As I was reading through chapters 8, 9 & 10 this week I found it interesting that the first thing Emily says to do when releasing your art is to show up. You see I am known for making plans or having wonderful ideas on how to help people who need help or showing people how much I love them and then not showing up or rather not following through.
I come up with these grand schemes, long lists of things I want to accomplish, plans for how to teach the children about whatever, and then I don’t follow through with those things.
For me, showing up is one of the hardest parts. I get scared. Things aren’t just how I imagined that they would be. My perfectionist tendencies come to the fore and I get discouraged and quit.
But in reading this book, I am learning that I don’t have to have all of the answers. I am learning that showing up is simpler than I make it.
“Instead of a plan, you are simply asked to show up in this day the same way you did the day you were born, with empty hands and an instinct to depend on someone bigger than you.”
It is okay to show up even when I am not ready…Honestly, I don’t know that I am ever ready. Even when I think I’m prepared, things never go as I expect them to go. Of course, it doesn’t matter how prepared I am I really just need to show up.
And of course, there are the times when you are ready and you have shown up and you have to wait. Waiting … it can be a disheartening time or it can be a time of movement.
Waiting can be a time of moving closer to God. The past eighteen months have been a time of waiting for me. I quit my job believing that my purpose in life was changing. I was tired of teaching. I was tired of seeing things grow increasingly worse in the classroom. I was tired of being used as a punching bag for children who were angry and hurting and whose parents were to selfish and self-centered to do anything about it. And I was so excited about the possibilities of things to come.
Here I am 18 months later, and I’m still waiting. Oh, my purpose has changed. Instead of teaching, I am now assisting my grandmother who is showing signs of the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s and I am writing, but I am still waiting. Still waiting because all of this is temporary…at least the assisting Grandmother part… and wondering who will I be and what will I be doing when I am no longer doing this.
Waiting and wondering, “What is that I’m supposed to be preparing for?” Waiting and depending on the Lord to show me one step at a time.
Waiting and yet I’m moving too. I’m moving into a closer relationship with the Lord. God has been silent in my life…His purpose for me for right now is to keeping moving closer to Him, to keep growing in Him…to trust in Him. And so I’ll keep waiting so that when the time is right I will be ready…to offer my art.
Offering your art is about offering yourself, what you have, so that Christ may work through you. It is about being generous and sharing of yourself. Being fully who you are.
Once again, I struggle with this. I think we all do to some extent. But when I struggle with it the most is when I get turned around and make the offering all about me.
When I make the offering about me, then I get caught up in my fears. Will they like it? Will they accept? What if this happens? What if that happens?
The truth is though…It is not about ME. It is about Him.
It is about Christ. It is about making the offer so that Christ is glorified, not me.
It is about offering what you have to Christ so that He in turn may use it to help others.
The offering is not about me. It is about Him.