Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Blogging a Book #2 ~ Introduction Healing Through God's Word and Art

Cancer.  It's a word no one wants to hear; yet, it's a word over 1.5 million people hear each year.  It is a word I heard eleven years ago.

If you are like me, you could not imagine anyone in her right mind being thankful for having cancer - thankful for surviving, yes - but for being diagnosed with cancer, no.  Well, I've never claimed to be in my right mind, but I can say, without a doubt, I am thankful I had cancer.
You see, it was a turning point in my life.  A point where God reconnected with me.  A cross-roads, if you will, where I chose the path to life  because God loved me enough to keep at it and to intervene in my life again and again.

God has blessed me so incredibly in the past eleven years that I could never put it into words for you.  I can share Him with you, though.  Whatever your battle is that you are facing, I want you to know God is bigger.

Maybe you're asking why art then?  Why pair God's word and art?  What's the connection?  God put creativity deep within my soul and spirit.  It's always been there, and I have always had a need to get it out.  I hear so many people say, "I wish I were creative..." or, "I just don't have any talent for that."  Hogwash! (I just always wanted to say that.)  Look at children.  God creates them with a burning desire to build, to draw, to sing, and to dance.  As adults, we bury that for fear of what others think.  As a teacher, I’ve seen it hundreds of times.  Kindergarteners beam with excitement to show you their art - to parade their creative genius.  My fifth graders, on the other hand, had already learned the lingo of doubt.

...I can't...I wish I knew how to do that...I'm not good at this...Don't look at it...
This list goes on. Why would we hide a gift from God and suffocate that desire to create? I have thoughts on it, but that will have to wait because I am here to help you let your creative spirit out of the dungeon!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Let that sink in for a minute. The Great Creator. Wow. And He formed us in His image. Take some time to look around at all that God created for us. His handiwork isn't just about function. If you aren't in the habit of admiring God's canvas on a daily basis, stop reading and take a trip outside. As an artist, I can only dream of having God's color palette on my worktable!

Creativity is God’s gift to you.  What you do with it is your gift to God. 
-Bob Moawad, Author of Whatever It Takes

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Blogging a Book ~ Let the Adventure Begin! #1

Several years ago I starting writing chapters for a book on healing through God's word and art.  Art can be so therapeutic, but nothing takes the place of the true Healer.  I'm a member of the online art world, and I see and hear the hurting in so many artists through their art and their words.  I can only think they are missing a true relationship with Christ.  Because of Him, I can see the light in the darkness.  I can know it will all work out without a doubt.

The chapters are sitting in a drawer doing nobody any good, so I've decided to blog the book.  Whether it ever makes it to print or not is irrelevant.  What's important is helping others along the way.  Not that I have any special ability or words of wisdom, but I have been down the road, and I know the Healer.

So grab your Bible, some paints, a cup of tea, and some cookies for the adventure, and let the healing begin!  


Friday, March 17, 2017

Blooming is in God's Plan

My previous post on God's amazing attention to detail set my little art wheels in motion!  

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I Serve an Amazing God

Wow.  Do you ever stop and wonder about all the little things in your life?  Things like God knew I would love a dog over diamonds any day,

that I would love dirt more than lace,

and how the smell of algerita blooms in the spring would trump rose petals and perfumes.

 That loving on a mule would be better therapy than any doctor could prescribe.

 Rather than that old saying, " Bloom where you're planted", God made sure to plant me where I'd bloom.  Thank you, Lord.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd

Nope.  You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd.  Those are some profound words God spoke to my heart recently.  Really!  For those of you who have a close, personal relationship with God, you get it.  For those of you that don't, yet, God does have a sense of humor, and He is in the every day goings on of your life if you let Him.

So...I try not to sweat the small stuff most of the time, but every once in awhile I let my guard down and the devil tries to stir me up.  Several weeks ago, I was having one of those mornings.  I don't even remember all of the little things that piled up, but the final straw fell on the pile while I was driving down a road full of chug holes, bumps, and dips trying to get a drink of coffee from my coffee cup.  Really??  Yep, coffee ran down my chin, sloshed up my nose, and dripped down my shirt, and I was nuts enough to get mad...  Again, really??  Instantly the song "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd" popped into my head.  I had to laugh out loud.  Ok, God, I get it, and thanks!  I went on to work laughing and singing!

It's a handy phrase to remind yourself when you can't force things to go your way.  You can borrow it if you want to!  If you've never heard the song, take a listen HERE.

By the way, God is amazing!

Friday, December 30, 2016

A New Year is Coming ~ Help me Energize Sherry's Cabin!

I've noticed something really sad on Facebook lately - there are gobs of people who were miserable in 2016.  I've read post after post about kicking 2016 out the door, wishes for a better 2017, and how badly 2016 stunk.  It makes me think those folks are looking in the wrong place for happiness.  I am so thankful for 2016 and the countless blessings God showered onto our lives.  I am also looking forward to the New Year!

With graduate school complete, I am beginning a new creative journey in 2017, and I need your help!  I would love to build this blog into a place you like to visit, where you're willing to share ideas, and a gathering spot where we can inspire each other.  What can I offer that you want to see?
     Some ideas I have percolating around here...

  • Monday Madness - Anything goes!  Tales from the barn, thoughts on life, sharing God's Word...
  • Tuesday Tutorials - Art on a budget, sculpting tips, guest posts, etc.
  • Friday Forward Challenge (Ok, I'm having trouble with catchy titles!) - An art challenge designed to create something to bless someone else - Pay God's blessings Forward
  • Sunday Share - A peek into my year-long art journey
What are your thoughts?  If you've visited Sherry's Cabin in the past, what interested you?  I want to breathe new life into the Cabin, and I need your input!  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Friday, December 16, 2016

Such a Peaceful Feeling

Peace doesn't come from my circumstances.  It comes from knowing Christ died for me, so that I might live...knowing I have a Savior that is King of Kings and Lord of Lords...knowing I have been grafted into the Vine for eternity...but today brings a calmness I haven't felt in a long time.  I turned in my final assignments for graduate school this week, I got all of the baking and making done for the awesome Christmastime fun at work, where I am so blessed to have become a member of the Region 15 family, and I am off for Christmas.  Ahhh.  Plans?  To thank God for every moment, to enjoy my family, and to rest.

A wonderful woman I had an opportunity to meet through the ESC lost her husband this morning.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so don't let the world's version of Christmas stress get ahold of you.  Enjoy the small things and give thanks for the time you have with your loved ones.  Be a blessing.  Oh, and don't worry if the Christmas rolls burn, the family's disfuntionalness flares up, or the house doesn't get clean.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Let the Christmas Fun Begin!

Let our season of sharing begin!  Remember the rules...

#1  Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

#2  If You're Stressed Out, You're Not Doing #1

First, let me share a Photoshop tree I made following a tutorial.  YouTube is awesome!  Use it however you'd like - cards, gift tags, Fabebook - it's yours.  If you need the PS file to change the colors, leave a comment and I will send it to you!


We're going to get an early start on the Christmas fun!  Here's your challenge for Black Friday.  No, I'm not a Black Friday shopper, but I will be out to spread some Christmas cheer along with you.  You will need:

  • a Christmas mug - check your cabinets, or hit the Dollar Store
  • hot cocoa (I don't care if it's 80 degrees!)
  • marshmallows
  • warm socks - forgo the Dollar Store decorations you were going to buy when you got the mug, and get some socks
  • a crazy Christmas scarf - you might have to venture to Wal-Mart for this one
  • two sandwiches and some chips or crackers - your choice
  • a little gift bag
  • some spare change
Ok, the mission.  This will take some tactical planning.  Bag up the sandwiches, chips, and socks in the gift bag.  Get the mug, cocoa, marshmallows, and scarf ready for action.

Mission Part 1:  Find someone on the streets in need.  Give them the bag with food and socks.  Be sure to tell them that God wanted to remind them He loves them!

