to be a mother…

Here I have been sitting, wondering how to do this project describing my plans for a future career & how I will achieve it. If I write about my career as a professional illustrator, I would have to say that I want to work for a publisher and churn out pictures 24/7- say that I would be happy with a salary of no less than $40,000 a year, and I can envision myself as some such-and-such in the world of artists and illustrators. And in the truth of this moment, this one thing becomes clear. This career assignment would be easy if I were writing about what I really want to be… a mother.

Here I am training in a prestigious art program, spending my days with all that concerns art. Telling my teachers that I want to be an illustrator – waiting for praise from them like a dog for a bone, and trying to hide the burden building on my heart of not wanting this,  knowing it will be expensive and it will take so many years, and so much effort. And all I want to be is a mother. To have my own home and make my own bread and paint the walls and love my kids… to know that after work, my man would come in the door and I would have the honor of serving him & loving him as long as we both live.

Until the man walks into my life, I will be an artist. I will hide my true calling and masquerade behind my brushes & canvas. And when he comes, my life will begin.

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for when my conviction gets shaky

Sometimes when I feel myself slipping back to the place of heaviness, of obligation and of earth, I need to go somewhere quiet and remember. I need to remember that I am not held by anyone else’s preferences, expectations, or convictions; I find my code of living in God’s Word alone. And also, I am not a permanent resident of earth… God and I have big plans for real life, after I die. I can live free and in the overwhelming love of God. I will not be held back by things that I can feel, taste, and touch! I need to find the truth again that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 

stars, pine trees, and home

 

English: Big Dipper and the rest of the clear ...

Image via Wikipedia

The sky never gets quite black in the city. It glows purplish-orange from the city lights, and at first I thought it was beautiful. Now it makes me think of smog and strangers, and I realize that I can’t see the stars any more. Where I come from, the sky goes black and you see Orion and the Big Dipper and even a few planets if you know where to look for them… and the moon comes up over pine trees instead of the junky buildings downtown. I tell my roommates I’m going to find an aviation major and catch a ride home and they laugh with me… we all know it’s impossible, but dreaming is important when you can’t see the stars and you’ve forgotten what home smells like.

in which i learn humility again

I came in to this highly esteemed university with my portfolio, marched into the head of the art department’s office, and fully expected him to be as impressed as my family & friends were. I mean, hadn’t everybody praised my art to the skies when I posted it to facebook?

Then the very kind department head said that I definitely had something to build on, and generally treated me much more kindly than I deserved. My first formal training in art began, and I floundered in the new methods and tried not to scoff at drawing boxes and spheres. Deep down, I admitted that I wasn’t really very good at doing this by their methods- but after all, I really am a phenomenon, aren’t I?

When I started to throw off the ropes & life preservers of careful tightness in my art, when I got rid of my measuring ruler and my reference photos and only drew from life, everything changed. I felt the thrill of correct proportions and accurate values… knowing where the features go… memorizing the skeleton and the muscles with my humble pencil… and I thought, I really don’t know anything after all, but I will never stop learning.

because we need Isaiah 40

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?

Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel?

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”?

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

-Taken from Isaiah 40, ESV