Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Plums, Plums, Plums!

Oh Plum!
  Things around here are either in transition or waiting for transition.
 Being one of those nervous-types, I don't exactly roll with it all very well.
 Some people thrive in the constant agitation of so many things being 'up-in-the-air'.
 Not me.
 I like boring and predictable. 
 So, today, when I pulled up to our  local hoity-toity pet supply store,
 and found it had closed (oh, this economy!), 
I was plum put out.
See, my naughty, bad-mannered, has-to-be-muzzled-when-guests-are-over, two-and-a-half-year-old labradoodle eats the equivalent of dog caviar.
 I know.  I know!  
But he is a great cuddle-pup and does give the best kisses of any dog I know, 
and he sure does make his peeps feel awful special when we come through the door.
So there is that.

Anyway, not any ol' place carries this wonder food for dogs, 
so I fumble with the GPS, find the next closest high-falutent sounding pet retail, 
and proceed to nervously make my way up and down streets, and
I have no idea where I'm going. 
I was praying there would be no bridges.
Lord knows I hate driving over a bridge.
I know.
I manage to collect the food along with some over-priced,
 highly toxic (I'm sure) flea medicine.
I throw a cow tail up on the counter for good measure.
After paying, I turn to leave with the 50lb bag in my arms
only to find my path blocked by a recent
pit bull rescue.
 I heard the owners telling the clerk how 
they hope little Cujo will mind his manners,
as they just adopted him,
don't really know how he is around people yet.
And he's on a 2mm retractable leash,
that couldn't hold a toy poodle back.
So as I struggle towards the door
 with half my weight in dog food,
I smile and give a 'niiiiiice dawgie'
in my sweetest southern drawl, 
while side-stepping the very large, 
very un-restrained (people!!),
very curious
pit-bull rescue.

I scuttle out into the parking lot, 
load my purchases, settle down in the drivers seat
and wonder:

'Are there any bridges on the way back home?'

Turns out there are not, and so feeling newly confident 
in my ability to traverse my way back,
I decide to detour to the market.
I purchase some organic greens, red onion, lemons....
just the fixings for roasted chicken and salad.
I remember my dear friend dropped 4 lbs of asian plums at my door yesterday.
Already well ripened, I knew they would spoil soon.
So, of course, I also picked up some pie pastry and sugar.

The market has a new cashier named Jazz.
Half of her head is shaved and the other half 
is in three 18 inch braids.
The ear closest to me has six earrings,
one being one of those kinds that 
stretches a half-inch hole into your lobe.
I just never understood that.
Jazz is new, so it takes her awhile
to get the bar codes to scan,
(but she has memorized the code for the greens)
and more than once she tensely complains about 
the machine being slow.
Poor Jazz.
I want to tell her,
"I won't bite.  I can be patient."
And then it hits me.
I can be patient.
I can.

I carry my light load out into the sunshine.
I smile at the thought of
sweeping aside the books, dishes, and miscellaneous paraphernalia
the kitchen counters have collected today.
Yes, there is much to do, and
according to my list, I'm running behind.
I hate being behind.
I'm always so focused on the 'what's next?"
There's a lot on my mind.
So many unanswered questions.
So much I'm waiting on.

But right now
I'm going to bake pie,
because I can be patient.
I can.

Kara Lynn


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Resurrecting Rachel

"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly"

Resurrection.  It speaks to life after death.  We will know it, and we have known it.  Lazarus was not the only man who experienced resurrection before his final home-going.  And Jesus is not solitary in His crucifixion.  We have been crucified, too.  And even now, we have been raised to newness of life.  (Rom 6:4)
We can know resurrection life today.  Now.  And this is why I love art and why this place, Imagination Nexus, exists in the blogosphere.  With art, we are creating, making something new, practicing resurrection with each stroke, stitch, note and word.  

I met a new artist today.  Well, new to me.  Rachel Anne Ridge has been working in wall graphics, murals and other areas of interior design for many years.  However, just recently she dared to try something new:  paint on canvas and open her own on-line shoppe.  This tiny, little, beautiful blonde thing from Texas.  Mama to three and wife to the man she's loved since she was 19.  Living in a yellow barn a few stone throws from Dallas, cooking up meals on her own formica- fake- butcher-block while painting detailed scrollwork on the Sistine Chapel-like ceilings of rich folk.

She sends out a thing called "Small Things" to people she calls her "Company Girls".  Basically, if you sign up to be a Company Girl, she sends you little daily pokes to help you make your home a sanctuary. Thus, the name of her blog:  Home Sanctuary.   Her small things are just that, little things you can do that cumulate to big change over awhile, and often they are accompanied by scripture.  
She has written a book (I know! right?) called Company Girl.  The story behind Company Girl is too good for me to tell... you can read about it here.
In short, this lady is my hero.

