A Walkabout for Art Lovers in Nice, France

This Fall I plan to visit Nice, France, on the Cote d’Azur (blue sea) in the South of France. Also known as the French Riviera, it was a playground for artists – inspiring them to create art in a way that Paris could not, with the sun, sea and ocean breeze as subjects of their modernist paintings.

As an artist, I am looking forward to visiting the Marc Chagall Museum in Nice. Having a Jewish heritage myself, Monsuier Chagall is a favorite. I first saw his genius in the stained glass windows of the chapel in Haddassah Hospital outside Jerusalem, on my first tour of Israel. I was moved by his biblical scenes and my messianic-Jewish tour guide (a Jew who believes in Jesus) gave a delightful commentary as we visited the chapel. My favorite Chagall painting, La Mariee, is of a bride with violin-playing goat.

The Musee Marc Chagall was created with the cooperation of the artist himself, with large paintings illustrating the first two chapters of the Bible, Genesis and Exodus; and Solomon’s Song of Songs or Canticles, which is a biblical meditation on love.

THE LIFE OF CHAGALL

Marc Chagall, born Moishe Zakharovich Shagalov; (1887 –– 1985) was a Russian-French artist of Belarusian Jewish origin. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic format, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints.

Chagall was born into Russian poverty (his father was a herring merchant) and he went on to live a life encompassing nearly 100 years. He lived the Russian revolution, arrived in Paris not speaking a word of French, returned to his village to marry his fiancé and was then trapped in Russia during WWI. He returned to Paris to become one of the Modernist masters, but even this couldn’t save him as a Jew during WWII and his family had to be smuggled out of France to America. During this time his Jewish hometown was decimated from a population of over 200,000 to just 118 survivors.

Despite this, his work is infused with joy and optimism, whimsical dreamlike symbols, and always evoking his humble childhood and faith.

CHAGALL ON THE RIVIERA

Chagall lived his final years in Saint Paul de Vence from 1966-1985, where he was constantly in motion on new projects, even up to the day he died at age 97 (his tomb can be found in the Saint Paul de Vence cemetery). His works can be found up and down the coast – and sometimes crop up in surprising places, like at the winery Sainte Roseline where a Chagall mosaic covers a wall in the chapel, or in the back of L’Ane Rouge restaurant in the Nice Port, where you can find a red ceramic donkey, a gift to his stubborn red-haired mistress, Anne, who he nicknamed L’Ane Rouge, and who then gave the name to her restaurant.

How to Get There:

Take bus Bus #15 Rimiez/St-George, which you can catch behind the Nice Etoile Shopping Center, behind Galeries Lafayette, or on rue Geoffredo. Once the bus is well up the hill and you have a great city view to your left, you know your stop is getting close. After you pass the ‘Rolland Garros’ stop, push the red button and get off at the ‘Musee Chagall’ stop. The museum is via the road on your left. The museum is on Avenue Docteur Menard, which is just off Boulevard de Cimiez.*

Voyages heureux à Nice – Miriam

Check out my memoirs available on Amazon.com in ebook or paperback
Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God.

*adapted from Allison Coe – Best of Nice, Blog.


Paris Here I Come: The Best Falafel in Paris Review

Yes, I am excited to say my long planned trip to Paris is finally coming to pass. I have been waiting for the Lord to provide the money to go, and voila, I have received a nice settlement from a car accident which will allow me to travel to France.

One of my desired things to do when I get to Paris is visit the Jewish Quarter, the Marais, and have a falafel at what I have been told is the best falafel restaurant. I hear they are out of this world, and having spent much time in Israel, I love to eat them. If you are going to Jerusalem anytime soon, the best place to get one is in the Jewish Quarter in the Old City. They put French fries in them, which I love.

In the Marais district of Paris, long lines form in front of a tiny, dark green storefront, where tourists and locals alike await what just may be the best falafel sandwich in all of Europe. At least according to Lenny Kravitz, whose picture adorns this always crowded kosher eatery. Yes, while the City of Lights is renowned for its Michelin-starred restaurants and gourmet cuisine, one may not always feel up for a multi-course meal.

