|Finally made it to the printers yesterday to pick up the newest prints. I was really excited about this one and can't wait to get into the framing room. I am going to cut the mats to follow the house shape with a chimney and all! Look for them to be listed in my Etsy Store next week.|
Friday, May 13, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, November 8, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Want to see how it turned out?
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
As you may or may not know, my hubbies youngest son is in the Marines, deployed to Afganistan right now. He is 18 years old and has known he wanted to be a marine for years. He left for boot camp just a few days after graduation in 2007. He turned 18 just a few days after boot camp graduation. He is an amazing young man and we miss him terribly. But we know that God is with him and trust Him to keep him safe.
At our church business meeting a couple of weeks ago, Theresa said God had put it on her heart that the church should adopt a soldier and she made the motion that it should be Christopher. Rick and I were speechless and teared up immediately. What do you say? How do you express gratitude for the kindness our Father shows? The motion passed unanimously.
This past Sunday, Rick and I were asked to make the morning announcements, including the decision to adopt Christopher. Rick asked if I would do that part. I was honored but not too confident that I was able to express the heartfelt thanks it deserved.
Christophers first care package from the church is being mailed next week. It's being filled by the congregation.
How very precious our church family is in so many ways. You should find yourself one if you don't have one. I am so very blessed that they have adopted Rick and I as well as Christopher.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This is "Clarity". She was created during a time of learning to follow Gods leading. A lesson about priorities and focus and what He wanted me to do for Him. I love what He enabled me to do with these little things. They were just little pieces of junk, nothing by themselves, and yet came together to form something beautiful. I love her and what she represents to me. Clarity.
On another note today, I would like to introduce you to Angel.
She has a wonderful little Etsy shop and that special gift you know that I just love, she writes of the love of our God and His saving grace!
Below is a poem she wrote that touched my heart, hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Forgive him?! He's dead!and I'm glad and I hope it's really hot where he is! and it's been 30 years!!!! How do I forgive a dead man anyway?!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
One of the hardest parts is where to start. The Holy Spirit says "At the beginning", but where exactly was the beginning. So much is clear now that I am amazed to say it all started before I knew it was beginning!
I'll start with about 2 years before we got saved. Rick (my wonderful hubby) and I were setting up at shows, flea markets, trade shows and places like that. Every weekend we were somewhere. As vendors, we spent the evenings with other vendors having dinner and talking shop. There was this one couple that did a lot of the same shows we did and at a flea market in Knoxville Tennessee, I had a life changing moment. I was talking with....let's call him Joe, and he was talking about how he didn't believe in God. How could God allow the things to happen that Joe had witnessed? What kind of god didn't stop it? He was angry and bitter and I was speechless. I truly, truly believed in God. But I had no answers for him. And I was so troubled by it for weeks and weeks.
Then crossroads happened. You can read about that here:
God was making me think. He was building up to something I was unaware of. He was gently showing me that I needed to know more about Him. He had more for me. I was not living the life He planned for me!
A year or so passed and during that time, I dug out a small little bible I'd had for years and began carrying it with me. I read it pretty often but was getting nowhere fast. It seemed like a different language that I could not understand. I didn't know I could have asked God to help me understand it. I didn't know a lot of things, but I knew something was missing.
I know some folks won't believe what I am about to say because it goes against everything God stands for. But I believe God put something in my husbands heart that made him loose hope. Or maybe the devil did it and God used it, I don't know, Rick would have to say. He was allowing us to dig ourselves into a hole until we had nowhere to turn except to HIM.
Rick started selling off inventory at a loss. We weren't making money anymore, just dumping product. For some strange reason, we opened a shop during this time. It was one of those "God moves" I guess. We were offered a building to rent from a friend at a deal we, being money hungry as we were, couldn't pass up......We only saw dollar signs. And the bills started piling up. Fast! I watched as the man I'd know for years who could wheel and deal and come out smelling like a rose, started making some really bad deals. I was helpless. And he was...different. He finally told me one day that for the first time in his life, he didn't know what to do. He was without hope. Worse than I knew at the time.