In sharing some of her background with me about how she started her mural business 10 years ago, and then more recently transitioned to adding in studio art, she says,
"I can say it's a God thing because I would never have considered myself a candidate for being an artist. My 7th grade art teacher told me to drop Art because I struggled with the very first assignment, which was something called "blind drawing." How I wish he had told me that there are a million different artforms and that MOST of art can be learned, like any skill. Well, crushed, I never picked up a paintbrush or pencil again....until that Christmas when I had three little kids and no money to buy presents. I think God has a sense of humor! This has kept me dependent on Him like nothing else....because when it went from "hobby" to "job" I had no choice but to tell people "sure, I can paint that!" when I was shaking inside, completely afraid of failure."

From her blog post on Being Brave Enough to Dream, she writes, 
"Being brave doesn't mean you have no fear. It means you act in spite of your fear. And you trust that God is with you, because He is."

This is what resurrection in Rachel looks like.  Sometimes we lose sight of what resurrection means in our own life.  Isn't it good to see it so clearly in someone else?  Doesn't it help to recognize, then, what it could look like in you?  

"I truly believe that creativity can be learned, and "talent" can be cultivated. I will never be Rembrandt, but I love color and design and I've come to realize that "art" is very subjective. If you work at finding your style, you will almost always find others who appreciate your style...especially now with the internet. It's amazing." 
  ~Rachel Anne Ridge

Rachel Anne Ridge
So go create!  And go check out Rachel's store:  Rachel Anne Ridge:  Art & Home  
You can also join her and her Company Girls at Home Sanctuary, where currently she is promoting the grande opening of her store and *hint hint*, I think there is a Discount and Give Away involved!  

Kara Lynn Liechty

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Word About Creativity

from Ann Voskamp.....

a well-worth-it read.

Our camera is... well... leaves much to be desired, but I do plan to get up some pics, anyhow, of some of our latest creatings....

knit, draw, build, cook, plant, write....  

it's happening here, more and more, as we learn to truly "be".

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Of Paper and Verse

A gray head is a crown of glory;
         It is found in the way of righteousness  Prov. 16:31

 Truth in the Mirror

The lines in my face
Take time to develop.
Are proof
Of joy, happiness, cheer,
Many days given as gifts,
Many second chances,
A sentiment not to be tossed aside
As lesser gifts so often are
From lesser givers.
But these gifts from Him,
Lovingly etched 
into the skin
I wear everyday.
For all to see that I have loved well,
and been well loved.
And this is beauty.

"For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7b

Why the homely to thank Him?

In blemished skin,
Thin lips, limp hair,
Gangly or overly plump,
Yellowed teeth crookedly set,
Shoulders given to slump;
Though common the look
 Of this one once lost,
Purchased by blood
Of the highest cost;
A lovelier saint He does not see
Than the one 
Who can't claim 'worldly'.

Kara Liechty

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Grace Dipped in Chocolate

Among our family prayers for 2011 was a closer personal relationship with friends who have yet to discover the grace and redeeming love of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We've prayed fervently for opportunities to deepen our bonds with these friends and, through our relationship, draw them close to open windows through which the power of the Holy Spirit could shine. We prayed, yes, but we also worked hard. We worked hard to create opportunities. We worked hard to turn ordinary conversations into testimonies of God's love and quotations of His Words of Life. In our hard work, we were forgetting that the Work has already been done - that we cannot do enough work to share His love. Matthew 10:20 (ESV) reminds us: "For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." When we tired of the work, the Holy Spirit was freed to do His mighty work. Our friends called us. Our friends did the inviting. Last Friday was spent dipping anything and everything in chocolate for an entire day, creating endless gifts for each of us to take home and share with those we love (for us, it was our veterinarian and many friends).

With each dip of the finest Belgian chocolate onto equally delicious foods (pistachios, cherries, truffles, coconut, peppermint patties, pretzels and even potato chips), I pondered and marveled once again at how much sweeter the love of Jesus is. I acknowledged how He waited for me to be still, so He could created an opportunity I could never have created on my own. Our relationships were strengthened that day and, because of that day, I have had opportunities to share the goodness of the Lord's provision in my own life with these friends. I'm remembering to spin my wheels less these days - no longer playing the orchestrator or conductor, but rather the violin, piano or voice. The seeds are being planted, and the Master Farmer will tend to His harvest. I will keep my watering can close at hand, filled with water and ready to be used - a vessel of His unending love and grace.

Kayla Liechty Paulk

Kayla Paulk with husband, Jason

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Of Paper and Verse

She was standing at the sink washing dishes as we three youngers, sat at the table bouncing ideas for blog names back and forth to each other.  When our boy shouted out "Imagination Nexus", she glanced knowingly over her shoulder.  She is no stranger to good ideas.  
Oh the words that have found their way from her heart to paper over the years.  Though not widely published and shy about her ability, my mother is the first best writer I've ever read.  I find it only fitting that our first exhibitor be Sally Eshelman who nurtured His seeds of creativity in my own life from my first memories.

This poem was written while flying from the east coast to the west, overlooking the beautiful Cascade Mountain Range.

In Flight

I soar the heights, the clouded sky, a white-puffed sea below.
Is heaven's gate a likeness of this realm I do not know?
The artist's brush may imitate, The poet's verse applaud;
But beauty such as this is authored solely by our God.
                                                          Sally Eshelman

How fitting an introduction to our parade of artistic endeavor!  Thanks Mom!

Sally Eshelman with daughter, Kara