Being Present

IMG_9105In raising children, every parent hopes about what days will be like throughout the stages of life.  I always envision myself as a mother who is in tune with the seasons, exploring with my children the land around us, and taking advantage of everything that nature has to offer us.  My vision for our future always consist of a slower pace, offering us the time required to cherish and love life together as a family.  Each year, I make a promise to myself that next year will be different.  Next year, I’ll be the mom that I want to be, living the life that I want to live. Yet, here I sit, the last week of October, and once again, I feel that familiar panic rising in my heart over one more autumn that is slipping by without me being present.

My children are 9 & 10 this year, which is quite old if you ask me.  That’s 10 years of envisioning a life with my children that I have yet to actually embrace.  I ask myself, what is keeping me from making these dreams a reality, and in a word the answer is busyness.

What on Earth am I so busy doing?  Put simply, I’m preparing for the future.  Our family homeschools, so a large part of my time is spent preparing my children for their future.  Daily, I have conversations with my children about what the future may hold for them, and what skills they must learn to prepare for life as an adult.  I also busy myself working to earn money.  Granted, I love the work that I do.  However, there is pressure to store up treasures in an effort to secure a better future.  I am so busy preparing for tomorrow that the every day moments fly right past me without a notice.

Isn’t this why God has told us not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself (Mat. 6:34)?  I know that my God will provide for me. I know that “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know that He watches me”.  My faith is in Him, yet I continue to toil in an effort to secure a better future for my family.  What promise do we have that the securities we work to put in place today will brighten our tomorrow?  What promise do we have of there even being a tomorrow?  None.  We do however, have God’s promise that He will provide for our needs.  This week my challenge for myself & you as well, is to trust God.  Not just in word, but in how I choose to live life.

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Journal Page: “Brushes dipped in praise . . .”

Brushes dipped in praiseI’ve been looking again at the power of worship, and what happens in the heavens when we praise God.

“[Worship] … is considered an attack on the enemy because it carries the Light of the presence of God.  When the Light of His presence goes forth into the atmosphere, it pierces the darkness, proclaims victory to the captive, heals the sick, binds up the brokenhearted and proclaims the year of the Lord!”

– Unlocking the Heart of the Artist by Matt Tommey

Did you know that art created as an out pouring of praise & worship can do that?

As I continue to think about creating art as a form of worship, I feel greatly inspired, & empowered.

With our brushes dipped in praise,

let our colors be the light that pierces the darkness.

Show Me You; a series

I was little when I asked Jesus into my heart – young enough that I still thought of Jesus physically being in my heart.  My salvation was real, I knew Jesus, and grew up active in our church.  I have never known life without Jesus in it.  As a teenager, I would wonder about my relationship with God.  I didn’t feel like I had passion in my relationship with Him.  I felt His fire at youth retreats and conventions, but I knew that was different than having passion.  So, I prayed for passion.

Fast forward 15 years.  God has given me passion.  It often consumes me.  I feel like a cup that is overflowing, and I’m scrambling around in a frenzy of excitement trying to find out what to do with all of “it”.  “It” is a number things, like sharing God’s love & HOPE with Tibetans through knitting.  Another, is my artwork.  In the past I’ve simply let “it” spill out all over the place.  I don’t know what to do with “it”, so I start talking about “it” looking for direction as I wait to see what God is going to make out of the mess.

Mandy of Messy Canvas shared this statement on Facebook a while back.

“Quite frankly Christians, I’m ready to see you, not your Jesus.  Show me you.”

This status update & the conversation that follows has gripped me in such a way that months later, it still pulls at me.  It has started me down an internal path of wrestling.  I don’t know where the path will lead me, or even what direction it takes me.  When I’ve written my thoughts into a journal I seem to be all over the place in a kind of swirling ball of passion. I know that I have found something that is important, but I am unable to define it.  This single sentence has sparked a flame in me.  It is creating a passion for divine inspiration & art that is spilling out all over the place.   I’m searching for what to do about it as it is still very messy, swirling around in my heart & my head without any definition.

I have started the “Show Me You” series to give myself a place to  work through the swirling ball inside me.  I hope, dear reader, that you will jump in the conversation and offer your own thoughts & ideas to help me in my search for direction.

A New Blog = A New Friend

The other night I was looking around Pintrest and I kept coming across pins from Visual Blessings.

Visual Blessings Blog Title
Valerie Sjodin profile pic., Heidi Helser PhotographyAfter browsing through the blog I was happy to have come across it.  Valerie Sjodin is an artist with a vision for art that is after my own heart.

I have been reflecting on art as a way to worship and pray for quite some time.  It’s a concept that has been rolling around my head, just kind of brewing.

When mentioning my thoughts to other people, I have found that it is an idea that many do not relate to.  So needless to say the conversations I’ve had on the topic have been few, leaving the idea to just set and brew awhile longer.  I am excited to meet another artist who is exploring art in relationship to spirituality and I look  forward to getting to know her better through her blog.

Vissual Blessings Collage

Show Me You; a series

I was little when I asked Jesus into my heart – young enough that I still thought of Jesus physically being in my heart.  My salvation was real, I knew Jesus, and grew up active in our church.  I have never known life without Jesus in it.  However, as a teenager, I would wonder about my relationship with God.  I didn’t feel like I had passion in my relationship with Him.  I felt His fire at youth retreats and conventions, but I knew that was different than having passion.  So, I prayed for passion. Fast forward 15 years.  God has given me passion.  It often consumes me.  I feel like a cup that is overflowing, and I’m scrambling around in a frenzy of excitement trying to find out what to do with all of “it”.  “It” is a number things, like sharing God’s love & HOPE with Tibetans through knitting.  Another, is my artwork.  In the past I’ve simply let “it” spill out all over the place.  I don’t know what to do with “it”, so I start talking about “it” looking for direction as I wait to see what God is going to make out of the mess.

Mandy of Messy Canvas shared this statement on Facebook a while back.

“Quite frankly Christians, I’m ready to see you, not your Jesus.  Show me you.”

This status update & the conversation that follows has gripped me in such a way that months later, it still pulls at me.  It has started me down an internal path of wrestling.  I don’t know where the path will lead me, or even what direction it takes me.  When I’ve written my thoughts into a journal I seem to be all over the place in a kind of swirling ball of passion. I know that I have found something that is important, but I am unable to define it.  This single sentence has sparked a flame in me.  It is creating a passion for divine inspiration.  I’m searching for what to do about it as it is still very messy, swirling around in my heart & my head without any definition.

I have started the “Show Me You” series to give myself a place to  work through the swirling ball inside me.  I hope, dear reader, that you will jump in the conversation and offer your own thoughts & ideas to help me in my search for direction.