Be Still

There are these moments in life; striking, sweet and moving.

They are rare.  They show up silently and without warning.   But, when they come,  (and when you are able to take notice) time seemingly slows to a halt and it feels as if you are experiencing the event with heightened senses.

A lightening storm.  A super moon.  Your child learning to read.   A glance shared with someone you are falling in love with.   A breath taking view.   It doesn’t even have to be one of these cliche moments- for me sometimes, it’s simply reading with a cup of coffee and as I look up the light is just right.   (Or) I’m driving down the highway in a car full of kids who are laughing and talking and music and the clouds are just so perfect that my world goes silent for just that moment.  The point is- there are those surreal, magical moments in life.

The thing is- life isn’t all magical moments is it?  It’s messy and full of hard hours, days and weeks.  There are whole seasons of life, where suffering enters in.  Things can be so emotionally overwhelming, or physically painful, that it weighs heavy on your soul. During these times, for me,  those moments become strung together in a blurry mess of days, and in these instances, it also feels like time slows, but in a bad way and my senses aren’t heightened, they become numbed and muted.

So-we all experience these bitter and sweet things of life-                                                   What do we do with them?                                                                                                           How do we respond to the messy and the magical?                                                                       How do we keep ourselves from being numb, and instead be present in the everyday moments of life, able to give the Glory to God in each of them, salty or sweet or mundane?

In my life- its been a practice, a liturgy really, to grab these moments and to listen and let God  speak quietly to my soul.

Be Still and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10

‘Be still’ is a command, and a very small research would indicate that the root of this verb is the Hebrew rapha, which means; to be weak, to let go, to release.   Sometimes, in order to commune with the God of heaven, to draw near to Him, to *know* who He is as God of our lives, we have to release our grip and let go, riding the waves and letting Him carry us.    Knowing, really knowing and loving and understanding God’s person gives us rest because it means that we know He really is in control, that He truly loves us as His children, that He only wants what is best for us and that is rest.  Being Still. In that truth- we can be still knowing that He is God and in fullness, enjoy the magical moments and with hope survive the nightmare ones and give Him glory.

To engage in the practice of this, creating becomes a liturgical form of worship.  As a reminder to myself to know Him, trust Him, rest in Him and to enjoy Him. I created these linoleum block prints of a full moon.

ONE WAY T OMAKE A MOON PRINT USING LINOLEUM BLOCK CUTTING

You’ll Need:

  1. A Linoleum Block
  2. Linoleum Block Cutters
  3. Copy Paper
  4. Detailed Image of Full Moon to trace and for inspiration
  5. Acrylic Paints I love these
  6. Brayer.   Like this one
  7. Paint tray or paper plate!
  8. Paper to print on. I used cardstock
  9. Soft Pencil

STEP 1: Find images of a full moon and print them out.  Make sure you utilize your printer settings and adjust the images size so that it’s close to the final desired woodblock size.  Get a blank sheet of printing paper, place on top of image and using a light board or a window trace the main craters.  I was really only concerned with the “bunny” in the moon.

STEP 2:  Find something to trace a perfect circle onto the block- I used a small bowl.  Next you have to transfer your crater outlines onto your linoleum block.  A cheap & great way to do that is to take your sheet of paper with the outline- flip it over and scribble with a pencil over the entire back.  This creates sort of a “carbon paper” effect, when you flip it tracing side up and scribble side down on the block, trace over your lines again and it will transfer the tracing to the block!  (See second photo with the the light tracings.)20161211_17571920161211_175843

STEP 3: Now is the fun (and slightly dangerous) part!  We are ready to carve!

STEP 4: Now that the carving is done- you need paint, a brayer and paper to print on- let the printmaking begin!  I chose gold paint and black cardstock for my first series.  I also used a gold sharpie and wrote the words “Be Still.” So that they would be below the print.

STEP 5:  My second color way,  was white paint and silver sharpie.

Print, Write, Line up & Frame!

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