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It’s fair to say that I have some connections in Oklahoma, and I’d like to use them for a good cause.

IMG_1498If you’d like to send a little note — perhaps a picture drawn by your child or a scripture — to cheer the people who survived the recent tornadoes, I can make sure it arrives safely in their hands.

Would you like to reach out in that way, offer an encouraging hug via pen and paper?

Just mail it to me at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612 and mark “Oklahoma” on the envelope so I know to leave it sealed. I’ll need your notes by Monday, June 17.

(Please, don’t send any money. Just love!)

If you’d like, here’s a quick little design you can download and print. Enjoy!

Oklahoma stationery

OklaLetter

I know — technically — the 40 Days of Hope project is complete, but I saved this one journal page for today. It’s from the gracious Lynda Pleckan. Enjoy!

And thank you all for helping prepare my heart for Easter.

Be blessed, my friends!

To download today’s journal page, just click here.

Here’s a peek:

Day 41

Remember how Pat Costigan has an entire exhibit of paintings dedicated to hope? Well, take a look at this one and then enjoy her artist’s statement:

024Sunset One 1080p x 300dpi

I spent much time exploring sources of hope and asking others what are the sources of hope for them.

Many of the respondents to the question “What gives you Hope” gave this answer:

  “Nature gives me hope.”

Day33Today’s journal page comes to us from Maureen Phillips. She says: My life and hope for the future is focused on my faith in Christ.   In recent years, it has become clearer to me that my hope only grows through the joys and disappointments that come my way.  I am certain that the love Jesus has for me is perfect, so when my life isn’t I rest in knowing that His plans for me are good. My husband and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage in April and we have have two beautiful children.  Our daughter is 18 and our son is 14.  Our favorite pastime is camping.  We love to get away with friends and family and just enjoy nature. To download, just click here.

Because both of my little guys woke up two hours early (thank you barking Pomeranian) I’m only sharing a journal page — but it is a good one, with a good story! And I think I can tell you about it while holding a wiggly toddler.

Leanne Martin picToday’s journal page is from Leanne Martin. Her passion is coaching figure skaters. She was an engineer for many years, too many years, until she realized her calling… teaching. She also teaches as an adjunct professor for Syracuse University on the side. She is married with an active 11-year-old son. She also loves working at Camp Ta-Kum-Ta in Vermont every summer where she learns to love, cry, laugh and celebrate hope.

Here’s her artist’s statement about the journal page:

The picture of the baby deer (that I took in my yard just before mowing the lawn) represents new, beautiful, fragile life.

It’s love that ties us all together.

The picture in the lower right corner represents hope. This is a picture of my dragon boat team that raced in Ride the Dragon for Charity in Vermont this past August. We were raising money for our charity Camp Ta-Kum-Ta.  My husband and I volunteer every summer for a week (we have for the last 14 years) at a kid’s camp called Camp Ta-Kum-Ta in Vermont. This is a camp for kids that have or have had cancer. A few of our rowers in the Dragon boat race were former campers that are now camp counselors. Now that is hope!

To download the page, click here.

Here’s a glimpse:

Day 14 Leanne

 

Thank you, all of you, for joining us for the 40 Days of Hope project. Each day during Lent, we’ll share something about hope here — something that we pray inspires you or encourages you. We’re also planning to share free journal pages for you to download. We don’t quite have 40 yet, so if you’d like more information on submitting one, please click here.

Remember Pat Costigan and her paintings of hope? We’re sharing another one today titled Spiritual Resistance.

Spiritual Resistance 13x19x300dpi

Here’s the bulk of the artist’s statement…

The inspiration for this painting was how the Jews practiced Spiritual Resistance in the Ghettos during World War II. The prisoners in the ghettos at that time drew upon their:

gifts,

talents,

life giving abilities

to survive, not to succumb to hopelessness and fear and transform their dismal, dark lives, if for only a moment into something that lifted their souls out of this world into another dimension.

Their lives were filled with:

starvation,

pestilence,

extremes of cold,

lack of warm clothing,

want of decent living conditions,

the everyday threat of death for themselves and their loved ones by

violence,

hatred

and cruelty.

They performed music, theatre, created art, gave lectures about science, literature, art, music and performed many, many unselfish acts of kindness.

How do we combat the hatred that destroys and tears down?

When we do acts of good where we are, it affirms our humanity.

When we experience forces from outside trying to get to our inside, the darkness in…

We can transform the darkness of pain into Light, Joy and Hope.

We can embrace the world.

We can embrace the dark, diseased world.

We can throw our loving arms around this world in order to change it.

We can speak words of encouragement

We can try to understand our enemies

We can practice courage to speak out for silent victims of injustice

We can join in the dance of Light

We can join in the music of Peace

We can join in living in Hope

Pat Costigan and her husband, Bob, have four daughters, Clare, Beth, Anne and Irene. Before children, she earned a BA in Art and an MA in Special Education, taught and always made art. Through the years she has been involved with local and international social justice issues. Pat recently completed a series of paintings on “Hope” and is working on a new series titled “Grace.” Pat co-authored, designed and created the artwork and illustrations for the newly published book, “Mothering: An Art Of The Heart” (www.motheringanartoftheheart.com). When she is not busy in her studio, she is often found walking their rescue dog, Bella, around the neighborhood in Fairport, NY.

Rachel Doll picToday’s journal page is from another artist (and friend), Rachel Whaley Doll. She is also an author and musician — mostly because she wondered what she could do with her gifts and decided to try. Her newest book, “The Exquisite Ordinary,” is available on Amazon.  Vocal recordings, murals, contact information and other writings can be found at threadsofcreativity.com. And she has been gracious enough to write about having a peaceful dwelling and share it at Simply Faithful.

Here are Rachel’s suggestions for the journal page: 

Gather your journal paper and crayons, and set a timer for five minutes (so you won’t keep wondering how long it’s been!). For five minutes, find a comfortable position and close your eyes. Focus on calm breathing, and on the colors that present themselves as you breath gently with your eyes closed. When the five minutes are up, and you are ready, let the colors and shapes that presented themselves in your meditation guide your hand on the page. Don’t try to create anything, just enjoy the color and movement. As you look at the page, write something on it that you dream of accomplishing, and hang it somewhere you will see it often.  Happy dreaming!

To download, click here.

Here’s a glimpse:

Day 13 Rachel

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