To Find Comfort in the Creative

Watercolor by Donna

Watercolor by Donna

I am a Creative. I find comfort in the creative. I enjoy a variety of things, but primarily I like to write and paint. If I’m in a good mood, being creative brings on the joy even more so. If I have the blues, being creative brings lightness which lifts the heaviness I am feeling. Like Julie Cameron author of “The Artists Way” says, “It is difficult to be depressed and in action at the same time.”

However, I don’t always find comfort in the creative. First, I struggle to write an article or a blog post. Just writing the first paragraph takes a lot of effort and because I’m a perfectionist, I’m usually never satisfied with the end result. Secondly, to pick up a pencil to sketch a design or a paint brush to splash on color can be an effort as well because it will require that this ADD temperament of mine to focus on finishing the project.  And then it’s the mess of the paint supplies, or the pile of books (research material) taking over the dinning room table. My husband has grown to appreciate my messiness and gives me encouragement and comfort to explore being creative.

I have a friend that happens to be a watercolor artist. She inspired me to unleash the “wanna-be-artist” hiding inside. She encouraged me to relax and to find comfort in the creative. She is the most gracious friend that sees beauty in everything that I attempt to paint. She encourages me not to hide my work, but to keep it in view and then paint another one. Always paint one more. Always write one more article.

I’ve asked myself what manic or compulsive hours will I give up in trade for the equivalent time to write, or paint? Time is not free—that’s why it’s so precious and worth fighting for. (Ann Lamott said that. She is the author of “Bird by Bird” as well as many other books.) As a gift to myself, I am saying,”no” to some things so that I may say,”yes” for time to find comfort in the creative.

I once wrote a short post about the photo of my granddaughter sniffing a tulip. She loves to discover all that is creative. Her comfort with exploring a beautiful piece of creation made me wonder what a tulip smells like. It made me notice the tulips.

Finding comfort in the creative is noticing those small details–to be in the world–present and in awe. To thank God, the author of creativity, the designer of all creation for splashing beautiful colors on a blank canvas, called my soul. For writing His words of truth and hope to guide this perfectionist to realize that real comfort in the creative can only be found by knowing the Creator.

Linking up with everyone for Five Minute Friday, where a remarkably encouraging community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt is: COMFORT
There is an Amazon link on this page. If you purchase the book using that link, I will receive a small stipend. 

Dear Sweet One, Remember This…

Dear Sweet One,

I remember when you were “just a bump” in your mommy’s tummy. Oh my goodness…I was ecstatic to be Gigi to another grandchild! I remember praying for you before I met you. I remember loving you many months before I looked into your beautiful brown eyes and after our eyes met, I knew that I loved you even more. There are a few things I want to say to you and perhaps you will read this many years later…

Remember this…

You are loved. Not by human standards of love, but by God’s unmeasurable standard of love. He loves you with a forever love and He will never leave you. You can trust God, no matter what. You are a child of the covenant.

Your parent’s love for you will never fail, even when you think they don’t understand what you are going through…trust me, they do!  Dad and Mom understand everything, so don’t hide your fears and mistakes from them. They will be your best friend when you need a friend.  Trust your Father and Mother.

Everyone is not nice. You will experience conflicts and ugliness. Unfortunately, there are mean kids at school. Remember that mean kids who bully other kids have a poor self-esteem and most likely they are not loved like you are. Remember, it is the darkness in them that is lashing out at the light in your life. Remain confident in who you are and pray for those kids to experience love and grace that can transform them. Remember to keep your strength and resolve yet have compassion for those that are weaker than you.

Remember to pray often and always.

Cut up your credit cards!  Please, just use cash. If you don’t have cash to buy a new pair of shoes, then you don’t need a new pair of shoes. You are too young to know what stress is, but just wait until you have debt…then stress becomes the elephant in the room (I know!)  Debt will overwhelm your life and prevent you from experiencing wonderful adventures and freedom.

Remember to take time to be still and quiet. To reflect on the experiences of the day. Remember to thank God for writing that day in another chapter in your life!

Remember to use your talents and creativity to better this world for the glory of God.  It is your generation that will have the greatest impact in our nation and upon our culture. I pray with confidence that you will indeed make a difference in the community where you live, in the place where you work, and in the church where you serve.

Be generous. Give when you are able. Work for free just because you can. Remember, you can make a difference in one life or many lives with a heart of generosity.

Remember to plan for tomorrow so that you can enjoy the future.

Remember this…You are loved!

Linking up with everyone for Five Minute Friday, where a remarkably encouraging and loving community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt is: REMEMBER.
Five Minute Friday

A Love Bigger Than This

There Is A Love Bigger Than This

There Is A Love Bigger Than This

I love this photo of my granddaughter with her Daddy! I can hear her laugh and squeal with delight when her Daddy grabs her close and lays a big smack of a kiss on her plump little cheek. She loves her Daddy so much!  He opens his arms wide when she runs toward him. He picks her up and lifts her high into the air, safely catching to cradle her close. Such a sweet image of magnificent love this little one has for her father. Love with abandon.

The father loves her more…so much more.

There is a love bigger than this.

God, the father, loves me, his child. I like what Francis Chan wrote in his book, Crazy Love…

All my life I’ve heard people say, “God loves you.” It’s probably the most insane statement you could make to say that the eternal Creator of this universe is in love with me. There is a response that ought to take place in believers, a crazy reaction to that love. Do you really understand what God has done for you? [1]

My granddaughter’s expression of love for her father and her immense joy to be with him is the most amazing thing. For him, nothing compares to being truly, exuberantly wanted by his child. He loves his daughter so much it hurts. [2]

There is a love bigger than this.

Open your eyes to how much God desires and loves us. A father’s love for his daughter is only a faint echo of God’s great love for me and every person He made.

John 3:16 says, God so loved the world He gave…

Salvation means that the Spirit of God has brought me into touch with God’s personality, and I am thrilled with something infinitely greater than myself, I am caught up into the abandonment of God. Abandonment never produces the consciousness of its own effort, because the whole life is taken up with the One to Whom we abandon. Beware of talking about abandonment if you know nothing about it, and you will never know anything about it until you have realized that John 3:16 means that God gave Himself absolutely. In our abandonment we give ourselves over to God just as God gave Himself for us. [3]

Live life experiencing a love bigger than you can possibly fathom!

Your love
Brighter than the sun
More beautiful than words could ever say
This endless light
Shining over all
It leads me to Your glory everlasting

–Hillsong United: Zion, Nothing Like Your Love

[1] Francis Chan, Crazy Love (Colorado, CO: David C. Cook, 2008), 179.

[2] Francis Chan, Crazy Love (Colorado, CO: David C. Cook, 2008), 55, a paraphrase.

[3] Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, March 13