Up and dressed much earlier than usual, my boy and girl perch themselves on the front steps 45-minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. It is the first day of a new school year and they are ready to get on with the transition.  Taking advantage of the extra-time on this particular morning, I get a little creative with my first-day back photo (hence, the chalkboards)  and then sit-down next to their squirmy little bodies and try to make the wait easier by reading aloud a Berenstein Bears book.  After hearing the stop and start of middle-school buses making their way through the neighborhood and anxiously watching neighbors drive away in route to daycare and work, we finally see our little yellow bus  round the corner.  I walk my boy and girl out to the mailbox and watch them climb onto the bus together for the very first-time.  While my boy is not so sure about this new transition, my girl is over-the-moon about attending the same school as her big brother this year.  Tears brimming, I wave good-bye and remind myself that my new work is waiting for me to show-up.

Last Spring, I began to uncover this need to create art, both in writing and mixed-media work.  In the process of peeling away the layers of self-doubt and opening myself to this calling, I discovered a calmer, more full-filled me. It seemed that just as I unearthed this “new” me, summer arrived, which meant writing and art would need to be put on the back burner while I returned to my role as full-time mom for the summer months.  I tried my best to weave writing and art into the daily rhythms of  my family throughout the summer, writing a blog post here and there in the evenings and planning art projects to do with my boy and girl.  These activities did add a new dimension to the summer days built around swimming lessons, summer school/camp, tutoring, recorder lessons and trips to the library.  And, while I believe that shaping the souls of our children is an art in itself,  I found myself eagerly awaiting the arrival of that little yellow bus, just as my boy and girl did on this first day of school.  All summer, I had been squelching my craving for longer periods of uninterrupted time in which I can show-up at the computer and/or the art table, for the sole purpose of creating whatever it is that God whispers to my heart.

In her book, The Creative Call, Janice Elsheimer, states that “in order to practice our art – to breathe out what God wants to express through the talents he has given us – we must become servants to the work. Servants do; servants act.”  In essence, when we set-aside the time, show-up and do whatever it is we are called to do, even on the days when we feel uninspired, God will be there to take it to the next level.  This seems to be true for the creation of any work of art, whether it be raising our children, taking care of our homes, cooking meals, writing and yes, creating “real” art, don’t you think?  I thank God for the gift of this time to create.  And as I commit myself to showing-up to my work in the coming months, I pray that God will use my words and my art to breath out what he wants to express through me.

The artist must be obedient to the work…Each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius or something very small, comes to the artist and says ‘Here I am.  Enflesh me.  Give birth to me.’

-Madeleine L’Engle