This holiday season has been quite a blessing. God heard my cries and answered them with gentle and rich blessing. I am so full of thankfulness. This school year started out with such turmoil and doubt. I plunged myself into my art like is was therapy. I painted my heart out on pieces that I had no knowledge of how they might do retail-wise. It was fun and God blessed my heart with that work. It was for me. I do believe my love for my craft has spilled over to others. But I have to say that any spilling over is not from me. God is at work and I am a broken vessel that wants desperately to have something, anything to offer.
I was asked this past weekend at the St. Elmo Holiday Market whether I have to make the tough choices of doing my craft for the joy or for the business. Well, thankfully, I am almost always doing it for the joy since I’m not the soul bread winner. But I have been bogged down by lack of joy and the itch to make stuff anyway. I find in those periods I have to go to God and ask Him to help me find that creative place. Sometimes it’s painting, sometimes it’s cooking, blogging, photography, design, kiddie crafts. I have to acknowledge this place I am in now as a place of blessing and bearing fruit. I have waited since before Tessa was born to find this place again. I had a big BIG commission last year, and even that did not fulfill that ache. I have sold more art this holiday season that I have in a long time. And I am not marketing myself differently, I’m making the same sort of art as I have done before. Maybe some would call me a sell out, but I have such joy and growth through this period, plus, I’m making people really happy. That’s always nice.
As I came home from the artist’s market this weekend I plopped on my couch totally exhausted but reeling with the joy of blessing. I had not expected to sell much, I had not expected a big crowd, I did not expect to sell to perfect strangers, but it happened and I felt good. But something was missing. I have an awesome husband, my kids are healthy and wonderful, I have a great home and great friends. I have been showered with thankfulness for my rag-a-muffin hospitality doing a Thursday morning ladies group (plus kids) which has encouraged me so much in some of my struggles with my identity and my love to give. But what is there? Why does it still seem flat?
I had a moment of anxiety last night. It doesn’t happen very often, but I was staring down another fearful place in my heart. The school day was pushed back an hour for weather but I was wide awake at 6:30am. So I tiptoed down stairs with my Bible, my phone (loaded with worship music) and I plugged in the Christmas tree. I still feel my heart thumping and my stomach is still upside down. I read Psalm 91, 92, 93, 94. I listened to a song called “Where I Belong” by Cory Asbury. And even in the title I knew what that emptiness was. I groan, I long to be with my God. No human friendship can substitute. I long to be with my Jesus in the secret place and feel Him restore me and fill in those pieces. How I wish I could be less dense and go to Jesus every day. He is my Beloved, and I am His. Why should I stay far away? And why is it so hard for the world to realize this as well? All the loneliness, self medication, confusion about identity could be healed. But I also realize that in this world I will have trouble, until the day I am with the Lord forever. I can pray for protection, I can claim the blood of Jesus to heal, I can ask for peace and rest, but I long for Him to come. All of creation groans. Even with all the riches and blessing of the world, there is more, and my heart groaned. I feel I am groaning for the whole city. I really want Jesus to come live with us and give us rest. The rest and satisfaction that we truly need.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.