As for me and my blog, we will serve the Lord!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Patience Brewster Interview

I am honored to have been invited by the Marketing Director at Patience Brewster to participate in an interview about my story and my life as an artist, in honor of the recent Artist Appreciation Month.

Patience Brewster is an artist and designer of handmade and handcrafted unique gifts and ornaments. Please see Patience Brewster’s Blog to learn more about her work, and I especially encourage you to visit Patience Brewster’s Christmas Ornaments Page for some wonderful holiday inspiration.

Following is my response to the interview questions.

1 – As a child, do you recall a significant moment when you felt truly affected or inspired by any particular artwork or artist?

Truthfully, the closest thing to “art” that was part of my history was loving to see my grandmother’s needle handiwork (crocheting, knitting and quilting) and my mother’s skill as a seamstress. Other than that, the only response I ever had to anyone’s “art” work was to wish I could be artistic.

friendship quilt w wm

I have several of my grandmother’s quilts. This is a Friendship Quilt that she hand stitched.

I accepted the “fact” for almost 60 years that I was not creative. Art was something for people who were creative, and that was definitely not me. I was the school teacher who always asked the students to decorate the bulletin boards, because anything they could come up with would be better than my poor attempts. (I used to say that, while I did not know what heaven would be like for sure, I did know that it would not include playground duty or bulletin boards.)

An avid family memory keeper, in 2004, I began scrapbooking, my priority hobby to this day.

IMG_1008providence sb page w border.jpg

I was amazed when people began to comment on my pages as being “creative.” Me? Then, my interest in scrapbooking grew into an avid and prolific hobby of mixed media, starting with tag-making with Tim Holtz. The tag-making began with Christmas tags, as I am crazy about Christmas arts and crafts (one reason I am drawn to Patience Brewster’s ornaments).

autumn leaves w bordercloseup of shattered stain butterflies w border.jpgBetter Watch Out tag wmmerry little christmas tag wm

gingerbread house tag 8gingerbread house tag back wmtwin tags 2 wm

From there, I moved into Art Journaling and began to sketch and paint just a bit.

IMG_5419 art journal robenmarie style

Stencils and Ice Cream


Black Tulip

Maple Leaf art journal

pear a

Sweater Trees[4]

My Favorite Girl

I then began to add more work that I call Faith Art.

pump and pumpkins wm

Challenge 3 Name of Jesus Art Journal

I recently added Bible Art Journaling, where I use mixed media on my Bible pages (including stamps, inks, and paints, along with my own sketches).

Bible Art Journaling birds do not worry

Bible Art Journaling John 3-16

Bible Art Gal 6-14 Glory Only in the Cross

Today I still scrapbook, art journal and Bible art journal. I also dabble in sketching and painting, mainly as a part of the mixed media journey. It still shocks me to hear someone refer to me as an “artist,” but at least I have begun to think of myself as being “creative.”

2 – As an artist, what do you hope to convey with your work?

Because my life centers around being a Christ-follower, I always hope that my “art” (see, I still have to put it in quotes) conveys the message of the Gospel: God loved us and sent His Son so that we might have salvation from the penalty of sin. So, most of my work these days is either Bible Art (doing art in my Bible) or art journals filled with Faith Art. For me, when I create (yes, me!), I always default to what is on my heart that day. It almost always has a spiritual theme.

3 – What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Well, since my children grew up thinking of their mother the same way she thought of herself (certainly not associated with the tag “artist”), their responses are sometimes, “Who are you, and what have you done with our mother?”

But I have had some wonderfully heartwarming responses to my art, on my blog and on Facebook and Instagram. Sometimes I am told that a particular art project blog post has made a huge difference in someone’s life. That is very affirming. The comment, “I want to be you when I grow up” certainly brought a smile and was meaningful! A few years ago, using some of my scrapbooking techniques, I created a bulletin board for our church Vacation Bible School. Recently, I was contacted by a large (and well-known) resort in Colorado to inquire if I would be willing to create a similar bulletin board for their resort (they had seen it on the internet). That was pretty humbling! Odd, isn’t it, that the “thing” I didn’t think I could do while I was a teacher (bulletin boards) was now, in retirement, a part of a newly-discovered “skill” that is even recognized on a near-professional level. Amazing.

4 – What is your dream project?

I do not have a particular project that I dream of doing, but I do desire to become more skilled at “real art,” getting better at sketching and painting. That would involve some  professional training, as I have had none to this point. I think I would enjoy that (as opposed to dreading “Art Day” when I was in elementary school)!

