Believe You Can: How to Achieve Your Dream Part 1

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~Theodre Roosevelt

One of the most glorious things about life is that even though it can be considered a canvas, it certainly is not a ‘paint by numbers.’ Life is not a one-size-fits-all even if certain ideas and concepts may mirror that of another’s. There still, and always, remains the glory of uniqueness in each person’s life and creation.

I believe that Christ Jesus has a plan for each of us, a perfect design that He wants us to be co-workers with Him upon. He gives us dreams for a reason.

Some dreams we take hold of and bring to manifestation, while sadly, others, we leave to float away like feathers in the wind.

Many times, the dreams that get away from us are the dreams that we can’t seem to muster the faith for or we allow our faith to be choked out of us in the struggle.

But how do we cease to do this?

We have to make a connection with faith and hold on to it. The Lord tells us that all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed and nothing will be impossible for us (Matthews 17:20) The glory of such a small seed is that it becomes very large when placed in the right soil and environment.

The blessing for us is that anything that we put in the hand of the Master has the potential to be greatly multiplied beyond what we can even hope or imagine! (Matthew 14:13-21,  Ephesians 3:14-21)

We have to see more opportunities than obstacles.  We must no longer minimize the potential of the seed of the dreams we have and stop polluting the soil of opportunity with weeds of fear and doubt.

In order to do this, we need to remind ourselves of the great love that Jesus has for us. He is the one who has given us the dream and He loves us.

Fear, however, is the opponent of love (I John 4:18), and not only are you greatly loved but you have not been given the spirit of fear, but love, power, and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7)

We also have to use our creative imagination with faith-filled courage and not fear-filled conjecture. We must focus on the potential truth of imaginative vision instead of the frailty of tangible sight.

The book of Proverbs tells us that as a man thinks in his heart so he is (Proverbs 23:7)These thoughts which soon become reality begin as a seed of imagination. They can either be based out of fear as well as incomplete information or fuelled by faith.

To be ruled by conjecture is similar to looking into a pool and concluding that the waters are not deep because they ‘look’ to be shallow, only to find out you were wrong once your head is under water.

Operating in the truth of imaginative vision is to step out in faith and we are encouraged in the Word that Faith is the substance of things not seen and the evidence of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). Evidence is not conjecture. Evidence is truth!

Faith it out!

The beauty in this is that the greatest push for us to accomplish those dreams that make our hearts flutter is to first believe. Believing, making the commitment to take the step, is the greatest part of the journey.

It is the first step toward your dream, and believing enough to step out means you are already halfway there!

*Original article posted May 8th, 2017

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

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“Anything You Can Do I Can Do”…But Why Should I?: Creating My Way

First, the title of this article is not necessarily true in and of its self, but I am trying to paint a picture with words here, so follow along, will you?

I am not sure if you are familiar with the old musical “Annie Get Your Gun” starring Betty Hutton and Howard Keel. In the movie, there is a song that they sing to each other. It’s more two people shooting arrogant verse at each other as if they are bullets. “Anything you can do I can do better. I can do anything better than you.

As creatives, we are all looking for our own place in the world, our own voice. Even when and while we are inspired by and appreciate the expressions of others, we can sometimes find ourselves looking at fellow creatives with competitive eyes. “I can do that and I can do it better. Maybe I should try.

Being human, no matter what we are aiming to do, we can all go ahead and admit we’ve  done that once or twice. 

In an older post, I quoted Octavia E. Butler on how she became a science fiction writer. (Did I mention she is the winner of the Hugo Award and Nebula Awards?) Anyhow, she said that when she was twelve years old she watched a dreadful science fiction flick. It was so bad that she was determined to write “good” science fiction. And she did, obviously.

…I have to make art that I care about not just art that I can make. ~Candice Coates

But her attitude was “I can do better than that.” And that attitude paid off. (If you have not read any of her work, check out Wild Seed.) The thing is, not only did she set out to write ‘better’ science fiction, but she did it her way, in her own voice, without competing with the voices that were already out there.

