Saturday, February 18, 2012

Too Much Vacation?

 If you're like most people, you look forward to and treasure vacation time. Me, too. (Being a homeschooling mom and a stained glass artist right now means that EVERY day is a bit like a vacation!) My husband recently took two weeks off from his job at the Mayo Clinic. We spent part of the time at home and part of the time in Milwaukee with extended family. It was a well-deserved break from work for him and a lot of fun for all of us!

We slept a little later, exercised a little later, ate a little later, and stayed up a little later. It was FUN! Our preschool-aged daughter enjoyed the break in routine, too. I worked on some glass, but for
 the most part, I took a break from routine, as well.

TOO much of a break. Partway through the time, I realized I was being irritable. I chalked it up to changes in routine and the fact that we were preparing to put our house on the market. A little stressful, but that was only a bit of the problem.

We loved visiting Milwaukee, and my irritability lessened. I found myself being very patient with a preschooler in an art museum. I was just fine, after all. Spending time with Grandma and Grandpa and cousins and siblings was a blast! I was only slightly irritated by the inconveniences of traveling.

 When we returned home, we still had a few days of vacation left. Good, I thought! Now we can finish all the stuff that didn't get done before. And the irritability returned with a vengeance. What was wrong with me!??

I spent some time late one evening contemplating that question while I was supposedly sleeping. I prayed that God would reveal my underlying issue(s) and almost instantly I realized that my change in routine had totally eliminated my daily time for prayer and reading the Bible.


I set my alarm for a little earlier the next morning, got up, read and prayed. My life did not get magically easier; the little irritants did not disappear from my day. However, my ability to handle them was magnified immensely because I was no longer depending on my OWN ability, but upon God's.

Today, our house is officially on the market. It looks good enough, and I didn't make myself (or my husband!) crazy over it. Today, I finished three "Risen!" pieces (shown on left side) for Easter orders, and they were easier and more fun than last week's works. Today, I remember that it is not about being strong enough to do it all, but being purposeful in prayer and study of the Bible and depending upon Him who promises that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.


P.S. If you're interested in purchasing "Risen!" it is $35.00, plus tax and shipping (if necessary). If you want to special order a certain type or color of glass, it is $45.00, plus tax and shipping. Each piece is 8x8 inches and has rings for hanging.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


In my more "commercial" mode lately, I've been trying to come up with a design for an Easter gift. I like to keep the cost reasonable, so I'm thinking 8x8 inches or so. My Mother's Day design is 10x5 inches, which is also in that "smaller" range.

Easter was tricky, though. The cross is the obvious symbol of Christianity, but at Easter? Isn't the Truth beyond the cross?? Maybe after the cross?? I couldn't figure out any way to show an empty tomb without lots of dark colors and shapes...not the best technique in glass work!

I am reading The Story, a chronological version of the Bible story. On the cover is a really cool visual: a king's crown whose shadow is a crown of thorns. It's perfect for Easter! But putting all copyright issues aside, it's WAY to complicated for a small glass piece to sell at a reasonable price. I thought of trying to picture Jesus in His glory...but that's too complex, too.

So I came back to the cross. Doesn't it ALWAYS come back to the cross? To Jesus' finished work in accepting the punishment for our sins? And to make it known that the cross isn't the end, I put streaming lights of glory to represent the resurrection. I want this piece to be joyful! Easter is a celebration.

The title for this piece is "Risen!" It is 8x8 inches, with rings for hanging. Each one will have different glass, but all the crosses will be brown with some multi-colored streaks. The hill will be green; and the background will be filled with streams of glory. It is available for $35.00, plus tax and shipping (if needed). I have already sold several, so if you want to order one, do so soon (! Visit my facebook page (A Glimpse of Grace) to keep up on my designs and sales. "Like" the page while you're there to get updates as I design and build pieces.

Friday, February 3, 2012


This is my latest glass piece; I completed the glazing yesterday. I started framing it today, but despite my best efforts to plan ahead, I've had to shave away wood from the frame to make it fit. This is another piece that was definitely inspired, although the design didn't come to me in its entirety. Instead, this one came as a theme: Creation.

I struggled with the design for a while; "Creation" is a pretty big topic! I read and reread and reread the creation story in Genesis, in many different translations. It always seems to help me understand the Bible when I can read several translations of the same passage. (This has gotten easier with my iPhone!) In every translation, God called his creation "good."

Good. Not excellent, or fabulous, or exquisite, or stunning, or superb, even though all those adjectives are fitting. God called it good. When I reflect on God's creation, "good" seems inadequate. But that's what God called it.

In contemplating this over a couple of weeks, I realized that since God is perfect, "good" has to be the right word. Imagine that! God was right again! And I named my piece on the theme of creation "Good." The period is there because "good" IS enough. Hopefully, it reminds me that God's way is the right way, even when I can't understand it.

My final design for "Good." utilized several elements that are new for me. I used three rock slices (agate) and one glass tile. It was a challenge to incorporate them into the design accurately. I learned some techniques as I went, and I will definitely try it again.

But for now, this piece is ready to frame and it is "Good."