Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blooms Amongst Us


I often think of my life as a garden. Sometimes certain blooms pass away as their season of beauty and life have ended. And then there are times of weariness when I do not even have time to weed my garden. But the blooms are still hidden there. This kind of describes my friendships in this phase of my life. I look around my garden and see where friends who were at one time blooms in my life have just faded away. It is not that they were not a blessing to me in the appointed season, but the blossoms of their presence are no longer there. I recall the beauty of their company and will always be grateful for the joy they brought into my life.

On the other hand, my garden at times has become full of weeds making it more difficult to recognize the vibrant blooms hidden within. The weeds are friendships that were never really healthy or unconditional. However, with time the Master Gardener,my Heavenly Father and best friend of all, is faithful to slip on His gardening gloves and go to work Himself in cleaning up and beautifying my garden in a season in which He has told me to rest.

This is exactly where I am. Much weeding has been completed. And left behind are a few blooms in my garden who are full of color, gentleness, love, and grace. These represent new friends as well as old friends. The new ones I have discovered in the recent desert places of my life. The old friends are some I have had for years . They were always there. They were just hidden for a time.

Today, I want to honor a new friend I met here in Arizona. Her name is Meri. When we first moved to Arizona it took many months to start meeting people. This was frustrating to me and I was trying to cook up all kinds of ways to meet new friends.I even tried some of them, but they did not seem to work. You know we are always told in the world that if you want something to go out and get it. And I still believe this is a wise suggestion in certain situations. However, I continued to sense the Lord say, "Just rest, wait, and stop trying to make things happen on your own."

Therefore over the last year, I have watched my master Gardener weed my garden and plant new blooms. And the new ones seem to be popping up here and there in His timing and in His way. I kind of like it that way. In addition, I have mentioned in some of my other posts about my new found interest and passion of art. One day I was in the book store and picked up two copies of Somerset Studios, a publication of mixed media art. I sent one copy to my artist and childhood friend in San Francisco. About a week later, she contacted me and told me to look on page 3.

This is the copy of the publication I picked up at Barnes and Nobles.

Here is one of Meri's pieces of art within the publication.

So I did as my friend said and looked on page 3. Under the lovely art piece was the name, Meri Wiley of Gilbert, Arizona.I googled her and came across her lovely blog and decided to leave her a comment. She graciously extended an invitation to come over to her in-home art studio for a tour. Needless to say, I was tremendously inspired by all of her creative abilities.

Soon after, my daughter Sara and I took two classes from Meri which just further prompted and motivated me to try new techniques in creating art. Not only has Meri been a tremendous inspiration but she has been a mentor as well as an encouraging friend and support.

I really just wanted to honor her today. This precious lady has endured many hardships along the way, especially in her health. However, I am amazed by her tenacity as well as her perseverance to continue to do the things she loves. She is a successful artist as well as leader because she sows seeds that multiply wherever she is present.

To me, a successful person is one who values the most important things in life, people and relationships, and takes time to invest in those lives in order that they may succeed. Fruitfulness is the badge of this invigorating lady whom I am blessed to know.

I encourage you to check out her blog at www.imagimeris.blogspot.com and check out some of her original arts and crafts. She has invented some of the most precious dolls and mixed media art. To visit her blog and her etsy shop click on the links in the right column. She also has many of her items on sale.

The first time I visited Meri's studio I saw this lovely piece and wanted to buy it. I recently noticed she had it on sale, so I immediately emailed her and asked it she would save it for me until I could get over there to pick it up. Now this lovely mixed media art piece is displayed in my living room!

These are some close up shots of her lovely detailed work.
The "JOY" plaque is supposed to be a Christmas decoration. However, I will probably be leaving it out year round!

Meri's work has also been published in Somerset Studio Gallery. This is another lovely art publication.
This is a photo of one of her many beautiful mixed media art works!

I am so thankful for the precious people the Lord has brought into my life this past year. These are wonderful individuals whom He has handpicked to be a part of my life. Most of my friendships used to be mainly people I went to church with. However, it is exciting to watch God connect me with special individuals from different walks and different places. And I appreciate them as rare blooms in my life.

3 comments:

Meri Wiley said...

Ange, you are a rare, lovely individual. Thank you for honoring me, just as it is an honor to know you. God has sent me quite a few challenges in life, but the blessings (my children, my husband, family and friends, such as you) far outweigh the bad, and I am determined to accomplish something in my life........I hope to know you still when I figure it all out!

God Bless,
Love,
Meri

Karen said...

Ange,

I don't know how I missed this post. I was going through my blog list and saw this post.

What a Blessing that God has given you such a wonderful friend!

She has beautiful things just like you! You all are so talented!

Blessings,
Karen

Our Blessed Savior said...

Ange what a beautiful post. I was talking to my husband about the friends that have come and gone into our lives and it's always such a blessing to think back at the "good ol' days" but it's even a bigger blessing to have a few "blooming" in our gardens standing the test of time. Thanks for reminding us how precious certain friendships and relationships can be.

God Bless you
Michelle