Light in my life: Drew Backues

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Drew while living in Missouri. The contrast between his easy-going nature and competitive side fascinates me. I’m always impressed by his talent and desire to improve, whether in Photoshop, bowling or pumpkin chucking. He masters anything he puts his mind to.

Funny, low-key and loyal, I consider him a true friend.

You can see more of Drew’s photography on his Flickr page

What brings light into your life?

Besides my Lord and savior, family/friends and the freedom I have in this wonderful country… I would have to say nature.

From a walk in the woods, to a float trip down the river or a night under the stars, it’s natures vast beauty and wildlife that brings light to my life. It helps me get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and unwinds me.

More people need to get out there and bathe in its therapeutic wonder.


Light in my life: Stephanie Hibbert

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Stephanie while living in California. She has always had a star presence and a creative touch. I was her housemate in Santa Cruz. At that time, she was a painter. I enjoyed sitting in her basement room/studio, watching paint splash over huge canvases while I drank coffee out of a bowl. She entertained me with her stories about being a child actor on the shows I grew up watching like Dukes of Hazzard.

She encouraged me as a poet when I felt like a nobody and put my poems in her zines. When I was sad over a breakup with a boy, she told me I was too much woman for him anyway. Bold, loving and fascinating, she has a zest for life that energizes everyone who knows her.

Now she is a food-artist. You can find out more about her and her food-art at: Chef Stephanie

What brings light into your life?

Gratitude, taking the time everyday to see and feel the world through a positive, hopeful, grateful, humble and trusting perspective.

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Light in my life: Roger Wing

carved swans

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Roger while living in California. We were taking the bus to the Lompico mountains and both of us sat in the back. We struck up a conversation. I learned he was an art student at UCSC working on a Buddha carved from wood. He invited me to his A-frame cabin on a lake to see the Buddha and have green tea and oranges. As I was living in an old school bus on the dark side of the mountain without a semi-carved Buddha, oranges or an easy way to make tea, I welcomed the invitation. From that moment on, I have found him fascinating.

Roger is a rare person in that his mind is truly his own. He respects the source of all his choices, whether it’s ethical coffee or a piece of wood for carving. He stays aware of how our world is interdependent. He seeks the good and voices his heartbreak over the malicious or apathetic.

To find out more about Roger and his art, visit Roger Wing

What brings light into your life?

I have always felt the power and magic of Art. Since childhood I have been drawn to and sought to channel that mysterious force myself. I feel a rush of energy from looking at an artwork or an inspiring show. When I give myself over to my own creative impulses I can lose all track of time and work ceaselessly without tiring.



balanced wood


carved swans

Light in my life: Jenny McGee

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Jenny while living in Missouri. I saw her speak before I met her. She talked about a tree and made me cry. Not from sadness, but from longing to be like the tree in her painting, rooted in something deeper than itself.

Jenny is one of those impossibly charming and beautiful people who doesn’t know how charming and beautiful she really is. This lack of pretense only adds to the effect. She is both vulnerable and tough. With an honest heart, she is brave enough to submerse her whole being in the world of feeling and spirit. I know she will continue to bless everyone who meets her.

You can find out more about Jenny and her art at Azul by Jenny McGee

What brings light into your life?

For me it’s looking backward and recognizing the presence of God through the circumstances in my life. It helps fill me with light when I realize that I was never alone.

Light Of the world

Light Of the World

Light in my life: Belinda Davis

Back of the artwork

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Belinda while living in Missouri. She is around five feet tall while I am six feet tall. What is wonderful about our friendship is that we have a foot of difference between our sizes but no difference in our hearts! In fact, her heart might be bigger than mine.

She is unlimited in how she expresses herself and her love for God, for others and for life. She surrounds herself with the holy, even making a labyrinth in her yard. Every corner of her home shows a treasure she has made or found, whether it’s a painted gourd she grew or a piece she crocheted. When you enter her house, it smells of fresh scones and she is quick to offer a cup of tea (perfect for me!).

What brings light into your life?

The photos are of a counted cross-stitch I did on black linen. I took progressive photos as I worked it. When I finished I felt it important to photograph the back side before it was framed.

L'innocence (Innocence) - William-Adolphe Bouguereau - www.bouguereau.orgL’innocence (Innocence)

It spoke to me of the front being the “front” side that the world sees, but God sees both the front and back. The beauty of the finished side and the hard work of the back side that is unseen.

The picture is from a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905)
As I stitched I prayed and those prayer seemed very random, much like the back side.  However, when I finished the piece, I realized the prayers had a common theme; relationships.
So one word for what brings light into my life is this:  Relationships.
The back
Back of the artwork

The front

Front of the artwork

Light in my life: Michelle Oman-Gilkey

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

Michelle Oman-GilkeyI met Michelle while living in California. I appreciate her loving and giving nature. She knows my heart. Worldly without being snobbish, she can turn the ordinary into an amusing story even if it’s if just taking the trash down the driveway. I can’t help laughing every time I talk to her because of her wry wit and insight into humanity.

Find our more about Michelle and her food-art at: Indie Culinary

What brings light into your life?

So many things bring light into my life, but to stay on topic—Introducing others to the vast and delightful world of culinary education and experimentation brings light into my life.

Chocolate strawberry shortbread tart from Indie Culinary
Chocolate strawberry shortbread tart from Indie Culinary
Fried chicken roasted veg polenta from Indie Culinary
Fried chicken roasted veg polenta from Indie Culinary

Light in my life: Shanna Seyer

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Shanna while living in Missouri. She knows scripture better than anyone else I have ever met. She has the heart of a seeker. Seeing her devotion and hearing her questions has deepened my faith. She is unafraid to give it all to God, even her doubts and disappointments. She is a great sister in Christ to me.

She made the painting and verse for me. I keep it next to my bowl of prayer beads. She also made me a devotional I treasure, all handwritten verses in a book of birds. I included some images of the book.

What brings light into your life?

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy…Psalms 43:4. ESV

The beginning of this psalm, the writer laments to God about how his enemies had been given the upper hand over him. He laments how he felt abandoned by God. In his frustration, he asks God to reveal Himself.
He asks for God to bring His light and truth. He asks God to lead him with this light and truth. As he trusts this leading, he feels compelled to go to the altar of God. He then boldly proclaims God is his exceeding joy.
Much like the psalmist, despite circumstances and feelings, God and only God brings real light (and truth) into my life.
I can rest in God and feel God’s light and truth as he leads me, as he showers me with good and perfect gifts from above. God is truly my exceeding joy….and brings light into my life.



Bird Devotional

red birds
orange bird cardinal