Saturday, December 31, 2011

FInding the Positive Words of my heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Finding the Positive

Still entering new members on  Am feeling pretty drained and we have about 75 more members to go to add today.  Yesterday Terry kidnapped me for two hours and we went out to eat at Pete's in Mt Pleasant. We had pizza. We rarely eat such things...but we did. I ate one whole piece and truly loved it.  Pete's rocks.  Visit them on facebook.

 At Pete's the band playing tonight was setting up and practicing for New Years Eve. We were there at four in the it was the band and Terry and I with salad and home made pizza. The ride home was even better...gorgeous colors reflecting more fall than winter and sixty degree weather. Finding the positive was really easy after eight hours on the computer from early morning.

I am blogging on my laptop.  Another feat as everything on the Big Mac is signed into in every direction.  Too messy to sign into google from one account to the other, easier to use the laptop. Less at my finger tips.

 We did the drawing yesterday... and their were close to fifty entries for this little painting.  My mom did the pull out of the name for this one and it is a fellow Texas many miles from me. C. Kelley is one of my collectors so I was thrilled  to see this special little painting go where it will be loved.

I promise to send it out next week.  I hope to be back blogging on my big mac too early next week.

Meanwhile... my best wishes of God's blessings in the New Year. Stay safe and count your blessings.... one by one.

Words of my Heart.

““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”” John 16:33 NIV

Friday, December 30, 2011

Determined, Stubborn or Stupid? Words of my heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Determined, Stubborn or Stupid?

The past two days Diane Whitehead, Debbie Lincoln and I have been adding members into the new site.  We are moving Contemporary Fine Art International to its awesome new site designed by Nick Hempsey, .  Nick is still working night and day on this site fine tuning it to be the professional site we ask for. (BTW, the man is incredible if you need a new website.)

Again Determined, Stubborn or Stupid?

Finding the Right Footing
We have over 500 juried in members on being added slowly from the site.
It is a professional site with professional artists.

Finding the right footing as you design a site this size when our five member board all had ideas was a bit easier than we thought, but as Nick was hired, he gave us a reality check. We thought we were firmly in place with what we wanted.

We thought the site could be built in six weeks. Yeah, if you do computers and websites you are laughing.

Here we are four months into it and we are just now loading our members...our PATIENT members. They have stuck with us knowing the vision is a good one.  Art does tell the story. Yes artists are determined, stubborn and sometimes stupid... usually we work and work and seek the inner composition and possibilities in things that normal people do not even notice.  So I guess it does not do any good for an artist to be firmly planted in something...other than God.  He is my life support. I could not make the day with out Him.

Funny thing was something I googled on the Internet implied that stubbornness was linked with resisting change. From some views I might agree, but for an artist I cannot. They are usually stubborn to a fault while creating...but they are expecting and wanting change.  Steady with change.. rolling with the painting as it develops, but stubborn not to give up or stop.  I have not overworked anything in years. I have learned where to stop...but I always continue to explore and find balance in my work.

Is that what the Father does?  We have no idea from day to day where we travel or go. As we climb we always believe we are on firm footing.... and we tend to fall and waver... but you know what... HE IS THERE!  Climb with confidence. Stay focused on Him and He will guide your path and light the way.

Stop by over the next few weeks on and off as all the fabulous artists put their best works that are available up for you to see and hopefully buy.

Words from my heart and very very tired fingers.... (and scrambled brain) I love you Debbie and Diane. We can do this!


“[Jesus Comforts His Disciples] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3 NIV

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Simplity in Soup and Salad Words from my heart, A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Simplicity in Soup and Salad

Well I got on the scale. I was really scared after the food we inhaled over the holidays. I did not eat that much more, but I tasted more sweet things that I have had in the past year. I need to wean back off the sweets.

Terry asked me to go out for specialty pizza and I jumped on the scale and jumped off and said, Not until I am back down the three pounds I had obviously gained.

Soup and Salad. Keep it simple sweetie. 

Oh how I wish I could keep my life that simple right now. Tax time to close out accounts and gather receipts. 

The gathering word crops up again.  We seem to be good at gathering STUFF. We are good at gathering belongings. We are good at gathering too much food at the table. We are good at gathering to much responsibility. We are good at gathering problems. We are good at gathering in general. 

Time to FORGET all of that gathering.  Gather in prayer with the Lord. Gather in prayer with your friends. Gathering in circles of love to pray for others. Gather in work that serves others, not serving yourself.  How hard is it to put self last? Last from belongings. Last from tv. Last from food. Last from more responsibilities. Last from self?

Put Him first and NOTHING else has to be...just wait upon the Lord.  He will provide direction. He will provide for your needs. Keep your life simple... and He will provide simple abundance.

Words of my heart,

“Of David. Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—” Psalm 103:1-2 NIV

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blowing out the Candles does not Extinquish the Light, Words of my heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Blowing out the Candles Does not Extinguish the Light.

Christmas Day after the advent wreath burning and the reading of scriptures and the singing of Christmas hymns, Lady L was ready to blow out the candles.

