Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 9: Freely Give

Still thinking on the lesson from yesterday. God really has given us our gifts as artists and we are so blessed to be the recipients of such gifts.  I pray that in this season and always God might root into my heart that as my gifts have been freely given to me I should freely give mine as well. And now I am laughing out loud at myself... A window into my morning:

For the last three hours I have been spending time making this new #scripturedoodle and then fighting with my computer to edit and list it in my shop for sale as a digital download.... (which is a fairly basic process but for some reason this morning it was about the death of me). I was yelling at my husband who couldn't help me, ignoring my puppy and counting the minutes till my baby would wake hoping to finish before he did- all for the sake of the gospel... Ha- in my own sinful way.

THEN as I write this post I am typing the words "freely give" realizing I was asking you to purchase this print which is the opposite of free..... (sigh).  Jesus save my soul again- Thank you God for revealing yourself to me and for giving me the obedience today to do as you have asked, next time maybe show me sooner even though I know your timing is perfect.

Lord have mercy I hope this print blesses somebody today because it has been a fight to make it available. So download this happy fall print FOR FREE right here. Share it with everyone you know!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 8: There IS enough room...

Last week I had the sweet opportunity to watch an artist friend of mine paint live at our church's First Wednesday service. Normally if there is an artist painting it's me painting, so what a privilege it was to sit and watch Carrie paint. As I was watching, worshiping and taking inventory of my soul I was sweetly nudged to examine the shift in my heart when it comes to art like mine...not even sure that's the right way to say it, but what I do know is that I've grown. A few years ago, or depending on my attitude a few weeks ago, My first instinct if I saw someone painting in worship especially at "my" church- I would have felt threatened. Why am I not the one painting. Shouldn't they have asked me to paint? That is the nasty, honest, truth. First of all, it's not MY church it's God's church and I am just a small part of it. Second of all, I have no right to any position or claim in service or leadership- only in the place he chooses to put me. And it is an issue of my heart to be content where He's placed me in the season I'm in. Lastly, I am not the only artist at our church of 10,000 and frankly there have been many artists at Seacoast, including Carrie who were using their gifts for God long before I came along. 

Have you ever felt that way about your craft? Threatened by another artist or creative making a living at their work or simply using their gifts to worship God... "their art sort of looks like mine", or "I've done that same thing and not had the success he or she has had". Why do we feel that way? Why is jealousy and envy our default? The short answer is- because we are sinners, we are flawed, Romans 7:18 says, 

 "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out."

That is the truth, but to dig into it, the truth behind God's character is this- God is a God of abundance. Not just in the arts and creativity but in all areas. There is enough room for everyone at the table. God can never receive "enough" worship. he is so great and mighty we could never give him enough praise or honor that he would say, "sorry, you can't use your gifts for me anymore, there's just no more room". I also know that God is able to use our gifts for Him in a way that we can't even imagine. 

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us"
                  -Ephesians 3:20

 Which is why it's so important to hold what we've been given with an open hand, sharing it with others as God leads. And if someone is serving in "your place" or doing what you do...isn't God big enough to lead you to a new place, a deeper place, or make room for both of you sharing in a similar ministry. God IS big enough. There IS enough room. We may feel ownership over what we've been given- but it's not ownership it's actually stewardship- it belongs to him, all of it. Our job is to take care of it as long as it's ours and to hold it always with an open hand. Freely we receive, freely give. God will continue to give as we give of ourselves and our gifts because that is just. his. character. He is the ultimate giver- never betraying himself so he will ALWAYS give.

Examine your heart.....

Allow God to shift your heart, rest in this as an artist, he will fight for you and make a place for you among his worshipers. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4 Keeping the balance

So I've consistently shared four days in a row now which is super uncommon for me and has required quite a bit of discipline. But as I observe this, I can see the beginning of unbalance in my routine. I'm getting up each morning knowing I need to blog and so that becomes my priority, usually happening in the time I'd be doing some sort of devotional. When I sat down to blog this morning, what I really wanted to do was read the word and spend some time with the Lord. So I opened Jesus calling instead. 

My favorite line in today's passage was, "Although I am unimaginably vast, I choose to dwell within you". God is so vast, yet he chooses to Dwell with me. How could I be so prideful to dwell without him and choose to go it alone even ONE day when He is always with me, waiting to help along the way. 

