Today's Devotion...

... from the Upper Room this morning. I found this to be so touching...

EVERY Christmas Eve, my father would slip out of the house and head downtown. My sister and I never realized what he was doing until years later. Apparently, he was shopping the stores for items he could repair or refurbish. Most shop owners were happy to make a few dollars on defective products, worn demos, dismembered toys, and such. My dad, always a good negotiator, whittled the prices down to almost nothing. He would hide these soon-to-be Christmas gifts in the garage. After we went to bed, Dad would sneak out to his workshop, often staying up all night to fix the gifts. I never owned a completely new bicycle, wagon, or baseball glove; they were all items that Dad had reclaimed. With an even more loving heart than my dad's, God is also a repairer: of torn lives, splintered families, and shattered hopes. All that causes us pain, God yearns to heal. Prayer: Dear Lord, you have mended our lives so many times. Help us minister to others in the same way. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What God restores becomes better than new. -- Charles E. Harrel (Oregon, USA)

PRAYER FOCUS:Those Who Are Brokenhearted


My Love Affair with... LE-THAAA!!!! (Leather)

I have a thing for good le-thaaa! Ever since I was young my brother David would relish in good leather, too, and would say it that way and make Carole and me smell and EXPERIENCE it. Well, I have become much that same way with gorgeous, Italian leather shoes (that smell just SENDS me!), a good leather, studded belt, great leather purses, etc. I bought last year two leather, studded belts from Stowe Provisions. They sell thru Free People, but the guys are really great! Read their story here. One is from the twin cities, and I talked to him directly about my buckle when the belt came in with a different one than what was pictured. They just sent me another one - no problem.

Me, with my Italian leather strappy sandals from J Crew. You should've smelled them upon opening the box!!!

This belt says, "Here Comes the Sun" with a sun on the back center and hand-painted clouds on each side...

This one just says, "Peace" with hand-painted flowers.

Their belts are like the ones that Railroad Bazaar sold in my hometown of Athens, AL. I LOVED that store when I was young. It was so 70s with everything leather to be made and sold - like belts, leather bracelets with your name on it. Carole and I got one that we both LOVED until mine came off my wrist and sunk into the Tennessee River. I WAS SAD! We got another one made, but it just wasn't quite the same. Lastly, I just bought a beautiful leather purse from the Ruehl store at 40% off. Sadly, all the Ruehl stores are closing January 30, 2010, but I'm glad I was able to nab one of their finest.

What can I say? I just LOVE Le-thaaaa!!!


Happy 75th, Dad!

Wow, my Dad turns 75 TODAY! I cannot tell you what an inspiration he has been to me all my life and has been such a great father to me and my siblings. He really encouraged Carole and me to pursue art as he saw so many great artists in his own family and thought artistic talent had trickled down to us, too. I'm so glad for his encouragement! He has been a great business man all his life and my brothers followed in his footsteps having him as their mentor and inspiration. I miss being able to be around him on a daily basis as I've lived away from him and Mom for almost 15 years now, but we stay connected and I always feel his love for me from
1000 miles away. I send you a virtual hug and kiss!

Happy birthday, Dad, and I wish you many more!



Oh, I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted work! I cannot begin to tell you how busy life has been with 3 young kids and the dog, so I get done what I can. I have done several encaustic paintings lately that I am going to be posting that are small in size.

Encaustic requires the artist to be flexible and make decisions quickly in the process. Seldom do my original ideas come to fruition the exact way I intend with this medium, but I do love it nonetheless once I get over this fact. You kind of have to go with the flow of the paint and torch and watch colors melt and blend in such beautiful ways. I had toned this one in reds and burgundys with the intention of almost completely covering the background in blues. My students loved the burgundy tones as I did as the process went, so I decided to keep some that toning showing thru. This is "Fishy!'

Encaustic on cradled board, 6 x 12", $150 s/h $12


There's just SOMETHING about my school (AUBURN UNIVERSITY)

Well, after 20 years since I graduated from Auburn, I STILL break down in tears when I see the Auburn games on tv especially if they are played in Auburn. I haven't known why, exactly, that I get so touched to tears with such a sense of pride and joy about Auburn. Well, I figured out a big part of why tonight after receiving this email from my dear friend Diane from a friend of hers who attends Opelika Baptist Church right outside of Auburn. Here's a great story below:

from a friend....... I received this blog this morning from a young lady who goes to Opelika > First Baptist Church . This sweet, life changing event happend on Thursday night. I wanted to share it with each of you...God is working everywhere...and it just gives me chills. Wish I could have been there to witness the Holy Spirit at work once again. Tonight at church we were SO BLESSED with the opportunity to watch the following four men be BAPTIZED by their team chaplain:

Walter McFadden
Antonio Coleman
Eltoro Freeman

T'Sharvan Bell

Recognize those names? Yeah. It was awesome. He had a hard time
lifting some of them out of the water, they weigh three times as much as he does! Yet with tears in their eyes and soft hearts as big as the room, they stood in front of hundreds and confessed their faith in Christ. Following them was a steady stream of high school boys who looked like miniature versions of them, big shoulders, dread locks, goofy grins... following in their footsteps, committing their lives to Christ, choosing to stand up for Christ in their schools despite their less-than-ideal backgrounds... it was so cool.

It was such a fresh reminder of how active our God is in Auburn and
how capable He is of moving mountains. I underestimate Him and put Him in a box far too often! God allowed those boys to come to Auburn to play football here with this very purpose in mind, and don't you know He was celebrating with His angels to night as they professed their love for Him? This is such a huge part of why I love it here! This is what happens when you routinely hire a Christian crew of coaches for our football team. This is what God can do in the lives of those men who, outside of football, often have nothing else to hope in. This is just the beginning of what He is capable of on our campus, and it is so exciting. Antonio Coleman finished out the service by telling us his story and had the whole place in tears. He finished by saying, " Auburn is a special place, it is such a special place", and I couldn't agree more. Auburn IS a special place. God is moving here. Next time you see them on TV, just smile and know that they are living for so much more than football.

Walter McFadden (above)

I broke down just reading the email of this letter, and I realize that my soul continues to be stirred by stories like this coming from my school. I felt God's present so strongly during my years at Auburn in all that I did - the girls in Kappa Delta sorority, the Auburn tennis team, philanthropic activities on campus and late nights drafting for quarter end projects for interior design.

It truly IS "great to be an Auburn tiger!"

Chette Williams is the Auburn team chaplain. I read his book, Hard Fighting Soldier, and it was an amazing story. Great for anyone wanting to see God's work of perservering in the lives of those who seem to having nothing or nothing to hope or live for. AMAZING!