Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Inspiration {artlockdown14}

Tomorrow, from where and when I now sit, we go home.

Back to the wonderful families we adore, and the homes that will inevitably be messy, and the activities and to-do lists that sat dormant for a few priceless days.

This anticipated weekend, now an iron-clad annual calendar item, has done its job in filling up the dusty creative places, and the friendship love tank, and will blow us a kiss as we get in our cars and drive the 6 hour ride home.

And it matters.

The process matters, the intentionality matters, the quiet matters.  It matters not just to our own kindred souls but also to our daily lives which will benefit from this time away.  Our hugs for our children will be a little longer, our arms for our husbands will be a little more open, and our creative practices will each have a little more life than they did before.

Creativity, and the act of creating, is life.  

When the Creator breathed into Adam the spirit of life, and Jesus gifted us the Spirit upon his ascension, they also handed us inspiration.


  1. 1.
    the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

  2. 2.
    the drawing in of breath; inhalation.

Because inspiration is breathing and inspiration is divine and inspiration is creativity.  Trifold life.

So many ideas and goals and dreams were birthed this weekend, the labor feeling not so laborious when alongside a best friend.  I'm sure re-entry into real life will dim the excitement a bit, but if our dreams are not high enough, our day to day reality will be that much more stunted and lacking.

When I return, I will place the doodled plastic wine goblet back on the shelf to wait for next year and light the scented candle she gave me upon our arrival.  Then I will whisper thanks for the creative life and deep kindred friendship we share.

#artlockdown14, over and out.

{Friends have asked me what the heck we do at an art lockdown.  I'll de-mystify the whole thing a bit on Friday if you care to find out!}

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Art Journaling through Lent {the power of creating}

I have nothing today for this series.  Since I've been home from that retreat in the boonies, I have been loving on my kids, sharing with my husband and trying to fully relive and understand all that happened around those tables.

I thought I was going because Kris asked me to lead a small session on art journaling.  I thought the art would be a condiment on the main dish of that retreat, and that I would lead a bit and then step aside in quiet and solitude {which is my usual modus operandi}.

But art is powerful.  And the Lord used it to open up His gates and flood the room with grace.  Over and over.  The majority of us continued to create, to let the Holy Spirit move through color and image, throughout the weekend.  The Lord moved things over so we could hear him and respond to him with our hands.

"Art is veiled– couched in clues and symbols, a shadow that touches reality, that gives us a glimpse of the indescribable, that invites us farther up and farther in.  It will not always show all of itself or the whole truth at one viewing, nor will it preach a four-point sermon.  But if we are willing to give it our attention, art will begin to open our inner eyes."  ~Luci Shaw, Breath for the Bones

There is something fashionable in the online world about being "broken."  Posts that reveal flaws in mothering and homeschooling and marriage and our past get a lot of comments and shares, and make those who are reading feel normal.  But if we are not being broken in real life, face to face with those who share the air we breathe and not just the world wide web, then we are missing out.  And we are not giving or receiving the blessings that God intended.

This past weekend was full of heart to heart and face to face sharing.  Much of that was initiated by the color, words, and raw images that we chose to use on our art journal pages.  I know the power art has in the hands of God in my life, but I saw firsthand that the same God can display the same power for nearly everyone.

As I get back to John in my journal, the images of sheep and shepherd, door and pasture, Lazarus, Mary and Martha call to me, and I will create when there's time.  I want to use this practice and this series in devotion to God, not allowing the practice to use me instead.  Having never gone through a book of scripture with art, this has been beautiful and eye opening and I long to continue.  Hopefully you will continue to join me as the Lord leads.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Art Journey through Lent {blindness}

"Jesus...having found him, said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"  He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?"  Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you."  He said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.  Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind."  ~John 9:35-39


An inability to see, either physically or spiritually.  

There is so much within me that was brought to the surface while I read John 9.  I, in my own blindness, with layers still to peel away, recognize the boldness that the man-born-blind displayed in response to his healing.  And I wonder. How blind am I?

I am thankful I can pinpoint certain times the Lord washed my inner sight, removed scales and prejudices, and cleared layers from my clouded vision.  Unlike the man in John 9, we who are spiritually-impaired undergo a process of healing that is as long as our own faith journey, never fully seeing like Jesus until we are home.

So I breathe thanks for the layers gone, and prepare my heart for further peeling away.

In my journal I wrote quotes, words that stood out, my own thoughts.

I found a page-sized image of a face, one with thoughtful eyes, and used mod podge to put her in the spread.  I used a bit of gesso to obscure and cloud the image and text.

I wanted a simple and bold statement, one made with texture and substance.  I used modeling paste with artist ink in two colors of brown and spread it over her eyes with a palette knife.  Once it's completely dry, I can't wait to touch it.  It will be meaningful to do so.

Since the man-born-blind washed in the pool of Siloam, I wanted to add water in blue.  Finger painting is so cathartic.  Why do we ever stop once we're done being kids chronologically?

I love how the only word that comes through on the page is "believe."  It was unintentional by me, but not by the Spirit.


Where are your areas of blindness?  Being blind {and without spiritual objectivity}, you will have to allow God to speak quietly to you in a time of contemplation and prayer.  Note in the story the reactions of all involved- the man, his parents, the followers of Jesus, the Pharisees.  Who do you most resemble?  How will your ponderings recreate themselves on the page this week?

Jesus, I believe.  Help my unbelief.  Relieve my blindness and my lack of compassion, my rigidity and my control.  Give me spiritual eyes to recognize your grace in everything and everyone.  Let me wash my sight again and again until I am free.  Amen.

This weekend I will be leading a spiritual art journaling session at the Refine Retreat with my beautiful friend Kris Camealy.  Would you pray for all of us?  For transformation and renewal, openness and grace.  See you on Monday.