The Heavens Declare

It’s one of those glory days.  Billowed-whites sally forth like fluffy sheep – crossing sky meadow, creating majesty up and behind and round the belltower as I circle into the drive, my tiny Vivitar beside me.   I’m alone there, except for a red sedan parked by the low cement wall in the lot, heedless of space lines.  A solitary woman not far, kneeling to garden.   And the music of birds winging. When I step from my car, the air itself owns the feel of cathedral… a necklace of  peace.

Glancing to the side, up and beyond, then back again, I figure standing on the wall will give me the airy perspective I’m envisioning even as my mind is already clicking shutter.  There’s plenty of margin for safety atop, I measure by eye.

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“Would you like me to move my car?” the woman offers, smiling in voice and eyes as I clamber up.

“Oh, thanks… you’re fine!”  I answer.  “I’m just snapping a bunch to maybe do a drawing.”   A not so rare occurrence for artists,  reads the friendly grin she gives me.

I’m not in New England, but the history and feel of this place coaxes me to think I am.   The landscape stretching before me is still wearing its summer greenery.  Light tingling over shadows, playing hide and seek in and out between the trees.  The air is comfortably warm, with maybe a hint of tang, yet I’m reminded somehow of autumn color tours not too distant and rolling meadows studded with trees of varying hues… and I can’t stop clicking shots, even the ones I know I won’t be able to use – like those of the gorgeous rounded and mullioned windows on the brick section of the church, hidden behind the trees.   I have to decide viewpoint, and landscape wins…

I just barely capture the entire church within my lens… all but the tip top.  So I tilt my aim into the sky, bring into close up, snap the Plymouth Mayflower ship weather vane, smile wide at the quintessential charm of it.  At the love I’ve somehow always had for colonial architecture and flourish, even growing up where it was far and between.   Something planted in me…

This is like a dream shot of a day here, I recognize out of the blue.  If I’d planned it, I couldn’t have found a more picture perfect backdrop to this place of praise.  Breathy wisps of white cloud, as if on cue.  Just then,  those gossamer wings surrounding the church stir words inside me.

The heavens declare THE GLORY…

Making me wonder, albeit a bit fancifully… Does God ever press such days into His Book of Remembrance?  These ordinary everyday sparkle moments He designs in hopes we’ll notice?   :)

I will take this one out and remember… especially in the grey ones.  

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Tell me about an ordinary everyday moment

you’d love to freeze frame for remembrance…  :)

© Pam Depoyan

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21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace  with Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista, where she invites us on Thursdays to “Share your whitespace moments - quiet moments of beauty, where you can breathe and rest.”

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

Posted in One Ribbon at a Time | 10 Comments

Wordsingers are we

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 “The out-and-out Christian is a joyful Christian. The half-and-half Christian is the kind of Christian…little acquainted with the Lord. Why should we live halfway up the hill and swathed in the mists, when we might have an unclouded sky and a radiant sun over our heads if we would climb higher and walk in the light of His face?”  

~ Alexander Maclaren

A regatta of tall ships sails across the blue skies above, the wooded country road winding before us.  I take in the way the light filters through the treetops, leaving shimmering gold in its wake.    The way it makes trees appear rain-washed and glistening and turns furrows of dark green against softer lawn lines to carpets laid out as welcome.  Just looking at all this is like filling my lungs with great gulps of exhilarating, crisp air and feeling strengthened by it.  Shimmer, both on the world and on the souls it touches.

“OOhhh, you do find the most beautiful routes,” she murmurs, as one tasting and drinking of lush green after long drought.  And maybe she is, having flown in so freshly from the land of red rock desert.

“This is really the shortest way,” I laugh, yet knowingly…for I have planned this lilting jaunt through the country lanes to covered bridge to quaint shops – for her refreshing.

Seeing through another’s eyes somehow heightens my own appreciation, brings back joy of  discovery anew, in adagio tempo.

And so we talk of Kings and cabbages and simple everyday things, while a Song whispers like wind bracing through my curls.  Small brown birds scuttle and chatter before us as we walk past the old stone church, by the Music Man gingerbread cottages and up to the wooden bridge, sort of whispery now ourselves in this peace-lined lane.  A child cyclist wheels from the forward end – and out and on past us.

“Let’s walk to the other side,” she dares with a glint in her voice, as we come to a vehicle barricade where rider just passed through.   Light and shadows stream through bridge slats playfully, mischievously beckoning to us.  So we do.

And in her laughter, in the light rushing sound of water somewhere beneath rickety wood,  the words of the whispering song float up, discernible.

I love seeing My World through your eyes,  too,”  He sings.

