Thursday, June 30, 2011

Creating a Masterpiece

I love art. I love the thrill I get when I suddenly have a great idea for a painting, and I absolutely LOVE the feeling of satisfaction when it turns out just the way I wanted it to!

When I start a new painting I know exactly how I want it to look. I have the lay out and color shemes all mapped out in my mind. I have a plan long before I have a painting. To start I begin sketching my design on the canvas.....

Oops, get out of my straight line you silly curve! *Erase*

Uh uh, nope! You Mr. circle are meant to be over here.

I suppose if a canvas could talk it would say "Hey! Ouch! Did you REALLY need to erase that line? WHOA! AGAIN? This is too painful! Just leave me the way I am thank you very much!" But, when the lines and shapes all go together the way I planned and designed them to be, the painting looks amazing! It's just what I wanted! It makes me happy, excited, Proud. People look at that painting and say, "Wow, it's clear you put time into that!" or "How did you come up with that idea?" They don't say, "That painting did a good job painting itself!"  My paintings point to me, the creator. They show my creativeness, skill effort, and love of art. If I allowed that painting to design and create itself it would be blank or messy at best. No, only by allowing the artist to do the work can a real masterpiece appear.

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

Funny how God's lessons show up everywhere eh?

Much love,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Taking the, Not so good, leap

Have you ever had one of those days where EVERYTHING is against you? I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. In my mind everyone was against me. My husband, the alarm clock, the stupid hot water in the shower that made my sunburned skin sting. Everything and everyone was making me want to cry. I wanted to shake my fist at God and say, "Hey! I want an easy nice day ok? I'm tired and I just want everything my way please! Make it better!"

In church we sang a lot of songs that said in one way or another that God is with us in the good times and the bad times. In my minds eye I saw myself on top of a really high mountain, and then all of a sudden I jumped! Why would I do that!!?? I hate heights and, well, jumping off the top of a mountain is pretty stupid. Next thing I saw was God swooping in and catching me. "Oh good!" I thought, "He'll save me and take me back up to the top!" But it wasn't to be. He saved me alright, but instead of taking me right back to the top He gently flew me down to the bottom and cradled me on impact. I didn't die.

"Wait!" I could almost hear myself cry, "I don't want to be left here at the bottom, it's no fun here! I don't want to have to climb back to the top by myself it's too hard!" And God took my hand and said, "Who said anything about climbing alone?"

Through out the service and the day I've gone back over that mental image. First, why did I jump? I honestly believe that God was showing me that today's storm or trial was more or less my own fault. I wanted to hold on to my anger and bitterness because it made me feel like a victim and made me feel like as the victim I deserved to be lifted up and comforted. It made me feel like I deserved more than I really did. But in all honesty all it was doing was making me more and more upset and pushing me closer to the edge until I just couldn't take it anymore and had to just jump so that I could say "SEE GOD! I'm at the bottom! This is what happens when I don't get the love and compassion that I need!" Often times I go through struggles that are true storms, such as losing my mom. Those struggles are more like a fall. But even more often I run head long into those storms just to get some sympathy, it is then that I jump to my doom.

However, God caught me and gently flew me to the bottom. He didn't raise me up and comfort me like I thought He would. Life is tough. We go through struggles. It's as simple as that. I wish I had an exact answer as to why God lets trials in to our lives, but I don't. I know that for myself God allows me to struggle so that I actually see Him working in my life and so I become humble before Him and His awesome power. In fact this morning as the hot shower water made me swear I begged God to show me a way to become humble today. I wanted Him to show me something that would really get to me... and He did :) Today's struggle was my own fault and I feel like I can hear God saying to me as He lands at the bottom with me in His arms, "Abbey, this is what you wanted. You wanted to be at the bottom and be a victim. And because I know it's what's best for you, I'm going to allow it. I know you'll learn from this experience."

"BUT GOD! I don't Really want to be at the bottom! I mean, look at how high a climb that is to the top! MAN!"

"Let me help you Abbey. I will be with you in trouble, and I will deliver you"

And so God and I went hand in hand up that crazy mountain. The climb is tough and not exactly fun, but it's drawing me closer to my King and showing me what a Loving and Powerful King He is!

God never leaves us. Not when we're having such a good time that we barely pay attention to Him, nor when we have self inflicted pain. Through the calm and through the storm He is with us guiding our paths. All we have to do is choose to submit to Him and grab His hand. He'll help us up :)

Much Love,