A Day of Encouragement

The blog’s been quiet again. I’ve spent the summer {and last year} praying, playing, grieving and growing, and I’m still wrestling through the purpose of this ‘lil blog. I’d love to have some big, grand purpose in my writing like saving the world or feeding starving children in Africa, but so far this little corner of the world has simply turned into a scrapbook of personal thoughts, ramblings, book reviews, photos and stories. I’m learning to process life through words and the Word, and it’s all good. But somedays I still wonder if there’s more.

I’m reading books like Courage and Calling and asking questions like, “What am I made for?” and “What is my art?”

Over the past few months I have observed masters in their field. Chefs. Musicians. Athletes. Artists. While they have all had different goals and motives, I am still in awe and wonder at how they have perfected their gifts and pursued purpose and excellence in their art. I want to do the same. It’s just that, if I’m completely honest, some days I’m a little lost and just need a good dose of encouragement.

One artist in particular captured my heart and soul this past summer. Since today is the National Day of Encouragement, meet me over at {in}courage to hear more and read more of what’s on my mind these days. And why I’m a bit of a circus dreamer.

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make art, not war

{photo credit}

There’s been a war going on in my soul. It’s the age-old battle of whether or not to fall into line, do what’s expected, follow the routine. Or muster up courage, take a risk, and try something new. It’s the conflict of following my mind or listening to my heart. And it’s got me into a bloody mess.

You see, whenever I attempt to be dutiful, I lose all delight. I feel caught and trapped and pinned down for good. I lose all sense of joy and delight, and I know this is not the way. This is not what I was created to do. Created to be.

At least, that’s how it has been as I’ve searched for my calling this past year in our new hometown. It’s been painful and good and hard all over ten thousand times. It’s been an important process for me to go through, though.

One day I was walking the halls of my children’s new school, and I passed a teacher with her class. I’ll call her Ms. Frizzle. At least, she seemed every bit like Ms. Frizzle to me and all her students who were held captive by her every word. I knew deep, deep down in my heart that she had found her calling. Her joy. Teaching was where God’s greatest need met her greatest strength. And I also knew deep, deep down in my heart that I did not have that same joy, and I needed to discover my unique calling. I needed to wait and watch and pray. I needed to rest and listen and seek God. I needed freedom to be me.

I’ve been in this process for almost a year now, and I don’t know much more except for this: When my work is my duty, I die. When my work is my art, it is life giving.

Being made in the image of God is important. It means we are His art, and it means we are here to discover His creative purposes in our life. As image bearers, we are called to make art, and often the war within indicates that either we have missed the calling, or we are narrowing in on the path. When I wrestle with this tension, I want to remember that God is creating something good and right and holy in me. Even if it takes another year.

Posted in Art

When A Picture Is Worth More Than a Thousand Words

When I’m old, I want to be like Grandma Moses.

She didn’t give up. She didn’t slow down. While lives around her were ending, hers was just beginning. She painted. And she didn’t start until she was nearly 80 years old. 8-0 years old.

She remembered the seasons of life, lingering over the details. Yet, Grandma Moses loved simplicity. She loved farms, the holidays, people, and snow.

Maple Bush
She valued home, community and family.

Quilting Bee

She lived the truth that “It is never too late to become what you might have been.” (George Eliot)

There’s a lot I don’t know about Grandma Moses. But this I do know: being an image bearer of God, she reflected her Creator. And reflecting her Creator, she created. Beautiful masterpieces.

Grandma Moses is a picture of what it looks like to age well. She made this world a little more beautiful for 101 years. And her pictures are worth more than a thousand words and a thousand lessons for living life to the fullest. What a lady!

Beautiful World
Posted in Art