My name is Suzanne and I am writing this blog to share my life experience as an artist, designer and person of faith.
It is my hope to encourage, motivate, uplift and support those who seek to use their God given gifts and talents to serve.
For it is by God we are all endowed with such gifts, and talents, and it is to God's good work that they can be returned.
All the artwork and content posted on this site is the property of Suzanne VanRaemdonck. There is a registered copyright and trademark and cannot be reproduced without specific contractual agreement given by the artist and author.
Last week my daughter and I flew to California to visit my mother. My daughter was born there, but hadn't been back for a visit since she was 9, she is now 20 years old. I was very excited to show her around. Unfortunately it was cold and rainy the whole week we were there. We still managed to have some fun together though.
My mother is in her 80's and not doing so well. She is in a lot of pain. It's hard to live so far away from her now. It is also hard to have both my father in-law and my mother, hitting the age that they need so much care at around the same time. Thank God for my sister. Although she also lives in a different state than our mother, she & I will work between us to make sure that Mom is cared for.
On a happier note. This Tuesday night I will be speaking about "Using Your Gifts & Talents To Serve Others" at the Swartz Creek Women's Club. I am really looking forward to it and am honored to have been invited by the daughter & wife of the town Mayor, Penny & Boots Abrams. I will be showing some of my newest paintings and will have some fine art note cards available for sale. It will be a lot of fun! I'll let you know how it turns out.
When something as tragic as the recent earth quake in Haiti happens, it begs the question, "why"?. Why would a God who is good and loving allow such pain and suffering? None of us can answer this question. But my pastor (Jeff Jaggers) put it pretty well. He said... "I do not believe that God is responsible for this tragic disaster-just as I do not believe that God was responsible for hurricane Katrina or Michael Jackson's death. What is good is that the church (which is of God) will use this opportunity to incarnate God's love and care for the people of Haiti. It may not get much (any) press, but we will still bring help and hope to these folks whom God loves."
We all need to do what we can to help the people of Haiti, keep them in your prayers and take whatever action you can.
There are days as a full time elder care giver, when you just feel like you don't know how much more you can take. Two days before Christmas this year my father in law had a T.I.A. (a small stroke). We called for an ambulance and he was taken to the hospital where they admitted him and he remained until a couple of days after Christmas. Usually the T.I.A's only last 15 minutes to an hour or so. This one lasted around four days. He has come back to us a bit less himself. He is having a harder time understanding things and his incontinence has increased. He sleeps most of the day now, and his motor skills are not as sharp as they were before this incident. He has become weaker and my husband has to bear most of his weight when raising and lowering him in and out of his bed to the wheelchair. Eric's knees and back are beginning to hurt him after 3 years of doing this job. My husband will be 59 this month and I am concerned for his health and well being.
Having said all that, I am still glad we chose to take care of dad ourselves. He is happy in his own home and there are things he looks at each day that I know give him a lot of comfort. The cost of elder care within a full time care facility is astronomical, and lets face it...when you get old who would you rather have there to care for you? Someone you love and you know loves you and has your best interest in their heart? Or a stranger who is being paid? What would you give to know that your adult child wants to care for you? I believe we are giving dad everything a person of his age, condition and circumstance could ever possibly hope to have on this earth. We should all be so blessed. It would be difficult if not impossible for most people to do this job the way we do, but because we have been self employed and work at home we can now be here for dad. However it is a struggle to try to take care of him and all his medical needs, as well as run a household and two businesses. But God blesses us and we manage to make it month by month.
I find great peace and deep feelings of warmth and security in the simplest of things. Like the sun shining through our window, lighting up the vase of flowers my son gave me for my birthday.
God speaks...you just have to pay attention.
Hang on to your joy wherever you find it. Suzanne.
I love small towns. I find them quaint and comforting in a big world. I also love old buildings, and old houses. My tastes seem to lean toward anything prior to the 1950's. It seems that it was right around that time they started making cookie cutter houses and leaving out all the fine details that gave buildings character and charm. I have in fact decided to dedicate my art to honoring small towns and vintage buildings. I have started with Flushing Michigan, which is a very quaint little town. It is picturesque with a beautiful park and gorgeous old Victorian homes lining the streets. I have painted the Main Street, as well as some of the beautiful buildings that house current businesses. Like a dentist's office and the florist that made it's home in an old 1800's Victorian. I also painted a classic old barbershop that I have always admired. Besides being a painter, I am a gardener, and included some paintings of the sweet gardens carefully nurtured by loving hands. Above are some examples of my work. You can see more by visiting our website at www.artisticnature.com.
I plan to expand to other small towns in Michigan and hopefully someday, I will travel to small towns all over America painting their beautiful old homes, buildings and of course gardens. Have a great day and God Bless.