Along this same time he began leaving our shop and going to the pawn shop where he worked years ago. The owner, Bill, and he had remained friends over the years and Bill was now a Christian. Rick was drawn to him I believe and probably could not have stayed away had he tried. I don't know what all they talked about in those days. But some peace began to show on Ricks face. And then one day, Bill came to our shop and he talked to the both of us about God. Several times he came and he talked and he talked and my heart was screaming out, "MORE!" My spirit began an awakening. I can't tell you all that he said, and neither can he, but it was hope for us. Like food for a starving person, we couldn't get enough. There was something more that we didn't know and our hearts had softened to be able to take it in.
Bill invited us to attend church with him. And one Sunday we went. I never felt so out of place and nervous and scared. The devil did all his little tricks on us. That Sunday night we attended Ricks brothers church where he is a pastor. We had visited before, but nothing got through.
On this particular Sunday night though, an alter call was made and my husband stood up and headed to the front of the church. I remember grabbing his hand and thinking there was no way he was going without me! I didn't know exactly what was happening, but I knew the safest place for me was with him. I knelt on the alter next to the man I would have lived with in a cardboard box.
The pastor wasn't one to ask why folks are at the alter, but what a shock it must have been for him to see his brother on his knees praying.
He asked someone else first....I can't remember how he worded it, but it was tactful and not intrusive. And then he looked at his brother. And Rick gave his life to the Lord. And me too, I wasn't about to let him give up everything without me! He poured his heart out on that alter. I would have followed my husband into a snake pit, but this was no snake pit. This was RIGHT! This was a chance to start all over again WITH THE DIRECTIONS! This is where my soul wanted to go! Jesus was accepted and invited into our hearts.
We gave Him everything, including our business that we had made a mess of. And so, we began seeking the Lord. If the doors to that church were open, we were there. And we sat in our quiet little shop all day, with no customers and the bills piling up and the law suits starting and our van being repossessed and we read our bibles and talked about God. All day long. And the peace that came with every word we read was indescribable. The world was falling apart around us and everything that we had thought was important was slipping from our hands. Our new little shop was dying.
There were days that if we had not sold something, we didn't have the gas to drive home nor would we have anything to eat that night. We really thought we had to close the shop and go get jobs. I had even gone and put in some applications and strangely, jobs I was perfectly qualified for were denied!? (another God move) And I can't tell you how many times he headed out the door to put a "going out of business" sign out front. And each time he headed out, a customer would come in. I'm serious, right at that second! And each time, God made it clear, it was His business and we should do as He said. The customer would spend just enough to pay for food and gas for a day. So we obeyed. Not willingly I might add. But we obeyed. We were learning trust, faith, and patience.
But the time came when we just couldn't pay rent on a home and a business. Something had to go and if God wasn't going to let us close the shop, that only left one other choice....our home? Sounded pretty crazy to us too. But after much prayer and discussion , we began selling our furniture. And stuff. And more stuff. Everything else, we stored in one of the offices in our shop. The other office held our bed and a TV and our clothes. Snug as bugs in a rug. But no kitchen or bathtub or washer and dryer. A hotplate and microwave did the trick and I cut my long hair off so I could wash it in the sink and went to the laundry mat once a week. Our outside, long haired, dog got shaved and became an indoor dog and is so happy! We used a Rubbermaid container to take a bath in.
And there we stayed for 1 year and 7 months. In that year and seven months we grew at a tremendous speed. We trusted, we learned, we studied, we obeyed, we held our faith like it was life itself. I am thankful that we were obedient. I am thankful that we learned the ways of God. I am thankful that we grew together. I am thankful that God was patient with us and led us down the paths he did. I can't say it was easy. In fact it was quite difficult. But it was all worth it. Worth every second.
God blessed us. The debt we had dug ourselves into He was able to guide us through paying it all off in a year and a half. We could never have done it without HIM. I love our life now. We are living in a house again. Been there about 4 months now. It's more that we even asked for and we love it. Cooking and soaking in a hot bath are not things to take for granted!
And God's little shop? It's still here and doing fine. Rick works for Bill and loves it. He is here every morning and evening and on his days off. God sends lost folks here on occasion for us to share the word with. He has used His shop many times in ways we would never have dreamed up. We have been blessed. And we strive to bless others with the knowledge of He who blessed us. The trip through this life is good with God leading the way.
