I didn’t know who this blessing was for when I made it, and was actually surprised when it found the recipient. It began with the quote by Anais Nin about risking. To go with the quote, I looked for an image of a bud about to open, and found the branch in an old botany book I found at the Good Will by the pound. In reading the fine print later, I saw that the original bud had died from the cold and another axillary bud supplied its place forming the new branch and the buds shown.

 The person I gave this to said it represented a changing in relationships, and the courage to go in a new direction. Before I showed the person the blessing I asked what the color of certainty was. The answer was sky blue for the clarity seen on a sunny day. The blessing also included a favorite flower, a question about freedom, love, home, and thriving in life. I doubted before I gave it, but it was the right fit. It just shows it must be a God thing. I could never figure it out. Revisiting this reminds me to be more fervent in my prayer of “Lord, make me a blessing.”


vp-blossom-2copyright Valerie Sjodin 2011


  1. Isn't it wonderful when God leads right to the person He had in mind all along while we were creating….gives me goose bumps…..

    These are beautiful pages and I know they meant so much to the person receiving them…..plus I know you will be blessed abundantly for being obedient….


  2. I love that quote…that was one of the quotes I believe God led me two at the beginning of my art journey a few years ago. I used it in my very first visual journal.

  3. Nancy, I agree that it is wonderful when God leads us in that way. I am still blown away when it happens, and am humbled, and yes blessed as you say. God is so good. You are a great encouragement to me. Thank you!

  4. Valerie,

    I wanted to write and tell you that this particular visual blessing took my breath away. Lately I have really been struggling with the thought to change, more specifically the thought of transition to home. Not that I don't want to come home but just the thought of change. This gave me an instant sense of peace. Thank you.

  5. Andrea, I'm so glad this encouraged you. Of course I am thrilled you are coming home and look forward to your laugh and smiling face, but I know the change can be a bit scary. You know, I think God has some wonderful, life-giving surprises waiting for you.

  6. Dear Valerie, I just wanted to write you a little note that will probably end up being a novel :). I came across your blog some time back and have delighted in your art and your heart for our Lord. For a few weeks now I've been slowly going back through your posts to the very beginning, and you have ministered to my dry and thirsty soul. At the same time as going thru your posts I've been asking the Lord for my focus theme for 2015. I've done this for a number of years but now am part of His Kingdom Come as you are. I came up with several words – no fear (my 2010 word that never quite took, ha!), fruitful, blossom(my gospel clown name), flourish, abundant, glorify God, redeemed, joy. They were all appropriate but seemed incomplete. I've been lonely , depressed, and hopeless for several years now, and in the midst of this the Lord has been silent. I don't do well with His silence. In the midst of this darkness I've had to cling to what I have learned and know of Him from our long walk together. So I really felt like I needed a monster word, something to encompass all these other words, and also a specific scripture that would be a promise from the Lord to me. I finally decided on "Gladsome" as I had once written a ladies Bible study called a "Gladsome Heart", which encompassed all the various areas of our lives. So now with my word I just needed some scripture. I started the search but then put it off for several days, thinking I could not bear it if the Lord were silent regarding the verse and a promise. I prayed half-heartedly. I returned to reading your blog. And there, on this day's post, the Lord spoke to me. I saw the painting of the bud and flower, and then read the passage from Isaiah 35 directly below, and a frisson of joy and excitement – GLADNESS – shot thru me. Here was my verse. I immediately looked up the verse and lo!!! the whole chapter of Isaiah 35 is for me!!! Every one of my other words or concepts is in there! Oh the thrill of it. I am hopeful for the first time in so long. It's difficult to share such things when one has walked with the Lord as long as I, and I dislike sharing anymore as people can sometimes be condescendingly hurtful or judgmental in their response to honesty. But you have been so open with us here, vulnerably sharing of yourself, and thus have made this a safe place to share. So thank you, Valerie for this blog. Another thing I have learned from this is encouragement that my teachings, speaking engagements, and ministry from years gone by can still bear fruit today, just as yours do. God bless you as you take aim in 2015, and I'll see you over at His Kingdom Come. I'll be the Gladsome, abundantly blossoming one :). ~ Debra B.

  7. Dear Debra,
    Isn't God good?! I'm rejoicing with you that God is speaking to you! I feel humbled and honored that He would use this visual blessing. I'm excited about this year, 2015, that God is with us and is drawing each of us closer to Him. I look forward to seeing how gladsome spills out in your artwork at a HKC

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