I have an artist friend, who I met through the lovely world of little squares also known as Instagram. And when I first started
stalking following her, she was posting a lot about 12 minute art. I thought to myself, ok, I have 12 minutes a day to throw at my creative self…
Fast forward several months, a blossoming friendship (i.e. we went from stalker to friends to encourager) and I began to look at myself as an artist and admitting to myself that the need to create was something deep inside of me, woven into my DNA by my Creator. And then the new year happened and I wanted to create every day…I thought this would be a great way to worship and honor God by acknowledging and growing the way He made me for His kingdom.
Well, as per usual with God, it isn’t about what I wanted, but rather what He has planned for me! I was creating daily, sometimes big projects and sometimes little projects, sometimes it was a kitchen creation or a creation in pixels, and sometimes it was just letting the paint come of the brushes on a piece of canvas waiting to be covered in glorious color and sometimes it was just a study of color in my color journal! And then, I started using my 12 minute art time as the time to work on projects that I had been asked to work on or that I felt were inside of me and were wanting to be set free… but suddenly… the creating felt like a chore, like something I had to do to check a box, mark it off the list and that felt hollow, empty and I started having to force the creativity. It felt like I was squeezing the lemon so hard to get out one drop when what I wanted was a whole teaspoon and I knew that the recipe wasn’t going to be as good because I was short an ingredient. I was frustrated and I wasn’t enjoying the process or the art I was creating.
Then, an interesting thing happened… one afternoon, while totally not feeling creative or motivated but knowing that sitting on my bum and binge watching a show on netflix was wrong, I decided to grab my water colors and just dive into some blending and let the paint tell me what to do. And for fun, I decide to record it. The end result of the process was so fulfilling and when I looked at the finished piece I smiled. And then, because the juices were flowing again, I decided to try it the next day… and the next… then, I got greedy. I fell back into an old habit and turned the twelve minutes into a time to work on a project that was dancing around in my brain. And, boom, that old dried up feeling was back. I thought it was just a coincidence and tried the next day to let a project be my twelve minutes… but nope… it wasn’t a coincidence. Disappointed and feeling dry, I sighed and began to look at all the supplies, all the paint, all the canvas, all the notebooks and feel like I was wasting everything… my time, money, the talent God gave me (or maybe I was just fooling myself that I had any…)
But God, He whispered in my heart and He provided a sunny day in string of cold rainy days and I just wanted to be near Him, so my watercolors and I headed outside… and I just started to paint, no project, no ideas, just blending and shading and color blocking and sun and gentle breeze and birds and my kiddo squealing with laughter playing with friends… and, y’all, in a short fifteen minutes… I felt alive, I felt light, I felt filled and I was smiling.
But again, the greed monster entered my heart… and I attempted a project during my twelve minutes the next day… and boom, weight, angst, disappointment. And then the next day, I thought, I know, a new medium, a different vision… but nope, those same feelings came back.
And, then I heard it or maybe felt it, I don’t know… but I knew what it was. Those twelve minutes are a type of self care for me… a time for me to let go of all the expectations, the weight, the to do lists and just get in touch with God. It’s not about the finished product, or the medium, it’s about accepting who I am, how I am made and His plan for me, it’s about saying I am worthy, I am unique and I am seen by Him. It’s a way for me to worship, fully and unashamedly.
And, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know I have been showing those videos … not for me, not to boost my esteem but to show my worship because it’s the best way for me to show you Him…the God who made us, who loves us unconditionally and who calls you worthy too!
So, tell me, what’s your way of self care…when do you feel closest to Him, when do you feel free and alive? For my hubby, it’s on the trails, running… it doesn’t matter the weather or the temperature… but being out there, well, it fills him. I don’t know what about it does, but I do know that when he’s come back, well, he looks like how I felt that sunny afternoon. For my oldest son, it’s when he’s sitting at his drums, headphones on, just jamming… We all have our uniqueness and our way of meeting our Creator. I would love to hear!