Footnote added May 23, 2008
As I was falling asleep the night I posted this, several things came to mind that I'd failed to mention. During the time we were sitting in shop and feeding like hungry wolves on The Word, law suits that had begun against us for failure to pay "mysteriously" stopped. Bill collectors stopped calling. Everyone suddenly became very willing to wait for payment and work out payment arrangements. That was God, no doubt in my mind about it.
And I also want to take this moment to honor my husband. He led the way. He instantly became the spiritual leader of our home . I can't tell you how much I have always loved this man. And I still cannot tell you how much more I love him now. I thank God daily for him. God knew He could use my love for Rick to get me. I sat for an entire morning in our church, alone with God struggling to give Rick to Him. God had to work pretty hard on me to get me to realize I had to love HIM more than Rick. But that is another days entry. God bless! Amber
Some months back I wrote about God entering my life and showing me the "Crossroads". I was entering an art piece in Somerset Studio Magazine under the challenge "Heroes".
Jesus is my greatest hero and I created a piece to enter for publication. I was prepared for it to not be published. We prayed over the package at church and asked that it touch the heart of whoever God would use it for. That was enough for me. But I did look so forward to seeing the ones dipicting Jesus chosen for publication. I expected the usual Superman, Wonder Woman, writers, scientists and the like, but felt confident that something representing the greatest hero known to mankind would make publication.
He didn't. Not one artist creation about Jesus made it to print. How sad. Now, don't get me wrong, I love this magazine and will say nothing bad about them and will continue to purchase that wonderful magazine. But I have to wonder, how many entries represented HIM? Surely there were more than just mine ?!
I went to CAST with a heavy heart. And Kelli made a good point, that His absence may have spoken pretty loudly.
But during the conversation, I decided to issue the challenge myself. All you Somerset Studio lovers that created a work of art depicting Jesus as your hero, here is a chance to get them all together. Send them to me. I'll post them here or if there are many, I will create a new blog just for our hero! Add a link in the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to also add here that I have not yet recieved my artwork back. Another issue perhaps? Or maybe it's just not finished doing the work the Lord had for it ;0)
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
This is my son Michael and my grandson Kai (like sigh). I just love this photo. My baby all grown up with his own baby. I miss him terribly and I've never even seen Kai or held him in my arms. They live on the west coast and I'm in Tennessee. I'm praying for God to bless us this summer with the finances to fly out there and see them. They are the only thing in this world that could get me on an airplane! I can't wait to see them!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Inspired by God
Photo By Amber Skeeters Poem By Vanita Hindsley Sisters in Christ
Reflections of the past
seem to lead us round the bend
Heading for the future,
guided by an unseen hand.
In a shining piece of metal
past, present, and future reside.
Where we have been, who we are,
and where we will go are inside.
God's guidance makes us wiser
as we enter unknown lands
In the rearview we will find
never alone did we stand
He's always watching over
every path we travel down
and when going the wrong direction,
He will help to turn us around
A reflection of my Savior
in silver to someday see
is what I trust and pray
will be looking back at me.
Copyright 2008 Vanita Hindsley and Amber Skeeters
I took this photo on a little one lane road, someone had placed the mirror there so they could see what was coming around the corner.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Through darkness, sorrow, guilt, and shame
and many fears that had no name
My hopes and dreams had all but shattered
getting through each day was all that mattered
In downward spiral my life seemed to spin
hopeless and helpless, when would it end
My fault, My fault, screamed in my head
no rest or peace as I lay on my bed
But light crept in from time to time
and started to reach my tormented mind
His love began to prod at me
a rescue from that stormy sea
I've already beaten him my Savior reminded
though for some time he's had you blinded
Take the shelter I've offered to you
call on Me I'll see you through
Each day is now brighter with His shining light
my future secure in His strength and might
my hope in Him has no end in sight
By Vanita Hindsley
Monday, January 28, 2008
We all leave marks with our words and actions,
some happy or sad, of sorrow and satisfaction.
Traces left as we travel through this life,
many created from love and strife.
Remnants of words, written and spoken,
can lift us up or leave us broken.
From the least of us to the greatest, we all leave a mark,
if only on the face of this elderly bark.
