Hiking Toward Home » Hiking In Grace & Capturing My View

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In my first post of the year I mentioned that I was going to get back to gratitude listing here again. I am starting afresh with a clean slate.

  • A house to live in
  • With heat that works
  • Laughing hard, so much so that my face hurt, with Trisha and Beverly
  • Bryant fixes lunch, such a huge help
  • Hoar frost
  • She has her diploma in hand, “graduating” a semester ahead of time
  • Pastor T. W. helping to process her diploma faster than usual
  • Hot water
  • Face-timing the Messersmiths
  • PVBC taking on the Messersmiths as their missionaries, such a huge blessing on so many levels
  • Two full double rainbows in the sky on the same day


  • Brilliant blue sky contrasted against the dark storm clouds that were rolling through fast


  • Driver’s ed… FINALLY.
  • Trisha pegs me hard in the face, between the eyes, with a hackysak ball…
  • …and we laugh long and hard about it.
  • Listening to father explain to growing tall son – the ins and outs of shaving
  • The grass is still green and it is January
  • All four kids hanging out in the kitchen, laughing and singing and quoting lines
  • Mango has blond eyelashes
  • They invite me over to chat, they know I’ve had an emotionally hard day
  • Elizabeth tagging me in a post about friendship, that no matter how long good friends are apart, it is as if no time has passed when they do get together again. So incredibly blessed that God preserved this friendship.


  • Barb, continues to encourage me to pursue my art
  • Shelter from the howling wind
  • Mango lays on the landing waiting for sleepy heads to come down and play


  • Finding mouse turds on my drawing table leads me to cleaning it off so I can finally use it


  • When it is only 12 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat pump is keeping the house warm
  • Jason’s aunt finds my son’s Bible at her church, it has been missing for years, lost at a tent revival apparently
  • M asks me to design some custom art for her…
  • …she is ever encouraging me forward
  • A sits and folds clothes with me, “to help Mom”
  • He asks for a haircut and we chat, mom and son
  • B tells me my soup is his favorite
  • Reading The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to the kids…
  • …as they are all snuggled up close around me
  • The puffed out white chest of the red-tailed hawk, observing the traffic from his perch next to the roadway
  • God provides for her spring semester of college…
  • … and the downpayment for a new laptop
  • Spending time with Dawn, each of us working on separate projects…
  • … the friendship that is at ease and where silence isn’t awkward at all
  • SNOW!!!  (more than two feet worth)
  • New friends who show up to help dig you out
  • Bryant was home to enjoy it, being snowed in together providing special family time
  • Bright blue sky with lots of sunshine
  • Several offers to drive him to work when the cars were still buried under snow
  • He is able to make it to work – on time
  • Good friends who pray
  • Mango is a very happy snow-dog
  • Blue jay



  • Brilliant red cardinals


  • Sparrows with “yellow eye shadow”


  • Brown birds with striped bellies
  • Dark gray birds that look as if they’ve been dipped in white paint


  • Snuggling on the love seat with my girls
  • Kids who enjoy doing art projects at birthday parties
  • She realizes she said something she shouldn’t have and has the courage to face it and apologize
  • She listens to my ranting and casts no judgment
  • They bless me with time to blog uninterrupted


In the future, it is my hope, to post this listing at the end of each month.

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  • LisaFebruary 4, 2016 - 10:54 AM

    I like this on so many levels! Missing you!😘ReplyCancel

    • SharonFebruary 4, 2016 - 6:30 PM

      I miss you terribly and can’t wait to have you here again… on so many levels.ReplyCancel

  • MarkeneFebruary 8, 2016 - 10:00 AM

    So good to see your beautiful photographs and see you “praise recording” all the goodness of the Lord! Glad you had the uninterrupted time:)ReplyCancel

    • SharonFebruary 10, 2016 - 9:04 AM

      Thanks! Having 3 hours of uninterrupted time to blog is definitely a blessing. Too bad it ends this week.ReplyCancel

  • JoanneFebruary 22, 2016 - 2:11 PM

    What a wonderful walk through God’s blessings. Thank you for sharing. Listening to you has brought me to tears twice this month friend. So thankful for your tender and artistic heart.ReplyCancel


So here we are in the beginnings of a new year.

As I sat and pondered the coming year and the year that has passed, I have a few focus areas for the new year. I am not setting myself up for failure and setting goals I know I will never achieve. I just want to focus and work on a few areas.

There is an old habit I am bringing back this year.

Gratitude Listing.

I used to post my gratitude and gifts on a fairly regular basis and then after hitting 2000 I decided to just do it privately in a journal.

Guess what?

I never did.

So to keep myself in check, I am going back to where I started and posting it right on the old blog.

Another thing I want to focus on this year here is more ART.

Painting, Drawing, Sketching; not just Photography.

