Seed Pearls

“There’s a story hidden in every wedding dress I’ve ever created,” twinkled the 90-something couturier, confidingly.

A rivulet of sudden knowing what was coming next  rippled like a whisper over me as I watched this scene from Hallmark’s latest in their mystery movie series, Signed Sealed and Delivered last Sunday evening.  Misting my eyes, for in this character’s words I heard God echoing a memory back to me, reminding me… there are so many ways He invites us to sow into each other’s lives…

To the amazement of the two postal women who were searching out the sender identity of an undeliverable package containing a partial letter and a disheveled wedding gown, the designer – gingerly fingering along the hemline of the dress – quickly and surprisingly pulled forth a bit of  tucked away material stitched with a message on it.    She smiled.   “Yes, every gown holds a secret story,” she revealed, “but not the one you think.  Mine is the story of a secret prayer I always tuck inside each one for the bride to be…”

“Ohhhhhh…” I breathed over a lump in my throat.

A tucked away prayer for each and every one of her clients!   I loved this!  Especially because it reminded me of one of my first jobs after college…   Young, freshly renewed in following the Lord and asking Him to open ways for me to lift others to Him, I often found myself praying with heavy burden for a single mom co-worker (Nancy) who seemed lost, hurting, and seeking solace in all the empty places…  She’d often invite me to go with her to a restaurant across the street after work “to talk,” and I always hoped we might truly do that talking.  That maybe God wanted to open up a heartfelt, healing sharing of Him.   Only too soon I began to understand — I was just there as cover for her to not be alone at “happy hour,” where no real conversations ever took place, but my prayer burden grew stronger as I listened to her woes.

One day, I’d brought an example of something a friend was creating and selling — popular at the time — stuffed bunnies in beautifully sewn outfits, and displayed it on my desk.

“Oh, my eleven year old daughter would love one of these,” Nancy told me.

When she ordered one, I suddenly had a thought.  “Would you stitch a hidden prayer note inside the body of the piece for me?”  I asked my creative friend.  Like a prayer cloth that St. Paul wrote of in the epistles, this hidden prayer would be a bit of His Light in their home… So, writing out a prayer for Nancy and her daughter, I included several scripture  promises of His drawing this family to Himself, slid it into a tiny envelope and gave to my friend.  Without peeking at it’s contents, she carefully sewed it like a hidden jewel into the stuffed animal body…  Presenting it to my co worker, I often pictured it sitting on her daughter’s bookshelf, a little beacon of prayer where maybe there was no other…

I don’t know whatever happened to Nancy and her daughter, long ago grown up.  Or to that prettily dressed rabbit, or how long it may have “lived” in their home.  I soon left the company and moved on, losing touch.  But He knows the little flames He sets through us, and fans them in ways we don’t imagine…

I still find myself wanting to tuck away hidden prayers like  this one.  Only nowadays it is more that I pray over every piece of artwork I sell… lifting the owner and family and home up to Him, asking Him to pour out showers of His blessings, His light and joy, His heart on these.  That every time they look upon the portrait I made, they will somehow see His Light shining in it, know His heart drawing them, healing them in whatever ways needed, embracing them.  Similar to this bridal designer in the movie,  I want my work to tell a story too… both of the lives of those who buy the portraits, and for them, in ways only He knows they need…

It’s something I often do in writing to encourage as well… praying for those who read, that He will transform the words in ways that touch and lift up…

I like to think of God sitting beside me as I watched that movie.  Anticipating my viewing of this scene, as one who has planned it for me to hear and remember …  reminding me how much He calls us each to join in weaving His story into the tapestry stories He writes through us each upon another… if we ask Him to…   Some hidden, like secret seeds waiting to burst into bloom.  Others already more fully blooming and ready to place into another’s waiting hands.

Whose story are you sowing as pearl seeds of prayer into today??  🙂

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© Pam Depoyan

“Bridal Reflections in Cameo,”  portrait drawing shown above, available in my Bridal Reflections at pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com.  ASK ABOUT PRINTS OR CUSTOM PORTRAITS DRAWN FROM YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOS!   Contact me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com

(Please do NOT copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

Join me at my Facebook Page where I display new art portraits daily!  Click the link up top on the right…

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What Irving Started… Let us always lift up! Happy 4th!

4th of July Classic Car-darker

God Bless America,

Land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above
From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home
God bless America, my home sweet home

~ Irving Berlin

 

Holy Spirit, as we sing and lift up these stirring words of prayer this 4th, remembering the foundations our forefathers set upon this land, even the most stoic gently wiping away tears at the true meaning of it all … O, turn the hearts of this nation (and all nations) fully back to Your Heart. 