5 – What artists, of any medium, do you admire? (Famous or not!)

I admire most of the art that I see in my mixed media groups, but especially that done by folks who are so good at sketching and painting.

Thank you to the folks at Patience Brewster for inviting my participation.

#PatienceBrewster #mixedmediaart #BibleArtJournaling #FaithArt #IllustratedFaith

Monday, September 28, 2015

Trusting in Him-Psalm 91 {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Journaling Ps 91-2 Trust in Him

Before my husband was deployed to Viet Nam, our pastor at the time, Charlie Chilton, in Triangle, Virginia, preached a message, the title of which I will never forget: “Psalm 91: For Men Going to War.”

After my husband had been there for a while, I sent him a reminder of this passage. It has always had special meaning for us, because God truly did protect my husband during a time when literal arrows (insert “mortars”) were flying by day (and/or by night).

This promise was very real: For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”

When my husband returned, he shared some stories that made me realize how important it was for him to feel protected by God, and how thankful I was for that protection. I wrote some of his memories in my Life Story. Here is an excerpt from his recounting of some of the time during the Thet Offensive:

"We stayed in the ditches each night for the next two to three weeks. During that time, rockets and mortars were coming in. We hit the dirt and got as low as we could. You couldn't realize how flat to the ground you could get until you heard the mortars. You would try to hide behind a gravel or a piece of dirt or anything. You could get your body pretty low to the ground. You could hear the mortar thud and the 122mm rocket whistle as it propelled through the air, but you didn't know whether it was going to land on you, or behind you, or in front of you, until you heard the explosion. At no time, though, do I remember really thinking that I was going to die. I just did what I had been trained to do.”

Russ at supply whse 1-13 DaNang

Psalm 91 (KJV)

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Thank You, Lord.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Glory Only in the Cross {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Gal 6-14 Glory Only in the Cross

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” – Galatians 6:14 (KJV)

What a worthy goal, never to boast about anything other than the cross of Christ, and no longer to have interest in the things of the world…and to be okay with it, that the world has no interest in me!

From the New Living Translation:

“As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world's interest in me has also died.”

I particularly enjoyed doing the art on this Bible page, because there was almost an entire blank page at the end of Galatians, and it happened to be right next to this special verse. No need to think about keeping the work transparent so as not to cover the words!

#IllustratedFaith #BibleArtJournaling #ScriptureArt #FaithArt #IlluminatedJournaling

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Colored Pencils and Stamps {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Journaling Luke 9-58 Birds Have Nests

Luke 9:58 Birds Have Nests

Ecc 4-9 Bible Art Two are better than one

Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are Better than One

Using stamps from Artistic Outpost, here are two Bible Art Journaling pages, Birds Have Nests and Two are Better than One.

Most of us Bible Art Journalers have arrived at our own individual styles, just as we do with scrapbooking, art journaling, and even writing. For me, clean and simple is the style I like best, and the style that most usually defines my work.

I usually work in the margins of my Bible, but when I work across the page, I always use media that is transparent so that the words are always visible to me. I like variety within my own style, and the flexibility of being able to use stamps and ink sometimes, along with my own sketching and drawing, keeps me interested.

These two Bible pages were done with stamps that I have had on hand for some years. The stamps themselves are very detailed, leaving very little to be “colored.” I used Prisma Premiere colored pencils, blended with turpenoid (odorless mineral spirits).

#BibleArtJournaling #FaithArt #ScriptureArt #BibleMarginalia #IlluminatedJournaling #IllustratedFaith #ArtisticOutpostStamps

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sound the Alarm {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Num10-9 Sound the Alarm

“And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.” – Numbers 10:9 (KJV)

I could write forever (don’t worry, I won’t) about the enemy that is oppressing our land today. There is no doubt that is happening. It is time to sound the alarm with the “silver trumpets.” (Num 10:1)

For this Bible art, I took inspiration from an online friend, Jann Saulsberry (Jann Gray). I used InkTense Blocks for the watercolor, so the text would remain visible.

#BibleArtJournaling #IllustratedFaith #IlluminatedJournaling #FaithArt #ScriptureArt

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Palm of His Hand {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Journaling Inscribed on His Palm

I stamped my own handprint onto this Bible page to remind me that I am “inscribed on the palm of His hand.” (Isaiah 49:16). I am THAT special to my Father God.

