My Summer Adventure: Sculpting

img_1469This past July, I had the wonderful opportunity to take a sculpting class at the local junior college, College of San Mateo. I was looking for a holiday adventure that would be fun and refresh me from the year-long doctor appointments from my car accident and melanoma.

Hmm…sculpting, that sounds fun. I have always wanted to see how artists sculpt out of stone or glass…and make statues. I am going to sign up.

img_1451For the next six weeks, I found my hidden gift of sculpting. 20 students and I, almost all younger ‘kids’ in their teens and early twenties, learned how to sculpt a nude statue out of red clay. Our professor, Rory, a famous sculptor himself, warned us it would take two hours to make a foot. And it did. Not having any experience with this, I thought as an artist, it would be easy. It was not.

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img_1459We met twice a week from 9-3:30 and boy were we busy! I came home every day bone tired form the mental and physical energy it takes to sculpt, to sit and stand all day long. But I was delighted to find how excited I was to come to class and do art all day in studio with other artists. This was an exhilarating experience for me and I felt completed as an artist.

We had to pick one medium to use so I chose glass. Rory warned us that “glass is fussy” but I did not heed his warning! I learned how to buy glass with a trip to the local glass store and chose my three projects: a blue/white Star of David plate for Jewish img_1516holidays, a cross and glass base, and a Jewish mezuzah with Scripture, which hangs on doorposts of Jewish homes. I shared my faith as a Jewish Christian, and while most were accepting, some gave me funny looks!

img_1475Sculpting with glass is an extremely frustrating thing to do, and with just some instructions from the professor, I was off, soon begging for help from Helen and Peggy, volunteers in the class. Wearing goggles, I measured my designs, then cut and sanded them. Then the next foray was to fire them in the kiln. Firing is a lot like Christmas morning, you don’t know what you are going to get until you open the package, or in this img_1499case, the kiln! My blue Star of David plate melted over the corners, a no-no, but I liked how it looked, so kept it that way. My purple marbled cross came out beautifully contoured and I was pleased.

I next made a mold outimg_1519 of clay and plastered it, filled it with cut green glass and fired it, making the base for the cross. I filled the mezuzah mold with colored glass bits, and fired it, satisfied to have it for my new home in France one day.img_1502

img_1473Other classmates sculpted stones, made plaster masks out of their faces, and fused metal. I loved learning from the younger kids, listening to their dreams and stories of their lives.

Our grade was based on all of our work, and I was happy to get an A- in the class. My clay statue, Gabriella, was given a “B” because her arms were not totally img_1528proportional. Oh, well, I did my best, and while she turned out looking like an idol, she sits on my bookshelf now at home.

img_1540We celebrated the end of our class with a potluck and photographs on our iphones. I am now ready to lay my paintbrush aside, and hope to continue in glass once I move to France where I will give God the glory through my art. Enjoy the pictures! img_1533

So see my art click on ‘my art’ above of go to giftsofhisglory.com


Paris: The Inspirational Story Behind My Book:

Don’t you love to find out how an author chooses to write their story or memoir? I was inspired to write my pre-published book, Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God from a Hollywood movie. Yes, it’s true! I share below how my desire to go to Paris, France, came into being along with my first book. Enjoy!

Writing my story – January 23, 2012, San Carlos, California.

Do not remember the former things nor consider the things of old, Behold I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth, Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19

th-3I had just returned from a one night retreat down near Carmel, which sits on the ocean in Central California. I came away from the retreat feeling renewed in my spirit. While there, the Lord whispered to my heart that when I came home there would be a blessing waiting for me that would make me cry. I eagerly opened the mail and found the movie Sabrina, waiting in my mailbox from a mail order movie service.

th The next day, I watched the modern story of Sabrina with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford (not the Audrey Hepburn version). As Sabrina ran off to Paris to find herself, I told the Lord i wanted my freedom to do this too, not always waiting on His perfect will do do whatever He asked of me.

Deep down I was miserable, living an oppressive life of financial disability, spiritual oppression and feelings of futility. How I wanted to run off to Paris and do the Paris artist thing. To paint and draw and hang out at the cafe. To walk the Seine th-4and all its 23 bridges, finding my favorite to journal on just like Sabrina did.

Deep inside, I felt the Lord say, “Do you really want to run away from me and my will for your life? For there in the center of my will you will find safety.” I realized this was the answer to my feelings of insecurity all the time. “No, Lord, I don’t want to run away from you,” I said with tears in my eyes. He tenderly replied, “I want to give you the desires of your heart, all of them, as your Heavenly Father who loves and adores you, I know you want to travel the world and i will bring a large provision for you to do so.”