She was so excited this year to celebrate advent and Jesus' birthday.  She will be reminded through out the year by the lighting of candles during prayer time of this advent wreath and the 'light' that burns for all of us...HIS LIGHT.

Words of the heart,

“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”” Luke 2:28-32 NIV

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sharing the Light, Words of my heart, by a Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Sharing the Light of Christmas 

A sharing of light and love from our hearts to yours on this Beautiful Week of Christmas.

May you keep this beauty alive in your heart, soul and mind.

Words from my Heart,

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Joy and God's Blessings on You and Your Family, Words from my heart, by A Texas Artist, Laurie Pace

Christmas Joy and Gods Blessings on you and your family.

Our Advent Wreath    5 x 7 inches Oil on Canvas

I am taking a small break from blogging today and tomorrow... meanwhile here is a small painting I did this week while traveling. It is from our advent wreath and it is a give away painting on my art blog.  Just email me HERE and say
you are wanting this small Advent Wreath painting and I will put your name in the drawing. Winner will be announced in a few days.

Spend this day in Gathering close at heart the Love of God for mankind in bringing to us His only Son, who gave His life for us and for our sins.

This video is from 2009 Christmas and is the reading of the Christmas Story from Luke... Old house, old studio but it is from my heart to yours.  Next year I will get back in the saddle (yeah pardon that pun too...) and I will be original and ready!

Words from my heart,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Excited Angels, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Excited Angels Around Us.

At this time of year you can often just look around and visible see those little Angels. These two caught my eye and I took a series of images as their faces changed with the cold wind blowing them about on the float they were in for the Mount Vernon Christmas Parade.

Can you even begin to imagine how the real Angels were twittering about in joyful love and expectation waiting as Mary and Joseph rode into Bethlehem? 

They knew what was ahead and coming. They were at God's side and waited as He laid it out before them. Their excitement could hardly be hidden or contained... GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST.

Compare it to the little ones in your life and their expectation and excitement of Santa Claus arriving.

Gee what would it take for them to feel that same level of joyful anticipation over the spiritual celebration of Christmas?

Words of my heart, Laurie

"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,  and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 
Luke 2: 6-14

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hurry, Hurry, Words of the Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Hurry to Bethlehem ... wait, is your heart open?

We are all in a hurry... it is the 23rd of December.  What direction are you going and what is your hurry?
Are you making a list?

1. We don't want to be left behind. Quick before they sell out.

2. We don't want to forget a gift for Aunt Mary.

3. We don't want to forget the cinnamon for the pumpkin pie.

4. We don't want to forget the candies for the stockings....or the fresh fruit. Hey, don't forget the nuts either. Mom always put nuts in our stockings.

5. Hurry, we must get it all done so we can rush into Christmas and then hurry to pick up the trash from the gift wrap... ah yes, don't forget trash bags.

6. Mark the days off the calendar. Make sure you put a huge happy face on the 26th... everyone will be gone and you get your house back.

7. Oh yeah... make sure you buy the egg nog.... you can have it with the leftovers when every one is gone.

Prepare your heart for Him.  He is not going anywhere after the 26th. He is there ALWAYS.

I think I am going to order these as gifts for next year... given at birthday time for all my daughters.  We are the heartbeat of our families. We set the pace, pardon the pun...for the heartbeat of our households.  Available on Amazon... highly rated as well! 
"Prepare Your Heart for a Great Christmas isn't for those who aspire to be Martha Stewart or Mother Teresa, but for all women who fall somewhere in between! Readers will discover: peace throughout the busy days, gratitude for the blessings of life, joy in rediscovering the anticipation of Christmas, and insights to carry the spirit of Christmas into the New Year."

Maria Rodgers O'Rourke is the author.

CLICK HERE to visit the Author's site and buy the book.

Words of my heart,


Isaiah 9:6-7

  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

This video also from 2009 is the next reading in the Christmas story.  Again messy studio at our old house,  but lots of love in my heart. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Preparation NO, Wait upon the Lord, Words of the Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Preparation, NO wait, that's not it.... WAIT.

Are we ever fully prepared in life?

Many of us really try hard to the point we try and control everything around us to get there.
Obviously the Christmas season in the USA is lights, glitter and action from the middle of October until the 26th of December.  The media gets it into our blood and we respond to the noise and color battered at us on TV, Radio and in the stores and malls. The results are huge. We spend more money, go further in debt, eat richer foods, drink more and are miserable after Christmas. Why do we do this?

Through  Bible reading, opening our hearts to God through prayer and listening and waiting on His guidance, we can begin to rediscover the true glory of this season of celebration.

Spiritual living requires waiting.  God does everything in His time, not ours. We are confronted with this daily as we try to push things in a direction and it never seems to work. Learning to wait  and be attentive to Him is critical to spiritual living.  Letting go of our 'agenda of preparedness' comes first.

Learning to wait and be open to life and not swayed by our own plans is truly a challenge in this household. God is here... He has been here. He is still waiting on me, sitting back just watching me stir things around into a bigger mess. Only when I stop stirring it up and sit down and wait upon the Lord, will I become aware of Him in my life.

 In these last days of Advent I encourage you to Wait upon the Lord...don't worry about being prepared for all the 'stuff' going on... let it go.  Walk away and go sit in a quiet place and put yourself in Him.

Words of my heart, Laurie

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Gathering in Bethlehem, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

They Traveled to the Gathering.

It was taxes that drew them 'gathering' in Bethlehem.  Each man had to return to his home town for the payment of taxes.

Joseph took Mary there, carefully traveling with her on a donkey as they went from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It would have taken them five to seven days to arrive there, so they were well on their way to Bethlehem on the timeline of Christmas Eve and Jesus' birth.

Every one was coming 'home' to their village for the census and taxing that took place.

Again though, it was a gathering, a returning home.

Keep this close at heart this day... as you prepare for the 'gathering' and the return home.

Words of my heart, Laurie

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child." Luke 2:1-5

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gathering, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Gathering from the Greek word espepisunagoge.

The Greek word espepisunagoge actually means "gathering together" or "a get together".

When I think of advent, immediately comes the gathering of family and friends in celebration of the coming birth of Jesus; a gathering with God for the celebration of the birth of Christ.

As we make each day in the last week of advent, think of things you need to gather close in heart to be in light with Him.  Prayer is at the top of my list. Prayer is a wonderful 'gathering' time.

Another would be the gathering every morning and evening lighting the advent candle for the day. A gathering of spirit and love in anticipation.

A third might be a gathering at meals, again to glorify Him and the treasures of this season.

Another will be Christmas Eve as we gather at services around the world in remembrance and  honor for the story and birth of Jesus.  A gathering in song, in music, in words, in actions and in deeds.

The Lord gathers us close to Him.

Words of my heart,

“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven” Luke 1:76-78 NIV

This video is a reading I did for my blog in 2009.  From my heart to yours... from my very messy studio at the old house in Dallas. Remember this is the time of year I am constantly shipping things out at the last minute!

Monday, December 19, 2011

With Sounding Horns, Clashing Cymbals and Beating Drums, Words of my heart, A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

With Sounding Horns... and Clashing Cymbals and Beating Drums.

No small town is with out a Christmas Parade and these were shots from ours.  The high school band marching by and playing their hearts out with sounds filled with love and heart.  They had marched four blocks up hill by the time I snapped these shots.

What would you feel like by this time? Four city blocks up hill marching in line blowing a horn? It was really cold and windy that day.  I would say this young woman was prepared.  Countless days of marching band in 116 degree heat; game after game on a Friday night during football season performing on the field.  She and the others could march those four blocks up hill blowing and playing every step of the way.

They are ringing in the joy of the season and sharing their enthusiasm... after four blocks uphill blowing a horn. Just amazes me.  I laugh because my own daughter phoned yesterday entirely pooped out and exclaiming she may not be ready for Christmas with all the gift wrapping.  I gently reminded her to refocus on the season for what it is to be in our hearts. That does not require the marathon of shopping and wrapping... just preparing, praying and knowing all will fall into place. No worry. No four blocks up hill. In fact it is down hill all the way.... Let go of all worries and concerns.

Words of my heart and the joy of the Christmas Spirit...Laurie

I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.--John 15:11

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Advent Sunday, Four Candles, Words of my Heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Four Candles

This last week in Advent is a full seven day week fr us to become aware of what is truly going on in our lives these days and if it is truly bringing us in the season for the right reason.   As our minister Jack reminds us, Christmas is often the loneliest time of the year for many people. Often there are sad memories attached or the death of a loved one. Sometimes is just purely being alone with out family or someone to smile at or sing Silent Night with. 

Terry and I were watching a movie on the love channel called Lovely Still by Nik Fackler.

Nik was only 22 when he wrote the script for this film. His ability to identify so deeply to the different levels of his characters, decades older than he was at the time, is extraordinary.

It was around midnight when we turned it off before it ended, but I will be watching for it again because I want to see it.

Advent... it ties right in. The main focus is at Christmas and the holidays. Next, two elderly people played by Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn.
There is a wonderful review to read about it if you click HERE.

The 'Advent' we celebrate coming into Christmas fills us with renewed hope and joy.  To be alone at this time of year is the most difficult when you often have Christmas past and years of memories of what was a happier time.  As we grow older, we are more burdened down by the world we live in. The world and life WE created, not God.

Christmas brings in challenges of budgets and expectations.  It brings it excuses to party and the opportunity to eat unhealthy and drink too much.  With it comes cultural pressures from friends and family to be certain places at certain times and to "join in" celebrations that are really not honoring Him or ourselves.

We come through this final week of advent almost still NOT ready. We are missing something.

Jesus embraced the world with its poverty and conflict when He lived among us. Today He desires to embrace each of us right now, even while you are feeling distant. Can you spend this week seeking Him and preparing your heart for this joy He offers you? Open your hands and heart and you will receive treasures unimaginable to your thinking.

