His Everything

His Everything

I drew this one upside down.... reaching up... stretching my lines up toward the top of the paper. It became this flowing rhythmic mixture of lines and shapes forming an upward arrow. That was my sentiment to the Lord - I was just simply saying to Him, "Everything to You God... the whole tangle of it pointed in Your direction. Everything... the whole of me... stretching toward Your heaven... Your will and majesty."

And then I realized it was upside down... my sharp edge of the paper is always on the left, so I flipped it... and I saw it...

He is directing His Everything - the Whole of HIM towards me... wow... overwhelming love rushing down to my dirt-made existence.... who am i that you are mindful of me?

What a God we have. :)

What is man that You take thought of him,
...You crown him with glory and majesty!
~Psalm 8: 4-5

Extravagant Beauty

May 16, 2012

Extravagant Beauty

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you." ~ Song of Songs 4:7

A picture of a peacock caught my eye this morning and I just picked up my pencils and card-stock paper that I keep at my desk and began to sketch. I love peacock feathers... so beautiful. As I drew out his plumes... wanting to only hint at the beauty and not define it too tightly, I began to think about what the peacock means metaphorically. So after I finished the sketch, I did a search for quotes about peacocks and across the board the references were about arrogance and haughtiness. I thought this was so sad. How sardonic we are. The peacock is only being exactly who God created him to be. He puts on no strut that God didn't give him. We have a God that loves extravagance and extraordinary beauty and the display of His God-beauty in His creation.

So often we as Christians, in our false humility, want to pretend that beauty is only found in lowly things and that extravagant beauty is somehow superficial or wrong. How would a peacock look to you if he mangled his beautiful plumes in the mud to cover his beauty. Would he be righteous then? Of course, he should display the glorious design God gave him. You know, that display of beauty is a little glimpse of God - of His Beauty. How dare we devalue it.

How has God made you beautiful? Are you displaying it? Do you recognize and celebrate the beauty around you - in others around you?
What do your plumes look like?

Devotional Art ~ Findings

May 15, 2012

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. ~ Psalm 9:10


I have not been drawing every morning. For a few days it has gotten away from me and instead of finding my resting place in it, I've dreaded it and said I just didn't have the time. I have felt something stirring inside me though and I knew this morning I could not let another day pass without putting it down in color and line. 

So out of the dryness of the past few days, I picked up the dry pen... no ink... no color - it wouldn't write. So I pushed harder and still no ink.... trying to force the pen to do what it had no ability to do. I found that what it could do was enough.... so I pressed into the paper the flowing lines... the search for harmony.  I could feel the Spirit moving with me though I could barely see the lines. I rubbed my fingertips over the paper and was pleased at how I could feel the movement - the very indentation of the the rhythm. When I applied the blues and purples... the lines came forth visually. 

Isn't that so often the way we walk through our journey - pressing through even when things seem to not be working... trusting in faith the movement of the Spirit with our spirit... feeling the Presence lead us in the direction we need to go even when we can't quite see the whole picture. And then God comes like a flower releasing colorful pollen over our findings and He brings everything to light... everything then forms and the design is revealed. So thankful I picked up the dry pen today and simply drew. He always makes sense of my simple offerings.

Devotional Art ~ You Know Me

May 10, 2012

“You make known to me the path of life...” ~ Psalm 16:11
You Know Me

You are so wonderful. You move me... and I must respond. Your Spirit flows and forms these beautiful lines. I partner with you... my unique design coming through these fingertips you made. You draw life out of mere clay... my jar is full of your wonder. I lift my eyes up to the hills... where does my help come from? It’s YOU. You give me wisdom as the line and color form. You are so Beautiful.
Doodling is such a simple thing, yet so profound. I’ve always had the same formations in my doodles - from the time I was a child until now... still the same loops and jags and circles and spheres. It’s amazing to me how my doodling is as much “me” as my eye color or the sound of my voice. 
When I was in 7th grade, I remember how I used my doodling to make a design of my name... writing it and doodling all around it - causing the lines of my signature to be drawn out into a beautiful design with color and swirls and flow. How prophetic that was. As I, at that tender age of twelve, was growing into more of “me,” you were giving me a picture - a prophecy - of who I would become - one who loves your raw design, color and flow. Wow... this just being revealed to me as I write. You are such a good Papa! 
So I remember those signature designs.... “Pattie” made into a piece of art. :) How sweet you are God that you care that much for me. Makes me want to be beautiful for you.... like a little girl in her very best dress-up costume... tiara and all. :)
I also remember that I made those doodle name designs for all the others in my class - just thirteen of us who had been with one another since Kindergarten in our little tiny school. We really were family. :) I made those name designs for everyone... each with the lines and colors of their signature drawn out into a beautiful design that included them and yet was beyond them. That was prophetic too. I wonder what you were saying through my twelve-year old hands? 

Devotional Art - Seasons

May 7, 2012

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. ~ Song of Songs 2:12
I love the majesty of the Spring
and yet the Spring this year has quickly come and almost gone.
You gave the word of the passing of the winter...
oh how we hold on to the cold places,
praying for warmth, 
yet evermore pushing off the blankets of comfort
in hopes to find our own way-
our own plans that will work,
that will comfort,
that will heal the frostbitten fingers that strived for beauty.
Yesterday the tears filled my eyes at the news of your majesty.
The winter has past and the spring has come.
I’m a season behind.
It’s okay.
I feel the pushing bloom
of Your heart awakening in my branches.
Your plans for me are good.
I am only one tree in the forest
yet these branches will sway to worship You.
This wooden heart will sing...

