Monthly Archives: June 2011

Donna’s DAWGS


Hello!  Today’s projects consisted of these three cartoon dogs for the kennel.  They are painted on old oak cupboard doors that were left behind at the old building.  We didn’t want to throw them away so we thought this was a perfect way to recycle and create a unique piece of art.


All similar yet each a little different!

The first one is BONES and he loves to eat bones.

The second one is RED and he loves CATS!

The third one is DOODLES and he loves to laugh and dance!

I love my dawgs!


This Journey


Well, here it is the Monday after vacation.  I was dreading stepping on the scales this morning even knowing that I had been successful over vacation in not eating everything on the planet!  haha!  It wasn’t easy and I was tempted with every smell possible.  Going to Gatlinburg  for 5 days was a real test for me. Pastor Ty talked about the word “tempt” during his sermon yesterday-which was pretty awesome by the way!  He said that the word “tempt” really meant TEST.  Well, Gatlinburg  was a test for me, that’s for sure!  It sits in the mountains and it beckons  people from every area of the world.  It’s beautiful country and it’s like a tourist wonderland that has been dropped in the middle of the mountains.  It has every food that one could want and some that you never even heard of.   I really had to put the blinders on.  Every morning I would get up with my coffee, sketchpad, bible and my audio book called “Redeeming Love” and would spend several hours on the back deck of our cabin, alone.    I am an early riser and I love to listen for God in the wee hours of the morning.   I know that this time was key to  my success in the choices I made.  No, it wasn’t easy, but with Christ I can do anything and so can you!

Pastor Ty preached about Abraham and Isaac making the trek up the mountain in obedience to God.  God had asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  It was a test.  But Abraham had FAITH and he KNEW in his heart that God would supply his needs and he did.  Pastor Ty pointed out that as Abraham and Isaac were climbing one side of the mountain-the ram was climbing the other side.  Neither could see the other, but God could see it all.  His perfect plan, His perfect timing, His perfect will.  He’s never late.

I love this part of our history.  The bible is our story- it is a story of God’s redeeming love for His people.  All people.  Jew, Gentile, beggar, tax collector, widow, prostitute, gambler, liar, thief, wretch, addict, overeater.    Not one person is left out by God.  We do the leaving out ourselves.  Our mind plays tricks on us to get us to think less of ourselves and we fall into that trap of stinkin’ thinkin’.  Abraham didn’t seem to have any stinkin’ thinkin on his trek up the mountain.  He made statements of faith and he focused on God’s promise to supply all his needs.  He couldn’t see the ram-but he KNEW his God and He knew in his heart that God would provide!   …and He did!

This morning I am overjoyed that I was able to climb my own mountain of test during vacation.  One foot in front of the other.  It’s not easy and God never said it would be, but every step brings me closer to my Lord, closer to the One who holds all the promises….His promises are sweeter and fuller than any food I can ever eat with my mouth.   That taste is one that I am beginning to yearn for, to crave inside of my being.   My journey isn’t about the number-it’s about the change inside of me-the change in my focus from food to God.  I am learning to put God before the food and say to myself, ” Is this victory?  How will you feel after you eat this?  Are you really hungry?  Why are you eating this?  Is this good for your body?  You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you-now trust and do it! You were made to crave GOD Donna!”  

( I Am FREE!)

And so it is…I put one foot in front of another with every choice.  I have to.  If I don’t I will kill myself with food.  I have an addictive personality and this is why I don’t drink.  It tastes too good.  Food tastes good too and I must learn discipline and control.  My mountain is filled with brownies, ice cream, cookies, cake, pizza, chips, dip, hot dogs, yummy specialty coffee drinks topped with whip cream, donuts, macaroni salad, sausage biscuits and gravy and the list goes on and on.  It is a mountain that I cannot climb alone and like Isaac carrying his wood on his back and Jesus his cross, food is my cross.   I know that God sees the plan and that He is sending a new “me” up the other side of this mountain-one that is victorious and healthier.  One that can run without breathing heavy and one that can put God before all other things and be who He made her to be.  My load gets lighter with each step forward and when I reach the top I know that God will provide all my needs just like He did Abraham and Isaac.  I imagine that Abraham felt this in his heart and soul-I can feel it too.  It’s different this time-this is God’s plan for me-not mine.  It is becoming a yearning and it is a humbling experience.  I have realized that I had made food my god and not God.  We are to have no other gods before us-only the One True God, Father in Heaven, Creator of All, Redeemer, Healer, Savior and Lord.   I am learning how to think, act and eat with God first.  No, it’s not easy and yes I have let myself have things-but in moderation.  This is key to success.  Yes, have a little, get a taste, then move on.  Don’t let the pan of brownies be your meal.   It’s a daily struggle, sometimes minute by minute.  But I know I can do ALL things with Christ’s strength.  Ask, seek, knock and He will answer.

