Friday, December 30, 2011

Answered Prayers

So, I don't have a new portrait, but I do have some AMAZING NEWS!  Do you remember Donnie?

Donnie is no longer homeless!!!  He has recently gotten his own apartment!!!  How amazing is it that his was the first portrait I worked on, and he now has a place to call his own!?  CAN YOU FEEL MY EXCITEMENT!?
     This morning I went down to get signed up to volunteer at Heartside Ministry in the Art Studio.  It was a rainy morning, I was low on gas, and I started to wonder if I should come back another time.  I got to Grand Rapids and started to see people standing around out in the cold, wet rain and realized I just needed to suck it up and get on with it.  So I parked the van, and walked 2 1/2 blocks to the building.  When I got there, I realized that not only was this place an art studio, it was shelter for these men and women from the rain.  I was pretty glad I kept going.  The person I needed to talk to was actually in a meeting, but I left my information and was hoping to hear back soon....I really want to start next week :) By the time I got home, I had an email waiting, so I replied and sent her to check out this blog.  You can imagine my IMMENSE joy and surprise after reading her response that not only did she know a few people I have already painted, but Donnie has just moved into his own place!  Now I would be foolish to think that I had anything to do with that, but I kind of do anyway!  Prayer is amazing :)  I have prayed for these beautiful souls a lot since meeting them, and I believe that you all have as well!  God listens to us!
     As you may have surmised by now, I am a reader.  I just finished the book "Under the Overpass" that was lent to me by a good friend.  It is all about two college students who decided to live out their faith by living as Homeless men for almost a year.  I am humbled by their faith, and in awe of the courage that it took to do that!  They really learned a lot in a short amount of time.  I am not saying that we should all do that, we are not all called to do that.  What I am saying is we should listen to what we are being called to do and act on it!!!  Who knows what could happen if we all did!
     Starting next week I will be back to my two a week goal (sooner if time permits).  I hope that you will all continue to watch this project unfold, sign up to be a follower if you are lurking (I am hoping that this will help as I search out a venue when the time comes), and KEEP THOSE PRAYERS COMING!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Out Live Your Life

     I am reading a book called "Out Live Your Life" by Max Lucado and am LOVING it!  It is really speaking to me as I go through this journey to ArtPrize!  For the last few years my prayers have always been in the same vein.....I am willing to follow you God, but I am not sure where you are leading me to go.  I have been praying for God to SHOUT out his plans to me, so that I do not miss His desires.  What I am that He doesn't need to shout, I need to BE QUIET and listen!
     As I was walking around downtown this year, seeing ArtPrize, God whispered into my heart, and I was willing to hear what He had to say!  People have asked me why I haven't done anything for ArtPrize yet, and the truth is, I never really felt I had anything to add to the "conversation".  I didn't want to do a piece just to do something, it needed to mean something.  Well, as I walked around this year, it was different.  I started to notice that while all of these people were roaming around Grand Rapids, they just walked right past all of the Homeless people without a second glance.  It was almost as if they were invisible.  I want my piece to speak out to them that they are worth seeing.  I want them to know that they are beautiful!  That is my wish for this project!
     At the end of each chapter of the book, there is a prayer....this one is resonating with me:
"O Lord, what an amazing opportunity you have spread our before me-a chance to make a difference for you in a desperately hurting world.  Help me to see the needs you want me to see, to react in a way that honors you, and to bless others by serving them gladly with practical expressions of your love.  Help me be Jesus' hands and feet, and through your Spirit give me the strength and wisdom I need to fulfill your plan for me in my own generation.  In Jesus' name I pray, amen"  I couldn't have said that better myself Mr. Lucado!  With that, I give you Robert.  Robert, I am praying for you today!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Short and Sweet

     Still on track with the goal of two portraits a week, here is Earl.  The color isn't coming through all that great, but it is actually an olive green that was used.  It matches his eyes :)  Sorry this is so short, but it is late and work is oh so early tomorrow.  Please say a prayer for Earl, and all of the homeless tonight.  The last few days have been pretty rainy, and as I look at these pictures while painting, I wonder how you stay warm when you are wet and have nowhere to go and no dry clothes to change into.  I am looking forward to the first of the year when it is possible to start volunteering downtown.  I hope to get a better understanding of what it is like for these people.  Goodnight Earl, I am praying for you tonight!