Category Archives: INSPIRATION

Creating Reminders of Love

 

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When I consider what Christmas is all about, what all of the running around and stressing out over gifts, and food, and lost time, I realize when it comes down to the nitty gritty – it’s all about LOVE.

It began with the unconditional and sacrificial love of God and continued into what we “practice” today. Yes, Christmas has become quite commercialized and many don’t recognize any longer where it all began, but one thing that hasn’t been lost is that it is still rooted in love.

Why do we do what we do every Christmas season?

Because of love.

I’m particularly drawn to creating things that are both functional and beautiful as well as show my love for the recipients of my gifts. This year I took on this amazing project that came into my life at my last birthday. I was amazed at just how much I use this great little hot pad – who woulda thunk it? Thanks Lucy!

So, I took it and made it my own by choosing fabric I love and creating a little reminder of the gift that they have already received. Shhh, don’t tell my family!  It’s a secret!

Would you like to see how this project was made?  Today on Creative Faith, I have a post on the process with a printable  project page. Hop on over and check it out!

-lisa

Creative Faith

The Blank Page Syndrome

 

Have you ever felt frozen in place? You know what you want to do but you have absolutely no idea where to begin?

That is called the blank page syndrome.

This is very common to writers and artists, but I think that it can be something that occurs with just about everyone. –You need to start getting things together for the holidays, but you have no idea where to begin. The job seems insurmountable and taking that first step improbable, if not impossible. The task feels beyond what you are capable of, or even simply what you want to be capable of. After all, who relishes all of that dusting and washing of floors, let alone shopping for both gifts, and the fabulous banquet you promised your family? Ugh.

Like an artist staring at a white canvas, you simply don’t know where to begin.

Like I tell my students, you simply need to put brush to canvas. Do anything. Start anywhere. Make a mark, dot, word, stroke, or even paint the entire background one color…but definitely, make it a color you like.

This translates to just about every task you can think of. Even grocery shopping. Do you like eating desserts? Start at the bakery making a list of things you would like to serve at your meal. Even if you plan on making everything yourself, you can find a plethora of ideas there. And it is always fun trying out the samplesJ. Once you get started, the ideas will start rolling in, and before you know it the job is done, or well on its way at least.

The blank page syndrome is often linked to a fear of making a mistake.

Most artists and writers want perfection. They focus so deeply on having the perfect words or the perfect picture that they sit frozen in place just deciding what that is. Like all of us, they want to take the fewest steps to the best outcome.  Honestly, I can’t blame them.  But what would happen if we let go of perfect and just let the canvas surprise us?

Words can be edited.

Pictures can be painted over.

Desserts can be eaten and remade – yes!

The flow of creativity usually begins once you are in motion. When I sit down to create something, whether it is a picture, a story, or a post, I rarely know what that is going to look like.  I may have a vague impression or a word or idea that has been floating around, but it isn’t until I start tapping the keyboard or dipping my brush in the paint that my muse decides to show up.

I don’t know what your canvas is today, be it cleaning the house, or starting an art journal, but do yourself a favor and let go of perfect. Dip your brush in something colorful. Write the first sentence, even if you will ultimately change it. Pick up that dust rag and get to work. I guarantee once you begin, your muse will not want to be left out of the process and will show up with a yawn and a stretch.

Something is waiting to be created in your life today. Won’t you listen to it?

Today on Creative Faith I am featuring a post on mastering the blank page. I will be showing you 3 techniques to get you started on your art journal pages. Even if you have never done that kind of journaling, stop by and check it out…

it might be exactly the push you need to get started.

How to Live as a Kingdom Creative

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Creativity always has been and always will be a huge part of my life.

I began recognizing how I was made by the time I reached five, and I never looked back. I may not have understood what that would ultimately mean for my life or how the “artist” would manifest itself, but I never gave up trying. When I would play dolls with friends, it was all about setting up the house and dressing the dolls. What typically comes after was not something I was especially interested in.  I liked the act of creating a reality for the “characters” we played with. Of forming pleasant surroundings for them to do life. Their setting and how it would affect them was primary to my thought process, and once the stage was set, the remainder of the activity ceased to be attractive. I just wanted to create.

Have you ever dreamed of being creative, but just didn’t know where to start?

Have you looked at a blank canvas, and the surging images that once flowed through your mind simply disappear in a flash of gesso-ed white?

This is the story of most creatives – even the working ones, at times. Our muse decides to take a vacation, and we are left holding the brush so to speak. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

We were all, every one of us, made to be Kingdom Creatives. The ability to manifest reality has been implanted in our DNA. We each simply have a different artistic gift. Discovering what yours is can be as simple as picking up a pen to jot what has appeared in your heart and mind or dipping a brush into a colorful array of paint on a palette.

Or you may instead struggle to understand its reality.

Seeing God in the laundry can be a challenge – but maybe you have managed to form a routine that transcends the everyday. I don’t know what your creative reality looks like, but I am sure that you have one.