#FaithArt #ScriptureArt #IlluminatedJournaling #IllustratedFaith #BibleArtJournaling

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Delight in the Lord {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Journaling Delight Yourself

Actually, the entire passage that surrounds this verse in Psalm 37:4 is so encouraging.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:

 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

#FaithArt #IllustratedFaith #IlluminatedJournaling #BibleArtJournaling #ScriptureArt

Friday, September 18, 2015

He Upholds Me - {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Is 41-10

When I posted this verse in my facebook groups, several mentioned this as one of their favorite verses. There is a lot of comfort packed in that one verse!

Working in my Midsize Notetakers Bible from, I first stamped the verse with Archival Ink and then copied a flower design from a friend, watercolored with Inktense Pencils.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

#illustratedfaith #illuminatedjournaling #BibleArtJournaling #BibleMarginalia #Inktense #FaithArt #ScriptureArt

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Celebrating 50 Years on September 8

Bride and Groom


Attendants Assist Bride



Candle Lighters, my brother Keith and Russell’s sister Bettie Jo

Here Comes the Bride

Since Daddy was performing the ceremony, my Grandad walked me down the aisle.

The Ceremony

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, where the two of us met (in 1959), when Daddy came to pastor this little church close to Jefferson City, MO.

The Kiss




The Cake


The Rings

As the photographer suggested we place our hands on Daddy’s Bible for “the ring” picture, I quickly turned to The Love Chapter so that the photographed passage would be intentional.

Russell and Barbara's Wedding 9-8-1965

Our parents, R.V. and Leona Wilson and Betty and Joe Ford.

The Wedding Party

Left to right: Bettie Jo Ford (Russell’s sister), Brenda Wilson and Janene Wilson (my sisters), bride/groom, Curtiss Ford and David Ford, Russell’s brothers, Keith Wilson (my brother). Front: Shannon McGowin (family friend) and Melody Wilson (my sister).

Going Away

Going Away (my pearls were from my Grandmother, Mamo Wilson). Mother made my suit (and all the girls’ gowns, including mine).

The following account is from my Diary, written a few days after the wedding.

September 8, 1965

I awoke with the feeling that this was the day for which I had been born. At 10:00 I went to the beauty shop to have my hair done and a manicure (my first). I picked up the sheet cake and the flowers while in town and then spent a leisurely afternoon getting ready. Honoring tradition, I did not see or talk to Russell before the wedding.

At 7:00, time for the wedding, I was excited to death but not in the least nervous. I had not one second of doubt about what I was doing. I was consciously thinking, "Remember all this--remember how you feel and everything about this evening. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

There was an aura of unreality about the ceremony--an "I can't believe this is really happening, it's too good to be true, I'm the happiest person in the world" aura.

The girls wore mint green satin, full-length, sleeveless dresses, with matching pillbox headpieces. The men wore dark suits. Russell wore a black suit. I wore a floor-length white satin peau gown with an illusion veil secured to a pearl tiara. I carried white cymbidium orchids from Russell on my white Bible that was my wedding gift from him.

NOTE: My wedding gown and all the bridesmaid dresses and headpieces were handmade by Mother, in the six weeks preceding the wedding. The ring pillow was handmade by Mamo Eubanks (Mother’s mother).

The ceremony was brief--everything went perfectly. Candle Lighters, Keith Wilson and Bettie Jo Ford; Ring Bearer, Sheldon McGowin; Flower Girl, Melody Wilson; Groomsman, David Ford; Bridesmaid, Brenda Wilson; Best Man, Curtiss Ford; Maid of Honor, Janene Wilson.

The ceremony was performed by Daddy, and Grandad walked me down the aisle. To the question, "Who gives this bride in marriage?," Grandad replied, "Her grandfather, in the name of her mother and father." (He had rehearsed his line many times and was quite nervous about his role.)

One highlight of the service was the "Home Dedication Ceremony," which required Russell to vow to establish and maintain a Christian home, including having a family altar. I vowed to support him in this.

When Russell placed the wedding ring on my hand during the double-ring ceremony, I saw my wedding ring for the first time. Tradition required that I not see it during our engagement.

Rob Comstock sang three songs: "Walk Hand in Hand With Me," "One Hand, One Heart," and "Wedding Prayer." His wife Linda accompanied. (The Comstocks were our friends whom Russell had met at college.)

