Thursday, May 31, 2012

Be Calm, Words of my Heart, another Joy from Psalms, by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

"Be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid. Do not lose heart..." from Isaiah 7:4

If you read around the verse, you find this is God instructing Isaiah to tell Ahaz just these words. Notice it is first, be careful.  Not be strong, be brave or be resilient, but to be careful.  Take care to be calm and not be afraid. Being careful takes a self check of mindfully doing this... taking careful steps.

Isaiah 7:9 finishes it up with "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all."  That took my breath away. Deeply touching me, these words strengthened me to know to live I must have a strong relationship with God. Anything can happen around me, and if I am one with Him, I will stand strong in my faith to endure and walk through what I must in this lifetime. 

I love it when Lady L is in the room and voices around her begin to change in pitch and she immediately is coming to you saying, "Be Calm".  Our of the mouth of the child comes the word of the Lord... Be calm in Him.

Words of my heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?  Psalm 56:4

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Seventh Day of Psalms, Secure in Him, Words of my Heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

When you ride in the car, the seat belt is a safety tool that brings a certain amount of security to you in being safe in the car when you are traveling.   On our riding lawnmower there is a safety feature of the engine cutting off if there is no weight on the seat.  So if you were to run yourself into a tree branch hanging down, or just fall off from turning to sharply, the riding mower will stop immediately. You can be secure knowing you won't be run over by your own lawnmower.    

What do we have in life that bring us security? Seat belts and trick lawnmowers, or even guns and force fields cannot bring you true security.  God is our only true security against all attacks or failures.  We are constantly threatened by job loss, personal conflicts, physical and sexual abuse, etc.   If our security is based on our circumstances,  people in our lives, our accumulated 'toys', or other earthly things, we are not very secure. 

Our only security is in God and God alone.

Words of my Heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; 
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance. 
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; 
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Psalm 16:5-8

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unfailing Love Words of my Heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Whether in times of abundance or need, His love is unfailing.

Yet there are times we struggle to feel His blessings.

You may be sick, worried, out of work, or struggling with the death of a loved one. Giving thanks in all situations is challenging for all of us, but even more so if we feel short of His love.

That is the time to be thankful for His faithfulness. Allow His quiet love to wrap around you during times of pain.

Listen for His voice amid the words of others trying to direct your life. Know He is in control and you are safe. He is your refuge and His love is unfailing.

Words of my Heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

But I trust in your unfailing love; 
    my heart rejoices in your salvation. 
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.  Psalm 13:5-6

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fifth Day of 100 Days of Joys and Psalms, Trust in His unfailing Love, Words of my Heart, A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

He has been good to you and to me. It just seems like we pay more attention to the negative and the neediness than we do to the joy and what we have been given. 

Our son Morgan is an artist as well.

So much has been provided and yet I wonder if the time was taken to give thanks for what we have.  How can we ask for more when we have not accounted for what is in our hands right now?

Can you trust in Him unfailingly to provide what you need this day?  Praise Him. Give thanks for this day. Trust Him for the rest.

Words of my heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.  I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me."  Psalm 13:5-6

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fourth Day of Joy, Kiss the Clouds of Heaven, Words of my Heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Open your eyes in any direction where we live and you are constantly reminded of God's glory here in the deep east Texas forests.   Several years ago we were in Wyoming for a gallery opening for my art and we stopped heading south through Colorado in Breckenridge.  
Breckenridge Colorado

This tops the beauty of east Texas as it literally takes your breath away. The sheer majesty of the beauty of the Rockies from every angle is awesome. From the break of early dawn until the setting of the sun in the west, here you are so close to heaven you can feel the kiss of God's clouds.  

The higher you drive toward Eisenhower Pass the closer you seem to heaven.  

Wherever you are today, raise your eyes to Him and open your arms to receive the great joys He has for you. They surround you...if you can't see them you are looking too hard in the wrong places. Look up.

Words of my Heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

"Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory  in the heavens." Psalm 8:1

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 3 of 100 Days of Joy, Baby Giggles, Words of my Heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Joy is in my heart on day three of 100 days of Joy and Psalms.  Looking back through old photos for 'joy' moments through out the years, this was one of my favorites. Baby Giggles.  It is my mom with my oldest son, their first grandchild, Justin.  Justin will be 37 this year, so this was about 36 years ago. 

He was a delight for all of us being the first born grandchild.  Whenever we would visit my mom and dad, his baby giggles would fill the house. His joy was contagious and we would all smile watching this sweet baby take delight in such a simple creature as a bird. 

Those tiny moments in life make a memory forever etched inside of us. A grandmother's smile of encouragement and a grandchild's trust and love with a new life experience still bringing joy to my heart this day.

Pure Joy.  

Words of my heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist, Laurie Pace

"My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.  God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day.  If he does not relent,  he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows.

Whoever is pregnant with evil conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment. Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;  I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High."  Psalm 7:10-17

Friday, May 25, 2012

Second Day of Joy, 100 Days of Joys and Psalms, Words of my heart by a Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Last night was a struggle after Terry turned out the light. It was eleven and we were both pretty tired from our day. Suddenly the squirrels broke loose in my head and sleep evaded me.  It was not just one squirrel and one scenario, there were at least 7 or 8 squirrels are vying for my attention. It was like a roller coaster ride and I was trying to hang on.

