Tag Archives: create

God Glimpses #55 ~ Tangled Motivation

tangled-motivationGod Glimpses #55 ~ Tangled Motivation

I was talking to a writer the other day who said this, “I’ll have to see if I can find some motivation.”

I wanted to scream. I have news for those who are still in the dream world of “finding motivation.”

Motivation can’t be found. Unlike lost keys, or even the coin of great worth, motivation can’t be found. It’s not lost. Motivation is made.

It’s not made from feelings, or emotions, or delivered by a muse, or even from on high. Motivation can only be formed by rational, deliberate, intentional decisions.

God Himself can’t and won’t motivate you. Not that He’s not all-powerful, but because His first priority is to give us the complete freedom of CHOICE. He made a plan before time began. Every nuance of history and the future was woven before the first man was formed. There are no tangled threads in God’s tapestry.

We, however, are overwhelmed with choices and decisions to make. Therein lies the problem. We let the overwhelmingness of our days keep us from being intentional. We take the easy and lazy way out. We deceive ourselves into believing that it’s all too much. But it’s not too much. God doesn’t leave us hopeless and helpless. He put within every believer His Spirit to guide us into all wisdom.

We make thousands of decisions every single day. What percentage of them do we make after asking for His help? “Pray without ceasing” takes on a whole new light, doesn’t it?

Do you want to get things accomplished? Reach your goals? Work on the real priorities, instead of being sabotaged by the subterfuge of instant gratification?

Make some real decisions! Motivation will follow.


God Glimpses # 49 ~ New Beginnings

 

Crocuses

God Glimpses # 49 ~ New Beginnings

In preparing for our upcoming art show, “New Beginnings” the thought occurred to me that I might have other artwork lying around that could be used besides the paintings I’m preparing just for this exhibit. So I took a little tour around the house and came across this early painting. The subject was perfect ~ what says new beginning like the first adorable flowers of spring? Unfortunately, the paper was covered in foxing ~ those little or not-so-little rust colored specks that go right through the paper. It was polka-dotted with the ugly things.

I got on the internet and looked up foxing and what to do to get it out of the paper. It all looked so complicated, and the only thing I had on hand was the bleach which was only one step in the process. Would just that first step do it? How much of the watercolor would fade? Was I willing to risk it for this one show? I certainly didn’t have time to get it back from a conservator before Friday. It was one of only two early watercolors I have left, and I’ve always been fond of it ~ it would grieve me to lose it.

After the agony of deliberation, I decided to give it a try. After all, it was ruined as it was, and by the time I got it to a conservator, it might be too late to save it anyway. The foxing was already all the way through the paper.

So I did it ~ I took the plunge. I prepared a pan of water with a small amount of bleach and submersed my darling little painting. After soaking for almost two hours, the stains were still there, so I left the studio for lunch, telling myself not to stay too long. At that point the colors were still strong.

Of course you know I got involved in a book and forgot all about my little painting sitting in the tub of bleach solution. When I got back to the studio, the first thing that I saw were my little crocuses, just starting to bleed out purple. I rushed the painting to the sink and dumped the water from the pan, rinsing it while holding the painting, worrying about the bleeding watercolor. It was only a tiny amount, but it was clearly starting to run. I filled the pan with rinse water and gently floated the painting, flipping it over. I did it twice more with fresh pans of water. At that point the bleeding had rinsed away. How much of the color would remain once the painting dried? The drying process was accomplished with less stress, thankfully.

You can see the result. The colors are once again as bright as when it was freshly painted, and the paper is truly white. There is no purple even though that’s how the photo appears. I’m not sure the camera knew what to do with those intensely purple flowers.

I think you’ll agree that this painting has experienced its own New Beginning.

One day we’ll be wearing white, and our true colors will shine. Until then, we take it by faith that our stains have been washed away. We have value and beauty and serve a purpose ~ each of us designed by the hands of the one who created us for his good pleasure.

 


God Glimpses #38 ~ A Box of Joy

2015-09-02 15.21.58

This is my tiny box of joy, perfection in miniature.

If you were to make your own tiny box of joy, what would you put in it? I’ll show you the inside of mine next week.

Think about what makes you happy, gives you pleasure and delight. If you could carry it around in a box, would you embellish that box to honor the contents?

Think about your own box of joy. What are you thankful for? Give it a special place of honor so that each time you see it, you remember to thank God for the gift of delight.

I hope this inspires some creativity! I’d love to hear from you if you’ve done something similar or if this causes you to start something new.


The Risk of Art

The Risk of Art.


God Glimpses #34 – Worm Tubes and Shark’s Ear Drums

It's a Sperm Whale Inner Ear Drum!

It’s a Sperm Whale Inner Ear Drum!

Yesterday we visited an old friend who has a gem rated seashell collection – over 8,000 pieces.

We held a worm tube from two miles down in the ocean, a sperm whale eardrum, and the most bizarre shrimp basket made of silica where a certain type of shrimp mate for life and live their entire lives stuck in the lacy basket, while their kids escape when they’re tiny, one “litter” after the other. Needless to say, the variety of the collection was amazing. All these things God made for the sheer joy of creation. Mountain ranges painted on the sides of shells that live on the floor of the ocean.

