Tag Archives: Charlotte

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

This passage of scripture has really spoken to me over these past few weeks. So much emotion – so much going on in my personal life and this chaotic world we live in. A week ago Monday, my second daughter walked down a sea of green to get her high school diploma.

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Leading up to this special day, I spent countless hours pouring over old photos and then spent more tedious hours syncing each photo so that it would appear just at the right time during the several songs I specifically chose for the fifteen minute memory span of her 19 years.

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How did the time go by so fast! My emotions were raw for weeks as I was preparing to let go of another chapter of our lives and let go of yet another amazing child into this world. She is kind, she is compassionate, she is loved and my prayer for Catherine Anne Neilson as she ventures out on the next chapter in her life is that she would have a faith that sticks in this world. That she would know she is fearfully and wonderfully made and that GOD has big plans for her, plans to prosper her and give her hope and a future.

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I cling to GOD’S promise and truth in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” It was a great week of celebrating!

Then four days later, the news of the Charleston shootings. Devastating. As a mom I cannot imagine the pain that these people in Charleston are experiencing. As a believer in Jesus Christ I know there is HOPE – especially in the outpouring of forgiveness that comes from the hearts of the people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. My most precious time of prayer and worship is in my studio as I paint angels. Praying for people known and unknown, needs known and unknown, I allow the Holy Spirit to sculpt these beings onto the blank canvas.

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We packed up nine care packages of “Angels” and sent to the families who lost their loved ones last week.

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We will continue to pray for the entire Charleston community for healing, comfort and peace. They need a time to mourn…but we know that there will be a time to dance again! Peace and Blessings to all.

ENJOY THE SNOW!

Last night before I went to bed, I set out breakfast and a note for my kids. Hearing that snow might be coming, I went back to my elementary days and cut out a snowflake for each one with a message: “There are no two snowflakes that are alike…You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14”

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With all that our kids face in today’s world, I am trying every which way to encourage them and point them to truth. As a mother of teens, I see how they are faced with so much pressure at school and even at home. I want them to know GOD’S truth and pray that they will stand firm on who HE tells them they are and not what the world is trying to tell them.

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They are unique. They are loved. They are treasured. They are fearfully and wonderfully made.

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Woke up to a beautiful scene of snow falling; school was NOT cancelled and I headed to the studio to work on some Angels. While painting and listening to praise music, I was reminded that there are no two wings alike in all the thousands of angels painted over the past 12 years. Each angel is created out of worship for HIS divine purpose. Our lives start out as a blank canvas. The journey of life adds layers, colors, and texture. You ARE fearfully and wonderfully made!

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Be encouraged…Enjoy this day!

NEW YORK CITY

One of the most frequent questions or comments I get from people is “you are so busy, how do you do all that you do!”  My response is that we are all busy, my busy is just different than your busy.  I also cling to the verse from Proverbs 3:6  “In all your ways submit to HIM and HE will make your paths straight.”

This past week, Clark and I escaped to one of my favorite cities, NYC, for a Valentine’s Day getaway!

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We had an amazing lunch at Neary’s on East 57th a longtime Irish watering hole with old-school ambiance & a meat-centric menu. I definitely recommend you stopping by this spot for lunch and meet owner Jimmy Neary a true Irish-American.  The lamb chops are delicious!

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Spent a little time on the Today Show with my buddies Kathie Lee and Hoda.  I was excited to finally have Clark and our friends Bob and Anne Ferrell Tata on the set for the fourth hour of The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda…always a fun day watching them LIVE!  I am ever so grateful that they allow me to come and hang out on set with them when I come to NYC!

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Clark and I worked our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art afterwards and spent some time at the Madame Cezanne exhibit.

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I am always amazed at artists sketch books… and loved seeing these drawings by Cezanne!

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Our final destination was Ralph Lauren’s new restaurant on East 55th Street, The Polo Bar.  Call NOW for your reservations.  This is a new favorite hot spot; the ambiance, the people watching, the delicious food, the incredible service, all combines for a wonderful evening. Clark ran into Tyson Beckford, who graciously stopped by our table for a photo.  Thank you Tyson!

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Our two-day trip came to an end as we are now back in the routine of life, family, work and fun!  Proverbs 16:3  “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans!” 

One last note, Lent begins on Wednesday.  One of my favorite devotionals is Draw the Circle a 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson.

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As I look back over this art career and what has happened over the past few years, I am encouraged by what Mark writes in Chapter One “Get Ready”… “If you establish a prayer routine, your life will be anything but routine.  You will go places, do things, and meet people you have no business going to, doing, or meeting.  You don’t need to seek opportunity.  All you have to do is seek God.  And if you seek God, opportunity will seek you.”

Be encouraged this Lenten Season!

GIVING BACK THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

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Want to thank some of our special clients and friends who have brought in coats, hats, gloves, blankets, toiletries, etc. to the gallery in exchange for a 10% discount.  All donations will be dropped off at the Harvest Center on Monday morning where volunteers will be stuffing care-packages.  There is still time to drop off donations!  We will be open this Saturday from 10am-5pm for our last minute shoppers and to make your last donations.  Thank you for your support to those in need during this holiday season!

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STROKES OF COMPASSION BOOK LAUNCH

I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends show up and support me last Friday during our book launch for Strokes of Compassion.  Still surprised with how quickly the luncheon filled up with almost 300 people showing up!

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Longtime friends, sisters Anne McPhail and Tricia Parish with my very special friend Kathie Lee Gifford who wrote the forward to Strokes of Compassion.  Kathie Lee came in town for a quick little visit as well as a wine signing right after our luncheon at Costco, if you haven’t tried her wine yet it’s pretty delicious!

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Can’t thank my precious friend Anne Farrell Tata who wrote a chapter in my book for all her support.  As well as Manny Ohonme who started Samaritan’s Feet which a certain percentage of sales from Strokes of Compassion will go towards his non-profit.

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Thank you volunteers!!!

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And of course the day wouldn’t be complete without music by country singer Jimmy Wayne.

ANNE ON TODAY SHOW

We visited NYC this week for the BEA Book Expo to meet with our printer for the upcoming Strokes of Compassion book and enjoyed two visits with Kathie Lee Gifford at The Today Show while in town.

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Anne was recognized on-air on Thursday’s show for her donation of an angel painting to a fundraiser that Kathie Lee was hosting that night for DART.

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Today Show Clip 5/29/14; Anne Neilson (center) with Marketing Manager Christine Dryden, Gallery Event Coordinator Cindy Grantham and Sales Manager Wendy Wilson.

PAINTING WITH A PURPOSE

One of the major reasons I took a job with Anne is because of her constant charitable spirit.  I loved the idea of partnering with a different nonprofit each month and giving a certain percentage of the gallery sales back to local and national organizations.

For the month of May a portion of our sales will benefit a nonprofit that started a few years ago by James Harrison, With Open Eyes.  With Open Eyes partners with local ministries to identify, train, and equip messengers of the Gospel to reach remote areas that can’t be reached on foot.  Currently there are 218 mobile messengers with a goal of 1,000.  Please check out this video to learn more about With Open Eyes and what you can do to help!

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CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’

A few weeks ago I headed out to sunny California with my daughter Blakely for her Spring Break. That was the second time going out there in the past month and I sure could get used to the warm weather!

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The Ivy on Robertson Avenue in Beverly Hills – famous restaurant yummy food!

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Got to visit with some new friends Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.  If you haven’t had a chance to see the movie Son Of God please go out and see it!  A great movie about the life of Jesus!

My sales director, Wendy Wilson, joined us for some meetings we lined up with various companies about products we will be developing in the next few months.

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Until next time California!

NEW PALETTE, NEW COLORS

Working on new paintings for Spring. These paintings will be featured in my newest book coming out this Fall – Strokes of Compassion. I continue to be overwhelmed and blessed by the testimonies and stories from collectors near and far and the demand for paintings – large and small. I am finding pockets of time in the studio to work in front of my easel – mixing paints and creating ethereal angelic paintings.  Stay tuned for new work from the Angel Series.

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GREAT NIGHT FOR LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

We thank special guest Kathie Lee Gifford, our generous sponsors and volunteers, and our 850 guests for a wonderful “Love Thy Neighbor” fundraiser for The Harvest Center last night!

We look forward to sharing more photos and details!

Co-chair Cindy Grantham, Executive Director Colin Pinkney, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Anne Neilson; Photo: Carl McPhail