It has been a while since I posted here at the Country Girl Experiment. I went through a bout of Illness and recovery was slow. However, I am on the mend and thought I’d drop by and tug at your ear for a bit and share my creative testimony, at least as it applies to the last few months.
I have always been obsessed with art. All mediums, all surfaces, all the time. It gets my gears spinning to try a new thing, get in the zone and drown out all the stress and worries. For me, Artistic creativity is a communion with God. It is a silent sacred place where the language between me and my Savior is spoken in color, texture, and design. It is a place where healing enters in, the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart, my hands and my mind and I can just feel the Father’s presence and peace. The zone. It has been my private retreat for many years and it is something that I have guarded and kept close to me, selfishly hoarding all that time for myself, ravenously devouring one new technique , one new medium after another, studying and practicing, until I master or at least become proficient in it and move on to the next. It has been a way of replacing bad memories with good ones, sorrow for joy, chaos for peace. If I am not creating something, with my hands, in my mind, in my prayer, in my soul and spirit I am depressed and cranky…. And up until now, it has been very personal and very private.
Lupus is a rough customer. It comes and goes like an a thief and steals your time and your energy and your joy if you let it. I have been through one such flare over the last year, the longest one I’ve ever had, that left me utterly fatigued to the point where I would spend days in bed, sleep 15 hours at a time, unable to do much. No trips to the art table, the kiln room, the sewing machine or even a sketch pad for days on end. But… I could dream and dream I did. I would paint and create in my mind. I would dream about it and wake up with an inspiration for a canvas or a doll or a book that I wanted to bind. In my dreams I was dying wool and spinning art yarn and creating buttons from clay. In my mind I could see a collage or a stack of handmade paper brilliantly colored. I knew this was happening all along, that the Holy Spirit had been my muse, but I was so busy with kids and life and all the material things and petty things and ridiculous things and… that I did not recognize it until I got quiet and still and only had God to talk to. I began to heal up physically and spiritually, but life did not return to business as usual. I have only so many ” good” hours a day and I have to nap in the middle of the day to regain energy to keep going. I had to learn to eat differently, exercise daily, re-prioritize my time and priorities and focus on what really matters. I had to let some things go that were stealing precious time and invest in things that I was neglecting. I had to seek forgiveness and forgive. I had to shake the dust off my feet sometimes and sometimes eat crow.. lots of crow. And for the Love of God, I’ve had to learn to control my tongue ( still on going) and my attitude about the behavior of others… Hence the crow. I am learning to keep my eyes on the cross. Mathew 5 :24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
As soon as my energy began to return, I would wake up with a painting in my head and run straight to my sketch pad so I would not forget it. I would hear worship music and an entire art journal page would emerge. I began to pray for inspiration and direction in my art. I committed time every day to it. … and then it happened. That moment when God called me out of the safety of my little art table to share what I was doing with others.
Exodus 35:10 And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded;
Exodus 35:35 Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.
At first I just showed off a little on face book and then people began to ask me questions and so I answered. People wanted to learn techniques so I showed them. They wanted art, I gave it away, astonished that anyone would want to have any of the odd art that was produced from my little table. People were as amazed with my process as anything else and I began to see that I was not the only one who was wrapped up in the beautiful vision of this creative drive. This art that came as a direct result of my relationship with Christ has become known to me now as my creative calling.
1 Corinthians 15 :58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
So now as I write this, as I feel the aches and pains of this disease creeping around, I am smiling because it reminds me to go to my knees and get quiet and listen. It reminds me that Jesus longs to be with me, to have a relationship with me,to be a part of me. It reminds me that this gift was given to me to be given. It is so intricately a part of who I am that I sometimes take it for granted but my prayer is that I wont. I pray that I never forget how empty my life was without it. It’s something I have to do. I can feel a nap coming on and I can’t wait to dream.
What is your creative calling?