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Esther 2:5, 7 ” Now there was at the citadel in Susa a Jew whose name was Mordecai… He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had no father or mother. Now the young lady was beautiful of form and face, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.”

Esther 2:17- “ The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. “
Esther 9:30-31- “He sent letters to all the Jews, to the provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, namely, words of peace and truth, to establish these days of Purim at their appointed times, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established for them, and just as they had established for themselves and for their descendants with instructions for heir times of fasting and their lamentations. “

Esther

Esther 011

We also recently watched the movie “One Night with the King”, which is about the story of Esther. What an amazing story. Esther wasn’t in this city because she chose to be. She was a Jew, living among Persians because her family was there.

She was beautiful, and her beauty and character won over the king, Xerxes. He brought her into her harem.  She was a good Jew who had kept herself pure.  The king would have one night with her, and seeing if he liked her.  If he didn’t choose her, she would remain in his harem.  Her life would have been drastically different.  Fortunately, God caused Xerxes to find favor with Esther, and he made her his queen.

It is through Haman’s vengeful behavior, that Esther has an opportunity to stand up for herself and make the Jews known.  She had never revealed her identity to the king, and at the thought of death, she decides to confront him.  She prayed and fasted, and her people did as well.  I believe, God revealed to her the way to approach Xerxes, so that he would be able to listen to her.

She goes to him, unannounced.  Someone who approached the king without invitation was subject to death.  She was amazingly brave in her willingness to go before the king, in order to save her people.  She arranged for a series of 3 banquets, where she wined and dined Xerxes and Haman.  Just enough time for Xerxes to remember Mordecai and the deeds he had done.  And just enough time to show what an evil man Haman was.  God’s timing was perfect.  I think that God had Esther there for such this time.  So she could demonstrate the saving power of her God and how his timing is perfect.   He is a great God and is able to save us from even the most unlikely consequences.

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2 Corinthians 5:17- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”


This colorway is actually inspired by some of the traveling that my husband and I have done. When we were very newly pregnant with our oldest daughter, we went to Australia for 3 weeks. We went to the Daintree Rainforest. We encountered the most beautiful blue and black butterfly there, the Ulysses. It was amazing.

Shortly thereafter, we went to Costa Rica. While at a butterfly conservatory, we were surrounded by hundreds of Blue Morpho Butterflies. They are also that striking blue and black. You can click on it to see it bigger!!

Blue morpho butterfly

You know how in school, we learn about the process of metamorphosis?  This caterpillar  is crawling around one day, spins himself up a cocoon, and emerges a butterfly.  Though it is the same being, he is no longer the same creature.  How does this occur?  We know what happens, but only God can make this creature become something totally different.

What is so neat, is that through the power of His son, Jesus, we can also become new creatures in Christ.  I know that in my former self, I was a mess.  I desperately love my children, but all I have to do is look at them and see my former self.  My 3 year old daughter has such a hard time sharing, and being kind to her sister.  Her entire being is truly selfish.  Though she’ll have selfless moments, she really is very self centered.  That is part of her sinful self.  She can never truly be selfless without the help of her Creator.   That is why the Christian life is so powerful.

At one time, I was like my children.  And then I realized my need for a savior.  I understood that Christ was the only perfect man to ever live and that He laid down his life willingly, so that I might have restored communion with a Holy God again.  And in accepting his gift to me, he in return made me a new person and sealed me with the Holy Spirit.  Just like that butterfly, I was made new.  Now I am not claiming perfection.  However, my motives and desires were changed at that moment.  I understood things that I could have not understood before.  And I am so grateful for this new life.

Much like the butterfly…  He has experienced flight. He is beautiful.  He is light as air and carefree.  Do you think he’d ever want to return to his little fat, crawling, caterpillar self?  I think not.  Nor would I.  I long for everyone to experience this amazing “Metamorphosis” in Christ.  If you ever have any questions about my faith or experiencing a personal relationship with Jesus, please email me.


Genesis 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

Rested

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 7!

