Tag Archives: Prayer

The Lord as my Scout

IMG_2975.JPG unfinished; painted in NC

Sometimes our best experiences are loosely planned but dependent on deep, inner faith! My best outcomes are rarely planned (God’s plans, I bet).

I pulled this painting out of one of my sketch/painting journals this afternoon. I had trouble pinning it down long enough on the driveway to take the photo, with the blustery 80 degree breeze giving it flight several times.

IMG_3157.JPGMy days have been busy but I’m being lured into the garage to paint, the empty canvases calling to me and a wildness in my mood — willing to paint uncharted territory. I’ll be out there tomorrow, if anyone wants to venture by.

As you may know, I’ve closed my studio to prepare for a trip south to NC, where I plan to throw myself into the Asheville job market — and will find a job of my dreams! I pray for God’s help daily. My son wants me to paint on the sidewalk, and I probably will to make some cash, in between interviewing. There are lots of street venues for artists there — and I’m reeeeaaaalllly considering the cheap art idea — a movement in Canada right now — (not new) a good idea, considering the numbers of paintings I amass at times.

I had an opportunity this weekend to work (a little) at the Holy Spirit seminar, where the homeless came for inspiration and self-care provisions for everyday life. I also talked to a Sister of the Faithful Companions of the Visitor. What a beautiful conversation we had, touching on the possibilities of Religious vocation, and the more likely gift of a husband (someday, perhaps, if god is willing to give me an pother try), oh well. Why I even hope for a nice husband, I can’t say, considering my dating record, but nest building isn’t complete without a man in the picture but we’ll see. god’s will, Jane, Gods will; more will be revealed.<!–more–

Spreading the word through visual faith expression is my vocation for now anyway — and where better to do this — the roads and byways, where a chat and a sale will make life more memorable and evangelistic (in a way). body and blood on the page and doing gods work. Sacrifice by brush, one stroke ata time.

Part of making this all out effort to find and make a new successful life nearer my children and granddaughter is that I am getting organized here. That, in itself, is worth making a trip. As of tonight, my essential wardrobe fits in three drawers, on 25 hangars and that all of my shoes/sandals/boots fit into a laundry basket. Pared down from old days when wastefulness was a disgusting problem for me, this portable life of mine is quite spare — but richer for it. The rest of clothing is ready for the needy.

The other aspect that has caught me off guard is the way I’m seeing RI and my friends and family this week. My town is beautiful — breathtaking, waterfront, historic, charming. It glistens in June (all the more than usual, since I am making my goodbyes). I cry thinking about it, then snap out of it, knowing that I will somehow visit for one month every summer.

I’ve been reading the reflections of Mother Theresa and comparing our prayer styles (I’d love to as good). Startlingly similar, hers often began with scripture. I suppose that I do pray with scripture opening the process,especially after the readings at Mass, then later in the week as I either go over them or randomly find passages at random. I’ve never realized it though, as I like to think of the prayer process as my talking to God and then listening in contemplation and oneness – closed eyes — just “being” in his presence. Praying in tongues, the purest communication in the language of the angels is something I practice, only when it feels natural.

Reading I ponder this week is Deuteronomy 1:30 (amazing, in that it seems appropriate for my upcoming trip to NC to stay in the mountains while finding a job. God will lead the way):
30 The Lord your God Who goes before you will Himself fight for you. He did this for you in Egypt in front of your eyes, 31 and in the desert. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way you have walked until you came to this place.’ 32 But even so, you did not trust the Lord your God, 33 Who goes before you on your way. He finds a place for you to set up your tents. He uses fire to show you the way to go during the night. During the day He uses a cloud to lead you.

It gives me hope. Even when I think I’m not going places, I am, and he carries me. While I thought I was stagnating, I was really laying the groundwork (in the arms of God) spiritually for a bursting out, a thrust forward into uncharted territory in peace to love, trust in, and to carry the word of God with me… NC is my destination for the time being… To find work and to be near Anahata (granddaughter). Addy and Pete are there too, of course, as are a “gazillion” friends.

