Bumps In The Road

Journal Entry for Friday, December 1, 2017

Well, I was so happy and content two days ago. Lol. But yesterday, we drove to Vidalia, Louisiana and were greeted by a huge mess when we opened the camper. The cabinet above the couch broke all apart, pulled down from the ceiling, doors broke off and fell to the floor and the cabinet contents were strewn everywhere.

The cabinet is destroyed. Now we have to get warranty work done while living in the unit. I knew the time would come when we would have to figure this out. And we both handled it pretty well. We know God will work this out too. Just as He has done SO MANY times in the past. But we have had several things lately, including the hard drive on Matt’s computer frying. He can’t even make 3D printed items. We sent his hard drive to a company hoping they can recover his files. His many important files.

These are just two of the many bumps in the road we have experienced. Frustrating things. Upsetting problems. I know I mostly write about the fun we are having because that is what I like to focus on! But there are always bumps, big obnoxious ones. Not all fun and games here.

I have had to remind myself that no matter how much I may desire it and strive for it, this life will never be perfect, stress free and problem free. NEVER.

There are, however, wonderful moments between the stress points and somehow, I need to truly turn things over to God so that I can enter in to those moments with joy. Rather than stewing and feeling my blood pressure rise. LORD, I am learning, but it’s a struggle! There will always be bumps in the road.

But God is with me through them, working the situation out to be good, giving me wisdom, training me for future bumps and using me somehow for His glory. Do I like the bumps? No, I do not. And I probably never will. Everything in my being longs for beauty and perfection.

I think that means that I am longing for God. Only He will satisfy my longings, my deep desires for love, comfort, peace, purpose and for things to generally be right. That’s why it is so good to have the blessed hope of eternity with Him. Pure, beautiful, good, painless eternity. ETERNITY. I can’t grasp it, really. But it is truth. God’s beautiful truth that sustains me through the bumps in the road.

Bible Art: Connecting with God through Art

Isn’t it amazing how God knows exactly what each one of us needs to grow in our relationship with Him? But, of course he does! He created us with our unique needs and desires. Me… well, he made me with an intense desire to be creative just like him. A few months ago, I began seeing people posting photos of art they had done in their Bibles. Here is a post I wrote about my beginnings in Bible Art and another post that shows some of my Bible pages.  Now, it’s time to catch you up on some I’ve done recently!

Worry is something that I have struggled with throughout my life. Really, who doesn’t at one time or another? I suppose it comes down to the fact that we all want to be in control and we just aren’t. God is. And it’s hard to just leave it at that. Jesus knew we would struggle with trust and spoke about it in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6:25-34 has always been a wonderful passage for me to think upon. Here it is:

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

We don’t need to worry! In fact, that is something that people without Jesus do. If I didn’t have Jesus, I would REALLY need to worry. But, I DO have Jesus. He loves me and will give me everything I need. Since these verse speak so loudly to me, I felt I needed to illustrate them. Flowers, birds….yes, this would be a fun page!Bible Art by Janine Broscious

I got inspiration from one of my favorite books, “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” by Edith Holden. This is a treasure that I found in a used book sale. In this book, Edith Holden kept a nature journal of beautiful watercolor illustrations which I have always admired. I was a bit intimidated by trying this painting, but I have found that you just have to jump in. First, I covered the Bible page with clear gesso from ArtBasics. I traced her painting, then used graphite paper to put the outline of the birds onto my Bible page. After that, I looked at her painting, but just did my own thing with the watercolor paints. I kept the flowers and leaves simple and without detail so they wouldn’t detract from the birds.Bible Art by Janine Broscious

Edith’s birds were gray. But I was having trouble getting the colors right. In fact, I was just having trouble keeping the birds and the tree branch from looking like one huge grayish brown blob on my page. Perseverance is often the key with art. I just kept plugging away until all of the sudden, sweet birds emerged. I still have a long way to go to learn about watercolor painting, but it is a thrill when something comes together. I did have to use brown ink to bring out details. It’s a challenge to do these pages and yet still read through them.Bible Art by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Now, when I flip through my Bible, I can see these birds as a reminder of God’s provision. He takes care of the birds and the flowers. He makes them beautiful and gives them purpose. He will take care of me… and you too!Bible Art by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