When I first sat down to draw the pictures that would eventually become “31 Days of Coloring HOPE”, I did not have any ambitions to publish a coloring book.  But something happened in the midst of the sketching: the Holy Spirit showed up. Words began to manifest within the pictures. Words of hope and life. Words that encourage the reader to look just a little bit deeper. It became an expression of God’s love and Hope to those whom He wanted to reach.

God manifests Himself in the world in infinite ways. He is the air we breathe and the food we eat. He is in trees that grow beside the road, and in the very ground we walk upon. He is all and everywhere, therefore it could be argued that everything we do and are, contains His creative Spirit.

When Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit in scripture, he referred to it as the helper. Acts 1:8- Here’s the knowledge you need: you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. And you will be My witnesses, first here….then beyond.

The Holy Spirit is there to help and to empower you to be that creative you were always meant to be.  To go beyond the common and into the divine. To step out and shine God’s light in the world through powerful means. The things you are unable to do on your own? The Holy Spirit will empower you. {He} will give you the ideas and the abilities required to shine that light into the world around you.  Maybe that means through the use of art, maybe not.  Possibly you will be the conduit to share another’s art, and through it, encourage hope and abundant life.

Yes, you were made to be a Kingdom Creative

Even if you do not aspire to craft great works of art that doesn’t  mean that you can’t impart some of the beauty that the creator endowed you with, each day as you lean into it. Keep a journal, doodle a flower, sing a song. Be a part of the incredible world that God has formed around you.

Engage with it

Learn from it

Embrace it

And aspire to love your art – no matter what that means for you

 

creative-faith-logoComing Dec. 1st, 2016:  A new website filled with inspiration, tutorials, encouragement and classes. Step into the pages of scripture and be the Kingdom Creative you were always meant to be.

  • Learn to shine your light in more creative ways
  • Engage in artful practices that will take even the non-artist to a new level of creativity
  • Be encouraged to see the beauty in your surroundings
  • Experience an artist’s journey through tales of true life faith-filled art.

Sign up now so you don’t miss a thing!

cf-signup

Updates on the unveiling of this new site  will come right to your inbox as they become available.  As a free bonus for signing up, you will receive a 31 Days of Coloring HOPE pdf to download, color, and share with others around you.  Thank you for your interest in  becoming a conduit of light for the Kingdom!

Moving forward

write-31-days-buttonWhen I originally sat down to start drawing the pictures that eventually became 31 days of coloring HOPE, I had no idea it would become a book. The process of creating has always been just something that I did in the extra moments of my day. But as the pictures began to appear on the page, and the words with them, I knew that it would not be something that I could keep to myself.

This world needs HOPE

It needs to see that even in the midst of the chaos that is increasingly the norm, there is something there that can be a foundation for us to hold to, that no matter what, that foundation will remain steady while everything around it moves, and changes, and crumbles. That constant is God. He always has been, and always will be. There isn’t anything that will ever change that. And I don’t know about you, but I find that to be a comforting thought. It brings me hope that there is something immovable that loves me –and that too will never change.

Sharing the hope we have, is like giving life to a dying world.

Moving forward in the days to come, I would love to explore with you the ways that we can share this hope, how we might change the world around us with all of the creative things that we have been equipped with.

Now that October is over, and Write31 Days completed, we are back to a more laid back posting experience. Monday’s will bring new thoughts, experiences, and maybe even a couple of giveaways. I hope that you enjoyed the last 31 days of exploring and coloring words of HOPE.

If you are interested in sharing  hope, please visit the book page to purchase a physical copy as well as downloads, bookmarks, postcards or a boxed set of cards to color.

Now for the big winner!  I promised to give away the whole set of cards that were colored for this series of posts by the author – me 🙂

Congratulations: Virginia Cradlebaugh! Thank you for all of your awesome comments and for spending time with me this month. I hope that you will stick around and explore the creative side of faith with us beginning next Monday. You will receive an email from me shortly to set up where to send your cards.

Thank you all for your presence over the last month.  It was an honor to share with you:)

-lisa

3 Attributes of the Truly Wealthy – Write 31:Day 31

generousclick on this picture to download the free pdf

A Generous heart will yield infinitely greater riches than those given. The gift you will receive is far more valuable than anything you could ever desire. {Ecclesiastes 11:1}

I want to be rich

You too?  I thought so. Who doesn’t?

Did you know that you have everything you need to become very wealthy? You came equipped with all that is necessary, a never ending supply of exactly what you need.

Reaching for that goal only requires these 3 things:

a Heart for others

Time to give of yourself

Words of encouragement 

How, you may ask, will those 3 things make me rich, and what do you mean I have a never ending supply?

The kind of wealthy that I am talking about is not the type that fills your pockets and bank accounts with unlimited resources, although that is sometimes a by-product. I am talking about the kind of generosity that is so immensely fulfilling that you can’t help but feel as though you have been given everything you could ever want.

Truly Rich

If you asked anyone who knows me, they would probably tell you that I am generous; with time, talents and even sometimes my resources.  But I often wonder if I am being lavish with the type of open-handedness that God offers? Or instead, am I expecting something in return? A payback maybe?

  • Praise?
  • Recognition?
  • A donation receipt?