I feel joyous, ready to face the future — a bright future. Meeting with friends daily, as everyone wants to say goodbye — even though this isn’t a final trip down there. The permanent move will only happen with good solid employment there. When I get a job, I’ll fly back for the UHàul. I do love a lot of people here, so this is not easy in many ways — but I won’t just go to NC when it works out — I’ll GO to NC to grab this new adventure. If I come back, I’ll come back. I’m not going to worry anymore.

Below: this For Ronny piece is finally at rest in the Mercy Cafe at St. Patrick’s Church, my beloved parish where I share my faith with the sweetest people. Love my time there and will miss it… But will find a new parish in NC when/if the time comes,

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LOTS of Living Water today… “Noah”, Anyone? (3.30.14)

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On the paintings:
Yesterday, I finally got to finish this painting “Living Water” (above) started last week, the title of which seems to have been a sign of what was to come this past Thursday night at church. I also got back the painting “Vermillion Aura Madonna in the Garden” (below) from Bristol Picture Frame, where I had them mat it to a frame I’d bought from them a while back. It looks prettier than the photo, in person… And they did a great job with a quick turnaround.

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This is a stormy Sunday, a very rainy one, with massive floods that had traffic backups for miles and the roads to downtown Bristol blocked off. Instead of my ritual after-church coffee at Angelina’s Coffee and painting at Alta Luna Studio, I was forced to come home. I was disappointed but I’ve gotten over it. Keeping the Sabbath, I won’t work at all at anything job-search related (seems silly since I haven’t worked since November), although I did go online to try to find a used/cheaper set of Rosetta Stone digital Spanish language software, to help me “brush up” and qualify for a more jobs. One I wanted at the Diocese and another two with the State all require fluency in Spanish.

So, even though I feel like I’ve missed something, it has been a relaxed day at home with my dog Zoe, my mom and (even) a visit from my brother (with my sister and her husband coming by later on).

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My brother’s visit was fun, since he always makes us laugh with his detailed stories and entertaining storytelling style (his photo, inset, holding his dog) 20140330-165008.jpg

Regarding my baptism in The Holy Spirit ceremony at the “Life in the Spirit” seminar at church, it was beautiful! After a prayer in which I rejected Satan and chose God and the life of Christ, four spirit-filled women laid their hands on my shoulders and head, prayed over me there and received words from the Spirit to give to me. I was given a card of notations after — all meaningful and appropriate for me, I thought. They’d written on it: “John 4:7 on” (the same reading I’d written about the week before /the Samaritan Woman at the well), the words “My daughter, how long have I waited for you — come into my presence and be with me forever!” (from God, obviously); and a task for me, “Up on a mountaintop, paint a picture of Jesus and keep it on your heart”.

Since then, I’ve reflected and imagined that painting on my heart, reread the passage (the whole book of John several times, in fact) — and I know in my heart that my prayer connection to the Father is secure, really close. I have never felt more loved, really.

I have also been thinking that I want to find a mountain to literally paint that scene… Perhaps Mount Hope, here in Bristol… maybe one in NH or western Massachusetts, not sure… Maybe with serious altitude, like Machu-Picchu… or with Christian significance, like Mount Sinaii… Mt. Eremos or the Plain of Gennesaret? It probably doesn’t matter, as long as its here on my heart. [I’d love comments about great mountains!]

In closing, I’ll share a painting I did called, “Office Politics,” with emancipating ramifications today… Life is good today. Amazing (grace). God bless! Oh the reference to Noah, refers to a new movie that I want to see… One of these days.

