Tuesday, March 30, 2010


It is too easy sometimes to be discontent with the things that I have. Today, I found joy in gratefulness. Here are some things that I am thankful for today:

I am thankful for my husband Tim.

I am thankful for our families, our home, our church family, and our jobs.

I am also thankful for....

....songs and poems....watercolors and markers....

....trees and sunshine....green grass and young flowers....
....puppies and butterflies...sunrise and sunset....
....the sun and the moon....

Most of all, I am thankful for God today, the Creator of every good thing I am thankful for.

He is ever patient and ever loving.

"Be content with what you have, for He has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Have you ever tried to draw feet before? I tried today. I tried to draw a picture of me and Tim's feet from this Cabo picture. Boy, it looks ridiculous. I need to practice drawing bare feet. I always go the safe route and put on socks, non-descript shoes, or my favorite... mary janes. But I do love feet. I always take pictures of feet. And draw, well... covered feet. But I am going to learn to draw feet. I am determined that my drawn feet will look as normal as feet ever do, soon.

I am excited to see more feet in the coming months... especially as they get that wonderful flip-flop tan... I have missed you flip-flops.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

in the presence of idols

I thought that I had beat the issue of idols when I entered adolescence. I wrote on my old blog about the presence of idols in my childhood. Most infamously my teddy bear Snowball. I couldn't bear the thought of letting go of my favorite toys. They were too important to me. I didn't want to sacrifice them to God. Please Lord, something else.

Well, age took care of that problem. I grew out of my need for stuffed companions. But I have found out recently, idols still exist in my life. Israel, the Baals have been unmasked.

Timothy Keller recently wrote a book about idols called "Counterfeit Gods." Tim was reading it and he suggested I read a chapter of it. And it was very convicting, and comforting.

Keller talked about how an idol is something that we put before God. And it is hard to know we have put it before God, especially when they are good things.... things like family, job, friends... etc. It seems I make idols out of good things too.... my husband, time, happiness, art, an idealized future. Many times there isn't something inherently wrong with your idol, its just.... too important.

It feels like giving up the idol will render me helpless. If I give it to God, will it no longer bring me happiness? Will it disappear altogether? I hold on tightly to them, sitting upon them like Rachel in hopes that the Father will pass them by unnoticed. Please Lord, something else.

I have to sacrifice even this. The things that I feel bring me meaning, must be given to Him. He is meaning... His story will be better than the one I write. I have to cast my idols at the feet of my Father and get back on the altar.

Lord, give me faith that Your way is the way of joy. Take these idols. My life is Yours.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

grace over guilt

Why is grace so surprising? Today..... nineteen years after I started following Christ?

I keep coming back to it, after trying again, only to realize... "Silly Abby, works are for kids."

Actually, good works seem to trip us all up, whether we are young or grown-up....and if it isn't pride over holiness, it is guilt. That all consuming, spirit paralyzing guilt. Or it's both, rapidly succeeding each other in turn... pride over the good, guilt over the pride.

As a follower of Christ, so often I find myself beating up my soul over the good I cannot do.

For example:

Why can't I love that person?
Why do I obsess over my image?
Why am I sad, instead of thankful?
Why don't I read my Bible and pray like I should?
Why don't I love God more?
Why do I say stupid things?
Why don't I tell people about Christ?
Why do I worry about what others think?
Why do I get distracted in worship?
Why am I self absorbed?

And the guilt crushes, and the list of the undone and things done I feel bad about could go on forever.

And God says, "I love you Abby."

What? Didn't you just hear my list? And Lord, I know You know the evil in me that I don't even know about. You love me?

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not perish, but have eternal life."

I forget that God so loved me, and He already knew my list. That terrible list. And He sent Jesus to free me from the sin that ensnares me.

Lately, I have been seeing just how much God is the one who works in my life. So many good things have been happening.... and I stand in awe and say, "Without the Lord and His grace, not one thing would have been possible." I can truly say all good comes from the Father. He's freeing me from the filthy rags, the works I cannot perform.... and showing me what life is like when all good is attributed to Him... and I stop trying to save myself.

Life with God really is beautiful. I don't have to prove to Him that I will overcome my list, He can overcome it in my life through His power. How amazing is that?

His grace makes me laugh for joy. I'm lost in His love.


I really love spring rain... it made me want to draw some pictures about it. Rain with a red umbrella seems rather romantic to me also (maybe it is because Tim and I have a red one)... I do love how a red umbrella stands out against a gray blue sky.

I also love raincoats and galoshes. I wish I could design the above outfit for myself or one of my little sisters. I think Jane, Amelia, and Naomi would look very cute in something like this.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I have noticed a few common threads in most of my drawings: sweaters, skirts, and mary janes. I think my wardrobe would be full of them if it was practical. If I'm ever a paid artist, you can bet on what I'll be wearing in my studio...

spring awakening

Spring is such a beautiful season... it comes just when you need it. After the desperation of February winter blues... March rolls in fiercely and brings hope along with it. A hope that will not be extinguished by a late snow, for we all know now, regardless of the weather... that Spring is coming.

The temperatures rise, and so does my spirit with the return of the sun. I begin to thaw, as I feel beams of sunlight caress my face while riding in the car. Tim and I opened our windows over the weeekend and let the wind banish the stale air from our apartment. I'm excited for the first day I venture out in shorts... even if I put on jeans again in defeat.

I have been pondering recently how Spring may come not only to the physical, but to the spiritual as well....

God has been showing me a lot of things lately, things I don't like to think about. I have had to surrender a fight to Him, had to look my prideful self in the eye and question my actions, and confess that I have idols that place I before Him. It hurts to recognize the places in my life that I still need grow in, it would be easier if we didn't have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling wouldn't it? But God's grace still covers me, and He can change the hardest parts of my heart.

These cold places in my soul are thawing out, and I feel the awakening. God wants to bring Spring, not just to my physical body through warmer temperatures and sunlight.... but to my heart.

Jesus, awaken my heart, revive what is dead in me. Let me love You with all that I am, and love others with Your love. Please fill me with the hope of Your kingdom, and let me share that hope with Your loved ones. You are beautiful, and I love You.