In the fall I have been asked to participate in a presentation for a women’s group.  it is called ” A walk in my shoes…”  I’m not sure what I am doing yet but I know that God is my guide and that this journey has something to do with that presentation.  I have felt it for awhile and God is is compelling me to move forward with every step-to trust in Him and let him do the leading.

So this morning I am thanking God for His leading, his supplying my needs and for always being there to help me up this mountain.  My scales showed a loss and my heart sings for joy!  With every step, I lose a little bit of me and gain a little bit of God.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

I love you Lord!

 My sweet Lord….you are all I need!

Bursting blossoms!


Isaiah 35:1-2

Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, the badlands will celebrate and flower—
Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom,
a symphony of song and color.
Mountain glories of Lebanon—a gift.
Awesome Carmel, stunning Sharon—gifts.
God’s resplendent glory, fully on display.
God awesome, God majestic.

I will love you Lord all the days of my life.  I thank you for showing me your beauty in creation, for your hues, your shapes, sizes, & smells.  You have given me things that show meyour beauty-things I can touch, see, smell, taste and hear.  This is a small portion of who you are and of what is to come for me….may I always glorify you in all that I do and say the way these flowers do!


Barns and trees….


Barns and trees and stuff…

I have always loved this old barn and these trees.  I heard that the county was going to take them down in the next year or so…that makes me sad.  I wonder what sort of stories this old barn could tell?  I actually think it was a home at one time and not a barn…not sure though…

Anyway- I took some shots of it so  I could do a drawing at some point.  The trees around it are magnificent and one of them even looked like it had a heart in the middle of it.   In my mind I am sure that at some point in time it had children joyfully running around the yard and clothes flapping in the breeze on the line out back.  Maybe even a tire swing and a floppy eared old dog laying around snoring.  The good old days.  Lemonade on the porch and sweaty farmers coming in from the fields.  Reminds me of home.  We weren’t farmers but we lived among farms.  I can remember being at the neighbors farm when it was lunch time and the men would come in for lunch, all sweaty and tired and smelling like the barn.   An earthy smell that you cannot put into a bottle.  Time goes by, things change, farms get sold and houses get torn down.

I love this picture.  I love to take shots of pieces of things.  The roof is falling in and is being held up by a split rail.  The boards over the windows are worn and gnarled looking.  You can see a hint of green on the barnwood and then it turns to weathered gray.

The tree.  Trees remind me of Jesus.  They are strong, they bend in the wind-hard to break- and they have deep roots.  Jesus is our strength and he can carry any of our burdens on his strong back and shoulders.  His roots go back to the beginning of time as we know it-deep, rich and full of truth.    When I see a tree such as this I am also reminded of the Tree of Life and the tree that the cross was cut from.  Trees speak to my heart.  Their arms are always reaching for the heavens in a worshipful way.  They are a home for all sorts of critters.  They can warm a home, build a home and be a home.  Their leaves provide shade as well as nourishment for the earth when they float to the soil in the fall of the year.   I’ll hate to see this tree cut down-she’s a real beauty! 

I love the way the trees are “protecting” the house/barn.   This scene is even better in the winter when the leaves are gone- it shows the nakedness of the tree and you get to see what lies underneath-the soul of the tree.  My favorite photos are black and whites of “naked” trees!   So, i will be trekking back to this old barn this winter for one last look and photo shoot!  I want to grab my friend Brenda and our cameras and take a day trip to the country to see what we can find with our lenses!  I wonder if she’s up for an early morning outing soon??    :):):)

Sylvatus Christian Church


Sylvatus Christian Church is right down the road from my house.  I have always loved the view of the church from the road.  Yesterday I took myself and my trusty camera out for a ride around Caroll County.  I love Carroll County.  The roads go everywhere and it is nearly impossible to get lost!  No GPS here.  Just pure adventure and a tank of gas.  ( Let’s not mention the price!)


Riding these country roads is instilled into my soul. My parents used to take us out on Sunday afternoon jaunts and now we take our girls- usually on two wheels though!!   So, getting my camera and going out for the morning was just the thing I needed!    I see God in everything and these pictures all point to our Creator, from the front door, to the steeple rising into the heavens.  I love old churches and I love our Lord and Savior.

I don’t have the history on this one…yet…but as I was taking photos I wondered about the people there-who are they, where are they now, what do they do, and how has God touched their lives through this little white church on the hill?  I know the Pastor here and I know that he loves the Lord with all his heart.    He is a man after God’s heart.

I am going to be doing some artwork based around these photos.  It won’t be one of these but a collage of each one.  A piece here, a piece there.  You may not even recognize it as this church!  That’s the fun of being creative!  No boundaries!  I can tell you that you will see God in it when I am done with it!   So…if you see me with paint stained hands and clothes- you’ll know what I’ve been doing…..

