Seven Sisters

I send songs of peace, of rest….

“The Sentinel’s Prayer”, acrylic on canvas, Susan T. Martin2017

To my seven sisters on distant shores, I hear your cries.

The wind does not steal them from my ears.

Inside my chest my heart beats in unison with yours.

I send songs of peace, of rest.

Tribal nations of the distant past-I reach my hand to yours.

I am daughter of a far away land, but my back is also sore.

A day is coming, our One God is sending back to us a King.

He is coming from the heavens: New government he brings.

No longer chained to islands of grass, surrounded by hills of bounty,

We will soon see ancient ones arise on this new mountain.

Peace until the moon is no more, enough for all in every store.

No more hunger, no more want. No more jeering mouths to taunt.

No more race, no more rape. No more twisted lies or hate.

Healing love this King brings; a gift from his great Father!

Oh dear sisters, Dance and Rejoice! Put on your finest feathers!

Our God is a Jealous God, we will worship no other.

No more fear, we can sleep outside. In goodness our feet will stride.

Children will be raised by Mothers. Also by Fathers, sisters, brothers!

Jehovah God will have his day when all that was taken is repaid.

His promised Son will slay the beast-join me at this glorious feast!

Lies will no more be told, nor mankind ruining this earth.

Never again bought or sold; we will share our homes, hearts and hearth.

Reach out far my sisters, far over mountain, over valley.

Call out to those in darkness to come close now. Quell your fears.

The battle is yet to commence, but it is already won.

This is the Sovereign’s Battle. Praise Jah you people!

Pink Dusk©STMartin

Gratitude, More and More!

I have been reminded of God’s Love for me. I commemorated the Memorial of Jesus Last meal with his apostles on Friday. At Sundown, with my fellow worshipers’ of Jehovah, we gathered at sunset and  did just as Jesus commanded his followers to do: passing first the unleavened bread, then the wine .

The ceremony, and the discourse were beautiful, and I have been reflecting long and hard on how much God loves us to offer his Son as a ransom for us, a path to forgiveness.

I am so grateful, I wanted to share my love with you. Because soon all suffering and pain, tears and sadness, illness and death will be gone forever. Then the real life can begin! I can’t wait to see you in paradise!

I want to grasp my resurrected Mom and Dad, and dance in a field of flowers!

Oh Happy Day!

I am happy to say, I was able to get back into my blogs here at WordPress, after a lengthy absence. I was unable to remember my sign in information for the longest time, but finally I was able to get back here!!! My sister blog, Out of the Gutter Art, has been languishing also, even tho’ I have been furiously creating beautiful “Outsider” Art this whole time.

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“The Sentinel’s Prayer”, acrylic on canvas, Susan T. Martin2017

I have had many upheavals ans bumps in the road as far as my emotional well being is concerned, but with the help of God, the Ultimate Therapist, and my human therapist (who is stellar!) I have come through victorious! The triggers were many, as this is the month my Parents died, and it also houses both mine and my Mom’s birthdays. I am a JW now, so I don’t celebrate my birthday, but it still holds significance in my heart, a marking of the passage of this fragile life.

Now my associations to birthdays is a very negative one, as my Mom died on her birthday, March 21, which also heralds the first day of Spring. Also my Dad was well into the dying process at home with only me there beside him on my birthday 2 years ago. That was a horrible, horrible time, as he suffered much. In the days that seemed to drag on forever, I remember at one point whispering to him “please don’t die on my birthday Daddy…” This sounds to me now like a rather heartless and self centered request, but he understood my trauma, I believe, even in the midst of his own, and did not. Rather, he fought his last fight during the wee hours of the next morning, finally succumbing at 6:15 the next morning. What a long, dark night that was.Picture 012

I am finally not grieving the devastating sword thru my middle grief this year, but I anticipated the day with much apprehension and mental nail biting, as well as obsessive compulsive behavior, manic activity and lack of sleep. I am still feeling the effects, and most likely will have them build to a crescendo as March 21st approaches. Mom died in a less dramatic, but equally disturbing way, having to be taken to Hospice House rather than dying at home as she so desired, surrounded by her kitties. I have imprinted on my brain her sitting in her bed like a deflated teddy bear, whose sad eyes cut right thru me as she said, “Susie, I’m not ready…” However the cancer was by this point ravaging her brain, and I could not physically care for her at home.

playing around 094
here I am after Mom had died, well into my Dad’s last years of Severe Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I was his, and Mom’s sole caregiver.

