My Dream World

I Love Pretty Things: I love flowers, kitties, sunsets, moonlight, fireflies, great paintings, inspiring books and movies, perfume, sweet smelling soap, hot showers, a clean house (okay, at least orderly), rain (in reasonable amounts), nail polish, make-up, hand lotion on a cold, dry day, color…lots of color, faces, the smell of clothes hung outside on the clothesline to dry, freshly turned earth in the flower-beds, fragrant candles, waves hitting the beach, our Grandchildren and Great-grandchildren….on and on. These things are part of my dream world.

Snoozing Cat 7-9-15

Don’t Disturb my Dream World: While studying art in college, I  noticed the professors preferred we learn to paint subjects that were “socially relevant”. I wanted to paint landscapes, cats, pretty flowers, and an occasional smiling face. The closest I ever came to “socially relevant” was a series of three paintings about homeless people. I was pleased with my technique and skill, but depressed by the subject and concept. Not fun. I had to step out of my dream world to make a good grade.

My Personality: Maybe it is part of my personality. I’ve taken the tests, read many books on the subject, attended seminars, even taught the personalities, enough to finally know my own personality.  Notice, I did not say I like it nor that I understand it.

Personality Strengths:  Those of us with this same personality like fun, pretty things, laughter, friends, people, groups, and share a firm belief that everybody loves us. Don’t they? Maybe that should be in the Weaknesses column.

Personality weaknesses: There is a downside to my personality, as there is to all personalities. I don’t like an excess of rules and regulations, I don’t like silence so I talk (too much) to fill it in, I get bored easily (That’s why I change art mediums so often), I’m impulsive and quick to act before thinking it through (Remember I get bored easily), I’m easily disappointed with myself and others.  To me things are either absolutely fabulous or not worth my time.

Finding Answers in God’s Word: In my Bible study I’ve found several Scriptures speaking to me and to my personality. I guess I feel justified to be so happy and light-hearted.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely,

whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy

-think on these things”. Philippians 4:8

Who Knew? Trees, Mountains and Rivers Are Happy:

“Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy.” Psalm 98:8

“You will go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

Permission to Stay and Enjoy My Dream World:  We Christians have permission to be happy as a child confident in its father’s love and care. We can clap our hands, sing out loud, and smile….like a little girl playing in her play-house.

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

My Dream World Is Real!

‘Til He Shouts!

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Adele, U.S. Marshal

US Marshal (final art)

 A few years back, I spoke  to a Christian women’s event at a large church on the subject, “Dare to Dream”. It was a success; the ladies seemed to relate and understand the importance of dreaming.

I’m a dreamer and have always been a dreamer. My earliest dream that I can remember was to be a:

1.  Lovely Indian Maiden.Dressing the part was very important in all my dreaming. I put together an outfit most closely matching what I saw  the lovely Indian maidens wear  in the cowboy movie at the Saturday morning Fun Club. I made a teepee by throwing a blanket over a ladder. For fun (short-lived) I would sit on the edge of the little pond in our backyard and make Indian pottery out of the mud. I slept alone in that teepee….at night……once. With every dream comes a problem. Problem: I would wake up with very damp blankets and frizzy hair. I no longer looked like an Indian, especially a lovely one. NO fun.

The closest I ever came to fulfilling this dream was in junior high. Back in the day, we were called Indians and had an annual Pow Wow out on the baseball field. I had the honor of being voted the “Indian Princess” by my class. My Mother made my outfit; I was truly lovely….at least I thought so.

2. U.S. Marshal. I wore my cowboy hat (a perfect Christmas gift for a little Texas girl), a toy gun and holster, and a badge. I looked tough and cast fear into all my little friends. I would create play scenarios, eventually arrest each and every one, and lock them into a make-shift jail my parents let me put together. Problem: Soon there was no one left to play with or arrest. My playmates got tired of being arrested and went home.

3.  Housewife and Mother. My Father and Grandfather built a playhouse in our backyard for my sister and me. It was wonderful; it had a  main room, a loft with a ladder, and a kitchen with a wood-burning fire stove. It even had “running water”. Daddy hung a bucket outside the kitchen and ran a rubber tube through to the kitchen sink. All I had to do was siphon the water from the bucket into my kitchen….until one day an awful looking bug came through the tube along with the water.