After talking to myself about 'getting it together' and 'putting these things away'... I was still laying there picking up the left over trash from the squirrels. No mind over matter was working, so I rolled over and quietly picked up my prayer beads next to the bed. 

I am not Catholic, so these are Anglican Prayer beads that I use in my own way.  Usually praying my way around the 33 beads and the cross, I fall asleep before the end, but last night I went around one full time doing my prayers and began the prayerful second trip praying for each person on my prayer list. As I was coming to the end of my supplications the peace that filled me was amazing.  I slid the beads under my pillow and fell into a restful sleep. 
It was Aunt Jo Pace Holley that shared with Terry and I, when we married years ago, on sleepless nights to pray for others. When you are concentrating on others, your "neediness" fades away.

He is the Provider, the Comforter, the Healer.  He is whatever we each need at any moment in the day. He is my Joy.

Thank you Aunt Jo.  Your Joy continues in our lives. *

"In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. " Psalm 5:3

Words of my Heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

*  Jo Holley died many years ago.  She was a believer that touched and changed many lives in her close to 88 years on this earth.  She only lied one time that we know of and that was when she got her 'hairdresser license' at age 15. She was suppose to be 16.  She was featured many times in her last years because she was still doing hair for her clients. She would drive to their house and pick them up and bring them back to her salon on Grand Ave in Dallas. She would minister to them in so many ways before returning them to home.  She was the oldest practicing hairdresser with the most years in service of anyone known in the USA. David Letterman tried to convince her to do his show and she refused on moral issues.  She did her trade for 75 years serving and giving of herself daily.  She kept a log prayer book next to her bed where she would put a date, a name, a prayer request and every day twice a day she went through her list praying for others. When a prayer was answered, she dated it answered.  It was amazing to see God's trail of love and perfect joys as all prayers were answered in His time

Thursday, May 24, 2012

100 Days of Joy Words of my Heart, A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

May 24, 2012

100 days of Joy

Right now in my painting life I am painting 100 Horses for 100 Days of Summer.  I am also reading Psalms right now and that inspired the intent to use Psalms for the next 100 days as well. I did use Psalm 8 earlier this week, so today we will go to thinking about joy and what it is. Psalms are full of joy.

What is the difference between Joy and Happiness?  My interpretation would be that you can experience joy and happiness at the same time, but happiness seems to be built around materialistic things or events in our life.  Joy is something for me that goes deeply into the fabric of my soul and my heart.  Joy comes from God.   Through the book of Psalms David turns his heart open to God during times of crisis and was rewarded with finding joy.

What would that be like in your own life if you could be in crisis, turn to the Father and from that prayer time, come out joyful and at peace?

So for 100 days I will celebrate the joys that come through life, some through pain and some through love.

My first is my first, my oldest grandson Grant Thomas.  We only had him in our lives for a short time before he was taken to return to the Father at age 11. Grant was a special needs child slightly autistic but openly loving. So many autistic children do not connect emotionally, but Grant did. For the short eleven years he spent on this earth, he touched so many lives in so many positive ways.

Not a day goes by that we all do not feel blessed by this young child's short life. He was the pure energy and joy of God.

Words of the heart, Laurie
Artist of Texas, Laurie Pace

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take 
or sit in the company of mockers, 

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, 
and who meditates on his law day and night. 
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, 
which yields its fruit in season 
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What defines you? Words of my heart by a Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by life, you cannot allow people to define you.

 Do not empower them.

My earthly father always taught me to not listen to the words of those that try to undermine you.  If God is your constant, let Him define you. Go forth in His light forgiving them as He forgives you each day. 

When I saw this creek next to the road in Virginia, I had Terry pull over so I could shoot it from the window of the car.  The water flowing over the rocks spoke to me. Having a good relationship with the Father allows you to flow with His power just as this water does, making it's way around boulders in it's path, your boulders in life.  Your spirit cannot be disconnected from God's spirit and in truth, independent action against others is really not possible because you simply do not have power. God has the power.

Everything is perfect right now at this moment... find your joy and turn your energy from the negative in your life to the positive. God is good. All the time, God is good.

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 
1 Corinthians 1:10

Words of my heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist, Laurie Pace

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What are the constants in your life? Words of my heart by A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

The constants in life are around us to uplift us and support us. They are a reminder every moment of the day and night that God is with us and He has provided a world filled with His creations to be a constant reminder of His presence and His love for us.

Sunset in Mt Vernon near town.

 Look around today and breathe in the beauty… the sky, the clouds, the rain, the sun, the moon, the stars, the grass, the trees, the water, the flowers, the snow, the wind … the list seems endless…. Just as His love.

