In my living room, I have a large canvas of African dancers. I call the painting, “Joy.” This painting in my living room encourages me every single day. It reminds me to ponder all my blessings, and the one true God who gives those blessings. I can so easily get sidetracked by my daily concerns, my cancer, my oxygen tubing and its limitations, and so many other little details of my life. Then, there hangs that painting, preaching a sermon of encouragement to my anxious heart. I find myself letting go of my cares as I soak in the colors and movement.
Raise your voices;
make a beautiful noise to the Eternal, all the earth.
Serve the Eternal gladly;
enter into His presence singing songs of joy!
Know this: the Eternal One Himself is the True God.
He is the One who made us;
we have not made ourselves;
we are His people, like sheep grazing in His fields.
Go through His gates, giving thanks;
walk through His courts, giving praise.
Offer Him your gratitude and praise His holy name.
Because the Eternal is good,
His loyal love and mercy will never end,
and His truth will last throughout all generations. Psalm 100, The Voice version.
How did the painting come about? Well, when I was in Cameroon helping women to share their stories using art, as the stories were being told and each woman received prayer, the Cameroonian women would break out in joyful singing and dancing. It was an amazing experience to be a part of, and my soul still “sings” when I think of those days of joy. I came home and painted this painting!
So, when I feel down about fighting stage four cancer, when I ache all over and struggle to feed myself, huffing and puffing from the effort, I remember the joy of those women through my painting. I reach out for that joy. And, I offer God praise for His goodness and mercy in my life. It might be just a moment in my day. However, there it is – a bit of redemption right at that moment, and God is glorified.
Just love this,my friend! On 3 of my 4 bedroom walls,I have one of your paintings…and the ‘card version’ of this one to see when I wake up in the morning..or afternoon..depending…It truly does ‘Shout’ for Joy! The colors,the freedom,and knowing your Story now…as I pray for you daily (and in my Midnight MFC prayer time,as well)…”grace upon grace”,and ‘joy upon joy’ in the rest of His Story ‘written just for you’.His dearly beloved daughter,Creative Artist,Tender heart and compassion for His beloved daughters all over His world. What a blessing and a Sweet Gift,to have gotten to ‘know you’ thru this MFC! “Only God”! I love you,and look forward to joining in this ‘Joyful Praise Dance’…in His Time.
Thank you for the glory you give to God in all circumstances. I continue prayers for you and your family. Your faith encourages me.