Shelter

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 Shelter

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High,

Will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty,

He alone is my place of refuge, my place of safety,

He will shelter you with His wings,

He will shelter you with His feathers,

His faithful promises are your protection”.

                                                 

                     Psalm 91.

Sometimes , storms come  ” out of the blue” in life, and threaten to overwhelm us. We have felt secure and suddenly life events threaten to wash us away! Where is there a safe place in the Storms of Life? Psalm 91 says that God promises to shelter those who come to Him for protection. He promises  a place of safety, tucked under His wings , and close to His heart we can find a safe place in any storm .To find that place  of safety, we must let go of our own efforts to save ourselves, and run to “The shelter of the Most High”

I painted “Shelter” at a time when we lost a dear friend in a drowning accident .In my painting a girl sleeps safely, sheltered by a comforting wing . The wing could also represent a wave. Surfers know that the safest place to be is in the barrel of the wave. I don’t know much about surfing but it seems to me that this also requires surrender, to let the wave take you safely ashore . When I am overwhelmed I know I need to run to the shelter of God’s wings, and that I will find comfort and rest in that safe place until the storm passes. ” I will say to the Lord “You are my refuge, My God, in whom I trust “Front Cover

Small Beginnings

 

 

Small Beginnings
Small Beginnings

‘Small Beginnings’ an Etching by Hazel Patterson.

Our two daughters are both teachers of small children, and have been very busy, with the run up to Christmas, producing ‘ the school play.’ Traditionally the Christmas play tells the story of the first Christmas. The point of the play is to give each  child a chance to be a part of a production and to entertain and hopefully impress their Mums and Dads with their acting ability.We got an invitation to be part of the audience, as our daughter was the children’s teacher. One of the productions was ‘Call the Midwife’ – an up to date account of ‘ the Nativity’. The little midwife was very cute, in her white nurses uniform,and carried an immense briefcase. She was searching for the  Palace in Bethlehem, so she could assist at a ‘Royal birth’, but Bethlehem is a little insignificant village in the  Judean Hills, with no Royal Palace. She is led by some shepherds, angels and wise men to a stable, and discovers she has come too late to assist at the birth. She realizes this is a special baby. Her conclusion is “I thought he needed me, but I needed Him”. I was disarmed by this childish telling of the Christmas Story, and found tears  in my eyes. What small and humble beginnings for the story of mankind’s redemption! Just as the prophets had said, “But you Bethlehem, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5 v 2).

There is a new  CD release for Christmas, by ‘Pentatonix’, of ‘Mary Did You Know?’, a song about the birth of this new born King. It just about sums up for me the immensity of these small beginnings.

“Mary did you know

that your baby boy would one day walk on water?

Mary did you know

that your baby boy, would save our sons and daughters?

did you know

that your baby boy has come to make you new?

this child that you delivered, will soon deliver you”

cf “Mary did You Know” Pentatonix, lyrics by Mark

Lowry.

.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8ICPwYHolA

 

 

A Child is Born, a Mother is born.

A Child is Born
A Child is Born

I was a child of the sixties, and as a teenager I liked to listen to the ballads

of Judi Collins. .Her songs made motherhood sound like a noble calling.

” had I a golden thread and a needle so fine,

I would weave a magic strand of rainbow design,

in it I would weave the courage of a woman giving birth,

and in it I would weave the innocence of children of all the earth”( Judi Collins)

I  had no concept at that time of the courage of motherhood. I married in my early twenties, and we were soon expecting  our first baby. When my first child was born I discovered that courage and self-sacrifice were born with the baby. Motherhood was a romantic notion until I was expecting my own child. The   carrying of a child in my womb and the labour of  giving birth, some how empowered me with determination to defend and nurture this new life. The hard work of the birthing process developed in me an endurance to give myself to nurture the life of our new baby. I have now had the experience of waiting for a grand child’s arrival, being along side as another mother laboured. I have watched as courage was born  in a mother through giving birth to her child.” The fruit of the womb is a reward ” Psalm 127 v 3.

‘ A Child is Born Mixed Media Print of Steph and Elijahjoys masterpiece

Knitted Together

"You knit me together in my mother,s womb"
“You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139

” Unlike the fictitious space visitor from the edge of the universe, God doesn’t have to ‘wend His way’ through time and space in order to be involved at the beginning of each new life. The Psalmist says, “My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place.” As Creator, He decided which egg would be fertilised and which one of the hundreds of millions of sperm would be successful.”Only He knew the exact genetic code necessary to make you who you are. To put it simply, if a different ‘tadpole’ had won the race, you wouldn’t be here.Whether our parents were planning on having a baby is not the issue. It still is God who is the giver of life, the One who chooses what genetic elements to combine to make us who we are.” (Finding Your Purpose In God’s Plan,  2003, B R Coombs. Treasure House publishing.)

Knitted Together.

I liked the idea of God knitting in the creative process of new life.  Knitting was a concept I understood. As God was knitting together my grandsons Josiah and Elijah in their mothers wombs, I was knitting the tiny garments they would one day wear. For this art piece, I chose golden yarn to convey the value of the new life being formed. My chosen colours are vibrant,  with anticipation . “Your thoughts- how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them” Psalm139 v 17

Life Begins

037_37When I first realised, that I was carrying a new life within me, all those years ago, I looked for every picture I could find of the developing baby in the womb.I discovered Lennart Nilssons book “A Child is Born” (Bantham Doubleday Dell Pub Group) These incredible pictures of the moments after conception, a few hours after the nuclei had fused, looked like an emerging world in a new galaxy.  ” Surrounded by its transparent wall the blastocyst glides into the uterus, moving over the mucus membrane of the uterus, like a lunar landing” It was beyond exciting to me, to be the bearer of a new life, a tiny human being that I would have the joy of nurturing, inside my own body,  and then at my breast, and on through all the developmental stages of childhood, have the honour  of being a mother, to a new human being. The challenge was full of surprises  and learning and eventually letting go. When my eldest son’s wife Steph, and my daughter Heidi were  expecting their first babies, at the same time,I went back to study the pictures of new life in the womb. The excitement of being an expectant grandparent stirred the wonder I had experienced as an expectant mother and I took up my paint brush to be involved in this creative process agaHazel Patterson