6 In Book study

We Will Make Art: Becoming Living Art – Week 12

Abstract watercolor background

Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor.  It’s a gift to the world and every being in it.  Don’t cheat us of your contribution.  Give us what you’ve got. –
Steven Prosfield, The War of Art

To create art means coming to accept that which you have to create.  What is it that the Creator has put inside of us that screams to be released, to make a difference?  God has gifted each one of us with unique qualities, gifts and talents and the only requirement is that we say “yes”.  When we withhold our art from the world, we are cheating those around us from the blessing of our contribution.

But this making of art, it can cause a fear so deep in me that I become immobilized, afraid to step out, for fear of failure.  But when I choose to remain in that place, unwilling to move forward, the world misses out.  He made me to partner with Him to bring His glory to this earth.  It’s glory in both the small and the big.  All of life is art.  It starts with saying yes, despite fear.  It begins with a heart, completely yielded to the inner workings of the Holy Spirit, one who cries, “show me what the Father is doing so that I can do it too.”

[Tweet “A heart yielded to God will move with Him, not against Him.”]

Whenever we set out to do something we are passionate about, we will always contend with fear.  But when we partner with fear, we will be shut down, unable to walk forward to partner with God in what He is doing on the earth.  So when it gets hard, we must remember who we are — we are image bearers.  We have been given His power, His love and a sound mind.  Even though we may encounter fear, the spirit of fear does not live in us.  The Spirit of God does!

You carry something inside you.  There will be pain to get it out. –
A Million Little Ways

As artists, there will be pain in the journey of releasing art.  God will call us to step out of our comfort zone, to walk in a way we’ve never gone before, to present our art to a world of question and critical eyes.  Not all will embrace what we create.  Not all will understand the artists we are inside.  Whether you create art at home, at a job, in a studio, or at your computer, you are an artist.  God is calling us to a new level of bravery as He calls us out upon the water.

In order to release the art we were made to live, we must first embrace who we are as artists.

You may not paint,
but your life before God is a canvass just waiting to be made beautiful.
You may not have published a book,
but the words you write will have an eternal impact on those who read them.
You may not sing,
but your voice echoes a unique melody just waiting to be heard.
You may not be a stay-at-home mom,
but you are making art as you give of your talents every day to help provide for your family.

Uncovering the art you were born to live takes desire, passion and bravery. Releasing the art you were made to live takes courage to continue to pursue it, despite fear, rejection and misunderstanding.

As the poetry of God, all our hands make a different kind of art and we create with our successes and our failures, our talents and our shortcomings, our instruments and our yard rates, our numbers and our calloused hands.  Nothing is off-limits.  – A Million Little Ways

As this is the last post in my series on Becoming Living Art, I would like to share the Artist’s Manifesto from Emily’s book, A Million Little Ways.  May it be a blessing to you!

Artist’s Manifesto

We are the mothers, the lovers, the nighttime storytellers.
We are the hopers, the fathers the harmonizers.
We are the visionaries, the silent supporters, the leaders and the background singers.

We are the servants, the musicians, and the politicians; the waiters, the washers, and the obstetricians.
We are the thinkers and we are the believers.

We are the dust and the brushstroke, the poets and the poetry, the weak empowered, the broken made whole.
We are the mirrors of God on the earth, the megaphones of glory, the hands and eyes and hearts of heaven.

We are grieved but not hopeless, brought from darkness into light, given a new name, a new future,
a new power alive within us.

God is the Artist and he has made us.
We are his poem and we will make art.

Emily Freeman, A Million Little Ways

Thank you for allowing me to share my insight and revelation as I’ve processed through this  book. If you haven’t already read it, I would highly recommend that you do.  I hope to have a button on my sidebar soon with all of the posts in this series for easy reference.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Beth
    May 26, 2014 at 11:10 am

    As always, your place here looks beautiful! Love the warmth that is found when I come to visit. This has been such a lovely series, Barbie. You have shared your heart beautifully and encouraged me greatly in sharing my own art. Love you so much. xoxo
    Beth recently posted..Memorial Day

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 26, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Thank you for coming along with me on this journey! Hugs!

  • Reply
    Mary Geisen
    May 26, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I have loved this series and as I have told you before the book will be part of my summer reading. The line “A heart yielded to God will move with Him, not against Him” is a beautiful illustration of what saying “yes” is all about. Thank you for pouring out your heart through the words of this book and your own reflections. Blessings, Mary
    PS I love the new look! You are amazing!
    Mary Geisen recently posted..Soul Searching

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 28, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      Thank you Mary. Your support and encouragement on this journey has been truly life giving. Hugs!

  • Reply
    Dolly@Soulstops
    May 27, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Barbie,
    That Steven Pressfield quote really hit home for me…and I loved Emily’s book…Thank you for sharing your art with us 🙂
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted..How you can do small things with great love

    • Reply
      Barbie
      May 28, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      Thank you for stopping by Dolly!

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