Words of my Heart, Laurie

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” - Luke 1

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Life - Round and Round it Goes, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Life - Round and Round it Goes

Why do we get so mesmerized by trains under the tree going round and round?  Adults and children alike will sit for an hour watching the shiny engine pull its line of cars around the oval track.

This is Terry's favorite train purchased when our 14 year old grandson was only ten years ago.

I wrote earlier that it took awhile trying to get the track together and how excited he was to hook it up. But he forgot to hook in the noise part. Our train has noise.  I am hoping he will still hook it up, but if he doesn't,  I love it just as much with out the noise.

What is the enticement of the train? I get the enticement of the tree, the lights, the ornaments and the keeping it in your heart year round.

 Googleing around I found this wonderful article from the Detroit news.  THE TOY TRAIN THAT RULES CHRISTMAS by Vivian Baulch written back in 2001. Ten years ago. The same time we bought our train for Jonathan. 

We all watch the Red Ryder BB gun movie each holiday season... but the trains took over as the top gift for little boys.  It is a really good read if you want to check it out.

Seems like the generational past of the holidays are vastly inflated by the teasing media to shop till you drop. The 'noise ' is important to them. Cha Ching.

Our lives are like that Lionel train... we go around the track with our lives.  Where is your life going right now?

Words of my heart, Laurie

“[Mary’s Song] And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.” Luke 1:46-47, 49 NIV

Friday, December 16, 2011

Turning to the "SON", Words of my Heart by a Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Turning to the 'Son"

As the third week in advent comes to a close, my mind and actions are surrounded by the joy of the season.  This time of year seems to bring more smiles and hugs. This time of the year the grumpy-pants become the happy-pants. This time of year the SON brings out the best in all of us as we bloom in His light.

My poor Christmas Cactus almost did not make it this year.  This summer Paddy the dog decided they were bathroom targets and he hit one pretty bad and the other one, Annie the other dog tumped over and laid in the dirt on the back porch.

(BTW...Schlumbergera is the correct name and it is AKA Thanksgiving Cactus, Crab Cactus and Holiday Cactus.)

 Terry heard my wails and came running. We carefully put new dirt into a pot and replanted the one that was mushed by Annie. The one that bore the brunt of Paddy's liquids did not fare as well. Even with a new pot it only grew four blooms.  It was my red one.  The green stalks never gained their right color either.

After the replanting they were moved to the top shelf of my plant stand in the breakfast room.  Slowly I nurtured them back to some type of health;  the orange one perked up really quickly with my attention and God's sun.

The red one did not. Half the plant had dark grey-green stalks with no signs of buds and two stalks had tiny red nubs beginning to pop out right after St Nicholas Day.

I waited in joyful anticipation to see the red ones grow into full blooms and they did.

Christmas Cactus blooming in the light of the 'Son'.  God is good. All the Time God is good.

You too can bloom at this time of the year. Just like the plants seeking the light and leaning their limbs and branches to stretch toward it, you can do the same thing.  Seek Him. Seek the light and you will grow and bloom.

Words from my heart, Laurie

“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”” Luke 1:30-33 NIV

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Joyful Memories Shared from my heart, by A Texas Artist, Laurie Pace


Over the centuries we have celebrated the advent of the Christ Child with different customs from all over the world as well as different customs with families.

Growing up in the Justus household Christmas Eve was the magical time. Early supper and church at six thirty. The service was always filled with carols and a short message from the minister. Often the youth would do a pageant that night. The ending song was always Silent Night and the lights were off and every member held a candle.  The church was St Paul United Church of Christ in Dallas. Founded by  German families, this last song was sung in German.  At the end we filed out blowing out our candle as we left the sanctuary.

At home Mom had trays of yummy Christmas cookies. Many were the traditional German cookies. Dad prepared egg nog and we shared gifts and warm times in front of the cozy fire.  My memories today are of Dad as we put the tree up every year, hanging the lights on the inner edges of the branches, the ornaments near the front edges, but always leaving room for the single strands of  tinsel on the tree limbs. 

I asked mom once why we celebrated on Christmas eve.  She said her dad had to  work for the railroad on Christmas Day so they always did Christmas Eve.

JOY... memories that warm my heart. Laurie

“When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”” Matthew 2:4-6

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Colors of Christmas, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist, Laurie Pace

The Colors of Christmas

Traditionally most of you think of red and green and think Christmas. The holly and the ivy, right?
Do you have all colors on your tree for lights or only white ones?  Do you thematically decorate your tree or is it full of family ornaments from past generations?

The Colors of Christmas are just about as diverse as we are individually.  God is undeniably the greatest artist I know working with three dimensional creations. His palette lacks nothing in values and hues.

If we all all part of His creation, just think how brightly we shine in our many reflective colors and personalities.  Life would be pretty boring if we all looked the same or acted the same.

So by looking at us as well as creation... we are the colors of God.

Give me the grace this day to see those around me that have a broken heart or worry weighing them down. Guide me in staying with them in their sorrows as I ask for the courage to help them as they need help.

