Faith

Just Show Up: Becoming Living Art – Week 8

April 28, 2014
Becoming Living Art - Week 8
Becoming Living Art - Week 8

© Guz Anna – Fotolia.com

As an artist, I have questions about my art.  How do I know this isn’t my own desire?  Am I making this up?  Am I being selfish by pursuing this desire?  I tend to run from the questions though, skipping around them, not really asking them, because I still don’t feel qualified for the task.  But God does not call the qualified; rather, He qualifies those He calls.

So the question I must ask myself is this:  Am I willing to trust God to bring me to where He has called me?  And If so, do I believe that He will give me the ability to do what it is He has called me to do?

What does it look like for the artist to move into her world fully alive and available? Reject the temptation to believe you have to wait for a new set of circumstances, a different job, or a new setting.  Being who you already are no matter the circumstance of your life is what it means to release the art you were made to live. Respond to God where you are as you are.  – A Million Little Ways.

The first thing we must do is show up.

Perhaps you are trembling at the thought of stepping out with your art.  Perhaps you feel stuck, unable to move, frozen at the thought that maybe your art won’t be accepted by others.  Or maybe you don’t feel ready or fully prepared to release it.

Becoming Living Art _ Show Up

As a prophetic painter in my church, I often feel unprepared or ill-equipped for the task.  But I come.  I show up.  I offer God my hands and my heart and I partner with Him to release something beautiful through my unique offering of worship.  I may not feel equipped.  But I show up.  And He delights in it.

In her book, Emily lists eight statements that keep us from showing up, from releasing our art.  I am going to list the four that I struggle with the most.

  1. I’m not cut out for this.  We may not feel cut out for it, but that’s okay.  The truth of the matter is, we aren’t.  Only with God are we able to lay hold of it and release it.
  2. Someone else can do it better.  This is a big one for me.  And perhaps this statement is true for you, in some ways.  Maybe someone can do it better.  But there is no one who will offer our art to the world like you or I can.  There will alway be someone else who can sing better, write better or paint better.  But there may be a first time when the art we fearlessly release touches the heart of another and brings hope, life and healing like no other’s art can.
  3. I have nothing to offer.  This can be another huge stumbling block.  But if we are honest, we must believe that we do, in fact, have something to offer.  The God of the universe uniquely fashioned each one of us with a purpose.

    You were made in the secret place, woven together on purpose with threads made from sacred longings that come not only from you but from the heart of God — He wove you together with a personality and you bring your own you-ness to the table. – A Million Little Ways.

  4. Who do you think you are?  So often when we show up, there is that voice in the deep, dark places of our minds that ask, “who do you think you are?”   If you find yourself asking, “am I really a singer”, “am I really a writer”, “am I really an artist”, chances are you are.  The question “who do you think you are” comes from a place of self doubt.  So, let’s fight that question with answers before it takes over.

    You are a poem written inside the person of Christ and exist to carry out his inner desire.  You are an image bearer and you have a job to do.  Don’t let that question derail you. – A Million Little Ways.

As the beloved of God, let’s release our art out of the overflow of our relationship with Him.  Let’s show up, just as we are, with what we have been given.  Let’s not allow the voice of doubt, fear and discouragement hold us back.

Even so, we must recognize that it is possible to uncover the art we were born to make and show up to release it, only to be met with silence, closed doors and a seemingly impossible artless road ahead.  The lack of movement isn’t because of fear, sin or lack of belief. Sometimes it’s simply God asking us to wait.A Million Little Ways.

What keeps you from showing up to release the art you were made to live?  I would love for you to share in the comments below.

Artist brushes with a half finished painted color canvas

This is the eighth post in a series entitled Becoming Living Art. Each Monday I will share what God has revealed to my own heart while reading through Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways: Uncover The Art You Were Made To Live.  I was not paid in any way for my thoughts or quotes.  I would highly recommend you read the book.  It’s really good!

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16 Comments

  • Reply Denise April 28, 2014 at 4:12 am

    You are a beautiful piece of art my friend, love you.

    • Reply Barbie May 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Oh Denise! Thank you so much.

  • Reply Carrie April 28, 2014 at 6:56 am

    I’ve struggled most with the first three you mention, especially #3. It has taken me years to look at this openly and say, “Yep, there are a lot better writers out there than me.” Age helps to battle this truth (grin) and now rather than beat myself down for lack of skill, I focus on what I can learn from these terrific writers. It truly is all about seeking our own unique voice – there won’t be another you or me again! Thank you for these encouraging words, friend! Blessings!
    Carrie recently posted..Witness To Yielding

    • Reply Barbie May 1, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      So true. We are each unique and have so much to offer. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Paula @ AKAJaneRandom April 28, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Yes, yes, yes. I have thought each and every one of these things! Thanks for sharing.
    Paula @ AKAJaneRandom recently posted..Bean Bag Toe

    • Reply Barbie May 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      You’re welcome Paula! Have a lovely weekend.

  • Reply Mary Geisen April 29, 2014 at 3:27 am

    This series makes me happy! We have so much to learn about who we are and who God is calling us to be. Your statement that God qualifies those He calls is huge. Such a good thing thing to remember the next time I say “i’m not cut out for this or Someone can do this better than I”. I hope summer gets here soon so I can really dig into this book. Be blessed, my friend!
    Mary Geisen recently posted..Delight

    • Reply Barbie May 1, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      I’m famous for focusing on what I feel I can’t do, rather than knowing that if God has called me to it, He will bring me through it. The only qualification I need is Him!

  • Reply Diana April 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I’m not a writer… except in my journal and on my blog… but I can liken these words to other things in my life. I often feel I’m stuck, discouraged, and not up to the task before me. It’s always better when I give it to God and let Him guide me in how to handle everything that comes my way. I just want to be a living testimony to Him.

    Blessings and love to you, Barbie. You are one of God’s true pieces of art, beautiful inside and out. :)
    Diana recently posted..In the past year

    • Reply Barbie May 1, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      Diane, you ARE a writer. Your words encourage me so often. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

  • Reply Beth April 29, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Those four statements all sound familiar. I also need to post this statement somewhere because it’s one I just love. “But God does not call the qualified; rather, He qualifies those He calls.” I think of how I know He has called me to have a group of ladies over on Saturday and I’ve been doubting my ability to be a good host and thinking I need to go above and beyond so they like me more. This has been a good reminder to give it to God. He’s got this. Love you, friend.
    Beth recently posted..A different kind of randomness

    • Reply Barbie May 1, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      And you will do a fabulous job hosting your friends. Praying you have a beautiful weekend!

  • Reply Jacqui April 29, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Hey Barbie, I STILL haven’t read A Million Little Ways – I need to! I so get all four of the points you listed as your struggle. I do that with basically any kind of art I tackle. But amen to showing up! To believe what God says about us, rather than our self doubts. Anyway, thanks for grace with me these days. One day I plan on showing up more in the online world – at least I hope! Maybe once my Lydia starts letting me get a good nights sleep! Hope you’re doing well. Blessings.

    • Reply Barbie May 1, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      Oh friend, no apology necessary. You just keep busy pouring into that little one!

  • Reply Ashley April 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I love how you encourage and inspire others to come out of their shells and see the beauty and gifts God has for them. Love you, friend!
    Ashley recently posted..Here Lately.

    • Reply Barbie May 1, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      Thanks Ashley! Love you back!

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