Thursday, September 17, 2020

Poetry Art by Launa

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Photos from the special signing of "The One"
on September 13, 2020
at Calvary Chapel Dayspring Church, Chino Valley, AZ


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The One

The One


When Marty and I were in Armenia during the summer of 2019, we had an opportunity to visit the village where the children who come to the summer camp in the Republic of Georgia live.  The town is called Stepanavan and it is everything you'd expect from this lovely country and people.  While there, we were privileged and honored to be involved in making a "Matagh."  This is a ceremony that is done in the local Armenian church by the priest as a symbol of mercy and gratitude to God for granting health and well being.  It is mostly a ceremony that commemorates the sacrifice that Jesus offered for us and then to bless the poor.  During this traditional rite, a male lamb is chosen and salt was placed in its mouth after a priest's blessing.  The salt symbolizes purity and that our savior was the sinless sacrifice for all mankind.  During our Matagh, the priest walked the lamb around the church seven times on its hind legs.  It overheated and gasped for breath as it did this unusual journey. As we and the lamb marched, I bawled the whole time because I knew that the lamb was destined to be killed.  I hated the idea of slaughtering it, as I am an animal lover and find that aspect of life so difficult. I know that mankind has authority over the animals and using it for food is fine, I am just squeamish about it.

Interestingly and poignantly, while we were on the walk around the building and I was agonizing about the lamb's life, I had a thought that stopped me dead in my tracks.  "Had I ever shed tears about the sacrifice that Jesus made for me on the cross?"  "At any point while reading the gospels, had I ever felt as bad for his torture and death as I was feeling for this dumb animal?"

Fortunately, this ceremonial sacrifice was done at a different locations, so I didn't have to witness the lamb's pitiful cries, bleating, bleeding and death.  Later, we met at a park, with the meat already cut up and boiled it in a huge pot with water and salt.  Part of the ceremony was to partake of the boiled meat, which I struggled to do.  I managed to swallow some.  Marty too was moved because he is a softy around animals as well, I don't think he was able to eat the lamb meat at all.  The rest of the "stew" was put in bottles and delivered to seven needy families.  We personally visited them and delivered this "sacred" food and were able to pray with them as well.  The families that we visited had at least one child that was able to come to our camp.  Seeing their living conditions, (one family lived in an old soviet-style abandoned train car,) and the gratitude that they felt for being included in the Matagh was priceless.  It is a great honor to receive the lamb stew as well as participating in the symbolic ceremony in the Armenian culture.

When I returned home, I examine the photographs that I had snapped of the lamb and although a sob still caught in my throat when I looked at it, I decided to paint of portrait of it.  This piece, entitled, 
"The One" came soon after.  I wanted the poor lamb to represent us from the parable of Jesus, which He said that he would leave the 99 sheep to find the one lost lamb. Matthew 8:12-14 and Luke 15:3-7

This painting is also special in another way.  The original which is 36"x36" acrylic on canvas, will hang in the new Calvary Chapel Dayspring Church when it is finished being built.  (This is the church that I attend.). 12"x12" giclee reproductions are done and given as gifts for those who donate over $500. for the new building.  You could say it is like purchasing a "brick."  I will be doing a personalization and signing for those donors on Sunday, September 13, 2020 at CCDC.  Sometime down the line, a different size will be offered for purchase as well as gift cards, but for now, I thought it would be nice to share the image and the poetry to my wider audience on this blog.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Is it just me or...

Is it just me or is anyone else having a difficult time keeping up with all the tasks at hand?
Looking at my last blog post entry, I realize that I haven't updated since last summer-sheesh!

Update:I am still alive and juggling all the things that I usually do, but am apparently not ever going to be a consistent blogger.   As a quick rundown.  2019 saw me working with kids at a local domestic violence shelter and in the public school system and loving a therapeutic art program that I started at a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) home.

My middle daughter is graduating high school in June---woot woot woot!!! One more to go and that won't be until 2025, sigh.  That's kind of it. Lately, I have been working in my poteger (garden), riding my Quarter Horse Abby...

and introduced 7 ducklings and a goose name Luce into the mix.

and since the COVID 19 quarantine, I have actually been writing as well.  It takes a nationwide shutdown for me to sit down and relax!
I am doing the follow up to Unbutton My Heart, so far the working title is, 
"He Loves What's Broken."