I caught minnows from our little pond and fried them over that slow fire…too soggy or gross to eat. I had girlfriends over for sleepovers in my playhouse. I remember one night being awakened by a very strange noise and discovered it was coming from some kind of BIG bird walking right past the door to my playhouse, making a scary noise. I never knew what it was but the sound of the playhouse door slamming scared it away. Now I realize it was probably the hoot owl that lived in our woods. Problem: Scary noise and critters at night and too much work keeping the playhouse clean.

4.  Famous Broadway Star. When the musical “South Pacific” came to my attention, I became convinced I was a natural for the part of Nellie Forbush. My parents let me take dance lessons and took me to see touring musicals. Problem: I was told I would have to move to New York to pursue this dream.

5.  Artist. My Father was a professional illustrator and a fine art painter. He gave me private lessons and helped me get my first job in an art studio as a teenager. I thought this would stick and it has for many years….but I’m still dreaming.

Langston Hughes wrote:

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field, frozen with snow.”

____from Dreams

Paul, the great Apostle of Jesus Christ wrote:

  Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us,

he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

____Ephesians 3:20 The Holy Bible

‘Til He Shouts,

Your Personality and Everything Else

What does your personality have to do with your life? Does it matter if you understand yourself? Will understanding your Personality help your work, relationships with family, friends and parenting?

Of these few questions the only one I frequently asked myself is “Will understanding my personality help me with my work as an artist? When meeting someone new or a distant friend they would ask me what I do. “I’m an artist.” Oh really, that’s interesting. What medium to you use? Yikes! Here’s that darn question again to which I would always give a dumb answer, “It depends on what day or month it is.”

You can see I had worked on a perky answer to give just in case. When they would repeat the question or begin to walk away I would hang on to them and say “You see, I like acrylics, oils, watercolor, pen/ink, pencil, charcoal, art markers, even computer art.” I would continue “After using one medium for a day, or week, or month, I inevitably yearn to get back to one of the others.” If my questioner was also an artist, they would just shake their head and look for the exit. If they were not a fellow artist, they would look like they were sorry they had asked. No one ever stopped to give me counsel on my particular and strange problem, so it continued.

Little did I know that I would soon get an answer. One day more than a decade ago while going through my mail I came across a brochure advertising a seminar coming to Houston. It was about learning how to be a public speaker and a published author. Wow! How did they know I’ve always wanted to be a public speaker?

(This is how my dream looked. Out of humility, I won’t show the huge crowd laughing out loud, or clinging to my every word.)

I studied and worked very hard using all their advice and techniques. Meanwhile, they advertised yet another seminar teaching about our personalities…how to understand yourself as well as others. So, I registered for that seminar, also. Again, I attended, studied, wrote papers, read books, and worked hard, and gradually my questions began to be answered.

It wasn’t easy to determine my own personality, but I became “expert” in recognizing the personality of others……. or so I hoped! I finally learned that I had a Sanguine Personality. At first, I was happy about that, but as I learned about the weaknesses of that personality, I decided to call myself a “Recovering Sanguine.” To stick with the main question I posed in the opening paragraph of this blog, I learned that I am impulsive and very easily bored and find it difficult to stay with one thing until it is finished. There you have it. I was relieved. At least it explained my switching from one medium to the next. But I still do not have a coherent answer to the question that keeps coming up.

Since becoming a Certified Personality Trainer (CPT), I have spoken on The Personalities and other subjects to women’s groups such as weekend retreats, luncheons, Personality parties, 12-week courses covering all aspects, banquets, to professional groups and others. The more I study about the Personalities and teach others, the more I learn.

One Sanguine strength is loving to talk, but we were taught that a strength used to extreme becomes a weakness. Darn! I still work on that particular strength/weakness. Also, the Sanguine wants to be the center of attention at all times. Yeah! Not good. My favorite Sanguine strength is that I think everyone loves me; or is that a weakness? The Sanguine loves color, friends, showing-off, talking, all that sort of thing. Their worse nightmare is that they will only “blend in”.

Even now, years later I still cannot give a final answer, but I really enjoy my art…….oils, watercolors, charcoal, acrylics, pen/ink, etc. I’m sticking with them all.

adele-bower.pixels.com

The Scorpion and the Beetle

The Scorpion and the Beetle 12-16-15

A True Story!

