Thursday, December 31

Melange Challenge: Illuminating

See other Illuminating works from the Melange Team here.

Let me start by saying that I have been so...
by the online community,
this family of sisters
that I have found in the blogging world
this last year.

creating can be so isolating,
which is one thing I love about it,
but lonely at the same time...

but to create alone
and then come and share it with dear friends
who are all creating along with me...
it is a gift.
a blessing.
shared life.
so much more fun.

and to connect with people
on a completely different level.
a level that even my dearest friends don't get.

to chat with people who are excited
to discuss their favorite gel mediums...
my dream come true.

All this to say thank you
thank you to my online sisters this year
for sharing

your creativity
your encouragement
your struggles
your lives
your faith
your heart
your very selves.

It is a gift to me and I am blessed.

Wednesday, December 30

The Parable of the Talents: It's not about me

The Parable of the Talents
Matthew 25 (For the whole story see yesterday's post)

It's amazing to me that I've read and reread the book of Matthew and I've just kind of skipped over this parable...
just floated through it.

and now,
21 years into my faith,
the Lord is opening my eyes to things
I've never seen before...

I'm reading
and rereading
and rereading
these words,
this love letter written for me,
and coming to know my Lord in a different way...

Walking into a new understanding
of my createdness
of my creativeness
and the gift
the grace
that it is.

While I was walking today I realized something about the "talents" or "gifts" we are given. It seems so obvious that it's almost embarrassing, but here is today's epiphany...

Guess what... are you ready...

It's not about me.

No, I'm not kidding.
Yes, I'm still learning this.
How long has God been trying to hammer this into my head?

Let me explain.
It just dawned on me
the gifts that the Lord gives us
our creativity
our talents
aren't for us at all.
the point of a gift is to give it away.
the point of being entrusted with a gift
is for us to give it away
(more on the whole trust word tomorrow,
because that'sa whole nother aspect of this story.

My point is,
my creativity and my art is not for me.
yes, it brings me joy.
yes, it makes me feel like I'm flying.
yes, it gives me eternal glimpses of my creator.
yes, it does so many things that I can't begin to put into words,

but it's not for me.
It's for God's glory.

I just need to get out of the way.
and enjoy the ride.

The Parable of the Talents: Giving our Gifts

Creativity is God's gift to us. Our use of it is our gift back to God. We are intended to be creative."
Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

This year I resolve... to make time and room for God. for creativity. for health: mental, emotional, physical, spiritual...

As I listen more and more to the creative voice inside of me,
I can't help but come back to the parable of the talents
again and again.
and again and again.

there is so much to learn here.
(the whole parable from Matthew 25 is told below)

God has entrusted
(I love the word entrusted)
He has entrusted every single one of us
his creation
with these gifts
straight from his heart
to ours.

and they're different,
our gifts,
but we all have them.

And for some reason,
rather than believe my creator
I have believed this lie for so long:
That to celebrate and explore this
precious gift is somehow
frivolous or
selfish or
wasteful or

but look what the Lord calls those who use their talents:
good and faithful servants.

my epiphany:
to not use this creative gift,
to not give time
and attention
and energy
to what he has given to me

is to hide this precious gift I've been given
out of fear.

how long will I let fear keep these gifts hidden?
when will I step out in faith to really explore, discover, and celebrate these gifts to find out what the Lord has in store for me?
"exceedingly, abundantly beyond all that I can ask or imagine"

What gifts have you have been entrusted to gift others with?

The Parable of the Talents
14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents[a] of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'

21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'

23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'

26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Tuesday, December 29

The holiday madness is over...

The holiday madness is over. So fun. So much. I'm exhausted. and happy to be back to bloggerville.

Favorite Holiday Picture: Shopping at Target.
Like mother, like son.
I am notorious for fallign asleep any place. any time. hmmm...
maybe blogging at 1:02 AM has something to do with it... nah.

Favorite Christmas Morning shot:serious bedhead...

Favorite Christmas Gift: The wagon
nuf said.

The only thing better than traveling is coming home. And creating...I'm getting to that part...

Thursday, December 10

Enough typing... just create something already! sheesh.

Have you ever noticed that blogging begets blogging begets more blogging? Kind of like creating and painting and praying? I put it off until I have "time" and then once I do, the floodgates open up and I just want to sit here and blog all night, especially the amazing inspiration and ideas and connections in so many other wonderful blogs... I have like 17 blog ideas creeping around my head right now... but sheesh. The husband & baby are in bed & it's time for me to stop tyoing and just create something already...

Christmas gifts are about to be made... at any moment. Really. I mean it. If I don't fall asleep I'm gonna make some serious art tonight.

My creative mind has been flooded with ideas lately and I haven't found a spare minute to play, so tonight is the night... coffee is brewed. Thursday night TV is over. I'll let you know how it goes...

Oh, just picked these up form the printer today: little boy transportaion prints. So fun. I really love my printer (Jim at Andersen's in Encinitas). I'm always surprised by the color and quality he captures. Getting more prints is like Christmas... so fun...

Oh how He provides...

Baby trying to sweep with 3 brooms at once. Very serious about the whole thing.

Anything daddy does, he wants to do. so cute.

Sheesh,it's been so long! This baby has been talking up a storm, sweeping and coloring and climbing stairs. He has been obssessed with crayons and lights and brooms and anything sweet. It's overwhelming to see this daddy with his baby. I mean, I knew that Darryl would be a great dad, but I had no idea what that really meant.

and when I see them together... it makes me love him in a completely different way. And it's so fun to do together and I just know that these moments are precious and fleeting. That they are a gift. Pure grace. Poured out on me. I could never have done anything to earn this kind of love, the Lord just provides. Over and over and over again. That's just who He is. That's just what he does. My Jehovah Jirah. And all I can do is say thank you, Lord. Thank you for this moment.

Tuesday, December 1

What I want to remember this December...

The first day of advent.
This is what I want to remember,
to focus on
this December...

how deeply
and fully
and completely
I am loved
by my Jesus.

That's what this
whole, big Christmas deal
is about---
the love of Christ.

Now, what exactly does that
look like?

I guess that's