Art

Firecracker Heart

Firecracker Heart – Do what gets your heart going

15th August 2017, Gelatos on A3 cartridge paper

When we do what we’re made to do it shines light everywhere.

Only we can give what we have to offer: our particular mix of gifts, personality, perspective, passion, experience, background, values, etc.

It will connect with people. Not everyone, but even one is enough.

This was originally an outline that I didn’t like that I was going to use for a Prismacolor picture. Luckily I didn’t throw it out and when I came across it again, I was inspired to use gelatos and find a different meaning for it.

So fun!

Art

Is This Helpful?

Is This Helpful –

14th August 2017, Prismacolor on A3 cartridge paper

Acceptance Commitment Therapy has been the most helpful tool in my journey with depression and anxiety.

It’s all about accepting the way things are instead of denying them or raging against them, and then simply choosing to live the best you can anyway.

So instead of suppressing or wrestling with thoughts, I can ask, ‘Are these thoughts helpful?’ If they aren’t I can get on with focusing on things that are helpful.

Writing

My writing affirmations (and a note about gifts)

I’m reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which is a 12-week course in creativity and spirituality.

The first exercise was to write ‘I am a brilliant and prolific writer’ ten times and listen to what the inner critic said in response. Then we had to write affirmations to counter the inner critic.

My inner critic said: Who do you think you are? Your writing sucks. You’ll never make it. You’re selfish.

These were my counter affirmations: I am a writer. It doesn’t matter if my writing is good or bad; it only matters that it shares my heart. I am called to write and my writing will be used by God. By using my gift, my writing will help others.

I used to believe what it said but as I wrote out the affirmations I realised something: I believe the affirmations.

It’s still kind of weird to say out loud and there’s still guilt about being in the spotlight and letting your light be seen, etc. (Marianne Williamson – great quote!), but the longer I go on this journey with God and the more I write, the more I believe it.

Even if other people don’t see it, get it, support it, believe it, I do because this doesn’t come from people, it comes from God.

I never would have thought, written, or shared this before but now I know:

I am made to write.

God gave me the gift of writing to connect with him, myself, and others.

My purpose is to use the gift God gave me because my writing brings me joy, helps others, and glorifies God.

I serve God and show him to the world when I write.

God is the reason I write. Everything I write comes from him because I can’t write without him.

He uses my writing as part of his plan to spread his Kingdom way on earth.

I am called to share my voice, heart, and stories through writing.

I will write and nurture myself as a writer because the Creator created me to write.

There’s nothing special about this because we’ve all been given gifts and got things we were made to do. But it’s so special when we actually use those gifts and do what what we’re made to do. We become more useful together when we use our gifts instead of trying to use someone else’s gifts and when we don’t feel guilty for our gifts or try to hide them in false humility.

I love that the Kingdom way is spread when we use our gifts.

When I was struggling to embrace my gifts of writing and creating, I got a picture of God looking over my shoulder excited to see what I would create. It showed me that God delights when we use the gifts he gave us.

I also felt God say there isn’t just joy in using gifts but purpose. So it isn’t just me creating, but God creates with me. He uses our gifts and is at work through our gifts.

So the best thing we can do is claim, own, embrace, and use our gifts. Enjoy them and trust that God uses them. He wouldn’t have given them to us otherwise. He has purpose for everything.

What are your gifts? The things that come naturally to you, that you do all the time and don’t even feel like gifts but bring you delight and light you up? They will be used to spread the Kingdom way.

Sermon Art Notes

Sermon Art Notes:

Key Thoughts:

God runs to us. He wants to come closer to us. Even to the places we hide.

Everyone has their problems. The preachers, the leaders, the people who look like they have it all together; we all struggle.

Our future in God is good. We can hold back from it but we can step into it because we can know it is good.

Sermon Art Notes

Sermon Art Notes: Prosper Within

Key thoughts:

Seek God with all your heart and he will prosper you from within.

Meet with God in the things that you enjoy doing.

Garden analogy – Spend time with God or our lives can become out of control and weeds can come into our lives. Sometimes manure will come into our lives but it can always be used for good.

God loves us and is always with us but if we want more, we have to seek God more.

Writing

My beach mission book writing process

The plan was to spend from February to June writing the book and I would submit on the 30th June.

This is what actually happened.

First, at the end of last year I went through all my journals and found all my beach mission entries. Then I typed them up. All 12 years’ worth of them. It took a long time! But since I knew I was writing this book this year, the deadline got me cracking.

I didn’t manage to type up all the journal entries until the end of January, but then in February I did start the process of writing this book.

This meant going through all my typed up journal entries and pulling out anything I wanted to include in the book.

At first it was a blast. When I finished a chapter, I had a giant smile on my face and literally danced around my room.

Then I hit a slump. Writing each chapter was a slog. It was painful. Those old fears of, ‘What if I’m not meant to be a writer?’ popped up again.

Then I read one of my favourite books Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and it got me out of my slump. Anne reminded me that the process of actually putting words on a page can be painful and it was normal.

She gave me renewed energy to write when she said that only we can write our perspectives and there is value in all perspectives. This inspired me to keep writing my perspectives because it was important work.

After this, writing became easy. The chapters flowed and I was on a roll.

I’ve found writing a book is like long-distance running. It’s goes well at the start, then it gets harder and you hit a wall. At this point you can either give up or keep going. If you keep going, you eventually get past the wall and feel like you can run forever.

In June I finished a first draft but I still needed to do a few rounds of editing before I submitted it.

I didn’t get the book done by June 30 but there were a few interruptions. A week disrupted by a cyclone. A week in Melbourne for a funeral. And a week when my brother’s family came to surprise visit us in Bowen.

I gave myself a new deadline: 31st July. Every spare second in July was spent on this book. I edited it three times and managed to cut the book down by 60,000 words.

Finally today I sent my book to four special people who will give me feedback before more rounds of editing.

I’m exhausted. Now time for a rest. Lord of the Rings here I come. I bought the Extended Version DVDs as my reward for handing the book in.

I’m going to give myself a month before I look at the book again. Then I’ll be going to Melbourne for the next part of the process to spend a weekend with two friends to chat about the book.

Art

Sermon Art Notes: Proverbs 3:5-6

Key Points:

Forgiveness is not an approval of what someone did.
Forgiveness is a refusal to continue to punish someone for what they did.

Who do you need to forgive? Who has wounded you? Who stings you when you think of them?

Scars are a good thing because they speak of a healed wound.
Without forgiveness, wounds are open and bleeding.
With forgiveness, wounds turn into scars.
Scars are beautiful.

Trust only works in the dark.

Key verse: Provers 3:5-6

When things go bad, what are you going to do?
You’re going to trust in the Lord and let him guide your path.
No matter where you find yourself you can trust God.
You don’t need to figure everything out because God will direct your path.

Nobody can escape pain.
Some people never deal with it because they numb the pain.
The way to work through pain is to lean into it.

No-one has a perfect life. But be thankful that you have a shot of life.