I’ve mentioned before, my grandma was an artist. She created bejeweled Christmas balls and sold them.
I suppose she did this for two or three years.
She had a following.
If it were today, it might be said she had a platform, her art at Christmas was known county-wide.
I’ve not sold a painting in a month or so and today I was rejected twice via email, my bravely written and submitted words.
My words, my fingers easy on the keyboard or messy in the paint.
I saw the email, didn’t want to read it, held my phone at a distance as I scrolled as if the yes or no might cause my screen to explode or illuminate in my hand.
So many submissions, thank you.
Less than 72 hours ago I was reminded of a favorite Old Testament verse, I admit I pluck out just a portion, my favorite part.
Don’t despise the day of small things.
“For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice…”
Zechariah 4:10 ESV
Someone called me asking about a gift certificate for a painting. I said, sure, okay.
I heard a podcast interview that discussed the ministries of 30 or so years ago, sitting with others, talking about hard things and Jesus or helping someone on the cusp of not believing to believe again.
That’s what we called ministry back then.
Now we look at numbers, followers, visitors, and interactions.
Last week I quietly chastened myself. It stuck. I was changed more than momentarily.
My blog is my ministry.
My Instagram is my ministry.
My art is my ministry.
I felt like crap when I admitted I’d acted as if there had to be more.
Almost three years ago I told a friend “I don’t want to be a cutesy trendy female Christian writer.”
It seems I’d forgotten.
I had made my readers small, the regulars who read my words, unimportant.
I realized all along and without me needing to know, my words are my ministry.
My words are always honest.
Are genuine, not prettied up hoping for selection.
These weekly, daily, maybe more are truly me, true me.
Brave and oh, the trendy word.
I prayed last week for some sense of direction to keep writing, trying or give up.
Specifically, I asked God to send someone to tell me keep going or settle.
Then I got the rejection of two pieces and I acted as if I’d never asked the above question.
God’s not saying quit writing.
God is saying quit chasing notice. Stop seeking acclaim.
Why are you trying to write anything other than what you started and can’t bring yourself to finish?
Because I fear rejection.
Yet, I fear giving up even more.
I’ll keep going, slow and with free speaking, thinking, praying and believing.
I’ll keep writing and I’ll keep painting and I’ll keep taking the same steps as before knowing I’m still headed towards forward, not the me of before.
Small things of my day today?
I finished a tiny watercolor painting, my three month old granddaughter on my lap.
We walked together, Elizabeth and I and when I mentioned the birds, her sweet face turned in their direction,
I prayed with my cousin and she with me and we helped one another.
Yes, I used what God gave me, small things.
My ministries today.
Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and God will lead my thinking. I’ll type a little something and someone might comment, “needed this today” and I’ll answer
“I’m just saying what God told me first thing.”
And I’ll sit and add colors to canvas and in my comforting of myself, I’ll make art for others.
I don’t know why I continue, rejection is a certain thing.
Small things, I won’t despise them.
Won’t despise the days full of them and what they are teaching me.
Rejection and joy, all in a day.