I've been trying to challenge myself creatively. I haven't actually had much time to paint, but when I have, it's been something different than I normally do or abstract..which is pretty new to me, but I find that the best way to expand my abilities is to just go for it. Part of doing something random or abstract is what makes me look further into what I'm painting, as if it's reflecting back something I haven't seen within myself. I've spent a lot of time doodling painting smaller pieces of things I love. But when I do see something looking back at me from a different project, it's important that I try to understand it.
When we are given the time to create, it's like we release our inner thoughts, maybe ones that haven't quite made it to the surface. Or maybe they're thoughts we are familiar with, but somehow our projects connect the parts that were missing. Maybe it reminds us, inspires us, or wakes us out of a dry season.
This particular piece, once I stepped back to dissect it, reminded me that we are made to be rooted. Rooted in love, community, Faith, helping others. Without being rooted, we most likely are in a state that doesn't push us or motivate us. It's like we are sitting in stagnate water.
I had this dream while I was in Chicago. I can't even describe what actually went on in the dream, except that when I woke up, I felt the need to help others with my gifts in some way or another, and to love people more by my actions. I felt it so strongly as I woke up and told Matt right away, those feelings pressing into my chest. I know God was telling me something. What was so surprising to me is that I don't normally have such eye opening dreams. Normally they're weird and confusing. But this I was so sure of the message.
During the moments I painted this, I reminded myself how easily I tend to stay stagnate and comfortable with where I am. I forget to use my gifts to help others, I become selfish with my time, I settle and I may even hibernate for a few weeks away from people. It's not that I don't love people, it's more that I've been sucked back into fear and insecurity. And when I do those things, it's like I've pulled my whole self out of the dirt, roots and all, and I'm just hanging there. I'm not growing, or moving forward with goals I've had for years. YEARS. Instead I'm stagnate, a dangling plant that has been cut off from water, ground and sunlight. It's not until I realize that I am dangling in the open air, a part from nourishing soil that I somehow find a hole to nestle in and start again. Maybe parts of me are still hanging, the part that wants to actually use my creativity instead of placing it on the back burner. When I do finally decide to plant those ideas and dreams, maybe it's because of something I've read, seen, or one of those odd nights I put my hands to work without knowing what will come out of it. But at least I'm moving again, reaching for sunlight and my leaves are revived-my face looking up.
What parts of you are stagnate? What can you do today to replant your roots? Is it reaching out to a friend for coffee that you haven't seen in a while? Maybe it's cooking a new dish, picking up yoga, journaling, or going to an event where you might meet new people. Maybe even, you're being called to find balance and to be still, finding quiet time and less instagram. ;) Be encouraged that you're never stuck as long as you recognize where you are. It can be a leap of faith, or just a single step to lead you out of it.