Scars are there forever to see
in the way they shape each personality.
Copyright 2008 Vanita Hindsley and Amber Skeeters
Friday, January 18, 2008
I don't know if anyone else has the same experience as I have. But I know that I have met some pretty nice people that I'd like you to meet.
My first purchase was from http://www.charminglee.etsy.com/
You can hear the kindness in her descriptions and in her conversations. Don't you like to buy from someone who is polite and friendly and happy to help you? Not gonna find that in wallyworld. Then yesterday I "met" http://www.lindaleighshoppe.etsy.com
She too was like talking to a neighbor! (Pray for her, she's recovering from surgery : )
I guess what I'm trying to say is SHOP ETSY! It's a whole new/old experience. If you are going to buy a gift or want something unique, Why not buy from the good old independant shopkeeper?
Friday, January 11, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Monday, December 24, 2007
I am sooooo excited. First the Lord introduces me to Somerset Studio Magazine. That was true love! Then I found ClothPaperScissors . I learned I am not the only one doing what I do and I discovered so many wonderful techniques and artists and ideas. Oh My! There is a whole world out there that I fit into perfectly. I didn't think it could get any better.
But I have now learned that there are "Artist Challenge" sites. Each week, a challenge is issued......
OK. Let's try this again. I started this post Christmas Eve day and now it's the day after Christmas. Our store was blessed! Last year we sold nothing on Christmas Eve!
So, where was I? Oh yes. I had no idea those magazines even existed until this summer. I was so excited (and obsessed!) Then while surfing other blogs, I learned there are artist challenges. Each week someone issues a challenge with a word or phrase or something and you create a piece of art expressing it. I decided to take it a step further by challenging myself to see it I could take each challenge and bring Jesus into it. I was a bit worried after visiting the site and looking over all the past challenges but had decided to try. THEN, God led me to SALT. The challenges are ALREADY FOR HIM!
I'm am soooo there! I think the next challenge is issued THIS Friday. I can't wait.
So look for my future Salt results! If I have the time I think I'll still try to do the other one too, after all the word is CHALLENGE right?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
A picture truly is worth a thousand words. But I've been thinking about writers and the words they find to truly get a message across. God Himself used words as well as His creations to make Himself known and seen. But today I'm impressed by writers. How do you do it?! I have tried 3 times to express in words what this photo is making me feel and each time I find that I cannot do it justice. So today my gratitude goes out to writers, writers of song lyrics and books and poetry, the written word. I love to read and find pure amazement in that ability.
To me this photo of the sun rising brings to mind Faith, Trust and Love.
I know that the sun is about to top this mountain. I am counting on it. I depend on it and I am excited about it because I know it's going to happen any second.
That's how I feel about God. I know He is here with me. I depend on Him. I am excited to know that He loves me and has control of my life. And I know that He will do what is best for me.
I bring this to the blog today because it was on my heart. We are in retail and it's the last week before Christmas and I was allowing myself to get a little on edge about getting all the work done. We do picture framing in our shop as well as selling other kinds of things, glass, artwork, collectibles, gifts, things like that. I draw portraits too. The fear of not getting the orders done on time, supplies not getting here on time, all the things that could go wrong were worrying me. Not anymore. The Lord blessed us with the orders and I have faith He will help me see things through. As I know that the sun will rise, as I know that God is with me, all is well.
Hope everyone has a wonderful, blessed Christmas. And may we all remember the true reason for it.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
On Monday I am mailing my art project as a submission to an art magazine that I discovered this summer. I need to write the article to accompany it. The devil has tried every lie to stop me. "Your art is not good enough, no one is going to understand what it's saying, you are wasting your time, you'll look like a fool." He has put every obstacle in my way. He tries so hard to confuse me. The Bible says: "I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace" Act 20:24.
He gave that to me at the beginning of this project. I've had to read it nearly every day. The Lord has directed this and I pray I haven't let Him down. I pray I didn't let the devil in in any way. There is so much I tried to pack into one project. Self doubt is such an evil trick to play on us. But he has lost. We won!(Jesus and I) The project is completed and the article written. Here goes.
