Well, today's post is far from Haiti, but more of my personal musings and inspirations. With Marc still away in Haiti, surely sweating as he works hard to get things lined up for construction projects and medical team clinics and such, I am back up in Canada literally freezing my butt off today. The blizzards of winter have finally hit. I have to be grateful for the beautiful summer and fall this year and for it taking a while to get the winter snows caught up, but when it comes, it comes in a blast. So my days are mostly inside, busying the kids with school work, starting in Christmas crafts and to my bubbling joy, giving them some art lessons. Of course, on this very worst day so far this winter of -21 degree Celsius weather, all the kids had afternoon activities we had to get out to and after battling the gusty winds of snow that kept drifting over the van, we made it ever so gingerly to gymnastics and Asher's taekwondo testing for brown belt, which I might add he passed fantastically. When we got back I was determined to get the van back into the garage so we wouldn't have to be abruptly thrust into the cold winds and struggle to get the vehicle warmed up next time. This required some maneuvering since we have some stuff in the garage that had to be moved around. But we got it! Yeah.

Anyways, that's all just to paint a backdrop for you for the imagery on my canvas that God is inspiring in me lately. I have asked myself often this fall, why am I here with the kids while Marc is down in Haiti doing the work? We should all be down there and for all practical reasons, we chose to schedule things this way for the last couple years- to supposedly save money, to focus some attention on the kids and their schooling and activities... I often have to remind myself of these practical reasons when I'm feeling bored with such a 'normal' life here. But I am also finding that God is using these times when I feel shut in by the snow and a bit disconnected from Haiti to spark in me a passion that I've felt has laid dormant for many years. See, when I felt God called me many years ago into missions I was actually on my way to pursuing my own dreams- out of high school, first year of art college, which I landed in with the help of a number of art scholarships and a dream to live my life for art, maybe going into advertising and graphic design. Funny how God works things, cause I guess in a sense I am doing just that these days for Haiti. But in someway, I thought answering God's call meant abandoning my own dreams. And maybe it was supposed to be that way for a time. But now I have this deep urging and sense that God is reviving my passion for art and that it does not have to be a separate part of me or another life.

When we attended the MFI conference this Oct, God really spoke clearly to me in a number of ways. One way was through a workshop we attended where our good friends, Rob and Cindy Litzinger, who pastor an amazing church in Santa Maria, CA, were the speakers. He spoke on creativity and how God wants us to create because we are called to be like Him and how there really is nothing new under the sun, nothing truly original cause it all comes from God in the first place, but then is recycled, revamped, revived through many different people. He shared a great little book with us that was like a revelation to me and it ha so enlightened me. The book, called 'Steal Like an Artist', basically encourages to not be afraid to be creative, to not wait til you get some amazing epiphany of greatness that you think is so original, but instead seek out to emulate, copy, reproduce and then add your own spin on things that you truly find inspiring. It's actually quite Biblical in theory as even Paul encouraged to Timothy to follow him as he followed Christ and to be like him.

So, I'm going for it. I'm breaking out and I'm going to answer Gods call to be creative, to live creatively, to see life like He does, like an artist, finding beauty and fascination in everything around me.
I love these few quotes from the book. This first one really made me laugh, cause I have always labeled myself a procrastinator- even wrote a paper on it in college for which I procrastinated. My professor ironically commented that the paper could have been much better if I had not procrastinated. But this quote brought some light to me. I've often wondered why I find some of the things I'm required to do are such stuffing tasks that I'd rather leave for later.

And the next graph is exactly the process of creativity that has often kept me bound from even starting in the first place. That awful fear of failure, or not being good enough. But that's the awkward grace of humanity, that we all fail and yet can learn and overcome our failures til we one day create a masterpiece.

I love this last one, as I've (and we probably all do) try so hard to busy myself with all the things I think I or other people think I SHOULD be doing, that I don't often allow boredom to creep in. But in fact, it's the quiet times, (sounding Biblical again) those times we force ourselves to not DO, but just BE, that we can actually hear better- hear God, see things we normally would not, and be inspired to something new... Maybe that's another part of me being here now when I think I should be in Haiti.

I'm eager to see what is in store. So, though I do miss

Haiti terribly, I also cherish these times when the cold and the isolated culture here renders possibility for God to prompt me to try something new, to draw me to seek Him more and what more He has in store.

I hope you too will be able to find some inspiration wherever you are, whether in the cold or not.