Back Home

This past weekend we had our grandson James stay with us without his parents. He's almost two years old and is now talking pretty well. We couldn't wait to enjoy his presence and have him experience our love one-on-one. What we did not anticipate was him missing his parents.

As we drove away with him in the car from our meet-up place in Charlottesville, VA, he said with a sad, soft voice, "Back Home... back home." We weren't that alarmed since we thought  he would get used to being away from his parents once we got him to our house. We figured he would remember the fun times he's had with us there. I wish I could say that was the case, but it wasn't. James is a very well behaved, smart, articulate, physically active boy who knew he missed his Mom and Dad. During his stay with us he had a painting session with me, rode a tractor, played with gravel, shovel and pail, visited his aunts and uncles down the road, sat in a speedway car, rode a mechanical children's car, saw some amazing parrots, played with lots of toy cars, had several books read to him over and over again. He ate at Chipotle and Sweet Frog and listened to songs we sang about him and his visit. And despite all these fun things... he would softly say in the most heartfelt voice when anything reminded him of his parents or the fact they were not with him, "Back home... back home" He wanted to go home. It broke my heart!

During the three and a half car ride back to Charlottesville, something broke in me and I began to feel the weightiness of what James was saying in those two words... back home. He had been separated from his Dad and Mom. He felt the loss of their presence and nothing else could take their place. He just wanted to be back where they were. To him, home meant being where they were. Not so much the physical house, but being with his Dad and Mom was being home. As my heart felt the gravity of James's simple heart cry for his parents, I gently heard the Father's voice say to me, "One day you will say those same words as I get ready to bring you home. You will know that's all you've ever wanted... to be with Me. All the activities and excitement of this world cannot compare with being with Me. You will know it as James knows now that all he wants is to be with his parents... with his Daddy." When I heard I heard this spoken to my heart by God, I began to cry tears of joy and sadness... tears of love for James and love for God. I was so grateful that He had allowed me to feel the depth of this reality. I cannot forget James's words... the way he said them.... softly and sadly, with yearning to be with his parents again.

We are told that unless we become as a child, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God. I think it's because only the heart of a child knows how important the love of their Daddy is. Their whole world is about their Dad and Mom. James knows he is loved and it was such a blessing to see him as he smiled and reached up to his Mom and Dad when he saw them. He was hugged and kissed and then he was internally free to be happy, explore and enjoy the rest of his day. Isn't that the way it is with us? When we know we are loved and we feel that love from Father God we are free to be all that we are created to be. I want to be like James... like a child, so aware of God's love and His presence. I don't want to get so distracted and concerned with this world that I lose touch with the one thing that really matters...being home.  Home is where the heart is. I want my heart to feel so at home with God that nothing else matters except being with Him. Thank you James for showing your Nana what love really looks like. I thought I was going to teach you how to paint but you showed me how to be loved. And in the end whether we  are painting or working hard at our jobs, only love really matters or remains.

Remember to talk to your Heavenly Father and let Him know that you want to be where He is... let Him love you. He's always loving you. Sometimes we just need to reach up our arms and let Him in.

From Captivity To Creativity

Captivity, noun, the state or period of being held, imprisoned, enslaved, or confined. 

How does one go from a place of captivity or fear to a place of creativity or freedom? As I write this blog, I'm reminded of a recent type of imprisonment I experienced at a part-time job. I didn't realize until I was hired and attempting to learn the job that I felt oppressed, imprisoned and fearful. The demands of the job were beyond my grasp and as hard as I tried to master the job, I always fell short. The harder I tried, the more I just didn't measure up. I had taken the job because of a financial need. In retrospect I believe God wanted me to trust Him for the provision we needed. Instead, I jumped into a job that I was unable to master. The more progress I made in learning the job, the more I was required to learn. I finally gave up and gave my notice. I stayed until a replacement could be found.

During my stay at this job I learned a great deal about what God created me to do and what he did not create me to do. In order to fully thrive and walk in freedom, it's important to know what freedom looks like. Sometimes God lets you experience what captivity or imprisonment looks like to understand freedom and creativity.  As a creative person, it's important for me to be free to create my own schedule and have the freedom to say yes or no to an assignment. It's important that I know my limitations and my capabilities. When I had this part-time job, I longed to be home to paint and work on my art business. It gave me the determination and courage to take my art to the next level. It was while I was working at this job that I created my new website. I also joined an on-line Facebook mentoring group for prophetic artists. I began to take my art more seriously and that has made a huge difference for me. If I don't value what I do, how can I expect others to value what I do.?

I no longer feel like I need to get a "real" job. Being an artist IS my job. It is what God has called me to do. He has made it very clear. Sometimes God takes us through a period of captivity to show us that He came to set us free. We have the key to get out of our place of captivity. We can say this is not what I was made to do... I was made to create... to be free to create. What has God made you to do that only you can do? What has He given you a passion to do? If you don't do it and take that next step, you'll stay in your place of captivity. He came to set you free. Walk in your freedom and come out of captivity. Take your step of faith. God has his hand stretched out to you.

"From Captivity To Creativity"  Acrylic Ink & Acrylic Paint on Yupo paper,  Painted after I left my part-time job

"From Captivity To Creativity"  Acrylic Ink & Acrylic Paint on Yupo paper,

Painted after I left my part-time job