After visiting pages (and significant dozing in between)….
Well apparently more than dozing…I woke up this morning with my iPad in my lap and one line of text! I don’t even recall where my thought process was going! I remember I wasn’t going to add much because I was obviously tired, but that’s about it…and some of what I wrote last night was included in the typed text from the night before….
I started this writing challenge with authenticity in mind….I suppose that includes my repetitive nature as well…or perhaps reiterating things of value – quite possibly things I haven’t recognized in myself as I discover a new norm…yeah…quite possible the “prideful, independent” commentary below is addressed to me.
The great thing about this exercise is that I as open myself, it affords God the opportunity to reveal underlying thoughts and patterns through my writing…things I most likely wouldn’t receive too well from others! For instance, I wrote about how my dad wouldn’t let people in his house…close friends…his “house” – his “safety zone” – if you were to take a poll, I wonder how many would say I do the same thing? Thankfully, God has been growing me by leaps and bounds on that front, my “safety zone” today has no resemblance to say…5 years ago….the point is, there’s always room for growth and as we face things that scare us, the safety zone can easily turn unto a “hands off” zone.
All in all, this process is exciting… Exciting to share all the wonderful things God is doing in my life and exciting to think about where He’s taking me next!
It came! After what seemed like months (actually just a couple of weeks), my journaling Bible arrived! I must admit…the first night I looked through my new Bible, thinking about which book… which verse… would be the first in my art journaling adventure….those initial feelings…those feelings of making my Bible “ugly” and held me back months ago, came flooding in again….and so I gently laid it on the nightstand for another day.
The next morning I woke with determination to push past unrealistic expectations and just do it…start the art journaling process! After all, I was prepared…I was confident my artwork would be fine – after all, I watched tons of videos, practiced on little projects for months, and while far from talented I felt acceptable. And so I started…
Michaelangelo? Far from it!!!! Actually, it was kinda close to a mess…kinda like me!
- pencil marks (curvy lines) wouldn’t erase, but smeared instead…
- the ink pen I purchased specifically for journaling bled through; and
- the distress stain recommended for its translucency was pretty awful bleeding through A LOT ….
so much for that confidence…
And then a thought hit me last night…what exactly was my motivation in journaling???? Was it to dig deeper into God’s Word? OR… was it to show off?? How much did pride factor into starting this endeavor?????
Although I’m certain digging deeper was a component, my reaction to results revealed something else… in some way could I have been seeking approval or confirmation??? Obviously, there’s still a part of me trying to be good enough for God. I’m so thankful He uses the simplest things to show me where pieces of my heart lie…
In retrospect, the verse I landed on (Luke 6:45) now speaks volumes…
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart…
Earlier this week I was sharing how great it is that God is using Bible journaling as a tool to grow us. As for my growth and confidence level??? I was reminded where my confidence belongs…in God – not myself! What a wonderful lesson – all from a simple exercise. My acceptance has nothing to do with art – God cares about my heart.
Interesting…I completely forgot I’d written this post (APR’14) and never published…
Talk about an oldie but a goodie! The song was made popular with the hit movie Urban Cowboy and the lyrics ring true on more than an emotional level – with this part of my journey – inviting you Behind the Mask, looking for love is at the crux of my barriers – physical, emotional, and spiritual.
I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places
Lookin’ for love in too many faces
Searchin’ their eyes, lookin’ for traces
Of what I’m dreamin’ of
While the song may be speaking of finding that special someone, the pattern I seem to repeat in different ways is seeking to fill a void reserved for God alone. Quizzed, intellect dictates my response. Carefully observed, my beliefs – rather unbeliefs shout an opposing view far louder than any intellectual response. My guess is quite a few folks can readily identify with this conundrum.
A couple of years ago, God revealed a pattern of me seeking affirmation from a potential life partner – talk about a painful realization! While the root cause was obvious and I truly desired a change – time revealed the truth: A: I didn’t permanently give it to God. B: I’m powerless to change myself. Of course, now that I’ve journeyed through some pretty rough pitfalls, it’s easier to recognize certain behaviors – in the moment though? I didn’t have a clue – I was too busy trying to drive the direction of my life! You see, masks have a tendency to limit the view – a broader perspective – and as a result, I often missed diligently looking to God for the answers.
Oh how easily & seamlessly I push God out of the driver’s seat! The places we look for human love to fill what only God can…not just in a life partner, but in a job, friendships…you name it! I wonder if I wrote this last year just after I realized I’d been searching to fill that void with my job…affirmation…yes…circling again and again around worthiness.
Is my mask more transparent today compared to this time last year? Definitely. Is there still work to be done? Absolutely. God so gentle – so merciful…the closer He draws us to Him (light) we always see much clearer than before.