I was given an opportunity by Hayley Price, owner of The Scouted Studio and The Art Coaching Club of which I’m a member, to share my thoughts on being an artist and why I continue this intentional journey.
Mid-September mornings are striated light on the thick green floor. The mysterious vine spills over, bent branches scattered with once purple blooms now fading to lavender.
The season is changing, the blooms done with their blooming and I’m torn between acceptance and longing for longer.
Does hope have a season? Will we need to wait for it to make sense again? Will I embrace the soul of hope and not pack it away like a summer dress, move it to the back of the closet, knowing it’s there and yet wondering if it makes sense?
I greeted someone this morning to ask a favor and I began with, “Good morning.” Ready to send the message, I paused and rewrote it
Adding, “I hope you’re feeling hopeful this morning.”
Hope is important to my friend and I.
Weeks ago, I typed a message more like an essay telling someone jolted by bad news that we don’t stop hoping, we don’t give up on hope.
We don’t “put off our hope”, don’t defer it like asking for more time to make good on a debt or commitment.
We don’t procrastinate hoping, I told her because that makes our hearts even more broken.
Instead, we keep hoping and we see the beautiful bloom, the tree of life.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 NIV
I hope you’re feeling hopeful this morning.
“But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!” Psalms 70:4 NLT
I hope you remember all the times you’ve seen hoping bring fulfillment and I hope you will believe, believe again or simply start hoping it may just be true.
But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. Luke 22:32
Walking last week without music or advice in my ear, I thought about Peter and I thought about how years ago I could never imagine I’d think of such things, be moved to contemplation from a passage in a Bible.
In the margin, there’s a woman and the words Jesus said to Peter, “I have prayed for you.”
Jesus knew Peter would tell people “I don’t know him, that’s not me.” and so what was the reason he assured Peter of his prayers?
I began to think of a couple of possibilities, just my thoughts.
Maybe Jesus was praying, you’re going to live with the memory of telling the others seated around the fire that you weren’t associated with me and that memory can do one of two things…spiral you into shame and self-hatred or remind you that you’re human and yet, grace covered everything.
He also told Peter that he prayed he’d be stronger for his brothers when he came back to believing.
There’s a message here for us who are imperfect, whose lives were once “deniers of the love of Jesus”. We can use our stories of being found wrongfully acting and thinking to make our light even brighter and our belief in Jesus undeniably strong.
There’s such hope in the words Jesus said to Peter…”I have prayed for you.” Hope and assurance, He knows and yet loves us so.
I did the most silly, most powerful thing the other day. I changed the description in my Pinterest profile back to what it was originally.
Powerful? Silly? Yes, both. I edited the words characterizing me as an author and artist and I went back to the grander aspiration.
Lisa Anne Tindal, artist returned to “Artist and writer longing for a little white house near the ocean.”
Longings leading my heart back to me.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 ESV
“Come back, daughter.” my Heavenly Father keeps saying to me.
My Notes app became my diary at the beach, a call to smaller, more lasting things.
Nothing aspirational only thoughts of those around me, my line of thinking, line of prayer meandered from galleries, Italian art tours, and pricing my art in a way that measures its worth not just a sale.
We walked down the quiet street and discovered a white heron, gracious in its stance. The creek was quiet, the bird shaded and shielded by old overgrown cedar limbs as I knelt with a three year old resting against my chest.
I told her I was so happy for this gift, this peace today in a white elegant bird.
So, my prayer because God hears them. If possible and good for us, I’d love to have a seaside house for those I love to gather.
To gather again.
To search for the white bird daily.
To paint on paper bags, be surprised by God again, to be visited by birds and song.
Aspirations so small and mighty.
So settled, not seeking.
So confident of my heart’s desires being known by my very kind Father.
Last weekend, I responded to the question of when I became an artist with the truth of flunking out of college, losing my art scholarship because of hard things and harm and then working hard as a helper of families before, in my 50’s, coming back to art.
There’s truth there, but even more in the realization,
I’ve always been an artist in the very same way I was told “You’ve always been brave.”
I did a powerful silly thing. I changed my Pinterest bio back to the true, although dreamy thing.
To be an artist with a little white house near the ocean.
To gather. To paint.
To search for the white bird with my family.
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15 ESV
I woke without alarm and quietly found my clothes. Carefully, I remembered the sandals were on top. The contacts were turned right side up and the bathroom window gave enough light for a splash of cold water on my cheeks.
The old door creaked as I closed it. Bare feet on the steps, I saw the pink behind me as I thought nothing of walking alone on our last vacation morning.
The promise of grandeur was kept. I thought if I could touch the far away sun, I’d never let go.
Decided that’s why we’re not made to hold such things, we’d cling so fiercely we might never see from a distant perspective.
