Category Archives: God’s Creations

Call me a Confident Woman?

I was recently reminded by two of my followers that I had not posted anything lately and that is true.  I like to just pop off the saying….  “life happened”.  But,life  just did not happen for me, it was all planned out even before the days that turned into months passed.

During the past two years, I lost my mother, blossomed in my artist’s journey, and learned a lot along the way about myself.  I had many tears but they were both sad tears and happy tears.   God took my mother home but allowed me to be there in her arms when she passed.  God opened doors for me in my business and answered each soft prayer I whispered.  Believe me I was bold in  my requests at times.  (future blog)

But before I list all the things that have happened in my world, I just felt compelled to talk about the word “a confident woman.”

I believe when we ask God for something He will answer that prayer.  I also know that many times we (and I include myself) are afraid to pray for something as we do not think we deserve it, or it is too big for us to think God will give that desire to us.  Believe, if we are not supposed to have it, it will become apparent that we are to either wait for it or allow God to show us what we are supposed to have.

I have had other people, both men and women tell me they feel I am a very confident woman.  While this did not happen over night, I am 100% certain that this confidence people see in me is my letting God have control of my path.  I guess you might say this has made me fearless in stepping out and doing new things,  Along the way, I have had people tell …. “don’t you think you should do this or that?”  Well, my answer to that is… if I felt what I was doing was God leading me, do, I do not second guess what I am doing.  Are there days I feel vulnerable and hiding under my covers….. yup!!  many days, but then I feel this little voice telling me to get my heels on and start kicking again.  I honestly think many of us are afraid to ask for something as God just might give it to us and then we have to be confident enough to step forward.  IT is like we are so surprised God would actually open that door.  Well, I ask and then when God says YES, I confidently walk through that door.  When I feel afraid, I remind myself, I am not alone.

I also know that there are things I would like to do in my life, but I am waiting on God to open that door.  I know all too well if I rush it, I in my own power will fail.  If I wait for God’s timing, how can I fail?

So what you see in me, those that call me confident, is not MY strength or my doing….. it is all God’s.  I guess a better way to say it is that I am confident in Christ.

Do not be afraid to ask God for the desires of your heart.  Do not be afraid to then step out with confidence when the door is opened.  AND then know with your whole heart, God it there with you.

I am not sure who will read this as I have not posted in so long, but my prayer is if even one person will step out with me on this journey of being a confident women, then I know it was meant to post.

Love, Cheryl

Is All Well With My Soul?

My Painting cornerFor two weeks I have been depressed and could not figure out what was the trigger.  Many times if I can go to the trigger of my feelings, I can take steps to work through my issue.  But  I just could not figure it out.

Well, this morning I DID!!  I started painting 6 months ago from being inspired by my daughter-in-law Addy.  I remember our first painting together, I still have it.  (look to the upper left corner of the wall)  Addy and I love to make messes.  We do crafts when we are together.  Note here:  God gave one of my best friends when he have me my daughter in law.  So, I made a visit out to their home and she got out all her canvases and paints and brushes.  I was so excited but sat down with a little canvas and paint and a brush and was paralyzed.  Looking a blank canvas is such an intimidating feeling.   I did not know where to start.  So Addy helped me.  In fact we did the painting together.  She taught me balance, shadowing and so many other things that day.

That was my start into loving painting.  I love new blank canvases.  I love the chaos of my little office having no room to move because of all the paint, brushes, and easel.

But, God was working in my heart.  This week someone asked me why I named one of my paintings a certain name?  I thought I was giving  him the answer he wanted, but he kept saying I was not telling him my inspiration for the painting. I answered him THREE times and was getting a bit frustrated with him.  He said he did not want me to tell him  how to look at the painting, he wanted me to tell him what inspired me.

So that took me on a journey.  What is  my inspiration when I paint?  Is my heart in the right place, am I really doing this for God’s glory?   Was everything right in my soul?  I thought so.

Here was my journey.

I called my dad (it used to me my mom but she has dementia and I have lost her).  My dad is a musician and incredibly talented artistically.  He said each painting should say something for others to feel.

I looked to my FB page of new artists in their journey for their input.  Many of them paint from a photo, or another painting and paint realism.  Their inspiration is already formed when they pick up the brush.  Many of them struggle with inspiration on a blank canvas.

