My Friend, I See You. #6

My brother, I see you.
You want so badly to be married, but you just can’t hold down a job, or get above ‘survival mode’. Continue reading “My Friend, I See You. #6”


My Friend, I See You. (#5)

My friend, I see you.
It’s Father’s day. So many people are posting happy things on Facebook… photos of them and their fathers, laughing, smiling, making beautiful memories. You know you ought to be happy for them, but all you can feel is the ache inside…. for you never had that with your father.

My sister, I see you.
You feel like your whole life is ruined because you never had a godly example of manhood from your father growing up. You have a twisted view of men that frustrates you. You worry that you’ll never be able to get married because you’re so damaged.

My friend, I see you.
Father’s day hurts now, because it reminds you of your loss. Others will see and celebrate their fathers today. You won’t see yours again…. perhaps ever. It is a day of mourning for you.
My brother, I see you.
You’re afraid to get married for fear that you’ll act like him. Your father. The man who hurt you and your mother. The man you saw abusing those he was supposed to cherish and love. The fear paralyzes you and makes you cry yourself to sleep some nights. You want a real family, but you can’t imagine ever doing something like that to anyone…. maybe it’s safer to live isolated.

My friend, I see you.
Your father wasn’t around. He wasn’t a “bad father”. He didn’t hurt you. He just…. forgot. He was just busy. He’d tell you that he’d take you out for your birthday, and you eagerly anticipated it, but the day came and went and he didn’t remember.
You feel like you don’t really have a right to be hurt, because he provided for you and loved you in his own way, but the neglect hurts and you can’t get rid of it.

My sister, I see you.
You’re scared of men now; sure that, deep down, they’re all like your dad. He seemed so nice to outsiders. He knew all the right words to say. He was even nice to you sometimes… but the nice times were the most horrifying, because you knew that they were leading up to something terrible…..

My friend, I see you.
The Lord sees your pain and does not condemn you.
The Lord knows your brokenhearted grief.
The Lord can restore a balanced view of manhood and leadership, even though your experiences have been so evil.
You are not doomed to repeat the sins of your father. Actively identify and replace the thought patterns that would render you like Him, and seek counsel. There is victory and hope in Christ.
Our heavenly Father does not forget nor neglect His children. Being hurt is okay. Run to Him.
Take your fears and insecurities and broken trust to Christ, and believe in His effective work in those around you. You can trust again, based on His promises.

” Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” -Psalm 68:5

My Friend, I See You. #4

My friend, I see you.

You’re hurting. Friend after friend is announcing relationship or engagement, and even while you rejoice with them, you feel even more keenly your own aloneness.

My sister, I see you.
You’re afraid. You’ve been betrayed and abandoned so many times that you aren’t even sure you want a relationship any more.

My brother, I see you.
You’ve tried to get married. So many times. You’ve tried and tried and tried, and you’re so so tired of rejection and things “not working out” that you feel about ready to give up.

My sister, I see you.
You fear that being in the work force by necessity will be a turnoff to the kind of guy you want, and that you’ll never be a stay-at-home wife and mother like you dream.

My friend, I see you.
Christ knows your desire for marriage, and it is good. Trust in Him to give you what you need.
Christ never changes, and never leaves. He can provide a man who will strive to be like Him and not abandon you after the novelty wears off.
Please don’t give up. Walk in obedience to Christ, applying His law-word to every area of life, and seek a spouse who is working for the Kingdom too.
Trust that God has you where He wants you right now, and that your circumstances won’t scare away the person that He has for you to marry.

He is too wise to err, too loving to be unkind.


My Friend, I See You. #2

Originally published on Facebook.

My friend…. I see you.

It’s New Year’s Eve. You had hopes, a year ago, that 2016 would be “your year”.
God chose to give you pain and hurt, loss and loneliness.
My friend…. I know you.
You hoped that this year you would find someone who matched you. Who you could be alongside and have communion with, serving God and loving each other.
God chose to give you singleness.
My friend…. I hear you.
You’re the popular one. Everybody thinks you’re smart, and funny, and they leave heart emoticons on your profile pictures. But you have no true Friends to confide in, to hear your heart, to hold you close through the ups and downs of life.
God has given you loneliness.
My friend…. I see you.
The more people you see dating and getting married, the more keenly you feel that you are beyond understanding and love.
God has given you brokenness.
My friend… I know you.
The new year that everyone else is celebrating feels like the gong of a heavy clock, and you wonder why God is so silent. You want to have hopes and dreams and resolutions and new enthusiasm, but you just don’t.
God has given you a season of drought.
My friend, He knows you.
He has given you what is best for you.
He will provide for you.
Our Father does not give a snake when we ask for a fish.
Sometimes fish look like snakes to us.
Trust Him.
He loves you.
And I do, too.
Happy new year, my friends. May God restore all that is broken.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”



The process of a portrait


So, some of you know that I draw illustrated portraits.

This particular one was made for a couple who have been married over twenty years. It’s so beautiful to see his tender, protective love for his wife, and her faithful care for him and their children.

I’m going to give you a peek into my process of creating this portrait.IMG_9512.JPG

The first thing I did was to gather a number of photos of Mr. C. and Mrs. J. from different angles and lighting. I wanted to see their physical characteristics as well as their mannerisms (I already knew them in person, so I didn’t have to interview the client about their personalities– otherwise I would have spent some time getting a feel for that aspect of this couple as well).

I then took some time to sketch out a basic idea of how I wanted the couple posed, and what colors I wanted to use in their clothing/hair color/accessories.

I chose bright, happy colors for Mrs. J. because she’s an animated lady who doesn’t let much stop her. The colors I sorted through for Mr. C. were more quiet and subdue, to reflect his strong but quiet character. As you can see in the image, I played around with different color combinations before I finally settled on the theme of primary colors.


I then started drawing the portrait on my watercolor paper. I tried to make sure my lines were dark enough to see, but not so dark that I couldn’t erase them entirely– because in this stage of the portrait, there is a lot of erasing and fixing and re-drawing until it’s just right.

This is the hardest (and longest) stage.

Once I’d gotten the sketch to a point where I was satisfied, I started adding color.


(often working by the light of a desk lamp. Good for seeing details: bad for taking pictures. Oh well.)

More color was added: then shading. I used watercolor paints, which I’m still learning to use. They’re fun, though. I’m going to have a hard time returning to watercolor pencils.


Finally, I worked out the border. I did several test-borders before settling on this one. I chose colors that harmonized with the portrait, as well as ones that held significance (the strongest being red to symbolize their love in marriage, and yellow to symbolize their friendship).

And that’s that. I actually forgot to sign the piece before I shipped it off. But oh well. I was happy with it.