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A Heart of Flesh

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:27

When this was written, Ezekiel was living in Babylon. In this passage, God made it clear that Israel’s stubborn disobedience, as they followed other gods, was not acceptable. A holy God cannot tolerate sin. Sin’s just compensation is death. But, God’s mercy would bring Israel back. God promised to restore them in repentance. He promised to make them new, and to change their hearts of stone into tender hearts of flesh. He promised to cleanse them from their idols, and to bring them back to the land he promised them.

We, too, have hearts of stone. Our hearts are stubborn, unteachable, not tender toward God’s desires and commands. Disobedience may be an obvious outward opposition to God’s law, like lying or stealing. But often, disobedience goes deeper than that. Often, we obey the letter of the law but miss the intent behind the law. “Do not murder.” That sounds easy on the surface, until Jesus says in Matthew 5 that whoever is angry with his brother has committed murder in his heart. Even when we constrain our actions, our hearts still run rampant in wickedness. The intent behind the law, that we should love one another, is violated when we harbor anger in our hearts. This applies to so much more than just anger, and we tend to scrape by, following the letter of the law, instead of loving God with everything in us and desiring to follow God’s ways.

We need hearts of flesh that desire to follow God’s ways both in spirit and in deed. But how can dead, hard, hearts be made tender and soft? No amount of water softens a rock. We need totally new hearts, and God must work the transformation. At that point, a person goes from dead to alive.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation!

References: Ezekiel 36:22-27, Romans 6:23, Exodus 20:13, Matthew 5:21-26, Matthew 22:34-40

Studio Update:

Just a few projects. I’m getting close to wrapping up the floral Christmas painting (then will be on to scanning and layout for fabric, I hope). Then, I took an afternoon and played a bit with carving a dahlia stamp. You can see the pencil on the left and the stamped design on the right. And, the last picture is something new I tried…stars. I learned a lot, and next time I have a few ideas to make the stars (and letters) stand out a bit more.

Thanks for stopping by!


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God’s Promise

 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Jeremiah 31:31-34

This was a promise to God’s chosen people, Israel. He promised to bring them back from their exile and restore them. But this promise extends beyond just Israel, because it was a continuation of God’s promise to Abraham to bless all the nations of the earth through Abraham’s offspring. These promises were a foreshadow of what has come to all nations through Jesus.

We, too, like Israel were disobedient and looking for God-substitutes in our lives. Israel chose to worship and serve the false gods of the surrounding nations rather than the one true God. Like Israel, we have turned to our own broken cisterns rather than the fountain of living waters. We look for our satisfaction in relationships, wealth, talent, and so many other things, everything…anything, except the one who is worthy. We deliberately turn away from God and His ways to find some other source to fill our empty lives.

God did not leave His people in this state. He promised a new covenant, a covenant totally unlike the covenant that He made with them when He lead them out of Egypt. That covenant came with smoke on Mount Sinai, with trembling, fear, and condemnation. But, the new covenant promised new hearts, hearts that know God and follow His ways. The new covenant promised forgiveness. Even while we were dead in our sin, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sin so that we might be forgiven and made new. Because of Jesus, all nations of the earth have been blessed as God promised. One day the dwelling place of God will be with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God. One day all things will be made new, and those who put their only hope of salvation in Jesus will be filled with the fountain of living waters.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation!

References: Genesis 12:2-3, Jeremiah 2:13, Hebrews 12:18-24, Revelation 21:3-8, Galatians 3:7-14

Studio Update

Merry late Christmas, and happy new year! December went by like a whirlwind, and how is it already 2024? It’s hard to believe 2023 is done. But, here’s what I started up in December…you’ll have to hold me accountable on the Christmas fabric there, though. The chances of it sitting untouched until next Christmas are very high now that January is here. Mountains, olive branches, amaryllis…just plugging away at all the projects.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Grace Upon Grace

For from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.

John 1:16

“From his fullness” – in Jesus the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. Jesus is the Word made flesh, the very Word that spoke creation into being, the Word that sustains and upholds the entire universe. Jesus is God.

How is it that the one who made the universe, and holds all things together, how is it that He could dwell among us, die for us, and make a way for us enemies to become His friends?

That was the only way. On our own, we could never see God face-to-face. If we did, we would meet judgment and condemnation with the sentence of death. Without God’s work in our lives, everything in us wants to love and serve ourselves instead of our creator. The only way we could be made right with God, to love him with all our hearts, was if He intervened. And He did! For His own purpose and glory, He intervened! Jesus came, but not with God’s judgment, He came with redemption so we could stand in His righteousness on judgment day.

Now, the fullness of God dwells with us. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. He promises to never leave us or forsake us, even to the end of the age.

This is grace upon grace!

Studio Update:

Happy late Thanksgiving! I thoroughly enjoyed Thanksgiving “break” this year. Lots of baking and planning for next year’s art.

Here’s a time lapse that I just got around to editing. This little floral swag is for my new mini cards (which I am excited to use)!

