This is what I started to tackle yesterday. This is my art room! I've avoided it thus far - still has some move in stuff, a couple of things from our old house, triple bagged and taped shut. And, truthfully, it was too painful to walk in. This is my dream room. And I've felt so stripped of dreams. Very blessed (I still experience a huge sense of wonder when I see my house at the end of the driveway. And when I go to sleep IN MY BED!!!) (Evidently sleeping on couches, air mattresses, and concrete floors really made an impression). Anyway, I feel blessed in many many ways, but unable to dream. The future is so much in God's hands - and the past two years so unbelievable.... I have felt so much support and love. And yet, I was called to give up sooo much over the past 15 years. Health, "normal" childhoods for my kids (yeah, I know, right? That doesn't exist anyway, but you know what I mean), my intellectual skills (nothing like years of B12 deficiency, hormonal trauma from endometriosis and multiple surgeries to addle your brains - my worst year for that - I was put under anesthesia six times that I can remember in 12 months), loss of a "normal" diet, loss of friends (not many stick around)(not that I blame them), loss of my sense of control and identity, loss of house and everything that we owned (I still cannot wear my wedding rings)... I could add more, but no need. The main point is that I've been asked to give up most of what was important to me, and I was given the grace to do so. Now I'm so used to giving up, that I'm suddenly realizing that I am afraid to ask for anything. I am afraid to admit that I have needs or wants. Especially wants - that just seems selfish when I have so much. How dare I ask for anything but what has been given?
So, I have this art room. My family has moved into this house, I've tried to make sure everyone has all they need and much of what they want. My kids have an awesome playroom, slowly being restocked with toys, a bookshelf, school books (ok, so that isn't totally awesome for them, but hey, they are getting a pretty cool education), necessities, etc. My hubbie has his shed, bees, tractor, drums, music room, guitar, garage, chromebook. He has an office, but poor guy just has an empty room up there right now ;) Someday...
I have a sewing machine, so I can sew things for the kids and some curtains. I have a small box of art supplies - given to me by some very dear friends. But if you look at me, and if you know me well, you'll see that I am avoiding art (or anything else that would be considered "for me"). So, I'm back to this room again. It is not only empty, it is a mess. Look at the floor:
This is left over construction stuff. Mud, sheetrock plaster, paint. Anything that has not got a place yet ends up on the floor in here. And I walk by it like it isn't even there.
This room is such a difficult place for me. It is mine, it says that I am important, that I have a place, that I matter. This is a difficult concept for me. Most of my life, I've been asked for things - to be a good daughter, a listener, a friend, a babysitter, a student, a fixer, a doer. I think that made it easier for me to give up everything - I don't really think that I deserve it anyway! And people are very good at hammering that home. "You just don't realize how lucky you are." "Look at all your blessings." "I never had these chances." "Boy you landed on your feet, didn't you?"
I'm not sure if my point of view is just unusual, or what the deal is. I live in a world where I am constantly bowled over by what I have, by what has been given to me. I can deal with hardship better than with plenty. This mindset makes it almost impossible for me to dream right now. How could I possibly have the gall to ask for more??? I have learned so much about being content right where I am.
But, this room is a gift. It is empty right now, just like me. I don't know what will happen inside. And it is time to gracefully open my eyes and accept my gift. As a friend once said, "Quit thinking you don't deserve it and just say thank you." Here is what a gal and her paint scraper can do (with a rag and some water).
Looking better, isn't it? Like someone cares about it. It still is hard to do this, to prepare a room for who knows what. Art is something near to my soul. God speaks so clearly when I throw pots and paint canvases. (I mean this in the sense of a potter throwing pots - I do not mean that He speaks when I start hurling things, though that thought does make me smile). I have this feeling, that is growing stronger, that my pottery days are not over. I do not know how this will happen. But the feeling is growing. I feel I'm now being asked to put my very soul in His hands. Art holds my deepest dreams, makes me reveal my true self. I heard in a talk once that artists are hard to convert to Christianity, because Art is their God. That is also why so many go crazy, I think. Well, maybe that and the paint fumes. Anyway, it is very true. And once an artist meets God, and sees the Creative Force from which all art springs, well, hmmmm. I'm not very sure how to put it all in words. I could draw you a picture more easily.
Here is a last photo. I'm only half done with the floor. And then Chris will find some time to seal it for me. And then we will see. I know what I'm supposed to pray for. So I am. I've shared my fears here, but I'm not in such a scary place now. I've jumped in with both feet (which I am wont to do). Life is always less terrifying if you just take the leap and start doing the job in front of you, keeping your eyes on Christ. I'm scrubbing and preparing, though I have no idea exactly what for. What for doesn't really matter, as long as you know Who for.
"'Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.' So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me. 'O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel."
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature."