Devotional Art ~ Narrow Way

April 27, 2012

Narrow Way

"... the gateway to life is very narrow." ~ Matthew 7:14

Keep me Father... because today I only have time for one stark line... yet I enter through it to Your Heart...

Help me hold tightly today to You... even in my busyness. I'm glad I can find your narrow gate at a moment's notice.

In all that clamors for my attention, You are still my One Thing.

Devotional Art - Ascend

April 26, 2012

He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.
~ Psalm 40:2
You have made a ladder that carries me
I don’t even have to climb
You lift me up 
from under
the weight of my own mud humanity
Your water drips and pours through this human land
I am built up 
I penetrate  - no  -  RISE - through the surface of mortal skin
and narrowly ascend with You.
“For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” ~ Ephesians 2:6

Devotional Art - Broken Beauty

April 25, 2012

Broken Beauty
O God our Savior
You care for the land and you water it;
You enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water...
~ Psalm 65:9

As I began to sketch blue this morning with that wonderful glass-like pencil... pure pigment of water blue... I pressed too hard and it broke... snap.... “Oh... it broke.” So I took what was left of it, the smaller portion, but the one with the ability to keep drawing, and I drew out the message of Your Heart, oh God, my Savior. You will enrich this land with your water.
How many times, longing for your water to cover this land, these mountains, have I pressed too hard... I so long for your water to fill this land. I’ve felt Your blue green streams. I’ve felt it coursing through my spirit from Your Spirit. I’ve felt your streams of water and I have to ask this morning, “Have I broken something in the very laying down of it - in the expression of it?” And your wind comes again... your sway and swerve of Your Unfailing love pushes through my heart and mind even as I draw the sway lines of Your Spirit. You are teaching me that I can still function... bring Beauty... even with the broken things... even up and out of the broken places. Nothing is wasted with you God. 
You are a cool refreshing drink of water. You bring life to death. You are Sanctuary.

Devotional Art ~ Fly Me Away

April 24, 2012

Fly Me Away

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
 Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated...
 For your Maker is your husband—
 the LORD Almighty is his name— 
                                                                        ~Isaiah 54: 4-5

I always thought it would be romantic to go up in a hot-air balloon. I dreamed of that when I was a little girl. Fly me away oh lover of my soul. The day is done when I walked up with you out of that desert leaning on you, my Beloved. Now it is time to fly... The power flows into the fabric that has formed this lifting place... The tethers barely hold the massive carrier as I climb into the holding place with you Beloved. The fire and the wind roar and I’m ready to fly. I’m ready to sing a new song. I’m ready. I’m ready. The tethers release and I fly with you.... my hero... my rescuer... my friend... my Bridegroom. 

Devotional Art ~ Shifting Sails

Monday, April 23, 2012

Shifting Sails
Psalm 32:8
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shall go:
I will guide thee with mine eye.
For a few months, the symbolism of sails and sail-ships have been ever prominent in my mind and inner visual processing and listening. The Lord has given me so many guideposts along the way in this thread of thought - a sail-ship in a vintage magazine, a sermon with the theme of sailing, a major rush of His Spirit through song and word of knowledge, songs and poems that surprise me out of the blue,  and gifts of sail-ships by my sweet husband who sails with my heart in ways that mirror my little-girl heart hope dreams. 
It all began at an art exhibit called, From these Hills, where there was a piece of art utilizing a sail-ship. It was a mechanical sculpture with a painful arrangement of gears and cogs turning and working... striving to turn a lone glass of water that had a sail-ship engraved on it. I stood there watching the rocking laborsome “movement” that it took to turn the glass at a pace that was gut-wrenching to watch. It was as if it was almost standing still. The water sat still - it could become stagnate or evaporated because the motion... though it was vigorous and harsh... did not affect the water... there was no movement there.
This piece disturbed me... got at the deep frustration in my heart. How much did I see this harsh violent working in the areas of my life, from ministry to relationships to even my own artistic journey? Why all that work for nothing? Why the slow slow process? The depravation of these hills - the spirit of poverty - of never having or being enough was ever-present in that work and it knocked me in the chest - it took my breathing - it made me furious!
The impact would not go away. The piece lived in my mind for days and yet, still does. It did what good art does - it arrested my attention - it made me listen to God. 
So there it began... with a challenge to surrender my sails, pull them down and sit still in roaring waves if that’s what it took. I decided in that time that I would not let the water get stagnate. I would also never again work that hard or involve myself in a mess of mechanics like I had seen to try to sail. I determined to believe that in everything there is grace. The only way I knew to sail into Grace was through love... so I ran headstrong into more purposed love than I ever have - you know, the love that hurts to give. It was my test.
I learned to love more deeply. I’ve always been purposeful about loving people well, but honestly, when things were hard with relationships, especially the ones that I really could walk away from, well, I would run away... take the easy road. Loving through adversity is not easy. Loving when love is not wanted is difficult. Learning to rest as the motion of the grinding gears continually crushes around you, yet you are found in a sweet rhythm of His Spirit, is painful to be in the midst of. As others push and pull and futily oil the gears, it is difficult to not put your hand to all the craziness again. I’ve learned that love sometimes means to not help others you care for... to not enable their striving. Sometimes love is saying no and setting boundaries that displease people you love. It’s a hard one to learn.
So as I sat yesterday in church, listening to a sermon about faithfulness, I got the understanding. I could feel a turning of the sails, a swift pull on the cables of my heart setting me on course away from that slow-turning container... and I feel the wind of His Spirit blowing in new directions. My sails have been lifting again over the past few months on this journey and His calm love has transformed my rhythm. His banner over and around me is Love. We have to know the Love of God. May we understand the width, depth and height of His Love. Without it, we have nothing.

