Sunday, November 11, 2012

"El Capitan" - A Yosemite Expressionist Painting

As I sit here tonight, struggling in my pain and stiffness to find that elusive thing called sleep, I'm hoping that life is finding you well, and that in your own struggles, now matter how big or how small, you know that there is a God who loves you and is there for you always, all you have to do is ask. Sometimes it seems so very easy to believe the lie that your pain isn't really THAT bad, especially compared to someone else's, that your struggles aren't as hard because you haven't had to deal with something huge like others seem to have to do. That even if what you struggle with may be small in other people's eyes, that it may feel small compared to "what's his face who has to deal with whatever THAT is", that for you, your hardest struggles are indeed HARD, and they are yours and you have every right to feel overwhelmed by them. Please don't ever compare yourself with others in a way that hurts you rather than encourages you to try harder (I say this even while I am working on this myself) because it will only make things worse. It is okay to feel like what you're going through is hard. Like I said, I'm learning that myself right now. What I'm struggling with might be nothing compared with someone else, and yet to me, it's unbearably hard. But there is a God who gives us hope and strength and courage, and it is promised in His word, "Come near to God and He will come near to you." (James 4:8a - which is, by the way, MY FAVORITE VERSE OF ALL TIME!!!) Let him carry your burden for you, as I, and my family with me, are learning to let Him carry ours. "'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.'" (Matt. 11:28-30) God bless!

Here's a picture from our trip last year to Yosemite with my amazing mother and our awesome family. I loved that trip! It was such a sweet time to grow together as a family - to watch Levi lose himself in nature, because boy oh boy does that little man ever love to be outside!!! And to see my beautiful nieces and my sister and brother-in-law (who is really more like a brother to me than anything else) in the element that brings out the best in all of us. We are such a camping family. I think we were all born for the mountains, but for now, our little yearly trips will have to suffice.  =)

Ahhh, Yosemite. There is something so magical about that place. Maybe it's the way the mist hits your face and drenches your body as you stare mystified at the power of the waterfalls before you. Or the beauty in even the simple little wonders there, like the rocks and ferns and, well, in everything around you. And for me, it might even just be my momma. I mean, when we go there, it's like I see her caught perfectly back in time as a young girl, just barely out of her teens, and I see life through her eyes so clearly. She used to work in that park, and I love every story she has to share about it. I eat them up like crazy... Like the time a bear came knocking on her cabin door while she was all alone, and then proceeded climb up on her roof and stick around for awhile, scaring the living daylights out of her. Or the fact that she knows so much about the park, so much more than most people could ever possibly know without having lived there themselves. It's magical to me, and I love it! I hope I captured even a hint of that in this simple painting - even a hint of the immense beauty and majesty that God so lovingly poured out in abundance over that land. I have so, so many more paintings to come from there and from all of our other special haunts - so many more expressions of the joy I feel in spending time in God's great wonderlands with my momma and the rest of my family, and with our mighty Creator Himself - and I can't wait for the chance to make them and share them with you!

"El Capitan"     8 x 10     Acrylic on Canvas
By the way, momma, you totally inspired this painting (you know, just in case you couldn't tell by what I wrote)! I love you and want to thank you for giving me such a love for the beautiful wilderness that God created!

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