To seeking Your wisdom, to discerning Truth above Lies.  And not jumping into the fray with misinformation or believing what only seems to be.

Deliver us from the evil tongues and wagging words of derision and divisiveness and unwittingly letting ourselves be a part of it with false sense of righteousness – when it is really driven by the enemy of our souls delighting in sowing discord wherever it will root .

  Renew a sense of recognition of this, a conviction on Your People everywhere to understand the true SPIRITUAL source of all the tearing down and anger and hate spewing. 

Stir Your longing all around the world each day to pray for those who lead us to follow Your Spirit.  And as we celebrate this joyful day here in the USA, let the glory raining color and sparkle and amazement in the skies pour out a deeper awareness of You, Your Grace, Your Heart for us all, Your Majesty lifting us to true awe in You.

Amen.

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© Pam Depoyan

Happy 4th everybody!  May your day and hearts sparkle with parades that celebrate our heritage, streamers and songs, ice cream and hot dogs and hamburger grillers…family and friends and laughter…and thoughts of praise  and thankfulness to the God of true freedom and peace soaring your spirits like the fireworks shooting into the skies!

 

 

“The Horseless Carriage:  Classic Restored to Lead the July 4th Parade,”  available in my Fourth of July Americana at pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com.  ASK ABOUT PRINTS OR CUSTOM PORTRAITS DRAWN FROM YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOS!   Contact me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com

Join me on Facebook to see the many 4th of July portraits I’ve been sharing… or if you do not have access to Facebook, I hope you’ll go to my art blog here at this link –  Fourth of July Americana .

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At Home in the Land of the Brave

I’ve been neglecting this blog too long lately… mostly working on initiating my Facebook art page and creating several new 4th of July Americana drawings to show there.

 This one is inspired by my Grandma’s stories of her first days here in America, back in 1910…  when she was only 10 herself!…And I thought I’d share a bit of those with you today!  🙂

I’ve titled this portrait of a young girl at a train station back then, “At Home in Our New Land” — if you do not have access to Facebook, I hope you’ll go to my art blog here at this link –  Fourth of July Americana  – to see the many new pieces I’ve just added there and been sharing on Facebook!  Many of my others have color added, but thought this one should be just classic black and white …  🙂

 

When I was five, Grandma taught me that a person just five years older than I was could be awe-fully brave.   Fantastically brave, to my way of thinking.  Well, at least fifty something years ago when she had been a ten-year old girl in both the turn of the last century and newly arrived to a long dreamed-for land.  Maybe children back then were a whole lot braver than I could ever imagine being.

“’Who will we send to go find your sister in this vast place?’ my Mama asked,“ Grandma would tell me, settling into her story mode.   “When none of my brothers spoke up, I said — I will go!”

Grandma’s sister had been sent away to the land of the free to start a new life as a mail order bride.  This part of the story always swept sadness, like a coverlet, tossed over me.  For a young girl of about 17 to sail off alone to another part of the world, never knowing if she would see her family again — and to a stranger!  What did she feel about it?  Had she wanted to go?

“Rose had little choice,” Grandma sighed, “because Papa felt she would be safer in the new land.  We had letters, but the address was vague… and now that we were finally here too, I couldn’t wait to find her either. “

“You went ALL BY YOURSELF, Grandma?” I squeaked, even though I already knew this incredible part of the story.  That Grandma’s Mama and her Papa actually sent her alone on a train in a land she didn’t even know yet!  I could barely comprehend that kind of independence thrust on her at such a tender age.  I was only ever allowed to play within the radius of my own house.  But then my own mom had amazed me with tales of being able to walk and play all around town with a girlfriend when she was quite small, something she would never permit of me.  Maybe over the years, freedom for what kids  could do by themselves just kept changing in that way…?

I had never met Grandma’s older brothers – they had either scattered far across the country or passed away by the time I was born.  But I wanted to stomp my small feet at them.  How could they even think of not volunteering – at the very least, to accompany Grandma on this adventure to find Rose!   Had they been lazy?  Scared?  Good for nothings?

“Yes, it was my very own adventure!”  Grandma smiled.   “A mystery I would solve on my own!  So Mama took me to the station and I traveled on the train by myself to the last area we had heard from in Rose’s letters.”

I looked into Grandma’s shining eyes full of story and memory.   “But – you didn’t speak English very well, yet, right Grandma?”