Following the ceremony, the reception was held in the basement. The Frosted Lime Punch that Mother had made was delicious--it was so hot in the church that evening. There was a huge crowd; several were standing.

After the reception, there were pictures. I changed into my going-away outfit, a green wool suit that Mother had made, with matching hat. I transferred my orchid to the lapel of the suit.

The `53 Mercury parked in front of the church was "decorated." We only drove it to a nearby garage where we transferred to Joe's red `64 Ford neatly decorated (thanks to Russell's brothers). In it, we embarked upon our wedding trip.

Our first stop was Rolla, where we spent the night in the Holiday Inn. The room rate was $9.00 + .27 tax.

I felt that my whole life had just been a preparation leading up to marriage, and I was never so completely happy than when I realized I was finally married to the man I loved with all my heart, the one in God's plan for me.

Motel Receipt from Wedding Night

There were “color” snapshots “back then,” but the professional photographer’s prices made it impossible for me to have color wedding pictures. Glad I have a few color snapshots!

Frosted Lime Punch made by Mother Our Wedding sept 8 1965

While prof photo of rings being taken sept 8 1965

After a four-day wedding trip, we settled into our first home in Bolivar, MO, where Russell began his junior year in college at Southwest Baptist College, and I began my freshman year.

Nashua Trailer-First Home w border

In a way, it seems like yesterday. In another way, it seems like a lifetime ago. It was a lifetime ago. I was 18, Russell was almost 20. How could we even begin to thank Our Heavenly Father, or each other, for the lifetime of happiness and blessings. We would never have thought it possible to love each other more than we did that evening 50 years ago. But each year has brought a deeper love. Our greatest blessings are of course our children and grandchildren.

How in the world the most wonderful man in the world could have put up with me for 50 years is beyond my understanding. It has to be a God-thing, for sure! Well, that and his infamous “rose-colored glasses.” He still tells me that I am beautiful, and more than that, he convinces me that he really means it! Now, that’s love!

R&B Nov 2014

Somehow, when I thought “ahead” about our 50th anniversary, I thought I would feel “old.” It’s very strange. I don’t feel old. I feel full of memories and experiences, and I feel a depth of love for my husband and family that I would’ve never understood as an 18-year old dreamy-eyed bride.

When people ask the secret to a lifelong marriage, I always let them know that the first step for us was knowing God and following His direct and specific will. There is more, of course. There is the element of commitment, and sometimes, frankly, hard work. But everything, for us, was made easier because God was always at the center of our marriage and our family. He was the Center who kept us in balance during rough seas. We did not live in a fairy tale, and yet somehow, in God’s unfathomable mercy and grace, He chose to bless us, and we could always feel His hand in the heart of our marriage.

I could write a book about our life together. Actually, I have written my life story, not for publication because no one would be interested except our offspring, and they will read it some day. It seems that a post like this falls so short of expressing my feelings on the importance of this occasion. But there would not be an end to this piece at all if I didn’t let it “fall short.”

My mother tried to tell me that “marriage is not a bed of roses.” But, I think I can say now that, in my case, she was wrong. Oh, there may have been some thorns along the way, but somehow they just made the roses sweeter.

So, happy 50th wedding anniversary to my man of steel and velvet, the love of my life since I was 12 (it’s true). Thank you for being God’s answer to my prayer for a godly husband who loves me more than life. Thank you for providing for my needs, and my wants, for all these years. Thank you for living out the definition of love from I Corinthians 13. Thank you (and God) for giving me the two most wonderful children in the world, and for being the best possible father to them. Thank you for growing up with me, for growing old with me, and for always being there for me, now and forever.

Yes and amen.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Source of Wisdom {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Journaling Prov 9-10

This is one of the places (there are several) in the Old Testament where we are told about the source of wisdom: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Simple. Straightforward. It is not possible to be wise, apart from knowing God.

Bible Art Journaling Prov 9-10

I just sketched a simple pencil drawing and then watercolored with Inktense Blocks and Pencils (I use these for most of my Bible art because they are transparent and permanent when dry).

#BibleArtJournaling #ScriptureArt #IlluminatedJournaling #IllustratedFaith #FaithArt

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tool Kit or Cushion? {Family}

It’s such a beautiful time of year, in a beautiful climate right now here in the Pacific Northwest. As we took our morning walk recently, I snapped a few photos of beauty “in the wild” (that is, not in a garden, just along the natural path as we walked).


I have some thoughts on my heart this morning, and since I have no artwork to share right now, I’ll share a few of these pretty pictures, as I pontificate (or bloviate, as the case may be).


I have always confessed that “I am a fixer.” I have always said that, not proudly, but as an introduction to some story I am about to tell that illustrates how being “a fixer” has gotten me into trouble.

Recently I have been burdened about my tendency to interject myself where I perhaps have not been invited. Today I read two different devotionals, from my Facebook feed, and they coincidentally were both about “trying to fix” others. I thought to myself that I should get ready for the guilt trip, as I began to read the written thoughts.


The first was from one of my favorite Proverbs 31 writers, Suzie Eller. In her #livefreeThursday blog post, she posed this question: “If I’m trying to fix you, how can God work on me?”


She goes on to say,

“I was trapped in thinking that I somehow had the ability to fix a situation when two people were at odds with each other, especially in my family.

I was mired in the emotions that rose inside of me when it didn’t work like I hoped it would.

I wanted members of my family to play fair, be nice, live a life that produced good fruit, make good choices, treat me with respect, treat each other with respect, treat themselves with respect, love God, be kind with their words . . .

That’s a really long list, isn’t it?

It was exhausting to be the overseer of that list. It set us all up for failure.”

I thought, “I remember feeling like that.”

Then I scrolled down my newsfeed and came across this devotional by Abby McDonald: Why we don’t need to fix people. The writing was about where I was several years ago, wishing I could “fix” some of my loved ones, to save them pain.

That’s when I realized: That’s not me, now. It was me, at one time in my life, when I was much younger and saw myself as the peacemaker among all my siblings and my children. But I don’t think it’s an accurate description of me at this point in my life. Not really. I have been able to let go of that feeling, that I should be able to make everything and everyone okay. Maybe it’s because of years of life, learning that I can’t fix people. I can’t fix anything really. So, I learned, somewhere along the way, to leave (as much as is humanly possible) the “people-fixing” to God.


I do still see myself as somewhat of a “fixer,” but in all honesty, my “fixer” mentality now exhibits itself  in a desire to fix things or circumstances or situations, but not so much people anymore.


So rather than being on a guilt trip, as I read those articles, I was actually able to see that I have been on a journey. And now, in the “fixing” department, I’m left mainly to fix myself (a big enough job as it is, and thankful to God that I really don’t have to do that alone either!), and occasional efforts to fix things or circumstances.

So, that’s a good thing, I think. And here’s part of the reason that has happened, I just figured out this morning: The people closest to me (close siblings, children and their families, for example), quite frankly, do not need “fixing.” Praise the Lord on that one. Yes, hallelujah, yes and amen on that one. And yes, I do know how blessed I am.


BUT…then how do I explain my occasional but undeniable and irresistible need to interject my feelings or opinions, uninvited, into the lives of those loved ones. If I’m not trying to fix them, then why? It is because I love them and want to protect them (again, I really can’t totally protect any more than I can fix, but sometimes I must think God needs a little assistance in that area—who am I anyway!!!???)

I think I have just today learned that there is a difference between the need to fix and the need to protect. Whereas God doesn’t need my help in either area, I kind of feel like, in my heart of hearts, that He gives me a “pass” on being protective (maybe even over-protective) of my loved ones.

Sharida 5 days

When my children were babies (yesterday), I encouraged their independence. I wanted them to walk on their own (literally). I watched them pull up to the coffee table, so proud of that huge accomplishment (as was I). Then I watched as they progressed to walking around the table, as their little hands held tightly to the edge of the table. Not long after that, came the time when they would let go of the table and walk a step or two on their own. Then (after I blinked a couple of times) they were walking away from the table, all by themselves.

Yes, I was there watching and clapping and cheering. But, sometimes, I admit, I followed along closely behind, with a soft pillow or cushion in my hand, to catch them as they fell, or to prevent their head from hitting the corner of the coffee table. I wanted them to grow up and become independent, but I also wanted to protect them from hurt if I could.

So, is it a Tool Kit or a Cushion for me, in my relationships with my close family these days? I feel like I have put the Tool Kit away for the most part (at least only using it for situations, not people). But I confess: I still have that cushion. I keep it with me at all times. Every now and then I grab it and toss it right where I think he/she might fall. Because I’m always going to want to protect if I think I can.

Most of the time my faith keeps me from being totally overbearing. And every now and then, I remind myself that, though I can use the cushion if I feel I should, in the end, in the end, God’s got this.