“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” ~ Luke 2:20
As the Christmas season unfolds, we share with you the PHS 2017 Christmas card that arrived in the mailboxes of residents, employees and volunteers this week. This year’s card features the art of Carolyn Cardle, who lives with her husband John at The Terrace South senior apartments at Folkestone in Wayzata, MN. Her watercolor and pencil illustration is accompanied by lyrics from the much-beloved Christmas hymn, “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and familiar words from the Gospel of Luke to create the beautiful card (pictured right). Carolyn was amazed when she learned that over 19,000 people would receive the card featuring her artwork this year.
Having led many bible studies, including teaching Bible Study Fellowship for 25 years, her artistic inspiration comes from her passion to “portray the real meaning of the first Christmas, that glorious hope-filled event when God sent a Savior for the world.” Carolyn has seven grandchildren whose likenesses have appeared in her illustrations over the years and to whom she has dedicated many of her Christmas cards.
Carolyn has always loved to paint, taking a brush and paints with her wherever she goes. “I never had an art lesson,” she said, now thinking of herself as self-taught and Spirit-led. “For years I admired the talents of others, wishing I had the same. I was convinced that I lacked any artistic ability,” she remembered. Then one day, she came across Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
“What did I have to lose?” she realized. She prayed, asking God to give her the ability to draw and the courage to try. “Getting started was the hardest part of all,” she said, but after investing time and prayer, ideas came to her and she created pictures that others admired. “I discovered a God-given talent that I had buried. I found myself twice blessed; first while working on a piece and then again as it became meaningful in another’s life,” she said.
Her passion continues today, with an art studio in her apartment where she enjoys creating and displaying her artwork with illustrations that convey biblical themes. Carolyn’s artwork is also featured on Courage Kenny Cards published by the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Minneapolis, MN. Carolyn also practices her commitment to scripture by leading a weekly Bible study at Folkestone attended by 15 to 20 residents. “It’s such a privilege and a call to share God’s word,” she said.
Carolyn and John made their home in Edina for over 52 years where they raised their three children. They moved to Folkestone in November 2015. “We really like Folkestone and wanted to make the move together,” she said. “It was a big present to our kids,” she added, noting that their decision was especially appreciated by her daughter, Kitty, who lives five blocks away from Folkestone.
Since 2010, an original painting by a PHS resident or employee has appeared on the annual Christmas card. We are blessed to add Carolyn’s gifted work to this tradition.