Devotional Art ~ Understanding

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Like pages
solid pages of clarity
You drop your knowing into the rhythm of my thoughts,
my process.
I take them in and they center
into Your Rhythm,
into the deep place
of my Understanding.

Devotional Art ~ Beauty

One thing I have desired... to behold the Beauty of the Lord. ~ Psalm 27:4
Beautiful... who can understand the making of it? Truly, who can explain the beauty of the white moon in an indigo night sky? Who can find words when you look into the minuteness of the smallest most humble field flower? Who can articulate the wonder of a fuschia-orange sky over the blue-purple mountains? 
When our eyes gaze at awe, even when someone is standing right there beside us, how can we know they see as we see? How can we explain the beauty? There is no understanding unless we stand there together and speak of the exact beauty we are taking in... still the limits are present in the reflection and only the heart can feel it and hope for a spirit to spirit understanding. 
How can we speak of the Beauty of the Lord... of His Holiness? Shut my mouth. Hold my tongue. Exonerate my racing mind that has to prove something. 
Beauty is not in the telling... it is in the observation... in the acquaintance. 
This one thing I ask...
To see you in All Your Beauty would melt me... but may I get a glance?  
I believe You reveal it to me when I free-sketch... the moving lines that stretch out on the paper before my pen actually flows over them. The deposits of solid revelation before I fill in the sphere. The zig-zag that moves me back and forth reflecting the way I try to find you - it shows my discord in still not living totally in that flow... still I wrestle for the figuring out of things. Set me at ease; sway me; hold me; inspire me, Beautiful One.
I bow under your solidity of Beauty. I dance in the fluidity of your Holiness.

Devotional Art ~ Home

Thank you for coming along on my journey of daily prayer ponderings through this series of Devotional Art. In the writing, art, sketches and doodles, I hope that you will be inspired to connect to the heart of God in creative ways. As I share my personal journey, I pray that yours will be inspired and strengthened as well. Blessings - Pattie Ann Hale

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself... a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God. ~ Psalm 84:3

Home... what a word. 
It brings the soft place inside where life is good and yet also home brings with it all the normalcy of a life not always perfect. The good and the bad... the blend... the mixture. Oh how our hearts long for it even still. The comfort of the familiar and the excitement of what season will come next overtakes me... I’m listening for Your Heart, God, to sing. Sing me into home.
I love your sanctuary. I love Your Heart oh Lover of my soul. How is it that the God of Heaven sees my longing for home? Oh yes...... the sparrows... you even care for everyone of them.
I remember when we were working on the old farmhouse, gutting it out... tearing out structures... hoping for beauty... a beauty that at times I could only imagine because the mess of all the construction - reconstruction - re-structure... was overwhelming. It was difficult. The day I pulled the old boards off the wall and found behind there that little bird skeleton... inside the wall of the attic. It had gotten trapped there? Why could it not escape? I thought of how You say in Your Word that you care even for flowers of the field and the birds of the air... that they did not have to toil or spin. Oh how I was toiling and spinning... every area of my life.... struggling... grasping... clenching for You. I was like the bird... trying to make a home for myself... just trying to find a safe place. Have I found it yet? Have I learned to rest?
I am not trapped. I’m flying into freedom more and more. I’m sailing with Your Wind.
Your eternal song fills up my spirit... there I am home. I sing My Song and there I am home. 

