A Special Bouquet for Carmen

Pure creativity is such a sacred time – love this post by my friend Brunhilde Luken.

Brunhilde Luken, artist and writer

It was an exciting wonderful summer day. My thoughts went back to the time when my children were little. Now they are all grown up with children and some grandchildren of their own. For a second, time stood still. In my mind I watched them play and giggle and laugh. They were so happy. Thankful to our Lord for being able to remember it all. I thought, “Today is a good day to paint a special bouquet.” As I started to play-paint, I truly felt this was my playtime.

I put a first layer on and washed it off, this was a perfect background. As I started to paint, I could picture this in my daughter Carmen’s kitchen. With so much love in my heart, my brushes moved over the canvas with such ease creating this beautiful bouquet of flowers. I knew God gave me this special gift for my…

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Recognizing the creative person within

I manage a blog for a dear friend with a beautiful heart. I just had to share her latest post with you. It reflects what I wrote in chapter 5 of my book, River of Grace, which describes a similar idea — that we are all called to create with what we have been given. To find that storehouse of creative energy, we must get in touch with our Creator who fuels that energy. My friend Brunhilde uses her creativity to inspire us to come closer to God. The beauty of her paintings and her words is a great way to start that movement towards the One who created our vast world, and us, out of nothing. We in turn, have all of his creation at our disposal to use towards bettering our world and drawing closer to each other in love.

Brunhilde has recommended a book that I will be ordering for myself soon.

I hope you enjoy this lovely reflection.

Psalm 42:2-3, “As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I enter and see the face of God.” When I created this painting I truly cried out to the Lord, not in sadness but in love to […]

via In Prayer and Meditation — Brunhilde Luken, artist and writer

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Read my other blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

 

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How brush and paint revealed the freeing power of the Holy Spirit

Recently I was asked by The Catholic Free Press to cover a painting class at St. John the Baptist in East Brookfield, MA (see Artwork unveils many colors of God)

Paint and prayer

It was not the usual “Paint with a Twist” class where there is wine served in a party atmosphere. Instead, we would be praying with words, song, brush and paint.

Reluctant to participate

The teacher had to cajole me to participate as I was concerned about covering the story and taking photographs.

I had not painted since high school and had long since forgotten how to create art in that fashion. My memories consisted mainly of my frustration at painting because I micromanaged the process rather than allowing that process to direct my brush strokes. By the end of high school I had given up on it.

As I found myself in front of that blank, black canvas, I wondered how I could ever be able to paint again. In the end, the distraction of covering the story proved to be a blessing. Continue reading “How brush and paint revealed the freeing power of the Holy Spirit”

Sharing our colored pictures from the Harmony Coloring Book

Have you gotten your free copy of the Harmony Coloring book yet?

It’s easy to get one. Simply sign up for my email list and I’ll send you the link to download your free copy. There are other surprises too! You can sign up here. I send out only one email per week to let you know about new posts and other news.

Here are some sample pages.

I created the drawings from my photographs:

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I invite you to share your colored-in pages.

My friend Val send me these. She wrote to me, “I love the pages! Thank you again for offering this to us.”

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by val manseau2-640

I colored in the cover:

front page

Do you have pictures to share?

Take a photo with your phone and send it to me. I’d love to share.

Do you have friends that like to color? Share this post with them:

Click to Tweet & Share: Love nature and animals? Love to color? Come get your free copy of the Harmony Coloring Book! http://tinyurl.com/jnb3d9l

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Many people find coloring to be a wonderful way to relax and experience harmony in their lives. Is that you? Join my Email List to subscribe to this blog and receive your free Harmony coloring book (and more).

Susan Bailey, Author, Speaker, Musician on Facebook and Twitter
Read my other blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

 

 

 

Bringing harmony into your life through coloring

Remember what it was like to lay sprawled out on the floor surrounded by crayons, markers and pencils, filling in the pages of your favorite coloring book?

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After finishing a picture, I would hold it up, admire my work and run to show it to my mom and dad.

Feels good

crayola crayons

There was something about coloring that just felt good, especially with a large box of Crayola Crayons (especially if it had a Sea Green crayon). Continue reading “Bringing harmony into your life through coloring”

Book Review: My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok – a soul-searching must for every creative

my name is asher lev large by chaim potok-640My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I haven’t known a book to affect me so profoundly as My Name is Asher Lev. The conflict is deep, searing, cutting to the core. It helped me to understand better the nature of being a creative person and the sacrifice it takes to be authentic and honest, even to the point of hurting others. The book is a long, slow burn, every page necessary to set up the final conflict. At the end I was racing through, dreading the end as tears sprung to my eyes and yet terribly curious about how the author would resolve the conflict. How grateful I am that there is a part two, The Gift of Asher Lev, now waiting for me at the library, ready to be picked up in just a few minutes. Continue reading “Book Review: My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok – a soul-searching must for every creative”

A beautiful Thanksgiving meditation

I am pleased to present this guest post from Brunhilde Luken, a painter and spiritual writer. I met Brunhilde several years ago as we were both members of the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester. She is one of those people that truly wears her heart on her sleeve–you know you’ve met someone who is authentic with an inner beauty that draws you into her creative works.

