"Once we clearly acknowledge the soul, we can learn to hear it's cries. - Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart."

It takes courage to pursue our dreams. It takes time and patience to unearth buried treasure. But I believe with all my heart that we must do both.



This is my first painting - where my painting journey began.

Though I had been a believer in Christ for many many years, I believe he began a new work in my heart. A deeper work. It's like I began to wake up from a life where I was not fully awake, not fully present. I believe that though I new God, I did not have an intimate relationship with him. I was not fully trusting. I did not know how. He is teaching me little by little. The verse on the painting was one that touched my heart and became what I was living.

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes" (2Samuel 22:25)msg

He knew my heart inside and out. I did not. When I began looking, really looking, and experienced his acceptance, not rejection at all the ugly stuff, it freed me to continue to look, and to ask Him to work in my heart.

I felt safe.

I feel safe.

I wanted to share another excerpt from "The Seeking Heart" by Charles R. Ringma

Habitation, God's transformational presence

The beginnings of spiritual inner transformation are wrapped in mystery. We will never be able to unwrap the dynamics of the beginnings of the seeking and longing heart and the way in which God moves toward us in the embrace of love.

But that an awakening occurs, that a meeting takes place, that faith buds, that an awareness of God's presence begins to permeate one's being, there can be no doubt.

I can still remember with immediate clarity the power and significance of the realization that receiving Christ meant that he was making his home with me. The beginnings of inner change are the beginnings of presence, God with us.

Henri Nouwen speaks much the same language, but places it in the unfolding of the story of salvation in the scriptural drama. He writes, "At first God was the God for us, our protector and shield. Then, when Jesus sent his Spirit, God was revealed to us as the God within us, our breath and heartbeat."

The beginnings of inner transformation may well lie beyond our initial willing and doing. God is gently and mysteriously at work in people's lives and well before they become aware of the birthing that may soon take place. But inner renewal does call forth our response. And the beginning of that response is usually a gnawing sense of need.

This sense of need varies. For some, the search for God comes from a profound sense of aloneness. For others, the search for significance and purpose finds its starting point in the embrace of living God's way in the world. For others, a sense of guilt and shame drives them to look for God's redemptive presence. And for others again, a sense of powerlessness drives them to seek the God who liberates and empowers his people.

It does not matter what is the conscious need, for our needs are always greater than our awareness of them. What matters is that the seeking heart and the seeking God meet.

There are no limitations as to how and where this meeting may occur. For some this may be a gentle unfolding and awakening. For others this meeting may be a dramatic encounter, where one experiences a radical reorientation. And in all the settings of life, not simply the sanctuary, God is a God who seeks us out.

This meeting is neither a chance meeting nor a temporary encounter. God does not come simply to say hello. God comes to stay.

The beginnings of a spiritual inner transformation have to do with habitation. God in Christ through the Holy Spirit invites us to make our home with the Trinity. And the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit make their home within our being.

Inner transformation requires a long journey of faithful companionship and care. And that is what God offers us, a covenant faithfulness that is strong enough to cope with our changing sensibilities.

While some would like the inner transformation to be complete in one act of conversion, change does not come that easily. The movement of change is not simply from something that is undesirable. It more particularly is a change to something that is desirable. And that is conformity to God's ways. For this only the long journey will do.

Charles Ringma said, "The beginnings of inner transformation may well lie beyond our initial willing and doing. God is gently and mysteriously at work in people's lives well before they become aware of the birthing that may soon take place. But inner renewal does call forth our response."

Are you feeling any of the longings, desires, needs, stirrings he mentioned?? There is a God who is trustworthy, who loves unconditionally, who accepts you were and how you are at the moment.

Blessings to you all on this beautiful Sunday.
"May what Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours my friends, Oh, yes!"


Ophelia said...

This is wonderful, and that is exactly what I need today. Thanks for sharing.

Mechelle said...

What a blessing you have shared with us as we walk this spiritual journey.

sara's art house said...

Wow! That is great stuff! Great words and art!

S. Etole said...

that verse is one to ponder for a very long time ... I like the colors you have used in this painting.

Sandra Hall said...

Powerful words Mary. I am a willing participant on the long journey! x x

Anonymous said...

I love the art, the verse, and your sharing. I feel like God is doing a deep work in me, too. Like I have been awakened to the deeper things. He has healed my heart in the deep places where only He knows that were wounded. I love Henri Nouwen.


Denise said...

Wow, I love this.

Patti said...

Found you blog recently on one of my blog hunts...love your art work. I was immediately drawn to the words "What I purpose to do now is to listen to my life as a whole..." I think I will endeavor to do the same!

Just Be Real/God Whispers In The Wind said...

I know without a doubt God is cleaning me inside. Doing a deep cleaning. Just like with a deep cleaning of your teeth, can be painful, yes, but worth it in the end. Awesome work of art. Blessings Mary, thank you for sharing.

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

What a wonderful post Mary! You are so real with the way you say things. I appreciate you so much and your honesty and concern for others.

I have never been the same since I accepted Christ as a teenage girl many years ago. I believe I fit into the author's category of coming to Him out of a " profound sense of aloneness" because of the dysfunction of my home as a child. But the Lord has never left me sense, even through the trials and tough times. Those lonely feelings still sometimes surface, but now I know that all I have to do is reach for God's hand for comfort and guidance and He is always there. His joy is beyond anything I could have experienced without HIM.

lori vliegen said...

more beautiful art......and beautiful words......straight from your beautiful heart! thank you mary! xox, :))

Poetic Artist said...

This is what I needed. It gives me that feeling of Hmmm...And then Ahh...
Thank you for always sending what we need or help with the journey of our Blessed Savior.

Brandi Evans said...

oh mary just some of the words i needed to read tonight .. that you for taking time to post them ... this has been an area for me that i crave, yet still get confused and frustrated.
I love this scripture
God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes" (2Samuel 22:25)msg

CountryDreaming said...

I look, and I see love notes. :-)

Buffy said...

This is beautiful,thanks so much for sharing and I love your art piece.

Mollye said...

Hi Mary just stopping by to say Hi and I don't recall ever reading that scripture. Awesome. Thank you once again for sharing God's love with us. Your sis friend, Mollye

Paula Phillips said...

Such an inspiring post Mary, both in art and scripture. Thanks so much for sharing.
Much Love

Chrissie Grace said...

Wow, thank you.
God is using you in wonderful ways!:)

Jennifer DeDonato said...

This is wonderful...I love the colors and text!