Sunday, April 24, 2016

10,000 Bad Drawings

Gratitude Year 4 - Day 115: Today, I am grateful for 10,000 bad drawings...and what comes next!

"Everyone is born with 10,000 bad drawings. The sooner they get them out the better." Walt Stanchfield 

This quote was shared by our delightful Jr. High Art Teacher, Brittany DuPont. She and Tiffany Wyse-Fisher are our Morton 709 Art Teachers. I am blessed to call them both friends and sisters in Christ. Brittany is new to my world...and Tiffany an old friend. Both add color and beauty to my world as they encourage young artists (and the more mature ones) to unleash the creative spark inside of all of us.  

Tiffany and I ended up at the same women's conference yesterday. When she walked through the heart did a happy dance. I haven't been to a women's conference in probably 10 years...and now I've managed two in two weekends. 

I signed up for yesterday's "one day option" of a retreat to fellowship with friends.  I had not one inkling (oh yes...I said INK-ling) of the topic an agenda...until Thursday when I received a copy in my email.  The conference was called "SPARK". Guess what the theme was? Igniting your creativity. I wasn't just going to a retreat with friends...I was going to be in my sweet spot...and get some good Bible teaching, too. I was pumped.  

Good thing I didn't know what was ahead. We had to "stretch and exercise". It was designed to accept that God has made us in  His image. He is so creative and in His image...and through our soul are we.  You know this is something I already believed, but once again, there were challenges. 

Genesis 1 & 2 - We were made in His image...with his soul breath. :)
Matthew 25:14-46 - Don't hide, bury and neglect your "talents". 

Don't hide your talent. Your light.  Your gifts.  Everyone has gifts.  Art is so much bigger than a paintbrush. Not everyone paints...although I am coming to believe that for most, it is just a lack of willingness to suffer through the "10,000 bad drawings".  Some bake artfully, sew, knit or crochet with creativity. Others were born to organize.  I won't repeat what I have said before, but I must revisit that you cannot be made in His image without having a creative spark. Remember...a spreadsheet can be artfully done so the data speaks. 

My "mediums of choice" are words, pictures and paper arts. Bible Journaling is stretching me to draw...a little...and guess what?  Every drawing improves a wee bit.  I have some failures, but the learning is worth the disappointment. How boring would life be if everything I raised my had to do was perfect? 

God designed us...His creation masterpiece...with the unique qualities of being imperfect. He gave us the aptitude to learn and the power to choose. Perfectly designed to be able to fail, learn, grow our skills and choose our path. Do we honor him with those gifts? Do we seek him with "our whole hearts" as David described in the Psalms? Do we pout, cry or quit because it might require some effort and require some risk? 

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ -Matthew 25:21

The Bible instructs us to "be fearless".  Satan whispers, "You will fail.". Jesus said the one who risks for Him will hear "Well done good and faithful servant." The one who hides, neglects or buries what they have be cast out. You can read it here:

 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ -Matthew 25:29-30

I don't want to be cast out. I've always thought it interesting that a "talent" is a unit of money in Bible times...but translates perfectly in the talents, skills and gifts each of one us is given. In His one was missed...we all have abilities that we can use for Christ, to grow the kingdom, to serve the Master and to ignite our souls with joy. 

What do you love to do? What do you want to pursue creatively?   How can you use it for the kingdom?  What talent are you burying or hiding? Dig it up...dig in... and put it to use. Why? It matters.

David writes in Psalm 51:10-11 after the prophet Nathan confronts him with his failure and sin with Bathsheba. Note how it relates to the "being cast out from his presence" in Matthew 25:29. How can we doubt that scripture is God-breathed?  

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me."

We can neglect or gifts, run, bury them and deny they exsist...but in the end...we can't hide. Put your pencil or paintbrush to your passion and do what every remarkable artist, athlete or musician does. Practice, practice and more practice. 

Take a risk with your talents. Bake a batch of bread and gift it to someone in need. Help someone learn to manage their finances if you see them struggling(that is a talent, too). Sing in the choir. Have some fun. Laugh at yourself. It is good for the soul. Then... experience the joy when it comes out just right! 

By the way...if you create a way to make kale not taste like a lake... and still be are a food artist I need to talk to about a recipe. 

The pictures are from yesterday. Julie (Spark Joy...a perfect choice), Anna (Psalm 49:10) and I wrote a prayer He has placed on my heart. Tiffany made the gift-able heart. Proof that Tiffany has many of her 10,000 behind her. We all enjoyed the "exercise"... some more than others).

So. my new prayer as I have listened to Liz Curtis Higgs and Kim this:

"Create in me...through me...and in spite of me (don't let me get in your way Lord)...until they see YOU!" - Amen

Have a creative day my friend. Let His image be reflected in your day and your ways. Discover your metaphorical "bad drawings" and eliminate a few. You will have some good ones along the way. Let them bring joy! They are leading up to your "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Today, I am grateful for 10,000 bad drawings...the good ones...and what comes next! 

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