Monday, June 8, 2015

Love, Joy and Freedom (#SmallWonder Link-up)

I didn't paint this, but isn't it beautiful?!

Pink, orange and yellow – Zinnia colors.  I squirted them liberally across the top of the old painting’s canvas then mixed them with long brush strokes.

I found a bunch of picture frames sitting along a leafy patch of back road a few weeks ago.  We have a lot of large, blank wall spaces, so I threw them into the back of the van and brought them home.  Last week, as school was winding down for summer, I dove-in, mixing paint and words on top of old paintings straight out of the seventies.  

I love the artistic alchemy of turning something old into something new.  And, because I have no training in painting, I have a lot of freedom. 

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I took a couple of classes Pass/Fail during my senior year of seminary.  I already had enough credits and taking the classes Pass/Fail freed me from the pressure of an “A.” 

I had fun in those classes.  I wrote creatively and for the final project in one class I made a book – hand bound with watercolor illustrations. 

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If the only standard is joy, then I will paint to my heart’s content.

If no one’s grading me, what I would most like to do is make a book.

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My writing life is changing – this is something I feel intuitively, an inner turning like the earth shifting just the slightest to make room as a seedling emerges.  In the midst of this change, I'm realizing I want to approach writing like I do painting – to embrace freedom and practice the alchemy of weaving stories, old and new.  I want to remember to live and write like it’s all Pass/Fail – to return to the freedom of allowing love and joy to be my guides. 

What does writing look like for you these days?  Does summer impact your writing schedule and routines?  What would you do if no one was “grading” you?

*Photo credit for Zinnia Painting

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Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.

What if we chose to deliberately look for the small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God? 

That's my proposal - that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  

You're invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are.  

While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.      


19 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting Kelly, have a great week. Blessings

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  2. "If the only standard is joy . . ."
    What a freeing prospect, and what amazing permission to glorify God in every area of our lives!
    Love this post today, and appreciate your work in hosting this link!

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  3. Kelly, it is amazing to think about the concept of "pass/fail" - no one grading us. There would surely be such a release & freedom in just being. This morning you have made me grateful our God does not grade us but accepts us as we are. Have a wonderful Monday!

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    1. Pass/Fail - it's sorta the heart of grace, isn't it?

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  4. What a beautiful painting! My mother was an artist and, while I can't paint, I enjoy and appreciate art. Write for me stays the same year round. Empty nest changed it all. I'm so blessed to have a career I love.

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    1. If you follow that link, the painting is for sale, although a little too pricey for me. I do love it, though.

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  5. Another attitude I need to borrow from you, Kelly.
    "And, because I have no training in painting, I have a lot of freedom."

    Great perspective that can be applied to many things. Too often we think we have to either be naturally talented or have had years of training before we are qualified to do something. But not so. Love the pass/fail mentality. You definitely deserve a passing grade for sharing this! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. We are learning new perspectives together :)

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  6. Kelly,
    I love your perspective of freedom as I've been thinking about freedom on and off for the past 9 months...how Christ died to give us freedom...the freedom to live by the Spirit and not by legalism...love how you're following the Spirit's call to freedom...blessing :-)

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    1. I wonder where those thoughts are taking you, Dolly? I'd love to hear more. I can find freedom both exhilarating and terrifying.

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  7. I want to write like it's pass/fail too! Sometimes I just put so much pressure on myself, but I have to remember that I'm not trying to be famous. If I don't get a lot of hits, likes, comments, etc one week, it doesn't mean that I'm not a good writer anymore. Occasionally, I forget that I started writing for myself. I began my blog after a personal tragedy and it helped me heal. Now that my heart is mended, I have smaller things to worry about (rather than really big things like just getting through the day). I don't want one of these worries to be if people are going to like what I have to say. Thanks for the encouragement to write with a more care-free attitude. And what a beautiful painting that is!

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  8. Oh I love this... for all kinds of reasons!

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  9. Yes! As an author, it's so easy to let the business of writing overpower the love and joy of it. But there's really no greater fulfillment in it than remembering to let go and surrender.

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    1. "let go and surrender" - yes, that's the heart of it, isn't it?!

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  10. My writing seems all over the place. I need focus, but I want freedom at the same time. Freedom just to write whatever comes to my fingers and flies across the screen.

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    1. Yes, that's such a real tension, isn't it, Mary? I've yet to resolve it . . .

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  11. "If the only standard is joy, then I will paint to my heart's content." Oh goodness, yes. When this ceases to be the standard for me, too, I find my art growing smaller rather than expanding. I appreciate your perspective so much, Kelly, and I'm smiling at the thought of a gentle shifting for you, in your writing, making space for a seedling to grow. I can't wait.

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