This day of creation is where God rested.  Much like an artist who finishes a piece of artwork and looks over his work with pleasure, our God rested in His creation.  He was satisfied with the work of His hands.  He stepped back to admire His work. And like a good father also, He was setting an example for His children to follow.  God never NEEDS rest, but He knew we did.  We can get so caught up in our busy lives that we never take time to just “rest”.  God modeled for us what we needed to do.

Taken from the Matthew Henry Concise Commentaryon the Whole Bible:

“After six days, God ceased from all works of creation. In miracles, he has overruled nature, but never changed its settled course, or added to it. God did not rest as one weary, but as one well pleased. Notice the beginning of the kingdom of grace, in the sanctification, or keeping holy, of the sabbath day. The solemn observing of one day in seven as a day of holy rest and holy work, to God’s honour, is the duty of all to whom God has made known his holy sabbaths. At this time none of the human race were in being but our first parents. For them the sabbath was appointed; and clearly for all succeeding generations also. The Christian sabbath, which we observe, is a seventh day, and in it we celebrate the rest of God the Son, and the finishing the work of our redemption.”

Take some time in your life to really “rest”.  It will refresh your body and soul!

Genesis 1:26-28- ” Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 2:7,18, 21-24- “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being…Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”…So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
Genesis 1:31 “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

Unity

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 6- part 2!

The way the pinks and blues of this colorway mold together remind me of a man and a woman joining their lives together. “What God has joined together, let not man separate.” Theses words are often spoken at weddings. The institution of marriage is very important to me. I love, honor and cherish my husband deeply. He has been the greatest gift the Lord has given to me on this earth. We are perfectly suited to one another. I love him with all of my heart and soul. And through this union, we’ve brought two amazing girls into the world. Our love multiplied in a very real and evident way.

On this day of creation, God created a man. Then He gave him a wife as a gift. God had something special in mind when He created man. He wanted the world to see a likeness of Himself in all humans. And He wanted us to know about Himself through the gift of marriage. For in marriage, a man and woman would find intimacy, trust, love and physical satisfaction, while populating the earth. Yet the institution of marriage is only a minuscule representation of the love the Father has for us. He loves us so much more. Even to the point that He was willing to send His son to take away the sins of the world.  So that by believing in Jesus, we might experience perfect unity with God by having the Holy Spirit indwell our very being.  And then someday experience an eternal unity with God in heaven!

Answers in Genesis has a wonderful article about God’s creating of man. I included just the summary statement.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v16/i4/image.asp

“When God created the vegetation and the animals, He made them all ‘after his/their kind’ (the phrase occurs nine times in Genesis 1:11-25). When He created Adam, He made him after the God-kind — in the image and likeness of God (cf. Acts 17:28). After the Fall, man is still said to be in God’s image (Genesis 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7) and likeness (James 3:9). However, this image was defiled by man’s rebellion at the Fall, and all aspects of God’s image were tarnished. Nevertheless, these aspects were perfect in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was and is ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Colossians 1:15), and ‘the express image’ of God (Hebrews 1:3), both in His life on earth and in Heaven.

The Apostle Paul says that we are transformed or renewed into the image of God by the Gospel, and that this image is then ‘in righteousness and true holiness’ (Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24). This is not something that the natural man can bring about by his own efforts, but is the result of our ‘receiving Christ’ in faith and repentance (John 1:12; Galatians 2:20). It is accomplished by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5; Romans 8:28-29), who takes up His abode within God’s children (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). ‘God is long-suffering towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance’ (2 Peter 3:9).”


Genesis 1:20-23 “Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.”

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 5- Part 2

Are you sick of Frank Harber yet? LOL Well this book is awesome! Another quote regarding the evolution vs. creation. On page 19, Harber provides some great information. “Evolution requires that spontaneous generation (life coming from unliving matter) must have occurred. But not one case of spontaneous generation has occurred. All scientific observations point to the fact that life only comes from life. This scientific law is referred to as the the Law of Biogenesis. Hence, to get life you need life.” But to me this makes sense. God told the birds and the fish to be fruitful and multiply. He created them just as they were and expected them to reproduce their own kind. What a great God.

