Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sharing the paintbox

I never considered myself to be talented although I had my dreams.

I tried pottery--ended up with lopsided bowls. I took two years of piano and quit after the teacher wanted to talk more about her marriage than the scales. I tried ice skating but my ankles didn't quite understand their role. And singing, well, I learned how to be a stage hand for my senior high musical right after tryouts.

Someone mentioned to me this week about our lives being like a canvas--a canvas for God to use. Of course, I started to think again about my lack of talent in art--but for only a moment.

Because writing is my canvas.

I write for both Christian markets and secular and I think that works fine. But as with any skill or talent, it takes hours of practice. But it also means giving over my canvas to God to see what picture He will paint with my life.

Not always easy.

Sometimes I like to do my own thing--send out an article before it's ready . . . query an agent before my work is professional . . .

I don't know if I'm meant to publish a book, write short stories, or maybe learn how to do devotionals. But when I hand over my paint brush to the One who does--I finally get to live my dream.

Have you turned over your canvas yet?


Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Every morning my writing prayer is that God will give me the wisdom and the words that He would have me write. He provides the skills and tools (canvas, paints, etc.) and guides my mind and hands as my stories are created.

Patty H. said...

RYC on my blog. lol! I wouldn't consider my life to be cozy.
My devo this morning was on the talents God has given us and we need to use them. I haven't a clue what my talent is. I feel I have nothing to offer. But I know He knows otherwise, praying He will show me.

Janna Qualman said...

I've certainly tried, and it seems He's in control much of the time. With my first manuscript He was right there, guiding my every thought as it worked its way to paper. The words and flow were mine, but the culmination all came from Him. That said, I could still give Him the reins more than I do, particularly on the smaller projects.

Jessica said...

I think I have. :-)

Your second paragraph, btw, is hilarious.

MichaƩle said...

I often think I'm not meant to write. Life with kids and work is so busy that it is a stress instead of a joy to write sometimes. But then I realize that I have to work secondary only to decisions I have made and that paring down my life could mean paring down work and more time to write. I hand that over to Him every day.

Pat's Place said...

My work on a canvas takes hours and hours of WORK before I stand back and begin to declare it finished. Beginning is the hardest part. I have a terrible time with the beginnings of paintings because they look like a mess. However, brush stroke by brush stroke over days and days of work, they take shape and eventually become a picture. I think art is 95% work and maybe 2% talent and 3% luck! I guess the same is true of any "art" that we practice!

Yolanda said...

I could so relate to this!

I just pulled out the canvas this very morning!


Melissa Marsh said...

Great question, Terri. I think I still need to turn over my canvas to God, COMPLETELY. I know that when I wrote my first inspirational novel, it was because I finally surrendered to God's voice telling me that I NEEDED to write it. I have never felt so strongly about a project. When I finally said, "Ok, ok, I'll write it" the voice seemed satisfied and no longer kept tapping my shoulder. It was an amazing book to write, one that deepened me spiritually as well as deepened my writing craft.

Barbara said...

God is continually guiding my hand and inspiring me. It's so exciting to be in partnership with Him.

Kasie West said...

I try to. I feel inspired often. There were things I knew about the setting of my book that I found out later were spot on, I knew that didn't come from my knowledge. I think as long as my life is in order and in line with His will, then my writing will follow.

AnooCre8ion said...

I do believe that I have turned over my 'canvas' to Him. In seeking God fervently over the last two years I am completely convinced of my calling.

I have found however that anytime I am not in full communion with God, not reading and studying the word and not praying, then I have nothing to say. Whenever I am in close fellowship with God, I write a lot of poetry and I have a lot to write for devotionals.

I realise that I have truly come to the place where 'apart from Him I can do nothing.'

I just want to be used of Him.


Renee Collins said...

I really, really want to. Trouble is, sometimes it's hard for me to be able to differentiate between my will and God's. Although, I suppose if I am willing, He will show me the way, even if I don't realize it.

Robin Lambright said...

Ya know, my thoughts on turning over the canvas to God have more to do with my obedience.

I can say I have turned it over to him but if I am not obedient when He tells me to pick up my pen (or power up the laptop) then it is all for naught.

I have tried to be responsive to the thoughts and leading that He places before me.

There are many times when I have not been obedient and have allowed a thought or spark of an idea fade and then sadly it never is placed down on paper.

I do find that the more I practice writing the easier it becomes to seize the moments or thoughts or whatever He places before me and get it down on paper.

My favorite times are when God so strongly compels me to “Write It DOWN! NOW!!!” that it just comes pouring out of my finger tips on to the key board. I love it when that happens.

Leaders In Learning said...

As an amatuer painter myself who aspires to be more, I appreciate art. This post painted for me, better than a picture. Thank you for the reminder that it is not only our hand on the brush.