My page was inspired by Edith Holden’s work, and yet is so different. Just like all of us. We are made in God’s image and yet with different needs…that He will meet.Bible Art by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Here is a gallery of other pages I have done lately. I hope they will inspire you to dig into God’s love letter to you, the Bible.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

This is a reminder that God made me and he only makes things that are good.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

Our faith is tested by trials.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

In our darkest times, we need to remember who God is and what he has done.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

If we come to Jesus and acknowledge that we need him to cleanse us, he will! Here I show the same page side by side to illustrate the effect of metallic ink.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

If we approach life as a child, we will have complete trust in God, our father.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Art Along the Way

This crazy life of mine has kept me traveling a lot lately. I’m thankful that art supplies don’t take up much room. I just “art” along the way. This flower doodle was fun, but I wonder if it’s too bright?Flower doodle bright by Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

So, I did another and took a pic before I colored it in case of wanting to do it another way. Flower doodle #2!

Flower doodle by Janine Broscious. www.joyfulwonder.com

Flower doodle by Janine Broscious. www.joyfulwonder.com

This time I used pastel markers, They are Faber Castell PITT artist pens. You’ll have to let me know which you prefer: bright or pastel.Flower doodle colored. Janine Broscious of JoyfulWonder.com

I decided to try another one with a word in it. Rejoice in the Lord always!Rejoice by Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

It was wonderful to spend time with my grandchildren who live 12 hours away from us. These sweet girls kept asking if we would be “arting”each day. I had no problem complying!Beth and Emily "arting"

Our oldest granddaughter, Beth, was really watching as I drew flowers. She helped me decide what colors to paint these roses. I’m always relearning to trust God…no matter what. I used InkTense pencils on this one.Trust by Janine Broscious of JoyfulWonder.com

The girls say such sweet encouraging words to each other while arting. Both of them loved on each flower as I did this “Be Still” page.Be Still by Janine Broscious of JoyfulWonder.com

Beth surprised me by showing me her page the next day.Beth's artwork

We had a lovely time discussing what it meant to “Be Still.” I explained that we need to get quiet with God and learn about Him and trust Him. At times it means to take a deep breath, stop what we are doing and remember that He is in control. We don’t have to worry! I don’t know if she understood it all, but I think she got some of it. And she loves looking at her page which I know will not only be a reminder of our time together, but also of God. What a thrill to be able to have a conversation like that with her…and all because of art!

Just had to add one more pic of my lovely fellow artists!My fellow artists

Complete It

As I wrote in another post, I am working on an embroidery project. This is only the second piece that I am designing myself and it’s an interesting journey. It’s actually the first piece that I am not drawing out first but rather just doodling with thread. It started like this:DSC_0244 3

But here is how it looks right now:Butterfly embroidery

It’s amazing how self doubt starts to creep in with projects like this. I mean, who am I to think that I can just wing it and come up with a good embroidery piece? I do think with the next piece I will plan it a bit more. Maybe draw out several versions from which to choose.

And that self doubt. Well, it comes honestly. I’ve let myself down so many times. And sometimes it is difficult to think I’ll ever really live up to my potential. But God….

I love that, don’t you? But God. …  It’s not up to us! That really struck me again today as I read in Philippians. Verse 1:6 says, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” What a joy to realize this and really internalize it! God began the work in me and He WILL complete it. Sure, I have a LONG way to go, but He is in charge and doesn’t give up on me. I don’t need to worry or to feel guilty. Those things are from the enemy of my soul. But the Lover of my soul is sweetly crafting me…bit by bit. Unlike my project, He does have a plan…a perfect plan…and he is absolutely going to complete it!Butterfly photo

So, I continue to be inspired. Not by my own efforts, but by the Master Creator and Finisher. Who knows how this butterfly embroidery will turn out, but it will be my tiny effort to reflect His beauty.