Mission Part 2:  This will take more scouting.  Find a Salvation Army bell-ringer.  Try Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby.  Now find a convenience store nearby.  Ask for hot water from the coffee machines.  Most have some sort of hot water.  If not, ask to use their microwave.  You may have to do a little talking, but they will let you make your hot cocoa (be sure to offer to pay for the water!)  Now head back to the bell-ringer.  Add the marshmallows just before you get out of the car.  Walk up, hand them the hot cocoa, wrap the Christmas scarf around their neck, drop some money in their kettle, thank them for doing God's work, and walk away!

Now, on with your Black Friday shopping...I'll be headed home!

 Romans 15:13  Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mission accomplished?  Leave a comment!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Keep Your Focus and Have Some Fun as We Begin the Christmas Season!

#1  Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

#2  If You're Stressed Out, You're Not Doing #1

It's less than four weeks now that I will be done with graduate school.  It's been a year and a half since I've been able to spend much time doing the things I enjoy, like blogging.  I am so excited to be able to breathe life back into Sherry's Cabin.  That has had me thinking about what I can bring to the table.  What could I contribute here that will make a difference?  I'm not a master of anything of which I can share techniques you've never seen before.  I don't take photos of beautiful food scenes...unless you want so see what's cooking in the cast iron tonight.  In fact, there's nothing fancy about me (and I'm very glad of that), but surely I can bring something to the table.
So why not just live creatively?  Creating by God's grace, and sharing it with you.  I can't give you the greatest tutorials, the best writing, or the most brilliant photos, but I can share tips on walking with God...learning something every day...enjoying what you've got...sharing your creativity...and living and creating by God's grace.

Back to my question at hand - What can I bring to the table this Thanksgiving week?  How about some practical tips for getting your house ready for the Christmas decorations? Or, some fun ways to spread Christmas cheer?  Remember this is not Better Homes and Gardens.  This is real, living in the dirt, cobwebs-in-the-corner-coming-down, kind of living.  If your sheets are ironed and your home is dust-free, you probably want to skip on over to Country Living, but if the caliche road to your house helps you flock the tree and you've got to dust your ornaments before they can go back on the tree, you might be in the right place!

Today's Tip for a Fresh Decorating Start

  • Pine-sol the walls!  I know...who has time for that??  That's what I thought until I tried it.  It's quick, and it will make your house smell clean! 
From the Pine-sol website:

Add 1/4 cup of Pine-sol to a gallon of water.
Dip in a sponge and wring out until just slightly damp.
Wipe the walls! (Be sure to test in an inconspicuous place.)
The website suggests wiping with a dry cloth to prevent streaks, but mine air-dries so quickly, I haven't needed this step.
*Be sure to do the fireplace and mantle, too, while your dragging the step-ladder around the house!

What's your tip for a fresh decorating start this Christmas season?

Leave us a comment to share in the fun!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thinking Big...a Little at a Time

Why, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. ~ The Queen

I’m learning to make a shift in thinking, thanks to the Mad Hatter!  I’ve been enjoying being a part of Ever After 2016 where amazing artists are sharing new techniques each week, and we are trying out those techniques to create mixed-media art of fairy tale characters.  Because of graduate school, I am behind...imagine that… but after three weeks of new techniques, we were supposed work in our own style while incorporating some of the new techniques.  Well, the Mad Hatter appeared on my art table and brought a message from the queen.  

One of the techniques I’ve never really embraced is collage in my paintings, but it was one of the techniques we tried.  This set me about finding Mad Hatter quotes to incorporate in painting.  I ended up not collaging anything into the painting (go figure), but I honed in one particular quote that Google images attributed to the Mad Hatter.

Sorry, Mr. Carroll.  I should have done my research because it was the queen, not the Mad Hatter, who said, “Why, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”  Hmmm, I wish I had known that before I had a poster made…. Oh well, live and learn!  It’s the idea that’s important to me.  I started thinking of all the times I’ve thought “little”.  It’s good to be conservative, but sometimes that kind of thinking limits us in reaching beyond the fence line we’ve given ourselves.  I prayed for God to increase my territory in the lives I touch for Him, and He opened a door.  

I have to tell you I paced back and forth by that door before I finally got the nerve to stick a toe across the threshold.  He wasn’t going to show me beyond the door until I trusted Him enough to step across the line.  I’m still learning to listen, trust, and step out in faith, but I'm growing.