Then, we’ve got sparrows, doodles, and a wreath that wants to be Christmas-y, but really still insists that it is autumnal.

Thanks for stopping by, and if I don’t see you before then, have a merry Christmas!


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The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalm 34:22

What does it mean to take refuge? Refuge has the idea of comfort and safety in the midst of trouble or danger. So many pictures of refuge come to mind. The picture of a child hiding behind his or her parent’s legs when chased or scared, and being gathered up in their arms in safety. The picture of a battle, running from the enemy into a fortress and bolting the gate behind you. The picture of a sheep led into a sheep pen, safely tucked away from prowling wolves. The picture of Moses hiding in the cleft of the rock when the Lord passed by, sheltered by God’s own hand. We take refuge by banking our only hope of safety in God himself. We run to him and find shelter.

Shelter from what? In my guilt, Jesus bore my condemnation (Romans 8:33-34). In my fear, Jesus stands in control of my world (Isaiah 40). In my doubt, Jesus remains faithful because he cannot be untrue to himself (2 Timothy 2:13). In trials and temptations, Jesus has gone before me (Hebrews 4:15). In any and every circumstance, Jesus satisfies (Philippians 4:12-13). In my weakness, Jesus is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). We have a strong shelter from all that assails us in this life. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

This is grace.

In the Studio

Well, a few of you know what I’ve been working on over the last year…and now it’s time to share it with everyone! My 2024 calendar is available for download! Click here to get yours.

bouquet of white peonies pink and peach tulips and butterflies

As for the rest of my projects, making progress. The cover for the calendar is done (obviously), and some happy little creatures who are going to live in the autumnal forest…So many fun things!

Thanks for stopping by!


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No Condemnation

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

When we come to the Lord in repentance and faith, the condemnation and wrath that we deserved is gone. It seems impossible, since we still see sin in our lives. Throughout Romans 7, Paul gives a lengthy description of our constant struggle with sin (even as redeemed people of God), that even as we desire to obey God, sin is close at hand. It seems sin is around every corner. Near the end of the chapter, Paul exclaims, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” The answer is, of course, Jesus.

Romans 8 begins with, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” This is one of the most beautiful promises in the entire Bible! It comes as a flood of hope in light of our constant struggle with sin. Even though we have been declared holy and blameless before God, we struggle to live like it in our daily lives. We are not perfect the instant we come to Christ, but our condemnation is gone! We are not condemned for our sin because Jesus already bore our condemnation. Jesus was a once-for-all, all-sufficient, perfect sacrifice that satisfied all of God’s wrath against our sin. There is now no condemnation left for us to bear! Jesus paid it all!

This is grace.

Studio Update:

Yes, I started a white peony in the middle of September, but it’s going to be the cover for the 2024 calendar (stay tuned for the download to launch in November)! I also worked on some pen and ink drawings to hopefully screen print soon. With screen printing, it seems I’m always pushing the boundary of too much detail…but when it prints successfully, it’s so worth it. Then, I started painting my veggies; I still have quite a lot of work left on those.

Anyway, that’s a wrap for the October post…crazy the year is going by so fast!

Thanks for stopping by,


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An Invitation

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Isaiah 55:7

When we see who we are, unrighteous, unworthy sinners, and then we see this invitation to seek the Lord, and to return to Him, it seems impossible because we are filthy. We are not worthy to come to Him. Our sin clings so closely; it is our nature. To come to His holy presence is certain judgment and wrath. How could we ever become worthy to come to him?

Through Jesus, God has made a way for us to come into His presence. Because Jesus already bore the punishment and wrath for all sin, God can now justly cleanse and welcome sinners into his holy presence. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

When we turn from our sin, and turn to the Lord, we are welcomed in His presence. We have confidence before our God because He is faithful, merciful, and gracious. We can come freely, openly, just as we are with all our needs, fears, and sins and He will cleanse, comfort, and provide because of His steadfast love.

This is grace.

Studio Update:

My studio extends beyond the average pencil-and-paper desk area. I take my art almost everywhere I go, and I put my creativity into everything I do…including food. Saturday mornings are my days to make Claude (my sourdough starter) into something fun or fancy. This Saturday, I made a basic sweet roll dough, filled it with chocolate, and drizzled with an orange-vanilla glaze.

On the paper-and-pencil side of my studio, I’ve really been enjoying some of my latest projects…designing some mini cards and hopefully, a recipe card set.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks for stopping by!


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 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him…

Colossians 1:21-22

Consider who we were without Christ, and how Christ’s perfect righteousness can be ours because of what Christ has done. Jesus’ righteousness is not just evening out the scale for us. It’s not like God “cleans up” our own righteousness with a little bit of Jesus’ or supplements our righteousness with Jesus’ when we are lacking. No! Our righteousness counts for nothing before a holy God. We are lacking in every way!

Nothing we do could change us from alienated and hostile to holy and blameless. Only because Jesus lived the holy and blameless life that we could not, and died in our place, can we be changed from hostile enemies, separated from God. Only because Jesus lives to mediate between us and God can we become holy and blameless children. When God looks at us, he sees Jesus’ holy and blameless life instead of our sin.

