What is it about titles that can have us all shying away, wringing our hands, and shaking our heads? In our hearts, and sometimes escaping between trembling lips, we think, "Oh no... not me!"
I read about it ...how I am a writer and I knew it already but it took God and Jeff Goins and countless others along the way whispering it into and over me for all these years, before I could stand up tall in it and fully come into agreement. I am a writer. I write because I can't not write. I may not be trained. I may butcher the English language and pay no attention to grammar or punctuation. These things could use some work - but with or without them, I am confident that I am a Writer. That is a title I proudly claim as part of who I am. It took awhile... but I no longer shake my head or feel the need to over explain.
Still... we all have our doubts, yes? We all have those Titles, those things that we feel called to, gifts He has poured out and pieces of us that we hesitate to let be seen.
'Artist' seems to be another tough one for many to step into and claim with confidence. I wrote about it last week as I announced that I am co-leading a new Art group for the Summer session over at Incourage. So it should come as no surprise that I felt all kinds of wringing hands and shaking head and lack of training or skill or the 'right' to claim Artist, and yet I did anyway... because I am (anyway!)
In preparation for this new group, I decided to try new things.
I watched (and followed) a YouTube Tutorial on Watercoloring a Tuscan Windowbox. Sure, why not? I didn't have the right supplies... my paper was too thin, my color palette didn't match, I had no watercolor paint brushes... but I did it anyway! (and... bonus - I actually LOVE my painting! Who knew?)
I got out my Sketch Pad (that had long been buried beneath All. The. (other) Books. I grabbed an iced latte and just relaxed and sketched a little... then I grabbed my poetry journal (which has one poem... that I wrote last month... before that it had been over 20 years!) and I jotted down a short whimiscal little poem. Nothing was a 'finished' product - except maybe they are... but either way, I gave myself freedom to do it anyway!
I stopped 'researching' Art Journaling, and I just jumped right in. I wasn't thrilled with my first pages - mostly because of all my research! (Honestly, I had been looking at pages made by long term Art Journalers... I am guessing that their first pages were less than their favorites as well!) Even as it was 'not turning out' - I did it anyway.
I grabbed my iphone instead of my camera because, as David Molnar says, it is the camera that we always have with us, and I snapped some photo's of my garden. I have a 'nicer' camera but I was sitting on the patio and loving the sunshine and noticed the beauty of all these blooms and instead of grabbing my camera and figuring out my settings, I simply snapped a handful of pictures with my phone and went back to enjoying being in the moment. I later edited them a little bit and shared the art of His hands... He is so creative! I didn't want to risk the heaviness of doing it 'right' - but I didn't risk not doing it at all either! (You know I know you know what's coming, but I can't help myself!)
I did it anyway!
And then in the middle of last week, my Honey announced that he signed me up to do a Spoken Word at the Coffeehouse night on Friday evening. He had been asked to play a song or two and in confirming that, the guy doing the schedule mentioned that they were hoping for a variety of singers and people using their gifts and he said something about Spoken Word... which caused my husband to say something crazy like, "My wife does spoken word... put her down! She'll do something!"
Clearly - he lost his mind. I do not do spoken word. I have felt drawn to it. I love to listen to others do it. That is not a title or a gifting that I have stepped into, but he was right in knowing that God is making me anyway! Whether I feel ready or equipped or gifted or not.
Sometimes we are called to make art anyway...
To open our eyes and ears and heart and see art in our lives... to realize or remember that art is not just something we do - but it really is who we are! We are works of art in progress and when I so
"You won't get better until you start!"
Well... thanks for that!
And so, with only a couple of days to write, and not enough time to actually fully memorize... shaky knees and racing heart, I did it anyway...
Here's the thing... We think 'Artist' and we immediately go to museum quality work, or skilled and trained people who have spent years learning their craft. There is value and honor and truth to that... but we are artists because we are created by the Master Artist and we are made in His image and sometimes we just need the reminder that Art happens all around us, and comes from within us, and when we breathe Him in... Art comes out. It comes out in how you clean and decorate your home... in how you put an outfit together or how you style your hair... in how you plate a meal or paint a picture... in how you pray or sing a song or play on the floor with your Littles... art happens... whether you see it or not, but I pray you will see it anyway!
Art is beauty and grace and love. It inspires and heals and gives hope. It happens all day, every day and I pray that all week long you will train your heart and your eyes to see it... to live it... to simply breathe it out where ever you go!
How do you make art? Where do you see it in your every day life? I'd love to hear in the comments below!