Wednesday, October 26, 2005

This week has been a very big week for me in my faith. I have decided that it was time to give my design work to God. I have always prayed over my work and used my design/scrapbooking time as a way to meditate, think and pray. But I had never turned my work and my desire to start a design business over to Him. It has been interesting. I am not one to talk very openly about my faith. I am usually one who is concerned about offending others who may not be Christians and that has been a stumbling block for me with creating Christian art. I have resisted it because I never wanted to be seen as one who would use my faith in order to profit financially. I am not in any way embarrassed by my faith. It has carried me through many difficult times in my life. But I am just so careful of allowing others to think and decide for themselves that I have just not "gone there." I want my life to be an example of Christianty in action, through the way I treat others and the way I raise my children.

But I have been really struggling with not having "made it" in the scrapbooking industry. I have placed a great deal of value on being published or designing for other companies. But this last week I have begun to see things differently. I have realized that God may have been protecting me from situations that would cause me to sacrifice my priorities. If I were offered a deal from a major scrapbooking company, it would more than likely involve quite a bit of travel and work time. But I have chosen to stay home while my four children were young. I would hate to have to make that choice. To turn down a "dream" in order to fulfill my responsibilities and my greater purpose. That would surely make me resentful. I surely don't want to turn into a work at home Mom who snaps at her kids to get out of her hair so she can finish her "important" work. Maybe God has been protecting my heart and honoring my choices. It is certainly a different perspective for me. Before I had seen it through the lense of "Kelley isn't good enough to be published." or "Kelley just doesn't know the right people in order to make it." or "Kelley just can't get it together enough to make it in the "real world." But those are all very defeating thoughts that don't respect myself.

I have been scrapbooking for over 10 years and have read just about every publication put out in that time. It used to be my greatest treat for myself to pick up a new publication and delve into every word and layout and technique. But lately it has been almost painful to look at them. I find myself reprimanding myself for having not followed through with so many of the ideas that I have had because I see them all in print in front of me. Approaches to journaling and to more simple layout styles. Those ideas all have books devoted to them and their authors are household names. Why have I just continued to keep to myself and not put myself and my ideas out there? This is my wrestling match of a lifetime! Well, hopefully it will be resolved before my life is over. But there is some lesson in this that I am needing to learn and I wish I would hurry up and learn it! And I think it has very much to do with fear of being seen as arrogant. There must be a balance between displaying self-confidence and not making others appear inferior. Between speaking your mind in a thoughtful, loving way and taking over a conversation to get personal attention. This is so very hard for me! When I do speak and share I worry about having gone too far with it. I worry that others will see me as bragging when I speak of any successes or progress that I have experienced. I wonder why this is?

And yet I admire greatly women who have found their voice and can speak honorably and in good taste and affect so many other lives. I wonder if I will ever find my voice? Or will I just continue to wrestle with this one? I am not sure. But I, like Jacob, will not let go until God gives me his blessing in this situation. I have pure faith that there is a huge blessing here because I have been wrestling with this one FOR YEARS! And that is such a different way to look at this "failure" that has been dragging me down for years. I don't know, maybe this is just a warped way of justifying my inablility to move ahead professionally. But I do know that when I start to focus more on that area of my life right now and try to make money doing the things I love most, things become very confusing. It alters my entire creative process and turns into a life of deadlines and responsibilities to fulfill which isn't nearly as much fun as being free to create whatever I like, whenever I like. So I have recently begun to limit my designing and commitments to things that allow me to maintain control over my creative process.

I know God wants to bless my work if it honors Him. And this is not to say that is why I am now trying my hand at some Christian pieces. I don't want to sound like I am trying to set myself up for success. But I have a peace about me now that is very different. I figure if I continue to improve my design skills and am willing to share them with those that are interested, then that is enough. I still want to be published, don't get me wrong. But that is just seeking approval of others, isn't it? I need to be secure in my own self to know that God is pleased with my choices and all that I have learned. I am certainly not an idle person since I have taught myself all that I know about Photoshop and scrapbooking. And I love to teach others and maybe someday that can be more of a full time job for me.

But for this week, for this afternoon, I am very proud of these first 8 pages I have done for my new project. They are the beginning of a very fulfilling journey (I hope!) of learning to use my gifts and graces for God's glory without seeking personal gain. It is a very interesting lesson to learn and one that I will continue learning for many years I am sure.

Dear Lord, you give me so many ideas every day. So many that I can not even count them all. Please help me to use my creativity to help draw people closer to you. Please help them see through me and my designs to your grace and eternal acceptance. Protect me from the opportunities that may seem wonderful but could harm my heart or my family. Amen.Posted by Picasa

2 comments:

  1. Some time as Jesus said you must go among them and do as they do !
    How about a kit for Peace or the about we are all from one color box .....Or how about a spiritual tea set for our spiritul awakenings and gifts these are things I look for .I am a Catholic and I need spiritual kits especially for greif ...No one wants to give you a joyus Greif kit . I just felt compelled to share this with you thanks Boni

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  2. Someone else was looking for a grief kit this week to deal with her miscarriages. I haven't scrapped about mine either, so I may give this a go.... If you send me your email, I will let you know when I get something done.

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