This week while tidying my office I paused in front of this painting hanging behind my desk chair and remembered when I purchased it so many years ago. It’s not spectacular in terms of art but I fell in love with it the moment I saw it on a stand in a neighborhood shop. I had to have it because the girl reminded me of myself. Aside from the blond hair I identified with every part of her. She looked sad, lost, uncertain about where she fit in.

I made up a little story about her in my mind and gave it a happy ending. She had gotten lost in the woods while out for a walk one day and was frightened she wouldn’t be able to find her way home. But then a shaft of sunlight caught her attention and she followed it out of the woods into a meadow of flowers. The flowers comforted her somehow so she picked a bouquet. Their bright colors and lovely fragrance soothed her racing heart and she carried them home, happy to find her mother waiting for her at the door.

Today when I think of that story, I’m aware of how it had been a theme throughout my growing up years. I spent many years in and out of the woods, taking this path and that one, but so often feeling stuck at an intersection wondering which way to turn.

And then came the day when the shaft of God’s light led me home. I felt his presence. (That’s another story for another time.) For the first time, despite all the lessons and reading and praying, I knew the Spirit loved me. I have not been the same since–not even one tiny little bit. I am no longer lost or worried or wondering. I know that God lives and loves and that he lives in me and loves me–and he lives in and loves you. When have you felt his love?

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)



Girl in a Meadow — 27 Comments

  1. What a sweet story Karen! My favorite paintings are those that include children because the innocence of children is real! Its not surprising that Isaiah 11:6 says “a child shall lead them.” All thru scripture we are reminded of childlike trust. Mark and I would love to have you come to our Mount Hermon cabin and have a cup of tea and enjoy the many pictures we have of children there! Im sure we’d have many things to share together! Joan Folden

    • Thank you, Joan. I will be at the Danube cruise meeting at MH on Saturday, Feb. 13. If you’re attending perhaps I could visit your cabin afterwards. It would be lovely to see the two of you again.

  2. I have loved that painting my whole life. I still remember it near the piano in the Calabasas house and used to look at it for long stretches of time. I didn’t know that story about how you felt about it! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Julie. I’m glad you know the story now and happy to hear you loved that painting your whole life. Now we know something new about each other!

  3. Thanks Karen for reminding me of my early knowing of the loving presence of GOD. When I was a child and felt scared or alone I would sing “Jesus loves me” and feel his hand in mine. I am blessed with great faith and gratitude no matter the earthly circumstances …. and know that “This too shall pass” ….. another saying that comforts me often and reminds me to be still and feel His presence and guidance.
    Just celebrated my 72nd B’day and happy to feel healthy and vibrant and full of love. See you soon my friend XO.

    • I hope your birthday trip with Sandy and Merrilyn was a real celebration. Eager to see you. And thanks for sharing your ‘knowing’ that God loves you.

  4. I love this story, Karen! I have felt lost at times too. I know that God loves me and wants me to come home to him each and every day. Thank you for reminding me of Zephaniah 3:17. It’s one of my favorite verses.

  5. What a beautiful story you have written. So well done and so eloquently put together. I can relate to it as well. If you don’t mind me saying I also think you should write more stories like this one. Just the few lines I read pulled me right into it.
    What a lovely way to speak of our God and your relationship with

    • Thank you, Janet, for your encouragement. To see more of this kind of story-style writing, you might check out the following of my books:

      Lord, How Did I Get This Old So Soon? Prayers and Promises to Brighten Your Day

      Squeeze the Moment: Making the Most of Life’s Gifts and Challenges

      The Beauty of Aging: Growing Older With Grace, Gratitude and Grit

  6. Lovely, Karen. As a child (young person) I, too, loved to pick wild flowers and bring them to my mother. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, Marie. It’s nice to hear that you and I both enjoyed picking flowers for our mothers.

  7. This is soooo beautiful and I love the story you wrote for it~just as beautiful! It is such a blessing to read your Monday’s mail!!! There is always something special about everything you write. If I can find out “how to do it” I will send you a favorite picture/painting I have loved since I was seven years old and after almost 50 years I finally found one like it in an antique shop and it is now hanging in my bedroom. It is a little girl sitting on her knees on a church pew but it is under a tree in the woods. You can see her side view and she is looking up in a tree at a little bird! On second thought I will just take a picture of my favorite “wall” where I have several favorite pictures, one I had bought my mother in 1945 of Jesus holding a little lamb! I am sure more all of you “readers” have seen it.> Jesus does love us and He loves all the little creatures too-and I love and appreciate YOU! Margaret

    • Please do send me a photo of your favorite painting. Lovely art work can be such a comfort. Charles introduced me to so many galleries. We often spent a day looking at paintings and then had so much to talk about afterwards. He was also an expert at hanging them in just the right way and in just the right place in our home.

  8. Karen your story, is very meaningful to me and the painting reminds me of one I have in my home. The scripture you chose is one of my favorite. It brings me peace when I reflect upon all you have written. Thank you Karen for your writing that uplifts all who read it.

    • Thank you, Sandy. I’m happy my writing is a blessing to you, as your friendship and art work are to me.

  9. Thanks, Karen, I love the uplifting spirit in your beautiful story that is so well written and told. I feel God’s loving spirit going through me whenever I needed Him on the daily basis and pray for Him to encourage me, to de-stress me, to unburden me, to give me a peaceful goodnight sleep, … I feel so fortunate to have the loving God almighty as my shelter to go to and love me as no one else. Jing

    • Thank you, Jing. Yes, I agree. There is nothing like the love of God and the assurance of his presence and guidance in our lives.

  10. Recently, I was beating myself up about long-past parenting mistakes, as I often do. As I prayed, I sensed God’s loving embrace. Since He’s forgiven my sins and mistakes, I don’t have to carry them anymore. That reminded me how loved I am!

    • I’m so happy to hear this, Columba. As parents we have such a heavy responsibility and it’s easy to fault ourselves. I’ve done it hundreds of times. But the love of God washes away all those mistakes. I’m happy to hear you have experienced forgiveness.

  11. Thanks for sharing about your feeling of being lost as a child. I felt that way too Karen. And as an adult, I felt like I was hanging on a string; not knowing who I was or what my purpose was. I told God “I’m just hanging on a string” Then He called me into the ministry. I discovered my leadership abilities and developed my spiritual gifts. it was like I was going around a mountain and never knowing where I was going before. I know what you mean about feeling the Holy Spirit. Jesus baptized me in the Holy Spirit about that time. He waits for us to reach out to him.

    • Thank you, Mary, for your wonderful personal story of how you discovered what God wanted you to do with your life and you then were able to use your spiritual gifts for his glory. A beautiful testimony.

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