Sunday, February 18, 2018

Wings for another friend

This week's envelope goes out to another neighbor who has been facing the challenge of their first born baby wanting to come much earlier than it should.  She and her husband have been at the hospital indefinitely while they work through all options to keep baby in the womb for further development. 
I chose to go back to painting a butterfly.  One cannot watch the transformation from a caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly without looking at the process, the struggle that each phase presents to the insect, and the resplendent result without seeing meaning in their own life.  Trials, if reacted to patiently, give us strength and beauty.  Somehow, this struggle for my neighbors, in time, will give radiance to them.  And, no doubt, the ability to soar through future challenges.
This is done in gouache.

Sunday, February 04, 2018 gladden the heart

In a conversation with a family member this last week, I listened to someone that I care about express her frustration about the challenges that she is facing, about feeling adrift at times, not knowing quite what she should be doing and questioning what the future will look like.  It was hard to hear that she was struggling.  Yet, we have all been in those fiery furnaces wherein we have to make decisions to either continue forward with faith, or to shrink.
My thoughts have gone back to her repeatedly this week, wondering what counsel I could give, or what reminders I might send to help her to see herself, and the world in the light that would help her in this struggle.
I came across a scripture this week that was impactful, and meaningful in this regard.  It states:

"And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances...with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—
Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;" --Doctrine and Covenants 59:15-20
I was struck by the reminder that all the things in this world, even down to the tiniest creeping thing, were created for the use of man, God's children, and that he has an anxious desire to please our eye and gladden our heart.  It was helpful for me to remember that this is one of his characteristics, a desire to see us happy.  Knowing that, and knowing that we can call upon him for assistance through the rough parts, is comforting.
So, today, I painted a little bug envelope for my family member that I love, but who is struggling.  I sent her a letter to remind her that even the littlest, beautiful things were given to us to help us be happy, and that the same being who was careful enough to create beauty in the little things, is anxious to orchestrate happiness in our lives, as we permit Him to do so.
I also used a little insect, because this person's knickname when just a little girl was "bug."
This was done primarily with Gouache and Prismacolor.