The Art of Tireless Pursuit: The Expression of Faith in Creativity pt 3

Faith is not only defined by giant leaps but is often reflected in the tiny steps.” ~Candice Coates

A few years back, I was sitting in front of my television, watching some show on HGTV, eating a plate full of room temperature leftovers (good leftovers nonetheless,) when a thought popped in my head:

You will never know where you are going if you never take a step.” ~Candice Coates

The thought seemed simple enough, for, as I was watching HGTV, eating room temperature leftovers, I was also thinking about this creative platform, my writing career,  my art, and all the other things I had planned to do in that year which seemed to have been getting derailed from every angle. Truth be told, I am still thinking about all of these things.

But when I first had these thoughts, I was thinking about my serial-blog-novel, ASCENSION GRAVEYARD. I will be honest, AG (for those of you who are just now tuning in, AG is my blog novel that I started writing in June of 2014…it is still a work in process and progress,) had given me some reason for creative pause.

I felt like it might have turned out to be a far longer novel than I planned for it to be, and coming to terms with that had been difficult. I have said this before. But even with my previous mention, I felt like the thought alone had caused me to stop my creative motions.

Even now, I am planning to charge at this unfinished body of work with full faith and force this summer. This will be my fourth attempt at writing this novel. If that is not fighting tirelessly, I don’t know what is. But still, there are some questions that remain unanswered, that need answering, as I continue on with my creative pursuit.

What do I want for this novel? What do I want for this creative platform, for my art, for myself? Where am I going?

I want a lot and sometimes I feel like the chasm between here and there is just so wide. But that only leads to the next question.

How do I know it is wide unless I take a step? 

It’s like looking into the rippling waters of a pool and trusting my first impression that the waters aren’t that deep when in reality they might actually go twelve feet down.

The realization that I have come to, is that none of it really matters, the true depth or my perception if I never take a step forward at all. And how will I have the faith to step? I have to want it enough and be willing to fight for it until I get it. I have to be willing to count the cost and press until I have a breakthrough. (Luke 14:28)

We all must step forward. We all must have the faith and tenacity to pursue our dreams even at the risk of error. Sure, we will reach moments where we look at how far we have come, scan over our maps and wonder if we have gone the wrong direction. That is part of the faith process.

But even if we have gone the wrong direction, that is not a cause for us to cease proceeding forward, to set up shop in the place of the unknown just for fear of having lost our way. It is all about recalibrating, getting your bearings and then stepping forward in the right direction, again.

So what you may not know where you want to end up exactly. Maybe the answers will only come once you start walking.

So many biblical pictures come to mind; Abraham being told to leave his home by God and go to a place  He (God) would show him (Genesis 12:1). God didn’t tell Abraham where exactly he was to go, he just said go, take a step of faith. Believe.

Then there is Psalm 119:105, which says, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” That to me indicates that more times than not the steps ahead of our current footfalls are shrouded in the dark, but we have got to take another step to discover that which lays hidden from view.

For me, I have just got to keep pressing forward, keep stepping through the darkness and trusting the Light to make my way plain. If I want ICFTS to flourish and to nurture the creative growth of myself and others, then I’ve got to keep seeking the Lord for answers to creative questions and sharing what I find.

If I want my art to stretch itself out and grow, then I have got to give it a platform to do so. If I want my writing career to take off, then I have got to keep writing. I have to take steps and keep stepping after that. And I have to have the confidence in the Lord that HE is guiding me and has made room for me for the times that I stumble.

 “Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” ~HEBREWS 10:35-36

No matter how big or small the step you take toward accomplishing your dream, celebrate the courage that you displayed in the step that you took and the ones that are sure to follow.

Each stone you put forth is one more to add to the foundation of your future. Be grateful for your progress and keep moving forward no matter how long it takes! Keep stepping, tenaciously in your creative journey and see how the Lord honors that faith.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow wearyand lose heart. ~HEBREWS 12:1-3

So getting back to the original thought I had, it is true that we will never know where we are going if we never take the first step…but that is only if you plan on going nowhere.

Press forward. Keep dreaming. And keep seeking.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

 

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Sweet Tuna!: Random Thoughts at 3am

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Its almost 3 in the morning and my window fan is blowing and yet the air that is coming in smells like tuna fish and soggy white bread…what gives?

This would almost ruin my mood, as it has kept my face in a scowl, but my mood is NOT ruined…though again my face says otherwise. First, I like tuna fish sandwiches. And second, I have had a very creatively awesome day.

I did post my Monday’s Muse results a day early, which isn’t really a bad thing. It was actually a good thing because now I have that block of time to do something else with tomorrow (or…today.)

Also, I am in the home stretch of a commissioned painting which is finally looking lovely. Artists are our own worst critics.

I have to say that I feel like I have been blessed to make some very expressive eyes. So I am happy about that bit too.

So, I suppose it is okay that I will be sleeping with the sent of soggy tuna sandwiches tonight. It could be a lot worse.

CHEERS!

