Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord ... He has made everything beautiful in its time." ... Colossians 3:23, Ecclesiastes 3:11
While I walked through the always-adventurous halls of Jr. High, my mother copied paintings on canvasses. Oh, not in an art forger way (being a pastor's wife and all), but rather, she'd see a painting in an art magazine of an autumnal forest or a ship at sea then she'd sit at the table for some days and paint those scenes on canvas.
Well, this impressed my family and guests and I, myself, began drawing. I'd clip those ads in magazines which said, "Draw this deer, send it to us and we'll let you know if you have talent." (Remember those?) Except that I never sent them to anyone lest they write back and say, "Is this a joke? How old are you anyway?".
Alas. I also drew trees that looked like they'd grown on Mars, horses with six legs and children's faces which were downright frightening.
Eventually I gave-up and you know? Sometimes giving-up is the right thing to do. (Decades later I taught kids' church and you should have heard those naughty children laugh at my stick-figures.)
Yet while forcing the art thing in Jr. High, I also rearranged my bedroom a lot. While my mom studied pages of art magazines, I'd stare at decorating pages, usually (expensive) French colonial styled rooms, and with an extremely optimistic eye, I'd think, "If I can arrange my room like the magazine one, it'll look nearly as nice." And afterward, through my ever-hopeful, childish eyes and imagination--it did.
And that was my art. My drawings were trash-worthy, but I could rearrange a room to make it more spacious, efficient and imaginative, if only to myself. I'd stand in the corner near the door and behold the new symmetry and ambiance and call it Good.
Forty years later, I still do that. And even as I cook breakfast for Tom in the mornings I look at our living room with its lamps glowing upon the mustard-colored curtains and the red couch against the green wall and I feel a sweet contentment tug at my mouth. It's all good and pleasant to the eye, now, to this older me, to my family, and to those of you who are encouraged by my decorating-on-a-budget home photos.
Oh, not to the degree of inspiration given by this lady whose rooms have been known to actually heal and uplift her fans from despair pits. But what matters is that I just follow God and leave the results to Him. And whew. The pressure leaves when I recall that.
As Sarah Ban Breathnach said in Simple Abundance, "We are all artists... The beautiful, authentic life you are creating for yourself and those you love is your art. It's the highest art. 'Since you are like no other being ever created... you are incomparable.'"
Yes we are. Incomparable. Each of us are given a uniquely-arranged assortment of gifts and talents through which God wishes to bless and bring back to Him all the people upon this planet He created.
No talent is so small that no one's gonna noticed if you ignore it. All gifts matter and affect how this world spins. God had a plan and who are we to second guess it? Tweak it? Call it bad/too hard/unnecessary? (If only we realized the pride in thinking, "God only gave me inconsequential gifts.")
I believe He waits for our help in putting back together His world-gone-all-wrong. It starts with me, with you, with all of us artists who desire to see a world the way it once appeared within God's own hopeful eyes. And it could be, if only we'd never again say, "Let someone with real talent do it."
"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best."
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin..." ... Zechariah 4:10
"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.." ...Romans 12:6
Valentine's Day is only a few weeks away! Have you ordered or made your Valentine's yet?
Speaking of the empty nest (my last post) ... Did you read about the way this woman has chosen to live in hers? My, my, my ... Some days I'd like to join her, not only in winter time, but summer while I'm mowing our lawn.
And there are less-expensive ways to do what she's doing. Even allowing for inflation, this article written some time ago, shows ways to lower the costs.