Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Life, New Art

I've been a little quiet lately on my blog and social media lately. These venues are really difficult for me to share on. I'm not only a modest person, but I have also been really struggling with sharing my latest art and products with you. I know deep down there are many of you who really do want to hear updates about what I've been up, so I keep sharing, little by little. But there has been this overwhelming confusion (is it conviction or false-guilt?) in my life for the past year: Am I selfishly self-promoting? Is my art for others or for me? Is this satisfaction or is it pride over an art piece I've completed?

You see, in my 20s, I was the self-seeking gal who constantly searched for fulfillment through my work. I had this constant ache in my heart – the feeling I was missing something in my life (do you know that feeling?) I set work goals and expectations for myself and as a mother and when I filled these and received acknowledgement for my accomplishments, I felt good . . . for awhile. Then that feeling kept coming back. I was chasing everything that the world was telling me to chase and taking control of my life (I thought) and still not finding rest or significance in my achievements.

Then in 2013, some things happened that flipped me on my face. My false grasp of control, comfort and security were knocked out from under me. I doubted God's goodness and from my anger and desperation I started searching for my God I thought I had known. I called myself a Christian for my whole life but it was not until this crisis did I truly discover to know what it meant to live with Christ in me. I chased the light for so many years, thinking I could find God by feeling spiritual and with my bible buried deep in my closet. There were times I searched in the wrong places (I'm so thankful for the conviction of the Holy Spirit!), but He kept drawing me in to Him. The night I was worn out from defending myself and my own stubborn and failing ways, the night I repented and my prayers were so desperate to know true faith, He flooded my heart. By His grace, I decided to follow Christ and God's word instead of the world. I was lost but now am found (tears fill my eyes as I type this – oh thank you, Lord!)

I have such a fire for Jesus in my heart now, such gratitude for His grace. He is my Savior, my everything. He took all my scarlet stains and made them white. I'm not saying life is easier now, I still struggle with the world just as much, but in different ways. But one of the big changes is that I am completely fulfilled now. I no longer have that feeling of missing a part of myself. Nor, do I have any need to prove myself anymore.

I am complete in Christ.

We were made for our eternal home. But in this world, I'm still myself. I'm a mother. And I'm an artist who has this urge to create, but also an artist who creates art to pay her bills. There's a big part of me now that would be fine if I never created another art piece again – if my name was taken off of every last piece I made, I would still be complete. Would I be glorifying God if I did that? (I still don't know.) So why am I still creating my art? Are my old dreams and goals still relevant? I guess, I'm still gaining my confidence in my new walk, but for now I'm treading lightly as I share my art with you. I never want to go back to the person I was when I chased the world. Social media feeds our pride and shines a light on accomplishments, popularity and platforms instead of what really matters. How do I expose me and my name but keep myself from trying to make a name for myself? Can you understand my struggle?

I've wanted to be an artist since I first picked up my crayons and colored my first figure-eight shaped fish on my shaggy living-room stairs. There is a craving for me to create, to dig in deep with my hands, and also a satisfaction when something is done well. We are all made as tiny little image-bearers of God, the greatest Creator of all – who also had great satisfaction in all He created. Just like an innocent child who joyfully runs to those she loves with a hand-made gift, I hope I can keep that joy forever in my heart.

I hope you will keep traveling with me as we all figure out how to walk in this world. I so hope He is working in your life right now as well. Will you be sure to help me stay on the right path as I figure out this art business stuff? Thanks for walking with me. ~



"Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - John 4:13–14 (NIV)

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