365 Grateful: Day 3

Today, I am grateful for my gifts.

A couple of years ago, I felt pulled by God to make a change in my life. The pull was to quit teaching and really pursue my dream of being an artist. One of the struggles that I had was seeing how being an artist would serve the community and serve God’s purpose in me.

It was easy being a teacher, going to work, motivating, and touching the lives of children. It was easy to do but, it was not where I felt I was supposed to be. To be able to do something well but not be passionate about it was, well…draining to say the least.

So, with the support and encouragement of my husband, I quit my job. Who knew that my gift would end up ministering to me first.

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Here a a piece I created to donate to a prayer conference. It was created about three months ago but, I saw it again today. While creating it, this is what was revealed to me:

1. This piece was created on a canvas that was originally intended for something else. I am still in a place where my skill set does not quite meet my taste so, the original idea was a fail. Instead of me throwing the canvas away, I set it aside for later use.

Just as this canvas, God does not throw us away simply because we may have “failed”. We may be set aside,  while He develops our character, to be used for a later date.

2. I covered the canvas with texture paste and white gesso. This prepared it to receive the paint that I intended to put onto it while creating an interesting texture. The texture paste was added using my hands and not some fancy art tool.

This reminded me of how God will have His hands in our lives. We sometimes expect His movement to be upscale and fancy but sometimes, it comes in the most ordinary of ways.

In the same way that I used gesso to prime my canvas, God primes us through our character so that we may receive what He is wanted to place in (and on) us.

3. After applying the texture paste, I realized that I wanted movement. In order to achieve this, I had to force the paste to move by shaking the canvas downward. When I wanted the paste to stop moving, I placed it on its back to allow it to dry. I then oriented the canvas so that the paste was no longer going down, but up.

In our own lives, in order for God to stop our downward movement, He might have to place us on our backs. In that orientation, our only perspective is up. He then situates us so that what might have been a characteristic of our downward progression, becomes the very thing that points upwards…to Him.

4. I painted the canvas using a color gradient from a turquoise to a deep purple. It wasn’t doing it for me. There was no interest, no draw to the piece. It was at this point when I felt a need to highlight the deeper, sunken in places. To do this, I colored the canvas with black and then wiped the black treatment off. I realized very quickly that bringing depth to the low places of the painting, consequently brought attention to the peaks.

Usually, black is discouraged when painting. In this case, however, I knew that I wanted a dramatic effect and that black is the only color that would give me what I wanted.

We become interesting, relatable and able to draw people when the darkest parts of our lives are highlighted. We spend so much time trying to hide the mistakes that we have made, the failures that we have experienced and those deep, dark secrets. Somehow, we believe that keeping those skeletons in the closet, frees us from them. Au contraire!

Holding onto secrets in fear of someone finding them out, actually keeps you in bondage to them. As long as you don’t share your testimony, you give the enemy permission to emotionally blackmail you with it. Pray about sharing, with at least one trustworthy person. You’ll find freedom in releasing. You will also find that acknowledging that you are weak, brings light to the fact that God is made strong in our weaknesses.

It’s amazing how God will speak to you in the most unlikely ways. My goal is to always be aware of His movements in my life. If we are not careful, God could be moving and we miss it entirely. My life cannot be that distracting.

Until next time,

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