Walking on Water

waves

I didn’t learn to swim until I was 34 years old. One month to the day before I competed in my first triathlon. I do well under pressure. Most of the time.

Now, instead of swimming. I’m walking. On water. And it is probably the first time ever in my life I have not tried to figure out what the heck I’m doing and why. I am enjoying the scenery as long as I keep my eyes off the waves.

Soul Graffiti Art Studio opened for business in late October 2013. I didn’t have tables or chairs until 3 days before the first class. Pressure, yet again.

Sometimes I feel like I’m gonna crack or fail or sink under the waves. I hold my breath. Or take shallow breaths until I realize my chest feels tight. Remember that word, pressure? Yes. And when I feel that way, I know it’s time to pause. Center myself and ask me a series of questions:

1) Who do you belong to? (the who)

2) What is your calling/purpose? (the calling)

3) Where are you headed? (the vision)

4) What is your part? (the obedience)

5) What do you need to let go of right now? (God’s part)

These questions help me keep my eyes off the waves and on the One who “gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord of hosts is his name” (Jeremiah 31:35).

And most often, I lose balance and shift from my center when I try to do HIS job. I can’t control the waves. But, He can. What is my part? What is your part?

Tonight, I am resting well. Resting because I’ve done my part. Now, while I sleep the Lord never slumbers. He’s got my back. And yours.

When Art Stands Still: Day 22 of 31 Days of 2013

LegoSandC

Yesterday, Branch Academy took a field trip to Graham, NC and enjoyed The Art of the Brick hosted by the Alamance County Arts Council. It was amazing. Simply amazing. I felt like an 8-year-old for an hour while we savored LEGO art by Nathan Sawaya. You can find him on Facebook. He is known as the Brick Artist.

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I had so many take aways from our field trip. In some ways, I truly wonder if it was a field trip for me. I am learning that ART is everywhere. The lens of my God-given cameras, my eyes, are constantly being fed beautiful and moving creations. All I have to do is keep my eyes open.

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I have to stop and ask myself the question, why are they just now opening after so many years of dormancy?

I don’t know. And the best part, I don’t have to figure it all out.

I can just enjoy it.

Take it in.

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Savor the beauty.

So for now, I am standing still. Taking it all in. Savoring all the nuances of the world around me. My eyes are wide open. I can’t even begin to catch up.

I try to capture all that God is revealing to me, but it’s like trying to catch the rain. More keeps coming. I can’t possibly catch it all.

Live and give.

Open and release.

Let go and surrender.

There will always be beauty to savor. If your eyes are open…

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When Art Moves: Day 21 of 31 Days of 2013

callievolleyball

 

“When Art Moves”

Her eyes are on fire. She sees something.

Her body follows what her eyes see.

Her desire is palpable and contagious.

I have a hard time staying in my role as coach.

Her mama wants to watch her in her element.

Creating art with her body.

Her coach stays a little distant…her mama tries not to reveal her secret.

Her secret. Her passion. Her God given desire.

Sometimes art moves. When it does it affects all those around you.

You can’t help but catch the fire, the passion, the spirit.

It’s radiant. You know you are seeing Light.

She shared with me after the first practice. I will never forget it.

“Mom, I think I found something God made me for…volleyball.”

When art moves, it energizes.

It mobilizes.

It calls.

It changes the world.

One serve, one pass, one set, one kill at a time.

What is moving you? It just may be what the Artist of the Universe made you for.

Listen closely. Lean in. Don’t sit on the bench.

Play as if your whole like depended upon it.

Because it does.

We need you to be you.

The world needs you.

Play today.

We’re watching and waiting for your next masterpiece.

Following the Art in Your Heart: Day 20 of 31 Days of 2013

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Today is a very special day. One year ago, we embarked on a journey that has taken us places I never thought I would go. I have done things and seen things I never thought I would get the opportunity to do and see.

One year ago today, we followed our hearts and unexpectedly stumbled upon art.

Branch Academy opened on October 22, 2012. It is an academy of learning with an emphasis on the arts and all things sparkly and full of Light.

One year ago, I was very stressed out. Scatter brained. I felt torn in many directions with little focus. I was constantly telling my children to hurry up. Always jumping in the car to drive somewhere. Spending precious family time working on homework.

Today, I am living differently. I am more peaceful. I have less anxiety. I watch my kids play, learn, and create. I play, learn, and create with them. It is a unique life we live. But, it is a choice that works for us.

As we celebrate one year of academic learning at the Branch Academy, I am in awe of how different our lives are. We are living art every day.

Callie and Sean, 

You will find many places to land as you follow the Spirit.
Create art with your life.
Help others reach for the stars.
Give with the knowing that there is always more.
Fear is your friend, not your enemy. 
Learn to use it well.
When you succeed, and you will, don’t stop.
There will be more to learn, more to give, and more Light to share.
Always question things.
Never stop wondering while you wander.