If you’re looking for something delicious and budget friendly, (a classic falafel pita cost 5 euro and will satisfy your appetite for hours and hours), head straight for the Marais district and don’t stop walking until you get to 34, rue des Rosiers.

The neighbourhood, the traditional Jewish quarter of Paris, is full of falafel joints, but L’As du Falafel is widely-known to be the best (Paris resident and professional food writer and blogger, David Lebovitz, puts L’As du falafel at number 2 on his list of 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris). Give your money to the Israeli guys standing outside, and get in line to pick up your order from the take-away window.

What you’ll get is a pita stuffed to the brim (you’ll need a fork and lots of napkins) with super-crisp, garlicky chickpea fritters, creamy hummus, lightly pickled red cabbage, salted cucumbers, fried eggplant and just-hot-enough harissa (ask for extra sauce piquant).

One word of advice: don’t save this meal for your last day on a Paris visit. Once you have one of these falafel sandwiches, you’ll want to come back again for another.

L’As du Falafel
34 rue des Rosiers (Métro Saint Paul), Paris
+33 (1) 48 87 63 60
Closed Saturdays

Bon Appetit! Wish me luck in my travels! – Miriam

Check out my book/memoirs: Becoming Miriam: A life transformed by God – click above or for sale at Amazon.com


Do you love a great Zoo?

Bon Jour! Zoos are some of my favorite things, visiting them wherever I travel. How about you? Today, I will take you on a tour of famous zoos, including one in Paris!

I remember as a teenager visiting my older sister Kathy in San Diego and spending the day wandering the huge San Diego Zoo, happy to see the animals in natural habitats. My favorite animal is the seal or otter, and I love to see them swimming around while barking. And of course, I often travelled to the San Francisco Zoo, taking my students when I was teaching elementary school.

Then one day while staying in Jerusalem during my missionary days there, I took the bus to the The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo to explore. It was November, and warm with a cool breeze, like the Fall gets there. Colorful leaves blew around my feet as I debarked the bus. I paid my 10 shekels to enter and was so surprised to see the native animals of the Bible, one after another. Each habitat had a sign posted with the Scripture from the Jewish Bible that mentions the animal, and where it came from, which was fascinating to see! God’s Word at the Zoo! King Solomon brought many of the animals on his great ships into the port at the tip of the Red Sea, now know as Eilat.

The zoo sees its primary goal as the conservation of endangered species. These include animals mentioned in the Bible which are now extinct in Israel, such as the Asian lion, the Syrian brown bear, the Asiatic cheetah, the Nile crocodile, and the Persian fallow deer.

Finally, I reached a large open reserve where animals roamed freely together. I rested on a bench overlooking the reserve nearby an Orthodox woman, in her long sleeves and skirt and wig, nursing her baby. I was shocked as I had never seen an Orthodox woman breastfeeding. She smiled at me, and I smiled back. Such peace and tranquility until an Israeli fighter jet flew overhead, breaking the silence and scattering the animals. A spark of fear settled in my heart, wondering if an attack was imminent. Just a typical day in Israel, I reminded myself.

And in the spirit of keeping everything French and highlighting some fun things to do if you get to Paris, may I recommend the Melagerie du Jardin des Plantes (Zoo & Gardens), the oldest zoo in France, right in the heart of Paris. In 1793 the Jardin des Plantes, which was originally a botanical garden, became the first public zoo in France. The compact 16 acre area, with formal 18th-century landscaping, was retained when the Jardin was renovated between 1918 and 1939. It holds some 1,100 specimens, including the rare Przewalski’s horse. It was the personal zoo of the aristocracy, who selected many animals to reside there from all of Europe and beyond.

I plan on visiting when I take my trip to Paris in the near future while enjoying the beautiful botanical gardens. I hope to paint some of the flowers there with my pastels and include them in my art greeting card collection. I wonder what animal and flower will be my favorite? Restez à l’écoute – stay turned! Au revoir mes amis. – Goodbye my friends!

Check out my book/memoirs: Becoming Miriam: A life transformed by God – click above
or for sale at Amazon.com.

