You Can Art Your Way Through Life, Too!

She is about 8 years old, pasting Cheerios on a poster board to make mountains for her school project. She’s not afraid of making mistakes, thinks mud pies are awesome, and that Rice Krispies make for great kitchen floor decoration.

9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 . . .

Filling page after page with creative expression and experiences — coloring every coloring book in the five and dime — bargaining with her parents with offers of lawn mowing and car washing for money to buy more art supplies than anyone should ever need — painting with Bob Ross and Ms. Lau her art teachers — drawing in her stack of various sketch books until bedtime — singing in the school chorus — playing the organ, drums, viola, French horn and teaching herself, by ear, to play Jump by Van Halen on her Yamaha Synthesizer — in the dark room developing black and white photos she observantly shot — writing poems and stories in her journal — designing and printing bumper stickers for her friends cars as a celebration of their newly minted drivers licenses.

She is insatiable. Everything is hers for the playing. Pure delight is her day.

I am 47 now.

Sad to say, I turned away from my calling for many years. I heard art was not a “career”, not a way of life, and I believed it. I was supposed to get an office job so that I could “pay my bills.” So that’s what I did. I now understand that turning away from my God-given gifts is what sent me to the hell that was my life for a very long time.

Ecstatic to say, I found my way back home. Like a prodigal daughter or Jonah finally getting out of that whale and into Nineveh, I was welcomed with open arms. The love and grace I received was everything I needed, and had it been any other way, I would have crumbled into a million pieces and been scattered to the wind.

Welcome home my beautiful child. Welcome home.

I’ll say it for you until you can say it for yourself . . .

Art is a way of life, it is a gift from God and it is a non negotiable — you do not need to run from it or grow out of it, do not turn your back on it to “get a career that’ll pay the bills”, the whole starving artist thing is a lie and an excuse we all tell ourselves because we are afraid of our own potential. If art is your thing, you 100% can art your way through life. When I am creating, I feel at home and fully alive. It is not a hobby. Would you tell a teacher that teaching is a hobby? Teaching is their gift by which they share and experience God, and art is mine. Through my gifts, I thrive.

There’s a good chance this story resonates with you, so if you hear that still small voice or feel a pricking of your heart, don’t turn away.

If it’s not art but there’s some other “dream” that you are ignoring, just insert whatever that is . . .

and open your heart!

Turn in.

Let life flow through you once more.

Bible Readings from Luke and Jonah

Luke 15:7
New International Version

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Luke 15:11-32
New International Version

The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.


Jonah 2
New International Version

2 1 [a]From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said:

“In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
3 You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’
5 The engulfing waters threatened me,[b]
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.

7 “When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.

8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”

10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

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    1. Creativity comes in so many forms, it’s pretty amazing when you think about it. I struggle with identifying as one thing, like artist for example, creative is more encompassing, but also not specific enough at times. Poet, artist, graphic designer, branding, web designer, community builder, etc etc etc 😁 idk .. 🤪

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