How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Awaken the Artist Within!!!!

"Art is when we do work that matters in a creative way,
in a way that touches [people] and changes them for the better."
~Seth Godin, author and entrepreneur
This week we are covering the very first, very short chapter entitled "Awake" in our book, A Million Little Ways.  Emily shares her "Sarah experience" and explains that through the creativity and generosity of artists like Sarah who "live" in their giftedness, we see things we might have otherwise missed.  I had a unique "Sarah experience" of my own recently that really blessed me and opened my eyes to the joy that comes when you share your "art" with others.

I don't know if my cousins, Dan and Barb, consider themselves artists...probably not, at least not in the way I perceive them to be, but I was blessed to witness the love and passion they have for their land and everything on it, and that was art to me.  Dan and Barb live on a ranch at the foot of the Short Pine Buttes in South Dakota.  A unique piece of property with a rich history that spans before recorded time.  The day I spent with them was filled to the brim with experiences I honestly had never had, and it left me wanting more.  Their passion for this land was contagious...from the cattle they raise, including a few pet milk cows and their calves who eat with reckless abandon from your hand,  to the Pony Express Trail that winds up the mountainside to the Indian camps and buffalo jumps that allow you to vividly imagine teepees, buffalo and a people busy at their own "art."  That day I saw a tiny calf not more than thirty minutes old, nine piglets with their muddy mama, beautiful spotted curlew eggs lying in a nest on the prairie floor, the weather-beaten, collapsed hideout of a notorious outlaw, mysterious "fairy rings" in the grass, a pine tree denuded of bark by a porcupine, and "The Names," a steep, rock outcropping where names one hundred years old have been etched into the soft, white stone.  With excitement, Dan read off names and dates as familiar to him as his own.  We climbed to the peak of a ridge, following the ruts of a Pony Express Trail, eating sweet, wild onions and wild celery along the way.  All of this was only part of a glorious day filled with wonder.  What Dan and Barb did not realize is that each moment, each new experience was a colorful, beautiful stroke upon the canvas of that memorable day. It awakened a desire in me to create in the home that I have something that can be beautiful, unique and memorable that will bless those who visit.

And that is exactly what artists do.  They leave you in wonder, wanting more.  Dan and Barb are artists unaware.  They generously share their love for the beautiful land they own with excitement and great joy.  That evening as we left Dan said, "Come back next week...there is more to see!"  Those are the words of an artist:).

Dan and his bulls

Mama and her brand new calf
The Buffalo Jumps

View from the Short Pines Buttes

The Names

Curlew eggs

Simply beautiful

The hideout
Mama pig
And her piglets

So that is my example of someone who "lives" the art they were made to create.    Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts on the beginning chapter of this study, and share with us your "moment when you were moved by the heart of an artist."

Blessings to you as you awaken the artist within!!!




  1. Wow! It is so wonderful to see this family sharing so generously what they live everyday probably not even realizing how it impacted you and changed your life! Oh how we need to pay attention so closely to everything we say and do! People are watching! "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight Lord, for you TRULY our our strength and our redeemer!"

    1. Thanks for the comment, Ursa! I have read this first chapter probably a half dozen times and each time I am struck with something different. You brought up one of them...we are telling a story with our lives and we decide how our story is "read" to those around us and even to those yet to come. Powerful stuff!!!!

  2. From the moment you introduced this book to us in Women's Bible Study I knew I had to have it. From a very early age my motto was, "You can never have too many crayons." Ask me my favorite color and I cannot choose just one! Growing up I let it be known that I wanted to be an artist. At that time I didn't realize that I already was. That we all are artists. Art comes in many forms. Art is everywhere. It surrounds us no matter where we are, even the desert! From sunrise to sunset, from season to season, we are engaged in an ever changing canvas. Lift your eyes up to God and keep your eyes on His canvas. You will be amazed at what you discover!

    (Hi everyone! I am posting as anonymous but I am Esther)

    1. Hi Esther!!! I loved your comment!!!:) Thank you for sharing your beautiful words of encouragement to become aware of the works of art God is doing in our lives and in the world around us. Just lovely, Esther!

  3. The first time I really thought about people as art was in a Beth Moore bible study. The verse that sparked the thought was:
    Isaiah 61:3 " They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor."
    We are supposed to bring glory to God with our lives.
    People are very colorful, artful, so different & unique, personalities and all.... and yet, created in the very image of God.
    What an opportunity we have to let Jesus shine through us to this dark and dreary sin sick world!
    Creation screams of a Creator. There is beauty and art all around us. It's there in nature, music, animals, birds, and the heavens. We just need to stop, appreciate & enjoy it!
    So, the personal question is how to best display it in practical ways.
    Who can I bless & how?
    Who can I pray for?
    Should I send a card or a note to someone?
    How can I encourage? And so on.... How do I do it???
    By plugging into the Source, by persevering and praising on this journey from life now to life eternal.
    We are INVITED into the story. The greatest of all love stories!!! What an honor to be called daughters.
    I love you my beautiful, artful, sister friends!!!

    1. You ask great questions, Lynn, at the end of your post. To think that we are invited to share in the "greatest of all love stories" is an incredible thought! Thanks, Lynn!

  4. I am so excited to be part of this study, once again! After reading the chapter, the "artist" that immediately came to mind was a family that I met in high school. It was my first encounter with a Jesus-and-people loving family. They had a big family, but they always had room for one more at their dinner table. The atmosphere was so warm and fun and inviting. I always felt like I overstayed my welcome, but they always made me feel like I didn't. They were Jesus with skin on. I was so drawn to them, and I couldn't get enough. These artists also awakened something inside of me...from then on, my dream was to have a family of my own like that someday.
    I am not trying to butter you up, I know you & your family are not perfect, but I am just giving my honest first answer that popped into my head after reading the chapter and your question:))

    1. Well, Maria, you had me in tears today as I read your post. I think this just goes to show that our great God can use us...weak, imperfect, and wounded as we are, for His good purpose. Love you, Maria, and am humbled and blessed by your words.

  5. From the reading I loved how the author described an artist as someone who, with their compassion, can help us see things that we might have missed on our own. I grew up in the AV and traveled to see family but never to see the world that God created. That is until I met my good friend Jen. She shared stories with me of the wonderful places she had visited and even lived!! I learned so much from listening to her and even more when we started taking trips together!! On my own I would have missed seeing the beauty and history in places like Rome, Paris, and Germany!! I am so thankful for her sharing her "art" with me!!! I will get to take all of you along on our next adventure - I leave in a few weeks to go visit Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Netherlands!!!!

  6. How wonderful, Tina!!! What a great example of someone who "awakens art" within us by sharing their own. What a blessing to have such a friend and to share these wonderful adventures with!!!


PLEASE leave your comment!!! We need to hear from you!!!!