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Reflections on Saint Patrick’s Day

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Acceptance is part of spiritual growth, right? I am sharing an older painting today, called “Acceptance” (above) because it seems appropriate for today in a variety of ways. About a year after I painted this painting back in 2005, I accepted that I needed help, that I wasn’t perfect, that I could be better with hard work, faith in God and love of self. I am still that person, just a bit farther down the path. I am lovable (as I am at any point) and I want to love others where they are on the path. This is easier said than done, of course; but nobody ever promised that it would be easy! I want to be a better mother (always), want to be a better child (always) and a better friend to Jesus (always).

I haven’t painted in four days, to my surprise. Other tasks have occupied me this week… cooking for and attending (fabulous) social events, attending a memorial service, increased scripture reading, more meditation and prayer. I raced to mass at noontime today and (as always) sighed a sigh of relief, as I settled into my pew, feeling like I’d just returned home again. The Gospel and homily that followed hit the nail on the head… and hit a nerve in me like a bolt of lightening! It was all about forgiveness and retracing steps to make things right (St. Patrick spent his lifetime trying to regroup and go on). Forgiveness has consistently been a problem for me, both asking forgiveness of and forgiving others; and I have a tendency after living with my mom, two adult women under one roof, to be highly judgmental of her.

My sister’s children lost their grandfather today and my friend Lynda lost her father earlier this month — and it made me so sad for them. I know what it felt like to lose my father and if anything happens to my mother, I’ll be really really upset. I know that life is never the same for family after these losses. Faith carries us forward, but we miss them! I miss my Dad.

Reality-check of today: while I wasn’t a difficult child, my mother has been there for me through many trials and tribulations in my more difficult adulthood, mothering me the best she could. Surely, my over-analysis of our past relationship lately is hurtful to her. I’m lucky to still have a mother — my “as is” terrific mother. I’ve disappointed so many people in my life and they have forgiven me (most of them), so my concentrating on peoples’ flaws is ridiculous. Maybe I have too much time on my hands (a job miracle is needed) but more likely, I’ve forgotten the best advice I ever got on this issue from a hysterically funny guy I once knew. When he overheard me saying that I felt fat in an outfit, he said “No, you’re just fat“; and when I had a complaint about a sister, he said “No, just be a better sister”; and when I said “but — but — but—“, he said “NO buts; the only thing you can change is your attitude.” I thought he was a bit of an idiot (briefly) but he was right. Likewise, I just have to be a better daughter! I’ll pray for the right words, apologize and start again.

Lent is such a great time of year and has me “contemplating” more. I’m loving the “Life in the Spirit” Seminar at St. Patrick’s Church on Smith Hill in Providence — a positive and moving experience. This charismatic, Roman Catholic church emphasizes witness and renewal — a gift of the holy spirit! It isn’t a place where anyone is forgotten — and that is what I believe church should be with the only parish K through high school in the state, and even houses Mary House in the basement! My first goal is to be an active part of a church on which I for a decade turned my back (unlikely to happen ever again). Like my friend said: instead of complaining about the Church and the past, I can be a better member!

Hopelessness is the worst problem we have as a society — and I believe that “Acceptance” is a start in every upward assent. Enjoy the painting above and “For Ronnie” below. I painted it in memory of a friend who led people to church by example and died doing what he loved most, riding his motorcycle home to his nice wife. I wanted it to depict the rising up, after the peaceful sunset.

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Thank you God, for this day of days! I’m so glad to learn your lessons.

2.26.14 Green Eyelet Madonna

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I painted this today, after 21 days of being away from the studio.  My mother fell sick with a BAD stomach virus, later complicated by an infection, then hospitalization.  I caught it a few days after the doctors had admitted her.  The recovery time was lengthy, so we are well again but still tired, believe it or not.  I hope there isn’t a Phase II to the ordeal — but trying to be positive!

I had laid the foundation for this painting on the 6th of February (or thereabouts) with a simple outlined mama and child in green, yellow and white — wearing a fun outfit, well suited for SUMMER!  The timing of this painting is perfect, since my mind has wandered South a lot this month — to warmth, my children and the thought of a job there if one arose. Warm tootsies, warm hands, warm hearts!

