31 May 2014

the coming of a new age

That day of the year has come again.
That day that marks another completed lap of the sun.
I've been so far blessed to make thirty four of them and I'm off on my thirty fifth.
It's strange to pause and look at my life.  What I have is far from all my imaginings.  I actually have to remind myself that that's not a bad thing.  Birthdays are a great opportunity to reflect on the blessing of life. For all my imaginings I have done multiple things I'd never dared dream of.  I have walked paths I never would have chosen if I'd had the option.  I've gone on numerous journeys of exploration and adventure and many of them solo.  I have discovered that I am strong and quirky and capable of much more than I give myself credit for.
I am ever learning; ever growing; ever shaping.
I am who I am today because of the journey my life has taken and how I've taken on my life.
Things often don't roll the way I would like but I find that God blesses me in unexpected ways. Personally, I think He does it on purpose.  I can almost hear Him chuckling.
My trek through life has been pretty darn challenging at times but I am most grateful for the way that God has watched over me and remained with me.  I'm incredibly thankful for His patience with me and His involvement in my life.  I will continue to dream, to journey, to grow and to trust in the God who masterfully oversees it all--whatever unfolds.
As for this year's celebration day, it was filled with things that make me peacefully smile: just a little bit of work, celebratory food (pancakes and all the toppings for breakfast), relaxed home lingering, chatting and praying with a friend, listening to music while painting, flowers and thoughtful gifts and dressing up for a night of fun with friends.
And so here's to the coming of a new age and all the twists and turns and unexpected blessings it will hold.

24 May 2014

sketch club satisfaction

When I last worked in Sydney, I came across a Sketch Club online that sounded like fun so I joined the group.  Unfortunately my job ended sooner than planned and I moved out of the city.  March this year brought me back again and I immediately rejoined.  I've been to three gatherings so far now and I'm looking forward to more.  Today we went to the Botanical Gardens and it was the perfect day for it.  For only just over a week til winter officially clocks in it was delightfully sunny and warm.  A cosy 25°C and being surrounded by an amazing variety of nature with sketchbook and supplies in hand it was a calmly blissful day.  I arrived late but I stayed late too.  I found and wandered around the Botanica exhibition where we were due to meet and then went wandering, sketching and chatting with other sketchers I came across.  After sketching happily for a couple of hours we always get together for a bit of 'show and tell'.  We lay out our sketches from the day and have a look at what everyone did.  Some of the talent is simply amazing.  I love looking at all the different styles and what people chose to sketch and get ideas and inspiration.  Then we usually have some lunch together.  Today most of us sat on a grassy patch and picnicked.  People leave as they wish, or go sketch some more or sit around talking.  I chatted with some ladies for quite a while until they left and then sketched a little longer before making for home myself.  It makes a great little outing and the organiser has so many interesting ideas for locations and experiences.  I'm so glad I found this group to go sketching with.  Fun and practice and learning.

My own talent is increasing and broadening as I practice and explore.  These are my sketches from today.