Tag Archives: art

A Woman’s Life by Stonehouse

By Stonehouse, the artist

I just wanted to share this beautiful “live” drawing as a reminder to see past what we think we know about the women around us.

My sister-in-law, Dawn, recently shared these words from a Twila Paris song, “Same Girl,” in the comments at this blog, a post about my mom, who is dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Picture with me if you can, a little girl in a younger land, running, playing, laughing, growing stronger. But now her aged limbs have failed and her rosy cheeks have paled. Look beyond the lines ’til you remember. She’s still the same girl running down the hill, she’s still the same girl, memories vivid still. Listen to her story and her eyes will glow. She’s still the same girl, and we need her so…”

My mom on the right.
My mom on the right. 1942?

“Listen to her story and her eyes will glow…”  This is true of every woman, from the little girl so small she can barely express in words, to a young woman falling n love for the first time, to a harried wife and mother who is living to serve and run. It is true as the children leave the nest and the gray hair emerges. It is truer than true as age and aches and pains become the norm, And it is true for even the woman who is struggling to maintain some sense of who she is while suffering dementia.

{{Listen to her story: from my youngest granddaughter and the bigger ones, too, to my lovely daughters, to my sister and the sweetest sister-in-laws I have been blessed with to my cherished mamala, and all the dearest of friends and godly women who have invested in me and younger women who so kindly allow me access to their hearts...}}

My mom on the right.
My mom on the right. 1940?

If some one, anyone, will just listen, we have a story to tell. We know some things, in spite of anything we’ve forgotten or how old-fashioned and outdated we may seem to have become. Because where you are, we once were, too.

My mom on the left. School days. She might be 8 or 9 in this photo.
My mom on the left. School days. She might be 8 or 9 in this photo.

And to tell you, too, that even as Alzheimer’s robs my mom of more and more of her abilities, her confidence and cognitive skills, what we are seeing is, miracle of miracles, Norma Jean :: the little girl who loves all the pretty things and all the people and has the simplest faith – she re-emerges, she is herself, true and pure. “She’s still the same girl, and we need her so!”

Me, my mom, and my little sister :: out on the town
Me, my mom, and my little sister :: out on the town, Avon, IN. Oct. 2015


Everyone with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s.” – www.alz.org

See more things I have written about this Alzheimer’s journey here

Being Right.

Tested and tried.

For various companies, I have had to endure those tests for personality type or right brain/left brain analysis, so that whichever supervisor at the time could try to figure out how to get more work out of me or whatever (or perhaps why I was so dang amazing).  And basically, I have always, whether on a sliding scale or a grid, tested out on the brain thing almost dead-center.  One time slightly more in to the right and others just over the left line.

Today I tried again, online.  One test scored me this way:

Left Brain Dominance: (11)

Right Brain Dominance: (10)

Another scored me like this:

Left Brain 53%

Right Brain 47%

So see?  Close.

But here is the deal.  I think truly, I am supposed to be right-brained.  And that I am actually right-brained, but that some invisible lid has been placed to squelch it.  In fact, I can remember being a little ashamed when the numbers went more right – like I was going to let down the company because of it or something.

I started to do a quick Google search about right-brained people and this is the very negative menu that began to pop up.  What the…

When I experience art…

I love zeal and passion and creativity and creative people’s gifts and abilities amaze me.  When I hear an amazing lyric to just the most intoxicating melody, or read a poem which strings words together I’d never thought of, or experience a painting with colors that  actually make me salivate – first, I go utterly speechless.  Just…nothing.  Then I start trying to explain it in thousands of words…but can’t really.

And I wish to create like that too.  I want to be a poet and a painter, a singer and a writer.  I am happiest  during inspiration, those times heaven just passes through you and you get all things divine and can suddenly reveal them through whatever your art.

Mercedes-Benz: music

But creativity is only rewarded on Etsy and Pinterest.

I am mostly kidding about that.  But you know what I mean.  In job interviews, they never ask you what you last created – which would be so insightful, wouldn’t it?

And I think I have unwittingly, at times,  succumbed to the right-brain-bashing so prevalent in our logic and reason culture.  I actually had a pastor call me forward in church once to speak a “Word of Knowledge”* over me, during which he spent  15 minutes insulting me (and my husband and our two greatest-ever friends) for being creative, saying things like “right-brained people are just ‘differn’t,’ they’re just differn’t.”  And believe me when I tell you he didn’t mean that in a o-she-is-such-a-unique-creation-of-God kind of way.  I crept back to my seat in shame for being openly creative, passionate and colorful, for daring to live as a multi-faceted, colors-of-the-rainbow, life-filled, green-leafed, curious, and zesty reflection of the Creator.  And the lid is tightened.

Mercedes-Benz: paint

Dance like David; Preach like Paul.

There was a contemporary Christian song out in the 70s that I cannot find and I can’t remember the artist or even all the words, but what I do remember of the lyric is this,  I wanna dance like David, preach like Paul….

