My Three Favorite Mini-Stories
Nov 16, 2022
The story behind "Bursting Forth" is deeply personal for me. It's a story about me, really. One that I think many women share.
I loved the contrast of this image caught in an early spring moment. The branch is gray and seemingly lifeless while there are these beautiful, vibrant red buds breaking out. It got me thinking about the transformation I’ve experienced in my own heart and mind. I used to be pretty mechanical and robotic (grey and lifeless if you will), avoiding all feelings, staying distant in relationships, etc. It was all out of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of not being able to maintain the performance. Fear of not perfectly completing my goals and assignments. Fear of being "not enough" or "too much" (yes, you can totally fear both of these things at the same time.)
What I’ve been noticing as I grow in my faith and is that there is new, tender, vibrant life, bursting forth. A softening of my heart and a compassion that comes from spending time with my Creator. Turns out what I needed more than anything to break the steel cage around my heart was an all encompassing and deep friendship with God. This new growth in me looks like listening rather than speaking and doing. Responding slowly rather than compulsively reacting and solving, loving unconditionally rather than keeping score. Not only toward others but for myself as well. What's bursting forth? Me.
"Hidden Treasure" surprised me. When I first started looking at this image, I didn't expect to go where I did with its story, but often times, that's how some of the best ones go.
This image had me thinking all about the extravagance and abundance I experience in my day to day life. The natural beauty around me, the readily available resources, the daily grace I receive from God to access Him through prayer and the Bible. I have more than I could ever need and yet so often, I trample on the treasures freely given to me in search of something “better.” I’ll purposefully walk right over the gifts given. I became aware of this when I started paying attention to my sense of hurry and hustle to get to the next "thing." Whatever that was. As I started to feel complete dissatisfaction in my daily life, even after I would hit goal after goal, I stopped to take stock and this is what I found. My ingratitude was manifested in the complete lack of celebration and review of things learned. Rather than being present, I was obsessed about the future and where I wanted to go. My response to this revelation has been prayerful a plea to help me see and be grateful for the hidden treasures in my life. "Those that have eyes to see, let them see..." Let that be me, Jesus. Let that be me.
"Embracing Change" was one of those slower arriving stories. I looked and looked and didn't know what I wanted to say. But I waited and trusted and it eventually came to mind.
This year has been a big year of change for our family. Ethan is now in middle school. I'm working in a studio outside of our home, my brother and sister-in-law are moving across the country, and we got a dog! What were we thinking? And that's just the big ones. I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of change. I find it uncomfortable and scary. It makes me feel out of control as well. Because our world is dynamic, we should expect change around every corner and that had me thinking about the opposite of what I experience on this earth. The infinite un-changability (that's probably not even a word) of God. Since He made everything He's not bound by time like us. He's not subject to changing emotions, body, and mind. His doesn't forget things. He doesn't look at the mirror and suddenly notice a new wrinkle or gray hair. He is other. He's like an hour glass tipped on its side. Infinite. And it is here that I "sit" myself while I experience the change all around me and within me. The prayer that was born from this image is all about learning to embrace necessary change as part of life. Inevitable change. A prayer to not resent it, but embrace it. Not fear it, but remain curious.
There are so many more stories coming your way this December. I can't wait to share them all with you not only in written form but painted! You can get on the daily delivery email so you don't miss them, by visiting www.25daysofminis.com