Excited now, I realized my deepest desire was to write, but what? I implored of the Lord what to write. “Write your life story; speak the truth and many others will find hope in your story of redemption and healing from abuse, mental illness, and ministry.”

With the Lord’s permission now, I excitedly jumped on the bed like a child, praising Him for His goodness and loving me enough to give my my heart’s desire. I would trust the Holy Spirit to show me how to write my story, and what to include in the chapters. I promised to use this gift of writing He had imparted in me to bring Him glory. I felt a new freedom to do what my heart desired and take a break from ministry.

th-6The next day, I sat at Peets Care with my morning coffee and began to write my story. I found an application called “Ulysses” to organize my book. As I sat down to write, I felt an anointing from the Holy Spirit.The story just flowed from my fingers. I wrote the forward, inspiration, and the highlights of what my story would tell. It just flowed out in perfect order from my heart. Bowing my head in gratitude, I prayed, “Lord, I will wait for the money to go to Paris and will be faithful to write every day as it rains here in January.

I faithfully awoke each morning, happy to have a project to work on that brought me such joy. The sense of futility I had suffered lifted. I realized God’s financial provision through my disability that allowed me stay home and write my book. The bigger picture came into light and I felt the Lord’s hand on my life.

One morning, He reminded me of a Parisian cafe around the corner that had just opened. Taking my laptop with me, I visited the cafe to find the French owner, th-1Geoffrey, welcome me with a loud. “Bon Jour Madame”. The menu was full of french comfort food and French music played in the background, I sat and ordered a french cafe, or coffee, and felt as if I had stepped into Parisian cafe. If I couldn’t go to Paris, the Lord would bring Paris to me! I vowed to come every day to write as I sipped the french campaigned the owner blessed me with! Oh La La!

Within two months, my entire story had poured out of my soul and I had my first draft of ten chapters with an intriguing title, “Running from the Witches: How the Redemptive Love and Power of Jesus Christ Healed my Life”. (Later to be changed!)

I found it healing to write all parts of my story; the trauma I experienced on the mission field when I was a missionary to the Jewish people, both here and in Israel,th-5 and the trauma I incurred as a child. While writing through the trauma, tears would fall from my eyes and wet my hands on the keyboard as I relived the evil abuse I suffered. I knew I was writing this book to give Glory to the Lord for healing my life and redeeming me from the pit I had been in.

Hope and love flowed through my heart as I realized one day this book would be published and my life restored. It encouraged me to know I would bring hope and healing to others. I knew now my life with all its valleys and mountain top experiences, had been for a reason. My life was a tapestry the Lord was weaving together; on the back it looked like a bunch of twisted strings, but on the front side a beautiful painting of a whole and full life was appearing.

th-2Today (July, 2015), my book is finished, except for the afterword. I plan to write it in Paris at a cafe where Ernest Hemingway wrote. I’ll then be able to say, I did indeed write my book in Paris! I continue to await his financial provision to go.

I have experienced the struggles of a writer; the ups and downs, the set backs and victories, the blogs and tweets. I remind myself every day how blessed I am to fulfill my lifetime dream of writing a book. Thank you Jesus.

To see my Christian art and greeting cards, go to ‘my art’ above or giftsofhisglory.com


Meeting God at the Fair

thIt had been two of those hellish weeks, when everything was difficult and the Devil was trying (and succeeding) to attack and discourage me. I felt overwhelmed with scary landlord issues, getting new carpet installed, the internet going out, starting a challenging new volunteer job, and 103 degree heat. All I could do was cry out to God: “Help”.

And then God moved. I attended my acupuncture appointment after a month had passed, the longest I had gone without a session. As the needles did their magic, God whispered to me answers to my prayers and encouraged me with visions of my new life in France. I relaxed and breathed again. Yes, He was still in control.

IMG_0810And then in rained. On the day I was planning to go to the local county fair with my friend Patrice. I was longing for a day of fun, to be like a kid again. So I put on my waterproof hat, not to be deterred, and off we went.

We were first to arrive. As the rain came down, the blessings began. We had the fairgrounds almost to ourselves. No crowds, no heat. Not your usual fair, right? We picked out tasty food, Greek fries (yum) for me, and chicken gyro for Patrice. We IMG_0805talked and shared stories. Then we wandered over to the animals and had such good belly laughs at pigs deep in slumber and turkey Tom strutting his stuff. Of course, we took pictures with our iphones and sent them on Facebook right away to our friends.

