Saturday, September 6, 2008

Shared Hope.....

Its been a busy last week or two since returning from California. Getting the kids settled at school and my oldest son ready to start his college classes...preparing my family, my home and my heart for the fall and the gentle shifting of seasons. I can feel God's spirit moving me in ways I have prayed for but in all honesty take me out of what is comfortable and into places me where I can't quite see the plan...but feel it stirring and moving all around me. It can be a bit unnerving if you are someone who wants to see whats below before you jump...and you are being asked to take the leap and trust for all that you will find on the way down and even when you land. But there are times when you are standing at the place of having your vision enlarged and know in your heart the time has long past to watch and wonder what is beyond the leap...that standing is no longer an option. Its a place where you can feel the height of tension between what was and what might be. It seems that even when we resist, question or doubt, God will mercifully usher in a host of signs, visions, kindred spirits and divine appointments. We know what we must do. We must move to the edge and let our feet leave the ground.

I received my beautiful, signed copy of Kelly Rae Roberts new book, "Taking Flight" this past week. I have collected many artistic and creatively inspiring books in the past but this one has moved me in a way that feels deeply personal. Kelly has a gift for expressing her vulnerablity and generously shares her own journey to break free from the fears and internal voices that would have attempted to keep her static and her creative gifts bound up. Each time I have ever corresponded with Kelly her passion for claiming our creative identity is contagious. She is a very special and gifted soul. The print "Harmony" she included with the book carried with it a comfirming message for me. Harmony is possible when I no longer resist where God seems to be taking me and I listen and take the risk to step into the places He is calling. It means hard choices and letting go of what isn't best for me, and making room for the passions He has nurtured all along with in my heart. Sometimes I think we know all along some of the decisions and choices we need to make in order for our path to be opened up and the next steps just takes time to be ready and willing to make them. Its scary yet exhilerating all in the same breath!

This week I was given a wonderful opportunity to have a resource table at an event sponsored by Shared Hope International. Congresswoman and founder, Linda Smith, has a bold passion for the "prevention, rescue and restoration of countless numbers of woman and children being sold and unspeakably abused in the sex trafficking industry in the United states and around the world. It is a heartbreaking and difficult topic for many to hear about but our silence won't help those that are in this form of modern day slavery. I have posted a video below that gives a brief glimpse into this tragedy. I was overwhelmed with compassion and hope for what I might be able to do in some small way to help. This event was a fundraiser for six other non-profit agencies and ministries that are reaching out into our communities to restore lives that have been broken by abuse of many forms. Several hundred attended this beautiful luncheon , watched powerful and moving video presentations from Portland Rescue Mission's Shepards Door, New Life Mission Impossible, Open House, Shared Hope, Vida's Ark and Young Lives Teen Moms and enjoyed inspirational music and speakers. I was especially moved my an organization called "The Defenders" who have taken a pledge to stand against the commercialization of sex and the degradation of women and children that fuels the pornagraphy industry. I shared my artwork as well as information on my upcoming therapuetic collage workshop for survivors at the resource area. My dear friends Florence McDavid from "Journey's Rest" and Traci Nelson of "Still Waters" also shared a beautiful table offering their home and cottage retreat ministires for those who need rest from the weariness of difficult life experiences.

Be sure to pause the music playing on my blog on the right side bar before viewing the video.

I thought I'd share a couple pages I created in my art journal this week. It occurs to me, seeing these pages juxtaposed against the tragedy represented in the video...that there is hope. That amidst the darkness in this world and the horrible acts that are committed against the human soul...we can create beauty from the ashes and offer hope and healing. We can take the leap, have the faith our wings will open, and be carried to the places God needs each of us. Because He so desperately needs our gifts and passions to help Him bring healing, restoration, hope and compassion to our communities and to our world. Our story is an integral part of a much larger story. In the process of reaching out, our wings expand and we are blessed. Thanks for peeking in on my small place in it all.


Candace said...

Incredible, simply incredible post. A lot that is still impacting me. You are doing good work, in your art and in your life and in your example. It is drawing me closer to something I thought long gone... trust? Patience? Leaps of my own faith? Faith itself?

We'll see.
Kind thoughts to you and yours.
(I can't believe you have a college age kid!)

nelda ream said...

I can certainly identify with your trepidation about entering a new phase. Thanks for sharing with us.

I always enjoy your art and blog. I am passing the I Love Your Blog award to you. Please see the details on my blog at

ShellyRaeWood said...

I was privileged to be given an "I Love your blog" award. I am happily passing one on to you!! It can be picked up over at my blog!! :::Smiles::: Enjoy!! Shelly

Marilyn said...

Lani, I always appreciate your art and your words, but my connection to this particular post is loud and sure! Your description about God’s spirit moving in you and the myriad of emotions that are stirred up express so beautifully what I’m experiencing recently. One never knows when or where or how the Spirit’s movement will come to us—I’m just glad I had my eyes and my heart open for this one. Thanks, Lani, you are such a treasure!
I received my copy of Kelly’s book recently also. It is amazing, isn’t it? I also appreciate the sharing of your interpretation of her “Harmony” print—it will add to my enjoyment of this lovely print.

Lisa Kaus said...

Thanks Lani for sharing all of this valuable information. I wish I would have known about the event.. You are such a blessing.