When the Jacaranda Blooms…

Jacaranda trees along the road in Pretoria, South Africa  “She was so happy…yet sad…  She ought to be grateful.  She was grateful… If only something could happen now, this very minute, so that the war would be over…so that you could enjoy the beauty of the world without this burden of sadness…”

~  D. E. Stevenson, “Listening Valley” (set in WWII England)

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And now, it seemed… He’d sent her out walking through old familiar neighborhoods…on mmm, a short reconnaissance mission of sorts…

Trudging uphill in this place of long ago, she felt as though these past few months had morphed her into someone she barely recognized as self. Physically and emotionally spent. Short of temper. Missing home.

And that steady roar of traffic all round didn’t help! It seemed to be nipping at her heels, thrumming a beat inside her head. The only good thing was that she could steal a little time to hum and pray aloud here without fear of being overheard, or of looking like a crazed woman walking and talking to herself.  At least… she thought not.

She was circling her old junior high school now – heeding the call of the Spirit to lift up the anonymous students, teachers, even parents who peopled these halls today — when crinkled memories seemed to sweep up from the ball field, like papers blowing out of her old book bag (that hideous burlap one she’d ripped out stitches from, stitching and re-stitching again and again in sewing class), flying, escaping, to the fence.

They’re caught there in those iron holes,  she couldn’t help thinking, like those crunched up empty potato chip bags sticking through there now.  . . like a part of her that couldn’t fly free…

Memories of her twelve year old self racing out on that playing field to the jeers of the more sports-coordinated made her pray specifics for those kids out there these days, for His encouraging on their hopes and dreams, protection, healing, and wholeness of spirit… For kinder hearts, the end of bullying, joy in learning…

Looking ahead, the sidewalk hill she was on seemed impossibly steep.  But a sudden longing to find a spot of peace in the morning seemed to push her forward like a gentle hand upon her back.  She stood then at the top corner, gulping in deep breaths and scoping out her whereabouts.

Strange how one turnabout and all the cacophony of cars and fumes siphoned away.

Here, the sun spilled warm and soft, in and over white picket fences, much as the slow smile on a beloved face.  It dappled lightly on roses of stained glass hues and gently breezed upon the pretty homes that lay dreaming in the early day.  Twittering instruments sang from hidden perches amongst the treetops, leading her eye up and across the way and stealing her breath by the rare vision waiting there.

The Jacaranda tree, in full glory.  Graceful in limb and trunk, it wore its cloud of green and amethyst like a royal headdress, sending down purple blossom ribbons to carpet the pathway steps carved into the lawn.  It seemed to catch in her throat and hold her feet to place as she simply stood, pressing this beauty to mind and heart.

‘Morning!” greeted a bright voice of another, coming down the walk.  They were two alone in a live painting, she thought, smiling and returning the hello.

Funny how a single ray of beauty sets one’s wings free, she reveled all the way back…

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A Happy Father’s Day thought — :)

Our Father in Heaven loves you (and me) just as much as He loves Jesus!

© Pam Depoyan

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When you are storm weary…

Digital Camera

When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.

~ Mark 4:39 New Living Translation

“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen,” laments an old spiritual.  “How long, O Lord?” cry the storm-weary of the Bible, time and again.  Just so, my own heart has been stuck like a needle on vinyl these many months.   Enough of the storms, Lord, I plead.  Every time a breather seems to come, an even stronger whirlwind rises … Where is the peace?

Meditating on this verse, though, He whispers action hope and opens my eyes anew.  I’ve always interpreted this scene as Jesus moving as only God can do.  We can’t command storms to cease as He did, can we?  Or…um… is that exactly what Jesus is showing us by example to do?  Didn’t He say He was sending the Holy Spirit to move all the more through us when we speak the Word in His Name?

And so, I find a fresh prayer bubbling  forth…

Lord , as you spoke rebuke to the storm at sea, I rebuke this seemingly unending line of attacking storms in my own life —  in your name.   Peace!  Enough! Be Still!   I hear you in my spirit , urging your children  to know and take up our spiritual armor- you gave us authority to speak and declare your Word into being, just as you did.   It is time for the winds to die down, you whisper.  You gave us authority not to just hold our heads and moan, but to stand up in your power and might behind us.   In your name, Jesus, I follow you and speak out over every part of my life –    Come great calm!

(I’m still away from the blog,  caregiving for my dad, but thought I’d try an experiment in blogging on a library computer today.  Very… slow … going.  Inchworm, really.  So guess this will just be a brief devotion I felt Him leading upon my heart.  Maybe for you too… ? )  

© Pam Depoyan

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When you are in between what once was home and now is…

Royalty Free Stock Photo: Church Stained Glass Window Light, England. My days and thoughts are blurring a lot right now between two places I call home.  Needing to be there for my dad in hospital, taking care of urgent and necessary business on my own home turf and – most of the time – unfortunately NOT having access to computers.  I’ve missed blogging here… and more, enjoying and catching up with many of yours. I’m hoping to squeeze in a fresh post or two in the next several days while my computer is handy… but in the meantime, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Lenten Vespers series I began last year in this season… many of which centered around some of the most uplifting music of praise to soar our hearts with everyday Resurrection Hope!  I want to soak myself again in His Truth in these… and thought I would invite you to revisit them again too (or perhaps, if you are new here, to enjoy for the first time!)

Simply click on each of these to read…  I pray they breeze His Peace and Grace,  Light and Joy to you in whatever ways you may be needing a fresh touch of His Hand on yours right now!     

  1. Lenten Vespers
  2. Seeds in our hands
  3. Sowing Joyful Expectation
  4. When March is scarcely here…
  5. His Good Treasure
  6. Misty Spring Harbingers and Sweet Arpeggios
  7. How Excellent Is His Name
  8. Lamb of God, Love of God
  9. Song for this Holy Tuesday
  10. He calls you…friend…
  11. Let us break bread together
  12. Candlelight…and Hope of Glory
  13. a Sabbath Blessing for you
  14. We His Bride…

© Pam Depoyan

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Bells of Ireland and Smilin’ Irish Eyes

Originally posted on Writing... Apples of Gold:

Top o’ the Mornin’ to Ye!

Mmmm... how this photo taken in the Emerald Isle  fills me up with the glory of God’s creative beauty!  A bit o’ heaven on this earth!

It makes me want to jump into it like Mary Poppins on a jolly holiday, roam those roads, drink in the color and charm, find a rainbow, set up my easel and try to capture it with oils…

Like England, Ireland has long held loveliness for me… quaint stone cottages, rolling hills a shade of green deeper than deep, sheep dotting the landscape, pathways leading to mysterious places of beauty…  This is a land I’d love to visit, drink long cuppas of tea with fresh baked scones and clouds of clotted cream, take to heart the stories of the people, sit on a low stone wall and dream… sing of cockles and sweet Molly Malone…

And stroll…

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Need A Smile?

scan0003    I’ve been having fun trying my drawing hand at baby portraits this past week, using photos as my models…  And I’m finding, nothing makes me smile in the midst of harried moments as much as these!  How can you not burst into a grin when looking at such pure and innocent joy on these cherub faces!

Soooo…. I thought I’d post this one as an early Valentine to all of you.  (And if you really need an extra smile or two today, there are a few more on my  pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS page, under “Baby Portraits,” though I wish you could see them in person… these scans are not picking up all the shading which really adds dimension.)

SPECIAL NOTE

        Due to some unexpected commitments,                                                                       I’m going to have to take a small blog break  here… 

Missing Valentine’s Day here too  :(    

But I hope to share more of your month of valentines after the break!  

Hearts clip art - vector clip

May your mornings, noons and nights  be as full of morning glory as the light I see in this child’s delight!

Happy Early Valentines!

P.S.  During this brief break…I invite you to browse other February years of posts (you can find them on the Archives month category to the right of my blog) for more valentines from me!  Or any other category that piques your interest!

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© Pam Depoyan

pen and ink baby portrait, mine:  Please do not copy without permission.  :)  Thanks!

Reminder… My Un-Valentine Valentines will continue to be available for ordering after the blog break…  See my  original vintage valentine designs, hop on over here: pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS. 

Shared By: Debala 06-06-2011

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How do your valentines grow?

scan0008Mistress Mary, quite contrary,

How do your valentines grow?

With silver bells and pearl-pink  shells and Queen’s Lace all in a row…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                    ~ my spin on an old piece of sunny gold rhyme  :)

 

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As I check my back door locks before bed, the numbers of my stove clock cast green light reflections on glass cabinets, there in the gray-black of one a.m.   The refrigerator hum stops with an escaping breath and peace is softness blanketing my shoulders.  At the sink, I’m looking out the window, praying His angel guard round my home — when suddenly the hair on the back of my neck is surely raising reveille.  Holding my own breath, I peer out into the dimness.

It can’t be a large human shape… just… standing… there… for real, can it?  Um…Right there, by the bush.

It must be a trick of the snow reflecting off the white garage door, I reason to my drumming heart.  Leaning in a little closer, I stare till her eyes meet and hold mine almost hypnotically.  For that split second I feel my heart freeze. 

Wha-at?  My hand automatically clutches my chest in a gesture of… calm down, calm down, calm down.

The doe is standing perfectly still, her amazing vision truly transfixed right on the whites of my eyes – (Did she spot me in the momentary light I’d turned on and off, or could she really pierce through night windows like that?)  – but I’m not completely sure until she turns and bounds round the corner, disappears  between my home and my neighbor’s, like a vaporous dream vision impossible to hold onto.

Oh… my… goodness.

I gulp my breath like a drink of water, let the shivers of fear race off me. 

I can count on my one hand how many times I’ve seen deer round my home these past ten years.  Once, in the wee early hours of 2 a.m. when I was wearily moving in the last round of boxes… I caught  three or four circling inside the mist-swirled gazebo, fantastical and magical, like painted, carved animals on a carousel.   Another time, years later, they startled me big as life,  grazing beside my back deck.   And now… in this early a.m.

I discover their tracks on the snow all the time, though.  These mysterious sentinels that roam guard under cover of darkness, circling, ever circling.  Stealthy.  Graceful.  Soft as snow-lit sky.

I’m not sure why, but my late night, early morning visitor brings visions of valentines to my pillow as I close my eyes, set to drift asleep.

Instead of sheep, I’m counting heart blessings, pondering how they grow.   Like mystery footsteps on the snow… under cover of hidden movement…

Like the “valentine” phone message left for me the other day.  The voice of my mom’s best friend of many decade, telling me how much she’d loved  the hand-drawn Christmas card I sent her, how it brought celebration to her because she’d been battling colds and flu all December and hadn’t had a chance – or strength in her 80’s — to bother with much of her usual festive adornment at home.   “Your card,” she said, “meant so much… I want to frame it as soon as I’m feeling stronger!”

We don’t always keep in touch, and never before around Valentine’s day.  But something in the sound of her words now made me  think of her love for all things Victorian.  Envision the surprise smile on her face to find a friend-to-friend heart in her mail.  Leaning into the nudge that came upon me once more, I reached for one of my recently printed Valentines… she’d love that vintage sailor boy on the swing, I thought!

It’s fun… this sending out of unexpected heart-shaped words.   This watching valentines grow.

With silver bells and pearl-pink  shells and Queen’s Lace all in a row…

How are your valentines growing?   :)

clip art illustration featuring your choice of 2 heart shaped flower ...

 

The moment the sound of your
    greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
    skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.

~ Luke 1:44 the Message

Is there a silver and gold friend… perhaps a lonesome of the elderly… you might bless in a mysteriously delivered,  Valentine cutout, lace and remembrance, skip like a lamb (or, um, bound like a deer!) way this week?  :)

© Pam Depoyan

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scan0008pen and ink old fashioned school girl valentine, mine:  Please do not copy without permission.  :)  Thanks!   For ordering details, or to see my other original valentine designs, hop on over here: pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS

Shared By: Debala 06-06-2011

Might this one make a fun valentine for you to surprise new or old friend?   Just $1.50 for invitation size, $2.50 for greeting card size!  :)

For February 14th… or, ANYTIME…

Posted in Valentines | 21 Comments

Through the Midnight Hour

scan0016         “I’ve never thought of the little things [in life] as Valentine’s but they are–            little reminders of His love for us and His beauty.”

~  from one of you, recently in my comments

Ever thought of God missing you?

In all the old familiar places that My Heart embraces… I miss you, He whispers into the midnight hour.  Stay up awhile with Me?

I’ve been thinking lately how busy life is, even when you aren’t sitting full time in an office.  Never ending errands running hither and thither to market my ideas and myself, put drawings and writing to paper, keep a home, manage life’s demands.  And how swift go the hours in a day!  Guilty thoughts of not enough sitting down prayer times flush over me.  I want to start my day with Him first, yet hours and minutes slip by like pearls through my fingers…

And then He sparks a lantern light within my spirit. 

You ARE beginning each day with me, for haven’t I called you lately to the midnight hour?

Huh?  Midnight… I’d been thinking of it as the winding down, end of my day.   But like an hourglass turned upside down, He shows me sand sifting through my prayers is really the FIRST hour of the new day!

I marvel at that thought.  At how these last several weeks, even if I’ve been drowsing a bit before the television , I feel wakened and alert when the clock strikes twelve.   How this is not something I can do when committed to full time outside work…but something He is moving me to do for now.

How, the other day, driving by some symbols of the world’s lost, behind my cul de sac… I suddenly wondered…  Do You purposely have me praying like a sentry at guard round this corner of my neighborhood in the first hour of every day?  Are You using my prayers to send and station your Holy Angels round us?  Are You taking my prayers and pouring them from bowls over each of my sleeping neighbors’ and their homes?

What wonders are You working and moving and shifting in this simple rendezvous with you, my Lord?

There is something of wonder in this hour when all is quiet and peace, like being inside a snowflake swirl.  Something that even when I’m weary and feel like foregoing a night, I’m swiftly drawn into sitting here with You, lifting up my needs and so many others people have dropped into my hands as pebbles of petition… And lifting my voice to pray in Your Spirit, you breathe Your own words and Life into simple prayers…

I still want to set aside other hours of my day to sit with You, to write prayers and whispers of You in my journal…  yet You place me in this sacred hour and I stand amazed at Your grace.

Be Mine…  You whisper.  I hear it in the soft breezes.  I see it willow through snowy branches.  I feel it in this midnight hour.

Valentines upon valentines of You…

And I marvel again…  for You are calling us each to our own “midnight hour” – be it any hour of the day when our hearts still and we sit with you.  Setting Your people round the clock, praying the world through, day and night… all because You love us more than we even begin to fathom.

This midnight… this dawn of new day’s time… I simply meet with You, wordless except for Your Name as my prayer of blessing, to You,  over all I bring to You…. Jesus.

BE MINE.

Yes, Lord.  I am Yours!

      (Have you found and opened His BE MINE valentine on your doorstep lately?  I’d love to hear about it in my comments…   :)

More similar stock images of ` Valentine tree design `

For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house.

They flourish in the courts of our God.

~ Psalm 92:13 New Living Translation


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© Pam Depoyan

scan0016pen and ink Little sailor valentine, mine:  Please do not copy without permission.  :)  Thanks!   To order, or see my other original valentine designs, hop on over here: pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS

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