Then we stumbled upon the butterfly tent. Inside where hundreds of butterflies butterfliesfluttering around. We were given a Q-tip to dip in nectar to feed them. Did you know butterflies eat with their legs? Yes, it’s true. I had a “God moment” when two butterflies alighted on my pink shirt and stuck to me like glue. I took a deep breath and told Patrice, “I think they are attracted to the Jesus light in me.” Yes, indeed, they knew the presence of their IMG_1276maker, God, creator of all things. I was struck by God’s tenderness to me, to allow me to experience a new and glorious thing: feeding butterflies! Knowing they live such a short life span of 14 days, reminded me of the preciousness of life, and put things into perspective.

IMG_0812I felt his presence in Patrice’s laughter as we next watched the pig races, a first for her, and what she most wanted to see. Giggling, we next rode the carousal, me picking a horse with pink roses on its mane, and she picking a zebra. As we bobbed up and down to the music, I felt the IMG_0822Lord’s presence and threw him a kiss, so happy to be with Him, as He washed our dry land with plentiful rain.
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In the art gallery, I saw his beauty in the creation of paintings and photographs that displayed His glory and was humbled by the artistic craftsmanship of the quilts, mine being no where as good as these! Finally, we ended our day with treats no fair experience is good without: a soft ice cream cone for me; and a chocolate dipped banana with nuts for Patrice, as the rain dripped steadily on our faces. Our feet were tired as we left the fair, joking as we walked along that we might be old, but not too old to get on and off the merry-go-round!

God is all around you and wants you to cherish His presence about you. Can you take a minute today and ask Him to show himself to you? The God of the universe loves you and wants to be in personal relationship with you, if you only ask. His son, Jesus, jesusandusinheavenwill come make His home with you, forgive you of your sins, and give you eternal life in Heaven with him. Simply open your heart and invite him in today. It’s that easy.

I wish you a summer full of God appearances. May you find His joy at the most unlikely places, as I did at the fair!

To see my paintings and greeting cards, click on ‘my art’ above or giftsofhisglory.com

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First Review of My Book: Becoming Miriam

It’s the review every writer hopes to get, when they have finished their book and th-3asked a non-writer friend to read and proofread it. Such was the case with me this month when my friend “P” shared her review with me:

Hello my talented friend (Miriam):

You truly have the gift of writing. I enjoyed reading your story and wanted to keep turning the pages to see how God was going to reveal himself to you next!  Your love story with Jesus warms my heart and reminds me that I need to spend more quiet time with Jesus to experience the intimacy that you so tenderly write about.

I have been captivated by the many adventures and places that you have been. It has made me sad to read about the horrible things that have occurred in your life, yet your willingness to get help and the many ways that you have sought healing are truly admirable. Your testimony is very touching and powerful. – Your friend P

th-1I was ecstatic. My spirit soared. I danced around the house. My heart filled with gratitude to the Lord as I saw His confirmation to me in her words. It has been 3 1/2 hears since I first started writing my book and now it was finished, and put to the test. Would an average Christian person (my target audience) like my book? Would they find reader takeaway? Would they find the love of Jesus and healing in the pages? Yes, came the answer for the first time!

I basked in the kind words that dispelled my doubts as a writer; “Talented, gifted, powerful, tender,” all which boosted my flagging self-confidence.

Can you guess what gave me the most joy? That she read the first chapter, and kept on reading the rest! Yes, every writer’s nightmare is that a reader will read the first chapter or so and not pick up the book again. All the advice I had from my mentors (Kay Marshall Strom and Joseph Bentz), my critique partners, and writers group, paid off. My toil of rewriting the book FIVE times, was not in vain. Now would the rest of the world love it too?

I am one step closer to self-publishing the book, now titled Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God, which tells my faith story; how God has healed and transformed my life from the many traumas I faced. It promises insight and healing to the reader too, through the self help notes at chapter end.

You, the reader, can help me publish the book by LIKEing my FACEBOOK page, Miriam Sarzotti Author and Artist, or subscribing to my blog above. When the time comes, you thcan pre-order copies (including ebook) through my GOFUNDME campaign which includes some awesome gifts. So FOLLOW me and stay tuned!

Thank you Jesus for this beautiful gift of encouragement! (and thanks “P!”)