I had a fourteen day vigil beside her bed, singing, praying , reading the Bible to her and holding her hand. Finally at the point of total exhaustion and grief, I fell asleep beside her, and as I dreamed of happier times, she breathed her last. Ours was a bond stronger than death, and I so eagerly anticipate the day when they are  both called out of the memorial tombs in the grand resurrection , when I will run into their arms again.

This hope is made even more sure this month as  millions of humans around the globe, and me fulfill our obligation to mark the Memorial of Jesus Christ’ death, just as he commanded us to do at the last supper. On this occasion, just hours before his death, be broke bread an drank wine with his apostles, saying, “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”

I praise Jehovah above for the undeserved kindness He has shown by providing the life of His perfect Son as a ransom for the sins of all mankind. By this loving act, every human on earth has the chance for living forever, without sickness, mourning, pain or death on a beautifully restored Earth. I raise my hands and my voice in praise to God, and thank him for his Son, My King and Savior, Jesus Christ!Picture 018

You can join the Witnesses all around the earth at sundown on March 31st , 2018 as we join in remembering the Greatest Gift Ever given. You can ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses for an invitation, or directions, or any other questions you may have and they will joyfully tell you. Also, the website jw.org will tell you what you need to know!

So, despite all my challenges, and mental health issues, I can take comfort that one day soon I will be reunited with all my loved ones. I also am so grateful to God for forgiving my multitude of sins by way of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I hope someone else out there

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can find this comfort also!!!

Musings on a Tuesday

Hello dear Friends,

It has been such a struggle during this cold and gloomy weather to drag myself out of bed, to put my feet on the floor, to be motivated at all. I have in my mind always that I should be helping other people to come to know Jehovah, to help them see His great love for them. That I pray daily for these things is some comfort, but this huge burden of immobility just crushes me down and makes me feel unworthy, and lazy.,

Over and over I have been reminded that Satan uses this as a tactic, that discouragement can distance us and keep us stuck in the mire of self hate, the sediment of low self esteem and depression. Recently at my meeting for worship

we went over the fact that those feelings can be overcome by considering the ransom of Jesus Christ, and by earnest prayer for soundness of mind, which is promised to God’s faithful ones.

It is very easy for me to not take the steps I need to take, but then the way to death is a wide and spacious road the Bible tells us, while the road to life is a narrow and cramped one. I must struggle thru the weeds and brambles on this hard and narrow road, not fall prey to the worldly wolves and lies that are strewn about like stumbling blocks. Keeping my eyes fastened on the light I see before me at the head of the path I will throw off these burdens and keep climbing.

Physically I may be weighed down, and my mind and body are full of sin and imperfection, and my breaths come more shallow and labored than ever before. But just like the Bible says at 2 Corinthians 4:16-18,” Therefore, we do not give up, but even if the man outside is wasting away, certainly the man we are inside is being renewed from day to day.(17) For though the tribulation is momentary and light, it works out for us a glory that is of more and more surpassing greatness and is everlasting,(18) while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting.”

I hope no one else suffers from the disquieting thoughts that I do, recurring images of the life I once lived, that come unbidden to frighten and distract me. But these I know, and I want others’ to know, will one day vanish forever, and will NEVER AGAIN poison our lives. We will be free from all the flashbacks, all the debris, all the residual effects our current circumstances inflict on us. I believe this, I  know and have faith in this fact this because God has promised it to me, and to all who serve Him .

I want to read it now, so I will write it down here:

Revelation 21:3-5 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. (4) And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away”.(5)And the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making all things new”. Also he says, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

What incredibly beautiful words. What a certain promise.

I feel better already!