“How deep is your faith?”
I asked myself this morning, the question in the tune of the Bee Gee’s song.
Riding home from a week away, I enjoyed what my husband calls a “conversation hiatus”, a thing he will never fully understand. I’m just glad he allows it. I thrive on quiet. I require a flushing of the mental overload, a reset of sorts, a not always pleasant assessment of events, conversations, interactions and pushed to the side for later thoughts.
Processing, becoming prayers. Seeing from a distance, not holding tight or looking too close.
Heal what is hurting. Mend what is broken. Speak what needs to be heard. Continue with me, Lord, these lessons I might begin to live, to teach.
Find me, Lord, where I left you.
Keep changing my perspective, Father. Keep redeeming what is not mine to remake.
Psalm 23 became a plea in a hospital bed for me back in 2019. Maybe I made it more than it was, the scary episode of vertigo that refused to quit. Likely, I did make it bigger than it was.
Because it wasn’t the episode, it was the fear. It was the trigger of being forced to quit or being grabbed and shaken, being unable to escape a violent grip.
Over and over for months, I said to myself.
“The Lord is my shepherd. I have everything I need.”, taking the opening line of a well known Psalm and making it mine.
Now, I prefer a different translation.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1 ESV
One that reminds me no matter what, how, or when…I shall not be in want.
My faith will and has sustained me.
In the morning when I rise, I’ll keep considering my perspective. In all that affects me, I will pause and examine the ways I have changed.
I’ll give myself a minute and I’ll ask, “How deep is your faith.”
Knowing that’s all that matters and knowing that’s all and only what makes me, me.
And I shall not want.
“…that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” Isaiah 2:3 ESV
Last week, I added paint to the largest canvas I own and then added more only to cover it all in a veil of watery white. The original didn’t say what I wanted. I don’t yet know what I want it to exude, suggest or be a place for that story to be displayed.
I set it aside. No hurry, it will be there. I’ll not regret my decision that the first felt wrong, I’ll stay with it, in time it will come.
“Nothing good comes by force.”
This three page practice of writing is subtly changing me deep within, with my faithfulness to it.
“Most of the time when we are blocked in an area of our life, it is because we feel safer that way.” Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way
I’m late to this book. That’s okay, I’m sticking with it.
Every morning, I write the names of my children, circle them individually and then loop them together, encircled. There’s no magic in this practice, only a commitment to continue.
There’s not a greater sense of assurance of God’s provision towards them, of goodness beyond my control. No, it’s really simple.
It’s an act of service, an act of love, my choosing to stay with it, this act of subtle intention.
By choosing this unspoken and barely articulated prayer, a comfort has come.
Love is not selfish. Stay with it.
The kitchen counter was covered with every cookbook my daughter owns with a little girl dressed like Cinderella plopped in the middle.
There was no recipe for cake for which the pantry had all the ingredients. So, we decide together with a bit of exuberance,
Chocolate meringue pie!
Cocoa powder, sugar, flour, milk, butter and egg whites all imperfectly measured were stirring together in the mixer sans vanilla extract and cream of tartar for little mountains of meringue.
Standing at the stove, an excited little chef beside me, I realized my wrong. I mixed everything together when I was supposed to add the eggs later.
I kept stirring the watery muddy mixture. She asked “Is it ready?”
Not yet. I kept stirring and glancing over at her and the mess we’d made, multiple bowls, measuring cups, egg carton and sprinkled flour.
I kept stirring, making up how I’d make it up, “Sorry, grandma did it wrong.” I’d tell her and then we’d either paint or play or I’d climb into the “jumpy house” with her.
But, it thickened. I’d lowered the flame and kept stirring and slowly, slowly and by surprise, I achieved filling for a chocolate pie!
Chilled and poured into the waiting crust, we added the translucent mixture for meringue.
Later, we shared a slice and celebrated.
Delightful, pure delight it was.
What if what you’re afraid won’t come true actually might? What if doubt takes up so much space in your mind that when delight comes gently knocking, you barely believe it.
You don’t let it in?
May His abundance never scare you, the possibility of it, the thought that it just can’t be true.
May you know its truth.
May you fathom what you decide is too beautiful to fathom.
May the peace you see in others allow you to never lose the same wonderful peace inside of you.
May others see peace in you that you don’t always see yourself.
It’s not of your making, but it’s every second there.
Stay with it, the way of love, peace and waiting. The way of enduring hope.
Of even more grace.
The way of continuing and believing.
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,” 2 Timothy 2:1 ESV
I’ll return to the large canvas when it is ready for my peaceful intention. I have an idea.
It’s fresh and new, its perspective
There’s no rush. Only that I choose to stay with it, to not fear the size of canvas or the abundance of its story.