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Dip. Dab. Swirl: Reflections on an Art Workshop

I got to do something really cool this past Saturday. I lead 11 kids and their parents through a watercolor workshop. It was simple, it was fun, and, to be honest, it was really too short (learn #1!)!

photo by: Kiara Goodwin

photo by: Kiara Goodwin


I’ve been trying to write about the experience for the last couple of days - to share, in pretty words, all the things I learned through the process. But….

It’s. Not. Working.

You see, for me, the workshop was much bigger than a single moment on a Saturday morning. And at the same time, that’s exactly all it was - a moment, a risk, a trying something new; a day that I got to see parents delighting in their kids and kids, so cute and focused on their artwork, having a ton of fun.

Somehow, Saturday was the culmination of 10-years-worth of learning, and the simple beginning of something tiny and new, all at the very same time.

It’s hard to hold both of those things all at once, let alone write about them. God is a big picture God, and I just happen to be standing squarely in the middle of the life he has given me right now.

Of the two, the tiny and new is actually the harder thing for me to hold. It’s difficult to trust that God is good and the things I think I’m hearing from him are actually true.

It feels impossible to accept that even if I’m hearing him wrong, he’s still right beside me in the process, delighting in the splotches and swirls I’m splashing across the page knowing that eventually, in my own time, I’ll learn the art of shading and line, the finesse it takes to chisel and sculpt a life that looks a little more the way we (he and I) want it to.

God is in the process, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Since it feels too difficult to hold the tiny and new alongside the big and the old, then maybe I should start with the one that came first: the old, that was somehow also new when it first occurred - when Jesus knocked on the door of my broken little heart and I just happened to be open enough to invite him to stay for a while.

Over the years, I have inadvertently tried to keep my spiritual life separate from that of my creative. However, life has shown me all too clearly that is nearly impossible to do. God is a creative God. He’s made us all to be creative, and, in my opinion, if there’s any hope for the world to return to him and the way he originally made it, we best start by returning to the very beginning, when God created. He created the heavens and the earth, then he created you and me to be in his image - tiny creators who understand the risk and reward that comes with making something new.

Did that stir in your heart a little bit? Pay attention to that.

Maya Angelou once said, “I have great respect for the past. If you’ don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.”

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing a bit of my story - looking back on where I came from and how I got to where I am today, then looking forward to where I want us to go - you and me and the rest the world.

Perhaps you’ll find parts of yourself in my story, or perhaps you’ll be inspired to do a little reflecting of your own. In either case, I hope you discover two things two be true: You were made to create, and creating includes so much more than you currently know.

photo by: Kiara Goodwin

photo by: Kiara Goodwin

Rachel ClairComment