It’s not that I think these things are bad. There is nothing wrong with someone being grateful for a ride that you have offered them, or with receiving recognition for going the extra mile at church.  And having those extra deductions at the end of the year? -Definitely helps to our bottom line.

But is that all there is?

Has the receiving become something expected?

I often wonder if my motives are as pure as I would like them to be.  There are almost always kudos as a result of giving, but it all comes down to the expectations that we hold in our hearts as we take up the call to give generously.

Cultivating a generous life takes us from self, and gives us to others. It reminds us of the joy that we can impart and as a result grow the joy within our own hearts. It is the difference between living a full life, and living life full.

Generous living shows the immense love that God has – for us and them. His love becomes real as we offer hope in their circumstance. They see His heart when we speak encouraging words into their life. They will know of His provision when we offer a portion of our own.

The result? For us and them…

Lavish love

Abundant blessing

And a heart teeming with life

You can’t out give God.

I won’t promise that your bank account will grow as your giving does, but I can promise you the abundant wealth of joy, love and all the riches of a life of GENEROSITY.

2generousDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. The winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the GENEROUS picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!

 

 

The Wisdom of the Elves – Write 31:Day 30

listenclick on picture to download the free pdf

If you Listen closely, you can hear the whisper of your soul. That is the voice of God speaking to you. Pay attention – His words are life! {Deuteronomy 13:4}

The world is changed

I feel it in the water

I feel it in the earth

I smell it in the air

Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

Okay – my geek is showing 🙂 I just returned from a Lord of the Rings Marathon, and I am filled with the melodies of its amazing soundtracks. As I thought this morning about what I was going to write for the word LISTEN, Galadriel came most readily to mind. Her prologue into this amazing story is not only haunting, but intuitive., and full of wisdom. (watch the short video clip above if you don’t know what I am talking about – all of you who have managed to avoid the power of the one ring 😉 She listens to the sounds of the earth and the reverberations of her spirit. She listens closely – and therefore sees and hears and feels what many others do not.

Are you listening?

If you listen closely you can hear the whisper of your soul – the murmur of your spirit.

The “voice” of God can manifest itself in so many ways. It can be through the words of a friend or scripture, a particularly memorable dream, or even a great movie or song.

God chooses His delivery creatively through the means that most speak to you.  I am particularly alert in the midst of story and music.  I love to find the deeper meanings hidden within them, draw parallels to my own life and experiences. They are a conduit for me to hear, especially with music, because it is then that my inner ear is most tuned to something beyond the noise happening around me. Sometimes when I need to quiet the talking within, I don some headphones and plug into meaningful music, preferably something without lyrics so that God’s words can enter in between the notes, full and gentle. Caressing my mind and filling my soul.

The prophet Elijah knew this intimately. He was a man prone to highs and lows. Experiencing the presence of God one moment, only to be plunged into fear the next. Does that sound familiar to you at all?  It does me.

There are days that I am so certain of His presence, so sure of His anointing. The highs climb to unfathomable heights. But it doesn’t take much for the enemy to plant a little seed of doubt within me. And sometimes I listen to those as well.

But when I hear the faint whisperings in my heart, like a gentle wind on a mountain top,  I stop and LISTEN. Like Elijah, I look for the presence of God, and when I  hear His whispers, His words of love and presence, HOPE finds a place in my heart.

2listenDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. The winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the LISTEN picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!

When your Mountain Tops look more like a Foothill – Write 31:Day 29

believeclick on this picture to download this free pdf

Sometimes it is difficult to believe, but if you ask for help and truly seek with all your heart, you will see the truth clearly. {Mark 9:24}

I am a writer

I am an artist

I am a creative

I can do this

These are the things that I tell myself every morning.

I have to.

If I don’t, the realities of the day can take me from a place of belief to the pits of skepticism in a blink. Life seems to have a way of eroding my resolve as though it were sand on a shoreline. It is my primary reason for getting up at the butt-crack of dawn; to do the things that are most important to me. They have to be done early. Otherwise, I can almost guarantee they won’t happen.

As daily tasks weary my brain and weaken my resolve, I begin to falter in my belief that I can do what I was created to do.  I’ve been given gifts. You’ve been given gifts. Good and perfect gifts from above. BELIEVE it! These things that we have been gifted with should not be taken lightly. They are what will propel us to great heights – to Mountain Top experiences.

But most days, I feel like I am wandering among the foothills instead, unable to find my way past the rocky outcroppings. Life can keep us in those foothills. It can keep us from seeing a way around the rocks. Our own feelings of inadequacy only serve to keep us there wandering.

But if we believe that we have gifts, if we believe that we were made for greatness, if we only BELIEVE that all things are possible through the Giver of those perfect gifts – then those foothills will break way toward the top, taking us ever higher with each step of faith that we take.

I’m ready. How about you?  

I don’t know what kind of gifts God has given you. Maybe you are a writer or an artist like me? Or possibly He has gifted you with a message, encouragement, hospitality or generosity. Whatever it is that has been placed in your life and on your heart, take hold of it. Cultivate it and find the time to share it with the world.

As your foothills break away toward the sloping path

your belief will flourish

and hope will rise

2believeDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. Winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the BELIEVE picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!