Recently, I began an online class in which I am taking a real look inside of myself. The course calls for quite a bit of soul searching. In fact, the first week's assignment required that I ask myself a large number of questions which I have spent two weeks completing. I have been quite surprised to learn that in each section of questions the same theme keeps ringing true throughout.
With the extensive look I'm taking inside, the possibilities for change and redemption of the broken areas seem overwhelming at times. I'm certain that perseverance through the six week course will only be possible if I decide to take one week, one day and one assignment at a time. Every step of the way, I am finding an ambivalence with the process. On one hand, I find an excitement about finding the courage to try new things. I also feel some fear and trepidation as I struggle to overcome the inner voices that I've lived with so many years.
As I've moved through the process of examination, several things have helped me keep a positive perspective. Just before I started the class, I was reminded that I was created, designed and crafted by God for a specific purpose. I am unique and one of a kind with my own special gifts. These giftings are suited for God's purpose to be accomplished in my life. There is no need to compare myself to another. He has something very special and individual to do through my life.
I learned quite quickly how much fear has kept me from reaching my full potential in life. Although I've enjoyed some simple crafts throughout my life and considered myself somewhat creative, the idea that my dabbling into crafts could only be the tip of the iceberg hadn't occurred to me. Now, just admitting I might be interested in learning to paint (not by number) or draw (other than stick figures) makes me pretty anxious. You will be wanting to see the results, right? I'm not sure I'm ready for a full unveiling of my elementary efforts. I have decided, however, to adopt the attitude of one pretty amazing girl I've known for awhile.
No matter what the obstacles when we are stepping out and trying something new, a decision must be made that we will persevere and let nothing stop our forward progress. As I watched my brave, bold and beautiful granddaughter attack the job of painting the pumpkin she brought home from the mountains, I admired her “stick- to-it-ive-ness. On her second antibiotic in a week, for pneumonia, she was determined to stay with the task at hand. With camera in hand, I circled her large orange canvas, snapping photos and observing the facial expressions she made. I'd describe her dedication to the project with the words “serious intention.”
I'm quite sure my grandchildren have learned many things from me. I've often spent hours helping them create with paint, playdough, paper, glitter and glue. We've baked, pasted, sprayed, cut and stenciled. I've set up an art easel in the middle of my kitchen and other projects have stretched the length of my living room where it all started. One small wooden table, handcrafted by an artisan with wood, was their first creation station. I was so happy to see the handiwork of my three year old grandson this weekend, his birthday gift of tool set wrapped in his own art work. I want them all to understand there is so much potential within each of us to create because we were created in God's image, the one who created the beauty of the heavens and the earth.
So, I will persevere through the doubts and fears that my expression will not be good enough or measure up to that of others. I've found joy in my simplest attempts at using cray-pas and water colors. It's as if I've returned to the kindergarten classroom where I used to long to sit down and color a simple picture of a bunny or a fish and join in the conversation of five year olds, chatting with one another. If I could guess what might make my efforts successful, I'd say it is allowing myself to just enjoy the process. I'm not expecting to find a Picasso hidden inside. But, if I persevere and stick with the idea that I'm creating out of the gifts of the Creator Himself, perhaps I'll discover there is more than stick figure drawing and dot to dots in my future. The greatest gift I may discover is a new enjoyment for life and a new appreciation for my unique design and ability to create. After all, I am fashioned after the one who had the idea to make pumpkins of all different shapes and sizes and put ideas in all us for creating something new and uniquely our own.
If you haven't used crayons, glue or paint brush in awhile, why not give it a whirl and share it with me. Perhaps then I'll be more open to giving you a peek into my gallery!
Davis Britt's pumpkin art
Last year's pumpkin art
....coming soon Asher's 2012 creation