Monday, February 22, 2010

The Art World

I love watching people react to Marissa's paintings. I have been very surprised at the amount of people who give her real respect for her designs and ideas. I truly hate to say this because it really makes me sound terrible, but I thought people would react to her with more reluctance or that they would barely tolerate (with amusement) looking at her work. While we have had some of that before they see that she really does have talent, especially at some of the higher end galleries, once most people see her work, they really react as though she were another adult. Some even admire her with wonder. Most can't wait to see what she will do next.

As her mother, I treasure those reactions. I love seeing the quiet confidence upon which she presents herself and her artwork. It is simply what she has in her mind - transfered to canvas. She makes no apologies, no excuses, no explanations. Her work is what it is. She hasn't learned the ways adults critique and worry. She is free to discover what she can do and free to enjoy her talents.

I told Marissa that I love the way God builds families. I told her that I never painted until I was waiting for her to come home. I suddenly had the urge to paint when I wanted her to have a bedroom full of flowers and butterflies. I loved creating her space and it was filled with so much love and anticipation that I'm sure she must have felt it when she discovered the paintings as she grew. Next, I worked on her playroom, filling spaces with animals and plants that she loved so much she kissed and hugs the very walls I covered. I knew God was giving me just a bit of talent at the time...enough to give a little girl joy from her mother's heart.

What I have since learned is that He gave me enough talent to jumpstart the great talents He gave my daughter. He planned for me to paint those spaces so that I'd have the supplies on hand to give Marissa so she could take off with the visions she carried in her own mind. I know just enough about painting to set her free. I know just enough to believe in what she is doing, whether she paints for a season or a lifetime.

Isn't God good? I can't wait to see what He does next.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It makes me so sad when people bad-mouth Christianity. I know we are all entitled to our own beliefs. To be honest, God created us that way. He gives us free will; He lets us choose whether or not we will proclaim Him as God and His Son as the Lord of our life. But if someone is not a Christian or if they profess not to believe anything and then say "they gave religion a chance and nothing changed," it saddens me.
Christianity isn't like wearing a coat. You can't wrap it around you for a while then discard it like the fit wasn't right or it was the wrong color for you. A walk with the Lord is just that...a walk. It's a relationship: just like the one I have with anyone else I husband, my children, etc. It's getting to know them better, serving them, sacrificing for them. It's spending time with them, and when I mess up, it's asking for forgiveness and starting over.
It also makes me sad and ever so humbled when I hear the same people state that they tried religion and they were so let down by the so-called Christians that they stopped believing. Christians aren't God. He alone is the one to look to, the one to emulate. Every single Christian in this world is going to let others down; we are going to mess up. You can count on it. Only the Lord won't.
I'm not judging those who feel this way. I just hope that some of them somehow see this post and realize that my words are true...that it will cause them to come to the Lord and submit, to understand that He will not let them down. But he isn't a magic genie. Just because God doesn't always answer prayers like we wish, it doesn't mean He can't hear them or that He is not listening. I know He is. Not only does the Bible tell us He does (and that should settle it), I know from experience what a personal and caring Savior the Lord is.
Did my experience with losing a child make my faith deeper? I can say that this walk has extended the roots of my faith deeper, more solidly because it has shown me how intimate God is. I believed by faith that He was with me. I believed by faith everything the Bible told me. Now I believe by experience and it makes my faith much richer.
God loves you. He loves every single one of us intimately and personally. Let Him minister to you in whatever you need. Believe in Him. Believe even when it hurts, believe even when someone tells you that you are silly or crazy. But in order to grow your relationship with Him you have to be intentional. Don't expect him to do all the work. Relationships on earth don't run that way. Why should they with the Creator of the Universe?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


There is an ancient belief in China that "an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may tangle or stretch, but it will never break."
Although I don't believe in myths, I believe that there are those whom God has destined for us to meet. One of the people in my life I believe this to be true of is Marybeth. There is no way she would ever allow me to post a picture of her on this blog, so I won't, but I must say that she is a sweetly humble and intelligent friend. Although we have only spent three days together in person, we have sent many emails, blog messages, and phone calls to each other over the years...enough to say that we can truly call each other friend.
During the last year when we grieved over our loss of Jaime, Marybeth kept me and my family in prayer, she continually checked on us, and let us know she was there to talk to or whatever. This from a woman located on one of the coasts, while we are in the middle of the country. I knew she cared.
We share a love for our daughters, both from China, both adopted from China at the same time; and we both share a love for God.
She stepped out and gave her heart, genuinely let me know Christlike love and I am so thankful. In this Valentine season I just wanted to post about this sweet friend. Marybeth, let's keep that red thread stretched across the miles until we get together again and see our sweet girls and wonderful husbands getting along just as well as we do. And...thank you again for caring the way you do, about others. I know I'm not the only person you give your heart to.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Over the years many people have asked me if I ever published any of the books I wrote. Many ask me if I still write. That's because up until my late thirties I was consumed with writing.

If you consider blogging, journaling, articles and stories and poems to my children, or writing notes to friends writing, then yes, I still write. If you don't...well the answer has to be a no. I no longer write books and ironically, the book I was having the most fun writing remains unfinished...but of course saved in my computer.

What happened? Well, when at one time I felt I needed to write just as I needed the air to breathe, to sustain my life, that deep yearning has been replaced with what I feel God wants in my life.

When I finally let go of the dream I had for myself and picked up the dream God had for me, I no longer felt a void in my life. I had thought that void was there because I wasn't published, but the harder I tried and the doors keep closing, the more I thought I wanted it. When I got sick in my mid to late thirties, I had to stop writing. When my life with the Lord became more focused and I asked Him what He wanted, and I really listened and obeyed, that void disappeared and the desires of my heart changed.

Now I have another precious child. A child of my heart. One who is fortunate enough to have a mother who knows she is what God has planned for me in this season of my life. When I write for her, I know it is something God wants on paper. If He wants the rest of the world to see it, they will. I am content with that. In the meantime, blogging is also fun. This electronic journal not only allows me to empty random thoughts, but to share with others who may enjoy hearing or need to hear the same thing at that time. If not, they don't need to read it!

When our Heavenly Father created us, He knew the plans He had for us. When we listen and obey, when we look to Him and walk with Him, He will provide the desires of our hearts. The desire of our hearts become His. They become what He intended them to be. That is the only time we feel great peace and joy.

Marissa, as a creator of beauty, my painter and dancer understands this. She knows what it is like to create and love something. She gets it. What a precious jewel, a treasure she is. As much as I love her, God loves her more. More than I can imagine. Enough to die for her.

I can love Him enough to lay down the pen and listen for direction on what He would have me do next. Isn't it ironic that I felt He wanted me to start another blog?

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Start

Welcome to our newest blog! For those who have been faithful followers of Marissa's blog (, we hope you'll continue to look at both. With all the interest in Marissa's paintings, we are just in the process of changing her blog into a website to showcase her designs...and that makes me hesitant to blog anything I want to write about, so this blog was started.

First off, let me make it clear that we don't profess to have a life free of troubles. The blog name "Life Full of Sparkles" was Marissa's idea. I'm joyful that she feels her life is full of sparkles...after all when you're five, your life should feel sparkly. It's all in our point of view.

So often at night I awaken with full blog posts about life...not that they'll make sense when presented in the light of day...but I wonder what work God might be trying to do in me. So this blog will be a blend of my faith, my growth, my highs and lows, and our life. If you're in for the ride, welcome. If it sounds like a bore, I don't blame you. After all, who am I, but one woman trying to live a life of sparkles.