Friday, October 4, 2013

Unleashing My Reluctant, Insecure Artist

I don't believe there is one great thing I was made to do in this world. I believe there is one great God I was made to glorify. And there will be many ways, even a million little ways, I will declare his glory with my life. - A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman

The leaves are just starting to fall outside. The sun turns in earlier. Just last night, Ruby scooped up fistfuls of amber petals and flung them into the air like confetti.

Usually around this time I'm writing 'til my fingers bleed about Letting Go or Going. For the past two Octobers, I've had something quite specific to say. (and say, and say...)

But the calendar flipped 4 days back and I found myself with empty hands, no big plans.

Had I lost a bit of magic?
Had I finally bled myself dry on this page?

Those are the thoughts that plague this artist. My words are a waterfall, a whitecap, a dusty creek bed.

Some nights find me sneaking downstairs with a spiral notebook and a pen, waving my yawns away because there's not enough time for all the words.

Other nights are spent looking behind closed doors, searching in the dark, feeling stood up for my own dance. It's those nights I'm sure that whatever I had was plucked from me and fairy-danced to a different lucky girl, one who does proper writerly things like drink coffee in itchy socks and read the classics.

That's the big, bad problem with art, and the meaning of life, really. It's the thing that trips us up.

We've let the world tell us what it is, and where to find it. We've seared certain images into our hearts and brains - the curved bow of a violin, the timbre of an alto, a muddled box of oils. We look to the high places, track the obvious answers. Some of us our artists, then. But what about everyone else? And what becomes of the writer when she's used up all her words?

I've learned the best solution to my personal "artistic" stagnation is to run toward the art that kicks and wiggles around me every minute, all the days.

I invest myself there, and it is art. A truly beautiful thing. It brings me back to life because I choose to notice it straight out of the mundane.

The real truth is, we all love art. It might be oil or pastel. It might be a Mustang with a supercharger. Maybe it's the perfect jump shot. Maybe it's truffle oil barely whispering in the pan. It could be silk cut on the bias or Japanese anime. Maybe it's Beyonce. - FPFG, April 2, 2012

We live and move amid a continuous riot of art, blended, glittered-up, contrasting, piercing.

If we can see it as the gift it is, the artist crafted into each of us comes alive. We thank the Artist who shaped us with whatever we have to offer - the 8 year old's jelly sandwich, the frost-nipped roses in a thrift store can, the Ginko leaves imagined into tutus, the shelter of a Daddy - and we bear His image. Artist.

When we recognize the place where our desire runs parallel to that of Christ's, then we will live in the midst of the now-but-not-quite-yet with a peace that goes beyond our ability to understand. - A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman

I have devoured every word Emily has ever written. Her new book, A Million Little Ways, is no exception. She sees the world from the most beautiful vantage point and so graciously helps me see it, too.

The short video clip below says it all. THIS is a message each of us needs.

Friends, It's time to unleash our reluctant artist.

Find your copy here. And have your underlining pen ready.

*Amazon links are affiliate links.


  1. Seriously!! Are you on my shoulder?

    You have/are a huge gift. Thanks for sharing.

    Great picture of your son and grands.

  2. loving the book!!! and the picture of Robert and his babies??? soooooo precious, beautiful Art <3 Your life is a beautiful canvas girlie!!! I pray that you never run out of words :)


  4. Ok seriously your writing? such beautiful art. Also Robert and his babies. Love.

  5. So beautiful. I'm half way through her book and loving it so much too.

  6. It was all good! All wonder-full! All inspiring. You are living your gift. Thanks.

  7. Thank you so much for your words. I used to blog daily, now I'm lucky if it's once a week. Not because I'm too busy, but because I feel I have nothing to say or to give. My art is in singing and photography. I've never been good with words. But when I write I feel free and vulnerable. Though it may not be as a true writer would write, they are my words and I need to remember that my life is my own art. I appreciate your insight so much and for your gentle reminders (whether you realize or not) of God being in control of even the little things. You are a daily blessing to me.

  8. Thanks so much as you have spoken without speaking! I just ordered the book, excited to get! Many Blessings, xoxo

  9. Beautiful and true. I have avoided picking up my drawing pencil time and time again because I'm afraid nothing will happen. I've recently started creating again and drawing. Throwing caution to the wind as to what the end product is, because in the end it's the process not the end product. As I was reminded the other day, it's a tangible reminder of redemption every time as nothing becomes something.

  10. Thank you for your heart and your writing! I just got Emily's book too... I made myself stop after one chapter because I knew otherwise I would stay up reading! :-)

  11. IMMEDIATELY bought the Kindle version. I can't wait to read it. I am a former art teacher, artist, photographer turned stay-at-home mom and pastor's wife. I think that maybe this book was written for me. Your writing and images are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  12. I love this post, and that photo of the babies made me come undone - adorable!

  13. the tutus...captivating!!! seriously had to look at that picture several times. lovely.

  14. I stumbled over here from The Nester's today... I've really enjoyed poking around, and can I tell you it feels so good to hear you share some of the tension in the art making. I had seriously begun to wonder if I was going crazy! I'm looking forward to being back more often. :)

  15. I love this post. I love every single sentence. It's rich and I plan to read it again. I'm not a "proper artist" either. Also, I'm crazy about the photos. Oh my word, the dancers with leaf tutus!!! Please promise me you'll frame it.

  16. Oh and Robert with the babies? Be still my heart. Frame that one too.

  17. I have the book on order. In the mean time your post has brought me some great thoughts to chew on. You, your family ~ art indeed.

  18. i just added her book to my buy next. i just ordered hinds feet on high places...used of course for my collection. it has been years since i read it and though i would visit it again. move my soul with your words.. your heart..and the way your are so vulnerable with all of us. so thankful to have met you and i look forward...once i get all these signs done to just being..doing projects and visiting with you and other more often. i need it...may your territory be enlarged...xo

  19. Just found your blog and am SO thankful for being led here!
    Beautiful post..thank you for sharing your {HEART}♥

  20. That sandwich picture! I want to hang it on my wall! You need to sell prints to support your croissant habit!

  21. you still write in a spiral notebook too??
    see.. i knew i liked you!!!!

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  23. It is SO refreshing to hear of another girl afraid of the creativity bleeding dry. This is my reoccurring fear, my own personal devil-on-the-shoulder. When I am not writing up a new post full of the Holy Spirit's words impressed deep in my bones, I am hearing the loud shouts of lost talents. Abandonment. Dry bones. I write because he is faithful & I feel his embracing presence every time I find words. So I thirst for more words so I can feel him at his closest. He always comes, always shows up. But somehow the voices always trickle in when I am not there, in the moment, with the pen. I always fear that 'this is it', that my gift is dissipating with each post I create. I fear a loss of words. But he is always faithful, generously giving more of himself.
    This book is encouraging me to trust in him. That if I use my talents & give myself fully as his masterpiece, he will always meet me there. He will always be my fill.

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