Devotional Art ~ Doorway

Thank you for coming along on my journey of daily prayer ponderings through this series of Devotional Art. In the writing, art, sketches and doodles, I hope that you will be inspired to connect to the heart of God in creative ways. As I share my personal journey, I pray that yours will be inspired and strengthened as well. Blessings - Pattie Ann Hale

God, teach me lessons for living
so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—
my whole life one long, obedient response. ~Psalm 119:33-34

As I sketched this morning, a beautiful thing happened.... one of those little visual messages from my Creator Papa. Searching Him out was in my head and in my tight hands. Pen to paper... drawing lines, bearing down on solid spheres, trying to find expansion in the open circles, flowing into unexplainable morphing shapes... searching... no... HUNTING for the connection to His heart... the refuge place... the answer place. So much going on in my head - pondering, needing direction, listening.

As I moved the paper to get a different direction with the color, suddenly the light coming from the shutters cast a perfect doorway into my journey. The brilliant door was so obvious. “Come up here... I will show you...”

So I shadowed around the door with color, capturing the visual imagery of the spiritual message. He has made every doorway of understanding we have need of. He sets the passages in line for our sailing... we just have to apply ourselves to the searching it out. Like a treasure in a field, I will search for Him.

Devotional Art ~ My Portion

Thank you for coming along on my journey of daily prayer ponderings through this series of Devotional Art. In the writing, art, sketches and doodles, I hope that you will be inspired to connect to the heart of God in creative ways. As I share my personal journey, I pray that yours will be inspired and strengthened as well. Blessings - Pattie Ann Hale

“LORD, you alone are my portion...” - Psalm 16:5

Jesus, I come to you this morning with no preconceptions of who I think you are. Will you give me fresh vision today of You? The aching of a soul for a Savior - a busy one hunting for a resting place. I need you, Sanctuary... for you are my Portion.

What does it mean for the Lord to be our sole Portion?

In my life, I often find that I’m trying to take all the parts of my life and make sense of them... seems I would grow out of this but isn’t it what we all do? I try to look at all the compartments, the jobs, the hats I wear, the people in my life, all my random thoughts and dreams and problems.... and I try to put it all into a composition that is lovely... I work the puzzle continually as the image changes and changes and is forever morphing into something else. All these parts - these portions are life... my life.

Last night at the studio I painted a huge oil painting. On the four ft. square canvas I applied rows and rows of random colors straight onto the canvas from the tubes... I new the mixing would come together because the oils stay open for so long. I had no apprehension about just throwing the colors on. This canvas is so large I could be in the painting... feel the colors and lines and blendings wrapping me as I painted. The colors morphed and changed becoming messy in places and lovely in places. I moved with it, through the frustrations and the little pleasing joys. As I dragged the brush through the four ft. mass of paint, a simple line would reveal many colors. It was like a rainbow line of promise, that through every undercolor and every space I passed through, beauty would be revealed in some way. Life is like that... through the messy and the busy and the frustrating and the nice places - as we begin to just move with it - through it - it reveals an unexpected beauty in the midst of chaos. The parts do mesh.

The painting rests on the easel in my studio... still very chaotic and random. As I painted last night, I kept trying to bring the random colors, the mass of lines, the almost gaudy forms into a whole... to force the portions into a lovely whole. It didn’t work and I realized near midnight that if I kept doing that to those sensitive oils then I would only have a mess. I had to walk away from it. The medium is teaching me patience.

So in my calm waking this morning my one narrow road of thought is to have Jesus Only. Oh how I complicate things... He is my Portion... the only One allotment I need to bring everything else into a beautiful composition. I am no longer mine. It is not I who live. My parts are nothing compared to even a glimpse of His Wholeness. It is Christ who now lives. To grasp that... everyday... every moment... Every thing to equal the One Thing - that I may gaze upon His Beauty. That to know Him may be the one sum of all my parts.

