I want to offer you my whole heart.  Really, I do.  Sometimes, though, I am afraid.  I am afraid of what you might think.  What if I told you that I want to be an artist?  Not just an artisan of words, but one who captures her world with a paintbrush, a camera, and lots of glue?  An artist who boldly brushes her faith across the canvas for all to see?

I  push open the familiar heavy wood framed doors to Barnes and Noble and instantly sink into a state of calm.  Surrounded by shelves of books and the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee,  I  feel at home.  Sometimes I order my non-fat chai tea latte and get straight to my journal, pouring my thoughts across the page in black ink.  Over the past several years, though, I find myself returning to same section of books and magazines, over and over again.  Interior Decorating and Crafts.  I feel giddy looking at the colorful photos of homes bearing  their owners’ creative spirits.  Artists who make their own homes their canvas.   I move onto the Somerset Publications – mixed-media art, artful blogging, journal spilling.  These women behind those art-filled pages?  They are kindred spirits.

And then, I hear my inner critic talking to me.  You can’t create art.  You don’t even have a background in art!  Use your time for something worthwhile.  Play it safe.  Well, I guess I’ve played it safe for long enough now.  That little girl inside me, the one who dances and embraces life?  She wants to make art and she wants to do it now! I am doing my best to honor her intentions, but  I will tell you, it is not always easy.  For a girl who has lived a lifetime playing it safe, maybe sticking a toe in here and there, allowing myself to dive right-in, to create a feeling instead of perfection, is like lumbering through mud at times.  I want to go back to that cozy chair with my ink pen and lined paper and stay there.

I keep putting-on my boots, though, and lately, I’ve found it a little easier to keep moving.  Not only does my step feel a bit lighter, but so does my heart.  Is this how it feels to live with a whole heart?  Pushing through fear to reach hope and freedom?  I can choose to offer you parts of my heart and play it safe.  Or I can choose to give you my whole heart with all its glorious mess and God-sized dreams.  Which would God choose for me?  I think I already know the answer.  I need to go make some art.

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