Also, I have done a painting called, "The One" which will be reproduced on canvas soon, so be watching for that.  It is a special piece that will benefit something near and dear to my heart.  I will talk more about it on my next blog...hopefully, sooner than 12 months from now.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Switzerland, Armenia and the Republic of Georgia...via Poland and Turkey

Summer 2019

Marty and I just returned from a very long trip to Zurich and Thun Switzerland, 
Yerevan and Stepanavan, Armenia and the yearly camp for kids at risk 
at the Black Sea in The Republic of Georgia.

Thun, Switzerland
A view of the Interlaken Mountain Range

We were invited to a three day conference on persecuted Christians sponsored by ICR, a 50 year old nonprofit organization, founded by Richard Wurmbrand.  It was gripping to hear about the things that are really going on in places like Yemen, Nigeria, Syria and other far-flung countries 
where whole populations are being systematically tortured and killed. We have personally been
to places where persecution, poverty and war are rampant but even we were stunned with what is clearly absent on the news and the media, but is clearly happening on a daily basis.
We left the city with heads and hearts full of information that increases our world view even further.  Switzerland seemed like a million miles away from such horrors and atrocities with its gorgeous green hillsides and cows with tinkling bells around their necks.  While we were there, Europe was having an unprecedented heat wave. The above photo is a shot from our guest house, overlooking snow on the Interlaken Mountains.  It looks so pristine and refreshing, but truth be told, it was at least 97 degrees Fahrenheit that day!

While in Stepanavan, Armenia, I was able to make a presentation  of art to the Mayor of the city during a planning meeting.  The children in the artwork are from Stepanavan and attended last year's camp. We (Mercy Projects and Global Impact) are in talks about potentially doing a school or group home for the most vulnerable children in the city. The Mayor has a great heart for the children and has done so much to make sure the most vulnerable have clothing, transportation and opportunities.
There is such profound poverty and need in this city and a large fraction of the adults 
have to go to Russia for employment.  
In terms of a school type project in Stepanavan, we will have to see if it is a viable idea 
and could be sustainable in the future. This takes a lot of groundwork, planning and money!

The Mayor of Stepanavan, Mikayel Gharakeshishyan

For the second year, I was blessed to be a part of the camp at the Black Sea for Armenian youth from Stepanavan and the surrounding areas. Marty was able to join me and it made it that much more special. I did art projects as I had last year and was able to reunite with my sweet friends again from Armenia and from the United States.

A well known reporter, Peter Wooding from England came to the camp and conducted interviews and produced stories to bring awareness. He has a wonderful 3 minute piece about the impact of the camps on the lives of these amazing children.  It can be accessed at:

This year has been so fulfilling thus far. I have been working at a local Domestic Violence shelter and in the schools teaching empathy, compassion and gratitude.  I have also had the opportunity to volunteer with the homeless population, with a group of families with Down syndrome and recently will be starting an art program with young men with Traumatic Brain Injury...

Who could ask for more?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Dream Bigger, Art to benefit art program for Down syndrome

This was such a fun and heart warming piece of Poetry Art to create. Called "Dream Bigger" it features models with one extra chromosome and is sold to benefit a free art program I am offering to children with Down syndrome and their siblings. If you look closely, you will see that the children are reaching for the stars and each star has all sorts of aspirations and dreams written upon it. You will also notice that not only are they helping each other grasp those hopes and goals but they are also being lifted up by family, teachers, parents, mentors and peers.
Dream Bigger
Do you think you know me by just one glance?
Do you judge my abilities because of the curve of my eyes?
Or that I am free and trusting and laugh open without guile
Is it the cadence of my walk, how I run or even my stance
Or maybe you’re put off because I can fearlessly dance?
Do you have a preconceived notion about who is truly wise? 

Based textbooks, your education or the number of “whys?” 
Well, smarty-pants
I hate to inform you, but there’s a huge chance
You might just be perfectly wrong!
I’m here to surprise you; to knock the world’s socks off 

Because I’ve been wonderfully, beautifully and uniquely made 
I am a child of destiny with a divine purpose and song
If you are willing to let go of’ll be a wild ride
But please come along!