Devotional Art - Journey Home

May 5, 2012
Journey Home 

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. ~ Psalm 139:1

Three years ago today, my sister died of acute liver failure. She became sick a month prior and quickly... too quickly passed away from us. I’ve not written much about this... because still, even after three years, the words... right words... just aren’t there. 
I’m not writing to get compassion for myself in losing my sister... it’s very personal, but I hope to lend something to you that may help you during a difficult time. Art heals. While my sister was ill and grew worse, I painted. I created. I processed and found places of comfort in the safe place of divine creativity. While she was ill, I had a show coming up that was titled, “The Journey Home.” It was about finding our true home in the Presence of God. I did not know that she would be there soon. 
As I dealt with the month of her sickness, hospitals, procedures... emotions... horrific things... I still kept painting. I was pushed by the deadline of getting the show together, but my need to paint was so beyond just the deadline... there was a deadline in my soul.... a knowing that I had to paint to stay sound... to stay “okay” ... to be resolved.

I hoped the ending was going to be good and that she would pull through and be okay too. That we, as a family would have this testimony of endurance and victory... but on the day that I had my show laid out on the floor of the gallery... ready to hang... she died. I had left the gallery to go home to make the call to my mom... because I knew she had passed and I couldn’t hear that in the midst of the art gallery. 
The news ached through me.
The show was scheduled and I had to hang it. Friends wanted to come help me, but somehow... just getting in the gallery and putting those “paint through it all” pieces on the wall was something I had to do without comforters. So I went and hung my heart on the walls of that gallery. The gallery was at MorningStar, where I had been equipped to do the work of the ministry... where I had been trained to be a warrior. I was a wounded warrior that day, yet putting that “Journey Home” on the wall that day was my battle. 
We left to go home to Virginia after I hung the show. I remember my weary Mama falling into my arms... every ounce of her collapsing inside and the results of that weight in my arms... oh what despair... I’ve never known. I ached and yet held strong... for that moment anyway. My opening reception was the day of her funeral and as it was announced as part of a conference... it had to go on. It did. The days passed and the grieving sunk deep and the Lord comforted my heart... but not until the day I got back home to Charlotte and went to the gallery alone to be with those artworks did I find true rest. There in the paintings were answers... that I didn’t even know I had asked. There in the fibers of those pieces were assurances I hadn’t even know I would need. It was a refuge... a home.
The day my sister died, I called one of my closest friends, and she said to me, “Pattie, the Lord knows you. He knew that on this day you would receive this horrible news, and that you would have your art sitting on the floor of that gallery, and, though it’s so hard.... He’s got you. He holds you. He knows you.” 
And though after three years, I still don’t really have words to make sense of it... I have images, and colors, and textures, line, form, and symbolisms.... they speak softly of my journey home.... her journey home.... but most of all they speak of a path. A sanctuary. A home.

As I sketched today for this devotional... my frustration jabbed at the paper.... still a little anger that she is not here and about all the ways we failed to reach one another while she was... but soon... in the first few circles I felt the Lord come in and develop this structure... circles pushing together... spaces of understanding pushing together that without words gives me a solidity to the ripped places of this life. An image feels more solid than a thousand words. 

Devotional Art ~ Puzzle

"...he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." ~ Phillipians 1:5-7


Today I organized a thousand pieces of information. Wirey-ness patch-worked here and there. The press of time flowing and then jarring one way and another... until it began to form. Good news came today... a piece of good news that will shift and change and make everything... all our pieces - different. As the puzzle of the project formed and came together into a beautiful expression of something so much bigger than me, yet something I was born for, I look at the way You, Great Mystery, love to give a line here, a snippet there and You piece me together in the same fashion. Will I be different? Once again, different? And once again, exactly who I was born to be? You love the mystery, Oh Mystery. Your puzzle is so intricately beautiful.... just black and white beautiful. 

Devotional Art ~ Unfolding

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. - Jeremiah 33:3 
thoughts rising
as I pull up the depths of your words to me
up out of those promised places
they wander
and turn 
the thoughts find the place of expression
in the spiral
in the turning it over with a friend
the fear unravels and dispels
and I’m left with 
just beauty.

Devotional Art ~ Bending to Hear

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths ~ Proverbs 3:5
The fire by night.
The cloud by day.
If only it were always that easy to see Your movement, Oh God, and know the perfect direction. Just to simply pack up and follow when the sign pointed the correct way like the children in the wilderness did. Correct. What a word that is.... brings in insecurities of not being able to find myself in that place - correct. “You did not get the answer correct.” “The correct answer is....” 
All I know to do when I can’t see the way is to listen for it. I’m bending to hear your rhythm - Your Voice. Bending like a tree blown by your wind, I wait to hear - to wring the fleece - to feel Your breath blow me like a sailboat upon smooth waters. You are so kind to me and I know Your plans are good for me. They are plans to prosper me and make Your light to shine upon me. You are a good daddy. You never leave me alone. Your kindness will chase me down. I cannot see just yet today, but I believe. 
And I remind myself... that You love mystery. It is sweet and I rest again.