Since ICFTS began, I have been on a constant journey to identify my voice as an artist. Truth be told, I have been on this search since I have been an artist. I have always been very eclectic. But one thing that has come to mind with all of this is that I have to make art that I care about not just art that I can make.

As I have said for years, just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. That is when you get stuck in ruts of hollow, soulless work, be it writing, visual art, whatever it is. Always create what you care about.

I am on a hunt to find what it is that I care about. I love doing oil paintings, I love writing (writing will ALWAYS be my thing. I love to tell a story.) but with visual art, it just all depends.

I find that even with oil painting, though I have a talent for it,  I am exploring more pencil work, with ink and colored pencils. And there is always the option of mixed media illustration.  There are so many options.

…just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.” ~Candice Coates

I remember, years ago, in undergrad during a departmental review, my professors telling me “All your work is amazing, Ms. Coates, but it looks like the work of twenty different artists.”

On one hand, this is not a bad thing at all. It’s like being multilingual. I speak twenty different artistic languages. On the other hand, it begs the question, are you perfectly fluent in any of them? Jack or rather Jacqueline of all trades and master of…only a few.

 

 

 

We need to create on purpose, with purpose.”

CREATING WITH CONSIDERATION

There are 3 verses that come to mind in this regard. I will pluck at each. One is Philippians 4:13,I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

It is comforting to know that if I set myself to do things that He, Christ Jesus, has placed in my heart to do, that no matter what, if I trust Him, He has given me the strength to do them.

I want to make art. He has given me the gift to do so and also the strength for it.

I Corinthians 10:23,You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is helpful. You say, “I am allowed to do anything” but not everything is beneficial.

With the creative strength and gift given unto me, I need to operate in wisdom. So what I can, sculpt. I don’t feel ANYTHING when I am sculpting apart from a loss of time. Dash the great reviews of my audience. (Just using sculpting as an example.)

Where is the benefit of doing something just because you can? You won’t benefit from my efforts and in the long run, no one else will either. The work is void of any life because your heart was not in it. This is arbitrary actions at its best.

Both of these verses bring me to Isaiah 30:21,and your ears hear a word behind you, saying “This is the Way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or whenever you turn to the left.

BE CREATIVE, NOT COMPETITIVE

What is the point? The point is not to be arbitrary, not to be competitive. Art, to me, creation and creativity, is sacred. It needs to be treated with respect and care. We need to create on purpose with purpose. Not in a way to “out do” the person next to us. There has to be meaning involved. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.

In conjunction with this, we should not only create what we care about, but we should create on subjects or themes that we care about.  If you are not interested in what you are doing your work “on” you are still going to get the same empty results, a pretty picture with no life to it, even if you are doing it in a medium that you love.

My creative path is still winding forward. I am discovering more about me and what I want out of my career as a visual artist. I am ever on the hunt to uncover my “niche” and voice.

But even where I stand now,  I can be confident in creating what I am curious about and care about, and leave all the competitive  “I can do better than you” mess behind me. And best of all, so can you!

*This article was originally published on February 12th, 2014 & Updated February 19th, 2018.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Do you ever feel like you could be making better use of your creative time, or that you’ve lost yourself in a creative competitive race? Talk about it in the comments below.

Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt: November 9th 2015

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OPENING LINE (S): “He had depleted just about all his resources just to get here. His saving was now as dry as a dog dish left out in the sun, but standing there, in the darkness alone with just the pin-pricks of starlight shining against the night’s black sky, it was as if he was seeing clearly for the very first time.”

RULES: Using the above line and the picture provided, (Or one of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within up to 20 minutes. Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add a link in the comments section of this  post to your story for others to read, as well as a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag “Monday’s Muse.”

If you do not have a blog of your own, leave me a comment and send me an email to icameforthesoup@gmail.com and I will post your lovely words here on my blog.