Bedford County Tennessee 2004
Like every other morning, I was driving to work on the same rural road I traveled every day and stopped at the four-way stop sign. On two corners, cornstalks grew right to the roads edge.
On another corner was a house. The last corner was empty but for the overgrown weeds and lone post from a long forgotten barbed wire fence. The post stood overgrown and nearly unseen with Queen Ann's Lace, tall grasses and the like. A sign was attached warning of underground cables or some such. Nothing that particularly caught your attention. But on this morning, as I looked both ways and saw nothing for miles, my attention was caught by this post and I saw it...shall we say...with opened eyes. I saw a signpost alright. But in my minds eye it had signs nailed on it pointing in different directions. The overall sight of it immediately made me think of a cross. And it even had 3 nails. I thought I had just come up with the perfect subject for a drawing. I couldn't wait to get home that evening and start sketching.
Now you have to know that I believed there was a God. I knew the story of Jesus. And I thought that I, being a pretty good person, would go to heaven. What I didn't know was that God Himself had just entered my life and introduced Himself in a way only He could. He was making me think. He was asking if I knew where I was going? He was giving me directions.
I know my Savior now. And my life is devoted to Him. I haven't shared the drawing with many, but He says it's time. He spoke to me through art and now asks that I use that art to speak of Him to others. Traveling through life with Jesus continues to be an amazing journey. What Jesus did for man is more than amazing and He is a perfect pattern for us. There could be no greater hero. He simply tries to make heroes of us.
Photo to be added soon
Today's entry is simply for me to gather my thoughts. It's out of the order I wanted to write in, but that's OK.
I am in a battle with the devil. As always, he is trying to get my mind confused and undermine my mission. I will win! Because "with Jesus, all things are possible." And what I am doing is for Him.
God speaks to me with vision. During prayer, God put in my heart three C's. I did not understand what He was saying to me for many months. Eventually, I realized He was saying "see", not the letter C.
He taught me the 3 kinds of seeing. The first two came easy. The 3rd, a bit harder to get, but simple to understand.
We see with our eyes of the flesh. We look, our brain registers what we are seeing and tells us what it is. We know. We see colors, shapes, dimensions, movement, etc. . You are reading this with your eyes of the flesh.
Then there is seeing with our minds. We form a vision of a thought, description or idea in our minds. An understanding. Notice people say "I see" when they understand what you are saying or describing. We describe something to a blind person and they have an understanding of what we are saying to them in their mind.
And then there's the 3rd way to see. It has taken months to truly understand it. I first came to realize it was seeing in the spirit, seeing like God sees. And then my pastor spoke God's words so that I finally saw. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" That is seeing in the spirit. What we ask Him for, if we believe, is already done even if we don't see it manifested yet.
Flesh, mind and faith. The 3 C's I struggled to understand. So simple now, But I learned what He was saying and grew so close to Him in seeking His guidance.
Thoreau said, "The question is not what you look at, but what you see"
That being said, I find that there is yet more to be looked at. Being an artist, I tend to look for a deeper meaning in a piece of art. But your average person only sees the surface. Let's say you are looking at a painting of a train. It looks just like a train in every detail. It's beautifully painted with soft clouds in the sky and mountains and trees in the background. There's a train station off to the side with people all around. Nice to look at. But the artistic mind looks for more. What is the painting saying or expressing? Look closely in the crowd and you'll notice a man with a look of anguish on his face. What is he looking at? Notice also in the window of the train, the sad look on the face of the woman seated inside. There's a story in the painting. I don't know what it is, nor do I understand why I used a train for an example, so don't get too involved!
I want my artwork to speak volumes of Jesus on the surface as well as on a deeper level. I want it to tell the story to those who don't look for the deeper meaning. If I am looking at a piece of artwork and I can't get the meaning by studying it on my own, I want to know the story!
( I should write the story behind it to accompany each piece)
God gave us the Bible with the whole story in it. But sometimes we can't get it on our own. "Faith comes by hearing the word of God" hence, we go to church and hear our pastors teach it and speak it. That is how our faith grows. Then we see. You see?
I feel better. My mind is clear to complete my goal for the day.
P.S. Ever notice we say "In one ear and out the other" but we never say "In one eye and out the other" ? Hmmmmm post for another day.