Seeking Shelter

Have you ever noticed that sometimes animals have more sense than humans? Last week, we had a lot of rain. Unlike many times here in Maryland when it stays gloomy for days but doesn’t actually rain, it poured! As I stayed in my warm, dry house I watched the birds outside. We love feeding the birds and have feeders all along the roof line of our porch. They come and go all day, but don’t stay around unless it rains. During a storm, our porch is a haven for those sweet birdies.Seeking Shelter

This little sparrow stayed for a long time. Even though I opened the door to take a photo of him, he stayed in the shelter out of the rain.DSC_9398 2

Then I noticed that he was missing an eye. Maybe that is why he stayed when others flew away. Did he recognize his need? Maybe he realized that he just had to be more trusting since he was not whole? I was glad that he felt safe on our porch, that he knew where to go during a storm. So many times when the storms of life hit me, I flail around in the wind and rain trying to keep myself warm, dry and safe even though I don’t have what I need. It takes me awhile to realize that I am not equipped for the storm and need help. Some storms are just that big.

Recently, I was asked by a fellow artist, Mary, to make something for a friend that is weathering a storm. This lovely woman is battling two kinds of cancer at the same time. Mary wants to encourage her friend with art so she asked several people to create something that will then be bound into a book and given to Kay. I was beyond pleased to have been asked. But, how could I encourage Kay when I struggle during the storms of life? After praying that God would use my artistic efforts to encourage and bless, I created this.DSC_9344 4-1

You know my fascination with lighthouses. Actually, I am fascinated by light. And light just isn’t there during the worst of storms. I will not attempt to tell Kay that I know why God would have her go through this storm or that everything will be okay. I don’t know that. But I do know that Jesus will be with her every step of the way through that storm. He will give her just what she needs to get through the next moment. John 8:11-13 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I’m hoping that I will learn a lesson from that sparrow and from Kay. Jesus will never leave me. I can take shelter in his arms.  You can too!

5″For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. ” Psalm 62:5-8

A Perfect Saturday

As far as I was concerned, Saturday’s weather just couldn’t have been better! So, Matt and I were off for two of our favorite past times, hiking and geocaching. We didn’t have to go far from home to have a wonderful time. And I needed to clarify something with him. DSC_5874Not too long ago a friend and I were looking for a new place to eat lunch together. So, I suggested Gambrill State Park at the overlook. Afterwards, I told Matt about it and he said he had never been there! I thought for sure that we had been there and also gotten a geocache. On Saturday, we headed there first. As soon as he saw it, he remembered that he had been there, four years ago. Whew, I thought I was imagining things!

DSC_5883

Matt is holding the geocache. It was in a large bucket!

After the overlook, we had a geocache to find. For this one we had to drive on dirt roads all over the mountain. Then we parked and hiked for a mile to the cache. This one was at a rock that the cache owner called “Castle Rock.”

We climbed to the top of Castle Rock and there was a bit of a view through the trees. We had a “travel bug” with us and took photos of it visiting the cache site. A travel bug is something that you can hide in a geocache and then others can pick it up and move it to another cache. It will have a tag attached to it with a number. Then you can go online to geocaching.com and register where you left the travel bug. It can be any item that you are able to attach the tag onto. DSC_5892 3

This one just happened to be Tigger and we had great fun posing him for photos. Here is one of him mountain climbing! We didn’t leave him there in that cache. That particular cache doesn’t get found very often. I guess other people don’t want to go for a mile hike in the woods. But at least Tigger  got to visit the castle!DSC_5907

In my mind, that was the perfect way to spend our day. As I walked the rugged path, I noticed special things that God put there just for us, like the tiny toads that kept hoping away from our feet or the pretty pebbles in the water that gleamed like pennies, the sun shining through the trees illuminating bright green ferns and even the spider web that shimmered in the sun. All were amazing reminders that God pays attention to every detail, not only in the woods, but in my life too. He knows the rough paths that I will have to hike to get to the high points in life, but He also lovingly guides and places just what I need along the path to sustain me.

Here’s looking forward to the next gorgeous day!
DSC_5899