Fear of Blank Pages…

•March 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Nothing intimidates me more than a blank page.  And even worse….the first page.

(I think that’s why its taken me so long to write on our blog)

Seeing that big open space just waiting to be filled, just makes me nervous especially in things like sketch books or journals.  You see I have this problem where I buy sketch books with the intention of taking it everywhere with me and practicing me sketching techniques.  I know I’m not this amazing sketcher or drawer by any means but I have a desire to be better.  But the thing is, I buy these books and never use them.  I can’t get past the first page.  I feel like the first sketch should be mind-blowingly amazing or something so I just never draw anything….until recenetly.

This summer while I was in Italy, my teacher was showing us her sketchbook.  It was filled with sketches and then snip-its of real life. Like her grocery list and lists of other kinds.  It was a REAL carry-with-me-everywhere sketchbook.  I idolized it.  She told me she had that same fear of “ruining” her sketchbook by making a catastrophe of the first page so she shared with me this life changing advice….just SCRIBBLE on it!

Scribble, splat, smear, smudge, make a mess of that first page….then all intimidation is gone.  The first page lets you get out that anxiety and get on with your sketches.  I know it sounds silly, but try it.  It helped me over come my fear, and I’ve found a new love for sketchbooks.

And hey, whose not to say that one of those scribbles won’t be a masterpiece??  I mean helloooo modern art…..Check out whats going on at the MOMA

love. its only appropriate.

•February 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So this being the week for “love”, I felt it only appropriate to acknowledge it.  I actually forgot this week was Valentine’s Day, but was quickly reminded when I went to the post office to pick up a book and everyone in line was either holding a pink/heart  package, or talking about picking one up. Great reminder, or single-awareness? I’m not really sure.  Nevertheless, me being the observer that I am I have been observing love, in all aspects, in recent days and it has been really cool, and sort of eye-opening. I started thinking about what does it really mean to love unconditionally? to everyone, in every type of relationship. It is almost as if the Lord has been showing me different types of love to better understand that love isn’t just associated with hearts and valentines; its powerful feeling, act, emotion the Lord has not only lavished unselfishly upon us but has called us to give to others unconditionally, as He has shown us, and will continue to, forever. What better example of love is there then in the example of the Lord? So I have been searching. Love is a call on our lives. Its a choice. Not something necessarily that we always want to do, but we must because He first loved us. That is not something that we can wane from. To be able to love like we are supposed to, we must realize and take captive the abundant love the Lord has for us. If we dont own that, if we dont capture that , if we don’t walk daily in that then how are supposed to love people? We have no base. “And may the Lord make your love for one another and for ALL people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12) Loving unconditionally is out of the overflow of what has been shown to us, and we can’t love if we haven’t been filled.

So I have been picking apart 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is PATIENT, and KIND. Love in not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. it does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love NEVER gives up, never loses faith, is ALWAYS hopeful, and ENDURES through every circumstance.” I have been asking myself…what qualites in this verse have I or have not been showing to people? Do I really walk this love out everyday? I want to. The Lord makes no mistakes by making it the first commandment, so it’s definitely something that needs to be in the forefront of my mind every day,all the time. I need to constantly be making the choice out of the overflow of my heart to love someone, regardless of the circumstance. I need to feel love, and act love.

So I will celebrate love this week and every week for that matter, and acknowledge the fact that we are here to love. We are the body of Christ and without loving each other, and thus helping each other out, we are not exhibiting what the Lord has intended for us to be individually and together, united in the person who is LOVE. So I will continue to watch love happen this week, and if it has to be a silly holiday or what not to make it more apparent I will enjoy that, because love is what it’s all about.

“Be on guard. Stand firm in faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with LOVE.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13

-Taylor

Be the difference.

•February 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I am completely overwhelmed at the moment by the feeling that my heart is about to explode out of my chest. Immediacy is stalking me like a starving animal lowering itself to preying on the weak and vulnerable. Why? Well… Time has been placed before me and I feel there is a void that needs to be filled. How can I use this time to make a difference? In a world broken and battered by so much pain, who do I help? Can I help? Are my efforts worth much of anything?

My awareness of need and hurt in the world is not what I would describe as acute. There is issue after issue pulling my heart-strings every which way until they are all tangled into a violent mass of inaction. The issues this world faces today are innumerable and blighting, and personally, I am often overwhelmed by what issue I should be focusing my efforts on. I am sure that countless others can relate to this feeling. We don’t want to sit by and watch injustice wreak havoc on our fellow-man, but how do you attack an injustice that has wormed its way into all facets of life on earth.

A professor of mine once had attached to the end of an exam a story about a young man throwing starfish into the ocean. One by one he’d pick them up off the shore and throw them back into the water. A passerby inquired about why he was doing this explaining that he could never possibly expect to throw all the starfish back into the water before they died. The young man responded by throwing another into the ocean and explaining that however many starfish may need to be thrown back, it didn’t change that he had made a difference to that one. This is a much shorter and less eloquent version of an anecdote that has resounded in my thoughts ever since.

The idea that one person can make a difference is sometimes laughable when we look at the condition of the world today. It is something I have struggled with recently and I am positive is a cause of much inaction by individuals all over the world. Someone recently jarred these thoughts by asking me to think on a smaller scale about what could happen in the world if everyone only made a difference, however big or small,  in one other person’s life. If all over the world we were not focused on moving mountains,  but instead were each focused on moving the stone or even pebble placed before us hindering our way to the next one. The thought of that has given me hope. Imagine our world if everyone did what was in front of them and affected one other person at a time  uninhibited by the abundance of wrong humanity faces today.

My window of opportunity is due to having very few hours left to complete my undergraduate degree, and not knowing which direction my life is heading, I think it wise to take my time and use it for good rather than face graduation not having a clue what’s next. I am not sure yet as to where I will go or what exactly I’ll be doing, but I do know that I have to go. My heart is being pulled to some place, to help some unknown person. My job is to stay focused on the hope I have that making a difference, however small it may be, can still impact the world and impart change, not only in the lives of others but also in my own.

“Therefore, since we are surronded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

by faith…

•January 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

A lot of times I find myself in situations of anxiety and uncertainty. In those moments if I don’t get face to face to the Lord I can ultimately become subject to my own troubles. However it is in those times that I must walk out my faith. Who am I to question the Lord’s timing or what He is doing?

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” -Hebrews 11:8-10

Though we cannot see what lies before we must walk out following the Lord’s voice. “And without faith is is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Heb. 11:6).

I must not only take this captive in my own personal life but also in circumstances around me, such as the devastation in Haiti. We must have faith that the Lord is over that country, and actively restoring. Seeing images of children’s faces onTV, I can really get consumed with the unfortunate hurt they are experiencing, forgetting that the they are the Lord’s children as well. He has not forgotten them, nor will He. I must not compartmentalize my faith in certain areas of my life and not apply it to others. So now while watching the news, I will pray in faith that this country will be restored, trusting and believing the Lord has everything and all things in His hand.

I have thoughts….to be continued.

•January 25, 2010 • 1 Comment