(PLEASE KEEP ENTRIES THAT NEED TO BE POSTED ON THIS BLOG WITHIN A PG13 RANGE. THANK YOU)

My results will be posted on Thursday November 12th under the FICTION tab, then the WRITING PROMPTS AND EXERCISES, then MY WRITING PROMPT RESULTS.

Note to Self before this Year ends…

I am a planner. I am not just a planner, I toe the line of being rigid with discipline, ticking all the boxes on my list of things-to-do-before-my-bed-calls-my-name.

You know what this blog has done for me over the past year? It has made me crumple my list, not really trash it…yet. I am grateful for that.

Write because I want to, draw because I can, laugh because its healthy, and just breathe.

It has made me super happy, super confused, slightly more spontaneous (a talent this girl lacks), and has given me more ambitious drive to attain that talent…even in the face of frustration…due to not being able to be in CONTROL.1373569138fd7k4 I have found myself praying more and asking for more self understanding.

“Why do I do the things I do? Why do I process information this way? How can I lighten up?”

I have written post about keeping my eyes forward, and yet I have to remind myself to do just that. I am still learning. I am still growing. I am still dancing in the sunlight of creative enlightenment and authentic discovery of my own blessed voice.

I have battled. I have battled with momentum, the need for control; the need to treat this blog not just as my brand but as a business, stuck in ruts of rules and…rigid discipline. I have battled to keep focused and keep breathing. Note in Bottle

The year is almost over and on December the 13th (Maybe I should have waited til then to say all of this…maybe not. Dash the “Rules” and perfect planning) my blog will hit its first year anniversary. (I am pretty sure it is the 13th. God bless the man I marry. I am terrible with dates and tend to forget birthdays. Eek!)

It light of that, in light of all of the frustration, the battles, the things yet to be shared, explored, and ultimately discovered, I still have to remind myself to breathe and to just enjoy the ride. Write because I want to, draw because I can, laugh because its healthy, and just breathe.

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

Thank you to all of you who have come this far with me. Thank you for the feedback. Thank you for the “likes” and the “Follows” and even the “Shares.” Solo journeys are rich but company brings such a fantastic flavor to the soup. You all have made me better and I pray to only get even better, not just for self alone but for you guys as well. I want to grow WITH you.

So that is my note to self, with a decision to remind myself of the blog “rules” that I came up with long ago:

Rule #1 Keep to the path. Always remember this blog is about discovering your new light and creative world. Let that be your beacon towards every post.

Rule #2 Don’t take yourself too seriously, this blog is playtime. Playtime is fun and adventurous!

Rule #3 Give what you have at any given moment and spruce things up when more time is available. NEVER FORGET THE POWER OF 15 minutes!

Rule #4 This blog is not a 9 to 5. It is “Creative Therapy.” If you forget to nourish yourself you will faint before you care able to give something satisfying to others.

Cheers!

I came for the soup.dpp widgets

 

 

Ask, Because You Just Might Get It!

Have you ever really considered the phrase, “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.”? In light of my recent creativity explosion, this phrase has been on my mind. Honestly, I have to say I do  not ascribe to its “truth” and or warning.

On the contrary, I encourage you to take CARE in what you ask for, be specific, and expect to get it. I have always believed that even with the smallest situations in life, we ought to pray and ask God for direction, intervention, provision, whatever it may be, with purpose and care.

In the Gospel of Luke 11:9, Messiah Yeshua tells us that if we ask we SHALL receive. In verse 13 He goes on to say that if we,  “…being evil know how to give good things unto our children, then how much more does the Father in heaven?” What’s the point? The point is don’t be so preoccupied with the negative results but ask and seek good results.

I’m on the hunt for who I’ve not yet become. But I’d settle for a little equilibrium.” ~Sara Bareilles

My prayers for creative breakthrough have been answered in a massive way. I asked for light and He, Messiah Yeshua, has given me that. I asked for freedom in thought, and the mental confines that I had subconsciously put on, have certainly fallen off and crumbled to dust. Now the struggle I face is organizing and taming the wild hairs of my creative fro, if that makes sense.