 

“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”

~ C. S. Lewis

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An invite to you…

Join in the wordsong here today by

telling us about a moment of song joy in your life

and leaving a bit of refresh in my comments! :)

© Pam Depoyan

Sharing with:       Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday     Beauty in His Grip Button  Scripture and Snapshot   Sunday Stillness with Janis Cox 

  Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday

Cloud photo: mine.   Road photo: dreamtime

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Thanks for Your Snowfall of Ideas!

scan0004In my last post, Time…and Your Thoughts!, I asked you to join in an early Christmas brainstorm – to help me narrow down an encouraging message for this first in a series of pen & ink Christmas cards I’m working on…

Thank you for so many treasuring words and thoughts on what this scene evokes…what you would look for in a cheering Christmas card to give a friend or loved one! 

I am so inspired by all your images of Christmas pure and joyful (like gentle swirls of snow), peace and hope (like a quiet coming upon a lovely old church in the wood) God as our refuge, the One Who holds us close...the One who is seeking our hearts!   And, as one of you commented, overall I too envisioned this as a prayer from the giver to the receiver but was going back and forth on phrasing

Your words helped me to put my own spinning thoughts into focus…

and like letters and words shaken in a cup, these are the ones that spilled forth upon my mind:   :)

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What do you think?   :)

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© Pam Depoyan

P.S.   Because of your help, I was able to take this design to have some cards readied and printed up yesterday! 

It is my prayer that God may use the message in drawing and words to stir His promise of hope and peace to someone who needs that cheer – especially in a season when joy is often mixed with sadness, loss or harried times!

Scans for my blog are always lighter than the way they really look in person… but I was able to print the actual cards in the crisp, clean black and white that I intended for this.   I always love color, but there IS just SOMETHING about the sharp black and white that evokes a Christmas mood in me… evocative as some of my favorite Christmas classics, both in film and in the illustrations of beloved books like Dickens! 

  If you think this card might bless someone you know this upcoming Christmas season, please see my  pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS  page for more about ordering from one to as many as you’d like …  :)

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

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Time…and Your Thoughts!

      Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like God has possibly sped up time somehow…that maybe, without our quite perceiving, He’s transformed 24 hours into a lesser time quotient than it used to be?  So that what appears to be a minute, may actually be an undetected half a minute less than it once was (or even less) – with no way for us to actually measure it?

Today, that interesting thought doesn’t appear so much sci-fi to me as to a quickening of the number of days till our Lord’s return.  When I was a girl, time seemed a savoring thing… summers moved lazily along like a brook over stones.   The days between the end of school and the entry to new teachers stretched out like sails against the horizon.  The earlier descent of darkness come fall hailed a feel of cozy, hunkering down to school… and Christmas, my favorite of all, still felt light years away.

Contrarily, today, I’m feeling whooshed through the days and months and years.  And so, I notice, do the children I know. Can it be I see a few red leaves already turning, here at the near edge of August gone? (Really?  August 2014 is almost over??????)

And…can it be that I’m immersing my thoughts in Christmas right now?  :)   No, I’m not referring to decorating or looking for gifts or joining the Christmas in July (still going on) frenzy on buy buy buy channels — but to something more akin to actors donning velveteen dresses and bonnets to film a fresh Christmas card delight in the throes of summer.

To their manufacturing snow and make believe shivers and imagining themselves into the hopes and joys and dreams of the scene.

For that’s how I’m feeling these last few days, having begun putting pen & ink to some Christmas card designs whirling around my mind.  And suddenly, having just one drawn, I am feeling my pulse race against time… like maybe I’ve started this too late and I need to hurry hurry hurry like Alice’s rabbit!

Yesterday, I was trying to rush along the creativity and find words I want to convey… all the while watching my clock tick away hours as I became more and more frustrated… with…getting…nowhere.   And then I had this thought – would you like to join me in thinking a bit of Christmas?  Please, pretty please?  :)

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Here are a couple of questions I’d love your input and thoughts on as I muse about the 2 or three line message I’d like to write for the front side of this card (it would be blank on the inside):

  • If you were looking for a Christmas card meant to encourage a friend or a loved one, maybe let them know you were praying for them, or just wanted to lift their hearts in some way – what simple thought might you want to share with them in a card at Christmastime? 

 

  •  What “story” does this drawing say to you at first glance? (To see it larger, click on image)  Does it evoke a particular feeling, memory or scripture verse to you?  (Just an aside, for me, it is sort of my nod to a little church and boys choir, St. Timothy’s, in Cary Grant’s The Bishop’s Wife…  :)

I’m not looking for anything fully developed, just quick flash ideas you might leave in my comments.  Can’t wait to read your thoughts!  :)

May you feel time this weekend moving slow and savoring!

To every thing there is a season,

and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

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© Pam Depoyan

Pen & Ink Church Drawing shown above: mine, all rights reserved. 