Words of my Heart, Laurie

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” Galatians 4:4-5 NIV

Monday, December 12, 2011

Light Leads the Way, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Light Leads the Way

I was up early this morning at five a.m.  Paddy dog was rustling around. Terry has been down for two days with headaches and dizziness.  I believe it might be his glasses are the wrong prescription. We just picked up new ones last week.

I love mine.  My sun glasses are in the picture.

Obviously Terry's glasses are not correct. So at nine this morning I will be calling the eye clinic for a check appt to see if the new glasses are incorrect.

Having the gift of sight is a blessing for most of us.  When you are in need of corrective lens to truly have good vision, it is a challenge to adjust when they are incorrectly prescribed.

During Advent we are blessed with insight to the joy and anticipation of the Christ Child's arrival. The star shall advance from Jacob and a staff shall rise from Israel. If we are not clear in our vision of what this means in our lives, we need to search out the light to find the way to the Son of the Living God.  If you are ready in your heart, He will lead you into the light.

Come Lord Jesus... be my guest and let my life to you be blessed.

This light will never fade.  It will burn away the mists surrounding you. You say you haven't seen God? Are you looking in the wrong places? Are your eyes covered by distractions in life?

God gives us new vision and great hope through the light before us guiding us to return to His love.

We light again the third candle in Advent this morning.

Words of my heart,

"In you, LORD my God,   I put my trust.  I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.  No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me,  for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Ps 25:1-5

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Third Week in Advent Begins, I light the Candle of Joy, Words of my heart, A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Third Week in Advent Begins

Last week we prepared our hearts for grace. The third candle we light as we begin this week represents the spirit of joy. Paul's words, "the Lord is near..."  If you have candles with colors, the Joy candle is usually a rose colored.   The faith of Mary, Joseph and Elizabeth show us how they prepared the way for Jesus' life to begin. Faith and generosity overcoming  adversity and impossibility.  

If your life situations are as upside down as mine are, it is time to let it be. These times in our lives seem to overwhelm our thinking and we obsessive about situations we have very little control over. Hard as it seems, this is the time to prepare our hearts and let go of the sadness and fears that hinder us from feeling the pure joy and hope which Jesus bestows on us. Let go of the world of conflict and division. Let go of the greed and lust we seek daily, as well as the power we want over our own lives. 

When moments are overwrought with anxiety or fear, breathe slowly and deeply to gain a clear perspective. Acknowledge the greatness of the Lord in your life with both soul and spirit. Let the light of these candles remind you daily that the LIGHT shines into the dark places of your life revealing the ugliness. Ask for forgiveness and be quick to forgive others as God forgives you.

Rejoice always; pray with out ceasing. In all things give thanks to Him. We have the good news.

Words of my heart,

“You are to name him Jesus, 
  because he will save his people 
  from their sins.” Mt 1:21

Friday, December 9, 2011

Building to a Crescendo, Words from my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Building to a  Crescendo

I marvel at God's greatness each daybreak as I wake to Terry starting his coffee or Paddy rustling around to wake us both up. The new brightness of this day and this moment and the many blessings that are surrounding me and God's love lifting me up from a good night's sleep. This morning I woke to the sound of Lady L's feet pattering in the hall and her loud whispers of "Bampa awake?"

The reminder on this Friday in this second week of advent is accept God's direction in this day. In our self-reliant independence we often forget He truly knows what is best for us.  In our stubbornness it is easy to assert our way claiming control and what we define as freedom while we are truly creating a self-destructive life.

As the story of this day plays out, think of it as a musical composition.

Parts of this piece will build 'dal niente'. Those are the startling things out of nowhere. The encountering of friends is fortepiano, loud to soft and always in a crowd, in rillievo; some voice louder than others always standing out. The marcato moments, stressed and pronounced as well as the sotto voce, the undertoned moments in the day, softly whispered.  Through out all of this He is calmando... always calm and steady.

Take today to enjoy the Father's touch in the composition of this day. Be drawn in the invitation  to live your life touched by the grace of God with in you. Look forward in hope and turn to Him in trust knowing He will truly guide your steps as you work together on the composition of this day.

Words of my heart,
Laurie Pace

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Threads of Family, Words of my Heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Threads of Family

Too many memories to sort them all. Families are a basic weave of lives with different personalities. The fabric that comes from the weave is either strong with evenly spaced threads that are carefully threaded through evenly pulled and spaced.  Loosely woven threads create a weaker fabric.

You never know with family. You don't choose them. You choose your friends but not your family. God seems to match us together ahead of time. It is how we interact and respond to each other that determines the weave in our family. We make those choices, not God.

 Tomorrow would have been the 16th birthday of our Grandson Grant.  God took Grant from us about five years ago. As a special needs autistic child, he brought so much love to our family. You could never anticipate much or plan much because Grant lived on the edge of constant joy. He made us smile.  Grant left strong threads in the fabric of our lives.

So as we continue through this second week in advent, my thoughts wrap around that last hug from our precious grandson.  We look to each day in our life and we truly are never ready for things that occur, but learning from Grant to take each day as a joy gives us purpose to smile.  I know his sweet heart and his contagious smile and one day we will see him in heaven.

This is Grant's little sister. She was born about two years almost to the day after he died. This is the first painting I have ever done of Lady L.

Words of my heart,

John 16:22 - "So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

St Nicholas was Here...Words of the Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

St Nicholas was Here....

I shared on Facebook that my kids grew up different than most on the block.  Coming from a German family, we always had a visit from St. Nick on the evening of the 5th of December.  As children we hung our stockings awaiting the decision of St Nick if we had been naughty or nice.

Mom filled the stocking with small presents, fruits and candy. Back in the 'old days' we did not really get expensive big gifts.

So as my children were born we continued the tradition of St Nick. Christmas was reserved more for the spiritual aspect and all the wonderful happenings wrapped around our advent wreath morning and night followed up by Church and all of its Christmas pageants and Christmas Eve services.

I know we did a small gift from Santa each year for our children, but Christmas when they were young was not like it is for children today. Focus presents, not Christ Child. Every day we lit our advent candles and focused on the story that has been shared for generations celebrating the journey of Mary and Joseph in their spiritual lives as well as their trip to Bethlehem.

The missing of the Spirit of the season seems to grow by the year in our American Society. No longer is it simple, pure and blessed. It has become how much and how big.

What can you do in your life over the next few weeks to make some positive changes to bring back the Spirit of Christmas? Our daily struggles seem to make us tired as we struggle to make the day. It will be that way until you 'get it' that only He desires to set you free. Only you can decide to start at a new spiritual level and be restored.  Hope remains in the Lord.  He is calling your name. Prepare your heart for His coming, and not St Nick's or Santa's coming.

Words from my heart,

"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Looking Out the Window, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Looking Out the Window

Each of us has inside something we are looking for or something we think we are missing in life. It is that 'object' or 'event' that if it just was resolved or if it just happened we could be happy.  We wait and wait on that to come to us...watching out the window for it to 'arrive'.

This second week in advent would be the perfect time to turn away from that window of desire.  Talk to Him about it. Let Him know what is in your heart and mind and then let it go.

As you pass through this day begin new ways of responding to challenging relationships and ruts you are in.  Take a look at those habitual sins and see what needs to be dropped for the day.

God has the power to save each of us. We can be free.

Dispel our darkness with the light of your presence, and make us worthy of your gifts.

We are celebrating three days of constant rain in east Texas where we have been under drought for two years. I cannot tell you the number of days we gazed out this window and prayed for rain and only the sun was there beating down, the heat slowly killing our lands and forested areas.  Relief came, but it came in His time, not ours. 

Words from my heart

"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his holy prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life."  Luke 1: 68-75

Monday, December 5, 2011

An Incredible Promise, Words from my heart by A Texas Artist, Laurie Pace

An Incredible Promise of things to come, are you ready?

The holidays bring to mind a time of preparedness or getting ready. I am always amused by the stores that begin 'preparing' in October for Christmas.  Each year it seems to get earlier when you see all the teasing lights, wrapping and ribbons.  The colors trigger our minds to think of the holidays ahead and what we have to do to be ready.
  1. Either drag the tree down from the attic or plan on where you will purchase your live one, and don't forget the ornaments and trimmings for the tree., or the train under the tree...
  2. Double check your shopping list that you have not left anyone off.
  3. Make decision about Christmas dinner, parties ahead and baking.
  4. Plan out your calendar so events do not cross anywhere and you can keep it all straight in your mind.
  5. Check your list daily for things you have forgotten and cross off the detailed things you have listed.
What exactly are you preparing for?  For you or for Him?  He is no where on this list.  He is not part of the tree trimming or the train. He is not on your shopping list for a gift. He has not sent you an email or snail mail official invitation to a Christmas party. He truly does not care what you serve for food for the holidays. He does not check your list daily for anything.

What He does want:
  1.  He wants you to prepare your heart spiritually and let go of the notion of "things" needed in our worldly life.
  2.  He wants to give you gifts and they don't cost you anything but the simple acknowledgement turning your life to Him and lifting your hands to be ready to receive.
  3. He provides everything you need for nourishment with out parties and dinners.  Maybe using some of that 'prepare' for parties might be better spent helping feed some hungry people this month.
  4. He wants you to keep things straight in your heart every single day, not on a list for your mind from event to event just for the 'holidays'.
  5. He wants you to check in daily with Him all year round so you can receive your gifts and direction for the day.
This is His Incredible Promise to each of us. Are you prepared for Him in your heart?

Words from my heart,

"Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, Say to those whose hearts are frightened; Be strong, fear not! Here is your God,he comes with Vindication; with divine recompense He comes to save you."  Isaiah 35: 3-4

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Anticipation, Preparing the Heart, Words of my Heart, by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Anticipation - Preparing the Heart

In this second week of advent we begin to really anticipate the coming of the Christ Child. No matter what messes remain in our lives, it is time to look above to Him to be set free.

If you still remain head down concentrating on things in the worldly existence, this week it is time to lift your face to God's light. It is shining all around you, but your back is still to Him in your focus on other things. These things matter not in the spiritual realm.

Prepare your life for the coming of this joy. Turn to His light.  Let go of what holds you down and raise your hands in praise to Him. He  holds His grace ready for you to receive.

I learn this from a special woman.  She of all people is trapped in a worldly situation not of her making. She does trust the Lord with all of her heart, and yet she knows she is an advocate responsible for someone's care.

When she gets home at night, she releases it all and turns to God in prayer immediately giving Him all the worries that fill her mind as she journeys through this earthly maze.  If we could all learn to do this we would rest better at night and greet each morning open minded and ready to receive the goodness He has for us.

Words from my heart,

Dear Lord,
Through the darkness, we look for your wisdom. we want our hearts to be open to you ready to receive your grace.
But sometimes in these days, our backs are turned to you and it seems that so many things come between us.

Help us to be awake, open and aware of the radiance and glory you bring to our lives.
Help us to be grateful each day for the blessings of family and friends.
May we be peacemakers in our own lives, and in the world.
Let each of us pray especially for the many difficulties facing our country and the world.
This as my Advent prayer today.

Isaiah 40: 1-5
"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.  A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Let is Shine through Her Smile... Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Let it Shine with Her Smile...

Last night Terry and I went to visit close friends to help put up their ten foot Christmas tree. The Mrs. of the family had surgery recently and is still couch bound. The Mr. was not looking forward to the job as it had never in all their years of marriage fallen to him to decorate the tree.

I was petrified I would put something in the wrong place as Mr. brought out a huge container about four feet in length and two feet wide and three feet tall.  He popped open the lid and behold inside was a bounty of ornaments gently laid and stored. If there was one ornament, there were a thousand or more.

Slowly the men righted the tree and wedged it into place and our work lay ahead for the three of us.  A fire burned in the fireplace toasting the room enough that I pulled off my sweat shirt.  It was a work out for sure. It took about three hours to get all those ornaments on the tree. Mr asked Mrs repeatedly if we had enough hung yet. Her reply was always the same, "I put all of them on every year and they all need to be hung."

With almost every ornament Mrs had a story to share about a time or memory in life.  Even while she was in pretty bad pain, she smiled and relaxed more with every bauble hung on that tree. 

She directed us like an orchestra guiding her favorites to a position she could enjoy.

There were simple shiny colored balls that were fillers to catch light on the inside branches. There were huge 4 to 6 inch balls that hung in various places to fill in spots where needed.  It was fun as we danced around the ladder and went from high to low and back to high, weaving colors and ornaments left and right. There were small candy canes and three foot candy canes. There were a multitude of Santa Clause figures and ornaments in all shapes and sizes.

We left around eight last night. All lights were off in the house and the tree glowed with its bounty. Mrs had fallen asleep on the couch with a smile on her face. 

Words from my Heart,

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.  Daniel 12:3

Friday, December 2, 2011

Beginnings and Expectations full of Grace and Truth, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Beginnings and Expectations full of Grace and Truth

In any relationship there are beginnings and expectations.  Most ignite with hope and excitement. Would it not be nice to wake each morning with that joy igniting your day?

I have memories of when Terry and I fell in love... we talked about it last night. We met in 1963, but it was in 1964 that the relationship began. We were in eighth grade.  That first love is filled with new beginnings and expectations.  You literally cannot wait to see him every day.  Your emotions run wild from excitement to love, to worry and back again...but yet every day you wake in anticipation of seeing him.  As we grow older do we have to be laden with the world on our shoulders? Why can we not wake today with that same joyful expectation?

No matter what the season is in life, there is a need to embrace the joy of the day.

With this first week in advent based on hope and expectations, I pray for that lightness in your life and your days. I pray for you to wake with hope and expectation to discover the gifts coming to you on this very day.  Despite pain, illness, family troubles, financial stress, unemployment, and whatever else seems to burden you down, allow yourself to have time each morning to open your hands up to heaven and allowing God to carry your burdens.  Begin to list those positive things you do have.  Not just in your head, but list them on paper.  Focus on them only.

Begin to nurture back the light and love in your life that seems to have been crushed out by the world.

I struggle often trying to separate my human frustration and problems from that spiritual relationship that offers total freedom from all the problems I carry, those rocks I pick up and shove into my pockets.

I choose to do this, and so do you. How do we stop collecting those rocks that weight us down?

I am challenging you now to let those problems fall from you.  Let the wind (God's breath) take them off from your mind if only for a short time as you begin to grow spiritually. As you start this new relationship with God today have hope and expectations. He will not fail you.

It is your choice.

I light the candle this day to mark a new beginning to chose the light of God and prepare my heart in expectation of the celebration of Christ's birth. I will put aside the issues that cloud my mind and open my heart to receive His light.

Words of my heart,

“[The Word Became Flesh] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-2, 14 NIV

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Memories of Christmas Past with Grandson Jon, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Memories of Christmas Past

Our oldest grandson is closing in on 15 this next year. Not sure where the time has gone. We helped raise him in his younger years until about age 6 or 7.

Every Christmas Terry and I love to pull out the family ornaments and reminiscence.   This little snowman was Jonathan's ornament that we kept to remind us of the Christmas' we spent together as family.

I will be sharing some of our favorites with you this month.  The small one in back of the snowman is an old family ornament from the Pace household of the 60's.  We still have a box of ornaments missing as well as my Christmas wreath for the front door. Terry told me he boxed it like my paintings but obviously it did not get marked. 

So in the sparkle of the lights we sit back and remember the joy of this season with the first week in advent... hope and expectation...the coming of the Messiah. We lit our candle last night and read from Luke...

Words of the Heart

Luke 1:11-18
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.  When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.  He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

With Dignity, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

With Dignity

Alzheimers is a cruel disease. You read about it. You shudder not wanting to read about almost like you want to keep your distance from it in case it is 'catching'.

When my father was diagnosed with it many years ago, we embraced it as it happened as a family, but did not realize the burden our mother carried as she tried to keep things 'normal'.  She has grown a great deal since those first years as it almost cost her own life caring for him.

Over the past years we have read and implemented various things into the mix to deal with this disease as we watched it march through our father destroying his memory. At the same time we watched the effects it had on our mother and our entire family.

I am reflecting back today over this journey grasping memories from the past years and linking them to memories from his healthy years.  Dad is in the last stages of this disease.

Only my father would do it his way and not the way it is suppose to be. He retains his dignity, his grace and his 'gentlemanly' ways. His temperament stays even on moderate drugs and when you give him a sip of thick ice tea, his eyes sparkle and he says, "That is mighty good."

I am making new memories now with him, and realize even Alzheimers has not taken the core of this man... the spirit that God placed in him at conception 82 years ago. My father is dying with God's grace upholding him. Ever the gentleman, ever the caregiver, his words when spoken are often in reflective concern for mom and for 'the kids'.  In some ways he seems back in the 'now' and not the past.

Over the next month I am or may not be blogging as much as we have set our schedule to be in and out of Dallas on a regular basis to be with him and to be with my mother.  This 180 degree turn with his health occurred the first part of November and we watched this fairly heathy Alzheimers patient become bedridden and withdrawn. The nurses say it is part of the end of the journey.  My dad is walking this path with dignity and God at his side.

Words from my heart,

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1,26 NIV

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gaining Confidence, Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Swimming Unafraid

Lady L has been taking swimming for almost a year now. She has graduated to the class that Mama does not have to get in the water with her anymore.  This is HUGE.

I remember last summer sitting with her in her little wading pool doing tick-tock songs where she would quickly dip her face and sputter out the water. The thought of her really swimming with her face submerged makes me smile.

As children learn to swim they start in the shallow water right by the edge of the pool or the steps that guarantee freedom from their building fears. With a solid foundation of lessons, they begin to build confidence to let go and slowly begin to feel safe anywhere in the pool.  With this new found confidence comes freedom and buoyancy as they take on deeper waters.

We must believe that we too can let go and trust the Universe around us to support us.  We can be free from our limited thinking and allow ourselves to grow in God's love in the world around us.

He surrounds and supports us through each day of our journey.

Words of my Heart,

"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."  John 8:36

Monday, November 28, 2011

Clear Direction Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Needing a Map?

Living out in the country can often catch you off guard when you have only lived there for a few years. If you get into that driving zone you catch yourself looking around and trying to remember where you are. The landscape all looks the same.

Sometimes I catch my breath and frantically think backwards trying to remember the last thing I saw and recognized.

I watched this video of Lady L on her bicycle riding outside for the first time. She has been practicing riding around the house through the kitchen and around the big island and back into the den circling the couches.  Watching her outside made me smile... her head down concentrating on pedaling.

I think life is like that as well. We get buried with our heads down pumping as hard as we can and when we surface and look around we do not always recognize where we are.   It seems to be then we feel unsure and seek God's guidance. Often we do not know what those next steps will be. 

Where ever you are, God is there. Open your heart and your ears and you will hear Him give clear direction. It will be unmistakeable.  He will light your path or plant a new perspective to the situation.  Open your mind and heart to His Spirit. Be confident for God is good.

Words from my heart,


"I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go: I will counsel you with my eye upon you." Psalm 32:8

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Goodness Abounds Words of my Heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Goodness Abounds...

You do have control over where you point your thoughts and prayers. When you expect good, you are directing your thoughts to finding the positive in everything.  When fear begins to crawl in, it is tempting to begin worrying again. I am really guilty of this one.  I have to literally turn my thoughts to God and put my faith in Him to walk me through this sudden dark cloud that has dropped in over my head.

Just take a slow deep breath... concentrate on the Lord and let out your air slowly blowing that  cloud away and refocusing on the abundance God  has provided.

Refocus yourself and realize you are on a steady foundation of God which provides you with the courage and strength you need. God is at work in you right now. Expect unlimited goodness.  It abounds all around you.

Words of my heart,

"Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13

Word of the Heart to share.... by Laurie Pace