I will always listen to you, learn from you, and love you. 
You have been my best teacher. 
Keep teaching me about the world and our God. 
Always, a life well lived is the best art.

 

 

Wherever You Play, Let Your Art Shine: Day 19 of 31 Days of 2013

I love watching my children play sports. They play with curiosity, energy, and passion. I could learn a thing or two from them.

Wherever and whenever you play, let your art shine.

PicMonkey Collage

Art Starts With a Few “Boundaries”: Day 18 of 31 Days of 2013

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When you attend a class at Soul Graffiti Art Studio, you will encounter a few boundaries:

1. No comparisons.

2. No “I can’t”.

3. I CAN.

That is all. Show up and create. Be yourself, not a 2nd or 3rd rate version of someone else. You have a lot to offer. Soul Graffiti is a place for you to do just that.

Hope to see you there soon! You will be celebrated for being you. Just the way God intended.

xoxo

Art Happens When You Show up: Day 17 of 31 Days of 2013

opening night group opening night mom and daughter

Opening night at Soul Graffiti Art Studio was amazing. Not because of anything we created, but because of barriers we plowed through.

I am so proud of the women who showed up. Who made it happen. Who created beautiful masterpieces.

We connected. We created. A new community of artists is blooming. 

My soul is happy. I pray that you keep showing up and making art. Whatever you art looks like. Keep at it. Don’t let the naysayers and the inner critic keep you from showing up and getting the work done.

Things don’t happen over night. They happen over many nights. One more night. That’s all I’m asking. Keep showing up.

xoxo

Art is Always Passionate: Day 16 of 31 Days of 2013

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What is the opposite of passion?

I would say apathy. 

Apathy, when you just aren’t interested or concerned, is the opposite of passion to me.

My friend Google produced these synonyms of apathy: indifference, lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm, lack of concern, unresponsiveness, impassivity, dispassion, lethargy, etc.

Those words put fear in me.

Merriam Webster tells me apathy means to have a lack of feeling or emotion, a lack of concern or to be indifferent.

To be passionate is not to be indifferent.

Passionate means a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

I really like what wikipedia says about passion:

“Passion (from the Latin verb pati meaning to suffer) is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling , enthusiasm, or desire for anything.”

Wow, from the Latin verb ‘pati’ meaning to suffer!

This sums it up, friends.

I lived many years suffering in apathy. Because I wasn’t listening to my heart. The Spirit leading me into wide open spaces. I was playing it safe.

I am choosing to suffer now in a different way. To suffer, to be compelled, to accept the call to step into something unknown, but freeing.

What about you?
What is your art?
What is the Spirit leading you to do?
Where do you feel led to go?

It’s time to suffer for more than apathy. Stop playing it safe in the land of mediocre. I’d rather be full of life and passion and fail miserably than to live the rest of my days suffering in apathy.

What about you?

xoxo

Art is About Finding A Place to Land: Day 15 of 31 Days of 2013

colorful

It all feels very weird…to listen and obey.

Yes, I know. I’ve listened and obeyed before.

But. It’s different this time.

I can’t explain it. I don’t have to explain it. I don’t want to explain it.

A huge lie I believe is that I have to have it all figured out. All the time.

EXHAUSTING.

Well, I don’t have it all figured out.

But. He does.

So, I am obeying by faith. Stepping out.

Am I scared? Yep.

Am I alone? Nope.

He is with you. You are with me.

I am praying for us! For God to awaken the artists in all of us. For us to reflect His glory!

Soul Graffiti is a place to land. A place to create. A place to believe in who He made you to be!

Come join us by liking the Soul Graffiti Art Studio Facebook page.

I hope to see you very soon!

xoxo

Art is a Love Language: Day 14 of 31 Days of 2013

You know those moments in life that emotionally move you, take your breath away, or cause you to pause and soak it all up?

Like those times you have been moved to tears and you don’t have a clue why you’re crying? But instead of trying to stop or mask the tears, you just let them flow…

What about when you hug your sleeping son and you can’t take in enough of his sweet smell so you nestle your nose in the crook of his warm neck, inhale deep and pray you never forget what he smells like? Instead of worrying about waking him up, you do it anyway…

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Or when you watch daughter dance to the beat of music you can’t hear, but you know it’s playing loud and clear for her. Instead of going on with the business of the day, you pause by her door and soak it up until she catches you watching her and says “Mommmmmm!!”…

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Another would be when you are doing what you love….just love. And you get so caught up in what you are creating that you lose track of time. It’s dark and you haven’t eaten dinner. Instead of stopping, you keep the masterpiece moving and flowing…

What about those moments? Have you had one lately? I believe art is a love language all its own. I believe instead of capturing or understanding these artful moments, we need to just let them be. Let them flow. Rest there. Don’t try to figure it all out.

Art is not meant to be figured out. It is meant to be.