To see my art greeting cards, click here


A Virtual Trip to Paris on Christmas Day

is-1Joyeux Noel! Merry Christmas in French. It’s Christmas Day here outside San Francisco and I am writing my first blog post for my new theme C’est La Vie! (This is life!) I hope you are somewhere warm celebrating the birth of our dear Savior Jesus, who came to bring light to our darkness and freedom and hope for eternal life to each one of us.

Now that my first book, Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God is published and available for sale on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle/ebook img_1397formats, I can go forth with my plans of going to Paris and fulfilling my dream of being a writer and artist there. I plan on taking a long trip to write in the cafe where famous authors wrote during the Romance-age of Paris and paint where famous artists painted..

I plan to go to Cafe Les Deux Magots in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris, which was the rendezvous of the literary and is-2intellectual society. I know the booth where Hemingway wrote and desire to sit with my laptop and work on my second book, which is a continuation of my first, how God is leading me to France to live and minister there. Think what inspiration this will be. Sipping on a Cafe Creme, letting a buttery croissant melt in my mouth. Watching all the people, hearing French spoken and using my limited French with the waiter.

After a day writing, I hope to take my pastels down to the river Seine, the main large river that runs through Paris in a snake shape, and paint the famous bridges. I will take a coffee and walk till I find that perfect one, perhaps with Notre Dame Cathedral in the background, Think what inspiration that will be, to imagine is-3how Picasso, Monet, and Chagall painted the same spot, and to be surrounded by other artists hoping to make their mark in the art world. I’ll capture how the sunlight dances on the dark green water, and the clouds floating by. Perhaps there will be a small child with a colorful balloon.

My heart will soar as my dream comes true, as God is a giver of good dreams. It has been a hard, long wait, with the passing of my father this summer, and recovery from a car accident of 14 months, along with a bout with melanoma cancer.

But our God promises to bring good out of evil and sickness, to give us the hope of life with a loving God who adopts us as His child, even when we are alone and abandoned by our own families. He will never leave us or abandon us, and will come live in our heart when we ask him to forgive our sins and give us a clear, new beginning.

You can learn how to have this personal relationship with God by reading my book, which shares how I found this same relationship is-4after a life that left me with a broken heart and damaged life. Jesus was faithful to restore me and can for you too, no matter how wounded you are.

Back to France…I have some resources to share with you if you would like to come along and dream with me about going to Paris. Read the book: The Paris Wife: The First Mrs. Hemingway, by Paula McLain.The Paris Wife takes place in the hopelessly romantic 1920s, as Hadley, a 28-year-old virgin, and Hemingway, a terribly ambitious 21-year-old wounded in the First World War, start their lives together in France.

is-5McLain smartly explores Hadley’s ambivalence about her role as supportive wife to a budding genius, and the novel is at its most powerful and devastating in its portrayal of two key moments in the marriage: when Hadley leaves a valise with her husband’s manuscripts on a train, only to see them stolen, and later, when she realizes he has left her out of his first novel,The Sun Also Rises.

It is a great read, and allows the reader to step into the romance of 1920s Paris. For a movie that does the same thing, I recommend the movie Midnight in Paris (2011), directed by Woody Allen, starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams set in modern day Paris. While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée’s family, Gil, a writer, 220px-Midnight_in_Paris_Posterwalks the streets of Paris at midnight only to be offered a ride in a car that has him time traveling back to the romance of the 1920s. There he meets the greats: Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and Picasso.

I hope you have enjoyed our little trip to Paris today, and will follow along on my blog to enjoy more! I also plan to go to the South of France and visit Nice, where Chagall and Picasso both have museums.

Blessings to you, dear reader on this Christmas Day.
Un joyeux Noël à tous nos lecteurs.

Au Revoir!

To read a synopsis of my book, click above or go to Amazon.com

To view my greeting cards that feature my art, click above or go to miriamsarzotti.com


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.

img_1460

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


New Pastel Note Cards in Time for Fall Holidays

fall pumpkin with leaves cardAnnouncing….my latest pastel art note cards…perfect for sending or gifting this Fall season. I selected my best and favorite pastel paintings and made them into 5 x 7 blank
note cards on high quality note paper. Each card is an original print of my art, printed by hand…They are perfect to be framed and make a lovely gift to give for the upcoming holidays. Check out my Fall Pumpkin with Leaves card just for this purpose. I can add a greeting such as “Happy Thanksgiving” or your favorite Scripture to each card hand printed.

gerber daisies card

hibiscus card

tulip card

bouganviella card

magnolia card

Cards can be ordered through my website www.giftsofhisglory.com.