To see my Scripture paintings and greeting cards, click on ‘my art’ above or giftsofhisglory.combutterfly cross scan 5 x 7


Miracle Shoes: A Devotion/Prayer

I’d like to share one of my devotions that has been published in Penned From the Heart last year to encourage you in your walk today with God. The devotion, or prayer, shows God’s faithfulness during my time as a Christian missionary visiting England.

May it bless you today…and may you find a miracle of your own!

Miracle Shoes

“But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 KJV

th-2I peered out the window at another rainy October day in Cranborne, England, What am I going to do? I only have summer shoes with me since I left my luggage back in London.

“Lord, I am trusting you for my finances as I travel as a visiting missionary. I need a pair of warm boots for this cold weather. My pocketbook is empty. Help!”

That afternoon I stopped at a shoe store on my way to speak at a prayer group. A pair of brown leather boots for 50 pounds was in the window. Those would be perfect, th-1Lord. At the meeting, the leader told me, “Miriam, we can support you with prayers but not financially, as we are all on a pension.”

Two days later, a check for 50 pounds arrived by mail from a woman at the group. God had miraculously meet my need. He cares about the little things, even keeping our toes warm. He increases our faith as we trust Him to supply all our needs.

Heavenly Father, I trust you to provide all I need, knowing every good and perfect gift comes from you.

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Book Review: “The Amish Clockmaker” by Susan Meissner and Mindy Starns Clark

Part of the fun of being a writer is when you have the opportunity to review the latest novel of a writer friend and are given a complimentary copy by the publisher to do so. Today, I will be reviewing The Amish Clockmaker by author Susan Meissnerth and Minday Starns Clark. I met Susan at last year’s Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference and we have become Facebook friends. I was happy to respond to her request for reviewers of her third book in the series, The Men of Lancaster County.

As some of you may remember, I have visited Lancaster, Pennsylvania and hope to make my home there one day amongst the quiet life of the Amish. I learned to quilt there IMG_0294and continue my hobby to this day. So when the book arrived in the mail, I quickly poured a cup of tea and climbed on my bed to read. I was intriqued that it featured an Amish man as the main character and was a mystery/suspense, which I enjoy.

I think the book jacket explains the storyline best, so will quote it here:

“Newlywed Matthew Zook is expanding his family’s tack and feed store when a surprising property dispute puts the remodel on hold-and raises new questions about the location’s mysterious past.

Decades earlier, the same building housed a clock shop run by a young Amish clockmaker named Clayton Raber. Known for his hot temper, Clayton was arrested for the murder of his beloved wife, a crime almost everyone-including his own family members-believed he committed, even after the charges were dropped. Isolated and feeling condemned by IMG_0228all, Clayton eventually broke from the church, left Lancaster County, and was never heard from again.

Now the only way Matthew can solve the boundary issue and save his family’s business is to track down the clockmaker. But does this put Matthew on the trail of a murderer?”

Susan and Mindy write so beautifully. My favorite part of the story is the love story of Clayton and Miriam (my namesake!) as he rescues her from the shame of an unplanned pregnancy by a ‘worldly’ man, and her subsequent postpartum psychosis that tears them apart and leads to her death. I admire how the authors chose to deal with a serious mental illness that is not much written about.

God’s character is seen throughout the book. We see the faithful love of God exemplified in Clayton’s love of Miriam. We witness God’s redemption as Matthew attempts to unite Clayton and his estranged family. This gave me hope that one day the Lord may bring truth and understanding to my own estranged family situation. We see God’s faithfulness to bring good out of a bad situation, even many years later, giving every reader hope for their own future.

I became enthralled with the suspenseful storyline and read the book in three days! I particularly liked how I knew each town she mentioned in the story, as I had been

me in Amish buggy ride

me in Amish buggy ride

there personally. Susan creates and weaves the beauty of Lancaster County and the simplicity of Amish life throughout the story, which any reader would enjoy.

I highly recommend Susan’s The Amish Clockmaker. Don’t you love it when you find a new author and can’t wait to read all of their published books? I am now reading the second book in her series, The Amish Blacksmith, which tells the story of a ‘horse gentler’ or horse whisperer. To find out more about Susan and her published novels, visit her website: www.susanmeissner.com

To see my Scripture art and greeting cards visit my website at giftofhisglory.commeadow  5 x 7 scan

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Baby Teeth and Birthday Blues

What do baby teeth and birthdays have in common? Well, for me, a lot. You see tomorrow I am having my last baby tooth pulled, tooth #T, so the dentist says. It has served me well for 53 years, as I was born without a permanent tooth below it. I also have a BIG birthday coming up on Saturday, January 3, and I am feeling depressed. About both.