I can’t think of a better way to remember Thanksgiving than through this lovely meditation of image and words. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


In a few days we are celebrating Thanksgiving; it is a wonderful day set aside to celebrate with family and friends to give thanks. I am especially thankful to live in a country where I can celebrate and proudly confess my Catholic faith. A faith that stood firm generation after generation.

I am also thankful that we can hold hands with all our neighbors, friends and all those that cross our path, Christian and non-Christian alike, where we allow each one to be free. A country where we can share the love that Christ brought into the world for all of us alike. We have to remember He died on the cross for all the world. These are hard times right now. There is so much suffering in the world right now. At times we all suffer. By embracing our suffering, God will pull us closer to Him. This will help us to pray for all. Let us all pray especially for those that need it most. Let us share the gifts that God gave us. When we pray we speak to God, when we read the scripture, God speaks to us. A Gift given to all of us, a gift we can share with all.

Touched by the Spirit 2015

 

We are the ones to show the face of Christ to the world, and to see the face of Christ in everyone. Let each moment be a moment of thanks. I am also most thankful for each one of you.

I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving, may God’s blessing be upon you and your whole family.

Psalm 95

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth.
The heights of the hills are His also
The sea is His, for He made it.
And His hands formed the dry land.
Oh come let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God.
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
When your fathers tested me;
They tried me, though they saw my work
For forty years I was grieved with that generation.
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their heart.
And they do not know my ways.’
So I swore in my wrath’,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’ ”

Let us bow our heads in Thanksgiving to the Almighty, the “I AM WHO I AM”, “FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT.”

You can find more of Brunhilde’s lovely paintings at her website, http://brunhildeluken.fineartstudioonline.com/.Her book, My Walk with Christ, is available on Amazon.
You can read other posts and see her paintings here.

Taking a moment to just … be …

Last Sunday was a stressful day. It was one of many.

Sometimes life travels too fast. The plate becomes full to overflowing. Carrying a load of worry and frustration can become oppressive.

Time to off load my burden … time to take out the kayak. Continue reading “Taking a moment to just … be …”

A gift from my sister: It’s never too late to live your passion

My older sister is a wonderful painter so I commissioned her to paint the Be As One bridge. Isn’t it beautiful?

http://christinehoylehoude.fineartstudioonline.com/
http://christinehoylehoude.fineartstudioonline.com/

My sister has ties to this bridge just as I do. She wrote the following on her website:

“The Wellesley College Bridge is iconic to me as is Wellesley College.  My family and I have a rich history there.  It all started with my mother who attended Wellesley College many years ago.  My husband and I were married there followed by my son Jeff and Amanda, who were married right out on the lawn near to this bridge.  There are photographs of us on the bridge with Azaleas and Dogwood blooming on our wedding day.  My sister captured this image on a beautiful Spring day while she was out in her kayak.”

Christine is like me, acting on her passion after raising a family and helping to run a successful business. In her retirement she is making up for lost time, just like I am with my reading and writing. On her website she writes,

“So now I am becoming the artist I always wanted to be and feel so inspired by it every day!  It is NEVER too late to start and make that change to be who you really are.”

I couldn’t agree more!

Visit Chris’ website at http://christinehoylehoude.fineartstudioonline.com to see the rest of her paintings and to order your print.

 What is your passion? How are you living it? Are you like Christine and me, living your passion after your kids have grown? Share your stories.

Click to Tweet & Share: A gift from my sister: It’s never too late to live your passion http://wp.me/p2D9hg-CE

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A quintessential New England autumn in Concord, Massachusetts

Autumn in New England this year has been positively spectacular. In central Massachusetts where I live, the color is peaking this week. I haven’t seen such brilliant reds, yellows and oranges in years. Driving down the Massachusetts Turnpike every morning greeted by the rolling hills of fiery colors tucked among still-green trees starts starts off my day just right.

This is autumn to me.

A Massachusetts autumn to me is not complete without a visit to my beloved Concord. Transcendentalism flowered here for a time in the mid 19th century represented by such luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Amos Bronson Alcott and Margaret Fuller. Nathaniel Hawthorne also called Concord his home although he did not subscribe to  Transcendentalism.

Little Women was written in Louisa’s bedroom – the physical setting for the book was Orchard House.

One of the most beloved books in children’s literature, Little Women, was written by the daughter of Bronson Alcott, Louisa May. I have been studying Louisa on and off all my life and since 2010, consider myself a full-time student. I blog regularly about her on Louisa May Alcott is My Passion.

Last Saturday I spent some time at the Concord Free Public Library in their Special Collections room pouring over the diary of Louisa’s oldest sister Anna (aka, Meg in Little Women). The bright sun and cool, crisp air beckoned and I took the walk that Louisa and so many other famous authors walked, down historic Lexington Road, to her home (the setting for Little Women), Orchard House.

Between the gorgeous day and beautiful trees, the lovely antique homes and the history I pondered while walking … you can perhaps appreciate why being in Concord in autumn is a mystical experience for me.

Enjoy this virtual tour and I hope someday you can visit this special place too. If you have visited, share a comment about your experience. We’d love to hear!

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Click to Tweet & Share: Concord in autumn … mystical… join me for a virtual tour of fiery leaves, antique homes & extraordinary history http://wp.me/p2D9hg-gm

Would you like to learn along with Susan how to live your life
in single flow?
Send an email to susanwbailey@gmail.com
to subscribe, and never miss a post!
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Listen to Susan’s music Read Susan’s blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion