreen boughs, enchanting saucer-sized snowflakes hanging from ceilings?

Recalling  such childhood downtown excursions when it was a treat just to walk in and among such festive decorations (how they still ripple Christmas joy over me) ,  not really thinking about buying anything so much as enjoying the  sense of God’s majesty and celebration, joining carol singing right out in the world, taking hands with friends and family and holding the sweet Noel of His birth close…  Such is the heart I wanted to evoke in this card…

scan0016    I love the beauty in exquisite architectural details… be it in a cottage lead glass window or a gorgeous mansion portico entry like this one!  And there’s something about a door opening that captures imagination isn’t there?  Like welcoming us to come inside.   Reminds me of the many mansions in our Father’s house…  and of Christmas.  How our Father is like the one of the wandering son… who is running to us even now, bidding us to His Royal housewarming in our hearts, with candlelight and starlight carols, to have and behold Him…

scan0008  When I was drawing the little English Church card above, a lovely old Christmas hymn was circling in my heart – a beauty I know only from the 1940′s movie of The Bishop’s Wife.  In this, there is a scene where a boys choir gathers on an afternoon to rehearse their candlelight song…   It’s a quiet, holy moment that fills the few visitors there with awe and a sense of wonder, setting the scene for more to come…  Another idea I wanted to capture here in card.

And the refrain of the hymn that rises in hearts was the message it rang in me for us to share with others this Christmas  — O sing your hymns of gladness, Your Lord is born this happy day!

scan0008Recently, I wrote about these next two versions of a card and my dilemma over black and white vs pops of red.  How something in them each sings a different mood.  For this one with the red bows… Maybe you know someone who needs this joyful note!  Message – May our Lord lift and ribbon-twirl His song of Advent Hope round your hearth…

scan0021 When I look upon this black and white version, it reminds me of taking a Christmas walk in neighborhoods, peeking inside candle-lit windows, imagining the stories inside, feeling like I’m inside a living Christmas card… And so, I wrote this one as a glimpse into a story… one where the everyperson character (you and I) finds herself out in the hush of snowfall, knowing His presence, feeling a prayer… and wanting to share it with the world of loved ones..

“She stood, mesmerized by the glistening, angel-feather snowfall                                               and felt held, safe and treasured within a living snowglobe of His Hands.”

scan0013  Candlelight and cozy warm shadows cast on welcoming stairways and across wooden floors, sparkling lights in boughs lining bannisters… they speak to me of prayers I have tucked in my heart for each of us who may hold sorrows in this season…    How God keeps our prayers in bowls in heaven (Revelations) and mixes them with everlasting holy fire.   I tuck this one in for you to send to just the one you may know who can use a touch of hope.  (Message:  I’m tucking words of Christmas hope in my  heart for you… Candlelight He never lets go out)

scan0024  Christina Rossetti said, “Love came down at Christmas.”  Similarly, this cozy scene by a Christmas hearth warms the fragrance of Christmas over me – pine mixed with cinnamon hot chocolate and crackling fire – with wonder and peace of His LOVE Come Down.  This is the kind of New England cottage-y hearth I’ve always dreamed of… and the dog a little reminiscent of one I loved in childhood…  May it warm you too, like a coverlet of His love.   (In the fireplace, I’m seeing something I didn’t plan – where the three flames are – and wonder if you spy it too?  Like an impression of Nativity to me – an angel in the middle, holy family on either side…  Maybe just my imagination, but it makes me see more than simple fire warmth…  :)  )

scan0027   A few years ago, praying long and deeply for someone in the midst of a hard time, I wrote these words of prayer in a letter… telling them how I’d been thinking of that opening scene in Wonderful Life, where so many prayers are going up like sparks in a fire.  And how I wanted to encourage them that so many prayers for light and life and healing were going up for them in the same way…  I’ve shared that prayer here before – in my post, Blessings — and wanted to put it in card form.

Maybe you know someone going through something tough today…  a sad loss…  fears that they are not making a difference.   This is one to send a blessing and a prayer of His heart of healing…

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© Pam Depoyan

Lord, may these cards shine of You, wherever You may take them.

Free Christmas Ornaments Clipart

(See pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS   for ordering details. Look there for the dangling ornament image, then scroll down till you see it again with the card info… )

You can reach me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com  :)

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White is the color of hope

Digital Cameraa snowy day psalm

 

As I sit before my windows, visiting with you this morn Father, Christmas-red cardinals dart here, there, circling the flaming treetops with their ribbons of cheer.  Celebration seems in their winging, as if beside themselves with the pure white, feathery world.   For, autumn is trying on her ermine for the snow ball, and all the tall and elegantly dressed trees lifting their graceful arms to receive and slip on the gown – like ladies in waiting – are in a-flurry.

Digital CameraEven a sparrow finds hope glistening on a dogwood branch, fluffy with snow blossom.

Snowflakes on my eyelashes mist the eyes…I am a mix of merry in your season… melancholy in the missing of one of us.  I cry to you, “Send your comforter of peace to wash each sorrowing heart anew.”

I have heard your heart cries, and I will wing my hope over and in each of you, sing songs of thanksgiving upon you,” your words fall like flakes of pure promise.

Truly, you hold us as your treasure within your snow globe world, warming us by your eternal lamplight.

White is the color of prism-ed hope.