My parents gave me an easel for Christmas and I am looking forward to using it, which means acrylic painting is in my future not just watercolors. I got a great deal on a new starter set of Liquitex!

So. More ART.

Decorating our home.

And I am trying really hard to get my house in order. It has been a mess since we moved in …four years ago. I never really decorated. I just unpacked a few boxes and shoved stuff on to shelves but with no thought process and at some point life took over and not all of our boxes got unpacked.

This year, I want to unpack the rest and get rid of what I don’t want and put out what I truly love.

When I lived in the Philippines, my home decor was very coastal beach house and I still want that theme. Though I am not so much the tropical coastal but more of a New England coastal look. So I am hoping to move forward on that. (Maybe I will dig up some old photos of our home in the Philippines and post them.)

Our furniture is the same with a few new additions but the main pieces are still here and for the most part are in good shape. The slip covers on them are not in such great shape. So my project for the new year is to recover my futon and my love seat and ottoman.

I was very excited to find the same fabric I used for the original cover on my futon (from back in 2002) so I am looking forward to sharing my journey through that process.

Lastly, I am looking toward getting healthier.

My weight and fitness has bounced all over the place in the last few years. I want to get that back on track and stable, and not just my physical health but my all around health; spiritually and mentally too. I’m tired of feeling “blah” all the time.

So to sum it all up…

2016 will focus on:

Gratitude Listing

Taking time for Art

Decking out the house

Getting healthy


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The third painting I did in that group of three was of the beach in Boracay, Philippines.

We visited Boracay in October of 2008. The trip was a gift to our family.

Boracay is a beautiful tropical island with palm tree lined beach and turquoise water.


Though this painting looks a bit abstract it is exactly as the photo I took to use as a reference. I especially like the texture of the leading edge of the wave.

The simplicity of this painting and the blue of the water is very calming and makes me long to sit on that beach and fall asleep listening to the lapping of the waves while soaking up the sunlight.

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  • VickiNovember 11, 2015 - 9:29 AM

    Sharon – this is beautiful! I love the colors and it makes me want to sit on a beach somewhere.ReplyCancel

    • SharonJanuary 5, 2016 - 11:03 AM

      Thanks so much Vicki! It is nice to have you visit here and share your thoughts. (Sorry I didn’t see this until late. I stayed off the site over the holidays.)ReplyCancel

  • BarbNovember 11, 2015 - 7:50 PM

    That is incredibly beautiful. It doesn’t seem abstract to me at all!ReplyCancel

    • SharonJanuary 5, 2016 - 11:02 AM

      Thanks Barb! I only wish I had maybe painted it on a larger scale. (Sorry I stayed off the site over the holidays and didn’t see this until now.)ReplyCancel


After I painted Peggys Cove Lighthouse, I decided to work on Yaquina Head Lighthouse next.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse is located on the Oregon coast.

In 2008, my husband and I took a trip down the coast of Oregon and stopped to photograph most of the lighthouses along the coast. We were not able to go inside this majestic beauty but we did spend some time exploring the tide pools that are at the bottom of the cliff in the foreground of this painting.

I painted from a photo that was taken on an overcast morning. Just as we were leaving, a little stripe of blue appeared on the horizon way out over the Pacific. Overcast weather and clouds make photos and paintings more interesting and provide depth of field for the eye to wander.


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Earlier this year I finally picked up a brush again.

I painted three small 8 x 10 canvases using acrylic.

My first was Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse in Nova Scotia, Canada.


I painted from a photo that I had taken back in 2009.

The day my dad and I visited Peggy’s Cove in 2009, it had been very overcast. All. Day. Long.  The sky was cloudy and the light was low and all day as we wandered and scrambled over rocks I prayed for some blue sky to show through. Every once in a while we were teased with a tiny spot of blue here and there.

We stayed so long we decided to eat dinner at the restaurant right across the parking lot from the lighthouse. As we savored our dinner the sun set and did not disappoint. We finished dinner just in time to snap a few good sunset photos.

My parents have since been back to visit it and the old lighthouse has had a facelift in the form of a new paint job so it no longer has the patches of peeling paint that you see here.

So there you have it, the backstory of this painting.

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  • DanielleNovember 4, 2015 - 1:14 PM

    Sharon this is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your talent!ReplyCancel

    • SharonNovember 9, 2015 - 11:52 AM

      Thank you dear friend. I appreciate your encouraging words.ReplyCancel

  • Dottie SimonidesNovember 11, 2015 - 10:32 PM

    So enjoying your lighthouses. You have a special gift. Your shadings are perfect. Those paint patches actually gave your lighthouse more interest. I’m kind of glad they were there!
    May the Lord continue to bless you and your creative talent. Thanks for sharing it with us.ReplyCancel

    • SharonJanuary 5, 2016 - 11:05 AM

      Thanks Dottie! I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment until recently. I stayed off the site over the holiday season. Hugs to you!ReplyCancel

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