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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A Mother’s (and Father’s) Day Story: Finding life after abortion…

This mother’s day I will be doing something different in celebration of my daughter Lynley.  I will be standing on Mother’s Day Sunday at church when they ask all the mothers to stand.  You see Lynley was my sweet baby who didn’t live outside of the womb.  I aborted her when I was 30 years old.  The shame that I hadn’t given my baby life always kept me from acknowledging I was a mother.  But not this Mother’s Day.

I am able to do this as I have received healing and forgiveness for my abortion.  I want to offer that same healing to women (and men) who are reading my post today.  I know this is not an easy topic to address, but one I feel the Lord wanted me to share with you.

Before I became a born again Christian, I lived a very worldly life.  Sexual relationships with unhealthy men was my norm. A fast paced life as a MBA in the corporate world running after success and money.  This coupled with carrying the pain of an abusive childhood  caused me to crash and hit bottom at age 30.  I was diagnosed with a clinical suicidal depression and hospitalized. In the midst of this, I got pregnant by my boyfriend who my doctors were trying to seperate me from because he was abusive.

I was so happy to be pregnant when the home pregnancy test came back positive.  Joy filled me.  I had always wanted to be a mother, but wondered how could I possibly me one now.  I was so ill and depressed, fighting for my life every day.  My doctors, fearing I couldn’t sustain a pregnancy,  recommended a ‘therapeutic’ abortion, to save the life of the mother, me, over the unborn child.

My Catholic psychiatrist even told me the Catholic church, which I had grown up in, would agree.  I was so worried the baby would be deformed on the powerful medications I was taking.  My parents did not offer me any help, refusing me shelter to raise my baby in.  Helpless, on disability I did not know where to turn.  I did not know about Christian crisis pregnancy centers or help within the Christian community.  I listened to the worldly advice and scheduled the abortion at my hospital.

A few days before, I changed my mind and wanted to keep my baby.  My parents and boyfriend refused me any promise of financial help or shelter.  I was alone and abandoned.  Trapped.

I cried the whole way through the abortion as my baby was suctioned out of me.  My girlfriend held my hand and her knuckles were white from my grip.  I screamed in pain and afterward threw up in the sink.  My baby was gone.

But there is hope in my story.  You see my baby, whom I named Lynley, had a soul and spirit upon conception.  In the Bible it says of God: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13.)  God breathed life into her.  She had a beating heart as early as 21 days.  She was not a blob of tissue as Planned Parenthood will tell you.

When I aborted her, her soul and spirit returned to God where she is alive in Heaven, waiting for me to join her.  How do I know this for certainty?  God promises us in the Bible: “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.  (Ecclesiastes 12:7.)

I was blessed to find healing through the love of women at a Christian pregnancy center near my home. I read and worked through the workbook entitled: Forgiven and Set Free: A Post-Abortion Bible Study for Women by Linda Cochrane with a class of women. I found healing for my abortion 22 years later.

We studied Scripture that told me who I was in Jesus, and that I was forgiven for even the sin of aborting my child. I learned others had sinned against me by not offering help to me and their child and grandchild.  I found comfort in knowing  they would be held accountable by God one day but God was calling me to even forgive them.

I found understanding of the grief process a woman (and man) goes through. How to be set free from the horrible shame, secrecy, and darkness I felt. I learned Jesus came to shed His healing light into our darkness.  To free us from the bonds of guilt, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, all symptoms of Post Abortion Stress Syndrome. (PASS).

Jesus in Heaven

I was overjoyed to discover that I get my daughter back. I know I will spend eternity with her as I have received the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  He promises us eternal life, free of any pain or tears, if we trust Him as our Lord and Savior.

This means we ask Him for forgiveness of our sins, sins He took on the cross for us so we could spend eternity with Him. Because He rose from the dead on the third day, we are promised that same resurrection when we die, to receive a new glorified body in heaven, where there is only light.((1 Corinthians 15:44; Romans 6:5: For since we have become one with Him by sharing in His death, we shall also be one with Him by sharing in His resurrection).

If you have had an abortion, or played a part in a decision for abortion, asking for and receiving the Lord’s forgiveness is the key to healing.  If so, please pray this prayer.

Dear Jesus: I thank you that you have received my baby’s (babies) souls into Heaven where I can see them again one day.  I ask you to forgive my sins and come into my heart as my Lord and Savior today.  I believe you died on the cross for me and rose from the dead so I could have eternal life with you in Heaven.  Heal my heart from the pain of my abortion(s) and set me free so I can live a life free from the past.  Thank you Jesus.  Amen.

If you are pregnant, know there are options for you besides abortion.

Contact a Christian crisis pregnancy center or pregnancy resource center and go for an appointment.  Google on the Internet or look in the yellow pages for their number and address.

Call a confidential pregnancy hot-line such as 1-800-BETHANY. They will help you understand your options for either adoption or keeping your baby and help you with resources to do so (even if your family abandoned you and you are homeless).  And most likely give you an ultrasound of your baby where you can see its heart beating. All for FREE.

Talk to your pastor or minister in confidence.  Tell a trustworthy friend.

Give life to your baby and for you too!  Abortion doesn’t just murder your baby, it murders your soul as well.

If you have had an abortion:, Attend a class for post abortive women (or men) offered at a Christian pregnancy resource center or church. Many have classes and retreats you can take to help you work through the process of healing. There is also a workbook for men entitled: Healing a Father’s Heart: A Post-Abortive Bible Study for Men by Linda Cochrane.

Lynley's resurrected spirit painting

As part of my healing process, I celebrated the life of my child in Heaven.  I was encouraged to do something creative to thank Jesus for keeping care of my daughter.  I decided to paint a picture of Lynley’s resurrected spirit to thank Him and bring me peace.

I also planted a tree for her in Israel through www.treesfortheholyland.com. I am a Jewish Christian and love Israel, having been in ministry there for many years.  Planting a tree is a symbol of giving life.  In Judaism, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value.  The letter Chet equals the number 18. Chai which means life consists of the letter Chet symbolizing the number 18. Therefore, it costs $18 to plant a tree and give life. In return for doing so, I was blessed with a beautiful watercolor reproduction of a Jerusalem scene with a commemoration of my daughter. It read :

Tree Planted in Holy Land poster www.treesfortheholyland.com

A Tree had been planted in the Holy Land, In Celebration of Lynley, my daughter, For her heavenly homecoming, April 1991, Planted by Your ima (mother) Miriam.

I now have peace when I look at it framed on my wall.  I no longer feel shame or guilt. I can acknowledge myself as a mother and tell others about my daughter now. I am excited to see her one day soon and hold her in my arms for the first time. I am forgiven and set free.

Will you find the peace and forgiveness only Jesus can bring to you today?

 

If you need a confidential ear please feel free to leave me a private message at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com.  I am here to help you.

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To see my art click on my art above or at www.giftsofhisglory.com