Man Widget

Random Thoughts of Doing and Delighting

I am having a lot of those right now…random thoughts. I think mostly its because of the change in the seasons, and with the change in nature I have this desire for other changes.

I want to change my surroundings, I want to change the way I manage my time. (I don’t know if you know this, but sometimes having control of your schedule often times can lead to poor usage of your time. This is mostly due to the fact that we begin to believe we have all the time in the world.) I want to control.

I suppose I need to remind myself (AGAIN) to just go with the flow without growing slack. Part of my problem is I battle with being an over achiever. I measure things, I weigh their value, I count ALL THE TIME. I mean I will count as I walk down the stairs or hallway. It sounds so OCD. YIKES!

Its not OCD, it is actually a way that that ugly controlling attitude is rearing its head. “2o seconds of time gone walking down the hall when you could have been doing something more productive.”

Do you ever have these thoughts? Do you ever feel like even with your best attempts you are just not doing enough? So what you edited 5 chapters of a manuscript! You should have done 10!

It’s in these moments that I have to remind myself what the Word of God says, that the steps of the righteous are ordered by God, and that HE delights in them.  (Psalm 37:23) God Himself, the all knowing, ALL loving, merciful God, has planned every moment of our lives, and if we will take His hand,  (Walk in faith with Messiah Yeshua, His mighty right hand) then we can be confident that every step is a step towards good and victory.

We can celebrate the walk down the hallway, that 20 sec moment of doing one single act, knowing that our Heavenly Father delighted in our walking alone. It’s no different from when a parent sits and watches with expectant joy the first steps of their child.

I am not yet a wife or mother, but I have many nieces and nephews, and I have to tell you that sometimes I look at them and just smile with delight.

My eldest niece is 23 years old. She came over for dinner with one of my sisters and my eldest brother’s fiancees. We all sat on the king sized bed watching recorded sitcoms, and in the midst of that she lay her head down and fell asleep. I delighted in that. I delighted in seeing and remembering when she was born and how much she has grown, the woman she has become. I delighted in her resting. I delighted in her.

If I her aunt can feel that delight, how much more does God delight in us, His beloved childern? SO MUCH MORE!

At the end of all things, it doesn’t matter if I tick off every box on my to do list, if I “maximize” every millisecond of my day,  or if I get as many words written or edited, or paintings done or Ketubahs made. (I make ketubahs and greeting cards… I am a busy lady.) All that matters is that I started off every step trusting God and allowing His perfect will to be done, and if at the end of the day He delights in what He has planned for me, then maybe I should too!

Below is a song that just reminds me to just delight in Him, delight in the day and delight in every step, no matter what it looks like. I hope it delights you too!

Cheers!

 

Is It Ever REALLY Worth It?

You know that scene in the Matrix movie where Lawrence Fishburne is offering Keanu Reeves the choice between taking the red pill or the blue pill, and we all know the obvious choice is to take the pill that opens him (Keanu Reeves) up to reality, right?file8321273697614

Well today, especially I have had this thought about pills (being that I have been unlucky enough…not that I believe in luck, to come out of winter free from illness only to get bronchitis) since I had the misfortune of having to take MANY.  And in light of that I am wondering is the dosage ever worth it.

Now before you start thinking I am anti-medicine…don’t. This is about a wee bit more than that. When thinking about the blue pill vs the red pill in the Matrix, I realize that being a creative adult, balancing on the tight rope between platforms “must-do” and “desire-to-do,” I have chosen to take both pills. We all have actually.

In my mind I think I can just do the “I Dream of Jeannie ” head bob thing and I will be made 100% well. No pill needed. The reality of this is that many antibiotics (not all) give me stomach cramps from HELL. I mean yeah I will be on a swifter road to recover but at the cost of spending most of the day in a fetal position whimpering like a dehydrated infant. Red pill vs blue pill, dream vs reality.

Today I chose to take the pill…it sucked but I am much better.

Being consciously creative, we are always taking both the red pill and the blue pill at the same time. We are always wanting to wake up but stay in a state of sleep whereas we can continue to live within the world of our dreams. Waking up is often the painful part. If your dreams are vivid enough, you understand what I mean.  You don’t want to leave that place where you can fly without wings or an airplane.

And yes, the pain of waking up IS often times, worth it just as much as the pain of taking cramping antibiotics  (I am sure there is something out there that won’t give me crippling pain in order to help me heal faster but since I can go a REALLY long time without getting sick I never really have the chance to find out. Praise Yeshua for that!)

It puts me in the mind of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his “I have a Dream” speech. Really more so the title than anything. With the one pill he could have stayed asleep and lived within the surreal platform of what the world within reality could one day be, but instead he chose to wake up, asses the world around him, the pain within it and then see what it would take to make his dream INTO reality. He too took the red and the blue pill all at once, he dreamed within the pain of reality.

Alas it is indeed worth it, the pain to the pleasure, the dream to reality, the journey to discovery. It is always worth it.

 

Cheers!