Thus, we who were once alienated and hostile have become holy and blameless and above reproach! By faith in Christ, we become set apart from sin, free of blame and guilt, removed from God’s disapproval and disappointment in us. We become acceptable in God’s sight.

This is grace.

Studio Update:

I found my colored pencils in the last month. Honestly, I go in spurts. Sometimes, I want that watercolor feel and the stroke of a brush…and then there come the days when I long for the detail and intensity you get from colored pencils. And then…there’s the days when I want both. On the Christmas picture below, I laid down a wash of watercolor where I wanted the general colors to go, and then intensified and detailed it with colored pencil. So, so happy with all the textures and color my colored pencils give! Now, I’m about to go into a pen and ink spurt…

Anyway, that’s all for this post. Hope you enjoyed it!



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Servants of Righteousness

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.

1 Peter 2:24

“He himself” (the perfect Lamb of God, who committed no sin, perfectly fulfilling the law of God) “bore our sins” (our disobedience that earned us death) “in his body on the tree…” He died on the cross, a sinner’s death, taking the full wrath of God on our behalf. His wounds are what bring us life.

Why? So that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Because of what Christ has done, we can leave behind our sinful ways. More than that, we can be counted righteous before God. God paid our sinful debt so that now we can live in Christ’s righteousness. We are no longer servants of sin, we belong to righteousness and live for God. Now, we are being made holy so that we can enjoy eternal life with God (Romans 6:22).

This is grace.

Studio Update:

The garden has been going crazy in the last two weeks! There’s peas and beans and lettuce…and squash bugs and weeds, too. Tomatoes are blooming, eggplant is blooming, squash is setting on. We just dug up a bunch of potatoes yesterday. Anyway, between the garden, camp, and other busy weekends, I’ve been pretty focused on one project this month (pictures below). Hoping to ramp back up in July to work on some more fabrics and some just-for-fun projects.

Also, here are a few more how-to-draw worksheets, if you’re interested in trying them out.

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Christ’s Righteousness

God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

We are sinners. Each of us, when given the choice, would always choose our ways over God’s. We naturally choose to love and serve ourselves rather than our Creator. In doing so, we set ourselves in direct opposition to God’s standard of righteousness. How, then, can can we become the righteousness of God?

Only through Jesus. Jesus was fully God and fully man, he was tempted in every way just like we are yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). In the Garden of Gethsemane, leading to the cross, Jesus showed his perfect and selfless obedience, praying “Not my will, but Yours be done.” In Hebrews 7:26, the Bible says that Jesus was “holy, innocent, unstained…” “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22) Jesus’ righteousness is the only righteousness that can stand before a holy God. Only his perfect life satisfies the law of God.

Jesus, the only sinless man, humbly bore the consequence of our sin (death). He stood in our place, so that we could be counted righteous. When we turn from our sin and put our trust in Jesus alone, our sinful debt is paid. Now, in Christ, when God looks at us, He sees Christ’s righteousness instead of our own self serving ways.

This is grace.

Studio Update:

Well, things are moving quickly toward summer. The last of the peonies are falling apart and the garden is in full swing. Not everything is quite in the garden yet, but we’ve got most of the veggies in and the zinnias and cosmos are up. The garden is quite busy these days and there are yet more plants to get in!

But, I did manage to work on some art along the way. I wrapped up my colored pencil picture with some watercolor/brush lettering, and I am quite pleased with how it turned out. There are so many projects I want to work on, but not enough hours in the day. So…I guess I just have to enjoy the projects I do have time for, and keep the other projects ready for when I do have more time.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by!


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God’s Mercy

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved…

Ephesians 2:1-2

At the beginning of Ephesians 2, we are reminded of our sin problem. “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…carrying out the desires of the body and mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (v 1-3). We were dead in our sins. We had no hope for judgment day. Eternal death was our sentence before we were even born.

“But God.” This is the biggest, most glorious contrast in the Bible! Everything pivots from looking at our sin and hopeless state, to gazing upon the mercy of our God. We now have hope! Because God is merciful, because He loves us so much, He made us alive with Christ! He forgave us our sin, and Jesus took the punishment we deserved.

Not only are we spared the punishment we deserve for our trespasses and sins, we are seated with Christ! We are given an inheritance with Jesus, blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1)! We are given above and beyond what we deserve.

This is grace.

Studio Update:

So much happens in a month! The daffodils have come and gone, and so have the tulips, too. We had some really amazing tulips this year, and I wish now that I’d taken some pictures. The peonies are budding up, we’ve planted lots of veggies and flowers in the garden, and every week something new is blooming!

As for the art, I got out my colored pencils for some more butterflies. (Butterflies and colored pencils were just meant to be together). Between this project and the garden (among other things), I’ve been pretty busy, so I haven’t worked on a lot of other projects besides a handful of doodles.

Anyway, hope this encourages you, and thanks for stopping by!