The Fires in the Smokies {...and restoration, and mountain angels...}

After the horrific fires in the Great Smoky Mountains national park, and the city of Gatlinburg, my husband and I needed to visit our beloved Cades Cove.  Part of me needed reassurance that these places that have sheltered my heart all my life can and will (eventually) recover, and heal, and just be okay again.

Along with countless others, I have ached over the devastation.

This image, rendered after our day trip, will always speak of restoration to me.  Through the worst of destruction, God brings about supernatural restoration.  He gives back all the fruit of the land that was seemingly lost to crime, famine, natural or man-made disaster - as told in the story found in the Bible in 2 Kings chapter 8:

"Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”

I believe there are Smoky Mountain angels..."officials"...given the sole task of restoring everything that has been stolen from the beautiful mountain people of Gatlinburg and surrounding area, who have been exiled from their previous existence, their homes, and their businesses.  

Of course, the lives lost can never be recovered.  Never.  

But someday, somehow, joy can and will be "given back" to these mountains.

(prints available here)  50% of all proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross

"Gathered" {...encouragement in poetry...}

I am near-fifty
And the broken barleybread
Of my mistakes and small thinking
Lay scattered throughout 
This silent house.

Art for Art's Sake

Part of my fall "bucket list" is to make even more "art for the sake of art".

So yesterday, after many days of tending to quite literally crisis after crisis...

(see this link to donate to hurricane disaster relief for the nation of Haiti.  The Preacher, also known as my pastor-husband, is the president of Bethanie Missions of Haiti, and we can personally guarantee that every dollar goes directly to water filters, food, and the rebuilding homes for the people there.  He will be heading down in a few weeks, as a matter of fact.  If you know other ministries personally, please donate there.  But if you do not personally know a "boots on the ground" ministry in Haiti, we are, at Harvest Church, boots on the ground.)

...The Preacher and I escaped to our favorite spot.  We needed to talk, laugh, sketch, dream, and I needed to shoot around with my new toy...