Rest in the River
It’s been just over five months since the vision and purpose for the uniquely fashioned art endeavor was made clear as to the people and purpose it would serve. This past week, I completed another piece, learned several lessons, and see more clear next steps to scale what God has been doing here. Oh! And I am giddy about the artists’ retreat I am attending next week…
When the piece I am being asked to create holds great significance, my heart grows heavy, then light, then full. I seem to always be faced with my perceived inadequacies when creating a piece, but especially when the piece is for a major birthday following the loss of someone very important. I don’t want to get it wrong.
I learned an important lesson with last week’s piece – update the apps I use! I nearly missed the timeframe to create in time for the birthday delivery, because I didn’t receive the request when it came through. Lessons learned: one, ensure all apps are up to date and two, create one streamlined method for connecting with future clients. I also learned the importance of communicating estimated cost for commissioned works up front and even when not asked. Which leads to a fourth lesson learned, according to 1 Timothy 5:18, “a worker is worthy of their wages” – the time invested in each piece merits compensation. Transitioning from a corporate world where my wage was set for me, into an entrepreneurial role where I am trusting God to help me define the wage this artistic talent is worth, has been a whole new world – one where the Lord is allowing me to learn lessons and implement solutions now, before He scales to greater proportions…thank You Lord!
Resting with Him is exactly what I sense is going to take place next week when I travel to North Carolina. I am Holy Ghost giddy at the thought of connecting in person with so many who have been encouragers, edifiers, supporters and willing to respond to a question, comment, message or prayer request – just like that. I am looking forward to what will likely be a little awkward conversation at first and ending with hugs and tears and family in the end. I am looking forward to even more clarity from the Lord as He speaks through other creatives and prophetics, making His will, hope and glory known. I am looking forward to stowing away with Him for a few days and returning with a new Spirit birthed fervor and fire to continue to share His heart with those He loves deeply, through words and art. Blessings!
Is This Happening?
Hello Friends! I completely missed last week’s blog post, but not because the creative flow has finally ceased. Last week was an amazingly intense God week and I simply didn’t have the grace to sit down and provide an update. Amongst the variety of ways God moved last week I was able to work on a piece for two upcoming birthdays, begin bringing a dream to life, and gained clarity on continued steps towards becoming a full-time artist.
With one satisfied Momma, I prayed for another. This mother requested a piece for her son’s dream to come to life. He had a very vivid dream one night regarding a Bible design – and even sketched it out. Details shared, formulated in my mind. My experience as a product development designer assisted in allowing me to create very precise features of the elements described. The first iteration was not "dead on", and I am continuing to refine towards the final piece, but the initial response from the gentleman with the dream? “Wow. That is amazing!!!” He provided direction on how specific elements needed to be modified to align with his dream and I am excited for the next chunk of time to meet with the Lord, then incorporate. I would LOVE to see this Bible to become reality for him!
Speaking of dreams becoming a reality, the Lord continues to provide EUREKA moments and clarity on the steps to take to transition into being a full-time artist that will support my family and the Rise Up ministry. In December, I really didn’t know the timing. All I had was a moment I had shared with my Husband just before Christmas. I was communicating to him what I sensed God revealing, literally sketching out a divine schematic for how I sensed the Lord intended the uniquely fashioned art to support the ministry He’s raised in my life.
I was like a “mad scientist”, feverishly scratching arrows and circles filled with words to depicting the seed of a plan. It all seemed to make sense. This would appeal to his senses and logical mind. He would TOTALLY get it and be on board. When I looked up to make eye contact with him expecting to share the same buy-in… C-R-I-C-K-E-T-S. To help him finally make the leap, I added “and when I said to the Lord I can see this being a three year strat-plan, aligned with the timing of Kendra (our youngest babe) graduating, Holy Spirit near-instantly replied “Why not a year?”” “Uh… Ok.” He didn’t make the leap and I felt like I had fallen from the cloud I was frolicking around on.
“Do you remember when we stood in the kitchen and I was sharing what I sensed God wanted to do? Do you remember how I shared I thought it was a good three year strategic exit plan and God right away asked “why not a year?”
Like a light bulb went off he replied, “Yeah, I do.” He actually gave a head nod to reinforce the significance of his awareness.
“I said that. Now here we are and it will be just around one year, not three”, I could tell God was communicating more than I was saying, and it was registering with my hubby.
“Yeah, you did”.
Is this really happening? Alright, Holy Spirit, I trust you with our lives and Your plans…
Creator, Shaping Reality
I thought I was ready. Now I’m not so sure. My sense seven weeks ago is becoming a reality. And I am grateful for continued, gentle, leading and guiding. I recently had the joy of delivering a piece, created another and now getting very serious about God’s strategy to move forward professionally as an artist.
I delivered the piece to “Islands in the Stream”. It was a nice, cozy, in-person conversation with my client, whom I had only conversed with via messenger and text. Our digital interaction did not hinder my desire to want to give her a big old hug (thank God she was receptive and there were no awkward upper arms strokes). I pray the piece and special components accompanying the uniquely fashioned work of art blesses her husband on his birthday, in ways beyond my imagination. I know I already feel blessed. His wife is moving in similar ways the Lord has been leading me and I sense our friendship has only just begun.
Speaking of new beginnings, I was led to create another piece following a vision I had a couple weeks ago. I was down and out sick for several days. So sick, I was unable to minister on Monday and Wednesday nights in the community groups I facilitate. But in being “down and out”, I continued to press into the Lord. There, He shared a very promising vision with me:
This vision and Scripture were simply seeds to a much larger message. I am currently resting with it and have others joining me in prayer on when and how to share. Interestingly, my Pastor has asked me to discuss with him. Unbeknownst to me, the message in its entirety aligned with the teaching he is being led to share with our congregation this month. Woah. God sharing prophetic art with an entire church body, rather than one individual? This, again, is new territory and I do not take it lightly. Lord, all for Your glory and purposes.
Nearly seven weeks ago I shared, “I believe the Lord is setting up the freedom to become an artist full-time, as He gently leads and guides me out of my current career”. This is no longer a belief, but a fact. Can I tell you? I am utterly and entirely grateful for Holy Spirit speaking into my life and preparing me for what will be shaping up. But I’m also a bit sweaty in the palms knowing this is becoming a reality. “I can’t mess this up!” This is the thought that comes to mind. The familiar phrase has come to mind with each of the nineteen pieces created in the past four months. Then Holy Spirit reminds me of the portfolio of God’s promise and provision, and I grow giddy again for what lies ahead.
As I think of the horizon, I find it intriguing how I have recently been drawn to images with high sides and seemingly apparent constraints. I’ve always preferred wide open spaces. What captivates my heart is what appears to be a glow unbound by limitations – a promise – reward even, for walking the narrow way. Of course, Scripture comes to mind: small is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:14
“Leads to life…” leads me to think of freedom – where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, see 2 Corinthians 3:17. And where the Spirit is, there is LIFE – a mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, check out Romans 8:6. I love the freedom of living according to the leading of Holy Spirit coupled with the Word of God. I also love the comfort He provides within the boundaries of obedience to His voice and text. As the landscape changes, I sense a promotion to live all the more in the depths of His love, obedience to His written and spoken instructions and an audacious faith. This life of creativity in Christ is certainly a one of a kind adventure. Who knows all the places He will have us go when completely surrendered and abandoned to Him?
Six years after laying down the dream of being a full-time artist, God is handing it back. Spirit shined and polished, the artistic gift will be a conduit to creating a variety of works intended to usher in God's glory-presence in any atmosphere, encourage through personalized works, and provide peace in the market place.