Regarding this colorway, I took some artistic liberties. No where in the Bible is there a mention of flamingos, per se. However on day 5, God created ALL the birds, including Flamingos. This colorway was actually inspired by a wetbag I own that with an Amy Butler print. It looks to me like flamingos standing in water and I am so glad that it turned out the way I hoped it would. While I am creative and enjoy this process, I pale in comparison to the ultimate artist- God! He created everything we see. He is awesome!

For your viewing pleasure, the print that inspired this “Flamingos.”
Flamingos & bag


Genesis 1:20-23 “Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.”

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 5- Part 1

On this day, God created all the sea creatures. We went to Sea World with both of the girls this year. It was so wonderful to see these creatures. The super intelligent and friendly dolphins. The funny seals performing. The huge orca whales in such a lovely display. We loved it. This colorway reminds me of Shamu and a dolphin swimming in a sea of amazing water.

Regarding God’s creation of the fish, I found this article at Answers in Genesis.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/news-to-note/2007/0324.asp

“It’s another case of science turning to God’s design for inspiration: a study published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics (which focuses on such natural inspiration) describes how engineers may be taking a cue from dolphins in devising improved sonar systems. Dolphins navigate using sonar—sonar that “outperforms any man-made system, particularly in shallow water, ” according to the article.

Enter Peter Dobbins, an engineer for Britain’s SEA Group. Based on the theorized but as yet unverified idea that dolphins use their teeth to improve sonar navigation, Dobbins modeled dolphin jaws to investigate the “endfire array” concept:

The models showed that the endfire-array pattern performs better at close range than the ‘broadside’ pattern often used in man-made sonar systems. In a broadside array, the sound
travels at right angles to the jaw—from directly underneath, for example. Whereas the broadside array loses the ability to determine direction of sound closer than 10 centimetres from the source, the endfire array can still do so.

Of course, since scientists have not proven that dolphins actually use their teeth in navigation, Dobbins’ model only “may be” taking a cue from nature. Despite this unanswered question, the article points out:

Dobbins agrees that further work is necessary to determine whether his models accurately reflect dolphin sonar. But regardless of how that debate turns out, he says, the results can already be used to improve man-made systems.

As humans, we can be thankful for not only God’s incredible designs, which have inspired numerous engineering advances, but also for the logical minds God gave us that allow us to use science to investigate the world around us.”

God created all his creatures with special abilities. And man has just copied God’s design. Electrical, mechanical, acoustical, optical phenomena are already present in nature. What a brilliant God!


Genesis 1: 9-10 “Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. “

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 3- Part 1

Day 3 has two parts. The first deals with the creation of our Earth. Looking for more proof, I again turned to Frank Harber. On page 25, he states: “The Earth’s crust is extremely thin, much thinner than the skin of an apple in comparison. Beneath the crust is molten lava. If the earth was only 10 feet thicker on the outside, the additional matter would have oxidized all the available oxygen out of the air when the world began, making life impossible.”

Honestly, it is so much fun to learn this type of information. I grew up in a Christian home, believing in God. But all through school, I spent time battling what I was being taught with what I had been taught and believed. I have been so relieved for resources like this book. For it allows me to see how perfect everything is in the universe. How just one itty-bitty change and things would not be here or be the same.

We also love “Answers in Genesis”. I’ve linked an article I found very helpful and informative. http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v21/i1/seas.asp

The article is entitled, “Salty seas—evidence for a young earth” by Jonathan Sarfati. His conclusion states, “The salinity of the oceans is a strong evidence that they, and the Earth itself, are far younger than the billions of years required for evolution, and is consistent with the biblical age of about 6,000 years. It is also far younger than the evolutionists’ ‘dates’ for many marine creatures. In short, the sea is not salty enough to suit the taste of evolutionists! Of course, all such calculations depend on assumptions about the past, like the starting conditions and constant rates of processes. They can never prove the age of something. For that, we need an eye-witness (cf. Job 38:4). The point of such calculations is to demonstrate that even under the evolutionists’ own assumptions about the past, the Earth is far younger than is usually claimed and does not contradict the Bible.”

This good earth is crying out that our God is good!

Philippians 1:18 – 26: ” What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”

Rejoice!

It was really only after the birth after my 2nd daughter, that I understand what postpartum depression was. It was a very awful stage of my life. Thankfully, it only lasted a short time.

