Monday, December 19, 2011
My Christmas present this year is being introduced to two remarkable stories, those of Josh Elliot & Bethany Hamilton (who I was introduced to through experiencing the movie "Soul Surfer" the night before Josh and I prayed over 'marymakesart for hope+healing"!)...and remembering Paul on his journeys: In Acts, Paul's & his fellow travelers were guided about where to go by the Spirit of Jesus (aka: the Holy Spirit, part of the three in One), who led this troop by vision, circumstances, good sense or use of prophetic gifts. As I read about Paul's journey with Timothy, Silas & Luke I discovered a strong parallel to The Spirit letting me know when and where to bring the traveling exhibition and who would be most encouraged by receiving a piece of art. Sunday He led me to Josh Elliot. Josh is a marine who recently returned home after a whole lot of physical therapy (which is continuing) after losing his legs, a few fingers & his eardrums after an explosion while searching for an IED on April 18 in Aphghanistan. "Whose hands are you in", his fellow marines asked as they helped rescue him. "I'm in God's hands" was his response. I was inspired to create this piece of art when my friend Jim was imbedded in Aphghanistan to write an "extreme travel" report for Traveling Boy. As we prayed for his safety I thought about all of the believers who have prayed daily for soldiers abroad. They are represented in the left side of the piece, the strings represent their prayers going out to soldiers in war who travel amidst dark places on behalf of our safety (this is visually indicated by the dark, right half of the piece). Both Bethany and Josh's lives inspire me to send out a message: "Giving Blood Saves Lives"...this is true both in the literal sense (the transfusion of blood saved the lives of Bethany and greatly helped Josh) and in the sense that God is using their shed blood to be used as a powerful catalyst to tell people about the promises of Jesus Christ. Their lives are breathing examples of Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose". A friend asked how I can look back at Chloe's and my health issues/surgeries with a smile. The above was my responese. It just came to mind that my life and the lives of Bethany and Josh are eternal. Our time here is not all the time we have--it's momentary--and we want to use it to tell other people about the love of Jesus despite and through tough times...that the Christian life does not mean we are going to be pain free...it means that God will come along side us and work amazing things to His glory, bringing freedom to others...and promising new bodies for eternity (this, I have to admit, is a bonus to look forward to!)! Praise the Lord! The good outweights the pain and giving blood saves lives!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Last Wednesday I was blessed to be a part of a show for the emerging VALA group in Redmond, Washinton, who are there to support artists through providing venues. It was an unexpected and wonderful event full of conversation about the hope+healing project and a lot of encouraging moments with wonderful patrons (thank you!). The piece of art shown was one of many in the new "postage" series, celebrating the idea of the hope+healing project enouraging people all over the world! If you are interested in any of these pieces, please hop on over to www.marymakesart.etsy.com and help support us!
A special thank you for the conversation between myself and someone at the Sammamish Starbucks...what an incredible thing to be able to give a piece of art to encourage you and your wife. (she is a woman who is suffering physically--please join us in praying for her!) We hope you are blessed by the piece of art we sent via your husband and are already gathered in prayer on your behalf. healing, rest and comfort to you!!!! "hope into dispair" is what I have learned from you and hope to pass on to others. What you are experiencing is being used to produce encouragement for others already.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
What a wonderful morning at Yakima Foursquare Church! I will be posting the video created by Matt and the video crew, who captured the essence of what hope+healing is all about...wow. I am so thankful for you guys! If any of you YFC folks would like to talk about the current exhibition, please contact me using the number or email on the information sheet. Thank you to all of you for making this morning a beautiful experience, for sharing your stories with me and contributing to our pay off the medical bills fund. Ahhhh...what a blessing! Please let me know how viewing the art affected you personally...I love the stories about what and how God speaks to you all through the art. (Any posts can be sent to: Mary Portteus, P.O. Box 1356, Zillah, Wa. 98953)Through the opening of this exhibition, I hope for doors to open to Yakima hospitals in the coming months. I am still healing from some after effects of the last surgery...so I'm giving that some time to work itself out and then we're ready to hang a hospital exhibition and create more dolls to give to pediatric patients. If any of you are interested in sponsering a "marymakesart for hope+healing" home show, I would love to hear from you and plan for the holiday season. I will post more regarding that soon!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I have recently been walking through Portteus vineyards, drawing and painting...What an amazing opportunity after six long years of surgeries. I am able to recover, rest, and exercise to become stronger. I am able to be surrounded by the beauty of the Yakima Valley in Washington State and marinate in God's love while beginning to pour out images, color, line and emotion on canvas, paper, wood...whatever I can create on! I will post these pieces as they form...this is where God's 'pillar of cloud' has led us. We are growing and healing. In the near future, I will dive back into the hope+healing project at hospitals in Yakima and Seattle possibilities...more to come!
