Day 4: What hope looks like to an artist

Back in the fall, Pat Costigan exhibited 28 oil, acrylic and pastel paintings that all focused on hope. Today, instead of words, may we be inspired by her brush…

Posted on the gallery wall:

The first step in the journey of hope is love

… and there’s this, this beautiful painting titled Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid 13x19x300dpi


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” ( When she is not busy in her studio, she is often found walking their rescue dog, Bella, around the neighborhood in Fairport, NY.

101_2887Today’s journal page is from Linda Gordon, a generous friend who let me write about her ugly clay foot and still shared her wise thoughts on creating a peaceful dwelling. (She is the perfect example of why it is slightly dangerous to be friends with a writer.) This scripture has been especially meaningful to her as she thinks about hope.


To download today’s journal page and add your own thoughts, click here.

Here’s a glimpse:


A peaceful house doesn’t have to be quiet or perfect

My friend Linda Gordon has one of those homes where you always feel welcome. Always. It’s not about the paint color or keeping up with the latest Pinterest craze — it’s about her whole family’s attitude. That’s why I knew I wanted her to share her wisdom on creating a peaceful home. (And if her name sounds familiar to you, I’ve written about her journey of faith in the past.) I always learn from her, and I think you will, too…

When I told my husband I had been asked to write about our peaceful house, he smiled the knowing smile of the one who has shared my house for almost 26 years.  He then said ” Yeah, it is pretty peaceful.”

I am a law abiding, first born so I find rules both necessary and comforting.

We picked up our first set of house rules at a craft fair.  The list of 10 if/ then statements includes if you wear it … hang it up, if you spill it … wipe it up, if you open it… close it,  if you  empty it…  fill it,  if it rings….answer it.   It would be a great house if all of these occurred, but to me the last 2 are the most important:  if it howls … feed it, and if it cries… love it.

Are there really rules for a peaceful house?  I can’t say, but here are some thoughts I had about ours.

A peaceful house does not have to be a quiet place. The peace that comes from a rowdy, joke filled dinner conversation can linger for days.  Laughing so hard you cannot even eat, can be more filling than any food.

A peaceful house is welcoming. There is always room for one more; even if it means you have to put pillows on the floor because the chairs are full.  It also means stretching dinner to fill a plate for everyone who is there, including the ones you were not expecting.

A peaceful house is kind to all who enter it.  Greet people by name, run to welcome them or at least stop what you are doing to look at them, ask about their day, expect them to answer you in complete sentences, and make adjustments in your surroundings so you can hear the answer.

A peaceful house honors the life that enters it.  Each person is someone of value that must be learned from and about.  Some days it takes real effort to appreciate someone you live with; but if you keep going with the hard conversations instead of allowing doors to slam, the atmosphere of the house is different.  A peaceful house has to hear the voices of all who live inside it.

A peaceful house must be a haven for every person who lives in it. For this to be true, you may need to change a little bit about yourself so all can feel comfortable there. When you know who you live with, you learn what they value.   Everyone knows the feeling of walking into the house to find the thing they hate the most waiting for them.  We also know that on the other side; if we are proactive, we can prevent that situation for someone else.  If we practice behaviors that lead to our values; then maybe the house can indeed be peaceful.