In the past two weeks, I have been participating (sporadically) in Maegan's Creativity Boot Camp. Sporadically because right in the middle of camp, we headed off to the mountains for a quick retreat. Since being home again, the rush of life and work has left me with little time to delve in to all of the exercises. From what I have experienced so far, this course has been valuable, refreshing and uplifting. As an independent artist, I found a supportive community. I am inspired by Meagan's insightful writing and guidance. Stories shared by the camp's contributors add depth and inspire courage. Near the end, I realize that even my occasional participation has influenced my self worth and strengthened my identity. I have been challenged to fully embrace my artistic life...although in truth I have not completely done that.
Quite recently I happened upon an assistant editorial job. I meet all the qualifications. It wouldn't be too difficult to revise my resume, shop for a professional set of clothing, meet with career coaches, polish my image and speaking skills. I invested heavily in a demanding education. This is my "chance" to put that to good use. I could "play big" and take those confident steps toward that salaried destiny.
I probably should do it. Attempt. Try. Make an effort to be a professional somebody.
Then what is this maddening entity inside that screams "NOooooo!" Why would you waste years of your life making pretty words in a row to glorify the wealthy and their need for perfection?
So, I didn't "play big."
Instead I spent a wonderful afternoon sharing a vegetarian meal with Richard, followed by running and swimming at the Y. In the dark evening I stepped outside and was instantly thrilled by a balmy breeze blowing and the sound of this wind rushing though the trees. Wind almost never happens in this humid pocket of the world. Energized by my workout, instead of going to bed, I took a candle out to the table on our screened porch, put in my favorite cd, and made art.
It was the happiest I've felt since being in the mountains.
In this happy state, I had this thought that God has been providing for me my whole life. In times when I worked for someone else and in times when I worked for myself. I realized that if I decide to fully give in to being an artist as my means of sustenance, then God will provide for me still. I went to bed with the deepest sense of gratitude and peace.
I don't have to give up what I'm doing just now. Not the garden, the home school, the business.
And I realized that I can change things. I have other artistic pursuits that should not be packed away for "someday". During the summer, when plush accessories are not popular, I can open up a new shop section with my watercolor cards. That way I won't have to sit inside, chained to the machine in the evenings when the weather is beautiful. I can also keep practicing my photography hobby, and spend time re learning my french horn. There will be time to spend with my daughter when she comes for the summer. Time to take my kids to the pool. Time to strengthen my body on the trails. Time to visit my mom.
Give over thine own willing, give over thine own running, give over thine own desiring to know or be anything, and sink down to the seed, which God sows in thy heart, and let that be in thee and grow in thee and breathe in thee and act in thee, and thou shalt find by sweet experience that the Lord knows that and loves and owns that, and will lead it to the inheritance of life, which is God's portion.