Blessings, Fellow Traveler:
So, the dust has settled.
--Perhaps I should say, "The SOOT has settled." My mother-in-law's house is burned beyond our ability to repair. No people injured. Two pets lost. Most contents unrecoverable, but some things did survive. All that remains is to regroup.
May I just say, Please--please, check your smoke detectors! If you don't have any, get some ASAP. My heart is broken at the treasures lost, and my soul weeps with God's mercy in saving my family. May we all turn to Him for strength during this latest trial.
Just a quick recap of the past three years:
- Hubby's sister became very ill. She died after a year-long struggle. Her funeral was 2 years ago today.
- In my home growing up, funerals were crucial to achieving closure and saying "See you later" to those we love. So, my mother came to the funeral.
- Mom fell before the service started and fractured her leg, so I spent the majority of the service in the back of the ambulance with her as they got her stable enough to transport.
- Less than 3 weeks after Mom was moved to a rehab facility following her FIRST surgery on the leg, my Dad died. Rehab, assisted living center, SECOND surgery, back to assisted living center...
- I had 6 surgeries in 88 days this Spring...
- It is now 2 years later, and Mom has only been back in her house - living independently - for a month.
- And now a fire.
So, as I work to make sense of all this, I'm relying on God to get me through. He rekindled a passion for art during my health crisis, and I'm learning to document what He's showing me visually.
I've posted before about the Advent Calendars I made for my mom and daughter. I didn't get around to making one for myself. Until now. I'm using the Bible study from Pause, Ponder and Prepare.
I'm going at it differently. I'm using this as my daily Bible study, and arting the key thoughts. Day 1 was on "Hope." I used Christmas Red acrylic paint for the background. Collaged with a bit of a sewing pattern. Sprayed with Dylusions White Linen thru a stencil. Then stamped to finish the background. The letters were cut freehand and edged with Black Soot Distress Ink.
This is day 2. The study was titled, "Promises Fulfilled." What a great thought! The manger was the fulfillment of centuries of promises that God would take care of us. That the serpent's head would be crushed one day. This is acrylics in my 7x10 Canson Mixed Media Journal. The manger is from Google images, but everything else is mine. Cross highlighting and words are done with a Signo white pen (broad). The quote is what really came to me after reading Day 2 of my Advent Bible study.
And just this week, I saw God's faithfulness yet again. Mercy. Protection. Putting a stranger in the right place to see smoke at the right time to pull my family from danger.
Prayer: Most Precious Father God, I praise You for Your Mercy and Protection. Thank you for placing angels to watch over my family in their time of need. But most of all, how can I ever thank You for the most Undeserved Gift of Your Beloved Son who died in my place? My words seem so small.
The manger is empty.
The cross is empty.
THE TOMB IS EMPTY.
The manger was the beginning, but the cross was not the end.by