Book study

Of Tears And Dreams: Becoming Living Art – Week 7

LivingArt_Week 7

The art of listening involves so much more than my ears and someone’s voice.  It involves my heart, my mind, will and emotions and it involves paying attention to the world around me as well as how my body reacts to certain things.  After reading Chapter 7 in A Million Little Ways, I have realized that I am still learning to listen.

Listening To My Tears.

I’ve referred to her before, Little Girl Lost.  She’s the one I carried with me most of my life, who never felt she had a voice, a purpose, a destiny, or that anyone cared deeply enough about her to want to help her succeed.  But I am thankful today that she’s been found, this little girl, no longer lost.  But I am still coming into my own.  I am still understanding who it is I was created to be and learning to embrace that which make me come fully alive.

A few years ago, I walked by this painting which was done by a fellow artist at my church.  It caused such a deep stirring in my heart, such deep emotion that all I could do was weep.  I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but after a while I realized I had been weeping for Little Girl Lost as the the image of the young girl on the swing hit me hard.  I don’t remember my daddy or mommy pushing me on a swing.  I am sure they did.  They must have.  But whether they did or didn’t, I realized at that moment that Little Girl Lost had been found by her Heavenly Father, and in that moment He was standing behind me pushing me on the swing.  This painting brought so much healing to my heart.

In that moment, my tears were speaking, and I was coming alive to the hope of a Father in heaven who embraced me as His own, and who would run through a field of wild flowers with me, or push me on a swing.  He is with me and is taking Little Girl Lost on a journey of being found.


Maybe our tears are tiny messengers, secret keepers of the most vulnerable kind, sent to deliver a most important message — Here is where your heart beats strong. Here is a hint to your design.  Here is a gift from your inner life, sent to remind you of those things that make you come alive.  These tears carry the gift of your desire. Listen to them. – A Million Little Ways, pg. 110-11.

I remember that day so vividly.  Yet there haven’t been many days since where the tears have flowed freely.  I think sometimes I put up protective walls around my heart, not allowing myself to feel any emotion, good or bad, so that I won’t have to get in touch with my feelings.

But I’ve been asking. I’ve been asking God to open the flood gates of my heart so that I can fully embrace the emotions that He’s placed inside of me.  I know that He’s given me deep desires.  I know that He’s given me passions.  I know that He’s placed within me a burden for the broken, the imprisoned, the orphan, those who are sick.  “Come, Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours.”

Listening To My Crazy Thoughts.

I have some dreams swirling around in my head and in my heart.  Things I fear to speak out loud. What if I were to fail?  What if these desires are just mine, and God never intended them to be? So I keep them hidden, tucked away in the crevice of my heart.  Only God knows they are there, these crazy thoughts and ideas which may die with me should I not get the courage to step out.

Over the years, that dream may have taken on different names in your mind:  Silly. Ridiculous. Hobby. Foolish. Impossible. Waste of time.  You have called it names for so long that perhaps you have never actually taken the time to consider how it got there in your pocket in the first place.   We throw trash away; we don’t put trash in our pockets.  Your dream is there because at one time you saw its value.  And so you tucked it away for safekeeping.  But doubt and fear have convinced you to keep it hidden, convinced you to rename that dream Wrong. – A Million Little Ways, pg. 120.

Today, I’m asking Him to uncover the deep movement of my heart.  I don’t want to be numb to the pain of this world.  I don’t want to bury my own pain, my own passionate desires so deep that I am no longer moved.  I want Jesus to come and overwhelm me with His love so much that I cannot contain my emotions.  And then I want Him to allow the tears to flow, for in them is healing.

Today, I’m asking Him to help me to begin to pursue the crazy thoughts in my head and heart.  I am asking Him to give me the faith to believe that my desires are actually His desires, and that He will give me the desires of my heart as I lean in and trust Him.

What are you asking Him to do for you today?  What is it that moves you to tears?  What is one crazy dream you have?  I would love for you to share in the comments below.

*photo credit: -Reji via photopin cc

Artist brushes with a half finished painted color canvas

This is the seventh post in a series entitled Becoming Living Art. Each Monday I will share what God has revealed to my own heart while reading through Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways: Uncover The Art You Were Made To Live.  I was not paid in any way for my thoughts or quotes.  I would highly recommend you read the book.  It’s really good!