Sunday, March 13, 2011
This month a show bearing the culmination of the journey of healing thus far is hung at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise. While dear friends of mine helped put the pictures into place (a special thanks included to the volunteer department at St. Als!), doctors, hospital staff and patients walked by, took it all in and filled the hall with comments of having been encouraged and inspired. This is the purpose of the exhibition--to bring life, color, hope & encouragement into a place where fear and the unknown are often prevelant. I was in tears, feeling closure to this chapter of the journey. Of course, six weeks later, I hope that this has been the last surgery...but I am encouraged either way. I have experienced more hope and goodness than pain. I hope I can pass this along through the show...and many more to come!
so much has happened since this picture was taken. first off, this is the best i've looked after coming off of anesthesia ever. i was so thankful to feel good and go home that day. the surgery went well and hopefully it will be the last of six along this journey. a cure to pelvic adhesive disease continues to be a bit elusive. regarding healing, we pray that this is it! so far so good. i am learning and have learned patience in the midst of waiting, calm in the midst of pain, the ability to slow down with more grace than i previously had (still learning on this one). again, thank you to everyone who has offered support during another step along the way. we are thankful for family and friends who are with us always.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
It's the Wine and Chocolates event at Portteus winery in the Yakima Valley, the place we grew up in. It is a time of rest and recovery. I am thrilled to report that marymakesart had it's first show in a long time! We were able to raise enough funds to purchase more poly fil 'silky soft' to stuff dolls. Now we can prepare to give dolls away at St. Alphonsus Hospital in conjunction with the second destination of the traveling art exhibition. As I settle in for the night with my cup of decaf Earl Grey I am thankful for a successful day of not only bringing in funds for "hope+healing", but having great conversation sharing the vision with people who came through the winery for the event...and I am grateful for a body that is finally able to handle the beginning of a new season of shows and exhibitions. God is good!
p.s. note the new addition to marymakesart, handmade paper flowers! coming soon to the etsy site!
Monday, February 7, 2011
A new crop of creation is happening! I am ready to put on the garments of praise in exchange for the heaviness of all that pain! I am still healing, and hoping that when the process is complete, these garments will be too! After finishing seams, hems, necklines and so forth, I will paint and print on the garments, creating wearable art. I look forward to posting the completed series when it is finished! Here is a sneak peek at the garments in process. Special thanks to my dear friend Rachel for inspiring me to continue the work.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Since I last entered a post, I have been resting and saving what pain free time I have for my family. As we receive our internet from our local favorite coffee place, the Flying M, sometimes it takes me a while to get here and post. But here I am, six days before surgery, one morning after the hilarious funeral my girlfriends threw for the ovary that is going away (that's a good thing, at this point...but we are holding out for healing in any form God chooses!). One of the benefits of quieting myself between writings is that God gives me all sorts of lovely ideas to work on whilst reclined. The latest of these came when I listened to Sondre Lerche's version of "Let My Love Open the Door to Your Heart"...love this artist's version from the Dan in Real Life sound track. Anyhoo, whenever I hear those lyrics I think of how Jesus is saying the same thing to all of us everyday at every moment. I have struggled with my heart becoming slightly closed...you know...those moments where one feels like they've just had enough. Every time this happens Jesus puts these lyrics into my head and reminds me to keep up with the act of 'reclined creating' ;D rather than just lying down and giving up. Picutred here is the beautiful result. I see hundreds and hundreds of these being given to patients who are exhausted from days on end of pain...with notes of prayer inside from folks who are praying for hope & healing to those who are suffering. If you would like to become a partner in praying about and writing a note to someone in the hospital, please leave your address. I'll send you a little "door note" , which has an expandable inside note ready for you to write in. In turn, you'll send it back to me and it will make its way to a patient! How exciting is this!!!???