Saturday, December 31, 2011

Painting the Last Week of 2011 With Grace

Another week, one full of celebrations, has been painted.

This means I now have fifty-two calendar paintings. 
This means I really and truly made it through the whole year. 

The pages are in chronological order in a notebook, but they are by no means orderly.
The corners curl.
The sizes vary. 
The paintings vary.
Some look better than others. 

This was an experiment. 
An imperfect attempt at combining art and time. 
Still, I knew it would be this way. 

The surprise was how much grace, my word for 2011, fit into the picture. 

Grace through curling corners.
Grace through varying sizes.
Grace through varying paintings.
Grace through messy.

This last painting was one of a few that I had to enlist the help of scrap paper and glue to cover up mistaken dates. It took effort to put Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in their proper places.   

Ironic how grace does the same thing. 
Covering up imperfections.
Smoothing over mistakes. 
Giving another chance. 

Of course, grace does that seamlessly, unlike my paper and glue. 

Maybe that is why grace is so amazing. 

For history I recently read about Jonathan Edwards
(a preacher, theologian, and missionary, though not a painter as far as I know.)

He was quoted as saying "Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected."
I wrote this down, seeing only the word grace.

Now, as I look forward to 2012, I appreciate the thought behind it.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this year of grace and painted weeks.
But this new year is full of new, wonderful possibilities.
I have new projects in mind.
I have a new word to share.
And there is more glory to find along the way.

Blessings to you~ Megan

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dear Fifteen,

It is very nice to meet you. ~Megan

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Peace on Earth

As this season of waiting and expectancy comes to a close, we remember again the birth of our Lord, and the wonderful fact that peace is not simply coming. . .  it is here!

Continuing my gratitude list. . . 

661. time to create Christmas gifts 

662. playing Apples to Apples 

663. dark chocolate covered cherries from Trader Joe's 

664. Trader Joe's in general (their kale, granola, and cherry chocolate chip soy ice cream have quickly become staples :) 

665. red and white Christmas Eve pajamas

666. Middle Sister and Youngest Sister awake early Christmas morning, chatting while they waited for the sun to rise

667. the smell of brisket in the oven

668. sisters' creativity and beautifully made gifts

669. a loom from my parents (this one, something I had seen in August and have been dreaming of ever since)  

670. The Light, Love, and Life that arrived here on earth so very long ago, a gift that both brought and continues to bring peace 

Peace to you~ Megan

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wonder-Full World

Many years ago a door opened between this world and that which lies beyond it. 

The nut of what to do with us, His created and loved, caught in sin, was cracked.

He knew He had to send something real and wonderful to pay the price of saving us. 

He knew He had to be this something, a perfect human who could represent us just as Adam had in the very beginning, and sent us promises concerning this future hope.

Then there were 400 years of silence.

We wondered when and if He was coming.

But He had everything planned out perfectly, and sent angels to a young woman and man when His time was right. 

These two humble people were in awe of His majesty and condescension, not simply willing, but honored to be a part of His plan.

There was incredible beauty in a rough beginning. 

It was there that the light shone through the darkness, illuminating the way back to Him.

He was this light and this light was the way.

It took time for the light to push through the darkness, the life to push through the death.

But it did and lit the world.

Today, on Christmas Eve many years later, we are again waiting for the King who unlocks hearts.

We give thanks that he has come and thanks that he will come again. 

We give thanks that he is so much greater than anything we have ever known.

May you be filled with joyful wonder this Christmas~ Megan

Friday, December 23, 2011

Painting the Week of Joy

This week has held
and other joys that come this time of year. . .  

