Sunday, June 30, 2013

Prayer for Creativity

I've have discovered a new place inside myself.  It is a place where I am completely helpless, like being stranded in the middle of a wilderness with no resources except the spongy organ between my ears.  It is an uncomfortable place, scary actually and I am not often happy there.  Mostly I am overwhelmed  and scared.  What is this place?  It is my creativity. 

Unpredictable and shifting as the weather in Kansas in April, I am finding creativity is hard to manage.  It is vibrant and powerful one day and the next it is wilted and barely alive.  And frustration only makes it worse.

In this place I have also discovered an oasis - a place refreshing and restful.  It is a place called Prayer.  I am a Christian and I believe God loves us and when we trust in his son, Jesus, our prayers suddenly become powerful.  Not to say that I don't have days when I feel like they are bouncing off of the ceiling, but my feelings are deceitful and the truth is that God hears me and he desires to give me peace.

I wrote recently about peace and I know it is what we all long for.  It is the underlying motivation behind all that we do whether it is to make money so we have security, to find a mate who will make us feel loved, to pursue a dream that will fill us with satisfaction.  It also motivates us to evil, like trying to control other people or circumstances, or even for one group of people to do violence to another group because there is the wrong headed belief that other group it the cause of a lack of peace.

True peace is only found in Jesus Christ and trusting him to reconcile us to our Creator and to keep us with him, even unto death.  And in him I also find peace from the things which attempt to torment me, like frustration, bitterness, anger, distrust and deferred dreams.  Little by little I am turning over to him all parts of my life, especially my creativity.  Through him God created the universe.  I know that my creativity is important to him as well, for he has put that light in me. 

So I surrender my creative dreams to him and I will be praying more.  Praying for peace and also that I would be a bringer of blessings to those who will see my art and read my writing.  I will be praying that he will make the work of my hands glorifying to him.

I invite you to pray and call on Jesus.  He loves you so much.  He desires you more than you can imagine for he made you.  The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.  Call on him today and he will rush to you for he has promised to be with us always.  And let today be the beginning of a relationship with him.  Never stop praying.  When I have, it is as if I stopped breathing deeply.  So pray.  I am praying too.... and praying for you.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Capture Peace

Making art really is a struggle sometimes.  Not a struggle I understand because I want creativity to be an act that is natural.  And I would say I want it to be like breathing, but even breathing is a labor sometimes.  Maybe I am just looking for easy this days.  I want something in my life to not be difficult.  So many things feel heavy, from the everyday routine chores to the complexities of relationships to the puzzlement over making decisions.  And in the midst of all these things, my creativity, my desire to create and express myself gets shoved into a dark corner.  In the past I had gotten used to this.  I learned to live with out my art.  Now I feel like I am neglecting some fragile thing that is going to die if I leave it for too long.

I am restless and uneasy.  I want to be peaceful, but my mind won't let me rest.  It is as if I am looking for things to worry over, because I don't know what to do with quietness.  I know peace is within arms reach.  I only have to stretch out to receive it.  But can I lift my arms from their rigidity?
Can I let new ideas come into my mind or must I be like a rat on a wheel, going over the same nonsense over and over?

I want peace to come rest on me, but all this internal tossing and turning is swatting it away.  My emotions are unruly and I am not disciplined enough to make them mind.  But I have to do it.  Somehow I have to quiet my mind, pray more, worry less, make my hands do something productive and beautiful.  I have to will my mind to stillness and will my hands to move.  Somehow.  And I hope writing this here will help me encourage myself to do just that.  If I am my own worst enemy, I must become my own greatest ally. 

Feeling worried and unhappy is something most of us struggle with.  How do you cope with it?  I would love to get some good advice.  Please leave a comment and share what you do to make your creativity flow.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Wasting Time

This is hard.  I sit down to write and to create an illustration and the effort feels so big and the end goal seems so far away that I take a moment to wonder, "Am I wasting my time?"

That question is a creativity killer.  It never fails to freeze me up and drain me of every good idea I was having 10 minutes ago. 

So what am I worried about? Well, I wonder if this venture will pay off. I am taking the time every day to make sketches and take notes and jot down ideas.  I read books to help me get inspired and stay inspired and more books to learn about business and illustration as well as books on writing of different sorts.  All of this is making a choice how I spend my time.  So will all this effort bring a profit in the end? Will a publisher ever want to hire me? Will a company ever want to commission my art? Will I ever be able to deposit a check into a business account?

Then I feel guilty because I am melting all my golden dreams down into coins. Is it really all about money? Is that critical adult voice from my childhood right by asking, "Art major? Why would you let her major in art" My other favorite was, "Are you going to be a starving artist?" I will let the above quotes remain anonymous. Those careless comments by well meaning adults buried themselves deep in my psyche, like cancerous lesions, waiting for the right opportunity to grow tumors.

I hate thinking about money.  I hate thinking my dreams are only worthwhile if they turn a buck.  Some people actually enjoy pursuing their passions without giving that a second thought.  Maybe that actually makes their efforts more valuable. 

My efforts are actually teaching me to be committed to something.  I have had several false starts.  Hind sights tells me this had so much to do with immaturity.  Some of us are late bloomers.  I know motherhood needed to happen to me. I have learned more about determination by raising two children than anything I ever learned in school. 

Speaking of motherhood, that will never make me a dime... and it has been worth every minute.

Yea, taking the time to pursue this dream is worth it, even if I never make a dime.  I am taking time to nurture my creative self.  She has been seriously neglected over the years.  It was past time to take care of her.

When I measure how I spend my time, writing this post and drawing the picture I made to go with it was time better spent than an hour with the television.  Now I just wonder if I would ever have the willpower to never watch that time waster again.

Thanks for stopping by to read my post.  Feel free to share it and to leave a comment.  Time wasters are all around us.  What are some timewasters you struggle to avoid?

I hope this post has encouraged you to never look at following your dream as a time waster, no matter where that journey leads you.