"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19
Lots of new beginnings for me lately - a fresh start on getting healthy, a new opportunity to serve, new church, new friends. And a new beginning to a dream.
Several months ago I contacted an online friend to see if we could spend some time together talking about how to go about getting started in the business side of the art world. I had been playing with my art for a couple of years, painting, mixed media, collage, assemblage. It was a wonderful thing to add to my life during this middle age. So much so that I dreamed of being able to one day quit my regular job and do nothing but art full time . Truly that would be a dream come true. So anyway, in talking to this wise woman, her first suggestion to me was to pray and ask God if this is something He wants for my life. Of course, I agreed, remembering that my usual modus operandi is to plow through and ask God to bless my efforts. So I prayed, fully expecting God to give His blessing, because after all, it was something that was good and brought me joy. But God in His infinite wisdom told me no. But even then, I sensed that the answer was really not now. I had to wait.
Then about a month ago, when I was full of the hope and possibility of going to Haiti, my art returned. I've been art journaling, trying to get back into it and then started painting. I feel a new freedom in my painting. It's just all coming together so effortlessly. I believe God is giving my art back to me now and is fully blessing my endeavor to set up shop online and has even provided a couple of 'in-store" possibilities. And even better, He has given me a purpose in my art ~ to help support our church's mission in Haiti with Global Orphan Project.
I've been struggling with trying to find a name for my shop, for my label. All of my old ideas seemed to fall flat, not really describing who I am or what I want to do. So I woke up the other morning and just asked Him, "What name should I use? What would best represent what I'll be doing?" And the answer came:
"Visions of Grace"
And so it begins....
P.S. Thank you Jane for your sage advice. You are a gem!
My heart is so full and happy right now. I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be at this time in my life. And that feels good.
I think about Haiti and the orphanage in Gonaives every day. Praying for them. Trying to find the part of me that I can bring to them, hoping to bring a part of them home with me. I think Haiti will plant itself in my heart in a way that I can't even imagine now. I'm so grateful for this opportunity. And found out yesterday that there will be many more opportunities to go over the next 3 years so I'm already trying to figure out a way to go back.
Travel preparations are underway. I'm expecting my passport to arrive any day now. I saw my doctor today and got my first Hep A vaccine, a prescription for malaria meds and something to help me stay calm on the plane. Still need to pick up a decent backpack and a good pair of walking sandals.
Several months ago I felt like God was telling me to put my painting aside, to lay down my art for a season. And I did. But this week I am feeling so inspired and the creativity is just pouring out of me. I've done two paintings in two days and that makes me so happy! Maybe I'll post pictures tomorrow.
I've reconnected with some old friends lately. It makes me happy but sure stirs up some confusing feelings. There are a couple I want to be more connected with but seems they don't necessarily feel the same. That part makes me sad but just knowing they are still out there gives me hope.
I'm going to Haiti in September. I'm so excited and grateful for the opportunity but also feeling a little fearful. Not about going but about what this trip will do to my heart. I know it won't be easy to see the extreme poverty and the orphaned children. I'm trying to prepare myself but I have a feeling no matter what I do, I won't be prepared.
I'm working on getting in better physical shape. I went to Longview Lake today and walked on the trails there for over an hour. I was so hot and so tired but it feels so good to be active again.
I'm ready to wind this day down and bring it to a close.