Here goes nothing...

What is the ace you keep up your sleeve?  What is the one thing (or is it even multiple things) you secretly hold on to?  Your safety net, your just in case?  I think there are many reasons we guard these pieces for ourselves. For me, I am facing the reality head on that I have spent years clinging to my ace because I am afraid that playing it will reveal that my hand isn’t actually good enough.

 

Today... I am playing my full hand, ace included. I have run the gamut of emotions.  It has been euphoric and terrifying.  There are a million people out there blogging. Painting. Hustling. They are super talented and have more resources.  The voices in my head keep reminding me of things like that. This past week, as I have seen today approaching, I have talked myself into running away from home approximately 800 billion times. 😂 But I am *comforted?* with this truth from John 1, Jesus was rejected more than He was received. At least I’ll be in good company if this fails...right?

 

I have always been a writer. I just never imagined sharing it. My house is packed with journals full of years of ponderings, and of course some teenage drama. {both equally fun to read 😂}.  I remember clearly the first few times I shared my random deep thoughts with others.  The reaction was more critical than encouraging. To read more about that, grab the free devo on my website,  https://artistictherapy.net/ I share more of the story there.  However, I have discovered that the Lord is not so interested with other people’s opinions, and He kept pushing me to write and share it anyway.  For my first official blog, I want to share with you my journey.

 

More than a few of the times I have bungee jumped out of my comfort zone have started when my friend Jess shoves me. We all need a friend or two like that, right?  😂🤪 One day, a couple of years ago she sent me a link and said “hey buy this ticket. We’re going to a business conference in Nashville.”  Ummmm ok?  But I do love a road trip and I knew Artistic Therapy was technically a business, so I did it. 

(this is us, in the back of Officer Brian's police car--he reminded us to take a selfie... since it was our first time.  I could make up a super amazing story to go with this, but the truth is, we got super chatty on our way to the conference, and ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere.  We took cuter pictures that weekend, but this one sums us up pretty accurately...)

 

On a whim of stupidity/bravery/divine appointment? I signed up for the blogging session. I sat and listened to a pioneer in the blogging world describe algorithms, email systems, technical ways to increase traffic... I basically blacked out, brushed off my hands, and thought  “well guess I won’t be doing that”. Going to the conference was like drinking from a fire hydrant. Jess and I sat and dreamed for COPO and Artistic Therapy. We came up with some crazy stuff. 😳. We were completely overwhelmed, but seeds were planted that weekend.

 

There’s a girl in my church who intimidated the mess out of me. She is a gifted artist. Her sermon sketch notes are fantastic. When she offered a class, I showed up, riding on another burst of uncharacteristic bravery. I wasn’t able to take the whole class, but I was able to connect with her, and she came to our small group for a season. Turns out, she is mega talented and also mega kind. At a women’s conference, we sat on the grass, overlooking the lake, and she pushed me to dream bigger. She challenged me to put written art with my painted art.

 

 

It would be almost a year before we sat together, drawn by our mutual love of French bakery treats, and talked about how to actually make any of those dreams come true. As she told me her ideas, I quickly flashed back to the blogging seminar, and felt myself head towards tunnel vision.  “Raven, how are you so artistic but so into this boring technical stuff?!?  Are you even human?”  The more we talked and dreamed, the more apparent it became that Raven’s gift of speaking computer to a creative as a creative was indeed a unicorn discovery. A deal was struck. I would hand Raven my guarded ace, and she would create my blog, website, community invitation, and shop.

 

That day I bought us matching candles that say “Every day should feel this good” {thank you Target for the Vineyard Vines pop up store}. Because I was euphoric. She was going to do all the things I knew had to be done if Artistic Therapy was ever going to be more than custom art and occasional Facebook posts.

 

Not long after that, she got a new tattoo capturing the gifts God has given her that allow her to untangle the mess of the creative process. It’s a beautiful thing to see her light up over the very things that make me want to crawl in a hole and disappear. Through this process, I have discovered that letting people use their God given talents to help you can offer the most unexpected freedom. I was clinging to my lack of knowledge and understanding. I was held in bondage by it. It gave me an excuse for not being successful or relevant by the world’s standards. It gave me justification that my footprint wasn’t growing. But it also held me tightly bound up with insecurities. Every day should feel as good as the day you decide to do it anyway.

 

So, here is the beginning of my revelation of the cards in my hand. It feels surreal to do something that seems so common to most, and yet so huge to me. I am excited to share my ponderings with Jesus in a new format that actually has the potential to blossom. I have seen His hand all over the process. Many of you have been instrumental. Your encouragement to keep writing would come right at the time when I felt discouraged or raw with vulnerability. I am so excited and honored to share any of the spiritual fruit that comes from this blog with you. Each part has been critical in the process.

 

I am now awkwardly asking for you to be even more invested. Can you please share this and future blogs that really speak to your heart?  Can you tell people to hop on my email list and engage in the closed Facebook community?  I hope to have art or a picture that goes with each pondering to really illustrate it.  My goal is one a week, but I’m asking for your grace.  This simply is not up to me, I completely depend on the Lord to show me these analogies. If it’s just not there, I will never force it. I’ll be still and wait on Him to speak to me His own way and in His own time.  Here goes nothing.

Amanda

P.S. Here is a link to the song that I have been playing on loop.  It captures what I'm feeling so perfectly. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv3-TDdD1pM


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  • Amy Taylor on

    I am waiting for a rotisserie chicken at Publix and reading this post with tears in my eyes. Thank you for saying “yes” to God. Your courage inspires me! His glory shines through YOU!

  • Lisa McDonald on

    Amanda,
    I am so proud of you and in awe of your many talents. Praying Gods hand will always be there guiding you. Love you.

  • SHerri on

    I loved it! You really are transparent when you write and that draws me in!

  • Holly on

    Since my first message deleted…. I’m so stinking proud of you! Love you and super thankful for you! Thank you for always pointing me to Him! – Holly

  • Jessica Pair on

    You are such a joy my friend. I am confident that this blog will prosper. I am confident Artistic Therapy will grow. I’m confident that I don’t know what any of this really looks like in the future but I DO know that you continually follow the heart of God and He DOES know what it looks like. His vision for this is greater than you could ever imagine. I’m so excited and happy for you!



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