Friday, November 2, 2012

six songs 2012

We had our annual "Six Songs" art show last weekend.
It is so wonderful to be apart of a church community that values and encourages artists!
I look forward to it every year, 
even though I always wait till the last minute and always doubt what I can come up with, 
God always seems to show me what new things to share about what He's teaching me.
I'm excited to give this painting to my dear friends in California when I go to visit them this month!

Here was my piece and the blurb I wrote for it- enjoy!

song inspiration: ulysess by josh garrels; watercolor & colored pencils on wood

There's a quite a few interpretations of this song that I've read- the title of it being drawn from a character in the Odyssey who longs to be reunited with his love. There is also a parallel drawn to the struggles of life. This was a pretty simple concept to me, but I'm not too good at hidden meanings so I really did love the simplicity of it. I also have a love of typography so I loved the process of writing out these words.

The lyrics I chose are what really struck me about the song:

"Carry me with the memories of the beauty I have known" 

This brought to mind the recent reminder I've had in my life- to know the importance of remembering what God has done to change my life.
Remembering what God has done in the past can carry me in the times I'm just not sure. There is beauty in these memories- even if they were painful at the time, I believe God has used them all for good.

"I'm sailing home to you, I won't be long...
By the light of moon, I will press on"

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me.” -Philippians 3:12

perfect in weakness

I started this post a while back-
And since it's kinda big stuff for me I can be a little fearful of being this honest-
But hey, this is real stuff going on in my life right now.
I may not have it fully processed but I'm getting there.
There is so much in my head & heart right now.
I hope this comes out coherently...

We had our annual women's retreat the first weekend in October.
The theme of our weekend was "Let us be Reminded".
Dunno if you ever read this post I wrote a while back, but it's something I need to be reminded of in my life.
This post is about another insecurity God is breaking apart and replacing it with more security found in Christ.
Pretty awesome, really, that God used the weekend of the retreat to help me conquer another piece of insecurity -
And I will look back on it and be reminded.

It has been a trying last couple of months for me; emotional, physically, spiritually.
Sometimes it didn't seem so hard, sometimes it's seemed like so much more than I could handle.
I've been asking God if all this is really what He wants me to do pleanty of times.
Every time I've been answered:

Through His Word:
"...My power is made perfect in weakness..."
-2 Corinth. 12:9-10

"The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."
-Zephaniah 3:17

Through song:
"Oh, my God, he will not delay.
My refuge and strength, always.
I will not fear, His promise is true.
My God will come through, always."

And through my friends.
I've never felt so supported by my community in this way.
During a time when I've felt the most vulnerable -
I've been encouraged to keep going.
I've been told that what I'm doing is good.
I've been challenged to go further.
I've been shown grace in my learning.

Well, on one hand, I've learned that this thing that I've been trying to conquire is really not a big deal when it's all said and done.
And that has helped me let go.
Let go of perfection, let go of pride.
And in that, knowing that God can be glorified when I humble myself-
And just aknowledge that He is what matters, nothing else -
This has shown me what worship is & what it isn't...

And on another hand, it has meant such a great deal to me, as an insecure and prideful woman.
By being asked to lead musical worship for my community, I've had to learn more about myself:
What my own voice sounds like...
What sort of deep insecurities I've been holding on to that I didn't really know I had...
Whether I care more about what people think of me or more about what God thinks of me...

I've had to face a huge fear of failing with singing.
I've been hiding, forever been comparing it, been too afraid of what it will sound like on it's own.
(Some of you may be a little confused because you've seen me sing a lot.
Well, most of the time, I've been hiding behind other people and hoping that I haven't really been heard.)
And what I've finally found, at 26 year old, is that I don't mind my singing voice.
Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't.
Sometimes I still get frustrated with what it can't do.
But for the first time ever, I'm okay with that and I want to share it with people.
Just because its not perfect does not mean I can't use it!
God put within me a to desire to sing -
Whatever that looks like -
Who am I to keep repressing that and trying to cover up how much I love it?

On retreat, I lead musical worship for 40+ women singing their hearts out to God.
It was so very humbling.
God entrusted me with helping lead these women to express feelings that sometimes cannot be expressed any better way that with music.
The weight of that responsibility was at times overwhelming.
But ultimately I found it to be such a joy and a privilege to be given by God and the people I love.
And that has continued to be the case as I've lead our church in worship as well.

For me this is a huge step and a small step all at once.
Huge for me finding more freedom in my life-
Small because it's just one little chapter in the story God is still writing for me through my freedom in Jesus.
I'm continuing to learn what God is redeeming me from-
So that I may know what he's redeeming me for.