Words of my Heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Psalm 8
Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory 
    in the heavens. 
 Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, 
    the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, 
    which you have set in place,
 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor. 
 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; 
    you put everything under their feet: 
 all flocks and herds, 
    and the animals of the wild, 
 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea, 
    all that swim the paths of the seas.
 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Monday, May 21, 2012

What is your worth? Words of my Heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

I was standing in the midst of friends and someone was referring to their "worth" as in money and assets.  It rather surprised me as this is not the norm for conversation in this small east Texas town.

Terry and talked about it on the way home from church yesterday contemplating what the true 'worth of man' is.   Are you looking at it from man's view of man or God's view of man?

Cash in hand? Castles built in sand? Wisdom in his words or the things he has amassed on earth?

A man's worth is what he does in reaching out to others to help them make their journey. 

A man's worth would be his heart and soul invested in making this a better world by using all the gifts and tools God provided to give hope and a better life to others. A man of worth will light the way for those lost in the dark of depression and despair.

Words of my Heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God." John 2:19-21

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How do you define success? Words of my heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Success can be defined in many ways for different people. It seems important to define ‘success’ for yourself.  Some will define it by income, but what if you make a huge income but you do not enjoy what you do? Is this success?

If you base ‘success’ strictly on money it would be.

What do you need to grow?
For many there is the enjoyment of the monetary, but more importantly, there is the joy of creating something valuable for others.  Napoleon Hill once said, “ ..that it is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” 

I would have to add that this is NOT something intentional you do, it comes natural to look out for others and want them to succeed feeling good personally about what they accomplish.

God does it for us all the time.  God is always wanting the best for us and providing more than we need with His gifts to us.  He is our God, our champion, our creator, our provider, our Father, our constant support and cheering section. If we are made in our Father’s image, it seems right that we should do the same for others. 

When you naturally are giving to help others succeed, you too will succeed because you have given unselfishly of yourself to another human being.

In my Dad’s words, “What goes around, comes back around.”  And in my husband’s words “What you put out into the world always circles back around to you.”   In my words, ‘What you give is what you will receive back.”

 Words of my heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist, Laurie Pace

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
James 3:17-18

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Home is Where your Heart Is... words of my heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Home is where your heart is. 

I have moved more than most people in the military. Not quite sure why, but with my gaining years the insight into the whys are now spelled out clearly. 

Ducks are at home where every they land... God provides.
As children we associate 'safety' with home. When Lady L has a fall or injury and she is not home, her bottom lip trembles and she says, "Go home N O W." Her need to be safe is wrapped up in the physical presence of home. 

Most people are that way. We have this protected feeling of being safe at 'home'. Some people do not. When faced with mental, physical or sexual abuse from 'home'... it becomes a negative place.  Feelings of wanting what you see everyone else having triggers the 'search' for you for "home".  You simply want a place to feel safe and welcomed.

Home is where the heart is. If your heart is centered on God, you are 'safe' and you are 'home.'  There is no place in this entire world that can bring 'safe home' to you. Home is something you bring to a place.

No matter where you are, be at home with who you are. Be open and welcoming to people and they in turn will open their hearts and lives to welcome you. 

Welcome Him into your heart...and you are home.

Words of my heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist Laurie Pace

"But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain." Psalm 3:3-4

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Tree is Falling.. Words of my Heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

May 18, 2012

The tree is falling.  When we moved here two years ago in the early spring, we did not realize the largest oak tree at the top of our hill overlooking the lake was deceased. Two months later we were devastated to know we had to remove the tree.

Terry put it off for two years but this spring the huge limbs began crashing down to the earth below with loud echoes through the forest and a tremble to the ground.  He readied the chain saw this spring and wisely knew it was more than one man could handle. There is a crew of men coming today to begin taking down this tree. Two of us surrounding the truck cannot touch hands. 

The history of this tree has been to grow undisturbed in this forested area for probably over 100 years or more.  It watched the lake being dug and put in, and the influx of people to this once quiet area as it began to develop. The birds that have nested and brought new babies into this world have looked to the tree for shelter for all these years. The squirrels will miss the travel time leaping from one tree to another and with the missing span of the canopy, there will be sun filling the hillside.

Everyone that has visited us has taken pictures of this tree… as even in death it’s majesty prevailed across the hillside.  I will miss this naked dead tree as I have watched and recorded through photography many of the stages of decay, very sobering in it’s strength despite it’s death.

Words of my heart, Laurie
A Texas Artist, Laurie Pace

The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Genesis 2:9

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Contrast provides Strength, Words of my Heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

May 17, 2012

As an artist I am aware of the need for contrast.  If we did not have values in our drawings and paintings, we would lose depth in the piece of work. Same is true for our lives. We have values in our lives.

One cannot know love without having experienced hate.

One cannot know acceptance without having endured rejection.

One cannot know joy without trudging through pain.

One cannot know laughter without crying tears.

One cannot enjoy success without knowing failure.

All we face in life that seems to be confrontational or destructive truly is pain linked to growing stronger through that pain. A growing pain. God never gives us more than we can handle, although we may at times question that. Each trial is a journey to a ‘fuller’ you… a you with depth to your feelings, your words and your actions.

Words of my heart,  Laurie
A Texas Artist, Laurie Pace

"Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,  which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers." Psalm 1:1-3

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