“Let Freedom Ring” Our Honeymon painting & 1 Year Anniversary

Our Honeymoon painting! (Thanks Pastor Jason Brinkley for the Canvas)

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“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” [Isaiah 43:19]

Wasteland. That’s what we were. Completely dry, trying to quench life out of anything we could get our hands on. Whether it be alcohol, drugs, each other, our accomplishments, our appearance, or in a religious system. Just as a desert craves for the rain, our lives longed to be filled with something that fulfilled our needs of security, purpose, acceptance, hope, joy, and unshakeable love ..that’s why nothing could ever satisfy our unquenchable thirst.
“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” -Jesus [John 4:14]

             For years God had been tugging at our hearts & slowly changing us. Then we joined a small group called L.I.F.E. [Living In Freedom Everyday] and God put us on a spiritual catapult! We were finally freed from addictions, pride, shame, rejection, brokenness, depression, fear, the love of money, and so much more! Those things were replaced with the fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

             He also taught us how to see ourselves..not through our past, or failures, or the way others see us, but the way HE sees us. He sees us as pure, holy, blameless in his sight. All of our sin & shame was put on his perfect Son, Jesus. He traded our wickedness with his holiness! He has called us his royal children, heirs to his kingdom! He has said that He has chosen us, even before he made the world, to be holy and without fault in his eyes! [Ephesians 1:4] Of course this does not mean that Jeff & I never mess up. That’s where his grace abounds all the more. God will continue to refine us for the rest of our lives to be more like him.

We got married a couple of weeks after the LIFE retreat on May 24th 2014! Even though we had been together 7 years, it was the perfect timing for our union! I couldn’t think of a better way to start our life together than with God in the center. We painted this picture during our honeymoon & I believe it’s very symbolic to our new life. It’s our love birds song of freedom! It’s a year later & we are new creations! [2 Corinthians 5:17] We are now leading others to step into their freedom and all God has for their lives. We will go and sing our song of victory for all the world to hear and wake others up to life abundantly.

Let freedom ring!

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Relateable Lyrics:
“On The Shores”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4P_1hdtuW8

On the shores of my soul I give you permission
To wash my tears away
And take all my disappointment
Fill me with joy once again

I’m gonna sing out loud And let my voice be heard
It’s a song of victory And its ringing in the earth

On the top of my cage I am sitting
Above the shame so lonely
Your kindness it has lifted me
To see the way that you see

Hallelujah

(Thanks Tom Baker for the beautiful photo!)

Random Jeff quote: “It got a lot brighter when I opened my eyes”…Me sarcastically, “Yes that tends to happen..” 😛

Term that has lost its meaning: Hopelessness

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Baby Brooks’ Painting!

Brooks’ Painting
“I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a Child of God.”

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      We’ve been blessed with three additions to our family this past year! My sister Michelle brought twins into the world in June named Bella & Brooks. My sister Sarah gave birth to her first baby boy, Asher, in July. I’ve been inspired to create them each unique pieces of art & this one goes out to my first lil nephew Brooks!
Baby Brooks has always been the most timid one of the babies. When we started playing the ‘flying game’ with them, his fear of heights was exemplified. While it was his twin sister’s delighted to be lifted high up in the air like super girl, Brooks’ face would grow full of uneasiness and sometimes end in tears. Brooks also gets frightened quite easily at loud or sudden sounds more so than the others. I know these things are probably normal for babies, but one of the most frequent affirmations God gives us in his word is Do Not Be Afraid!
“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
So that is one of my many prayers for little Brooks, to be strong & courageous. To not fear or fret the storms & trials of this life, but to be content in God’s peace. To rest in the knowledge that you are indeed a child of the living God!
There were several songs that I listened to while painting this picture, One of them was exceptionally inspirational & gave me the painting title.
Lyrics:
I’m no longer a slave to fear,
For I am a child of God

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

From my mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again
Into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

He holds the mountains in His hands
And he wrote our name on them
Fear, you will not take our song away

You split the sea so I could walk right through it
My fears are drowned in perfect love
You rescued me so I can stand and sing
I am a child of God
http://bethelmusic.com/video/sunday-moment-jonathan-melissa-helser/

Brooks-web

Brooksy I want you to sing your song boldly in this world. I pray you will fly high & rest in the shadow of Gods wings. I pray that you will realize that there is nothing in this world that we have to fear & that you live out of that truth. Romans 8:15 says “ For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father”
His love for you is higher than the heavens above & I hope you always remember that nothing can separate you from that love!
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you -Isaiah 54:10

Much love to you, my sweet Brooksy-Blue Jay! I can already tell you are becoming a brave little boy.

Love, Aunt Starla

Asher’s Painting!

I’ve realized God wants me to make a painting for all my lil nieces & nephews! Here’s one I created for my chunky love Asher! He has a underwater theme going on in his nursery, so the sea turtle fits right in. It also complements the fish painting I created for his mommy Sarah! Can’t wait to finish the other paintings for my other babes!

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Fishy-Drawing

The more I seek you,
The more I find you
The more I find you, the more I love you.
I love the King & the King loves me!