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.  :)

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

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.  :)

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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.  :)

 
Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

What Worlds We Are Creating…?

Do you believe in the magic and beauty of words?

Though He doesn’t use the term “magic,” God does.  Only, He calls the speaking of words Holy Spirit-breathed, dunamis (dynamite-powered), the power to give life (or death) in  in our tongues.

In His Word, the Lord relates countless moments when He created  light and worlds with only His Words.  And Genesis explains how, making us speaking beings after His own Creative Heart, He has put that same power within His People, intending for us to come alongside Him and create beauty, hope, everything that brings life with every word we speak.

Oh, what might change around us if we only did!  

When we say something like “Cross my heart and hope to die,” certainly we don’t mean those words literally.  It’s just an idiom, right?  But if we are to take God at His Word literally, are we  not speaking a sort of death knell into the atmosphere with those types of sayings?

Worse still… what if Satan – who used to know and walk with God as the one called light-bearer (Lucifer) – takes God at His Word more than we do?   That he, thief and murderer that he is,  comprehends greater than we have how we give him license with our words to kill and destroy, because he knows and truly believes… God has made us speaking people, filled us with His very self, and put power behind our words – the same dunamis power He used  to create worlds, resurrect Jesus from the dead, and bring forth life!   

Can you imagine Satan’s glee then, every time he hears us gossip, speak careless words of death, go along with the crowd that is tearing down another?  “Go get those words and bring them to pass!” he engenders his minions!

In the same way, God tells us in His Word – His ministering angels are standing by us, ever waiting for God’s Words upon our lips!  Waiting upon us to speak them, so they can take them and fulfill them on our behalf, on the world’s behalf, on God’s directive!  Its an overwhelming, yet so true gift of God – but what words are we giving the angels and God to move in?

Often, I find myself reading and marveling at a most beautifully and stirringly written novel, how gifted is this author in the art of taking words and making the reader feel, touch, hear and see them!  Yet… there are many with the most stunning talent, who not seeming to know their Creator… take that gift and bedazzle the world with evil under the guise of creative fiction.  Or some who just taint their beautifully written words with land mines of muck to be waded through…

Sometimes, savoring the artistry of a talented writer who has also strung their words with unnecessary passages, I am overwhelmed with prayer for the Holy Spirit touch on their hearts – for oh, what greater life they might bear to a world with His dunamis in their words!

I’ve also been musing on all of this lately as I peruse Facebook.  I expect to find rantings and ravings and negative verbal and video bashing on sites where I know those who are posting don’t really follow Him or have publicly said they don’t want to.

New to this avenue of social media though, I am somewhat stunned to see these very same videos and postings, those that are tearing down politicians we don’t necessarily agree with, cursing with our actions what life God might be wanting to bring through these elected — on the sites of many I know are faithful to His Word!

“It breaks My Heart,” I sense His whisper, as I gaze at this sort of content on these sites.  “Have I not called My People, My Bride, to pray for kings in power?  Promised to heal and restore the land of those who pray for such?”

Whoa.    

I think I understand the righteous sort of motivation… wanting to enlighten others with what we perceive as unworthy on the political scene… yet, is it not a whisper of our enemy such as he insidiously wheedled into Adam and Eve’s thinking in the Garden, to make us join in with the hate war out there?  To make sure our words  (and videos are today’s most powerful word-bringers) don’t bring the the LIFE God intends, but tear down and destroy instead?

I think we are just being thoughtless, not really realizing the impact.  Posting things we think the world should know.  Yet…

Proverbs 12:18 warns: ” Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal.” (Good News Translation.) 

God has set certain laws in place, just as much as the law of gravity – and one of those is that we bring life… or death… with our words.  Magic in the sense of   beauty.  Power in our words.  

Let us activate His Word in this world… NOT Satan’s invectives.  If you have posted things that tear down just for the sake of fueling hatred against someone who is leading whether or not we want him to, I would suggest un-posting them.  Ask God to give you uplifting and prayer-laden truths that challenge others to see the story behind people they might not otherwise see… the kind of story that makes us recognize tenderness or hope or light.

Let us lift up our leaders to God’s leading.  Let us be willing to look for  the good that is being done, whether or not we voted someone in, and laud those events!  Satan has tried, and succeeded in many ways, in turning our world into a sort of black and white “he’s wrong, he’s right” sort of place.  But God says no one is so unreachable that He can’t transform… pray, build up, speak LIFE into these and see what I will do with My words in your mouth!  Let us use our words and platforms to open the way for God to lead through our leaders… Give His angels words of His word to pour out…

Even when we do something as “simple” as posting… let us ask ourselves if it is Philippians 4:8 worthy, lovely, Life-Giving…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think (and speak!) about such things.

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© Pam Depoyan

“My Girl,” shown above, is available for purchase in my “Picture It in Pen and Ink” blog gallery — All Things Childhood

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

Posted in Words Matter | 11 Comments

Joyful, Joyful

Alleluia!  He is Risen!

Blue with Lambs on Hill

“Daffodils and Bluebells Sway”

Hymn to Joy

 

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,
Opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

~ Henry J. van Dyke, 1907 (Music, Beethoven)

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Happy Easter filled with song!

© Pam Depoyan

“Daffodils and Bluebells Sway,” shown above, is available for purchase in my “Picture It in Pen and Ink” blog gallery — Bluebonnet Landscapes Glen to Glen – Full Pastel Color

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

Posted in Lenten Vespers | 8 Comments