Send me an order/comment under the ‘Contact Miriam’ section with your selection. Cards are $6 each or special on a set of 6 for $32 (savings of $4) I can mail them to you for an additional $4 charge. I accept debit and credit cards or a check drawn on a local California bank. All communications on my website are secure, but you are welcome to place your order and send your financial information by telephone 650-454-4210 Please make sure to include your telephone number.

Please feel free to contact me at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com with any questions.

Enjoy!

Please share my post and cards with your friends! LIKE TWEET or PINTEREST above/below.

To see my other paintings and greeting cards click on ‘my art’ abovechristmas poinsettias 5 x 7 greeting scan final


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.
IMG_0820

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


How God Paints Our Lives with Pastel Crayons

thEvery artist goes through stages when they are ready to move on to a new type of art. I found myself in this stage a few months ago, when I no longer felt led to continue my Scripture Art paintings. I needed a new start after an eight month recovery period from my hand and shoulder injuries. I could now paint again and remembered the pastel crayons I had bought a few years ago sitting in my art box. I thought it would be fun, using crayons to paint, just like in Kindergarten!

So one day I got them out, all shiny and new, and smelling the wonderful chalky smell of pastels. The box had 24 colors, all of the color spectrum, so I knew I was ready. IMG_0564But, what to paint? Being that I love to paint God’s creation, especially flowers, I took my iphone camera and went out to snap some pictures. This began the process of putting myself on a schedule, and thus Painting Mondays began. Sunday night, I would select a flower scene to paint and first thing Monday morning, I would sit down with my laptop with the flower on the screen, my box of crayons, and a cup of coffee. Putting praise music on in the background inspired me to worship God both through my gift of art and song.

IMG_0588What I discovered as I drew and colored, is that I could smudge the colors with my fingers, reminding me of finger painting, which was my favorite type of painting as a child. Didn’t you love putting your fingers in the cold goo and spreading it all around on the paper? Painting with pastels is kind of like that. They are soft and leave a chalk like residue that I have to blow off periodically, and sometimes it gets on my laptop keyboard and then I have to blow it off that!

Unlike painting with acrylics or oils, you cannot mix the paint to form another IMG_0623color. You have to pick your color and then color over it with another color to lighten or darken your color of choice. I grew to love making a soft pink color by starting with magenta and lightening it with a white crayon. I discovered I could ‘mix’ the crayons in a new and fun way.

As I ‘painted’ I realized God, the ultimate Artist, paints a picture of our life everyday, and often He will ‘smudge’ our hearts with his healing touch, taking away th-1our pain and wounding, just like with a pastel crayon. He likes to ‘color’ over our mistakes with His forgiveness, and blow away our tears. And in the process, he makes a beautiful picture of our life, for all to see. For are we not His ultimate masterpieces? Aren’t you grateful He doesn’t just color within the lines, but gives us grace every day?

And when the painting is done, I spray it with a protective sealant that keeps it from smudging and remaining the beautiful picture it is. Just like God does after He heals us and saves us, He places His love and Holy Spirit as a protection that no one, not even the devil, can steal away.

IMG_0688My new pastel paintings are for sale for $50 each and you can contact me through my website giftsofhisglory.com under ‘contact Miriam’.

Perhaps I will turn these into new greeting cards as well. God knows what He has in mind for me, and you too! He sees the blank canvas of your life every day and will ‘color’ His will for you unto it, if you surrender you will and life to Him as your Lord and Savior. He wants to color over all the blackness of your sin and mistakes IMG_0649and give you a heart white as snow. Would you let Him today do this for you? If so, please pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus: Thank you that you are the Creator of all things, including me. I want to live a new life, with you in the center of my heart and life. Please forgive my sins, I believe you died on the cross for me and rose from the dead so I could have eternal life with you. I accept you as my Lord and Savior today and ask you to make my life a beautiful masterpiece. Amen.

To view my Scripture paintings and greeting cards click on ‘my art’ above.

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