1. God I am having a hard time.
2. So I’m trying to come to you instead of just complaining to others.
3. I’m going to start this day right and come to you. To pray and tell you that I really need you today. I have so much to do, and the kids due home and I have family coming and there’s a million emotional issues as well. But I know that you will be with me and help me. I wait for you expectantly.
4. Keep me from sin today in my heart and in my words to my children.
5. Keep me from pride.
6. Make my heart joyful and generous.
7. Thank you for welcoming me into your presence. Help my heart to honor you.
8. Lead me today, help me see the straight best smooth path.
9. Help me to clearly as sin as sin, to see its destructiveness.
10. Help me to banish it far from me.
11. Let me rejoice and take refuge in you. Give us your protection and your joy.
12. Lord, I have seen your blessings and I have seen your favor. Surround us by your good presence.
S. Jewell S. McGhee
Jewell is an artist who has come to be known also as an author. She often writes a reflection to go with her art pieces and has been paraphrasing the psalms for many years.
About the Artist
S. Jewell S. McGhee likes to call her art “painting with pencils.” She first started using colored pencils to help her mother write names on lunch bags for school. “My mom would pick matching themes for the names on our bags; all balloons, or sunrises, or sometimes just geometric shapes. She always made them so beautiful; a plain brown bag lunch was, all at once, a love note, a story, a hug, and simple colors to enlighten us for the rest of the day.” These bags also became a constant reminder that art was simple, attainable, and a necessary part of every day.
“I always start with a story.” Every time you hear a story you have a physical (tears, a chuckle, or a smile) or mental (confusion, contentment) reaction which is unable to be explained in words alone. “I like to use abstract art as a medium to dive deeply into the complicated mess of a story and discover something more about it and about myself.” She follows the flow of a story and finds the shapes and colors that express its fundamental emotions and questions.
Jewell uses her art to interpret the stories of Shakespeare, the newspaper, the Bible, and her own life. “As I grapple with Hamlet, I see lines-sharp and violent-cutting through relationships and into love. There is red: obviously for blood, but also for love (a riddle itself). A golden crown, a golden son; a golden sun breaking through ghosts, clouds, and lives to reveal blackness and blood.” How black is the blackness of hate? What texture is grace? What shape is confusion, or desperation, or promise? These are the questions these pieces ask.