Why? For the fun of it.

Tell me again why people try to convince Christians that they don’t know what fun is? Hellooooo, with a Daddy as wild as ours? Who can know God? As His children, we actually can. What fun can top that?

“How countless are Your works, LORD!
In wisdom You have made them all;
the earth is full of Your creatures.
Here is the sea, vast and wide,
teeming with creatures beyond number —
living things both large and small.
There the ships move about,
and Leviathan, which You formed to play there.”
Psalms 104:24-26 ( Holman Christian Standard)

 


God Glimpses #23 – Indecision vs. God’s Design

coffee table apron

my coffee table

Do you love design? I know I do. No mid-century modern for me. No thanks! Oh, I know those of you who love those sleek lines will claim that is what makes it design.

To me that’s like saying a single note is the equivalent of a symphony.

Give me ornate carvings, layered paintings, embellished quilts. Oh, yes, I agree that the eye needs a place to rest. I understand that, and plan for that. Even my walls have blank expanses, and I’m an artist.

The point of sensory overload is different for everyone.

At this moment, I’m so overwhelmed I’m not capable of much more than running screaming into the sunset. When I’m overwhelmed, I’m incapable of making good decisions, incapable of true creativity, incapable of being the person I want people to see, or hear. I seek a hole to hide in until the input stops. And that doesn’t work all that well, because I take me in there. Never mind all the outside influences, I’m too complex.

I’m so grateful that the God who created everything–in layers, with ornate design, with embellishments that serve no purpose but to delight the eye–is not overwhelmed, does not suffer from sensory overload.

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways. ”   James 1:5-8

These are perhaps the most complex verses in the Bible. An intertwining mass of circular reasoning to those who don’t get it. Most of us don’t get it. I don’t get it. Too often.

The verses before make it clear that the topic is the testing of our faith through trials, and that testing leads to endurance, maturity, completeness. I suppose it’s no wonder that God doesn’t make that wisdom we’re asking for clear every time. Would it be a test of faith if we knew the answer for sure?

So the test is this–can we believe that he’s given us wisdom–have the guts to act on what we think is the answer? Sometimes that still, small voice is teeny. Sometimes we know we’re hearing God say, “You know what to do” but we doubt ourselves and our ability to hear God, because we’ve ignored him too often, hidden in our holes too easily, delayed the inevitable.

So we don’t trust ourselves, and we float on the sea of indecision, in a boat named “Unanswered Prayers.”

I don’t know about you, but I suffer from motion-sickness.


God Glimpses #22 – Architectural Disaster or Design?

unfinished building

What is this architect thinking? Can you see the odd-shaped hole in the roof, and the cut-out down through the three floors? And what’s with that missing corner of the roof on the back side?

God Glimpse! God is my architect. Those are his plans, his blocks and stones, his mortar, his shingles. It’s not my place to wonder why there’s a hole in my roof letting in the rain. It’s my job to stand in place, trust him, and prepare myself to shelter those who come to see what God has done with me.


God Glimpses #19 – Seeds of Hope

sycamore seed balls

Yesterday’s post dealt with hope deferred. When I took this photo, the sky was a beautiful blue, just begging me to look up.

Sycamore seeds. Fascinating textured globes of promise. In my minds eye they are broken all over the driveway, as they will be soon. They’re smashed from the impact of falling, squashed by tires, blown into fluff bits, and floating in the wind in tiny segments. They’re everywhere! They’re landing in my flower beds, in the lawn, heading for the soccer field across the street . . . if they make it past the hedge of trees.

“Just DO it” reverberates from yesterday.

“In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don’t know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good.”  Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)

 


God Glimpses #18 – Hope Deferred

snow on flower pots

The Bible says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” All winter long I’ve been ignoring these flower pots on my back porch, pretending the watering can doesn’t exist, pushing down dreams of spring green.

This morning, (after not one flake of predicted snow fell from the so-called snow storm earlier in the week,) I woke to find this not-so-sugar coating still falling from a sky that should have been blue.

(Shoot the weather men and women, please!)

We have no control over the weather. We can justifiably feel sick at the thought of another cold day with even the emerging crocuses looking frozen and miserable.

But do we defer our own hope? What dreams and goals do you have that could be achieved if you would just DO instead of dream . . . or wish . . . or pretend to hope. I don’t know about you, but I’m great at setting goals, not so great at remembering to look at them by mid-week.

DOers get things done. It’s that simple. Spend less time planning, and more time DOing. That’s my God Glimpse for today, folks. He sprinkled frosting on my misery and reminded me to look up (. . . and then go DO.)


God Glimpses #16 – Persistence

IMG-20120728-00682

I want this man’s metabolism! Do you see all those plates and bowls lined up in front of this guy?  They’re all his! I’ve watched him week after week packing away this amount of food at a community dinner.

So, how do you get this type of metabolism? You stay active. He golfs, plays tennis, walks, swims, you name it. When he moves, he moves. When he eats, he eats. He can afford to, because he’s burned off the calories.

It goes to show that we can live large when we are willing to pay the price. God gives us incredible freedom of choice and amazing bodies to take advantage of our options.