My Church! Fabulous Friday’s are here!



I love my church and these pictures will show you why!  As you look at each one- look at the pure joy on the faces and in the colors and close your eyes and listen to the giggles and laughter of the children!    My church is full of people who live and love Jesus with much joy!  These pictures are proof of that!  These kids had so much fun and I am thankful for obedient hearts and people who love to share Jesus with our children!  THANK YOU!!!!!




This is our friend Greg.  Some of you  have prayed for Greg’s healing.   You may remember that Greg was very sick with cancer and had to go through stem cell replacement treatments at the end of last year and the beginning of this year.    In October of 2010 I stood in as Greg’s proxy and was anointed for healing by Pastor Ty.  The next day I traveled to Georgia to help Sandy and Greg for a week.   It was the most grace filled week of my life.  No words can describe it.  Sandy is Greg’s wife and she and I have been friends for 30 years!

This past week we were blessed to spend 5 days with them and when I saw Greg for the first time after 8 months I couldn’t believe how healthy he looked!  I was amazed!     This morning I was so thankful to be able to hand Greg the anointing cloth that Pastor Ty had given me to give him.   I couldn’t hold back the tears and by the time I was done- we were all in tears in the Flapjack parking lot.    This is a story of healing-one of God and not of man.  It is a story of how God brings the goodness out of the bad.  You see God not only healed Greg-but He healed my relationship with Sandy.   I won’t go into details but just know this- that God IS THE ALMIGHTY HEALER and He does purpose ALL things for HIS glory!     So, if you are having relationship issues-let God do the work and you do the listening and obeying-no matter how hard it is.  It’s not about us- it’s about God’s work in us, through us, around us, and over us.

I am thankful and humbled by what God has done and continues to do everyday of our lives.  See, some people think that God isn’t real or that he doesn’t heal anymore, but I do.    We need to be plugged in to see it-it’s all around us.

Thank you Lord….

Paintings, wooden churches and God


( all art by Donna Godwin)


We can’t wait to go on vacation and then we can’t wait to get back home!  We are a funny bunch aren’t we?  Ah-humans!  Getting away from our comfortable and familiar surroundings can be good for our overall perspective on life.  It can refresh & revive us and it can also cause us to grab onto the things that are truly important and hold them ever so tightly-never wanting to let them go.    Things like grace, compassion, love, faith, strength and hope.   It can force our eyes open to see the world and all that is in it and not just what is in our own backyard.   It can also remind us of our dreams and passions-those things that we have forgotten along the way while we have been living.

Mmmm…As I was perusing along the arts and crafts trail in Gatlinburg this week, I was ever so gently reminded of my love for old wooden church buildings.  Several shops that I went into the day before had some church paintings.  I looked at them and felt my heart stir at each one.  The next day I went back out again only to feel my heart leaping out of my chest.   In several more galleries there were church photos, paintings, & drawings.  The very last shop I went into, I was alone.  I looked around and when I turned around there was this beautiful painting of an old wooden church with the light just so and all the colors were exactly as they should have been.  As I stood there and gazed at it, I felt my emotions well up inside of me and tears came to my eyes.   I thought ” am I crazy to cry over a painting? what is wrong with me? ”   I couldn’t help myself.  The tears gently slid down my cheeks and I tried to gather my composure only to hear myself thinking, ” Donna- one of your dreams has been to draw all the little wooden churches in Virginia and compile them into a book with their history and locations….remember?”   I texted a friend while I was standing in the store looking at this painting and told her that when I got home I was going to take a weekend sabbatical in the woods, by myself, to work.   How crazy is that?    Then I gathered myself together and finished looking around.

I didn’t buy the painting but I will always remember the moment and the reminder.

This evening, after getting home from vacation,  I got a text from a Pastor friend of mine so I called her.  She asked me if I would go with her to her newly appointed church and take some pictures and do a drawing of it for the bulletin cover.  What do you think I said?


Jeremiah 29 :11-13

“I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come. 12 Then you will call out to me. You will come and pray to me. And I will listen to you. 13 When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me.

Russell and Marley sittin’ in a tree….k-i-s-s-i-n-g!







It was a beautiful day for a wedding in the country….Russell and Marley with the Bronco….

Russell and Marley in forever love….

Russell and Marley with Mom and Dad ( Russell’s parents)

Russell and Marely with Mom and Dad…( Marley’s parents)

The Fun – loving wedding party!

The newly married Mr. & Mrs. Drawdy!


The wedding gazebo at the  West Wind Winery near Fort Chiswell, VA

A beautiful painting inside the winery ( a wedding party with gorgeous colors)

A magnificent ending to a day of New Beginnings!

May God be with you and all that you do Russell & Marley!  We love you!