All posts tagged: wisdom

Future Planning & Godly Direction

“I had big plans for the future, but the future had bigger plans for me.” ~CANDICE COATES The book of Proverbs tells us that man makes plans but God’s purpose is what stands (PROVERBS 19:21). In the book of Jeremiah, the Lord states that He knows the thoughts and plans He has for our future, thoughts to prosper us and give us hope and a good end (JEREMIAH 29:11). Knowing these things it’s easy to take your stance on one of two sides of a coin; either to plan without including God or to make no plan at all and expect Him to do all the work. What Proverbs and Jeremiah are saying together is that yes, we should make plans but we have to leave room for God to do His thing in us too. We have to let Him lead and edit our steps for the best results. Isaiah even says that His Spirit will instruct us in the way to walk in (ISAIAH 30:21). Ephesians agrees with this notion, that when we share our plans …

Before you Take Flight…: The Icarus Syndrome

“You gave me wings to fly, and I melted them in the sun.”~ Candice Coates Just the other day I had a thought about false starts, creative false starts, in life, great attempts that reaped no rewards, and foiled efforts that had been torn asunder by the whirlwinds of life. I thought about my efforts and I how I began many projects with great zeal, ran into obstacles and then after becoming winded and wounded by “failure” felt like I had blown another chance. “…each failed attempt in our lives is not a matter of flying too high too soon or too low. Sometimes they are just training sessions to strengthen our tenacity muscles.”   The quote above came to mind, and I spoke it aloud. Immediately afterward I had a vision in my mind about the mythological character Icarus. He was given an opportunity, an open door if you would, but with it came two instructions: Do not fly too low to the sea because your wings will grow wet and it will be …

This One Thing: Faith for Creatives

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind…The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole man.”~ECCLESIASTES 1:14;12:13 The book of Ecclesiastes was inspired by the Living Spirit of God and written by not only the wisest man to ever live, besides our Savior, Jesus Christ, but the wealthiest man of all creation; King Solomon. In his lifetime, he had tasted of every indulgence he could, wealth was in abundance, of women he did not lack. There was nothing under the sun that was denied him. And yet, after running around the mountain of indulgence and want, whether of Godly pursuit or in the attempt to appease the longings of his own flesh and desires; he came to the simple and yet profound conclusion, that nothing, NOTHING else was of true value, all was as chasing the wind, except loving God. The word “fear” used in the scripture in regard to …

Keep it Simple: How to Achieve Your Dream Part 2

Everything in life should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.” ~Albert Einstein When it comes to doing anything, especially taking a dream and birthing it into the tangible, keeping things simple is a very crucial admonition to keep in mind. For most of us, our knee-jerk reaction to anything new is to overthink it. We begin to compare our ‘pearl’ with oyster farms of others who have similar dreams already up and running. We begin to add extra bells and whistles to our end products and we haven’t even actually ‘made’ them yet. We take precious ideas, born in a moment of genius, and think it from the mustard seed it began as, and transform it into craggy, dark mountains that we feel ill-equipped to climb. Yes, most dreams, especially those that will involve creative income, do come with seeming miles of information that needs to be learned. All of it is important, but none of it is necessary at the very beginning of the dream. What is important is to take the first step. …

The Audacity of STANDING: Faith for Creatives

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. ~EPHESIANS 6:13  When we set out on our journey to take steps in faith, to accomplish something that is outside of our comfort zone, we are essentially waging war, not only with our own flesh and fears but with the enemy of our souls. When we make the decision that, no matter what, no matter how long it takes, no matter the cost, no matter the odds, we will obtain the promise and manifest vision birthed inside of us, it is then that we are operating in audacious and tenacious faith. Sometimes this faith requires quick forward moving, but often times, it requires committed standing, continuing to ’till the soil’ of our creative venture with faith that we will soon see a harvest. It is no wonder that in our standing and waiting, we become targets of attack. This is why we are instructed to put on the full armor of God …

Paths MADE Straight: Faith for Creatives

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” ~PROVERBS 3:5-6  Some translations of this scripture say, “He shall make straight your paths.” Both of these translations lend great confidence to the glory we have in trusting in the Lord and allowing Him to be our trust even as He has authored and finished our faith. Jeremiah 17:7-9, says, “The person who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.” (CSB) We, as creatives, we as His children by faith, actively creating in faith, have confidence not only in the person of our God, Jesus Christ, but have Him as our Confidence. Each step we take toward our path of purpose is a step we …

Learning as You Go: The Art of Having A Teachable Heart

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” ~PABLO PICASSO We’ve all heard the blessed saying, “Vision is 20/20 in hindsight.” More times than not, it is used to buffer the harsh blows of bad decisions made. But what the phrase is really speaking to is the ability to truly learn from what has already taken place and glean something of value from it in order to create a better present and future. Gleaning value is never a negative thing, just like looking back doesn’t have to be as a result of a bad choice. The art of learning and growing is mastered by the ability to take stock of what has taken place behind us, what is currently unfolding, and having the ability to discern possible outcomes in our pending futures. Part of growing is seeing where we have made our mistakes, where we could have done better, and applying that knowledge to future acts for improvement. When we pause to assess our current places, we are better equipped …

“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.  …

5 Ways to Maintain Creative Joy: Wisdom for Creatives #Creative #Writing #Art

  Being a creative person is a gift, one that is inherent to us all. Whether you are a writer or an artist, an educator or a parent imagining a new way to get your kids to eat their broccoli, you are operating in your creative nature. For those us who want to take our creative passion to the next level and turn our hobbies into lucrative business ventures, we run the risk of facing burn out. This burnout isn’t just from creating nonstop on something awesome. This burnout comes from being unprepared for the reality in the shift that we are making. When our passion becomes a businesses there is another level of accountability that we have to step into, a level that is not as ‘fun’ as creating itself but just as necessary if we are to be successful. With that in mind, I want to encourage you on ways to keep the glow of joy in your creating even as you stretch beyond your comfort zone and begin to make your passion …

Writing Guidelines…What you do with what you learn

One of the wisest things a writer can do to better their craft and navigate the path to their desired literary success is to realize that they, in fact, don’t know everything but have room to learn just about anything. One of the best things we can do to better gain wisdom is to learn from those who have gained the success that mirrors or resembles that which we are aiming for. A few years back my eldest sister created a creative writing workshop book while she was on sabbatical from teaching at the University level. I had the privilege of being her guinea pig for the project, using the workbook from start to finish. Out of the many writing exercises that she cleverly produced, the one that I enjoyed and affected me the most had to do with gleaning wisdom from the authors that I most read and/or admired. I was tasked with: Making a list of 4 of my favorite authors Find a quote of theirs that spoke about their writing process (and from …