Forever Resting Place

Painting fall - leaf

   Forever Resting Place

By Susie Teramura

 

I hang up

The phone,

And sigh heavy,

Problems are

Piling up,

Like leaves

In our yard.

 

One after the other,

They float

Quietly down.

Each one different,
Unique in shade,

And variety

 

The problem isn’t

Their falling,

It’s my raking,

And collecting,

That’s what

Is causing

My heavy heart

I think.

 

But trying

To catch them

One by one,

With care,

Doesn’t seem to

Be working

These days.

 

The speed,

And rate,

At which they fall

Is just too much,

Overwhelming.

 

So get out my

Rake and start

To pile,

But the more

I pile,

The heavier

They feel.

 

“But I can

manage these

Best this way,”

I say,

As I rake away.

 

The more

I pile,

More fall slow,

From all directions,

And my

Frantic attempt

To keep up,

Finds me

In a

Crumpled mess.

 

But that’s where

I find You,

When I have

Slowed enough

To hear,

When I have

Given up

My attempts

To clean up

The mess,

To fix it.

 

You take

The rake

Out of

My hands,

And carry me

To a

Different place.

 

You lift

My head

To see sky,

And trees,

Differently.

 

These golden leaves,

Are Yours,

And not a single

One falls without

Your care

And love.

You are watching,

And tending,

And taking care

Of these things.

 

The mess doesn’t

Bother You

Because You are

In the middle

Of things.

You are

In it all,

And able

To handle

Each leaf

That falls.

 

“That raking job

Is not yours,” You say,

“Look to Me

I have

A different way.

Come to me

And rest,

Breath deep

And see,

The beauty

I am making

Through these.”

 

I look long

Into His lovely face,

And start to see,

His reflection

In the beauty

In front of me.

 

These problems

I was collecting,

These gently

Falling leaves,

Are avenues,

And ways

To see Him,

More clearly

 

His kindness

His compassion

The comfort in

His love

Are in each leaf

That falls

Gently from above.

 

I am forever cared for

I am forever safe

I can rest

My heart forever

In His

Warm embrace.

 

The leaves will

keep on falling

Even when

The seasons change

 

But You,

Dear Jesus,

Never will,

My forever

Resting place.

 

Matthew 11:28-29

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

 Psalm 62:5

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

 Psalm 116:7

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

 1 Peter 5:10

 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Oil Pastel Vegetables

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I drew these for Carla Sonheim’s class, Y is for Yellow. We were on the letter “V” and were assigned to draw vegetables with oil pastel. I enjoyed doing these as I think vegetables are so beautiful and often take pictures of them at the grocery store! I am working on a few more too. Oil pastel is very messy though which makes them challenging to work with for me!

Turning Darkness into Light

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Turning Darkness into Light

By Susie Teramura

Paint and tissue paper

All over the floor,

Trying to

Follow the assignment

Of making beautiful

Big bold blooms.

So I cut

Poppy -red petals,

And snip

Pumpkin- orange blooms.

Sage -green leaves

Create a stalk

For them

To hold onto,

And then

I add my

Favorite color

Sunny yellow

All over the place.

But then, teacher

Says we must

Add darks

To create

Shadow and depth

So the colors

Will pop.

But I

Don’t want to.

I like only

The happy colors.

So I pause,

And think

About that.

And come to

The conclusion

That I must

Follow the instructions

If I am ever

to learn and grow

And make

More beautiful art.

So reluctantly,

I cut dark tissue

In all different shapes

And glue them on.

I stand back

And look,

“It’s awful,

Ruined,”

I think

To myself,

But I hear

Her voice

In my head,

“It’s just one layer,”

So I

Press on.

But as I do,

I reflect slowly,

And realize

This same conflict

Exists in the

Heart of me.

I want only

Bright happy things

In the story

Of my life.

I don’t want

The dark things

To spoil my

Fairytale dream.

But You

Lean in

To talk

With me

And impress

Upon my heart

These things,

Life’s  dark things

 Have a purpose

And job to do.

They teach me

To depend

On You.

There are things

You can teach me

Only in the dark

It’s in the hard

Suffering kind

Of things

Where I can

Feel you most,

God of all comfort

Showing kindness

to me

You meet

my needs

And tend

to me.

In those dark places,

And spaces

I find You there

In beautiful ways,

And out of the

Darkness I find

A whole new

Garden growing.

Sitting back, I look at

My work.

Surprised by what I see,

Oranges and

yellows

and pinks

Big bold blooms

Are jumping off

The canvas

Towards me.

Where did

All those darks go?

They’ve been

Covered and

 Cared for

By the one

Who loves

Me so.

2 Samuel 22:29

You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.

Job 12:22

He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light.

Psalm139:12

even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Psalm18:28

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Jeremiah 31:3

…. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Big Bold Blooms – Chalk and Acrylic

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In Lynn Whipple’s Big Bold Blooms 2 class, our second  assignment began with acrylic paint.Then we drew in flowers with chalk, and went over it again with paint and a roller to soften it some. I had such a hard time with these!! The roller made them all brown and messy so I had to fix them again. Anyway I had to make myself stick to it and persevere. These are definitely not my favorites but are growing on me I think and I learned some things for sure!🙂

Finding Rest

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Finding Rest

By Susie Teramura

 

Coughing and fevers

Land me

In the doctors office

Today.

 

After an exam,

And x-ray,

He says

Pneumonia,

And prescribes

An antibiotic,

 

But then some words

Come out of his mouth

That hit me

Like a slow moving

Freight train,

 

“You must rest,

Lay low,

Stay home.

Just rest.”

 

And as if

A record player needle

Was dragged

Across the vinyl surface

Of my mind,

 

My thoughts come

to a screeching

Halt and I

Replay those words again,

 

“You must rest,

Lay low,

Stay home.