As long as I had my baby tooth, I felt young and alive at heart. As long as I was in my early fifties, I still felt young and cute, especially since people say I look a decade younger. Turning 54 is not so cute anymore. And, it is definitely middle-aged. I am one year away from being 55 when you can get into the movies on Monday for $6, shop at Ross Dress For Less on Tuesday’s for 10% off, and an assortment of other treats. That’s what my MOTHER does, I think to myself.

But, what hit me most was how on Saturday I will wake up and still not have a husband. I implored of the Lord, “How did this happen that I am now a senior citizen and still unmarried? Did you forget to put the husband card in your day-timer of my life? Who will want me with all my sags, memory loss, and turkey neck? I still want to be a mother, and unless you are going to pull another Elizabeth or Sarah number on me, I will not be giving birth.

So the tears came. I know some of it was the after-Christmas blues, the ‘why haven’t you opened the door for me to move yet’ and disappointment of not going to Paris for Christmas, because I had to stay home and have my tooth pulled. But, I think it is mostly the realization that I am growing older, alone.

Yes, I have my sweet Savior as my best friend and spiritual husband. Yes, I love to spend time with him and go on fun adventures together. In fact, I plan on spending my birthday just with Him, taking English afternoon tea in a tea house in San Francisco and then walking through Golden Gate Park, hand in hand. However, the yearning for a family of my own, a real-live husband and child to spend my ‘glory’ years with tugs at my heart.

I laugh with my friends that if I do somehow have a miracle child, I will be too old to bend over and pick her/him up! When I run around the house looking for my glasses, only to find them on my face already or in the shower (huh?), I mourn the loss of both my estrogen and memory, not necessarily in that order. I wonder why I have suddenly started calling everyone ‘dear’ as my grandmother did?

So, I did what every good writer would do, I blogged about it. And as I write this, the Lord reminds me of the gift of life He has given me, when I should have died many times over in my life. That He will bless my birthday with surprises and a heart full of His love, for I am His princess, His daughter and the best is yet to come! My heart is lifted and I place my trust in Him.

Goodbye baby tooth, I will miss you!

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Packing by Faith…My Latest Adventure.

I sit at my desk surrounded by boxes packed and waiting to be sealed up. I am planning on moving after 13 years at my apartment in downtown San Carlos which has been both a blessing (location) and curse, facing many trials. But in my prayer time, the Lord finally whispered to me its time to move.

“Where, Lord,” I have petitioned Him over and over. My heart has been to go to Paris and finish my book by writing the ‘afterward’ at a cafe where famous writers have written their best sellers, such as Hemingway. I have wanted to go to walk the Siene river and paint where Picasso and Monet painted. It has been my dream trip and a door I believe the Lord will open for me soon.

My heart is also in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, amongst the quiet lifestyle of the Amish and farm country. Visiting four years ago, I feel in love with the people and the fall season of leaves turning red, yellow and orange, so unlike here in Northern California. I have desired to marry, to quilt, make my own soap, sew my future children’s clothes and get fresh milk from the dairy. I know it is a dichotomy to want to live in France and the Bible Belt of America. But those are the two sides of me.

God is good that way. He plants the desires of our heart and then gives them to us. Often waiting a VERY long time, as I have, for my dreams to come true. “How will you survive the long, snowy winters, Miriam? my friends ask. “Hopefully with a break and trip to Palm Springs desert,” I reply laughing.

So I began to pack up my apartment, not knowing the next step as to where God will first lead me, but I know He will. Over and over He gives me the Scripture “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Me, and I will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I know he can do more than I ask or imagine, including bringing the resources I need to move; finances, home, plane ticket. I am trusting Him by faith. Sometimes God asks us to take that first step of faith, even though it seems strange or crazy to others.

After all, my relationship is with Him and I strive to be obedient. He knows the plan and the future, and that it is good. “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Stay tuned for my destination in my next blog post!

What step of faith is God asking you to take today? Leave me a comment and let me know!

To see my Thanksgiving and Christmas greeting cards with Scripture, see ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com. Special price on bundle of 6 cards! They make great gifts too!christmas poinsettias 5 x 7 greeting scan final


Under His Wings – A Devotion


 

For this post today, I would like to share one of my latest devotions, written after my last writers conference in April 2014. I usually don’t share my devotions due to copyright infringements (i.e people steal your writing), however, since this soon to be published, I gladly share it here.