There is this great song by Sara Bareilles called “Hercules.” It really speaks about my journey. Its almost as if the woman has taken the words straight from my mind.  Below is the video with the lyrics.

What am I getting at with this blog? Glad you asked.

I simply want us all, as speaking spirits seeking direction, writers and artists wooing our muses, to believe and have faith in our process of growth, and to be bold enough to ask our heavenly Father to helps us when we feel like we are going in circles. ASK, MAN! and ask expecting good.  Stop being afraid of what lies ahead. He made us creative beings and His blessings are certainly without sorrow (Proverbs 10:22)

Sometimes we get stuck in our process and we need help out. Think of it this way, Dad gives daughter a new car. Its a great blessing but she needs to be taught how to drive it. Having all that metal is a gift but it takes direction to know how to handle it properly. She asked for a car and now she’s got one. Yes, there is a new level of responsibility but also freedom.

I got help out and now I am at a place where I definitely need His help getting all my ponies to walk in community with each other. I only have two hands, I can’t paint and write and read and design and…(you get the picture) all at the same time. I need direction in not burning myself out.

So here is what we (Yeshua and I) came up with:

  • I will make it a point to blog 3 days out of the week. This way I can work on my manuscripts as well as share my growth with free writes,  sketches, revelations of the spirit, and other things like lettering and calligraphy.
  • To get you all involved (I would sure love that.) I will try to create a weekly or bi-weekly writing or art exercise for you to try on your own. I will create a new tab for this in the Menu.
  • I will write down ideas in a journal for new prospective projects as not to allow my mind to get so cluttered with all this new creative flow we have going on.
  • I will just keep having fun with this and not take myself too seriously 🙂

My journey in this continues on. I am getting closer to refining my view towards the kind of expression with visual arts that I would like to go. I have still not quite captured the full depth of things, but I am still praying about it, I am confidant and most hopeful that the outcome will be satisfying (Hebrews 11:1).  It is all working out.

 

 

Matters of the Heart

Greeting Soup Seekers!

It has indeed been some what of a long, unintended, hiatus from blogging this week, and I hope that such a long period of time will not pass like this again.

As mentioned in my very first blog that I ever posted here, I made it clear that this blog is about my journey. Thus far I have taken very great steps, in my own estimation into further discovering my creative writing and visual arts. But I also mentioned that this journey of mine, that I have invited you along on, is also about my spiritual growth and understanding. Who am I in the heart of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) and Who is He in my heart? file000138289502

Novaturient: Desiring or seeking powerful change in one’s life, behavior or situation.”

I want not to take up too much time here as I am still in the healing process from tumbling through some rough spiritual terrain of necessary change. Just a bit of background about my walk in faith. I gave my life to Yeshua when I was 11 years old. I remember talking to Him long before then, when I was 3 even, and this was during the time I had know knowledge at all of Christianity let alone Messianic Judaism (Paternal Judaism). The very first time I heard a Gospel song, I was 4 years old. My eldest sister brought hope a cassette tap of Commissioned. The song she played was “I’m going on in the Name of the Lord.” That was the VERY first gospel song I heard and I still sing the words to this day. Some 20 years now I have had an intimate relationship with Messiah Yeshua, but the thing about intimacy is that intimacy is an action verb, it is continuance. It has greater depths than anyone can fathom.  I love getting to know more of Yeshua and Who He is, but recently He has been digging in my heart so that I can know who I am.

The painful part of this is having to look at who you are currently and looking at the things that caused you to become this way. Some of our ways are not the most healthy nor helpful and the roots of these things have to be exposed and pulled out. This is where the pain comes in…necessary pain if you will. These “weeds” are not who we are and while they are inside of us they influence our character. They indirectly cause us to believe untruths about ourselves and Messiah Yeshua. When these lies are exposed and the heart of the pain with them, a certain type of arrest happens. For me its like spiritual cardiac arrest.  I have been having bouts with this for the greater part of a week (actually since my 31st birthday…no, a few years before that.)