Devotional Art ~ Dream Resurrection

Thank you for coming along on my journey of daily prayer ponderings through this series of Devotional Art. In the writing, art, sketches and doodles, I hope that you will be inspired to connect to the heart of God in creative ways. As I share my personal journey, I pray that yours will be inspired and strengthened as well. Blessings - Pattie Ann Hale

When dreams die where are they buried?

When a dream dies where does it go?

Is it in the caverns of our soul -

forever deep

tucked away


Spirit move.

Blow through the dry land and...

cause a sandstorm.

Change the landscape of my heart -

may one dune become flat,

and another mountain rise up.

With Your Breath comes the water

bringing forth life again.

Brittle caverns...

with one Breath of Your Wind

become moist,



I... gasp... at the Beauty of Your Breath...

And now the heat...

The heat of Your Whisper...

burns out

the dead places.

Where is the dream?

The one long-forgotten?

The one I had strongly in my imagination when I was five years old.

Spirit touch.

Remove the veil

and touch.

Remove the dross

and touch.

Remove the rigid place

and touch.

Holy Spirit keep moving through

until You find the tiny stone

that once lived in my imagination as a great big dream.



Hold that dream again.

Rise it up again

into my heart -

my mind -

my spirit.

Breathe Your Life...

in it -

and around it -

and through it.

Set it aflame.

Burn away the outer shell

so that the living thing


the nucleus

may be

spontaneously lit


Your Vision.

Where does a dream go when it dies?

Into a tomb... that resurrection my rise.

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ ~ Jeremiah 33:3

Devotional Art ~ In the Palm of His Hands

Thank you for coming along on my journey of daily prayer ponderings through this series of Devotional Art. In the writing, art, sketches and doodles, I hope that you will be inspired to connect to the heart of God in creative ways. As I share my personal journey, I pray that yours will be inspired and strengthened as well. Blessings - Pattie Ann Hale

In the Palm of His Hands

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands...”

Father, you say that you hold me in your hands... even in Your Word, you say, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands...” (Isaiah 49:16) How can it be that You God, in your great vastness.... see me... that you hold me in your hands. Though I cannot totally comprehend it, I listen and hear you speak it to my heart.... a weary heart that has been rushing along trying to keep up with all I feel need to accomplish. Give me grace to rest in all that you have unfolded for me... your Grace truly is sufficient.

Yesterday, I walked on the nature trail at our local park, and as I walked around the lake, taking in all the beauty... it was such a Place of Worship. At one point, I placed my phone in the shoulder of my blouse and turned my worship music on so it would play right into my ear... and I walked on. Though I was totally engaged with the world around me... seeing all the activity around, hearing all the natural sounds and playful sounds of a world enjoying a weekend, and having good conversation with my husband as we walked... for a brief moment... I was captured away with my Papa. I looked up into the trees above, the sun coming through and for a moment, I heard His heart for me, “I love to capture you away with me.” For that brief moment, I heard in a way that was different than the natural sounds around me... it was His Breath and it was the most precious moment of the day. It was mere seconds... just gazing at the branches, natural wind on my face, ears attuned to His Wind. Oh what manner of love is this that He would capture me away from His everywhere beauty and take me into His Deep Beauty? To grasp that... every day.... my prayer. I think of that old hymn. “I need you every hour...”

So in that moment, I felt the Lord hold me in the palms of His hands. It was a beautiful day. I didn’t need a rescue... but yet He captured me anyway... in an already beautiful moment. How awesome is a God like that? His heart is the most beautiful place.

The scripture from Isaiah, See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands...” was a reassurance to Israel of the Lord’s commitment to them... that He had not forgotten them. The word engraved literally means “to cut.” Oh how Jesus loves us that He literally, on the cross, had us cut into His innocent hands. I’ve experienced those hands holding me when I felt forgotten. I’ve felt them wrap me when I could not go on. I’ve felt those hands on my shoulders encouraging me to keep moving... and like in the moment yesterday, I’ve experienced Him holding me there in His hands... captured away with Him... just because He loves to bring me close to His heart. He wants the same for us all. See?