Day of Remembrance

LOVE ONE ANOTHER FROM THE HEART. LOVE JEHOVAH OUR GOD WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART, MIND, SOUL AND STRENGTH. TAKE IN ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR GOD, AND PUT FAITH IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. DEDICATE YOURSELF TO JEHOVAH, AND SYMBOLIZE YOUR DEDICATION BY FULL IMMERSION BAPTISM. HELP OTHERS TO LEARN THE TRUTH OF JEHOVAH’S LOVING KINDNESS, AND HIS UNIVERSAL SOVEREIGNTY, AND UNDERSTAND AND SHARE WITH OTHERS HIS PROMISES OF RELIEF FROM PAIN, DEATH, SORROW AND TEARS. BELIEVE IN HIS PROMISE OF AN EARTHLY PARADISE, AND LIFE ETERNAL. WE HAVE SO MANY BLESSINGS TO PRAISE HIM FOR. PRAISE HIM FOR BEING WHO HE IS, ALMIGHTY GOD, CREATOR OF ALL, AND THE SUPREME SOURCE OF ALL GOODNESS AND LIGHT. PRAY TO JEHOVAH THROUGH JESUS CHRIST AND JOIN ME ON THE ROAD TO LIFE. “TRUST IN JEHOVAH AND DO GOOD”

 

 

I Am Blown Away…

So much suffering in this world, that anything I may go through just pales by comparison. Just pales.

A night out for friends at a club, a few drinks. A few laughs. Dancing. Happy, young, upwardly mobile.

Beautiful. Did I tell you how beautiful they all are? Faces shown on smartphones, tv screens, computes. They look like me, and you. They look like our kids, grandkids, cousins. Daughters. Sons.

Many ask , “Why?” There are answers to that question, but that comforts not. There will be no comfort here…or will there?

Yes, there IS comfort. It can be found in the pages of a book written by our Creator, Jehovah. He hears our cries, and He sent His Son 2016 years ago to show us that there WILL BE A Resurrection!!!

That is knowledge we can take comfort in, and we can be there to welcome them back. Ask any one of the millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses earthwide how to do this. See you there!

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Coming Down!!

This is the part that hurts. Feeling a vague feeling of guilt, knowing that this ebbing manic period has left devastation in my life again, not sure yet what it is. I feel like I’m coming down from a drinking/drugging binge, coming out of a blackout. Sick and hurting, depressed and angry at myself.

I had a sneaking suspicion, the last few days, that my bank account was in crisis, but in my addict’s brain I refused to check the balance, forging ahead with my spending. My head has cleared enough today to check the balance, and of course I am overdrawn. I knew I needed to have enough left to pay for framing for my new paintings, that is impossible now. Oh my….sigh…

Bipolar Disorder is a terrible illness, and I long for the day when all humankind will be relieved of the suffering we now endure. My faith is strong, my hope is sure, because I know that Jehovah can not lie, all His promises come true. I must hang of tightly to this knowledge so that I do not become immobilized with fear and guilt, falling into Satan’s trap of discouragement, and of the hopelessness he wants us all to feel. Hopelessness and despair can snuff me out like a windswept candle flame. ” Poof, she was gone! “, like the line in an old Hee-Haw song.

When I was still in active addiction, I would have to look at the clothes in my hamper to figure out what I had done the night, or weekend before. Seeing the outfit, picturing myself in it, and perhaps finding a pack of matches with a bar logo in the pant’s pocket, helped me figure out where I had  crashed and burned. The memories were like glimpses in a shattered mirror.

Now days that tactic doesn’t work too well, so I have to get up looking for food wrappers to see if I binged on chocolate, or paint on my clothing if I was up at 4 am creating a masterpiece. Oh, and I find crumpled up receipts and refuse to unfurl them, in the likely event they harbor some bad, bad spending. Ooohhh. Sends chills up my spine. I think I have come out of this manic phase relatively unscathed, I was able to straighten out the mess at the bank and I finally slept a real sleep of 4 hours last night. And I finally stopped repainting my latest oil painting, and put it under a fan to dry for the next show.

I have been beseeching my God to help me calm my burning mind, soothe the racing thoughts and awful images, and He does, Jehovah is the Great Therapist, and He leads me into quiet, safe places in my mind where I can heal. When I pray for His Holy Spirit he gives it freely to help me worship and serve Him, helping me to endure through these difficult times. And Jehovah welcomes everyone to take advantage of His assistance, He does not wish for anyone to die, that is why he gave the greatest sacrifice ever given: His perfect, only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

I just found out that one of my JW friends has lost a daughter in death, I am so grateful that God already has a ressurection planned for all of us, He promises that we will see our dead loved ones again. I will pray for the family tonight.

Thank you for listening tonight. Keep looking to the Bible for answers in your life! In it you will find peace and love.

Goodnight!

I am the cutest puppy in the world!!!
I am the cutest puppy in the world!!!

A Quiet Sunday Evening…

I listened to my meeting for worship this afternoon, and it felt so good to hear Jehovah’s word’s spoken and discussed. The Public Speaker, who is a brother from another congregation (usually), gives us an upbuilding talk each week, based on the Bible. And it is really nice, because the public is always welcome at our Kingdom Hall, to be encouraged by God’s word in these troubled times. There is no collection basket, which I found very refreshing when I began attending the meetings, having been embarrassed by the basket passing at a church before.

I miss being physically present at my meetings, it did my heart so much good to be surrounded by my happy brothers and sisters. You know, that is something so different about going into a Kingdom Hall, compared to a church. All of the people are so happy, calm and peaceful. Even if you are new, you are greeted and made so welcome. I remember when I attended a different place for worship, and I felt so out of place because my clothes weren’t as fine, or my car as nice as the other people’s. I have never felt that way in Jehovah’s house.

Anyway, I miss my meetings. I can’t go because Dad never feels up to going anymore, he can’t get ready by himself, and by the time I bathe and get him ready then I’ve already missed half of it. I keep asking the caregiver about working on Sunday but she is unwilling, or unable. She did work for me 2 Sunday’s ago, I will ask her to do it again this week. Either that or I will have to pay cash for someone to come, because I must keep my spiritualiPicture 021ty intact. It is so easy to fall backwards, fall back into bad ways. My bad mouth, foul language, and rotten speech come back so fast, and so does my anger. But when I study the Bible and pray and listen to the meetings, I want to make God happy!

Working Again!

A dock at sunset on White Sands Island in the Maldives.
A dock at sunset on White Sands Island in the Maldives.

A green sea turtle swims past a school of Raccoon Butterflyfish near Hawaii.
A green sea turtle swims past a school of Raccoon Butterflyfish near Hawaii.

A cascading waterfall, flanked by flowers.
A cascading waterfall, flanked by flowers.I did not take these photos, they are in the public domain.

Ahh! I am an active creative force, taking the images in my mind and painting them on canvas, writing them on paper, sharing these thoughts and images with the human family. It is so cathartic, so freeing. All the pain rushing out of me-all the light rushing in.

I love my life today-I feel alive today- even the pain of my physical body does not shut off the colors flowing out of my fingertips!

I am working on a couple paintings for my next show, it is a group show about Water. We have rivers here, beautiful lagoons and estuaries full of wildlife that is crying out for help. Our local politicians are finally interested because the sick rivers are giving the tourism industry a black eye, and a light is finally shining on this area’s darkest secrets: Pollution and sewage being dumped into the water by Big Sugar, by Cattle Ranches, by people cheating on their permits and laws regarding dumping.

So this show is about the artist’s interpretation of a body of water, the ocean, a river, a pond, and the surrounding area. The works have to have water in them.

This is a subject close to my heart, my love of God’s magnificent creation makes it very painful to see the ruination of our planet. To me it as as if the St. Lucie River cries out in it’s pain. I live a stone’s throw from the river, I can walk to the marina  and I hear the motor boats and jet skis when they go by. The beautiful variety of water birds and wildlife who call the river home come through my yard every day. Hawks, Eagles, Caracara, Sandhill Cranes, Herons, Egret, Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, Bobcat, Gopher Tortise, River Otters, Racoon, Opossum, Alligator, Wild Boar, the list goes on and on… And Oh! the fish! Fish that we now cant eat, green algae poisons the river and suffocates the aquatic life, stealing the oxygen out of their water.