16 thoughts on “Of Tears And Dreams: Becoming Living Art – Week 7”

  1. Amy Jung says:

    I love the idea of our tears pointing us to our God-given passions. This is such a great post. Thank you for sharing all that your getting out of this book. I’m still trying to figure it out, but I long to write a book based on my experiences and using what I’ve learned through theology and counseling classes. Still following His lead–waiting and paying attention to the tears! I feel I’m closer than ever. I suppose that we sense getting closer as you take baby steps toward those passions. Even if those steps are mistakes or need tweeking. What an exciting journey. It seems to me that you are already living out so many of your passions through art and writing. I hope you sense that!
    Amy Jung recently posted..He is Risen! Alleluia!

    1. Barbie says:

      Oh Amy, how exciting about your dream of a book. Yes, God has perfect timing. And thank you for your encouragement. It means so much to me!

  2. Cynthia says:

    I will definitely purchase this book, in the future. I am enjoying your journey. Maybe, your thoughts and desires are not so crazy. Maybe, the Lord has given them to you. When I am unsure of my mind and heart, I think of James 1:5–If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. Keep this Scripture in your heart. Many blessings to you!
    Cynthia recently posted..Scars and Blessings~

    1. Barbie says:

      Thank you for your encouragement Cynthia! You are a treasure!

  3. Denise says:


    1. Barbie says:

      Thank you Denise!

  4. Diana Denis says:

    I love that God speaks to us in our love language and He uses things beautiful things, like that painting to bring us wherever it is He wants us to go. I thoroughly appreciate your transparency here.

    P.S. When I feel myself shrinking back I think of Joshua and I push myself to pray big, audacious, “sun stand still” prayers. Praying for you, my friend and sending you lots of love!
    Diana Denis recently posted..I CHOOSE JOY

    1. Barbie says:

      Thank you so much Diana! Blessings!

  5. Mary Geisen says:

    Wow! I felt everyone of your emotions and the questions you ask are also questions that I ask. Your openness throughout this series reviewing the book has been a journey that I feel is bringing healing to you. I love watching how you are growing! I still need to read A Million Little Ways. Oh my friend, I will and I will be running to you to talk about your thoughts and mine. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Mary Geisen recently posted..Coffee Cravings-New Life

    1. Barbie says:

      Oh Mary, I hope so. Thank you for your encouragement along the way!

    1. Barbie says:

      So thankful you stopped by today Melody!

  6. Beth says:

    I really must read this book and I really must share a cup of coffee with you soon. I don’t even know where to begin in terms of how much I can relate to your heart here. Instead I will simply say thank you for your willingness to open up your heart to us. Your words ALWAYS inspire and encourage and have me wanting more and more of Him. Love you.
    Beth recently posted..Three Word Wednesday: Love Dare Challenge

  7. ginanorma says:

    It’s all all ALL about becoming WHOLE and our tears are a huge part of that. Some seasons have a million nonstop tears and other seasons not many fall from our faces. We all ought to be wise enough to listen to the inner voice within so we can heal, so we can become more like our Lord.


  8. Jolene Underwood (@Faith_Eyes) says:

    Love this post Barbie! I can relate so much. Even after saying yes, quite frankly to something that totally took me by surprise, I still have dreams that I want to seek out but not if they aren’t for His glory & within His will. Oh that we may seek Him in our journeys & bravely step out when He leads us! I look forward to reading more of your journey.
    Jolene Underwood (@Faith_Eyes) recently posted..Thoughts on #inRL, community & knowing loneliness

  9. Sarah says:

    This is so good Barbie. Like you, I don’t remember much of my childhood. And that’s lead to an adult life full of confusion. I’ve never had that one “dream”, the thing I knew I was meant to do. I’ve sort of bobbed along here and there trying to figure out what my gifts are and what it is He’s called me to do. There is definitely fear in stepping out & pursuing something I think He’s asked me to do. What if I just made it all up? What if I’m on the wrong path? I guess it comes down to having faith and trusting Him to guide our steps. I so relate to everything you’ve shared in this series Barbie. Keep writing. Keep sharing sister.
    Sarah recently posted..Learning to See

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