I was very angry and cried all the time. I overreacted about everything. I couldn’t understand myself and why I seemed unable to control myself. I sought help, both from the Lord and from medically. After a couple of months, really I had returned to “normal.” What a relief! I learned to look start looking for the good in things. To look for all that could be good was such a change in perspective.

Shortly after this event, I started dyeing. I was so thankful for my life and so thankful for the ability to control myself. Thankful for laughter and thankful for life. Rejoice! Praise the Lord!

My dyeing is for the Lord. It is to glorify Him. I long to please Him and make Him known. It is my hope that in whatever I do, that “Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice!” I long to be able to say with confidence, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I am growing closer to Him each and every day, and each day, my heartbeat changes as He draws me closer. So in Him I “Rejoice!” To signify the joy I now feel, I chose bright colors. The bright orange, yellow and turquoise reflect the change in status after my world brightened.

Matthew 6:25, 28-34: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?… And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even [King] Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Royal Robes

“Royal Robes” is the last in a three part series, along with “Birds in Heaven” and “Lilies of the field.

My mom just took me shopping this week. I have been a little frustrated about how my clothes fit. I haven’t had to time to exercise the way I did in college. And then there’s something about carrying a baby (or 2), that can alter your body shape. I really haven’t been worried about it, but my mom really blessed me with this gift.

It’s nice to have clothes that flatter your figure. I had some that fit before, but I’m much more modest than I was a number of years ago. I found myself wearing the same few things over and over. There’s nothing wrong with that. Nor in the fact that I got some nice clothes. But I remember how different I was in high school. I couldn’t wear the same outfit twice in a couple of weeks. I actually wrote down what I wore each day, so that I could keep track of it. I tried on several (like between 6-10+) most nights before I settled on something. I always had to look perfect.

I think I looked nice in high school. Yet, I was very shallow and materialistic. I found myself making really stupid decisions.

Over the years, thankfully, the Lord has taught me to trust in him. I’ve been learning about really looking at what is on the inside of people and not the outside. I’ve been teaching that to my children and trying to really examine myself also. I truly desire to have beautiful character, rather than mere physical beauty.

“Royal Robes” was designed to have colors of a rich, deep indigo and light blue. These colors together reminded me of a what King Solomon’s robes might have been like. Yet even Solomon dressed in all his“Royal Robes” was designed to have colors of a rich, deep indigo and light blue. These colors together reminded me of a what King Solomon’s robes might have been like. Yet even Solomon dressed in all his glory, did not even compare in God’s eyes to the simple lilies of the field. What I’ve come to understand is that God desires for me to simply and wholly trust in Him. As I seek after God, and his righteousness, God will bless me with all that I truly need.

 

Matthew 6:25-27,33-34: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the heaven: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? … But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

“Birds in Heaven” is the first in a three part series, including “Lilies of the Field” and “Royal Robes”.

This passage is talking about worrying.  I used to do a lot of worrying, and as a mom, I’ve got even more to worry about. LOL

Before kids, both my husband and I were in commission sales.  I loved it, but it was a high stress job.  You’d never know what you paycheck would be.  Would you do really well or just okay?  Would it be an up year or down year?  Chad decided to stay that route, and is still in commission sales.  The first year I stayed home, I think it was really tough for me not to worry.  (Confession: I worries a TON!)  But God has really taught me to trust in Him.  I know that my husband is good at his job.  I know that he feels like he’s exactly where God wants him to be, career-wise.  So if God put Chad there, won’t he provide for our family?  Of course he will.  And if he gave me everything I own, won’t he take care of it?

We are God’s special creation.  Out of all the things he created, humans are the only ones created in HIS image.  He loves us and cares for us.  And if he provides for them, by feeding and protecting them, won’t he do the same for us?  He says that he will, and in that I have to trust.  God is incapable of lying, so I can trust that when he says not to be anxious.

I have been praying about not being anxious and slowly but surely, God is taking care of it. “Birds in Heaven” was designed to represent the colors of a clear blue sky and the beauty of birds in flight.  A canary, cardinal and blue jay set against the white of the clouds.  These beautiful birds that He created and cares for are so insignificant to how much he cares for us.