Friday, April 20, 2012

Our Creator/Creative God

For some reason, since returning from Africa I have really wanted to get back into painting. It is so random because I haven't painted since high school. But for some reason I just keep thinking I should start painting again. I have always loved drawing and painting and coloring. 

When I was a little girl, my friend Katie Cornett and I would draw, color and cut out paper dolls. We would talk for them and create stories for them as most people did with Barbie's. Now that I look back on that, that must have saved my parents quite a bit of money. At any rate, it has been seven months and I have painted one time. It was with the little girl I nanny for and it was with those little kid water colors. But I loved it.

Why is it that our heart beat is so often for the arts? We love to create and be creative. I mean just look at the Pinterest phenomenon. Even Instagram and other similar apps give you the ability to take something ordinary and make it look like a work of art. We desire and love beauty created. I believe the answer to that question is that the very one who created us and was the first creative being saw that creating is "good". Genesis chapter 1: 

 God said, “I command light to shine!” And light started shining. God looked at the light and saw that it was good. 

 God said, “I command the water under the sky to come together in one place, so there will be dry ground.” And that’s what happened. God named the dry ground “Land,” and he named the water “Ocean.” God looked at what he had done and saw that it was good. 

 God said, “I command the earth to produce all kinds of plants, including fruit trees and grain.” And that’s what happened. The earth produced all kinds of vegetation. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 

 So many times we look at the interest we have with beauty, art and creating and think of it as just a fad, when in fact the one who created us created creating. Not to mention that we are made in the image or likeness of that Great Creator. So it really only makes sense that we also would long for originality, newness and re-creating something old. I love what people are doing now with recycling things and making them beautiful. All of the salvaged wood that people are painting and re-creating is so attractive to me. 

I think it is because it gives me hope and shows the Gospel in a way. So many times I realize how much I need to be re-created and made beautiful once again. And that is what God does. He sees who we were really made to be and he restores us and re-makes us into that. This is a message for all you creative sons and daughters out there (and for me): Your creativity comes from your Father who is all around you, on every side. He is the one who gave you the desire to create and for that very reason it would be denying who you really are if you don't. So let's give God glory by following in the family trade.

A few examples of art created by God and man for the enjoyment of God and man.
Bella, my four year old niece's rendition of Taylor and I on our wedding day. I was obviously a little upset when she revealed my dress and hair do for the day ;) What a budding artist!

One of the most enjoyed and long standing forms of art, people. Dresdyn: age 6months

Bella doesn't disappoint her name, she is truly beautiful.

Our big boy Berr! I can't believe how big he is!

What are your favorite pieces of creativity?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

God's Not Done

I have so many things swimming through my mind right now. So many themes on which I could write. Seeing as it has been seven months since I last wrote it makes sense. Most of these themes are coming out of the Catalyst Conference I have been able to be apart of the last two days. The main theme that seems to connect all the different topics I've heard is that God isn't done with me yet. You may be thinking...well duh, why would he be done with you, you're so young, and all the other encouraging things people say when we believe lies.

But I think that part of me really believed that in some way since my time in Cote d'Ivoire is over (for now) God was over me for now too. In my head I know that God has a plan for all of my life and that until I stop breathing I will work toward His kingdom come, but in my heart I think I had given up. This is hard to admit since I have been practically drowning in Christian work since being back. Volunteering at church, volunteering as a mission coach, leading a small group. But I know that I haven't really been giving myself fully to much of anything. I have been spreading myself so thin in order to do everything, I don't think I have really been able to do anything well.

Today at Catalyst Andy Stanley said something that struck me "Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone." The truth in that is that by picking one person to pour into and build deep relationships we avoid two extremes. On the one extreme we work so hard to connect with and build relationships with everyone that we aren't able to get really deep with anyone. Or we escape and don't do anything for anyone because we are too overwhelmed with the needs.

So, God isn't done with me. In a way I was done with him. In a way I have been accusing him of taking away my dream to work overseas when in fact he has done nothing of the sort. Because I still have breathe, God isn't done with me. the story in my case hasn't ended yet. In reality, as I still draw breathe and live I have the opportunity to join with God's work here in Orange County and maybe even abroad. I am in a time of patience and waiting to see what God has for me next.

So instead of wishing I were back in Cote d'Ivoire or day dreaming about the future. I want to choose to be present. In the here and now, I am alive for the glory of God. And in this moment I choose Him.