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.

Show Me You

quite franklyMandy of Messy Canvas shared this statement on Facebook about a month ago.  After reading the conversation in the comments section and because of my own personal experiences, the words resonated deep within me, and I have not been able to stop thinking about them.

It reminds me of a season in my life that found me starving for authentic relationships.  I was frustrated with the people around me who were unwilling to meet me where I was at.  If I wanted to have any type of friendship, it was going to have to be an at-church-only kind  of relationship. They were not willing to meet me for coffee to share our hearts, or to talk about what God was doing in our lives. If I wanted to see them, I had to go to a church meeting (they had meetings every night of the week).  Then, of coarse, there was an agenda for that meeting.  Agenda is good, and there should be an agenda at church.  However, I desperately wanted someone to be my friend outside of that.  In that time, I wanted to see people.  I wanted to share my humanity with another humans and relate with each other in those struggles.  I didn’t want to go to church again and again to hear another salvation message. I didn’t want to see “their Jesus” – I wanted to see them, to get to know them, & to have a genuine friendship.  This quote reminds me of the importance of meeting people where they are at. Coming to them as another human who also struggles and wrestles with God and be willing to walk along side of them.

In reflecting on this FB status I wonder, why as an artists, is it so difficult to find meaningful connection in the church?

 

 

Staying True

1703101bae0f22f57753fa3f0ff37e23

This spoke to my heart this morning.

Being an expressive artist, requires vulnerability.   When, I am creating, I am looking inwardly, and my art  is a reflection of what I find there.  The more I work on a piece, the  more vulnerable I feel as the reflection on the canvas comes from deeper inside my heart.  It takes bravery to share that with the world.

It is my desire to be God’s vessel.  As I reach deep inside, I want my artwork to reflect the heart of God.  Therefore, I must learn to trust.  To trust in God.  His love and inspiration will never run dry.  I need to trust that the inspiration in my heart is from Him, and I need to trust that whatever is there on the canvas will reflect God’s heart.  The painting won’t speak to everyone.  However, to the one person the message is intended for, it will scream the heart of God.

 “Stay true to you and you will end up incredibly happy”

This quote speaks to me.  It says to stay true to what I have painted. Don’t second guess my work.  Trust in it, and I will be happy.

The desire of my heart

It is every artist’s dream to be able to do something meaningful with their art, and I am no different.

hope sketchIf you have been reading this blog for awhile, then you know that I have been searching for some purpose and meaning to my artwork.

In the last year, my art has become a form of worship for me as I seek God in my creating.  It has become the desire of my heart that other people will be able to connect with my art and see the heart of God.  God has given me this desire of my heart.

A few weeks ago, I shared a couple posts with you about hope. (here & here)

I had been asked to design and paint a mural for the oncology unit of the hospital.  The only requirement was that the painting inspire hope.

I started painting last week.

The opportunity is amazing!  Many people come by daily to see the progress, and I’ve heard all kinds of positive comments!  My best experience painting at the hospital happened yesterday when I could hear an old man grumbling about how much farther he had to walk to get to his room.  The nurse and therapist were trying to get him up to get some exercise.  I heard the therapist say ” your room is just up here.  You can do it. You’re doing a great job.”  Then the little group came around the corner and this patient saw the mural I was working.  Suddenly, he was bright & witty with comments.  For the moment while he paused to chat with me, he was no longer in a hurry to return to his bed feeling tired and achy.

The director wants to create a gallery of murals that will encourage patients to get out and walk around the halls to see them.  I don’t know how many murals that will be in the end, but so far the response has been amazing.
Just a month ago, I was praying that God would use my hands as his own to create art that penetrates peoples hearts.   Now here I am painting God inspired murals to encourage cancer patients.  I feel blessed, and incredibly honored to have this opportunity!

hopeat St. Joseph Medical Center, 6-garden

Dare to dream BIG

897a251cd8c481659abfeed591332e97I’ve been told a time or two that my dreams are too big. The thing that people seem to forget is that my God delights in giving us the desires of our hearts!

I use to dream about working from home as an artist.  I was told that dream was too big.

I use to dream about reaching out to Tibetan villagers through my knitting. I was told that dream was too big.

Now, I dream about seeing the world with my family.  I’ve been told that dream is too big.  It is the cry of my heart to see all that God has created.  I look at my life, which has been full of  LARGE dreams coming true, and I believe that in time, this too will become a reality.

Creation from an artist’s point of view

While in Alaska, I was often in awe over the beauty that surrounded me.  From the rocky mountains, to the lush forest, to the icy glacier fed creeks, it is all magnificent and so very different than what I typically see in the Midwest. I found myself thinking about how much God must have enjoyed creating it all.

DSC_0622It causes me to believe that God did not rushed through the creation of life in just 6 days.  For just as I find joy in creating art, I know that God too finds great joy in creating.  I believe that  just like any master artist, God took His time enjoying each step of the process.  He let His creativity run wild, and in artistic abandonment He formed Earth.

Thoughts on art & sex

michelaneglo-creation1302x649The other night, I found myself at home working on a crochet rug when I began to contemplate. . .

What is God’s purpose for art?

I asked myself, “Why did God create human beings with the ability and the desire to create?”

The first thing to pop into my head was “We are created in God’s image – God is the creator of all things. Therefore, we also create”

Okay, yes – of coarse, but that answer does not satisfy me.  There has to be something more.  When I am creating, I can see inside my soul.  My heart overflows with passion.  I can feel God, and I can hear His voice speaking. For me, creating is a spiritual experience, and I am wondering, what I am suppose to do with this. Does God have a purpose for art? Does He have a higher purpose for MY art? What if there is no other greater purpose than to give me the enjoyment of creating, and Him the pleasure of my artistic praises?  What if art is like sex and it exists only for the sake of passion, as an expression of my soul?

I truly believe that God LOVES to create.  He is creating all the time.  Look around and you can see this is evident. Every child born was first knit together in the mother’s womb by God himself. Every morning & every evening God paints the sky. Every pallet of color that is found in nature is a perfect color scheme.  I am reminded of a quote I once ready from G. K. Chesterton:

10120634-field-of-daisy-flowers  “It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon.  It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that god makes every daisy separately but has never got tired of making them. . . . The repetition in Nature may not be mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.”

Is it that God so sweetly enjoys creating, that He wanted us to share in this experience with Him? Has he given us this gift simply for the edification of our souls?

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.