My husband gave me a wonderful gift this Christmas. He gave me the gift of two nights alone in a hotel room. And while I was there he sent me flowers, and I had a spa treatment and went to tea.

It was all lovely. Exactly what I needed to recharge, refocus, and reorient my life. You see, it being the end of one year and the beginning of another one, I had done some reflecting and realized that while nothing was exactly wrong with my life, that it was a bit out of whack.

It needed to be reoriented. I needed to reset and find my true North again. The time away gave me just the time needed to do that. I drank a lot of water and did a lot of yoga and read and slept (glorious sleep!) and prayed and journaled and basically, went back to the priorities I had pre-kids.

I remembered what it was like to matter and to do things I want to do when I want to do them. Sacrificing for others is wonderful and it is noble and motherhood, like most callings, requires oodles of it. But sometimes you just need to refresh by unplugging completely.

I came home restored and refreshed and back in love with my life. My husband and I both agree to make these get aways happen a little more frequently.

Reorienting included making time to paint, so . . . . Here’s the latest.

It is a shameless embrace of Kelly Rae’s style, but in order to learn as much technique as possible, it was necessary. It is the result of the second lesson in her angel series found here.

Happy New Year!

Capture. Reproduce. Share.

Sounds scandalous as a title. But this morning I was eating breakfast out and a painting caught my attention. It did so because I knew I’d been there. To that physical place. Or very near.

It was clearly near Abiquiu, with the red hills rising in the background and the river running in the fore. A beautiful place, to be sure.

But this artist loved it so much that he wanted to capture it. To reproduce it and share it with others.

Who knows, but that he lugged some paints and a canvas and an easel through the southwestern weather to find just that spot. I hope he brought a sun hat. And plenty of water. And he may have even visited on multiple occasions.

He sacrificed because the beauty of the place captured him.

I want to love Jesus that way. I want to be so inspired by the beauty of his love and his life that I am compelled to capture it; to reproduce it in my own life so that I can share it with others.

I think maybe that’s what Jesus wanted us to do when he said “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 22:37-39