Just rest.”

 

And then

The thoughts

Fly faster

Than the doctor can

Get me

Out of the door.

 

“Are you kidding me?

With all I have

Planned this week?

All the things

I must do?”

 

Like a gavel dropped,

Or a 50lb bag of sand

In my lap,

I feel like,

I am condemned

To one of

The hardest things

For me to do,

 

Be still and

Rest.

 

And so I

Sit on the couch,

Pouting just a bit,

 Until my 7 and

16-year-old nursemaids

Start loving on me,

Bringing me tea,

And cough drops,

And of course doing

A thermometer check

Every now and then,

 

And so,

I let my

Complaints lie.

 

I sit, and

Let my body do,

What it has been

Crying at me

To do,

For several days now,

 

I rest.

 

But it’s hard,

So I welcome

You in,

 Into this place of

Wrestling through

Why busy is

More comfortable,

 

And I settle on

The fact that

The busy keeps

My mind

Off the pain.

 

I hadn’t noticed

My throat as much,

When I was driving

Her to

Gymnastics class

Yesterday.

 

The slowing and

The stillness

Makes me

More aware

Of the pain

That’s there.

 

But this is where

You have me,

Staring the

Pain in the face,

 

Like a show down,

That pain and me,

Who is going to

Come out on top?

 

But I find the more

I muscle,

The weaker I get,

And that this

Giant can’t

Be man- handled,

 

It needs only

To be

God- handled,

 Where it can be

Cradled and

Cared for,

And tended to,

In Your

Most precious way.

 

You bring

Real healing,

Not the covered up

Plastic kind,

I have settled for

But the real kind

That fixes

Me deep.

 

So I sit,

And breathe slowly,

And let you love me,

And just let go

 

Of all my agendas,

And the urgent

Needs pressing,

 

And instead

Press in

Close to your heart.

 

I snuggle up here,

Covered, cared for

And deeply loved.

 

Peace enters in

Like a fresh

Gentle breeze,

 

And quietly,

It occurs to me,

 This is what

The slowing is for,

only so I can know

Your love,

Even more.

 

 

Psalm 62:5

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

 

Psalm 91:4

He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

 

Psalm 61:4

I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

 

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Bold Blooms 2-Lesson 2

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This is my second assignment from Lynn Whipple’s Big Bold Bloom 2 class.   We had to use tissue paper to put in the dark shapes and then layer with a rice paper drawing and paint. These classes always challenge me  and push me out of my comfort zone. Honestly, I thought about throwing this away multiple times, and had to push myself to keep going. It has been good to practice to be ok with the painting in process.  When I get discouraged I have to tell myself to just keep going and that it’s not finished yet! I think God speaks similar things to my heart when life gets messy! So thankful He isn’t finished yet and that He promises to complete the work He has begun !

Washed Clean

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Washed Clean

By Susie Teramura

 

Busy evening

With an influx

Of homework

To help with,

And laundry to fold

Dinner dishes stacked high,

Phone rings, another

Unknown caller,

Trying to take a poll,

Or something,

And then of course

A scratch on

The front door.

 

I put that

Out of my mind

For another minute,

But it comes again

Slow and sure

The dog wants in.

She is hungry

For dinner too.

Hurriedly, I open

The front door,

And she trots in,

All 105  pounds of her,

 Furry golden body,

But as she crosses

The threshold

Into the foyer,

An odor

Similar to that of

Limburger cheese

And old mushrooms

Enters with her.

 

So pungent is

This smell that

The kids come running

With twisted faces and

Pinched noses,

We quickly turn

That beastly thing around,

And head her

Right back out

The door.

 

Not in the mood

For a doggy bath,

And in deep denial,

I go back to the dishes

But she paws again,

And an again,

She wants in,

To be near us

To flop her big belly down

On the kitchen floor,

Where she knows

She is loved

And a part of things.

But she is

Too stinky.

 

So finally,

The urgent overcomes

The necessary,

And with the smell

Lingering

I know what

Has to be done.

 

I call for

The rubber gloves

And shampoo.

Holding my breath,

I take her

To the back yard

And hose her down,

Scrubbing until

The odor is gone.

 

Rubbing her dry

With a fluffy yellow towel,

I finish the spa with

100 squirts of

Doggy perfume,

(This has happened before.)

 

And finally,

She can come back in

And be with us again.

 

It is here

When I give up,

And decide I will never

Be done

With all the chores

Of the evening,

And so

I let my mind slow

And think.

 

And here

is where

I meet You again

And it becomes

Clear to see

 

That stinky dog

Was sin covered me.

I couldn’t come close,

Or be loved by You.

 

I was on

The outside

And couldn’t come in

To where I belong

Next to You.

 

But Your love,

Your extravagant,

Crazy, love

Made a way.

 

You loved me enough,

To roll up Your sleeves,

And take care

Of what I could not,

What I was

Powerless to fix,

And what separated

Me from You.

 

You got yourself

Elbow deep

Into my stench,

You cleaned me,

And made me new,

So I could come in
and be

With You.

 

You knew

This was where

I needed to be,

So that You

Could forever

Love on me.

 

Your love

Oh Lord is better

Than life,

In Your

Presence is

Fullness of joy,

Better is one day

In Your house,

 Than ten thousand

Elsewhere,

It is good for

Me to be

Near You.

 

And my heart lifts

As I begin to fold

That wrinkled up

Laundry.

 

The dog rests her

Head

On my lap

Tail slapping

The floor,

 

We are loved

And not alone

Anymore.

 

 

Psalm 84:10

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked

 

Psalm 73:28

But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

 

Acts 2:28

You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

 

Psalm 63:3

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.