Sunday, January 29, 2012

Short and Sweet

We had an amazing speaker at our church today!  His name is Todd Burpo, and he has been the NY Times Bestselling author for the past 62 weeks.  He and his wife almost lost their then 3 year old son, and instead, when he came back to them he told them all about Heaven!  What an amazing testimony he shared with us today!
The thing that struck me most, was when he said that we need to start praying for God to use us instead of being selfish in our prayers.  He then went on to say that if we pray this prayer, we need to be ready for when He answers it...and He will!  I have, in fact, prayed this exact prayer two times.  The first time landed me in Africa, and the most recent led me downtown to bless and take photos of the Homeless right here in Grand Rapids.
I am ready for where God is leading me in this, for I truly believe that this is from Him.  I also pray that I can be humble in my talents, the ones that He has given me, and do everything in my power to make this about these amazing people whom I am honoring with these paintings.  ArtPrize is merely the venue that I get to use to make this statement.  I am merely God's instrument in speaking to both the homeless and to the rest of us to notice them!  God, keep me humble!  Use my hand to speak your message!
I hope that you will be brave and pray this ready for where He will lead you....and DO NOT FEAR, for wherever He leads you, He will be with you!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I realize this pic is larger than most, but I really wanted to highlight the love love how they turned out!  This is Dimmarowe, when we took the photos, he was a little hesitant to have his taken, but after we explained in more detail what it was for, he decided to be a part of this...and am I ever glad, because his face is awesome!  I have seen him once since starting at Heartside, but haven't had the chance to talk to him yet.  I am loving going down there though.  Last week I took a journal and did some sketching while I was there.  I also chatted with a man, James, who looks JUST LIKE Snoop Dogg....I am not even kidding!!  He was working on drawing portraits.  I also met a very gifted seamstress who was working on these adorable stuffed animals that she does quite well selling!  If anyone is interested in finding a unique gift, check out the studio at Heartside....not only will you score some one of a kind artwork, but you will be helping a wonderful artist more than you know!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Really Cool People!

     So last week Friday I was finally able to start volunteering at Heartside, in the art studio.  I LOVED IT!!!  I cannot wait to go back this week :)  At first I was feeling a little awkward, I didn't really know what to do or what I was meant to be doing.  After about an hour I just started to wander among the artists and chat with them....that was when it really started to become great!  There was a woman sitting next to me all afternoon, named Kathy.  She wasn't feeling too well and seemed stuck in her artwork....and she didn't seem to want to talk at all.  She left for a few minutes, and when she returned she had some mail (apparently they can have their mail delivered there).  She opened it and spent some time reading it and all of a sudden, without a word, she handed over her new Driver's License for me to see.  I admired her picture on it and asked to see her old one.  She showed it to me, and I commented on her different hairstyle between the two.  Then I noticed there was a watermark on her new one.....right under her lip.  So I said if she tilted it just right, it looked like she had a mustache.....SHE BUSTED UP LAUGHING!!!  That was all it took, the next two hours she and I talked like we were old friends :) :) :)  Love, love, love!  I also met a man named David and heard his really has been his healing!  I also met Walter....Walter was something else :)  He told me about a ton of different documentaries he has seen, what a great guy!  Our conversation was very informative...I learned quite a bit!  Like I said, I cannot wait to go back this week :)
     Anyway, here is Yakie.  He was a little shy about having his photo taken, he was even biting his lip :)  I know just how he feels....I, too, hate having my picture taken!  Thank you Yakie, for letting me share your image with everyone....I am praying that you have a warm place to sleep sure is cold out there!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Isn't he beautiful!?
When I took this picture, he was so full of joy I couldn't catch him with his eyes open :)  I tried a few times, and each one caught his smile so big that his eyes were closed :)  Cleveland, you make me smile!
I will pray for you tonight, pray that you are still smiling, even as our weather starts to get colder.  I will pray that you have a place to keep warm and safe tonight.  I will pray that you have food to eat, and someone who notices your wonderful smile!  Thank you Cleveland, for sharing your joy with me :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

     Happy New Year!  Here I am, back at it....painting away :)  I have a new person for you to meet today.  His name is Larry.  When we went to take the photos, Larry and Robert insisted on being photographed together.  This made me smile!  It was good to see that even in the bad circumstances that life throws at us, friends still stick together :)
     What resolutions did you make for the New Year?  My biggest resolution is to continue on with this project and let it wash over my life.  I am looking forward to going down to Heartside and learning more about the people that have allowed me to highlight them with this project.  I have also started to think about the next step in this process....the Venue.  This one is HUGE!  I want this piece to be seen by many so that these people will open the eyes of the average person.  Hmmmm....this is going to take some thought.....