Entitled “Under His Wings”, it shares an angelic encounter I had. I am sure many of you have experienced your own angel sightings or want to! Bless you as you consider how God can keep us all, “Under His Wings.”

Under His Wings by Miriam Sarzotti Copyright 2014.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalm 91:4 NLT)

The day after Easter Sunday, I was relaxing on my couch recovering from a long writers conference and the intensity of Holy Week. Feeling the Lord’s presence, I sat quietly with Him and envisioned myself cuddled in His arms. I thanked Him for the blessings He had bestowed on me, in particular keeping me safe from the devil’s schemes. He whispered for me to take His hand, and trust Him to guide me forward in my life. Suddenly, I saw a white fluffy item fall from the ceiling. Picking it up, I was amazed to discover a small feather. Soft to my touch, it didn’t resemble an animal’s feather. Instantly, I knew in my heart it was from a heavenly wing. Peace filled my soul. I saw feathers fall before during a service in Jerusalem, so was not totally surprised. God sent me a supernatural reminder that I was safe in the shelter of His wings.

Have you felt safe in God’s arms? He longs for us to run to Him to find shelter in His loving presence and promises in Scripture daily. Ask Him to show you signs of His love and protection today.

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Fall Holiday greeting card Mums in Pumpkin

Fall Holiday greeting card Mums in Pumpkin


My Magical time in Victoria, Canada

Inner Harbor, Victoria

It started with an unexpected check in the mail.  I had been praying for money for a vacation and with delight, here it was from the Lord’s hand to mine.  Paris? No, not enough money. Hawaii?  No, it would buy me maybe three days.

Then it came to me:  Victoria, British Columbia.  I had been as a teenager and remembered its beauty.  I wanted a place to have a honeymoon of sorts with Jesus, to relax and spend more time together, and grow in my intimacy with Him.

July 7th came quickly, and I was off for the two hour flight to the island.  My seatmate was a local man, who gave me all the ins and outs to do.  I planned on biking the island and exploring all the nooks and crannies.  I lived in England for five months during a break from the mission field and looked forward to fish-n-chips and English high tea. with thick cream on my scones.

Castle

Upon arrival, I was met with the perpetual hanging flower pots that are all over the island.  I arrived at my quaint inn, built in 1900 as a dormitory for coal miners.  My room overlooked the Craigdarroch Castle, which I quickly

Tower of Castle

went to see.  The Lord had promised me a surprise there, and I found it in the tower, with 360 degree views of Victoria.  Breathtaking.  I won’t share my surprise as it is a secret!

For four days I biked.  Along the shore, taking in the beauty of the Olympic Mountains and large timber like driftwood that scattered the beaches. To Oak Bay, where I had my delicious tea and visited the local art galleries, admiring the local artists. I explored the beautiful inner harbor, basking in the glow of the famous Empress Inn and its Rose Gardens.  I stopped and waited in line for halibut fish-n-chips at Red Fish-Blue fish, the local favorite.  I biked to Fisherman’s Warf and

Floating home

saw the floating houses and ate more fish-n-chips!

Every night, I was exhausted, and spent the evening watching the sun set not until 10:00pm, as it is close to Alaska and stays light until then.

porch where I watched sun set

The Canadian people are so friendly and helpful. Every place I went, if I was lost, they helped me.They were fun to talk to and had delightful stories to share.  I fell in love with Victoria, with its beauty, its European flair, and its laid back lifestyle.

Sunken Garden at Brutchart

Trip highlight was to famous Brutchart Gardens, where the color and expanse of flowers took my breath away. Of course, my phone and camera batteries died half way through, but I found a postcard of the spot I wanted to paint, as a souvenir of my trip.

I will be taking a break from painting my regular Scripture art and painting the beauty of Victoria from my heart.  It is good for an artist to switch things up every

Me at Totem Pole of Native Canadians

once in awhile!

The Lord blessed me with a closer intimacy with Him, healed my heart from some painful things in my life, and just had fun with me.  He loves to dance and sit and watch His masterpiece, the sunset, together.  I will always remember Victoria as my special love place with Him, and I am grateful for the beautiful, relaxing time I had.  Enjoy the pictures!

Stained glass of Dogwood, Canadians state flower, in castle

 

Rose trellis at Brutchart Gardens

 

 

The Empress Hotel

 

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