While other women are totally occupied with plans for the summer holidays , shopping, or redecorating ……I’m sitting at the breakfast table (at 9:45 AM), sipping my hot tea and thinking about the time I killed a scorpion. Yes, I, not David, killed a household bug. I’m still proud.

It was a lot of years ago in Dallas and in the evening. David was at a meeting and all three kids were asleep in bed. Ahhhh! My time to enjoy a TV show of my choice.

However, my special time was interrupted when I noticed a big scorpion slowly walking across the living room floor directly in front of me. Horrors! For a few minutes I watched it make its slow progress. I knew that having my feet up on the sofa and ignoring it was not a solution. I had to kill it…..before it got away. Me? Double horrors! But I reasoned I had three little children, 4,2 and 1 to think about. What if the scorpion got away only to appear again among the Lincoln Logs as they played the next day?

After forever, I made my move. I rolled up a newspaper, slowly crept off the sofa, on the scorpion’s blind side, whacked it really hard, left the newspaper on top of it and jumped back on the sofa. Time passed as I fully expected it to come calmly walking out from under the newspaper, totally unhurt.

After another forever, I mustered the courage to move the newspaper. I had to know. Yay!  It was dead.  I had saved my children! I’m brave after all!

Finally I went back to enjoying my TV show when I noticed another movement on the floor in front of me near our fireplace. A big beetle was slowly walking across the floor right in front of me, heading toward the scorpion road-kill. He assessed the situation, then calmly broke off a piece of the scorpion, turned around and took it back to the fireplace where it had been hiding watching me being brave.

Over and over the beetle patiently walked to the scorpion, got a piece,and took it back to its lair. Back and forth, back and forth. I’ve often wondered if the beetle had planned the whole thing. I’ll never know. Now there was nothing left for David to clean up when he got home.

Good beetle!

P.S. I’ve been doing art things for a lot of years, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever sketched a scorpion or a beetle.

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I Love Christmas

…….and almost everything about Christmas. I’m blessed with a good memory, although my husband may not consider it a blessing all the time. I remember big and little things about my childhood.

For instance,

…….I loved to sit under our tree and laugh at how big my nose got when I looked into a shiny silver ornament.

……I remember my favorite Christmas gift of all time; a maroon and white Aggie Tee shirt and a Sarge pendant on a gold chain. It was a gift from my brother who was a Texas A & M Aggie.

…..I remember participating in our annual Christmas “pageant” created and directed by our big brother when I was about six years old. Our parents were instructed to sit on the sofa in the living room. When ready, my brother led the procession of three…each of us carrying a lighted candle and singing “Silent Night”. We processed from a back bedroom, down the hall and into the living room and paused in front of our parents. My sister and I, dressed in our little floor length nightgowns stood beside him as our brother gave the evening message. He grew up to become a Pastor serving over 50 years.

…..I remember early one Christmas morning Daddy showing us the “damage” the reindeer had done to our front lawn. I was captivated.

…..I remember learning all four verses (5 sometimes) of every Christmas carol at our church. I can still sing them all from memory.

…..I remember Christmas shopping for a gift for my Mother but don’t remember where I got the money. We did not get allowances. We shopped at Kaplans-Ben Hur, a very popular store in the Houston Heights area at the time.  I remember liking the sound I made walking across the old wooden floors at that store. I even remember what I chose to give Mama; a tiny plastic lapel pin shaped like a telephone. I was so proud.

……I remember getting up very early one Christmas morning and driving to Schulenburg, Texas to visit my Father’s family there. We had to take blankets to cover ourselves for the long, cold trip from Houston. At least, I thought it was long and cold.

…..I remember my paternal Grandfather singing “O Tannenbaum” in German, the only language he ever used. We didn’t chat much.

…I remember the little cardboard village my Father designed, crafted and placed under our tree every year. It had a little cabin, a tiny church, and even an iced over pond (a mirror surrounded by cotton snow) and a ceramic skater enjoying his day.

….I remember the fragrance of the real tree, the aroma of food cooking, and the taste of the cookies on the buffet.

