2017 Here I Come

Is February too late for new year’s resolutions?

Life was still a little on the wild and crazy side back in January. Thankfully, I’m finally catching my breath. Now it’s time to start catching up with my hopes and dreams for 2017.

I rarely pick a word for the year, but it is glaringly obvious to me that my word is OBEY. You see, I tend to be an information gatherer. You know… reading all the books and blogs, listening to all the podcasts, watching the webinars, taking the classes all before taking that next step. Lots of information going in, but not a lot of action going out.

The thing is, I already know the assignment I’ve been given. My job is to make beautiful things using the gifts I’ve been given for the good of the world and the glory of God. In order for that to happen, I need to show up and do the work of creating, one painting at a time. I don’t need to go looking for more assurance. I don’t need to learn how every single other artist on the planet does it. I also, believe it or not, don’t need all the answers to all the questions. I am done searching for the perfect road map because when does God ever provide that in advance?!

I’m not a fan of the word resolution. I prefer to set intentions. So this is my intention for 2017:

I commit to obediently walk through every door that God opens for me in 2017, confident in His plan, trusting His purpose, supplied by His provision, equipped by His Spirit, and resting in His love.

 

Share Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Nothing Too Small

IMG_4408

I’d like you to meet my friend, Shannan Martin. I call her my friend, even though we’ve only met in person once (which was the craziest sleepover party I will probably ever experience in my life.) She might not recognize me if we ever met in the salsa isle of the grocery store, which is fine because I would probably get all sweaty and nervous and embarrassed that I hadn’t showered yet. But then again, she is the realest deal around, so I’m guessing I’d find her still in her sweats too.

10537755_10204515634515065_3743557867497110259_n (1)

Shannan just wrote a book, Falling Free: Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted. You absolutely must read it when it comes out. Do like me and preorder a copy on Amazon. I started following Shannan’s blog, Flower Patch Farmgirl, back when she was living the dream life in a picture perfect farmhouse down a tree lined lane. I’m not going to give the story away, but she and her husband had a hunch that God had better ideas for them than a comfy cozy life on the farm, so they let go of what they thought was their dream come true and traded it in for an unmapped adventure with God. It has been quite the ride.

Who doesn’t love an inspirational story? I think we all do.

But let’s be honest. Big stories make me feel small sometimes. Like a drop in a bucket.

Ker-plink. Ker-plunk.

It’s tempting to think bigger is better. It’s tempting to think the best story wins. I know in my head it’s not true, but in my heart I tend to feel otherwise. Why hasn’t God asked me to do something bigger and better? Something radical? Something important?

I’m about to get real here when I say I might even be jealous of other people’s stories. It’s the ugly truth. Inspiring stories make me wish my own story had a little more glamour and flash. How’s that for dirty laundry? (aka sinful nature?) But seriously, how often have you heard the phrase, “tell your story” or “your story matters” and thought your own “story” wasn’t good enough?

The world needs big radical Jesus loving world changers. I know I need them. I learn from them. I read their blogs, buy their books, and follow their feeds. They inspire me. They open my eyes and break open my heart and move me to act. They point me to Jesus.

But here’s the thing I need to remember:

The world needs the everyday ordinary Jesus loving world changers too.

You know what that means?

That means I get to do that thing that God whispers in MY ear today.

It’s a very simple two step process. 1. Listen. 2. Obey.

While it’s true that nothing is too big with God,

it’s also true that nothing is too small.

Because if God asks me to do it,

it IS important.

*linking up with Lori Harris for her series #onethingrightnow

Share Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

January Resolutions

2015-09-17_0195

It’s January, the month of fresh starts, new beginnings, and resolutions for a new and improved whatever.

I could quickly come up with a mile long list of things that I think need improving, but that’s not the way I want to roll anymore. I’ve chased “a better future” for far too long. Let me tell you, running into the future is a race that is never won.

Instead, I’m working really hard on contentment and joy in the right here, the right now, and the as is. It’s easy some days. Other days it’s a battle. Who am I kidding? Most days it’s a battle. Why? Because I’m a fixer and a do-er. If I go too long without any “fixing” or “doing” I get reeeeeeally cranky. Just ask my husband. Productivity and progress are two of my favorite words. Unfortunately, this make me quick to lose sight of two other valuable “p” words: patience and presence.

I think it is natural as an artist and creator to imagine “what could be,” and to desire to create it. The problem is when the “what could be” becomes more important and worthy of my attention and affection than the “what is.”

So no big glamorous inspirational resolutions for me this year.  I’m simply going to keep on keeping on with the already good, good gifts I’ve been given. Or maybe I do have a resolution–to be present, to be grateful, to do the work of today, and to leave the outcome up to God.

Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received. ~C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Share Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Resist the Resistance

do the work 2

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” ~Steven Pressfield. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

It’s been hard to call myself an artist these days because there’s not a whole lot of art making going on around here. I’ve got resistance coming from every direction. No time…no space…no quiet…more important things to do…things that need fixing…mini-emergencies…places to be…mom jobs…you name it. That kind of thinking tempts a girl to hang up her apron and retire the brushes because life just keeps getting in the way.

But then I remember.

I remember making 100 Faces.

I remember how just a few minutes a day and a few scraps of paper and the corner of a desk was all it took to make a little art. I remember how a little art = lots of happy.

I remember how day after day, a little art grew into a lot of art, and then that art landed itself on a gallery wall, and now that art is heading for Art Prize with over 1,500 other works of art, where it could potentially be seen by tens of thousands of people over the course of the next three weeks.