 

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© Pam Depoyan

photos: mine.  Sorry, these look dismal gray instead of the pure white I am seeing from my window… even with a flash.  Camera won’t pick up on it inside, but maybe I can get more later from out in it :)

 

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Hope glows

scan0014my latest Christmas card *

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Then another Angel, carrying a gold censer, came and stood at the Altar.

He was given a great quantity of incense so that he could offer up the prayers

of all the holy people of God on the Golden Altar before the Throne.

Smoke billowed up from the incense-laced prayers of the holy ones,

rose before God from the hand of the Angel.

~  Revelations 8: 2-4   The Message

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More similar stock images of ` Candle Light `

P.S. To all who left me their comments on Your thoughts?

thank you!

You helped to inspire the two separate messages I’ve now included on the black and white vs color snow scenes.

Free Christmas Ornaments Clipart

Send your merry blessing greetings with keepsake art!

 Find my hand-designed Christmas cards for purchase on my pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS  page

:)

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Pen & Ink Drawing above: mine, all rights reserved.  Please do not copy without my permission.   Thanks!  :)

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candle photo:  http://www.dreamstime.com

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Your thoughts?

It seems I’ve been ensconced in holly and bows, knee deep in mounds of snow, waltzing to carols of frosted windowpanes all week. 

In these last days, outside my window, the Autumn world has turned to frosted pumpkin sugar cake… mmm… but that was simply a dusting. (Thankfully!  I don’t think I’m ready for the real stuff yet…)

No, the snowfall that’s been whispering Christmas a’coming like a singing wind in and out the windows of my spirit is more the delightful dressing up of house on paper.   In imagination, I can line a roof with boughs of ivy, place wreaths in large windows, tie them all with plump rosy ribbon.    I can set out paper luminarias along the walkway, frost ordinary bushes like marshmallowy covered cupcakes, shine candles from every window.   Offer a candy cane gift to any onlooker, there at the feet of a pup.

And like the power of a story, I can enter into the winter wonderland without decorating expense, minus the iced roads, and… feeling kindred with Anne Shirley as I often do… just feel a prayer.

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 Does this scene evoke a heart whisper to heaven in you?  (Click the image if you’d like to see it a little larger…)

I’m still working out the words, but in essence, it seems to wash over me like walking through a neighborhood at Christmas and peeking into the window vignettes of unknown lives.   The wonder I feel watching backlit particles of snow glitter on the frosted air  The awesome feel of standing inside a living  snowglobe… held in his hands like a treasured gift… And that inexpressible prayer welling up behind my misted lashes…

That’s but a touch of how the black and white version of this makes me feel.

Then…”I’d like washes of red on the bows,” he said.

When I finished the main pen and ink, I almost didn’t want to do it.

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But now… I’m falling in love with another side to this… and how one festive color changes the whole mood to…

Merry whimsey.

And words I’ve written here about God’s ribbons of joyous wonder.

Oh the quandary.  :)

Hmm…  I just may  have to make two separate versions of this card, two different messages.

Won’t you share in my comments and help me decide? 

What do these differing shades of illustration say to you :)

Picture - Snowy pine cone. Fotosearch - Search Stock Photos, Images, Print Photographs, and Photo Clip Art

 

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Pen & Ink Drawing above: mine, all rights reserved.  :)   See all my Christmas Card designs at my pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS page.

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The place where fret seeps out…

a psalm on radiance

 

The hourglass is sifting sands while broad strokes of pink deepen and brush the blue sky this eve.  It seems to stop and linger above and behind the willowy rich and dark silhouettes of uplifted branches … longer than usual… holding breath with me at heaven’s radiant art.   Time, for this space, feels a long ago dream thing, and I can almost touch eternity.  The place where all that makes me fret is seeping out and peace enfolding round my shoulders, soft as lambs wool shawl.

Autumn, then winter… I love the way they dress that breath between day and night in shades of rose tulle, more than any other, endowing the world one last flounce of glory to stay behind the eyes till dawn.   And tonight… ah, this night.. Father, you drop your jeweled colors upon my lap, let me hold and savor them like beads of pink amethyst in my hands.  Until subtly, tenderly, twilight slips in to the first star light.

I exhale out slowly, like a balloon set free on a breeze.

And I ponder… what does this one-of-a-kind sunset look like from above, Lord?

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Japanese  maple red sunset, photo courtesy of http://www.baysnurseryandacercentre.co.uk

 

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© Pam Depoyan

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10,000 Reasons to Bless the Lord, O My Soul…

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Recently, I wrote about a tender, touching moment when a four year old boy I know and love spontaneously burst into a worship chorus in our midst, led by the Holy Spirit more than he could possibly understand  ( see that story here, When the World Turns Mosaic Gold ) .

Ever since, I’ve had the first words of this song in my heart and on my lips.

It seemed like such an intimate message from God to us – from the lips of a child — speaking volumes to those of us there in that moment, out under a dark sky, eyes and hearts streaming…  and echoes still.  Tonight, I thought I’d try to find the words online.   Found it under Matt Redman’s,  “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)”, and wanted to share these with you tonight…

Truly, whether in joy or with aching heart,  there are 10,000 plus reasons to bless Him in the midst of all that we are carrying…  May this lift you under his wings!

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name. The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name. You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name.  And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore[Chorus x2]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
Lord, I’ll worship Your holy name. Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
I’ll worship Your holy name
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Worship to this song here:

Bless The Lord O my Soul - Matt RedMan

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