Even when I'm not blogging I'm not great at keeping this balance in my daily life. But the truth is that, If God is my source and my number one job is to worship Him. He needs to be at the center of my balanced life, right? He fuels me as an artist and person, I've always known that. SO if I'm not spending time with him I will quickly run empty. 

I've not found an answer to my unbalance, maybe it's getting up earlier, maybe it's blogging the night before. I do think there's room for blogging in my life, I just know it can't come first. Lord teach me the balance. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 3 Art for no reason

Art for NO reason

So last night I tried some Art for no reason, just to paint for the sake of painting. I honestly cannot remember the last time I did that before yesterday. And can I say it was FREE-ing. It's like that old saying about the shoemakers children with no shoes... when you're making a living at something there's not time for it for yourself.

I started with watercolors and white paper. I chose three analogous colors yellow, green and teal turned on my Christina Perri pandora station and I. just. started. As I began i watched the yellow spread across the paper and then I went to green... at one point I had the instinct to blow on the wet water and paint just to see what happened, I quickly stopped myself because "I don't do that", it's not my style. But then  I remembered! There were NO RULES. I could paint whatever I wanted because it was only for me. In the end I didn't love the affect it created but I did love the fact that I did it.

I have a feeling this practice of Art for no reason is going to fuel my creativity as an artist. When we continue to try new things we broaden our idea of what is possible. I invited others to join me via instagram and twitter, and we're doing it again next week. So put it on our your books and we'll do it together. And if you're thinking, "but I'm not an artist" good, all the more reason to join! Maybe you fill find something you love about art.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Back to the Heart Day 2

First can we have an applause for two days of consistent posting, even though it's past lunch already. Yesterday I had my Art Space class and it ended up being a super sweet time of worship and creativity. This semester our class is themed around God Led Creativity, I love the way it's turning out even after two classes. I've not set up many rules on the how and our main goal is really only to cultivate and stretch creativity. 

Yesterday we spent some time looking at and practicing interpretive painting to worship music. I showed the girls some examples of this and then practiced briefly with each of them to introduce them to the concept. We did a few different exercises, one with a partner, one with only chalk on dark paper and lastly we spent three songs painting freely to the music. It was so cool to see them going for it without being limited by a final project or worried out the end picture.


Tonight I'm going to spend a little time doing some interpretive art to music and see what comes from it. If nothing else I hope it's restful and therapeutic to my busy self. Would you join me? Grab some paints and paper or pencils even and your sketchbook turn on your favorite music and give it a try, let's see what happens.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 Days of Back to the Heart of it..

Today this one is for me...
Two years ago I started #Scripturedoodle as a way to incorporate the creative into my everyday life. It was art for no reason, other than worship and it was a way to honor God with my creativity on a daily basis, a sort of artistic devotional study. Over time it quickly became a way to monetize my art and grow as an artist. Not a bad thing, but so easily distracting from the heart of it all. 

As an artist I often find this is true not just of #scripturedoodle but of all of my art. I see myself working so hard for the craft but easily drifting from the heart of it. Bringing me to a place where I'm left with questions. Why do I do what I do? Who do I create for? Aren't I making art for God and his people? So many times it feels I'm working for a deadline or for a check off my to-do list so I can tell Robert I accomplished something when he get's home from work, Or working for the paycheck.

Actually the heart of it is for worship isn't it? For God, for the sake of creativity. To worship God and to know him is the number one of why I do what I do, why we all should do what we know. I'm certain I'm not alone in this. Do you need to get back to the heart of something?

So for the next 31 days I am (reluctantly and cautiously) jumping in on this 31day blog challenge that so many are doing with The Nester. I had no intention of doing this myself, frankly 31 days of blogging anything seems like a huge task to my inconsistent self. But I felt a little nudge, so we're going for it. In these days I want to get back to the heart of it. Asking God the why? Am I missing the mark? Did I get it right today? I want to do some artwork for no reason, that won't make me money, but it might make me happy. I want to take time to be creative with friends and encourage others to honor God with their gifts. I want know the why and to come back to the heart of it. Here goes....