Shiny Objects

shinyAlmost everyone has heard of the phrase “Shiny Objects”.  I decided to look it up online. It brought me to a website for entrepreneurs.  The article spoke of SOS, Shiny Object Syndrome, and called it the disease of distraction. I have been distracted many times in my life. (Even this morning!)

When you have Jesus in your life and you take time to listen for Him, the distractions fade and Jesus, the true “Shining Object” of our faith becomes front and center.

I have been a Christian going on 45 years and Jesus has been true to me in every season of life.  Together we have walked down some pretty rough roads. Daily I learn of why I must be completely devoted to him. The closer in relationship with Him that I am, the more the world and its cares fade into peace.  His loves become my loves. His purpose becomes my purpose. He has taken over my house and I have never had such a wonderful house guest. You see, He is completely devoted to me too.  Jesus is my shiny object and I am still captured by his love.

“But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.”  Hebrews 3:6

 

Rote

Definition of Rote

1

: the use of memory usually with little intelligence

learn by rote

2

: mechanical or unthinking routine or repetition

a joyless sense of order, rote, and commercial hustle

— L. L. King


As is often the case, I woke up with the intent of seeking out God. Most of you who know me know that I am quite passionate about Him. He often speaks to me “IN THE SHOWER!” I guess it’s where he has my full attention. I stand there with my Aqua Notes, ready and waiting. Today, I heard the word ROTE.

As you can see from the definition of rote, it’s not an exciting way to live. In fact, my personality goes against it on so many levels. But, in being truthful, I can see where I have allowed it to rule my life for many years because of fear of change, fear of failure, fear of what people think, etc.

Yesterday I was reading about an illustrator from Italy. She wrote about how she wanted to be a painter and novelist since she was 8. Now she is well known in her country and her art is amazing! She has a very long list of accomplishments and awards. It’s was so cool to see! I became inspired!

As the light went on in my heart, a questioned followed. “What is your passion Leslie? What are you doing now to pursue it?” I began to think of my successes and failures and dreams and what I was doing now to pursue them. It’s easy to walk down the “shoulda woulda coulda” road but it’s never been a road God let’s me travel on. He’s always there to point things out to me and spur me on. I love that about Him.

I have often lived by “rote” because it’s easier that way. It’s the path of least resistance. It somehow feels safe. Yet, a whole life of ROTE goes against God for so many reasons. First, it’s uninspired and can be boring exasperating, frustrating and depressing.

Imagine brushing your teeth… then thinking about it for hours…and wondering how others brush their teeth and wondering if you are doing it right and if you should get a new tooth brush or if you had the right kind of tooth brush and maybe you should watch a YouTube on how to brush your teeth better or buy more expensive tooth paste. ..or extend your thinking to include teeth whitening or braces or go to a trade show on dental care…aaack! BORING!

ROTE… I have spent hours on my art and hours trying to explain it to others and hope for their approval. It has taken me off the creative course. No one understands your creative process more than you. If you share your process before it’s time you risk aborting the finale, the ta da moment. The hard part is waiting. I for one, get so so excited to share that I can’t contain myself and I sabotage my efforts. (Haha! I’m working on that). It’s kind of like sharing your baby pictures! Do people really want to see your baby on the ultrasound after your prenatal check ups each month? ..or wait until that perfect little bouncing baby pops out screaming? (There are those kindred ones who love seeing your progress but beware of the stompers of dreams.)

It’s also important to know who you are working with and if you share the same vision. If you don’t, you won’t grow. You will stumble along on a path that is not yours or you will be on someone else’s path. It’s ok to jump ship. It does not mean the ship is bad, but to get to your destination you better take that leap of faith. If you are not leaping in your life are you living by faith?

The Bible speaks of God as being new every morning. It also talks about us being created in His image. We were created to create! Our lives should reflect our creators.

We may do some uninspired things by rote, like putting on our clothes in the morning and brushing our teeth, but in a world of decisions to be made, we should rethink “rote” through out our lives.

Let’s see, what should I change Lord? How can I begin living by leaping today? What rote habits have tied me down? Who am I listening to? Who must I please besides you? I’m listening…..

Draw draw draw…

Sometimes work bogs down. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the way I process my thoughts? Today I took a break from my new book and played around with some new images. Taking a fork in the road is sometimes just the thing to stay fresh. I was thinking about my friend so this first image popped out of my pen. …but then I had to make her some friends…. I love to make little characters!

Down times

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I am always making a To Do List. It helps me stay on task since my freelance jobs can be so sporadic….with ups and downs. When I have down times I embrace them. Those are the times when I can kick back and freely create whatever delights my soul. My last discovery came during this free time. This wonderful character came into my mind. She was so vivid I began sketching her right away. Enter Bitty Bettie! I hope to finish her story in the next few weeks. …keeping it fun!

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Bittie Betty

BBedOh Bitty Bettie!  And what are you dreaming of on this starry night?

Would you like to know the story behind this little “bit” of a Bettie?  I was helping at the hospital by bringing food up to patients.  I walked into a room and there was this little bit of a lady laying in bed.  She was so little and so sweet and her name was Betty!  I told her I was going to write a story using her name!  She was a little “Bitty Bettie” and such a dear.

Now I am in the midst of writing her story!  What fun to travel back in time to what it was like to be so little. Were you little?  Were you big for your age?  So much goes on in the minds of children as they grow up.

I remember going to the local grocery story when I was little. Who was visiting but the “Corn King”.

http://www.thetallestman.com/henrymullens.htm

He was soooo tall! One little girl was so scared she cried.  I remember vividly how sad he looked to see this little girls reaction.  I felt sorry for him.  I think it made a very big impact on me through the rest of my life.  I always pull for the under dog… the ones who are picked on or left out. It could have easily been me.  What really matters in life is the heart of a person.  Watch carefully what you value. People are the greatest treasures on earth.

The New Book

Oh wonder of wonders!  I love when a new book comes into my heart.  I was drowning in all my notes as you can see. I bought this nifty bulletin board to chart my chapters. Suddenly all the chapters came together.  Yes, as an artist, it’s so good for me to have the visual in front of me.  All these notes are now neatly arranged by chapters in my spiral notebook and my brain!  Let the writing begin!

2018 Resolution? … To Make NO Resolutions!

Onward into the New Year we go. Some are deep into their goals for the year. Some have weight loss on their minds, others may have travel destinations…still others are entertaining new attitudes about life in general…be nicer to people, live life on purpose, etc..

I found that the New Year has me in slow motion. I have a few ideas, but my usual clamor for my “Word For The Year” or my Grand Goals is just not happening.

I am in waiting mode. For so many years I have hopped through hoops and done what I was told. I’ve tried to please so many people that I lost myself along the way.

Okay….so I do have a goal..my one goal right now is simple. Toss it!

I am scaling down in all areas. As a visual person I find that too much stuff shuts me down..I need quiet and serene and clean. There will be a mass clean up in my studio. There will be rooms painted and the beginning of all things new. I am completely relying on God to show me the way. I am working on listening for His voice and He is speaking.

I am changing things up. If a person wants change they have to be willing to do things differently. 2018 will be full of adventure. Right now I feel like Abraham, not knowing where I am going….but it turned out ok for him!

Happy New Year Everyone!