Memories can be blessings beyond measure and I’m grateful. Maybe I’ll write another “I Love Christmas’ blog about Christmas with my husband and three children…..or Christmas with our Grandchildren, and now Christmas with our Great-grandchildren. It’s all so wonderful….and I remember.

I wish for each of you and your families a Christmas filled with memories worth writing about. May it be a Christmas filled with the joy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s His birthday!

Oh come let us adore Him!

‘Til He Shouts!

First written and published Dec. 18, 2018

YOU DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE ME TOO, DO YOU?”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is detail-2-of-old-north-fence-art-with-copyright.jpg

When I read this passage from John I sense our Lord Jesus Christ’s feelings and it makes me sad.

He {Jesus} went on to say, ‘This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.’ From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’”_______John 6: 65-69

How utterly precious and moving are these words of our Lord Jesus Christ and Peter.

In these times of uncertainty, fear, and testing, this passage came to me and I wondered;

Do I want to leave our Lord, too? Of course not! I couldn’t if I wanted to do so. Salvation is eternal and not by my works. I can’t lose it because of my sin of unbelief or any other sin. Christ paid for ALL sin, not just a few and I fully accept and rejoice in that truth.

Then I wondered again; could I “leave Him” with my worry, my fear, my concern for tomorrow and what it may bring?

Yes. I “leave Him” when I fail to trust Him fully. I “leave” His peace and presence with me; I “leave” His joy and blessing; I “leave” my knowledge of His provision for my future; I “leave” the power of His Holy Spirit within me.

Along with Peter I say…….O Lord, to whom would I go? You have the words of life. You are the beginning and the end; you are my everything. You are my hope, my guarantee, and my eternal joy.

Thank you, Lord, that regardless of my faithless worry, you always remain faithful.

‘Til He Shouts,

Adele

Tears and Triumph

Tears and Triumph

“Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey-riding on a donkey’s colt.’ ”   

Matthew 21:5

Tears

On that day…..the day we call Palm Sunday…..the Lord Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on a small donkey. As the ecstatic crowd welcomed Him thinking He was the one who would free them from  their suffering under a cruel and harsh rule, He wept.

“As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day

what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes.’”    Luke 19:41-42

 

The Greek word for weep is  ἔκλαυσεν…meaning to weep aloud, expressing uncontainable, audible grief (“audible weeping”). He was sobbing; those around Him could have heard Him but the crowds were cheering.

Our Lord shed tears of grief and sorrow as He rode the small donkey into Jerusalem that day.

Triumph

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and makes war. ” Revelation 19:11

“On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written:

King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Revelation 19: 16

 

Yes, Jesus Christ is coming again and in complete victory and triumph. He will not be shedding tears. As the King of Glory, He will be riding a white horse….not a small donkey. He will establish His everlasting kingdom.

Wishing you a blessed Palm Sunday with praise to Him.

‘Til He shouts!

 

 

 

I first wrote and published this blog in 2015. The message is the same; it will never change, and will never grow old.

Getting To Know You….

It was a dark and stormy night! (I love that line!) Actually, it was true. Severe storm warnings had been issued for the Houston area again and was due to hit our neck of the woods in the wee hours of this morning. Therefore, I was wide awake between 2 and 3:30 waiting and wondering. The storm didn’t hit us until around 8 AM while I was enjoying a cup of hot tea and sweet cornbread for breakfast.

During that hour and one-half of the night, along with my wondering, my mind wandered to thoughts of our new Facebook Group page, “Whatever Is Lovely” and what I wanted to share on it when the sun rose….hopefully.

For a few of you who have been in one of my Bible classes, you’ll say “I’ve heard that before, Adele.” But I know you don’t mind hearing it again:

In my Christian life, nothing has changed me more for the better,

than reading through God’s Word…over and over again.

I thought and wondered why I find it so wonderful to read His Word regularly. Maybe it was the time of night, or the fact that I was fairly relaxed, but the answer came quickly: By reading God’s Holy Word I’m getting to know Him better. That’s it. I’m getting to know Him better every day. What a joy it is.

Feeling pleased that I had answered my own question so quickly, I realized I was almost humming the song, “Getting To Know You” out loud. Oops! Careful there; David is trying to sleep. When I remembered the song is from “The King and I“, I thought, how appropriate…..Jesus is the King of Kings.

