Thursday, April 4, 2013

Behind the Scenes: Count Your Blessings

 {art available here}

I created this art a few years ago now & it has spoken to my heart many times this year. Since I have 3 little ones, I chose to photograph 3 {fake} eggs in a real robin's nest {it had fallen out of a tree & is now one of my treasures}. It is simply symbolic of what a blessing family is in my life, what my personal little nest is filled with. Or it could be symbolic of any treasure in your nest that you can count daily.

 {photo by Ann Voskamp}

While at the Atlanta Gift Show in January of 2011, I was showing my art to a DaySpring buyer & he pulled out this book in response to my nest art! Wow, do I wish I created that cover! I love it.

In any case, I finally read the book along with my bible study this year & as usual, God's timing is perfect.

At the end of 2012, my 2 licensing contracts ended: one with Demdaco (my plaques & crosses) & one with Avalanche Publishing (the sister company of Lang who produced my calendars). I knew those licenses would not last forever, but I have noticed this year more doubt in my heart and feelings of not being "good enough" in response to those "successes" ending. It drives me crazy, as for one, those business deals were TOTALLY God's grace in the first place! (I did not even seek out to be licensed with Demdaco & would have never even dreamt that big!) And, I began this entire art form as a personal act of worship & to encourage others, not to gain worldly success (& yet my heart battles with this now).



Recently I was having "one of those days" in which I was bummed about lack of sales all the while comparing myself to other artists who are much bigger than I & at bed time one of my kiddos shared how they did not feel like they were good enough at something at school. I in turn told them how I felt the same way about myself & felt that I was not a good enough artist, to which the older 2 stopped, gasped, and yelled, "WHAT?! MOMMY, YOU ARE THE BEST ARTIST IN THE WORLD! THE BEST ONE I HAVE EVER KNOWN!"

Be still my beating heart.

I mean, seriously folks, what is better than being the best in the eyes of your children who exclaimed those words with such sincerity of heart!

I got out my gratitude journal & started the list. God has used Ann's book in my life to show me so many things: about finding joy through thanksgiving, be grateful for what you DO have & not dwelling on what you don't have, seeing Him work in the midst of your days even in your ugly beautiful moments, and most of all living fully in His grace.

I am so blessed in so many ways & so humbled that God would choose this life for me. I hope all of you grow in gratitude so that you can be full of joy.

Grace & Peace,
Julie

3 comments:

amylee weeks said...

your work in spreading His word is stunning!!! i can relate to your post about doubts. being in this industry full of so many gifted artists is humbling, that is for sure! i just have to remind myself continually of my "life verse" -- by the grace of God, i am what i am. Please continue to press on in spreading His word. it is needed out there!!!!blessings to you ... amylee

cloud9design said...

What a touching post. Thank you for sharing. Keep being the light that you are. ;) Blessings

cloud9design said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. I have these words for you. You Are Enough.

I also create art to encourage others too. I totally get what you feel.

I actually have a mixed media painting of those very words, "You Are Enough" in my Etsy shop because it is so needed. https://www.etsy.com/listing/126090937/you-are-enough-original-hope-filled

Everyone needs to know, feel and BELIEVE those words.

many blessings to you!