“You’re gonna cry yourself sleep. ‘Cause for the moment all that you can see. Is what is lost, lost–Why me? But in the midst of the most exquisite pain. You’re drawn into a peace that you cannot explain. And the praises you sing of a Sovereign God. Reach the girl who’s last hope is gone. She never thought there was purpose in anything here. Now the seed has been planted and it’s taking root there. You didn’t know. You’re gonna cry yourself to sleep. A thousand miracles you’ll have to wait and see.” ~Christa Wells “A Thousand Things”

God is gracious. He does not practice medicine, He is healing itself. He is the surgeon and in His love He shows us things that need to be treated in us. The thing about surgery is its painful and messy and takes time to recover from. Healing can be more excruciating than the old unhealed pain at times. But when you are living with dull pain your personality is affected.

I don’t know about you but I have been scheduled for several rounds of intrusive spiritual surgery, getting the “spiritual cancers” out. Before, a few years ago when this all began He told me that He had to break my heart to get out of it things that would keep me from being who He created me to be, and going where He intended for me to go. He said a vessel without an opening has to be broken. It hurts and lately He has been going back to that same scar and cutting out more and more. It is a physical pain.

Now this blog is not meant to make you, the reader sad. Actually I want to encourage you.

The spiritual surgeries began to intensify when I happened upon two books; “God Knows My Name” by Beth Redman and “Becoming Myself” by Stasi Eldredge. Both of this books had me massaging my temple and curling in on myself because even in their gentleness and truth, I was made to look at things I had hidden away deep within me, things that were festering and not healed. (I want to add “Captivating” by Stasi Eldredged, the Revised and Expanded Edition to this as well.)

The most scary part of this was that  as I healed, the more I changed, the more I changed, the less familiar with myself I was.  I even told Yeshua that I was afraid that when this was all said and done I would not recognize myself. I would be a stranger to myself. He said to me that I would be the woman He had created me to be in the first place, the real me.  It reminds me of the verse where Paul says Philippians 3:1-11, that he counts that which was gain as loss for Messiah. In other words, who he used to be is worthless compared to who he has become in Christ.

Retrouvaille: The Joy of meeting or finding someone again after a long separation; rediscovery.”

In this spiritual journey some hidden fears (unreasonable hidden fears) have been drawn out of me, exposed to His light and eradicated. The process and pain of it is maddening…really I feel like (and sometimes behave like) I am going bananas!

This past week Messiah Yeshua exposed a trust issue that I have with Him that made me run the other direction as if a pack of angry wolves was chasing me and I was bloody and on the verge of death. I found myself rebelling and acting out of character, trying to do anything to get Him to leave ME and to leave that WEED in me alone. We forget that in our fear, where sin abounds (Romans 5:20-21), His grace super abounds, that His blood is greater than our sin (Hebrews 10) and that nothing can separate us from Him (Romans 8: 25-39). The more I ran, the closer He drew (draws…we still have a way to go here).  He actually showed me my “rebellion” was an act of desperation to get Him to cease from working this ugly thing out in me, as if that tool would be stronger than His love and desire to make me whole….it is not.

There is also the fact that we tire out way faster than He does and He is very patient 😉

Anyhow, I am healing. I like who I am becoming…I don’t always like the process (reference there go those blasted stairs, again. Truth is I don’t always understand the process, but I do know that God is not arbitrary in the things He does, even still, my chest aches from the work in me.

God is not arbitrary.”

Like the song, there are a thousand things happening in my single moment.  My pain is for my good, and this pain is a result of wounds someone else caused. Yeshua is healing it. He can heal you. He loves you and He loves me even though in my craziness I have said, “if you love me then stop all this.” People with cancer never respond to the Chemotherapist that way. Why should I respond to the God Who bled and died for me in such?

Fellow Soup Seekers, these are my words for the day…maybe even the week. I don’t know. But I do know, better is ahead and this journey is worth it even if I have to see it through blurry eyes and tears. Miracles and laughter are certainly on my horizon.

Cheers!