It's A New Year!
Some people choose not to make new year's resolutions! But I like the feeling of a fresh page and new goals. It's a place to offer myself grace and yet begin a new chapter of seeking to be all that I was created to be... a loving wife, a patient mommy, someone that shares God's love wherever I go, someone that seeks to care for the body I have been blessed with, a joyful woman who encourages others daily and a time to enter into another season in which I surrender my gifts to God to use as He desires! It's like springtime to my soul!
The first goals I mentioned are pretty basic. My last two goals have different facets to them! It is my goal this year to be intentional in encouraging at least one person a day. That could be a text, Facebook message or by creating something to bless someone and speak life into their souls! Or... it might be painting or writing something that will in years to come speak life to others (ie. children's books that are intended to speak to both children and the adults that read them to their kids).
This year the fresh and unwritten pages of my life will be written with a strong awareness that the gifts within me are faceted and intentionally created by a loving Creator. My "squirrel" like passions, that often seem all over the page, are intentionally placed inside of me by God. I paint, I write, I encourage, I make digital scripture prints, I take photos and edit them, I love to create things with jewels, I intertwine nature into what I create, and I am beginning a children's series about an art teacher. I exhaust myself when I just write all of those passions out! And to be honest, in the past I have felt a little flawed because of it all.
Before reading the book "Widen", by Chris Rice, I felt the pressure to "focus" on one thing! (go to chrisrice.com to purchase his book or music) As I read his poems I was a bit surprised at all the diverse styles of writing within the book. His words can be playful or profound and deep. When reading the words of someone I deeply admire something stirred inside of me.
Because I admire his music, and now his writing, for the way he knits words together so masterfully, God used the book to bring a sort of release! His lyrics are knit into some of the things I have created and because I have painted many of my past paintings while listening to his songs, his words hold power because they are like a trusted old friend to me.
My eyes were "widened" to the fact that the facets of my soul are good and intentionally put together by God! Chris is someone whose words can be deep, profound, playful, symbolic and the undercurrents of some of what his writings & music are intended to point others to God and the hope of eternity. He has various ways he creates and styles when he creates. That was freeing to me.
Before reading this book, I felt an internal pressure to pick one or two things to focus my creative passion on! I have heard that an artist should create a "style" if they want to bring in money using their art! But making money is not my dream... encouraging others is! My eyes have been opened more fully than ever before. I embrace the fact that my style may just be that I don't have one style! I believe my creations are meant to mirror the heart of God. That alone excites my heart and makes my soul spin with joy!
Years ago I had someone I admire say that I needed to focus on one thing after I shared with her my passion for creativity, youth/kids and the nations! I recognize, at a deeper level, that those words and opinions are lies!
So, in this new year I might seem like I am jumping around on what I focus my creative passions on. But, is that not like God? He is constantly focusing on many masterpieces... you and I... all of us! We are each different with different styles and colors and textures within our souls! I find equal joy in each thing I focus on! Just like God delights in each of us!
In this beautiful new year, whether you have made resolutions or not, be assured that you are an amazing masterpiece! Your life is knit with purpose and meaning! At the end of each new day, and page of your life, ask yourself "What did I do right today?". Encourage someone even if it is yourself! Focus on the good! Watch a sunset, study the stars, take a walk, study the wonder of creation in all of it's diverse beauty and textures! See the bright side and find the silver lining in whatever kind of day you have! Offer yourself grace! We are all perfectly imperfect! Do whatever you feel created to do (even if you feel it might be imperfect... I guarantee there will be grammatical errors when I write because I don't have lots of extra time to "prune and polish" each thing I write). If you don't know yet what sets you apart or what is unique and amazing about you, seek to know the Lord better! Open your Bible, buy a Bible! Pursue friendships that will point you to Jesus!
I hope you come back often to visit me via the corridors of the internet! (Grab some coffee... for I can be longwinded...(-: ) I open the door of my heart, to you my unseen friend, and hope to encourage you often! I hope some of my words, or the words of wisdom from others who have touched my life, will become part of the pages of your life's story!
If I never meet you, I look forward to seeing you in heaven! Maybe there we will create side by side with childlike excitement... creations to bless the heart of Jesus! For now, let's join hearts and journey together towards the amazing days ahead... that ultimately (as we seek Jesus, the Lover or our souls, and our Savior) will lead us to an eternity with the one who loves us more than we can ever imagine!
It is a beautiful new year! Before you is a fresh page! What will you do with it?