Tag Archives: art

My Artist Life

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Sometimes I think about if I were me in a different life…

I’d be a free spirit.  Someone who loves yoga and being outside.  Somebody obsessed with good coffee and drinks it black.  I’d say random things that nobody understands, but then turn those thoughts into art that everyone relates to.  I’d prefer dancing to anything else, my iTunes account would have way more music on it, and I’d listen to it constantly.

If I lived my artist life, I would be heavy with “misunderstoodness” rather than busyness or stress.  I’d more freely blur the lines than rigidly follow them, and encourage others to do the same.

I would write every day.

And host people constantly.  I would experiment in the kitchen without calculating the number of dirty dishes in advance to see if I should even bother.  I would perform in community theatre.  I’d own a bike and ride it regularly.

I would twirl at least once a day.

I wouldn’t shy away from bright colors and they would fill my house.  Buying beautiful art wouldn’t feel like an impractical use of my money.  If I were my artist self, self-consciousness is a thing of the past.  I’d rejoice in people so very different from me.  And, they wouldn’t be put off by my slightly kooky ways… but endeared.

A few things would be exactly the same.  I am desperately and wholly in love with my husband.  My dog is the cutest thing in the world, according to me.  And I’m incredibly grateful for a Creator God infinitely more artistic than I am.

The question is: how do I start living my artist life in this one?

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Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong

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“You need to step outside of that tiny, terrified space of rightness and look around at each other and look out at the vastness and complexity and mystery of the universe and be able to say, ‘Wow, I don’t know.  Maybe I’m wrong.’

 

My mom sent me this.  You should watch it.  17 minutes.  Art over science.  Honesty over perfection.

 

 

 

Seeking and Choosing

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We recently bought this piece of artwork to hang in our house.

The words are cut off and the picture is kind of blurry, but it reads:

WE TEND TO SEEK HAPPINESS WHEN HAPPINESS IS ACTUALLY A CHOICE

And on this Valentine’s Day, I’d like to propose to you that the same thing goes for love.  Loving your neighbor, your friend, your enemy, your lover…  it’s a choice.  Not something we seek and then find or don’t.

This isn’t at all to say that it is easy – oh no!  And it isn’t to say there’s not an emotional component intrinsic to happiness or love.  But just to say they are made up of choices at the very foundation.  Little ones.  Ones that aren’t even big enough to feel like a decision of any kind, but just appear to be life on sensible auto-pilot kind of stuff.  But it is possible to not choose love over and over and over again in the tiniest of ways, and end up far down a road of unhappiness and unlove and have no idea how or why you got there…  and to assume that you simply must not have “found it/him/her yet.”

My hopes for me and for you are that we:

Choose love.  Fight, but fight fair.  Don’t manipulate.  Be real.  Admit it when you’re wrong.  Don’t admit it when you’re not.  Have conversations with other people’s humanity in the forefront of your mind.  Be proactive.  Don’t passively look for something that might come your way.  Choose it!  Cultivate it.  Practice it.  Do it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

More than you can handle

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I recently read a book – Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.  (You can read all about her here on her blog or here on her ministry’s website.)  I wish I could tell you all about her in a sentence.  It’s impossible but here’s my best shot: she’s a young woman who went to Africa after high school and fell in love, decided to stay, and has adopted 14 Ugandan girls as her daughters while serving hundreds more children, orphans, widows, and elderly.  And while the whole book spoke to me, overwhelmed me – there was one particular passage that stands out above all the rest.  And I’d like to share it with you:

“Remember, God will never give you more than you can handle.”

People repeat this frequently; I heard it when I was growing up and I hear it now.  It is meant to be a source of encouragement, and it would be if I believed it were true.

But I don’t.

I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle.  Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving Himself by doing the impossible in our lives.         …

I have learned to accept it, even ask for it, this “more than I can handle.”  Because in these times, God shows Himself victorious.  He reminds me that all of this life requires more of HIm and less of me.  God does give us more than we can handle.  Not maliciously, but intentionally, in love, that His glory may be displayed, that we may have no doubt of who is in control, that people may see His grace and faithfulness shining through our lives.

And as I surrender these situations to HIm, watch Him take over and do the impossible, I am filled with joy and peace – so much more than I can handle.

Kisses from Katie, excerpts from p.135-137

If you’ve been a part of a Chrisitian community – you’ve probably heard that “comforting” phrase before.  If you haven’t, you might be wondering what the heck I’m talking about – but bear with me.  I think there is something in this for everybody.

I am totally with Katie on this one.  For much of my life, I’ve felt like I’ve had more to deal with than I possibly could deal with as one young, rather inexperienced person.  And yet, I’m well educated, I’m smart, I’ve been blessed (or maybe shielded) by resources that I didn’t personally earn – and so I’ve dealt with it.  I did in fact handle it.  And pretty independently.

But that background musical theme of my life has had it’s volume turned up again, and not by me.  It’s thundering, “More!  More!  Go deeper.  Go beyond the shallows that you can so easily handle.  Be willing to experience more.”  And I’m starting to wonder: am I really handling these life things all that well independently?  What if we all dug into life seeing challenges as impossible to face without the dying American arts of…  Family.  Community.  God.  Something beyond me.

Art of Honesty.  Art of Community.  Art of Life.  I keep coming back to the idea that these precious parts of my experience on earth are not sciences.  They cannot be managed and measured perfectly so as to be better prepared to answer the next question, conquer the next problem, do away with the next gut-wrenching pain.  Well, they can…  but at what cost?  What do we miss out on when we deal with our struggles in ways that never make a space for the impossible to happen?  If we never invite miracles to occur?

What if I seek challenge and contradiction – and depend on more than myself to learn, mature through hardship, and develop appreciation?  Instead of managing the chaos, never wandering so deep as to be pulled out with the tide without rock or sand to stand on… what if I dove in head first, asking with an open heart for more than I can handle?  What then?  Why not?

What am I so afraid of?