The cold season is wearing thin on Rhode Islanders, right about now, with temperatures in the teens all week and leaving me ready for SUN and SUMMER.  This Madonna is wearing my favorite summer skirt — one that I actually have in my closet! Crisp cotton, white and Kelly green eyelet, gathered at the waist, a tad to short to be considered appropriate for my age group, it screams FUN (even though she looks as tired as I have been feeling).  It makes perfect sense for today and the baby is just a love.

Son Pete with Anahata in her flower hat
Pete and Anahata in flower hat
Adelaide Mary Dever with bangs
Adelaide Mary Dever with new bangs

Speaking of total loves, I am praying that I’ll see my daughter, my son,  my grandbaby and her mama next week.  I hope to drive down to NC to love ALL of them with REAL hugs, not the across-the-miles hugs!  Last week, my son was hospitalized out of state for inhaling the smoke of burning pressure-treated lumber (he didn’t burn it; someone else did) and he should be back by next week!  PRAYER is needed for his health and a new job for him, if you are so inclined to pray.  Addy has a lot of change in the air, too, including new bangs this week — like this Madonna’s!  My daughter is a beautiful present-day Madonna with great adventures ahead and dreams of living in foreign lands… often the old-soul Child over the years, when I was most fickle. I want to touch base there to see them in LIVING COLOR…  cannot wait…  I’m tentatively thinking that when the snow stops here on Tuesday or Wednesday, I’ll hit the road.

"Happy 26th" (a Mother praying over the Child)

[E. T. Phone Home…] 

It isn’t easy for the 20-30ish year olds today.  They have a lot of pressure in an uncertain world! It gets harder and harder to find work and it isn’t easy to make a living; seems harder than the old days, anyway.  I support their dreams and try not to interfere BUT I worry more than they know — trusting in GOD but still worrying!

To find work for myself,  I’ve resorted to creative marketing. I actually created a website, www.hirejaneanndever.wordpress.com with my first post called “See Jane Work… With your help”.   On it, I included a link to my plain old resume (PDF) and  video resume (below/click on photo):

My Video Resume
My VIDEO RESUME
[CLICK ON THIS PHOTO]
I figure that hitting them with visuals might help — and it will SHOW them that I actually know how to design attractive marketing sites and presentations!

MORE on ESCAPING reality: and speaking of taking to the road, I saw a VW Van today and wished for one… and I watched an RV show for a bit tonight and I honestly may like to retire in one of those… I’d park it at South Shore Beach by summer and in NC in Spring and Fall and somewhere else in winter.  Sounds great to me, anyway…  With grandbabies sleeping over at Nana’s RV.  I’d move it four times per year, painting all the while (of course)!

I’ve thought of designing and building a moveable solar cabin on a flatbed (a friend of mine in NC lived in one and it was really cool and “rough”!) or having an RV at some point.  I have (thankfully) scaled life down to very little “stuff” — my best way to exist, I think — so I’m “portable”.  Of course, God only knows the future; and beyond my drive to NC soon, I have no idea what it holds for me.

South Shore Beach at the end of the day
South Shore Beach at the end of the day

Day 13 – Bathed in Light 2

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Acrylic on canvas, 11″ x 14″, $425

Aside from another delay in the filming of the documentary about my Madonnas and the fruitless job search, I am thankful that my daily painting is going smoothly. My rigorous<!
consistency has kicked in the ” flow”, as evidenced by this “Bathed in Light 2”. I don’t know if this name will stick, but I loved the Bathed in Light 1 ( sold/ see bottom, inset), so I thought I’d honor her with the same title. Any suggestions for a new title?

The film is something that will be used on the web to pitch the project for funding; but, for now, everything I have posted here is for sale; and I am willing to sell them all. Pricing ranges from $150 to $1200 at the moment. I need to free up space, too, for the MANY paintings to come!

There will be more to this post in the morning; however, I couldn’t wait to share this painting with you! Enjoy!

Peace,

Jane

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