Overwhelmed by life?
I start out in the morning promising myself, and God, that today is going to be different. Today I am going to be peaceful, organized, and intentional – and include plenty of white space in my normally overloaded schedule. And after that soul filling session of praise, promises and petitions – those specific intentions? -they fly right out the window.
The phone starts to ring and all of those promises are mostly forgotten, pushed into the background by working my way through the list that occupies a pretty significant space in my mind. Day after day the heaviness of life consumes what little space I have left, and as it squeezes the last breathe of life within me I gasp desperately for air. By the time I fall wearily into bed at night I am either physically or mentally done, and I realize in that very moment that depression has many faces and can be triggered by too much life.
We want it all.
Love, family, home, career, and to lead a significant life. All good things. But when they crowd out the very air you breathe, they become nothing more than the very thing that will sink your canoe. When the days become about nothing more than work, there is no room left for joy.
Finding that joy is another thing entirely.
No one can tell you what is going to fill that joy meter for you.
For me it is creating….something….anything really. The process of art takes me to a happy place. But maybe yours is having coffee with a friend, or traveling somewhere new. This conduit of joy is as varied as the colors of God, infinite and so remarkably individual. We were made by a creative God to be an original painting, each with our own nuances: likes, dislikes, interests, affinities. And it is these one-of-a-kind lives that creates the beautiful tapestry that makes up this world. Colorful and flowing, the same, yet different.
Finding our place on that quilt, discovering how we are stitched in, is both the woe and the joy of our existence in this place. Each one running side by side in competition. But at the point that joy’s nose pulls ahead in the race, our true selves begin to emerge, and that trueness gives flight to our dreams.
What are you dreaming about today?
It may be a literal dream, it may be figurative. But those dreams mean something. They are the life and joy that God has placed in your heart. They are the stuff that will give flight to passion, purpose, and ultimately a joy that cannot be squelched. You know the one – its that joy that no matter what is happening around you, you still feel it and hang on as though it is all you have left.
That is God
To settle into the place that will bring us all of that desirable joy, two things need to happen. First we need to let go.
- of perfection
- of striving
- of having to do everything ourselves and in a time frame that makes sense to us.
These things? They stifle creativity. And make no mistake, you are creative, even if it isn’t painting or sculpting. We have all been made in the image of a creative God and therefore, creativity is our birthright. How you choose to explore and display that creativity is up to you.
Second, a tricky combination of trust and faith has to occur.
You have to know who you are – who God made you to be…know it down to your very soul, and then trust that He is going to bring you to an amazing place – that place of immense joy. Sometimes it is hard to see evidence of God working in our lives, especially when we are in those hard places. That is where the trust comes in. Knowing who you are in Christ settles a trust in your heart that no matter what is swirling around in your life, it is not who you are or where you will stay - God’s got this!
We don’t need to strive to reach that next step. There isn’t anything that has to be done beyond resting in the knowledge of Him. All we need to do is rest and trust that everything will come together in its perfect time.
Not my favorite for sure. Art and creative expression being my thing, I choose to rest with the one thing that bring peace and focus to an otherwise chaotic day. I paint, I glue, and I letter my way toward something that makes sense. It isn’t long before the struggles that my heart was feeling begin to melt away and joy enters in.
Maybe creating isn’t your thing, but give it a try. It’s not about creating something to hang on the wall. It’s not an opportunity for perfection. Try working in a small journal, something small that you can finish in a 10 minute session. Glue pretty paper. splash on some of your favorite colors, doodle a little creature or flower – whatever makes you happy. And remember – this isn’t for anyone else to see but you. That is the beauty of an art journal. It is an opportunity to “say” exactly what you are feeling, and no one will be the wiser.
So today, I’m going to feather my nest with all of my favorite colors of paint, paper that inspires me, fabric and ribbon, glue, scissors, and a nice big journal – and settle in for the long haul
Hop on over to Creative Faith and check out some of the quick and free tutorials to get you started on your art journal journey to Joy today.
Also – I am going to be Vending at The Michigan Lavender Festival this year! I have art starts, journals, supply pouches and bags, especially for the creative. Stop on out July 21st through the 23rd at Blakes Orchard in Armada. I will be offering freebies for the first 50 customers. Stay tuned to Creative Faith for updates on these awesome giveaway’s!