I have masterpieces to paint, stories to tell
Stereotypes to shake up and boundaries to crash
Yes, I am ordinary but more than that-extra ordinary
Profound, sassy, ambitious and eager to burst out of my shell 

Not single-faceted but multilayered and rather complex 
Sometimes I am reserved but I offer my very best
I am blazing a trail, redefining the norm and ringing some bells 

Where I’ll end up, only time will tell
I’m not interested in leading a simple, easy life
Where I stay hidden in the shadows
So folks can stay comfortable with no controversy or strife 

Rather, my existence will be more of a dynamic one
Where being me is more than just all right
I will become what I aspire to be, even if means a daily fight 

Because I am going to shine forth like a Super Nova
An undiscovered galaxy or a thousand watt light

So stand back and watch closely and carefully as I
Dream bigger, dig deeper, reach further and aim higher 

Than anyone expects me to do
My journey could take a scenic route, but I won’t fail to try 

Because fear and setbacks are only whispered lies
So look at me now, I’m more courageous, more persistent 

More capable, insightful and smart
I am an overcomer, an achiever and hurdles I will defy 

Because I’m a gorgeous work of art!
Watch me grab all those distant stars with both hands
And like climbing mountains, achieve amazing goals
Because I have family, teachers and friends cheering me on
Ever reminding me that nothing is too hard and that I truly CAN! 

They lift me up so I can grasp my potential
Speak words of encouragement whenever I doubt 
And are helping me to formulate a spectacular plan 
To someday reach those greater heights
So I can always DREAM BIGGER and BIGGER 

And when difficulties do come my way
I will know how to firmly stand
And to teach the world around me 

That after the darkest dusk of twilight 
Comes a magnificent day

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

New POEMA line by Launa!

New POEMA line by Launa! Now premiering in 2019---Inspirational/Faith-based Jewelry.

Each piece is handcrafted by the artist to be a unique statement and since it is not a “cookie cutter, ”
assembly line object, each piece has imperfections, personality and its own special charm, much like we as human beings.  Made from a variety of materials, both natural and man made.

POEMA product are sold to benefit art programs for children 
with special needs & kids at risk around the world.

Sneak peek the first 15 premiering on Etsy...

Friday, December 14, 2018

Send "At Risk" Armenian Kids to Camp....

In July of 2018, I had the privilege of doing an art program (in partnership with Mercy Projects,) at a summer camp in the Republic of Georgia for youth from Armenia.  The camp is located on the shores of the Black Sea and the kids were ecstatic to be able to splash in the water or lay in the sun every day on the stone laden beach. There isn't a huge body of water near their town, which is a 12 hour van ride to camp, so the opportunity to play in the sea was beyond thrilling. I did art with the kids daily also and at the end of camp we distributed JOY Bags filled with art supplies, school supplies and other fun items for the kids to take back home with them.  This is our 17th year of doing a JOY Bag outreach internationally and/or domestically.  That alone blows my mind~

Children working on self-portraits done with their own poetry

I was quite inspired by each and every child and their individual stories.  The youth don't have very much in terms of material possessions, but they are so thankful and open hearted.  When I returned, I wanted to give them something special.  Fairly quickly, I painted the piece of artwork, "Haven" to raise money to help sponsor another group of kids to be able to attend the upcoming 2019 summer camp.  It costs $150. per child to travel to and participate in the life changing camp. That price includes food, transportation out of the country and shelter for over a week! Cheap compared to what the same program would cost in the United States. My signed Giclee print is being sold for $45.00 and the proceeds will got to the Armenian summer camp art program, as well as sponsoring individual kiddos. This an experience that they never forget, as many of the children and teens come from profoundly impoverished situations. I too am hoping to be back at the camp this summer as well!

If you would like to purchase one of these prints, go to my Etsy page:
 If you would simply like to sponsor a child for camp, send your donation to: 
Mercy Projects, PO Box 685, Murrieta, CA 92564
*Make sure and note on your check that it is for the Armenian Camp in Georgia
(And tell them Launa sent you!)

If you are interested in making a donation toward art supplies for the children's art program, 
JOY Bags or would like to send actual art supplies:

Global Impact World Relief 
12415 E. Mingus Vista Dr.
Prescott Valley, AZ 86315

Both Mercy Projects and Global Impact World Relief are 501(c)3 non-profits and you will receive 
a tax deductible receipt in the mail for your generous donation

This is the poetry that the entire artwork is made from:


My haven is in you Lord, sheltered
In the shadow of your kindness
In the glow of your smile
The storms roll all around me
They crash over me
And yet I am safe in the shade of your wings
Comforted by your arms, wrapped so tightly
You gift me every morning with a handful of mercy
Soothe my thumping heart, calm
My frayed and ricocheting thoughts
Your voice gives me hope, teaches grace
Chases away all fear
When circumstances cry all is lost
I know you have a different plan
You offer inheritance to the orphan
A healing balm for the broken
You've made promises that I cling to
Vows that you will honor
I have a future with potential, room to dream
And the blessed assurance
That you have set your love upon me
My haven is in you Lord, sheltered
Safe and secure within your perfect will
It is here that I will remain


"He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings shall you trust..."
Psalm 91:4a