(Please do not copy without permission. Thanks!  :)  )

  Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday

Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday 

scan0025Ask about Note cards from my pen and ink drawings!       (U.S. only, at this time)      Choose from any you like, mix and match just $2 a piece (including envelope)…  See designs at pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS    :)

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By Appointment

Digital Camera“It is very curious how things work out,” I remarked. “This time away from structured job assignments has given me opportunity to think.”

“About different avenues to explore?” she inquired.

“Yes, and about thinking out of a box. Praying for wisdom and open doors and seeking God’s thoughts about why now may be the time to follow after dreams. You know, instead of assuming provision will be taken care of in the same old way I’ve always known. I see God moving so much in these days of depending on Him for…well…everything. More than I ever did when I regularly knew exactly when and where to expect the next paycheck…”

She nodded, thinking.

“I won’t deny that there are times right now when it looks impossible. And my heart seems to be jumping willy nilly into my throat. But somehow, one thing leads to another, like following crumbs strewn across a path with purpose. I was afraid the advent of this change would disrupt all I hold secure. But now, I have to look more completely to Him as my security…and it seems as if the whole thing were intended.”

“Yes,” she agreed. “To give you more scope for taking chances.”

“It’s all I can do right now…step out in faith…only I see more and more how nothing in Him is really chance. It’s more… Divine appointment.”

“Like when your neighbor who was moving happened to be out on her porch just as you were walking by… If you had been a few minutes earlier you might have walked right on by –” she observed.

“Or just a few moments later,” I added.

“You’d never have thought to invite her for coffee cake with another, newly moved in neighbor, or even have been home to do so, and they’d never have seen the old house portrait on the wall, or started you on a renewed venture in pen & ink drawing… ”

Digital CameraWe looked at each other in complete understanding. Intent.

“I only thought it would be nice to do something special before she left, and to welcome someone else…” I said. “Just something fun, and to encourage her in a hard time.”

“Bread cast upon the waters,” she reflected. “If we don’t seize time in our hands, it can slip on by, like water running off unused.”

Mm… bread cast.  I’d been praying about that just the other day. Thinking how God invites us to expect His Harvest on seeds sown. Not to give for that reason, but to trust Him to multiply back. To even look for it, like fruit blossoming on a tree to His Glory.  I’d been talking over with Him all the opportunities He’s given me to sow seeds of prayers, gift drawings and tithing over the years…and understanding anew how God even gives us seeds in hand that we may bless others and full circle that He may bless us over again…

And the often extraordinary ways He has of making it so.

Like in the tale I recounted of Triple-20 Blessings, when God literally blew a gift right across the path of my friends and I.

Or something that happened just a few Saturdays ago. I’d just been crying out to Him for open doors to work, for provision to help take care of immediate needs. I didn’t see how I might get a check out of the blue… from anywhere. But He knew what I’d find when I slipped my hand into my mailbox only minutes later. And I think He may have been grinning in anticipation.   :)

For there was a completely unforeseen letter from the bank — an apology for some error I might never have been aware of happening… offering me $25 for no other reason than gift ‘for inconvenience.’ I took the letter to the teller on Monday. “Sweet!” she’d whistled softly as she perused it. “Is it real money,” I’d laughed, “or just some kind of reward points?”

“It’s real!” she’d assured. “And if you put it in an account for a couple of days, they’ll even add a few dollars more.”

I could feel my smile stretching even as I held open the door for an incoming customer, rewarded with his bright one back, on my way out.

Thank you…thank you…thank you… I worshiped silently. It was just a small amount…but, it would make a dent in something due. Even more, it was a reminder that nothing is impossible with our God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. And that He has me (and you)…and every single one of my needs (and yours!)… safely in His Hands. Leading us all along the way by Divine appointments, sometimes simple, but always wondrous…

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© Pam Depoyan

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Honor the Lord with your wealth,
    with the firstfruits of all your crops;
 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Proverbs 3: 9,10

photos: mine

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Posted in Wonder Moments | 4 Comments

Summer’s Light and Reflections

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I just want to be present in the absorbing of what on calendar looks like a semi-impromptu four-day visit from a dear old college friend. (Though in airport pickup to slapdash departure it’s really only two and three-quarters.) I purpose to savor the split seconds between bookends of preparation and leave-taking.  To notice.

There was little time to stand and ponder, but this and other scenes somehow imprint on my memory. The sky was shadowy; still here, there, a sunny glow peeked through slats of grey, making it appear more adventuresome than pure summer sun. Droplets played tic tac toe on our heads as we dashed for the restaurant on the lake, laughing with abandonment.

Following our waitress to the waterside patio, my eyes took in the whole effect, the           old world style columns and fireplace tucked to one corner, small table circles set in sunken areas of stone, that south of France (or possibly Italy) feel, the stormy summer sound of thunder rumble-rolling in the distance. Rain began to pitter patter against the red umbrellas out just beyond us to the open deck and the earlier humid air became sweeter, delicate and pungent.

Oh, no,” Sharon bemoaned sotto voce, watching one of the waitresses slide the massive windows, one against the other, beside us. “Don’t close out the rain …”

Silently I willed the young girl to leave the one just aside us open…and she did.

I actually love these unpredictable storms!” exclaimed Cathy, another of our close college buds who’d just slid her chair in to join us. “There’s just something so fun in all this weather drama, isn’t there?” As one, we relished this clime so different from ones we knew in growing up years — staring gleefully out upon the world before us, now a living diorama of change.

I’d been hoping for sails slicing sun and color reflections across the lake… but mmm… there is majesty and, yes… escapade... I thought, to skies opening a sudden gullywasher, wind whipping frenzy to waves and trees.  Making us raise our voices to be heard above – even enjoy – its madcap game.

“HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING?” roared our server’s voice trumpeting close to my ear.  I nearly jumped across the table,  spluttering a sip of water into gales of more laughs.

And in between, over plates of bread and parmesan cheese, gazpacho soup for one, salad for two,  my hamburger side of French fries split between us three, catching up stories, reminiscence and heartfelt God-share — years pealed back. (“Girls, didn’t you see the olive oil?” Cathy chuckled at the two of us unobservant nuts, while Sharon and I piled the strange combo of dry bread with bits of grated cheese with wondering looks…)

To the parking lot we out-raced the lesser but still dripping skies, piled into Cathy’s van to ride around the torn up streets and tear back to my car parked farther on down the road. There we lingered an hour or so more, huddled chumily against raging sounds of storm, planning out a few more adventures for this time stolen together.

Living life and catching breath together in a space of paragraph-length time.

We want to try and NOT pack in too much, yet embroider in the moments we each want – for sharing God, breathing in local beauty and charm. For embracing a few mutual buddies here in town, confidences laced in catching up, grace and prayer before bread-breaking.

So into these few days we stitch quick dashes to a local farmer’s market (where we marvel over the most gigantic head of cauliflower we’ve ever seen), French-inspired tea prepared and served by two of Cathy’s daughters, a home dinner a la grill and a girls night Italian one out.   We tie in snippets of heartfelt confidences, tears, sorrows laced with joys.  Know a poignant if rushed visit with others we love, coming together in the midst of momentous life-rending events.

I’ve been thinking all along that God has His reasons that we are all here in this time and place and moment… that Sharon has joined us in this paragraph of shared story because He wrote her in.  And I catch a glimpse of that in the eyes of one she hugs for the last time. I hear it in his voice as he tells her what a gift it’s been to share this day, of maybe last days, with her.

It’s a visit threaded with smiles and tears in this bittersweet of teas.  Time to depart for  the airport careens in… and sweeps these moments to a close.

Somehow, leavetakings at airports always muddle my heart and mind. Leave me distracted with words unspoken… and loneliness lingering in my home like a sifting, changing sea. Life is so much like that right now. Unwanted goodbyes sailing red sails against the sunset.   And memories – sad and lovely and fine – tangled up in the lines…

Lord, I purpose to savor the split seconds between bookends of preparation and leave-taking. To notice.

I think of words shared by one involved in this goodbye. His thoughts on Jesus telling one to ‘take up his bed and walk.’  Another to ‘rise and come forth from the tomb.’  And I hear our Lord whisper.

Stillness, He says, as He commanded to the storm of Galilee. Peace… be.

What a long way we’ve come,” I say to myself with a little sigh for the good old days that are past and gone forever.   Still… with hope and thankful heart for light and reunions yet to be.  And a knowing that though storms produce cloud covers and obscure our view of the land ahead… the sun of a new and refreshed world is waiting, just beyond.  Sailing us all…home.

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© Pam Depoyan

Sail boat against sunset

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 Shelf photo: mine

Other photos: dreamtime.com

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A Sure Thing

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Stretch the Borders of Life

At that time, this song
    will be sung in the country of Judah:
We have a strong city, Salvation City,
    built and fortified with salvation.
Throw wide the gates
    so good and true people can enter.
People with their minds set on you,
    you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
    because they keep at it and don’t quit.
Depend on God and keep at it
    because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.
Those who lived high and mighty
    he knocked off their high horse.
He used the city built on the hill
    as fill for the marshes.
All the exploited and outcast peoples
    build their lives on the reclaimed land.

~  Isaiah 26:3 The Message [above] and Living Bible [below]

He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him,

whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!

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Been a bit hectic lately, so I thought I’d leave you a word of His Peace…

May your days and nights be blessed with a coverlet of His light, hope and grace!

Sharing with:       Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday     Beauty in His Grip Button  Scripture and Snapshot   Sunday Stillness with Janis Cox 

photos: mine

Posted in Sunday Community Devotions | 8 Comments