Most of the time, I'm pretty confident about this path I'm on. I love making art in almost any form. I LOVE being a student! I've been taking classes at Acrylic University, picking house colors, picking up new skills from Kate Thompson's class at Jeanne Oliver's website. (I'll put links at the bottom so you can join me if you want.)
I've been hanging out in Marian's tutorials at Miss Mustard Seed. One person commented that she has kept her personal color palette over the years. She keeps it fresh, but it's so awesome to follow someone who actually knows what they love and continues to delight us with all its variations!
This was comforting. I will always have some sort of similar palette in my work. I used to feel bad. But now I realize, I just really like it.
And this past week, when I was wondering if I was doing ok at the studio that seemed oh so covid quiet, I was told I'm selling as well as anyone ever has up in The Loft at Camano Commons (which has been several other art galleries in the past.)
So why do I doubt?
Are you anything like me? Afraid to rest in goodness? Do your doubts make you wonder if you'll ever get off the treadmill? You keep circling the same mountain of "am I worth...?" until you're dizzy and one leg is shorter than the other from doing the same things and getting the same results?
If you're a Jesus follower, you're seeing this message everywhere you turn lately: "The battle is in your mind. You must learn to renew your mind and take your thoughts captive if you want to see lasting change." And this is absolutely true!
But why is it so dang hard?
And why, when things are actually doing really well, do I get derailed so easily?
I have one particular rut that I'm trying to get the thoughts of Christ on. It's the rut that twists my ankle when I try to catch my stride and settle in for the long run rather than the sprint. It's that habit of choosing to eat sugar when I feel paralyzed or when I simply just don't know what to do next.
Yes, I have lists. I have goal setting worksheets. I have accountability friends. But what if I'm choosing the wrong priority?
I've tried every daytimer, list maker, note/reminder that claimed to make a difference. But the problem is that there's no magic in them. I'm the one who has to use them. And I've discovered something.
I have a "tell."
I don't gamble, but I've watched enough movies to learn that a gambler can win the game by knowing when his opponent is not being authentic because each of us has a "tell" - some twitch, glance, sniff - that lets the astute observer know when we're bluffing. And we bluff when we are afraid we're going to lose.
My tell? I hesitate, frozen for the moment in indecision due to fear of making a mistake.
The enemy is great at taking advantage of my "tell." Whispers of lies - just one little doubt of how much God loves me - can send me spiraling around that mountain again, grabbing sweets as I go.
Just the wifi eating up a project I worked really hard on can throw me completely into feelings of rejection and doubt.
The truth? I get afraid because I'm not convinced in that moment that God really loves me. For some reason, I feel like the acceptance of peers will give me more than He can... which is a sad lie.
The stronger truth? He really, really does love me.
How can I be sure?
Because He says so, over and over.
Recently, I asked the Lord, "Where should I read next?"
I felt Him whisper, "Let's read John together. Only this time, read as if I really love you."
Something clicked in my little spirit. I got only a few verses in before I was overwhelmed with His kindness.
So I'll leave you with a love note: Joh 1:16
"From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another."
That includes me and that includes you.