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Rainbow Eucalyptus: The Beauty That Comes With Time

Rainbow Eucalyptus

This watercolor of a Rainbow Eucalyptus is near and dear to my heart.

In 2019 my father went into memory care. His Alzheimer’s Disease had progressed to the point that he would wander off. I had already dealt with the difficult task of gaining guardianship so that I could have his driver’s license removed. He was livid, but after multiple  situations of him getting lost (one time 100 miles away) something had to be done because he wouldn’t give it up himself. 

Alzheimer’s Disease is a cruel thing.

I know what it is like to have my father introduce me as his mother, a friend, even his sister (he didn’t have a sister). I heard him ask my mother, his wife of over sixty years, who she was. But one thing he always was, was my father and my mother’s husband. It was devastating to discover that the great stories we heard over and over again were no longer remembered. But there were things that remained. He knew Jesus until the very end. And he loved music, even remembering lyrics. He would walk the halls singing, “Oh, the windows of heaven are opened, the blessings are falling tonight; There’s joy, joy, joy in my heart ‘cause Jesus made everything right…” It was moments like these that reminded me just how wonderfully colorful my dad’s life was.

Enter my discovery of the Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree.

One of the places the Rainbow Eucalyptus is found in the Philippines. Apart from the vibrant colors, here is what drew me to paint this beautiful tree. These trees don’t start out colorful. They pretty much have a typical looking trunk as other trees. But over time, with age, a change takes place. The initial plain bark first begins to peel off revealing subdued colors, but over time as the elements beat away at its core more bark falls away and the eventual result is what you see here. A vibrant Beauty. 

Proverbs 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.

A Crown of Splendor

I consider this a type of our gray haired family and friends. They are so beautiful. They have withstood the hammering of the elements and have emerged with this beautiful thing called wisdom. Even as Alzheimer’s disease was robbing my father of his memory there were parts of him that were as vibrant as ever. It was never a drudgery to spend time with my father. He was still my dad, who lived on in my memories and still does today over a year after he went to be with Jesus. Here is my advice to you. Don’t take them for granted. Enjoy every moment. Be grateful for what they have taught you. Take notice of the colors their life has produced.

You can purchase a print of my “Rainbow Eucalyptus” painting here


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Summer Glory: Watercolor Painting is a Process

Look at the creative mess the above painting went through before it was what you see above.
Each layer I had to wait for it to diffuse and dry before moving on.  Believe it or not, this is what I intended each of  these layers to look like.

It’s risky exposing to the world something that is unfinished.

But I wanted to show a bit of my process. It seems like often we want to hide away until we feel more put together and polished. And if you’re doing your own polishing, then I hope you have a pleasant hiding place because you’re gonna be there forever.

But Life is a holy process when we belong to the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus.

Why are we confused and afraid when the Lord shows us a glimpse of our mess. Unless we recognize the uncomfortable messiness  of our own feeble efforts to be worthy,  we don’t really see the completeness of God’s beautiful finished work that is making us truly worthy.

We don’t like those times when he is letting His work in us dry so he can add the next layer. It feels stagnant,  but trust me, it isn’t. 

Glory to Glory. 

I don’t boast in my messy sinfulness. It’s not beautiful. I am of myself NOT glorious – yet. I boast in the One who began a good work in me and is faithful to complete it.

And I rejoice with each new layer God adds to my life when He knows I’m ready. 

So, I will do my best to obey Him. It speeds up the drying process so He can move ahead on the next layer of His finishing process.

I am nothing without Him,  and I am everything with Him, because He is everything.

If you have given your life to God than this is for you, “Don’t worry, be patient, don’t take God’s work upon yourself. He’s got this. Just do what He’s told you in His word.”

If you haven’t believed on Jesus,  there’s no time like the present.