Wow. Just wow.

I don’t think I’m ready to retire quite yet. Nope, not even close. Hopefully not ever.

God wrote this story, and all the resistance in the world isn’t going to change who He made me to be…

an artist.

I have to go now. My brushes are calling.

What’s calling you?

 

Share Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

The Grad

DSC_8537

Everyone tells you they grow up fast. Well, guess what? It’s true.

I remember when she was born like it was yesterday. Mommies don’t forget these things.

But just look at her now! I couldn’t be more proud of my girl.

DSC_8576

The graduation open house will go down as one of my favorite memories and a milestone we will never forget.

It was a beautiful night.  Not just the weather, but the whole shebang.

I tried to soak it all in…and my heart was full.

DSC_8347

 I’m still feeling the love, all these weeks later.

It’s just such a wonderful thing to gather all the people who have been a part of one growing up girl’s life.

 God has used those relationships to bless, to lead, to mold, to encourage, to teach, and to grow my girl into the beautiful person that she is.

Leaves me speechless. And teary. And grateful.

DSC_8471

It’s best I stop talking before I get all weepy and mushy on you. I tend to do that these days.

My ever so talented photographer niece was kind enough to record the special night with pictures.

 Enjoy…

DSC_8470    DSC_8588

DSC_8549

DSC_8504

 

DSC_8539

DSC_8485     DSC_8584

DSC_8595

DSC_8445   DSC_8437

DSC_8456

DSC_8434

DSC_8467

DSC_8433

DSC_8428

DSC_8426

DSC_8381

DSC_8424   DSC_8430   DSC_8409   DSC_8413   DSC_8377   DSC_8478

DSC_8358

DSC_8342

DSC_8366

Wow! You made it to the end of the post! Good job!

And to my daughter…good job! You made it!

And to all of the people who have been part of Hanna’s life…good job!

Thank you from the bottom of my grateful mamma heart.

Share Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

SHINE

Watercolor by Kristi Lynn Studio

(Prints available on Etsy!)

I love Matthew 5:14-16 as it reads in The Message:

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

Now, go bring out some God-colors in your world!

Share Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Be Still and Know….

"Be Still"  Watercolor painting by Kristi Lynn

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God,  above politics, above everything.”  Psalm 46:10 (The Message)

Who, me? Be still? The last few weeks have been anything but still.

This painting was born as a reminder to myself– a reminder to step out of the traffic of my life and take a long loving look at God. He’s got it all under control.

Ahhhhhhh. I feel better already.

 

 

Share Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Mornings in the Studio

Kristi Lynn Studio

In the morning, the house is quiet. The computer is not yet humming with it’s usual distractions and the day planner will wait. In the morning, the responsibilities of the day have not yet chipped away at my time, the inner critic has not yet chipped away at my heart, and the resistance has not yet chipped away at my conviction.

In the morning, I turn on the music and the muse and I create. This is when time stands still. The hours feel like minutes and my heart is full with possibilities. I say yes to God’s gifts and promise us both that I will never again let them go. It is a time of giving thanks and giving back to the Giver. It is a time of birthing the beauty He places on my heart.

In the morning, I delight in creating for and with my Creator, and He delights in me.Because He First Loved Me

Share Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Painted Words

Mixed Media Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I recently had coffee with a friend and she shared with me two little words that God has been whispering (and shouting) in her ear.

It seems my friend and I both wrestle with all the things that we’re told we need to do to be “successful” in the online world of writing and art.  Just this morning I was watching tutorials, trying to educate myself on SEO (search engine optimization) and strategies to promote my Etsy shop.  Yada, yada, yada……yawn.  This stuff both bores me to death and drives me to anxiety induced chocolate binges.

Today I worried. Worried about my website’s SEO. Worried about selling my art on Etsy. Worried about filling my classes. Worried about the kids being home for yet another snow day. Worried I would get nothing done.

Mixed Media Collage by Kristi Lynn Studio

Worry is fear. Worry is resistance.

Worry is me staring at the computer, searching for every answer to every question.

For me, the best way to still the wandering worrying mind is to be creative.

So, today I painted. I painted words.

Mixed Media Collage by Kristi Lynn Studio

 Praying these words will sink right down into my winter weary heart … and yours.

Share Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

This Is The Day

kristi lynn studio

 The ninety and nine are with dreams, content,

but the hope of the world made new is the hundredth man who is grimly bent

on making those dreams come true.”

~Edgar Allan Poe

This is the day. For the past year, I have been “grimly bent’ on making this dream come true.  I open this place up to the world today with quiet confidence. There will be no fanfare, no big ta-dah’s.  Instead, there will be one giant sigh of relief and the deep down gratitude that comes from winning the hard fought fight for your dreams.

I now know more than I ever wanted to know about web design.  It has brought me to tears and frustration many times, but it has also brought me to Alysa Passage with Passage Hill Designs.  I absolutely could not have gotten here without her professional skills. As an added bonus, Alysa is a dream believer, a heart encourager, and inspiration giver.  Lucky for me, she has become a treasured friend.

I don’t really know what will come of this one little place on the great big world of the web, but I have an open and expectant heart for all the things God has planned.  Have a look around.  Make yourself at home.  Subscribe!  Leave a comment?  Do whatever you like.  Take your time.  No hurry.

I think I’m going to be here for awhile.

 

Share Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone