Tag Archives: colors

Green.

I was not very hungry, but decided I should eat something. Seems like most Sunday evenings a bowl of cereal does indeed suffice for dinner. I did not want cereal, but something. I remembered I had avocados in the refrigerator. An avocado with sea salt. My cousin really is a genius. She recommended the combination. Simply delicious! I usually don’t have a hard time cutting the avocados or getting the contents out, but today was different. At one point, the avocado flies out of my hand and rolls down the countertop. If I was bowling, I could have claimed a strike. My avocado landed precisely in a cup full of water in the sink. Soggy avocado. At least the outside was, but the inside was still good. Fresh. Sprinkled Drowned with sea salt. Ripe olive-green.

I have been thinking about the color green lately. Now that the winter days are almost over, I can see highlights of green starting to grow in the grass. Nothing huge, but there is green. It is not fully brown like it once was. Spring is green. Growth, new life.

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Green is a blend, a mixture of strong blue and soft yellow. It’s personalities resemble both primary colors. Green is energizing…green is active. Green is for everyday purposes: “Ready,” “Go.” You cannot just sit and watch a garden toil on its own…you must work the soil. Planting, weeding, watering, yielding the crops.  It is culture, deed, tasteful, nurturing, becoming.

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Yet green is passive. It “fills in the spaces,” like a floral arrangement. It is not claiming glory as the rest of the flowers in their boldness, and yet without the filled green–it would blemish. I often find myself relating to this green…the background green. I am not the bold green, a natural-born leader. I lead behind a leader. I love the background details…the things that seem insignificant, yet I notice them. Green is pastoral, harmonious, tranquil.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

Psalm 23:1-3 ESV

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Green is everywhere. What do you see in the color green?

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Filed under Paintings, Random, Uncategorized

First Day of Autumn

My mom has a Colorado scenic calender that hangs near the kitchen. This month’s picture is titled, “Little Snake River sunrise.” The sun shines on the dry mountain peaks giving them a tan color for the horizon. The trees shimmer with orange and yellow. The sky is blue. You can see the fleeting trace of dark clouds at the top of the picture which are being replaced by puffy white ones that lay low in the sky by the peaks. And there is a double rainbow. I notice that I tend to stare more at pictures or paintings these days. I soak in the color schemes or theme. I try to visualize what the artist had in mind. This picture was the same. Just one of those that makes you wonder if the photographer purposely waited until sunrise to take the picture or whether it was spontaneous. I go with the latter.

Like the picture above. It was taken last Autumn, a day after one of my chemo treatments. My sister and two college friends were going to Yellow Springs to enjoy the air, colors and tourism. They really wanted me to go. So I went. I had a great time. This picture was spontaneous. Look at how perfect it is. Everything from color coordinating, our hand positions (that was not planned either) to my eyes peeking out from the leaf. 🙂 I thought the other two were doing the same. I don’t think the picture would have turned out as great if we planned it. And I love to plan! Ask my family…it drives them nuts. There is nothing wrong with planning ahead. Ask event coordinators. I am sure the word procrastination is never mentioned during their interviews. It is actually a job I could see myself thriving in, minus the telephone calls. Aside from profession, when you plan ahead based on circumstances, it is harder to embrace change. Trust me, it seems to be my life’s bad habit.

I wrote a post at the beginning of Spring about how my vision is blurry when I take my eyes off Jesus. Two seasons later I see parallelism to my future much like a leaf. A leaf grows in the Spring. It nourishes in the summer, and it dies in the Fall. Its beauty peaks a few days before it sees the ground. Have you ever watched a leaf fall from the tree to the ground? How is a leaf to know the timing of when it will be set free or the circumstances around it that will shape the direction of its fall?

Not that I am falling (well, ok, I do physically when I twist my ankle), but the circumstances around me seem to be falling. At least in my leaf-like eyes. Circumstances such as my last day of work is in exactly two weeks with no prospects open for something new. Circumstances such as my next MRI is October 22nd. To be honest, thoughts cross my mind frequently of what those results will show and whether or not I will have to restart another treatment. Circumstances such as finding an apartment, fixing my car, putting my paintings in coffee shops, or where God needs me to serve in a ministry. Circumstances–temporary things that shift like the wind. Circumstances that weigh heavy on the heart, much like the tug of gravity on a leaf. Circumstances that are out of my control or leave me confused.

I cannot see what lies ahead, but I have to trust in God’s timing. It is perfect. It is not spontaneous like human plans. It is tenderly planned to meet all my needs. He sees the greater picture. I see the spontaneous moments piece by peace. I must admit that as much as I try to keep my eyes on Jesus, I am more like Peter who looked down at the roaring waves beneath his feet. Life is walking by faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Hebrews 11:1.

And faith is much like Autumn. Change is here. Change is not always a strand of negative effects. Without the change of colors and falling leaves, how will Winter ever arrive? I must embrace change. I must embrace the Autumn in my life, for even when everything around me seems to be falling–it is beautiful. And so I wait. I wait for God’s timing, because if a leaf falls too soon it can be trampled. If it falls too late, it can wither. I wait for His release of beauty as I enter the Autumn winds.

Well, sometimes my life just don’t make sense at all

When the mountains look so big and my faith just seems so small

CHORUS: So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf

You have been King of my glory

Won’t You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark

It’s so hot inside my soul, I swear there must be blisters on my heart

CHORUS

Surrender don’t come natural to me

I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want

Than to take what You give that I need

And I’ve beat my head against so many walls

Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band

Is playing this hymn

And Your grace rings out so deep

It makes my resistance seem so thin

CHORUS

Rich Mullins. “Hold Me Jesus.” A Liturgy, a Legacy, & a Ragamuffin Band. (1993).

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Hospital Trips, Paintings, Random

The Master Painter

This week I have been spending much of my time painting. The Yellow Springs “Art on the Lawn Festival” that is approaching on August 11th. I am getting excited for the event, but in the next two weeks I also have a lot of details to figure out with the booth set up and paintings. I am so thankful for my family allowing me to take over the basement with my projects. My dad even put in a fluorescent light in a corner of the unfinished part, so I can paint my big paintings. Yes, HUGE. Well, they could be bigger, but for right now they are the biggest I have ever worked with, meaning the boards being almost as tall as I am…that I consider pretty big. 🙂

A few things I have learned the past few weeks of painting: Artists keep an open mind (explore possibilities); Artists learn from others and artists do not procrastinate. Also from personal experiences: Artists do not talk with their hands while holding a paintbrush. 🙂

My family sees all my paintings. I have had paintings I consider duds, but that is where my family sees potential in them. Some like today, needed help! My mom and sister offered a few suggestions of how to make the painting better…then my dad came in and made a few comments, so I fixed more things. As I was finishing, I got paint (unknowingly) on my hand that smeared the bottom of the board. I had to redo the whole bottom half. I spent hours on this one piece. After finishing, I took a small break then headed back to work on another. But then it hit. Just this wave of fatigue. It felt like being back at college during finals week. I caved and took a nap.

As I was cleaning up for the night, I noticed a beautiful sunset out the window. I grabbed my camera and rushed outside just as the colors were peaking through the clouds. I realized that my painting is so small compared to the sky–God’s canvas. He is the Master Painter. I stood in awe of His work, His beauty and His majesty.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.

Their voicegoes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for  the sun,
which comes out like  a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Psalm 19:1-6

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Filed under Family Times, Paintings

Unscripted.

Usually my blog posts have a theme. I think of different things and put them together in a blog, blending nicely into each other through transition verbs and sentence. In itself, that sort of represents my train of thought, which I have mentioned before, and how I go about being productive in a day. Today’s productivity was running errands after work and scheduling upcoming appointments. I go from schedule to schedule…everything in a timely manner and train of thought. Not tonight. I decided tonight I am not going to have any plans. No train of thoughts. No historical evidence or fun facts (well, I shall refrain). Just me. Unscripted.

The past few months, I have been struggling with finding my passion again. In Denver, I was so involved. I was dedicated to work and surrounded by college friends and roommates, volunteered every week to a street church downtown with kids–which was pretty much my joy of living life each week–and when I was in need of some adventure or time alone, I would go to the mountains just ten minutes down the road. You get to the top of the first hill and see out like a 360 view of the city. I spent a lot of time doing that, especially the last full summer I was there. In the moments of chaos during those months…just seeing the view from on top a mountain made me forget the valleys and shadows of life beneath. Not that here is not beautiful, but there are no mountain tops to see around. Maybe that is sort of significant to my passion. I left it on the mountain top as I started into the valleys. See my problem does not lie with the health related issues being the “valleys and shadows”. They are my mountain tops. How frustrating it is for me to know this! It is so backwards, but in the backwards of the thought…it makes sense. When I have health related things come up…the biggies like chemo, surgery or the blood clot…I have nothing to depend upon but God’s timing, provisions and strength. When I become stable, I find that my focus shifts…I find my own strength to depend on, “I can do it”, like proving I can on my own; getting back to work, I find my own provisions; and I take over my schedule of “things to get done”. It is a habit. It is a bad habit. Why should my life be at the mountain top only in my physical sufferings? Why can’t I remain at the mountain top…or at least the upward climb towards that place even on the normal days? I believe that is why God has convicted my heart to get more in the Word and prayer as of late, because I am entering my valleys again. I should be praising God even on my boring, normal days just like I do when I am in pain. Such different advice apart from the other endless bestsellers on these subjects saying it the other way around. But that is me. Unscripted.

Summit Venture

You know what was great about today though? Blue sky! It is most often a rare sight to see here. Blue skies, green grass. My favorite part is walking or driving through the “tunnels” of trees. They clump together and shade over so it feels like a green tunnel. I think it is so beautiful! Reminds me of a song by Rich Mullins called “The Color Green.” I just have to give you this link of his music video. I watch it when I feel like I am living in black and white. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88Lx1D0gbTo.

Color is: Laughter, being creative, reading in a coffee shop while slowly sipping my cup of tea or chatting with a friend, walking with my mom in the evenings, playing Quicksand with my older sister and brother-in-law or chess with my little sister. Family nights watching “Shaun the Sheep”. Blending paints on a white canvas and coming up with a masterpiece in the end. Petting Muffy when he sits in my lap, brushing my teeth, writing my grandparents, creating new outfits out of old ones, suprise dinners with Dad, looking at old pictures, or seeing new places. Better yet, finding old postcards of places we have been to over the years. 🙂 Today I smiled when I waved to an old man crossing the road, seeing a friend at work, watching the ladies in front of me at the line in Michael’s chat with each other, mailing letters, getting a text from my sister about Lord of the Rings and eating marshmallows for dessert. Today I found myself being thankful for butterfly wings. They are so pretty. I saw a bunch of butterflies yesterday when my mom, sister and I were at a conservatory for plants and butterflies, birds and a mouse. Yes, a cute little mouse. 🙂

And that is me at the moment. Unscripted–in the beauty of stillness, a blend of colorful thoughts, and surrounded with love. Like this new butterfly…ready to spread my wings and fly.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is  the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Paintings, Random, Uncategorized