Then I got on my knees and went to ask God.

I have always been a controlled business person in my business career.  Rarely did I stray from the proven into the world of an unknown outcome.  Even as a Christian I always thought I had to be controlled and structured all the time.  I never made a mess.

Even my dear husband told me several days ago to stop painting for awhile and let my inventory sell.  That very day I painted a painting that sold for $850 within 2 hours of posting it.  I am not saying do not listen to your husband, but I am saying listen to your heart.  Trust when you are asking for God to speak to you that He will do just that.  AND THEN LISTEN!

I am almost 60 years young and for the first time I am letting go of the safety net of structure and a controlled state and I am letting myself the freedom to actually be inspired.

I have found that I feel more alive doing abstract where I have no idea of what I am going to paint.  I let the paint land on the canvas and take on a life of its own.  I cry when I paint many times because the feeling is like none I have ever had.  When I paint, I WANT to be uncontrolled and be free in my mind.  I want to let creativity run wild and throw caution to the wind.

The battle I  was having is that is it is ok to be free and unstructured.   I am not a failure because get paint all over the floor or that I left my brushes in the water for two days because I was painting for 2 days!!  I am so out of what I felt was the norm all my life, but I am walking this path with God and it is ok.

YES, all is well with my soul today.

PS, my $850 painting.

20150517 24x30 Cradle to Grave

 

 

Self-Reflection, part one.

Photograph by Christina Toole  Photography(R)
Photograph by Christina Toole Photography(R)

There was another blog I wanted to write today, but I felt that I wanted to share with you a tool I use to help me reflect on who I am and who I feel God wants me to be. Psalm 139:14 says: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

In other words we are all unique, again God made no mistake when He made you. You are exactly who He wanted you to be, but it is up to us to take care of our bodies, our minds, our gifts…..

I started a while back my own unique statements that define me. Some were for a season, but they still seem to fit. I add to them often.

I hope you start a list like this and read it often.

  1. My life is like an unfinished painting. There is always something to tweak.
  2. Everything in life is about balance.
  3. What deep wounds ever closed without a scar? (Lord Byron)
  4. Our scars remind of us our incredible journey.
  5. Stop, close your eyes, breathe deeply and relax
  6. It is not the failure, it is how we turn that failure into our growth.
  7. Eventually all the pieces fall into place, until then, laugh at the confusion, live in the moment and know that everything happens for a reason.
  8. When you repeat a mistake, it Is not a mistake anymore, it is a decision
  9. God makes no mistakes
  10. A true friend is to is to see all of their magic, and to remind them how magical they are when they have forgotten it themselves.
  11. Love is that unselfish desire to meet the needs of the cherished object.
  12. Just when you think you have me all figured out, the seasons are already changing.
  13. We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
  14. I can be a blank canvas some days, but the goal is to end up with beautiful paint at the end of the day all over me!
  15. Music makes me change my mine from grumpy to happy.
  16. Be kind to yourself when you think you have failed.
  17. We cannot control the filters that others choose when they look at us. God made us who we are supposed to be.
  18. Life is like a piano; white keys are the happy moments, black keys are sad moments, but together, they play beautiful music.
  19. On days you do not want to do anything else, go to the piano shack and play music loud.
  20. A true relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on one another.
  21. Love can be just a word, but when you find someone it fits, it becomes a definition.

God lays on my heart what to say.

How to “Get your Passion On!”

addy at the sea 2013310“The more you fail at being someone else, the more you succeed in become you.”

I believe you cannot have true passion in your life without your walk with God being as sweet as it can be. Start your day with God and be sure to have this walk with Him first and foremost, but I truly feel God does not want us to just stop there. He gave us desires that we feel so we should explore these desires and talents. He wants to encourage us to have the deepest passion that we can have. I have always thought that if we love music or art or looking at photography, then God put that desire or love within us to enjoy that passion. It is up to us to explore why we are passionate about these things. For instance, when I see a movie, I am always looking at the pictures on the walls, the colors and I find I love BOLD colors. Lines in a movie move me and I am always scrambling to grab a pen to write them down and ponder on them.

I was raised with very traditional style homes, colors and furniture, so I bought the same things for my home.   I loved my houses, but kept looking for how to decorate and felt I was not living in the rooms I always wanted. In other words, I did not feel passionate about my rooms. UNTIL, my precious daughter in law introduced me to color. I was too busy working that I never thought about changing my surroundings, I did as I always did and stopped short of listening to my passion within me. BUT when I did stop and think about what was the desires of my heart, I found that I was missing the bold colors in my house I was so passionate about I nature. SO, I started with all the cushions in my living room, by removing them and replaced them with COLORFUL ones!!! It actually took me several trips to Home Goods to buy cushions and return them for new ones, but I finally found what I love, bold oranges, blues and greens. (PS, one trick, take a picture of your area you are working on and then look at the picture, it helps give you a different view of what you are trying to do!)

So what am I saying?

To get your passion, stop and reflect on what makes you happy? God wants us to be happy. Look at where you are and decide steps to get these pieces of your passion into your life.

For me, decorating my home (on a budget) and writing was what I wanted to do. I now also added painting, but more on that later.

I had to decide on how to put the passion into my day!!

There are days I wake up energized and cannot wait to get my work done, paint, write and encourage others. But believe me I have those days where I want to hide under the covers. I become a little girl and cry and pull my pillow close to me and tell myself it is ok to be here under the covers because I feel like I need time to myself. On those darker days, I need to do reset my passion buttons and here is how I do it.

  1. I ask God to be the brush that paints my passion for the day. I know there are days I cannot do this alone. He after all gave me my passions, right? So I let Him help paint and design my passion. Makes sense, right?
  2. I have a notebook where I write down my passions. (I will pass on some tools in a later blog that I use)
  3. I set goals on paper as I am a goal setter. If you are not, just impress your goals in your mind. I start by day dreaming my goals and my work. I “daydream” about where I am in my projects and where I want to go that day. If you are a photographer, daydream of those pictures you would like to take. If you are a painter, daydream of those pictures you want to paint. If you are a musician, day dream of playing your music. Try to feel the daydream. (PS, if you do not reach your goal that day, it is ok!)
  4. I set aside time each day to do something that helps me focus and feel my passion. For instance for writing, I have downloaded authors that speak to the topics I write about. Have either a laptop ready or a notebook to start writing down what they say that inspires me. Believe me, soon, I turn off their work and I start writing my own work. It works every time for me!! Others inspire me to write. It is like God gives me the gift to hear what I need to get going.

Right now I am painting and learning how to paint for the first time. Believe me, being a beginner can be so intimidating and discouraging. In fact, two days ago, I completely washed off two canvases of painting that I hated, the passion was just not there, and I lost my confidence. So I stopped and googled some art that I liked and looked at some You Tube videos that inspired me. I always encourage you to have a sketch pad ready and soon you will find you will be drawing some of your own thoughts and your passion will start taking over and… Katie bar the door!!! Move over discouragement, here come my passion. Will the passion produce a work of art, perhaps not, but I have let go of the blockage that was taking away my passion.

Will this always be easy, NO… but be kind to yourself. Let yourself breathe. Stepping back is sometimes that best thing you can do. Go for a walk, daydream, talk to God and better yet, and LISTEN to God for a while.

  1. I let the passion replace the negative in my soul. I do ALL I can to remove the negative from my mind. We all doubt ourselves and have moments where we have no confidence in ourselves. IN fact, I feel those with the most passion can become very discouraged. I have moments of discouragement throughout the day!! (I feel the devil would LOVE for us to be discouraged). A phone call, a rude person at the store, someone that cuts you off in traffic. The world is full of events that can distract us from our goals.
  2. I push negative thoughts out of my mind as soon as I can. Sometimes negative thoughts can help us grow, but we need to channel them in the right frame of mind. The ultimate goal is not to let these negative thoughts turn into insecurities, or fears or events that steal our passion.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……

If you are a photographer, take some pictures of silly things. Take pictures of your dog or cat, listen to podcasts of other photographers the inspire you. Have your camera ready with you everywhere you go (as much as possible). Enter contests even if you know you are not going to win. Take that step to do it anyway.

If you write, have a pad of paper or a tape recorder to take notes on things you hear that inspire you or are just different. I have found that what helps me in writing is to set goals and time frames for myself. I do an article a day. I do a detailed outline to get me started if it is a piece that I am not as familiar with and I include research. I turn off spell check and the first time though. Someone told me that creating writing and typing are from two different sides of the brain. So if you stop and correct your mistakes, you are stopping your creativity over and over again. I just let the thoughts flow and then go back and correct my mistakes. Learn what works for you, perhaps speaking into recorder is better than typing.

I heard a great quotation I want to share with you. “The more you fail at being someone else, the more you succeed in become you.”

The reason I call my blog Ruby Prose is because God tells us in Proverbs that a virtuous woman’s “price is far above rubies.” Virtue means morally good character. As women, we need to know how to develop our character and I believe passion is a part of who we are and developing our passion will help us become more of what God envisioned and created us to be.

I thought about talking about “Self-Reflection” tomorrow.  I hope some of my journey will help you in yours.

Do you have Passion?

imagesPassion means to have a very strong feeling about something or someone. It is an intense emotion. Recently, I painted a canvas with little regard to style, form, or design, I just let passion direct my hand into this painting and I painted what I felt. I posted this painting and within minutes, my painting made its way to someone that absolutely loved it and bought it for their office.

I tried a couple days later to do the same painting but without the same passion and that paining will never see the light of day as it is now painted over with another coat of paint!! I let other things dampen my passion and I knew it.

I decided to sit back and understand what was the reason behind one painting being a treasured and looked at and a motivator to others and another one just a painting on the wall. I realized it was the passion I felt when I painted. Now it also goes that the one loving my painting has to also have this same passion for it.

So how do we get passion and how do we let passion give us the creativity, the drive, the desire to enjoy the day and allow ourselves to be used by God to actually make a difference in this world. Are we on this earth to just live each day to just breathe or are we here for a purpose?

I realized that I was not meant to be a great singer, or preacher, or composer, but I can be that person that can encourage the great singers, preachers, and composers of this world. I can be “their person” by being passionate in what I do and how I do it in hopes that others will be encouraged by my words or actions. Have you ever read a quotation by someone and it changed your way of thinking? Your entire day changed. The poem created passion in your life. The day actually went better and not much bothered you.

You can be that poet in someone’s life. You can give that inspiration with your smile, your patience, your willingness to listen to someone. See, we do not have to be someone great to make a difference, but we can be the wind that swoops in behind of them to push them to greatness.

Tomorrow I will talk about what we can do to get that passion …. It is not always easy, I think we have to work at it sometimes. We have to have a plan.

But for today…………… think about it, do you have passion?

What is God saying to YOU?

spirtual pathDid you ever wonder what God is saying to us?

Does God talk to us every day?

Will I be confused at what I think He is saying to me?

If you have asked yourself these questions, you are asking the same questions I have asked myself. Through the years I have learned there are some simple ways to answer these questions. First, God talks to us through His direction to us. We just need to listen. God will speak to us through songs, friends, sermons, teachers, and even in ways we do not understand. It may be that small voice we hear early in the morning when we awake. Many times God will reach out to you though others and get this… we will be used as the voice to OTHERS!! Out actions might be the communication to our friends.

I am not a preacher, but I wanted to share with you how I knew God direction.

First: Seek to know your spiritual gift.

God gives all of us spiritual gifts. I remember the first time I heard this in church, I wanted to know more. I did not have any idea what my gift was and wondered how I could know what it was. It was not clear to me! I really did have to stop and think about it. Once I realized my gift, I knew why I reacted the way I did. Read: 1 Corinthians 12: 7 – 11. “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same[a] Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

Second: Start your day with prayer.

Once we know our spiritual gift, (there could be more than one), ask God for direction. James 1:5 tells us the perfect solution!! Ask God to guide your path. This verse tells us: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

Third: Look for God’s Path

God’s will for your life is not a job. God’s gift will perfectly match the way you already are, where you are, and what you already like.

Living my life trying to “do it alone” has never worked for me. I find I am alone in a room full of friends, looking for answers that leave me empty and sad at the stillness of the night. When I am open to what God has for me, I am filled with peace. I hope this has helped you know your gift to yourself and others.

What is God asking us to do?

flower-deliveryIs God talking to you and you are asking why He is asking you to do what He is asking?

Often we feel God is speaking to us, but deny it is God and put the feeling on a shelf to lay our heads on our pillow to ponder about what we are feeling.

We think we do not have the talent to follow through on what God is telling us to have faith to pursue. We tell our self, “tomorrow” I will think about it. Or we secretly ask our self if we really have the talent to do what God is laying on our hearts to do.

Let me give you a couple things to think about.

  1. God will provide the way. If you are meant to blog to other women and your writing is absolutely horrible. Hold on. God will give you the words. He will provide you avenues to improve your writing. It is your job to just be open to the possibility.  I honestly feel God uses our words for His purpose, not because we have talent!
  2. God already has the tools available. If you are meant to paint for God and feel you do not have the time, space or inspiration. Wait upon the Lord and He will open each door for you. You are being prepared now. Take each step in faith. The light will be clear.
  3. God will let you know when it is time. If you feel a tugging in your heart, right now, just ask God to start preparing you. The time might not be NOW, but later. Just do not close the door to Him now thinking you are not ready. You will know.

I truly believe God had a plan for each of us, a season for His perfect work to be performed in each of us. If our season is when we are 50, 60 or 20, HE will provide the tools for us at the right time. I think many times we feel a calling and get scared that we do not have the tools to do what we fell God wants us to do. But God might need some time to prepare us for his glorious work. College classes, a couple years of marriage, troubled times in a relationship might all be canvass for God to prepare us for the beautiful painting yet to come.

Never close the door. Write down your feelings, look in the Bible for verses that you feel God wants you to read, be aware of your surroundings for what God has to prepare you. You will know.

Read Psalms 139 …. Below is the King James verson.

You Have Searched Me and Know Me

1{To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

19Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

20For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

21Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

22I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I love you all.  You are in my life for a reason.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013. Our Desires are all in His Plan.

Many times we ask ourself, how do we know what God’s will for our life is? Let me start by saying we are pretty much asking ourselves what does God want me to do tomorrow, or next week, or …. some time in the future.  To help myself through this question I have drawn the following conclusion.  Now, this is just my thoughts so I hope they help you.

God wants us to live each day of our life for Him.  I also feel He wants us to use the talents He gave us and the gifts He gave us.  He gave us all gifts and talents that we use everyday and I also believe He gave us desires.  That is all a beautiful plan He crafted.  SOOO, if we can paint and create, that is a gift God have us, it only makes sense (to me) that His plan for our life is to use that gift somewhere.  If He gives you the talent to be a leader, then perhaps we need to not be afraid of stepping in front of the crowd and leading! In other words, live for today, trust today in your desires.  I really think God put desires in our hearts to let us know the path He wants us to go.  I meant think about it.

In other words, we live by faith, trusting in the Lord today, fine tuning those gifts and talents He gave us, by this process God is preparing us for future service and HE will get us to where He wants us.

Saturday, January 12, 2013. When the starts go out each night…..

Song by Josh Groban

When stars go out each night,
remind us where you are
Let this be our prayer, when shadows fill our day
Help us find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe
A world where pain and sorrow will be ended
And every heart that’s broken will be mended
And we’ll remember we are all God’s children
Reaching out to touch you
Reaching to the sky
We ask that life be kind, and watch us from above
We hope each soul will find another soul to love
Let this be our prayer, just like every child
Who needs to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe
Needs to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe

Song sent to me by my husband

Monday, January 7, 2013. Resolutions or Restitution’s??

I got to thinking about the New Year and how many of us, me included think about “resolutions” for our new year and what we want to start doing or in most cases, do “right!”  I thought about the word resolution and thought to myself, mine are all restitutions!!!  Is that a bad thing?
So, I looked up the word restitution and found that this word meant “the act of restoring.”  At my age, I have a lot to restore and that is a good thing.  We all make resolutions every year, whether or not we call them by another name.  Psalm 51:12 says “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”  I got to thinking, it is not the resolution we made that will make us successful in keeping our promise, it is the willing heart, the willing spirit.  It is also this joy of life and our walk with God. I own my company and yet I cannot be a success alone.  I need my family, my business partner and first and foremost, I need God.  So, ANY resolution, and restitution I pen down in my journal, I want to make sure it is not just pen on paper, I want it to be prayerfully penned.  Whether your walk with God is strong or just a breathe let His arms support your resolutions.  I love you all.