I have decided to write a novel this November. Yes, I'm still in graduate school, and, yes, I am crazy. Not that there was ever any doubt, but now that we have those facts established, I am announcing my participation in NaNoWriMo! I don't care how bad the story is, I am writing a novel.

We are not guaranteed a particular amount of time here on Earth, and I don't want to miss any more opportunities.  I'm thinking BIG...even if it's just a little at a time, and I'm going to keep sticking my toe across the thresholds of the doors God opens!

What about you?  What are you doing with your know, that time in between the two dates on your headstone?  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Count Down to Fall Begins!

I love Fall!  I pull out the decorations and begin my four month (if you don't count the two Christmas trees that are still up) decorating frenzy.  I love, love, love it!  In preparation for the coming fun, I made myself a little Fall Bucket List.  I made sure only those things that filled me with joy and warm fuzzies made the list. I did NOT need another list of things I have to get done...

I've been gearing up for the occasion!  I've been baking, drinking pumpkin-spiced coffee, and taking photos.  I love to share God's beautiful palette in my photos, but I decided to add a #justbecause album to my camera roll...since, of course, I plan to take too many photos!  Gayland and I drove by a building several weeks ago, and I knew I had to go back and get a picture.  I'm not sure why....#justbecause!  I snapped this with my iPhone at lunch today - no colored filters.

#justbecause  #warmfuzzies

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Bag a Day for Forty Days Challenge....Hmmmm

Why is it that when I hear the word Challenge, it immediately sends me into overdrive???

Art Challenge, Educator Challenge, Bag-a-Day really doesn't matter.  I saw a while back, on Facebook, that February 10th was the kick off Forty Bags in Forty days.... and we're off and running!  What can be thrown away, you ask?  I know you're wondering who has forty bags worth of stuff to trash...
Well, I've enlisted my kids in the classroom, I'm cleaning out drawers and cabinets at home, and stuff is going out the door!  We had a leak under the sink at school, and we were able to throw this away...  Yep, time for some cleaning out.

And for those of you who have no junk, no old clothes, and no unidentifiable stuff you've no idea why you kept, what about these... computer files, phone pictures, emails, your spiritual life, your heart... could any of those use a tune-up?

I don't know about you, but we're going to slam this challenge!  Care to join us?

Psalm 51:10

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Ephesians 4:23  
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Break Continues

I just wanted to poke my head in this evening to update you on Christmas break.  We enjoyed Christmas in the West at San Angelo Cowboy Church this morning, and I finally got my trees up in the dining room and kitchen.  Painting the dining room threw me off schedule this year, but I really like the new color.  Both trees still need ornaments, but it's a start!

Is your light shining this Christmas Season?

Matthew 5:14-16

14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I am dusting off the cobwebs...literally.  It's the first official day of Christmas break, and I am spending some time enjoying myself in my craftroom since the school year began.  This past August, I decided to work on getting my master's degree online while teaching during the day.  I've spent every moment on school - teaching or learning.

In honor of completing classes last week and getting off for Christmas break yesterday, I am knocking off the dust from my blog, my paints, and some well-loved books.  Let me tell you, I am out of practice!  My writing and my painting are both very rusty.  I was able to kick my feet up and read several chapters from the Queen of Mystery, though!

I decided to give myself a little challenge, since I need to grease the wheels.  I'm going to make art or craft something every day of the break - even if it is only a ten minute ink and watercolor Christmas tree!  I couldn't even find my ink nib, so I just dipped the brush and went at it.  

The only rule which I have imposed on myself is...
I must shop my own cabinets to create.  NO new supplies!  I am only allowed to use what is here.  No worries, though, as I could start now and have enough stuff to use until I'm ninety or so!

I'll be checking in throughout the week, enjoying family, creating, and celebrating the birthday of my Savior.  Don't let the stress of the world's version of Christmas get a hold of you.  Laugh, enjoy friends and family, and thank God for the gift of His Son who was born to die for our sins.

Merry Christmas!

Work in Progress