Darling Blind Pug, a Therapy Dog, Featured in New Children’s Book

In childhood, I spent hours drawing. I drew while glued to a wooden bench, waiting for my mother to finish her last cigarette, her last beer, her last conversation with the people straddled on the tall stools beside her. Sometimes I waited all day and late into the night.

Those all day beer marathons gave me the opportunity to create trees and animals with a pencil and whatever blank paper I could find.

God gave me the ability to draw and the grace to totally forgive my mother and to demonstrate His unconditional, steadfast love to her. She’s no longer here and I sincerely miss her.

Now more than 30 years later, I’ve picked up my pencils again to create a book that I believe can help young children. Here’s one of the first sketches for Xander the Wonder Pug, a children’s book featuring Xander, a therapy dog who lives and works in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

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Next steps…begin painting with Prismacolors.

Prismacolors! Yikes.

My number one challenge so far is learning how to use Prismacolors. Prismacolors are wax based pencils with a high color saturation, meaning they are blendable and the colors are rich.

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The video tutorials that I’ve watched make it look easy peasy. So far, I’ve watched several of the pros whip out realistic paintings like it’s a walk in the park. Per their instructions, I’ve followed along and quickly learned that painting with pencils is not without challenges. Trust me, my practice color pencil drawings (also called paintings) barely resemble the ones in the “How to” videos.

Failure is a part of learning. I’m discovering what works for me and what doesn’t work for Prismacolors. They chip, I learned. And smear. And they have no idea of the concept of grace. There’s no forgiveness. One wrongly applied color can ruin twenty hours of work.

Speaking from experience, failures have been a big part of making progress with my drawings and paintings. I’ll share a failure along with the painting that I completely redid as an example in my next post.

Why don’t you follow along? I’ll share the project in various stages and maybe my process will inspire you to launch into your own creativity.

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Sketch #1 of Xander and a little girl he visited in the hospital who is now well.

How I Overcame being Disappointed

ButterflyYellowThere’s just no time or need to stay disappointed. This is what I’m telling myself as I navigate through news that has me feeling emotionally fragile.

Today, someone dear to me broke a promise, which means that I’m back to square one, asking the Lord to fill the cavernous space that appeared overnight when my ministry partner and best friend moved to another state, leaving a hole in my heart, chunk out of my life, and empty space beside me.

I’m sad. I just am. But I’ve decided that I won’t stay sad. This is not the end of the world, I tell myself.

Sometimes, we need to change attitudes, get tough with ourselves, talk to ourselves. Who’s your Lord? I ask myself. That always gets me in a better place–fast. Or I ask my sad self, Where have your eyes been? On man or on God? That’s also an effective perspective switcher for me. Works every time.

Most of the negative emotions that we harbor are a waste of time, of focus, and can distract us from our purpose. Sure, a devastating loss will send us on a ride that we had hoped to never take. Riding grief waves is something we all hope to avoid.

There’s just nothing that can be said to make grief go away. I wish there were words to eliminate that kind of pain. When you’re grieving, it’s tough! Disappointment is normal in such instances. For those of you who are traveling on the ocean of loss, the Lord will bring you through. He really will.

Aside from the passing of someone, the end of a love relationship, or the total loss of a dream, most of the things that disappoint us are not as devastating as our emotional responses say that they are.

What do I mean? A broken promise like I had today could send people into days of sadness. It’s a real bummer. I mean, I’m back to square one regarding something of tremendous importance to me personally and to the ministry. But it’s not equal to crying all day, or to being sad for longer than an hour or three. It’s not equal to going into a depression, or to becoming indifferent, or to throwing a fit.

Many people overreact to disappointing situations. They’ll be in self pity for days, infecting everyone around them. Some just go numb. Or they become cynical, roll their eyes, and say things like, “What did I expect?!” Or “This is how things always turn out.” Or, “It’s always something.”

When you’re disappointed, are you going to react or will you respond?

Your emotional reaction can be one like I mentioned earlier or you can be in dominion over yourself and respond with wisdom. What you do in the first few minutes of being disappointed matters, because negative emotions can drain the life out of a dream, can consume your focus, can detour your path.

How I worked through today’s disappointing news is that I chose to remember my Lord, His purpose for my life, and His ability to bring something amazing out of what feels like a loss.

