The Inconsolable Heartburn

25. Linton Figs 25. Grapefruit 25.Dublin Apples

“We were given appetites,
not to consume the world and forget it,
but to taste its goodness and hunger to make it great.
That is the unconsolable heartburn…
the lifelong disquietude of having been made in the image of God.”

Robert Farrar Capon

25. Roses 25. Mill Court Flowers 2 25. The Inconsolable Heartburn 6 - Flower Pot

Living Art

24. 2013. Living Art - Studio 1  24. 2013. Living Art - Studio 2
Dirtying myself with my paints this week has got me thinking a bit about the parallels between my personal art and faith journeys. Both narratives are wrapped up in childhood feelings of insecurity and all the ways I just ‘know’ I don’t make the mark. In many ways my art illustrates my faith journey as it reveals my flesh and yet contained in it is also the glory of my Creator’s heart towards me.
24. 2013. Living Art - Studio 3
As I paint I have to choose to put aside my fears and desire to perform well and to just allow the paint to ‘be’. The process enlivens me regardless of the result. It opens up something within my heart and connects me to something larger than myself. As a chose to ignore my anxieties and believe instead in the potential within me, something restorative is released. The art I produce is far from perfect, under a professional critique it probably wouldn’t stand up, but in it there is Life.
24. 2013. Living Art - Still Life Lemons24. 2013. Living Art - Chair Heidi 2
Occasionally a piece painted is noticeably worthy and acclaimed by a few around me but for the most part, the trusting and creating is more about me than the need for any beauty to be outwardly recognised.

Each time I step out and trust I was created for something more, I am inwardly transformed… and being created into His masterpiece.

Emily Freeman has this same message (and so much more) in her book “A Million Little Ways”, reminding us we need to “turn down the volume on our inner critic and move into the world with the courage to be who we most deeply are”. She says when we do something sacred is released.
24. 2013. Living Art

In every part of my life I am learning to live with the anticipation that something is alive and being created as I step towards the Light.

Being Honest with you Friend…

Reality is I was going to write this post anyway,
but since this week’s “word” over at at Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Fridays is: Truth
it seems like a perfect time to choose to link up again with all those writing on the same word prompt each Friday……
2013 I have such Friends 1 - Web
She asks me with genuine interest and curiosity… “So what have you planned for the rest of your day?” and as those words cross the table between us I panic.
What to say?
The truth or a fabrication….

I start my answer trying to make something seem more worthwhile or important than it is and then mid-sentence, I confess: “…….actually nothing!! I am currently without direction and there are options and possibilities, some of which have some value, some just very selfish but truth is I just don’t know
Hearing my words said aloud instead of only in my head brings me a moment of embarrassment but then just relief……
This is where I am…

Thank you, friend, you gave me space to be honest. For helping me recognise that my need to explain away what I do and to always have a purpose is unhealthy. That I am hiding the truth of where I am at this time….

I have been scared to ‘go there’, to risk humiliation and rejection
I see your busyness and I am scared by my days of nothingness

You ask, and I hide
I am sensitive to the importance of what you do…
You, desperately hard at work, trying to make ends meet to support your family
The single mom rushing off to work, worrying about how to squeeze everything into a day
You, who comes home late, to do homework and bathe babies
Hard working wife supporting her out-of-work husband in these later years
You, trying to forge a career for yourself, working all angles and trying so hard
Homeschooling mums who never have a moment to themselves
You, who is still committed to ministry, giving sacrificially all the time
Daughter too tired to cook dinner as you juggle study, work and play
You, friend, who always thinks of others before yourself
All who are overworked, tired out and weary
Special and important ladies in my life who have clear purposes for your current days
I am hiding from you….

Not because you have judged me, but because I have condemned myself
I have weighed myself up against what ‘good women’ do and found myself lacking
I know this is a season I must walk through and that everything has its purpose
But I am coming clean and admitting I am a little lost…

I want you to know the truth about me, friend
I don’t want you to fix me or give me things to do
Just love me in this season…

2013 Bianca Art 3 - Web

In June I wrote, ‘Attending to Awe’ and what I said then I still believe:
I know He has not forgotten me. In quiet and simple moments there is hope and peace. Not answers, but a deep conviction to wait and not rush to self-initiated movement and action’.

Five Minute Friday

Starting Back

2013 Writing again - Web 12013 Road to Fish Hoek 1
The best way is just to start….

I haven’t been blogging for 6 months and while I’ve planned to resume for a while, I have made excuses and avoided sitting with a blank screen in front of me. Initially when the internet failed and my travel took me away from a routine, my excuse was legitimate but as the weeks became months my excuses have had to become more creative. The problem (I told myself) is that I am not sure I have found “my voice”, I am not clear on my motivation for writing and I am drawing a blank on what my life is meant to be about….
So what would I have to say?

Without doubt this is a challenging season…. this ‘in-between’ time: as a stay at home mum I am now navigating the waters of life post-kids; as a person who poured myself out for ministry for 10 years I am discovering the loss of direction and identity that gave me; and as a person with performance orientated flesh I am now learning to live with what it means for His presence to be genuinely enough… and I am struggling with all of these….
So what could I contribute?

In this place there is no frenetic busyness to distract me from my unhealthy way of operating, no daily distractions to blame for choices made in avoiding knowing Him more deeply, no endless serving others to hide the truth that I am terribly selfish and self-absorbed….
So shouldn’t I get to the root of all my stuff before I start writing in a public space?

In addition there are plenty of people out there to compare oneself to…they have a purpose right now and even in the midst of their mess, pain and blessings are moving forward as bloggers, making a difference in the lives of those of us who read them…..And so that inner voice that is not mine, but sounds so like me, adds one more log to the fire of why there is no purpose in my starting back blogging, why I am just not good enough….
So why write at all?

And the months have rolled on….
2005 Drew 1 2005 Jum Jump - Web
Today, however, I am quietly taking those thoughts captive and starting back with this confession and leap of faith!

Attend to Awe

I’m linking up again with the other writers at Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Fridays (a flashmob of writers who write on a prompt). This week’s word: Listen….

Five Minute Friday

21. Wait and Listen 1 21. Wait and Listen 2 21. 2013 Listen or Attend to Awe 3
There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.
― Howard Thurman

I am currently living in the tension of wanting and waiting to hear His voice. Not only do I desire to recover direction for my life but I also long for the intimacy, beauty and adventure of life with God. I’m in a funk. I feel as if I am responding to the pulls of a careless puppeteer. My days are full of activity but my heart is restlessness and dissatisfied.
Yet all is silence.

It is tempting to believe that I need to figure this out for myself. As part of determined action I read, talk to Him and ask myself questions: What do I hope for, dream about, pray for, purpose in my heart to do for my remaining days? What are my deepest longings?

A spiritual guide suggests “attending to awe”….. And so I notice the dappled light on a leaf, a screaming child, the marks of tires in mud and as I do I listen to the smallest of whispers in my spirit, and my heart is called out to worship. For a brief glimpse I know l am alive and that my own story is interwoven with the “great Romance”. In ‘attending to awe’ I experience His love and know He has not forgotten me. In quiet and simple moments there is hope and peace. Not answers, but a deep conviction to wait and not rush to self-initiated movement and action.

Even if it looks and feels as if another pulls the strings…
even if I cannot hear Him…
I am believing in faith,
He is still in control in and through me…
And so I rest in the waiting,
attending to awe.
21. Wait and Listen 3 21. 2013 Listen or Attend to Awe 5