for the Creatives

Nothing is wasted

I’m envisioning this post like a lighthouse. Only, this isn’t your typical lighthouse analogy. It’s not a lighthouse showcasing all the rocks you’re on the verge of crashing into and saying, “Wait, danger, you’re going the wrong way!” This isn’t that lighthouse analogy. It may be the same lighthouse, but look at it a different way with me today. Instead, think of it as the lighthouse beaming amidst the tumultuous waters, reminding you of the cozy shelter you’re heading towards. The lighthouse that beckons, “See, you’re on the right track. Keep moving along, you’re getting closer.”

If you feel like you’re stuck in the wrong place, or living the wrong life, or just 20 steps behind where you planned, treading water while reaching toward that elusive dream… (like, say, a dream of being a full-time author making a living off her writing, hypothetically speaking…)

Shes The Man GIF: "speaking as a completely objective third-party outsider with absolutely no personal interest in the matter"

(Note: the subtext in the movie this quote is from, and here, is the entire discussion is because there is a WHOLE BUNCH of personal interest in the matter))

I’ve been seeing reminders lately that nothing is wasted, and I thought I’d throw that reminder out to you, too. Nothing is wasted. Like a lighthouse or a floatie or at least a piece of driftwood, this is something for you to focus and grab onto amidst the waves. If your plan for your life is a little more zigzag than a straight line, let me tell ya: nothing is wasted.

I don’t mean this as some sort of “smile when bad things happen” mantra. Just because we land somewhere doesn’t mean we were meant to land there. But I take hope that I’m not necessarily derailed forever, that each intricacy is knitting together a life I’m pursuing.

You may be learning administrative or customer service or leadership skills that will translate to your own entrepreneurial endeavors one day. You may be learning what not to do. You may be taking the time you need to recover and rejuvenate to go full steam ahead next year. You may be passing on a legacy or a dream to those around you. Look closely at your past circumstances, at your present circumstances, and see what you can glean to move toward your dream better than before. If you look closely, you might see something to take with you on your journey. Or, you may not. I sure don’t sometimes. We don’t always get to see what’s happening until hindsight.

Emperor's New Groove GIF: Kronk says "By all accounts, it doesn't make sense," while showing a map where one party had no way of beating the other party to the location and somehow they did anyway

The more I look at the dreams of others around me slowly coming true, how all the detours and pieces of their lives come together into this moment…. It’s something that can be happening for me too, for you too. If you can’t yet see it for yourself, look at someone further along the journey than you. Sometimes we can see it in others before we can see it for ourselves. Whether you call it God or destiny or providence or purpose or… It’s conspiring for you as you dream. Keep dreaming, keep following that light, and sooner or later we’ll see the convergence.

Musings

The first paid gig

Some of you have been following my writerly dream for a long time. Some of you are just now introduced to me (hi, I’m Amy, nice to meet you lovelies).

All that to say, it’s been a journey. One that obviously isn’t done, because I don’t have a novel out yet. But I *am* now published. You heard that right! I had my first paid gig, that is to say, my dayjob paid me to write an article. It’s a step in the journey I am thrilled to have taken.

If you’re interested, go check out my article on Hope for Orphans. Orphan ministry isn’t just adoption, in fact, most orphans are not adoptable. And it’s so cool to see all the ways we can help! While you’re at it, see why the founders of Hope for Orphans are members of Samaritan Ministries (my dayjob). Health care doesn’t have to be impersonal.

Now excuse me while I do a happy dance for being published and paid for writing 😉

 

 

Faith, for the Bookworms, Showcasing other Creatives

5 Books for Christian Artists

Being an artist is difficult. Adding Christian to that title puts a whole other spin on things. Here’s 5 Christian books I recommend for artists.

 

To build your artist brand:51fn4UIx9kL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_
“Crafting Your Brand”

Matt Tommey

This book is perfect for anyone looking to make their art a business. Branding is especially big right now, even though it’s been around forever. Matt Tommey’s book introduces readers to the basics of branding, while also tackling some of the lies we believe about creativity clashing with business.

 

 

 

To study artists in Scripture & apply to your life:
“Unlocking the Heart of the Artist” 51GfacF2pPL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_
Matt Tommey

 

Every artist should read this book. Every artist! This book studies the origins of artistry in the Bible and presents the lies (and truths!) that are prominent in that. Find your place in the Kingdom with chapters on community, prophetic voice, spiritual discipline, and co-laboring with God.

 

 

 

 

To find your life calling:512Q3lH0uqL._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_
“Chazown”
Craig Groeschel

For those artists (and non-artists) who are still unsure what their calling is in life, Craig Groeschel’s book has a very practical approach to discovering it through looking at your gifts, values, and experiences. Once you pin down your vision and calling, there’s still a bulk of chapters on next steps and living it out. Don’t miss this book!

 

 

 

To get a second chance at your career:51KE+8bOHwL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_
“Do-Over”
Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff’s Do-Over is perfect for those who feel they’re stuck in a rut, not moving forward with their dream. Maybe you’re an artist on the side with a day-job that drains the life out of you. Maybe you’re living what you thought your dream was and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Whatever the case, Do Over gives you the chance to do just that – call “Do Over” and start your dream anew. Acuff gives the tools to get you right where you want to be and start living life with your dream at the center.

 

 

To conquer your artistic vices: 51g2xDQtM6L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_
“The Heart of the Artist”
Rory Noland

Not to be confused with Matt Tommey’s book, Rory Noland also wrote a book about the Heart of the Artist. This one centers on the character struggles that artists tend to face – Perfectionism, Poorly Handling Criticism, Jealousy, Overly Emotional, and the like. There’s also an excellent chapter on how to Lead Artists, because we are a difficult to finagle bunch, ha! Excellent book for any ministry team or any artist individually to work through.