New-Testament-Paul and Old-Testament-David are two of my heroes in the faith.  Both strong men, Paul was as good at arguing a case for even the logic in the mysteries of  the faith, and quite pragmatic in his understanding the workings of the Holy Spirit – as David was in penning words that that he must surely have heard in  heavenly realms.  We still sing his passionate prose today, pattern our music after that which so pleased the Lord.  One might be able to make a case for Paul being left-brained, and David, right.  For Paul being able to make a point by point, logical dissertation on the law and its’ fulfillment through Christ, and for David being able to lead a whole nation in raucous dance and worship before the Lord.  In undies.

Left vs right.

So, they say left brained people are more logical, analytical and objective.  And they say that right-brained people are more intuitive, thoughtful and subjective.  And I just think we live in a culture that rewards one and dismisses the other too quickly.  Think school budgets: what gets cut first?

This Mercedes-Benz (passion) ad says: “I am the right brain.  I am creativity.  A free spirit.  I am passion.  Yearning.  Sensuality.  I am the sound of roaring laughter.  I am taste.  The feeling of sand beneath bare feet.  I am movement.  Vivid colors.  I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas.  I am boundless imagination.  Art.  Poetry.  I sense.  I feel.  I am everything I wanted to be.”  And I might add: everything God created me to be + a wild-ox as spoken of in Psalm 92.

And I am just saying

Maybe I am just writing a declaration for myself, but I want to create like the Creator.  Can you imagine 6 whole days to create anything you want and then a 7th just to enjoy it all?  I want to re-learn to value what I instinctively valued as a carefree little girl (soooooooooooo many years ago), that pen-to-paper and color and glue and mess and trying-something-even-if-it-turns-out-disastrously just in case in the process there is that one moment of glory is not only acceptable, but strongly desired!  I want to add wild fits of invention and color into the ordered, mundane moments of my day.  And I would like for my left-brain, logical sensibilities to quit hampering my right-brain intuition and wide-open thoughts, which are the beautiful meadow-lands of my dreams.  Why the heck must logic  and objectivity be at war with dreams?

No right-brain bashing.  Not even by my own left-brain.


*Word of Knowledge:  This is a spiritual gift listed in 1 Corinthians 12.  It is a divine revelation of knowledge given by the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes these “words” are factual in nature.  An intercessor may impart things God has revealed to them about the person being prayed for, sometimes there is a calling out, like when Jesus told the Samaritan woman she’d been married 5 times and the new guy wasn’t even her husband.  In my writing above, I put “Word of Knowledge” in quotations because in retrospect, and with grace for this particular pastor, he was not sharing any supernatural revelation nor the heart of God at all, but rather his opinion that creative people are weird.  It was delivered as a Word of Knowledge, but was a sad misuse of spiritual authority, I believe.  And that is a huge topic for another day.


Tristan + Mozart + Arnold + Hills that are Alive = {what country?}

Tristan went to Austria to play drums for a missions worship team recently.

Austria has chocolate and really good pastry (and tafelspitz, and germkenodel). and is where Arnold Schwarzenegger came from.  Julie Andrews made their hills famous as she twirled and sang.  Lots o’ composers were from this little nation (Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, Brahms and more).  It is mainly Catholic, but mostly in a traditional, religious way.  And it is a great mission field.


Tris and the worship team take on the castle.

Got to see pictures and hear his experience last night.  The missionaries throw country music into the worship set list because people are drawn to that.  A little Keith Urban here, a little Brad Paisley there.  But they did not “get” Brad’s song, “I’m Gonna Miss Her,” about a guy whose wife gives him  an ultimatum.  They thought they were misunderstanding the translation and asked, “Why would a man choose fishing over his wife?”  Perplexed, they were.  


And it turns out they are NOT fans of “The Sound of Music.”  Tris said they find it campy and believe it paints them in a bad light, to which my husband speculated sarcastically, “You mean because they sided with the Germans?!”    Never-mind him, Tris.  You went.  You played.  You ministered!

And everytime one of Tristan’s photos did show some beautiful hills, it was hard for me not to break into song.  They did get that right!


I doubt this Austrian street drummer knew he was no match for our Tristan.  Ahem.

When my kids go, I stay and pray.  My honor to do so, to share my kiddos with the nations!  And  Tristan is wonderful.  He brought us Mozart’s Balls (chocolate truffles, people) from the land of “singing hills” and coffee, too.  Yum! 


Stormie got baking chocolate.  Mmmm…what loveliness awaits us this holiday season, I wonder?  NOTE:  Careers with McDonalds are available there, it seems.

Wanna hear some awesome Holy-Spirit-anointed drumming by Tristan Kelley?  Right HERE!  Click on “Freedom” (also down-loadable) for 34 minutes of his playing with scriptures on the topic read by Pastor Lewis Brown and Lewis Brown Junior (Proxy).  Very cool!

In other family-missionary travels news…

Mary Jean just returned from 6 weeks Scotland, England, Estonia, and Norway~

That woman travels and teaches!  AND she brought me ART!  A signed and numbered piece called Heart Garden in a series of paintings about the heart (from Proverbs 4.23)…isn’t it beautiful?   There is actually so much to look at in all the details!

Check out the website by clicking here!  You’ll find English translations by scrolling on down.