In other news, on Friday evening I dusted off my painter’s box/easel and organized my paints, brushes and thoughts around my canvases and papers. I do this routinely when I have some extended time to devote to the projects in my head. This weekend I painted three landscape scenes (4×6) for my mom and touched on a lettering project I started for Scott early in 2010. It kind of found its way behind a chair and largely remained forgotten until I pulled it out of the corner and blew the cobwebs away from the message. I began work on a new project I had intended to paint in the spring. The first stages of my “Pink Impact” inspired painting now sit on my easel waiting for more life to be stroked into each element of the story it tells. 🙂
As I worked through the three mountain scenes I painted for my mom – I began to talk to Scott about the conversation I seemed to find myself in with God most days. “WHAT IS IT THAT WE ARE UP TO HERE, LORD?” Preparation for the future is certain. I know we navigate a season of preparation for the next stage of our lives. The second finds me saying – what calling surfaces in my heart as a result. The Ranch Retreat. The way the painting and writing work in my heart to both heal and inspire me would mean so much to the hurting people of this world looking for hope, healing and a safe place to discover or rediscover all God has for them.
The retreat remains my longterm dream, and on occasion Scott speaks of the future and the ranch we’ve shared ideas about on and off over the last two and a half years. More so since we’ve returned from the Colorado mountains. But, the creative expression in painting really came to my mind on Friday. I become someone else when I paint, much the way I do when I write. I feel more like who I always knew I could be when I am expressing what is in my heart in these ways. I love the way my heart connects and the way God always delights me with a better result than I anticipated when the picture so closely resembles the vivid lines painted upon my heart and soul.
I taught children to paint – I laugh at the thought, I have a high school diploma and only spent a year in high school art with average grades. I did reach into the hearts of children and pull out that creative thing that God placed in each of us as a part of His image during my last year at the after school program in Rhome. I also laugh because until I purchased the canvases and paints that year in March – I had no idea if I could really paint myself. All my previous experience had been elementary work with paints and nothing to put on display in an art gallery anyway.
Still, I’ve always had an eye for the way colors work together and the movement of lines in nature – even on people. I spent a lot of time when I was little drawing little caricatures I lovingly called, “Pigwinkles.” I created my own greeting cards and storys about these little children in my head as I drew them with felt tip markers on sketch paper. I study people, nature, the way the light dances across the sky and into the trees. I am fascinated by the colors on God’s pallete as I look at a sunset in the evening sky. The puffy way clouds dot the sky or fish chase across the water. I find it all intriguing, captivating, and emotionally satisfying. It ministers to me.
So three things came up… Painting is a gift that God has given me to display His Image upon the earth. I paint what He shows me – and what I see of Him in life and nature. Selling my paintings has been novel and unintentional, but may be a way that I can fund the Ranch dream we have been looking forward to in the future. More time to paint and more time to open myself up to write and develop the ministry things that are inside of my heart taht God has been birthing for many years now… Since before we came to Gateway and Justin passed away.
Life happens inside of me when I paint and write and I would like more time to devote to that so I’m praying for opportunity, for timing and direction as I discover what He is showing me. Trusting God and really desiring not to go backwards in our journey – I will wait for Him to move and follow that movement wherever He leads.
The last thing that came up on Friday went a little something like this… “Scott, when I get to heaven I think I do have a question for God that I want to ask…” I really am asking Him that question now, as I write this post. The question: “When You created the heavens and the earth and all that is within it, how did You know You were finished?”
Maybe it is just me, but as I sit and gaze upon a painting that has reached the “stopping” point of final stage, I still see ways that I can add to – enhance or further complete the picture. I am in awe of God and praying that He will show us more of the life He has planned for us as we seek Him in the days ahead. Decisions… Decisions. The post begins and ends with decisions… Not any of them have finally been made. Oh but I love what happens in the waiting.