“That’s right,” she nodded.  “So, I had to use all my wit to communicate with others who might be able to direct me.  To look for and find and decipher all the clues.   I showed them letters with the name of Rose’s husband’s farm printed on it.  Pointed to myself and out to the land beside the train.   Mama had tucked a few sandwiches in a basket for me, but I shared them with some passengers on the train… a mother and toddler who were looking up at me with huge eyes.  We could not really talk, but in a way we did, with hand gestures and smiles.“

“And it took you three hours to get to the town where Rose might be,” I anticipated her tale.

“Mm… yes.  When I got to the station, I sat for a bit to collect myself.  No one would be meeting me, of course.  So, I had to think.  Then I began showing Rose’s letter around.  It was a long, tiring day, trudging from spot to spot along muddy, unpaved roads, trying not to be discouraged by people who just stared at me dumbly, or worse…seemed to laugh mockingly at me…until finally I found some people from our old country who could understand me. “

“And some nice men showed you the way to Rose’s husband’s farm!”  I said, triumphantly!

“Yes…,” she answered, patting my knee.  At this point, I often wondered at a tinge of sadness in her voice.  I sensed there were parts to the story she was carefully leaving out.  “Then, finally, I knocked on her door!  When I saw her, we simply fell into each other’s arms!”

I tried to picture Rose, but I couldn’t fully see her face.  For poor Rose was terribly ill when Grandma found her… tuberculosis and terrible exhaustion from being tremendously overworked in her weakened condition.  Having often spent 20-hour days trudging in the path of the farm horses, working the land till she dropped, she had died at only 24.   Grandma then began raising Rose’s two small boys when she herself was just a little girl!

“That was just the beginning of my story here in America…”  Grandma would say.  “And I have many more stories to tell you another day… for someday, I think, you may write them down…”

I already knew a bit about some of them.  Like the time a horse and wagon had run away with Rose’s little sons and Grandma singlehandedly raced on foot after them, throwing herself onto the seat somehow as the wagon careened this way and that —

I snuggled against her then, wanting to say something that would be like a gift.  “You were so brave, Grandma!” I simply said.

Much more so, then I really understood then…

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 “Be strong and courageous,

for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them,

and I will be with you.”

Deuteronomy 31:23

© Pam Depoyan

Who were the unsung “heroes” in your family? I’d love to hear a bit of their stories in my comments if you’d like to share!  🙂

 

“At Home in Our New Land,” available in my Fourth of July Americana  at pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com.

ASK ABOUT PRINTS OR CUSTOM PORTRAITS DRAWN FROM YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOS!   Contact me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com

View all my artwork is available on my art gallery site, pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com,

I also invite you to click my Facebook link up blog top, right to enjoy an early BOUQUET of postings celebrating summer and the fun of the 4th! 

(Please do NOT copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

Posted in 4th of July and Americana | 11 Comments

Words of Joy to Sprinkle You on Mother’s Day!

 

“Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.”

~ George Eliot

“I believe every woman is tempted at some point to believe she’s not a mother. Perhaps you’ve never married and wonder if you’re disqualified. Maybe you have children but feel like an imposter. You might be an empty nester who believes your time as a mom is over. You could have dealt with challenges, mistakes, or tragedies that make it seem like you’ve lost your chance. Whatever your circumstances, I want to gently challenge you to believe this: you are still a mother…

“How God calls each of us to mother looks different and may even vary throughout the stages of our lives. But what we all have in common is this: we are a powerful force God wants to use to change the world. Never underestimate what God can do through the heart and hands of a woman. We are influencers. We are nurturers. We are fighters. We are Deborahs. We are mothers.”    

 ~ Holley Gerth

 

 

When blossoms fall and glisten as raindrops from their pink umbrella branches…  open your arms to receive His delight over you!

~ Me

 

“Is that a joyous choir I hear? No, it is the Lord himself exulting over you in happy song.”

Zephaniah 3:17 Living Bible

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© Pam Depoyan

“The White-Crowned Sparrow in Pink Blossom Time,” available in my Pretty Little Birds and “When the Magnolias Are in Bloom,” available in my Easter…Spring…and Mother’s Day  gallery, both at pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com.

ASK ABOUT PRINTS OR CUSTOM PORTRAITS DRAWN FROM YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOS! See more at my art site, pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com, and contact me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com

Enjoy a week’s BOUQUET of postings celebrating mom stories of the heart on my Facebook Page! 

Just click the Facebook link up blog top, right

(Please do NOT copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

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Just a little song of joy

I was just spending time with the Lord, entreating Him to renew a spirit of joy within,  when out of the blue I found myself lifting these simple words to the tune of Frère Jacques… 🙂

Want to sing along?

 

 

Alleluia, Alleluia

Praise the Lord!

Bless His Name!

Glo-o-o-o-ory…

Unto Jesus!

(Softly)  Allelu… Allelu…

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Let the Spirit fill you with your own words of praise as you

worship the Lord in Childlike Joy!  🙂

© Pam Depoyan

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A Day-Brightener For You

                          “Spring Morning Smiles From the Windowsill,” available in my                      Easter…Spring…and Mother’s Day  gallery

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“IT WAS ONLY A SUNNY SMILE, AND COST LITTLE IN THE GIVING, BUT LIKE MORNING LIGHT IT SCATTERED THE NIGHT AND MADE THE DAY WORTH LIVING.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

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I am completely stunned by this lovely and lyrical quote coming from Fitzgerald – more upbeat than I think of his writing!
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On ribbons of sunlight, the cheery upturned faces of these pansies (one of my most favorite spring flowers!) greet me with joyful glow today – May they paint that “Surprise May Basket,” “Spring is here,” “Mom’s Day round the corner” sort of smile on your spirit! One that scatters the darkness for you and everyone you laugh with today!

 


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© Pam Depoyan

“Spring Morning Smiles From the Windowsill,” available in my Easter…Spring…and Mother’s Day  gallery, at pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com.

ASK ABOUT PRINTS OR CUSTOM PORTRAITS DRAWN FROM YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOS! See more at my art site, pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com, and contact me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com

(Please do NOT copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

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Before they were famous…

I just shared this on my FB page, but for those of you who do not have access there, I thought I would post it here for you, too…  🙂  (with the addition here of the photos below)

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I was only looking for possible portrait subjects with that mid century charm when I came across this engaging image. I had never seen this family so young before, or even imagined them in this time before so much fame. The story I see in it endeared me to wishing I could know more about this simple, everyday family moment, so frozen in time … and makes me ponder — How much more joyful people might be if we could get beyond the stereotypes and prejudices… concentrate more on what we share …
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For this image reminds me how putting ourselves into others lives, taking insights and seeing others with new lights – whether or not we hold the same viewpoints – is what RICH life is all about. A tapestry of colors…
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Like the love of reading has been shown to imbue us with deeper compassion, empathy, insight into characters and delighting in discovering we are similar in feelings, hopes, dreams… so is it when we can take time to see ourselves within others, in the midst of the storybook of their lives.
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If I was even born when this was taken, I would have been but an infant (I am thinking it was photographed around 1955), still a bit of nostalgia wisps over me in this lovely garden setting. It lilts memories of Sunday family picnics in Grandma’s and Papa’s garden patio within me — and I see again the fiesta riot of color in her roses, hanging fuschia of purple and pink, flowers of every kind blooming gaily all round us, scenting the air. Spy his tomatoes and beans on stalks in the way back, and the look of his fingers moving as he showed me the way to delicately remove them when ripened. Hear the flowing sounds of laughter and conversation…
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I love the look of tenderness and admiration passing from boy son to strong dad here… and the young mom’s enjoyment of anticipating the effect of whatever words were being shared with the unseen photographer and encircling her family. I love the reflections of blooming branches in the windows behind, the sunlight and shadows, and the inviting feel of that cozy space. The sort of prophetic moment caught on film long before presidents and first lady and grandparenthood… Most of all the reminder… that each of us is more than a simple moment, varied and complex, with a lifetime of story waiting to be lived and read…

And as this First Lady now leaves behind one chapter to begin another we have yet to read…in her home-going… I just thought I’d post this one today.

God Bless You, Barbara, as You Join Your Lord..
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“THANK YOU FOR YOUR HEARTFELT LETTER,” he wrote, “AND FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL DRAWING OF ME, MOM, AND DAD. I APPRECIATE YOUR THOUGHTFULNESS. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR STORY AND YOUR TALENTS WITH ME…” ~ George W. Bush

I encourage you to watch the funeral on CSPAN or some news channel if you can… It was a truly inspiring and beautiful testimony to the Lord, in the Houston St. Martin’s Episcopal Cathedral – beautiful hymns and sharings of a life loved for Him.   I was especially moved by the gorgeous rendition of the hymn, “I Come to the Garden Alone…”

Here is a link to the service:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rPgJ_CgiZM

 

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Tis the season to gift your story in heirloom gifts!
Birthdays, Weddings, Mom’s & Dad’s Days… Choose Art!

Online Gallery:  pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com

pam.depoyan@gmail.com

 

© Pam Depoyan

“Family on the Patio…” shown above, is available for purchase in my “Picture It in Pen and Ink” blog gallery — Before they were famous — in portrait as children

(Please do NOT copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

 
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