Monday, November 21, 2016


I want to talk about miracles, especially today.
"Miracle" is not a word I use lightly. Here are some definitions from a Google search:
 "a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable
by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be
the work of a divine agency.
"a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development,
or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences. 
"an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something."
The biggest miracle of this day is the arrival of our son, David, 24 years ago.
It's hard to find words to describe how I feel about David. He is - honestly - my dream of a son. 
He's a man, living in Montana and doing a job which he enjoys in a place he loves. 
He is loving, responsible, intelligent, kind, funny, fit, strong, capable, athletic, interesting - and growing more so. He is adventurous without being foolhardy 
(at least, the adventures that I know about). 
 His interests and experiences spark us to think in new ways and try things that we probably wouldn't, without his instigation. He is good with children and kind to the elderly.
I am grateful to God for sending him to us.

Another miracle - completely different in nature - is the opening of my own little art gallery this past Saturday.
Two years ago - even one year ago! - this would not have crossed my mind as a possibility. It was beyond a dream - I had not even dreamed of it, because I was not painting two years ago.
After many years of prayer, meditation, study, inner work and finally stepping out in faith, a huge block moved out of the way, and I became more my self.
I am an artist, and I am happy to say it.
Our Creator helped me to become free to be my creative self.
In a nutshell, I have been painting steadily since September, 2015, and have been posting my work on my website and social media (Facebook , Redbubble and Instagram: karengberger).
I had a show at the Bloedel Reserve for two months during the summer, and have sold about a dozen works of art, as well as donating some to charity.
People have been asking, "Where can I see your work?" and I had to answer, "Online, or by contacting me directly."

One recent Saturday morning, I said to Gregg, "Is there a way we could create a space for me to exhibit my work? Build a shed here, or find a little place nearby?" We discussed a few options, and decided to think more about it.
That night, we had dinner with the family, and while we were dining, my brother-in-law turned to me and said, "We have a building at Savage Plants & Landscape that is not being used. Why don't you make a gallery there?"
Um, yes. Yes. Why don't I do that?
So I did.

This does not just happen every day, people.
This is serendipity, the Universe, the Creator, in action. It's a miracle.

I have a long way to go, personally and in my craft.
There are artists with far more expertise, and many more years of work behind them.
I could feel undeserving; I could feel less worthy than those others, but this is not about them.
This is my path, and this is the way it has unfolded.
It's a miracle.
The gallery is a beautifully shingled, two-room space with stone floors and wood beams, set in a glorious garden filled with healthy plants, stone work and original garden art.
It is more than I could have asked or imagined.
It's a miracle.

We held the Grand Opening on Saturday.
Family and friends (old and new) came from far and wide to celebrate with us.
It was a day filled with love, joy, discovery, reunion, support, hospitality and sheer happiness.
Katie made her presence and blessing known in very clear ways that day.

The Gallery at Savage Plants & Landscape
is up and running, and you are invited to visit
every day between 9 AM and 4 PM.
I won't be in the gallery every day, so please contact me if you want me to meet you there.
The good folks at Savage Plants will be happy to help you with the purchase of a painting or greeting cards from my line.
And if I'm not there, I'm likely in my studio at home, painting...which is also a miracle.

It's right to believe in miracles.
Ask, work, meditate, pray, take a leap of faith toward your miracle.
If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone!
And that's a good note on which to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving indeed.


Elizabeth said...

I'm in tears. You GO, beautiful woman!

Grace Bower said...

Wonderful on so many levels.
True Thanksgiving post.
True gratitude body mind and spirit.
True creative artistry
True mission of beauty in the world

So glad on so many levels.
Blessings to you and yours from the far side of the sea in Aotearoa New Zealand.

jandi said...

Just amazing! I'm so happy for you!

Cindy said...

Wow! So wonderful to read and see! Congratulations!!

Karen said...

Who could have imagined any of this 8 years ago? What a wonderful joyful season you have entered. You are indeed an artist, and a follower of the Great Artist, who has ignited your passion once again. His mercies are new every morning. I love the fresh joy and exuberance that is so apparent in your work and am so very very happy for you.

Nan Lofas said...

You get out of life as much as you out into it. You are the miracle - your strength, your faith, your love, the many, many gifts you have given others - much of this in the wake of losing Katie - is a miracle. God has shown you opportunity and you have not shied away from doing hard work, sometimes painful work, to grow and create and take care of others, your family and yourself. The legacy you will leave this world is no small matter and I hold you in the highest regard. Big hugs from Colorado ❤️❤️

Nan Lofas said...

Karen, you get as much out of life as you put into it. You are the miracle. You have given this world so much - your kindness, your strength, your courage, your creativity - the list goes on. The loss of your Katie has encouraged you to give so much to others - you did bot become bitter; you became better. You are creating a wonderful, diverse, important legacy in your lifetime - something others (myself included) can only dream about. I am the thankful for you and celebrate your success ❤️❤️

Kim Andersen said...

Wow! What an inspiration you are! Your paintings are beautiful - I am happy for you and this new self discovery and self expression!

Anonymous said...

Karen, I'm just so very happy for you, words cannot express the joy. You were beaming at your open house as was Gregg! So beautiful!
And a Happy Birthday to David too! I'm sure Katie is glad to see you all so happy! Loads of love and hugs to you.
Mary R

Karen Gerstenberger said...

Thank you so much, Elizabeth. You have been a great support and friend since we met here years ago, and I am blessed by your "presence from afar." Love to you!

Karen Gerstenberger said...

Grace, you were so rightly named. Thank you for spreading kindness and light all over the world!

Karen Gerstenberger said...

Thank you, Jandi!

Karen Gerstenberger said...

Many thanks, Cindy!

Karen Gerstenberger said...

Love and thanks to you, dear Karen. I hope too welcome you & Joe, Chris & Robin across the threshold one day! XOXO

Karen Gerstenberger said...


Karen Gerstenberger said...

Nan, thank you. This road has been a bumpy one, and I suspect the rest of it has bumps and potholes, as well, but we are well-sprung & equipped for it, and we grow as we go, right? Mistakes are made, but as Karen J. said (above), grace and mercy are new every morning. May we all live into knowing that! XOXO

Karen Gerstenberger said...

Kim, thank you. It's serendipity to be sure. Your art has inspired and brightened my days, and encouraged me to try new things. I love your courage!

Karen Gerstenberger said...

Mary, thank you & Dan for coming. Also thank you for the lanterns, which are perfect and add so much to the space. They are still getting compliments! I'm so grateful for our friendship. XOXO