As many of you know from my newsletter, the Lord has started adding some bends and hills to my spiritual journey that include creativity, art, and ministry. When I reflect back on my life, I can see the groundwork being laid from when I was very young, but more practically, the vision started taking shape this past winter when I decided to start wasting paint.
Winters are mentally hard for me. Living in Buffalo, NY is probably not the best choice for someone who deals with SAD! But I’m learning to manage the season with the Lord’s help.
One of the ways I know depression is setting in is that things I love become a chore, and I turn to mindless activities like Facebook or TV (OK, it’s The Office … I have a problem with watching The Office too much).
Writing for the blog was like trudging through mud.
I would write for a few minutes, and then click over to Facebook. But since I had just written an article about the horrors of social media, I knew I needed to find another outlet. Sidenote: if you need accountability, start a blog.
I decided to unearth my watercolor set and waste paint instead. When I needed a break from writing, I literally watched paint dry. In my defense … watercolor is a fascinating medium that changes as it dries, so it’s not quite as sad as it sounds. It was better than Facebook. And, as it turns out, a divine intervention.
Years ago I’d taken a few watercolor classes, but knew I wasn’t an artist. I couldn’t quite get the paint to do what I envisioned, and I’ve never been good at drawing. But I’ve always had a hunger to create. As a child I described myself as an artist, and when I think of heaven, I picture myself as a painter (strange, since I didn’t paint!).
I have the heart, but not quite the skill … so when I turned to painting during depression, I knew that if I tried to produce something beautiful, I would become discouraged and sink lower. So instead, I gave myself permission to just waste paint and be with the Lord in the process.
Isn’t that a beautiful place to be? Free of productivity, free of expectations, free of frustration! Just you and the Lord doing something beautiful together for the sake of doing something beautiful together.
We all need that so much in our lives, but it’ll look different for everyone. Waste some time in the woods, at the beach, lying in the grass. Waste some paper writing. Waste some ingredients baking. Waste some energy gardening. Waste clay, crayons, paint, pencils, paper.
Make something for the joy of creating with the creator.
You can follow along with this series about my art journey as the Lord unveils the seedlings of talent, and calls me to create an art ministry by signing up for the weekly newsletter.