The words could not be more fitting about how I feel about our Lord Jesus Christ:

Getting to Know You

Getting to know you
Getting to know all about you
Getting to like you
Getting to hope you like me

Getting to know you
Putting it my way
But nicely
You are precisely
My cup of tea

Getting to know you
Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you
Getting to know what to say

Haven’t you noticed
Suddenly I’m bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I’m learning about you
Day by day.

From “The King and I”….Music and Lyrics by Rodgers and Hammerstein

I first published this blog several years ago, but it has been on my mind during this unusual time. I’ve learned that the more I know about the Lord Jesus Christ, the more I love Him; the more I love Him, the more I trust Him. Reading His Holy Word gives me peace and joy. 

‘Til He Shouts!

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My October Mistake

October 1961 calendar

On the first day of October almost every year I remember my big “October Mistake”.

When our third child, Karen, was born, the first one, Kevan, was not quite 4 years old. Yes, that means there was one in-between, Keith. It was a busy time and continued that way for several years. I often say that our children were all born the same year, but that is not quite accurate. But close.

While grocery shopping one day late in 1960 I found this adorable calendar and bought it. I wish I could give credit where it is due, but there is no mention of the publisher or the illustrator on the calendar. I hung it on the wall and talked to the children about it many times. It was a lot of fun.

When Karen was about 2, I made my big mistake. It was October 1 of that year and we four turned the now much used calendar to enjoy the new month. With great excitement I said “Look, Kids, it is Halloween.”

Immediately an enormous celebration erupted, as only a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and a 6 year old can create. Unbridled excitement broke forth!

After their cheers, hopping, laughing, and all around joy died down a bit, they ran to get their costumes. Only then did I realize…….they were ready to Trick or Treat right away….today, tonight, right now…on October 1.

I struggled to explain and correct my mistake.

Therefore….for the next 30 days……every morning……they would come to me begging, “Is it Halloween, yet?”

I’m happy to say that the actual Halloween Trick-or-Treating celebration was a success, even though it took f. o .r. e. v. e. r. to arrive.

I learned a valuable lesson that day.

 

 

I first wrote and published this on October 1, 2015. I’ll always remember that day.

 

My Fear of Facetiming

FOUND: YET ANOTHER FLAW IN MY EGO!
Nothing has motivated me more to hurry up and put on my makeup right out of my morning shower…..as Facetiming. I used to languish about until noon with nothing on my well-scrubbed face but moisturizer……plus I would rarely attempt to fix my hair. You see, if I “comb” my hair like normal people do, I would look like one of those weeds you blow on to watch all the darling little parts fly away. Very frizzy.

But now….scary words…..”but now” there’s Facetiming. Wasn’t having to come up with a decent Profile photo of yourself enough anguish to deal with in our technologically advanced world? Sidebar: I always put a recent photo of myself on my Profile photo, just in case I run into a Facebook friend in real life. I don’t want her to be too startled about how I’ve aged.

Back to Facetiming. To keep this blog somewhat helpful on the spiritual side, I’ll mention the most famous role-model of all time….the Proberbs 31 woman. To be totally transparent, a popular word today…transparent, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with her. Can any woman be that wonderful? That accomplished? That successful? That busy? I have to tell myself the answer must be “Yes, of course. It’s God’s Word.” And seriously, I believe what our Lord says and will do my best, with His help to develop more of her qualities.

However, in defense of myself, she didn’t have to contend with Facetiming, or all the other demanding technological milestones as we 21st century women do. Right?

But here’s the real problem: We are blessed with the most beautiful, wonderful, accomplished, active family of children, grand-children, and now a gorgeous little curly-headed great-granddaughter……and I want to hear their voices, to know everything going on in their lives; I want to see them up close, and want to hear their news. So I’ll continue to Facetime with them……even if I point my phone to Tomboy Cat so he is all they see. He’s much cuter.

I know what a lot of you are thinking: “Adele there are ways to solve this problem.” But they require more time learning complicated  technology and I’m much too busy “…trying to be far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10b) and “..working eagerly with my hands.” (Proverbs 31:13).

Now you know! All this wisdom came to me this morning when I sat down in my office to begin my daily busy-ness, and realized I was in eminent danger of Facetiming and rushed to my make-up place.

Facetiming is not going away….and I’m certainly happy about that.

‘Til He Shouts!