Acknowledging God’s power, the magnitude of His greatness, and the limitlessness of His ability positions us to receive or accomplish something far greater than we have ever dreamed.

Listen up. If you’re going through or have been through something that has left you feeling disappointed, I encourage you to take to heart a powerful truth from Scripture.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen–” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

When your trust is in the Lord, disappointments become launching pads for something better than you have imagined. Beloved, if someone has disappointed you, let you down, failed to follow through, broke a promise, changed their mind and is no longer working with you, or has ended a relationship–God is able! He is able! He is able! He is able!

Jesus turned water into wine. The Lord parted the Red Sea so that a huge multitude could cross to the other side. He provided a widow and her son with enough oil and flour to feed them during a devastating famine. He works miracles and brings forth something out of nothing.

Therefore, He can certainly do something out of your nothing, multiply your little, and provide a way for you to arrive at the center of His purpose for your life.

Take heart, receive encouragement and keep walking with the Lord, because He is working something beautiful in your life.

Talk to yourself! It works.

You are dearly loved,

Pamela Koefoed

How to Live without the Fear of Disappointment

dscn19701.jpgDisappointments can turn a great day into a woes me day. They can transform a celebration into a wake, as we mourn a loss and disappointments can really mess up our plans.

Take a meaningful relationship, for example. I’ll always remember the day, the very hour, the very moment when one of my dearest friends cut off all of her friends from her life.

We were sisters in Christ. We had traveled in ministry together. We encouraged each other to a closer walk with God. We prayed for one another’s children. I could share my heart with her and she’d pray. She could tell me anything, because she knew that I would pray. We had planned a future in ministry together.

When she shut everyone out of her life, I assumed she didn’t mean me. What a shock to learn that everyone even meant me. I lived for a while in unbelief but, as the days passed, reality hit my heart and I wept as though my friend had died. This is why I say that disappointment can change a celebration into a wake.

How to Live without the Fear of Disappointment with Pamela Koefoed

On today’s video, you can learn how to move from disappointment into the joy that the Lord has set before you, and you will obtain keys for a hope-filled life.

Those of you who have been hurt by disappointments in relationships, you can either build a wall of protection around your heart or you can leverage the disappointment to move forward.

Those of you who’ve been frustrated by disappointing work or ministry experiences, you can either live without anticipating a fulfilling work or ministry experience or you can leverage the disappointments to propel you forward.

Those of you who’ve had more than your share of disappointments, you can play it safe by keeping your distance from what potentially could end up in another disappointment… if you choose.

But are you really safe?

I mean, think about it, if you’re staying in your “comfort zone” because of something you fear then you’re most likely not fulfilling your God created purpose, which means you’re not experiencing the abundant joy of a deeply satisfying life.

On today’s video, you can learn how to move from disappointment into the joy that the Lord has set before you, and you will obtain keys for a hope-filled life.

God wants your soul to be anchored in hope. Restore hope. Restore trust. Live the life that God designed for you. Live in abundant joy.

You are dearly loved,

Pamela Koefoed

 

 

If You Do Nothing Else Today…

imac 27 wallpaper-308If you do nothing else today, think about what you’re most thankful for.

If you do nothing else today, sing in the shower.

If you do nothing else today, breath deep from your belly.

If you do nothing else today, walk in the crisp morning air.

If you do nothing else today, pray for your nation.

If you do nothing else today, encourage someone with a smile, or if you’re feeling really ambitious write someone an I care about you note.

If you do nothing else today, stretch your arms way up high, bend at the waist, and try to touch your toes…repeat four times.

If you do nothing else today, call someone you care about to say hello.

If you do nothing else today, tell God what you’re thankful for.

If you do nothing else today, smile more than you did yesterday.

If you do nothing else today, be generous with something…anything will do.

If you do nothing else today, dip your toes in a flowing stream of crystal clear water to remind yourself that life is more than work and responsibilities.

If you do nothing else today, give your mind a day long break from social media and the news.

If you do nothing else today, think about God’s deep and lasting love for you, for your family, and for your neighbors.

God loves you. He really does.

Live life,

Pamela

Don’t Let Fear Diminish the Amazing Life that God has for You to Live

VictoryAlready this year, fear has tried to hinder me from living the amazing life that God has for me. In January, I learned how to use new technology to produce live videos, and I learned how to illustrate a children’s book. Acquiring the new skills that I needed brought a measure of misery–a weighty feeling. I was overwhelmed. If I had listened to my feelings, then fear would’ve diminished the amazing life that God has for me to live.