Happy painting~ Megan

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What We're Waiting For

Peace emerges out of chaos
light out of darkness
hope out of fear
though minds may be quickened
 hearts are stilled 
as perfect love is drawing near 

It is the age old story 
set into action 
since eternity was put on hold 
and this advent
this coming of the Christ child
reminds us that it continues to be told

It is a rich tapestry
  our days woven together
 beauty despite knots scattered 
among all but one life
 thought no tangles can be found
for the master has always known what mattered

So we sit here and wait
content in His hands
 in awe of this life-giving power 
preparing for greatness 
ready to remember and rehearse
embracing our God at the appointed hour 

Blessed waiting to you~ Megan

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Not Simply Ornamental

Amid the flurry of things that pervade this Christmas season,                                                             

special things,
            traditional things,
                             ornamental things,

it is good to step back, listen to the angel's news,

revel in the mystery of our Savior becoming a baby,

 indeed, becoming a baby so he could be our savior,

and giving thanks for what this really means.

Continuing my gratitude journal. . .

651. ballet performance excitement

652. playing Christmas games with good friends

653. the release of emotions that writing provides

654. finding thoughts I didn't realize I had

655. seeing Hugo

656. celebrating Christmas with my Dad's side of the family

657. fun at a sleepover with dance friends

658. a long nap the next day

659. caroling at a care center

660. sweet residents there who know the real meaning of Christmas

Blessings~ Megan

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Painting the Week of Excitement

Dance performance details and Christmas preparations have filled this week with excitement. . . 

Happy painting~ Megan

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Every-Other-Year Excitement

Every other year our dance program puts on a performance.
That performance is to be this summer.

Every other year our teachers choose a story and write the ballet off of it.
This time they chose The Velveteen Rabbit.

Every other year auditions are held.
These past few months there have been several auditions.

Every other year our teachers tell us they prayed throughout the casting process and endeavored to stay true to the story.
This was said, making me feel both bouncy and content, this past Monday.

Every other year our teachers remind us why we dance-- for His glory.
On Monday they shared this beautiful perspective.  

Every other year a cast sheet is released. 
That anticipated list was released Monday. 

Every other year the soloist parts are revealed, and then each class' special role.
This year those announcements began with "The Velveteen Rabbit will be played by. . . "

Hearts always beat a little faster.
Hands always prepare to clap.

We are all glad to be here in this moment.
We have all danced together since we were very small and are a kind of family, excited for what this next show holds.

Every other year I have been happily assigned a class dance, but this was not quite like every other year.
This time, I heard my name called first.

Cheers filled the room.

Surprise and joy surged through my body.

I was to be the Velveteen Rabbit.

In the next little while, other parts were announced. Dear friends were dubbed aunts and nurses. Middle Sister learned that her classes would be Ladybugs, Spinning Tops, and Real Bunnies. Youngest Sister heard her classes would play Christmas Presents, Tin Soldiers, and Nightmares.

My heart leaped then and continues to do so.

After all, I love to dance.

I am sure there will be more on this ballet process as it continues to unfold. Until then, I will try and focus on the excitement of this coming Christmas. Blessed excitement to you~ Megan

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thankful Poem

Because everything sings of love. . .

634. the first snow of the winter last Tuesday

635. a story that is actually taking shape (thanks to this)

636. new slipcovers-- a pink chair in my room

637. a delightful Christmas tea party

638. an owl happily hooting in the middle of the night

639. playing Frosty the Snowman piano duet with Middle Sister

640. Youngest Sister joining in the gingerbread (graham cracker) house fun at the annual party our piano teacher hosts

641. Christmas shopping

642. Christmas secrets

643. my first pair of Toms shoes

644. watching- and laughing with- Elf 

645. a big, orange moon Saturday evening

646. eating brownies and cherry chocolate chip ice cream while lighting this week's advent candle, Joy

647. Middle Sister's company during a science experiment

648. purple socks with snowmen on them, a gift from my cousin last year that continues to make my feet happy

649. tree branches standing out against the sky

650. making a fleece tie blanket with the expert help of my sisters

Blessings to you~ Megan

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Painting the Week of Preparations

Christmas is approaching and I 
until it arrives. 

Happy painting~ Megan

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Painting the Week of Hope

Stepping into the advent season with color. . . 

Happy painting! ~Megan