Blossoms of an Artist · Ocean Stories

You make me brave, You call me out beyond the shore into the waves…

I hadn’t seen the ocean (aside from driving by it) in over a year. Last week we finally visited a ocean-side trail and snuck down to the tide pools. Although we didn’t get to go to the beach, I still felt refreshed to be there.taken July 9, 2014 (featuring my brother, Ty)

I didn’t really hear anything during my time at the tide pools about the ocean and what it could tell me about life. But on the drive up, as I looked out at the water, I grabbed my little notebook and instinctively wrote this:

The ocean may be countless colors–

Stoic gray today, vibrant turquoise the day before–

But it will always be the ocean.

And you will always be you.

Recently I’ve discovered the work of present-day poet Tyler Knott Gregson, and although many of his pieces are not my cup of tea, some make me pause in wonder for a few moments after I read them (my favorite here). The thing that strikes me most about him is that he writes a poem every day, on any scrap of paper he can find. I usually feel like I need to prepare myself and be in an artistic state in order to do something creative, and I’m learning I need to rid myself of that mindset. When we create out of what we think and feel in the moment, that’s worship. And some of the truest, loveliest art comes from unplanned and unexpected worship. That’s why I’ve begun writing daily poems, too, just in a little notebook for myself. Some of the best writing advice I’ve heard is from Henry David Thoreau: “Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.” I need to stop trying so hard to be a great artist and start trusting that it’ll come out when I’m being authentic, because God has already made me an artist.

That four-line poem came out of me in an instant. And no, it’s not my best work. But I actually really like it. It told me something I needed to be reminded of– no matter what changes, Jesus doesn’t. Even if I see things about Him I haven’t before, He will always be who He always has been. I don’t think I would have gotten that message from just looking out at the sea and noting that it was different colors in different spots. But when I gave in to the impulse to write, I found it. I found something hidden there.

I think this is just my encouragement to you to put trust into who you were created to be. You have the ability to find the little treasures God has placed in front of you. Don’t try so hard to be an expert or a deep thinker; just be you. God made you, the way He wanted you, and there are some things you can only find when you are being that person. Trust Him as your creator. Maybe you’ll find those treasures when you write; when you paint; when you tell someone else about what you’ve seen; when you toss a Frisbee; when you make a meal for your family. Wherever you are, you are right where you need to be, and there are some incredible gems yet to discovered. You can find them. Will you believe in the treasure hunt? Will you believe in who you are? And will you believe in what you find? Have trust, and begin.

“It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”  -Proverbs 25:2

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