Intimidation often accompanies new and unknown territory. The weighty misery that I felt when I thought about what I needed to learn is common to mankind. It’s a fear that can hinder you (and me), unless we rule over it.

Many great opportunities are lost to those who submit to unreasonable fear. There are very effective principles that I use to overcome what would otherwise keep me from living the life that God has for me. I share these principles with you in today’s teaching video, Don’t Let Fear Hinder Your Purpose.

In this video class, I’ll tell you how I overcame fear to walk through the doors that the Lord has opened. I’ll share with you principles that have helped me trust the Lord more consistently. By the way, these are the principles that I used to overcome that awful feeling that often accompanies learning a new skill.

God has a truly amazing life for each of you to live. Sometimes circumstances keep us from things that are so good, and sometimes fear hinders us from living life more fully.   You might be surprised to discover how practical the Lord’s antidote is for the fears that hinder.

I invite you to get some paper, if you can, a pencil, and jot down some notes as you listen to today’s teaching.

God bless you,

Pamela Koefoed

When Life Hurts, God Where are You?

I’ve learned more through the valleys of life than I have from the mountain peaks. For me, one of the big lessons has been that God is very present, even when we’re completely unaware of Him; He’s present.

???????????????????????????????????????When He seems distant, it’s we who have made Him so. We can keep Him at arms length, or separated from our lives by great distances, or beckon Him near by drawing near to Him.

To the homeless who wander the streets, the convict, the gangster, and the child–to young and old, to saint and sinner, the Lord gives the same invitation:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls–Matthew 11:28-29.

I’ve learned that He’s always available. In the mountain tops, He’s with us, and in the valleys, He’s with us.

One can be present, yet not near. It’s true. For instance, you and I can sit in the same room, but remain emotionally distant. The Lord is constantly present, not constantly near.

Whether He is near to me depends upon me, not my circumstances. And whether He’s near to you depends on you, not what you’re going through. He may feel distant, but this doesn’t mean He’s not present.

In a sea of anxiety, fear, depression or grief, the Lord often seems to be hundreds of miles away. But does this mean that He’s left us? Certainly not.

He is present.

Even in troubled seas of life, when it looks like there’s no way to survive the storm, He is present. Even when your heart feels like it’s breaking and you wonder, God where are you? He is present.

The Lord doesn’t offer us personalized explanations for why certain times in life are so troubled and painful. But, as a Father coaxes His children into His arms, He invites all to come to Him and to have the heaviness of suffering lifted from our shoulders–He extends His love. He beckons to the one weighed down by trouble, “Come to Me, I will give you rest. In Me, you will find rest for your souls.”

In the valleys, I learned to reach out with my heart to Him. In sorrow, I discovered that even when overwhelmed with grief, when I felt nothing but loss, He was with me. It was in moments of weakness, not in times of jubilation, that I learned to depend upon Him, so that I could stand with Him on the mountain.

There’s one more lesson that I learned from being in the valley. In the difficult places, I discovered how to walk closely with the Lord.

Have you thought about what an incredible invitation God gives us each day? He says, “Come to me…” And “Draw near to Me…” The tense of these words are present on-going. So, it’s as if He is saying to you now, Come to Me and keep coming to Me. Draw near to Me and keep drawing near to Me.

His is a never ending invitation to daily connect deeply with Him and to daily enter into His healing love. What a gift!

If all around seems hopeless, then you’re in the valley that I’ve spoken of here and you have especially great need of the Lord.

He is present.

It might not seem like it’s possible, but better days will come, days when clouds of trouble have blown away and the crystal clear sky is the bluest blue that you’ve ever seen. When life is better, take what you learned in the valley and put it to use on the mountain.

Thou my everlasting portion,
More than friend or life to me,
All along my pilgrim journey,
Savior, let me walk with Thee

Lyrics from the Hymn, Close to Thee by Frances J. Crosby, 1874

Draw near to the Lord all who are on the mountains. Draw near to the Lord all who are in the valleys. In Him, there’s rest for your souls.

James 4:8; Jeremiah 29:12-13; Matthew 11:28-29

Pamela Koefoed, http://www.pamelakoefoed.com