I am very motivated and inspired by this subject matter, and I will share my work with you soon.

Remember to care for our garden Planet, this Beautiful Home Jehovah gave us.

Thanks!

the dustbowl.

It is very dry here in South Florida. I mean popcorn-fart dry. I do not enjoy these droughts we have, I am sure no one else does. I find it particularly painful to watch all the foliage crisping up while I sprinkle my whole Social Security check’s worth of water onto it. In futility, like a dog chasing it’s tail.

I save what I can, moving the plants who still have a chance into shady areas, and setting up areas close to the water hose where I can set the most fragile ones, to be watered daily. We have a very large lot for this area, I like to see the astonishment on my friend’s faces when I show them my backyard garden with the most enormous oak they have ever seen. And my most beautiful gardens. Actually it is God’s garden, I just tend it.

I have been very fortunate to have worked with a Master Gardener in a Paradise called Sailfish Point on the very southernmost tip of Hutchinson Island. His name was Lynn, and he knew the nuts and bolts of every plant that grows here. How to grow it, feed it, water and prune it, until it gives the most glorious display. And I tried, every day, to absorb some small kernel of his knowledge. Any tree or flower growing on that golf course was fair game for me to take a seedling, a cutting, a pod- even an entire plant-if Lynn gave me the green light. This property has some interesting specimen plants who had their roots (ha ha!!) on Sailfish Point. This is a favorite of mine, he called it a “Pine Palm”, and I have only ever seen these near the ocean.110 Banyan, abandoned and vandalized 001

It actually looks much better than it did when this was taken- I have since learned to keep the centers of each group of fronds as dry as possible, or they start to rot. I eventually had to prune the whole near left section off for this very reason. I had not noticed in time that my sprinkler was dropping exactly over the center of that bunch of fronds. The tree frogs told me about it. I believe that, on the wind-swept dunes near the beach where this species grows naturally, the stiff ocean breeze would keep these trees quite dry. One thing I did learn when landscaping: Pay attention to the plants natural surroundings, and plant in as similar a position as you can.

This means that if your new shrub came from the sunny side of a slope, but under a tree that shades it in the late afternoon, then you should give it a well-drained west facing partially shaded spot. Shady in the late afternoon, that is. And pay attention to the soil where your specimen came from. Sand? Deep moist black earth? (Boy, I wish we had that here!!! That is what Pennsylvania earth is like, in the western Appalachian foothills.)

Anyway, I digress. Just be an observant gardener, and your results will please you and make all your girlfriends jealous when they come over for coffee. Another great trick to fool them into thinking you are a master gardener is to find some cheap, aged pots and planters from a Thrift store and fill them with good potting mix and fresh. blooming annuals from a nursery. Then just make sure to tend to these three or four, moving them from place to place near your front walkway or doorstoop (stoop?) (stop?) area. Even if the rest of your yard looks like poo, keep tending these few- Miracle Grow anyone?-and you will blow them all away with your mad skills. Observe:my new hair, and stuff to sell 022

See how the yard is pretty plain behind my little front patch of flowers? I am SO sneaky! I rearrange the pots as some flowers fade or I just have a whim, taking the shabby looking pots around back to be reworked at a later date.

And I just love taking objects that totally look like they do not belong outside and placing them around my garden for focal points. Broken plates (pretty ones) make nice edging, old chairs you were going to throw away make a great plant stand with a coat of bright spray paint!

That old carved owl was a throw away from a friend- I kept it in the garden till it just fell all apart. and we had bunches of leftover ceramic tile from when I did the house, so Dad started using it to edge the beds, and it looks pretty spiffyIMG_20140507_114010I Has been fun sharing this with you all, I feel ready for my own T.V. show now:

” The Sneaky Crafty Artsy Lady Gardener Show”!

I am keeping my prayers focused on Jehovah’s promises for a new world where righteousness will dwell, and where there will be no more pain, suffering, war or death. I pray that we can all be there one day soon.! I’m ready to live in a peaceful world!

Goodnight!