June 1, 2015

How Wonder Just Keeps Showing Up Whenever I Step Out...

My #OneWord365 is Wonder... 

I'm sure if you have hung out with me much around here, this is nothing new. 

Here we are in the beginning of June and less than 6 months in, and I can tell you that Wonder keeps showing up in big ways and small... taking my breath away and causing me to lean in to more adventure.

Me... the shy, quiet, reserved one.

The wallflower-until-you-get-to-know-me one.
The better-safe-than-sorry, fear-of-success/-of-failure one.

And yet... 

It turns out when you step in to who you really are and begin to feel at home in your own skin, wonders are easier to spot and faith rises along with a bit of brave and oh my goodness, He shows up!

May was so full! I will write my beloved "What I Learned" post this week, reviewing all of the wonder that unfolded last month. But today I want to share a small/big wonder... a Playdate with God, if you will. 

For years, I have felt the pull to create.

I did it professionally in many ways, but with a brush in hand and a blank canvas in front of me... this is new.

I have gone to services and watched conferences online with painters painting during worship and I have had an opportunity a couple of times to do this. It's a little (read: a lot) out of my comfort zone and yet I feel this draw to lean in anyway and worship in new forms. To offer Him whatever I have to bring... and because we are sort of in charge of how our services go now, we get to make space and room and plan things loosely, hoping He shows up and shows off, knowing all the while He loves it best when we jump in and join in and play with Him.

Tweet: "He loves it best when we jump in and join in and play with Him." @KarrileeA #smallwonders

So on Sunday as the guys were setting up and plugging in and getting ready for worship, I went early too and created a little corner to pray and paint and just see how God would show up.

I came with a couple of images in mind, but nothing pre-planned or prepped beyond a little gesso slathered on and paint supplies on hand. 

Two things concerned me:

  1.) Those nagging "You're not a real artist!" tauntings.
  2.) I did not want to be a distraction. I did not want people watching me... (read: judging/critiquing me) 

But I learned two other things, long ago:

  1.) I AM a 'real' artist, because I was created in The Real Artists' image... and everything I do is art.
  2.) I worship with all of me... no matter where I am - seated or standing, in church or at home... when I worship - it's all about Him and I will be respectful of my surroundings, but my worship being poured out --it's for HIM and not for anyone else really! I offer myself as a living sacrifice, and sometimes that includes dancing, or flagging, or standing still, or bowing down, or crying out, or quietly trembling, or... --you get the picture!  It's all for Him.

So I pushed those two concerns aside, knowing the counterpart truths above and I entered in to worship.  

I did not paint what I had considered... those paintings will come some day, but yesterday I painted what He showed me. 

I worshiped and prayed... 
I lifted my hands and my brushes... 
I listened and heard... 
I closed my eyes and I saw.  

And from that, I painted... 

And when worship was over, I prayed what He showed me over the congregation. 

And when the message was preached, well - having those paintings in the backdrop gave a visual every time the pastor spoke of waves or how we are called to step out - but we are not stepping out alone... we are, in fact, covered.

And when the service was over, small wonders continued to unfold as people shared how blessed they were... that I was in fact, not a distraction, and several shared what they saw in the paintings and how it spoke to them personally.

What a blessing to have a playdate with God that blesses both He and I, as well as others. 

And isn't that just how it is when we play with God? We benefit. He benefits... and everyone around us gets splashed on as well!

P.S.  I'm linking up with these lovely writers:

The Community over at #SmallWonders 

The Community over at #GiveMeGrace

Laura Boggess for #ChasingTheBlueFlower

Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday

* I am a Dayspring Affiliate, which simply means if you click through to Dayspring here, you pay the same price, but I am able to make a little money (you know, to help support my "cup problem"!) If you, like me, have a 'cup problem' - check out this new Friendship on Purpose Collection - I think you will fall in love with it, like I have!

Do you have something that He is calling you to do that I can pray with you about? Lean In... play with Him! Everyone benefits!


  1. Oh friend, proud of you for stepping out and being brave. Your paintings are beautiful! Pretty cool how the Holy Spirit works too. Here you were painting waves and about being covered and those themes emerged out of the sermon. Gods wonder is so cool. And I want to play with God too!!

    1. Thanks my friend! Your support and encouragement mean more than you know! xoxo

  2. Dear Karrilee, I love the word "Wonder". Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experieces especially "Play date with God".
    Many Blessings to you.

  3. Oh, I love this Karrilee. I too am in a season of getting reconnected with my creative self - I also painted a picture last week. I've been learning lately how much it blesses others when we are able to settle into our true selves - to be at home in our gifts.

    1. Amen Kelly! I think we forget that when we shrink back, it holds back blessings not just for us, but for others too! Here's to leaning in and stepping out!

  4. Oh my gosh, Karrilee, I love what you have painted. Especially the woman with her hands raised! I pray God will bless you & fill you with a creativity which will bless many!

    1. Thank you so much Joanne! I receive those prayers, my friend!

  5. Beautiful, Karrilee. You trusted God in a truly beautiful way and it impacted others. I like how you stepped out w/o fear stopping you. That can be a biggee, stepping into something new. Sometimes it's a show stopper, but not in that worship session. Love it...and the painting too. :-) #testimonytuesday

    1. Amen Kristi! I think of all the times that fear has stopped me in the past... We've got a lot of redeeming to do, God and I... a lot of stepping out and jumping off together! Thanks so much for your encouragement and for stopping by!

  6. Anonymous5:17 AM

    Love your painting!! And love what God is doing through you guys in your new church. Thanks for sharing with us!!

    1. Thanks so much Holly! As always, I adore the community that you gather for #TestimonyTuesday! Thanks for popping by!

  7. Love, love, love this friend! What a special playdate with God that blessed so many, both in your church and those that read this post. What an inviting concept, to make a playdate with God. The paintings are beautiful and meaningful--yet what God is doing with them in you and in others is the most beautiful of all. Again, so wishing Washington State was close to Washington, DC... Thanks for blessing my socks off this morning:)

    1. Playdate with God... by Laura Boggess... have you read it yet? Laura was at Jumping Tandem and oh my goodness! She has a link up (Chasing the Blue Flower) where she shares her playdate and encourages us to schedule some time to play with Him too! And Amen... if only our Washingtons were closer! xoxo

  8. "It turns out when you step into who you really are and begin to feel at home in your own skin, wonders are easier to spot and faith rises along with a bit of brave and oh my goodness, He shows up!"
    Mmm hmmm, love that statement! I gotta share that with some peeps right now, and bookmark it for myself to read over when the enemy tries to sway my confidence.
    And God is doing something really beautiful in your church in these new days... can't wait to see what wonders He has in store for you all as you continue to gather!
    We serve a remarkable God and King :) Hugs, Karrilee!

    1. Oh girlie... I can feel those hugs! Share away... I think we all need that reminder from time to time!

      To the King, and for His Kingdom...
      Blessings, my friend!

  9. I don't even have to tell you how much I LOVE this! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! You keep stepping out girl!

    1. Thank you friend! I loved Voxing you before service, knowing you would completely know - and pray! xoxo

  10. Thinking about you today - missing your participation over at FMF:GIFT. Going to pray for you right now. Hope all is well. xo

    1. Thanks so much, my friend! I was just a little late to the FMF game this week! I just posted now, and it will explain why I was - well, quieter, this morning! ;)


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