After a crazy/amazing week at Mistletoe Market in Jackson, Mississippi, I thought I would just end this year on that high note.
The entire weekend I kept feeling so just thankful. Thankful for the people who came by and spoke such kind words. Thankful for the overwhelming support of friends, family, and complete strangers! Thankful for the opportunity to do what I love. Thankful for my mom, who helps me with every show I do and so much more. Thankful for my God who always provides.
I believe that everything good comes from God, so I know that the success I had this weekend was because of Him. But it just got me thinking, why do I deserve this? What have I done for Him and His kingdom?
I know that God’s love for us is freely given and we could never earn it. It’s by grace and through faith that we are saved. It's so hard to just not feel so undeserving of his love and grace. Especially when we aren’t doing what He commands of us all the time or when we don’t feel like we are living the exact life he has planned for us, which is how I felt.
I started to feel overwhelmed with these thoughts and how I was constantly messing up and how in the world I could be better. I began to pray and share my burdens with God. I actually used my prayer journal for the first time in a month. After I finished I read through my prayer. It was like certain words were jumping out at me. Four words in particular. These four words are the areas that I struggle with. I wrote down my goals on how to improve in these areas and why I am struggling in these areas. It was a moment of clarity.
I wanted to share these four words and my struggles that go along with them.
I want to be more intentional with my words and my time. I feel like I am careless with my words too often. Once you say something, it’s out there forever. I want to speak life and truth, not hate and lies. I want to be intentional with my free time. Not wasting it on garbage TV shows, scrolling or anything like that. I want to spend my free time with PEOPLE, building real relationships, and serving others. I am so bad about being a hermit or not doing something because it is out of my comfort zone.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Ephesians 4: 29
I listened to a podcast on “The Porch” about finding confidence in nothing else but God. At times, I find my confidence in so many things other than God. In my art, in my husband, in my family, in my life in general. If someone tells me my art is great, I feel so awesome. Five minutes later, a man can walk by and ask if a child made one of paintings and suddenly I am questioning if I picked the right career! (Yes, that did happen. Haha.) Bottom line, I will always be unsure of myself. Bottom line, there is one thing that I know I can have total confidence in: God.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
1 John 5: 13-14
Faith is so much more than just believing God is who He is. It is believing that He can do what He says He can do. I see that play out in my day to day life when I worry about finances, the future, etc., when God has never not provided. I see that doubt play out in my prayers. I don’t pray bold prayers many times at the fear of them not being answered. Saying that God can move mountains and believing it are two different things.
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
I realized, in some ways, I love the way society has taught me to love. In a jealous, conditional, impatient, and just entirely unhealthy way. I want to love how God does. Not only love my husband, my family, and friends that way. But be able to love anyone that way. I want to love like God loves. The only way to love. God’s definition of love.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:3-13
Not only did God show me these things, he does what he has always done and somehow tied them into my ideas for a last painting series for 2019.
This last series is a four part series titled “Clarity” because that is exactly what God has given me. I feel like each of these four words: intentional, confident, faith, and love each have a part that they align with.
I feel like these simple botanicals align with the word intentional perfectly, because that is what they are. They are straight-forward and to the point. Eliminating anything unnecessary, like I hope to do with my life. To live my life intentionally.
I hope these abstracts I make exude confidence. Confidence in that even though they aren't anything in particular, they are something and they mean something to me. No matter what anyone says. I want to have that confidence pour out from me, because of the confidence I have in the Lord.
I want these landscapes to be a reminder than God can and He will. To be a reminder to pray those bold prayers to always have faith and know that He can move those mountains!
4. Gold Ink-----Love
Although gold is often times associated with riches and greediness. I want to these works to be a reminder to be rich in love. To cherish love above all else. And to love like God.
I'm soooo excited to share these new works with you on December 4th!!
Thank you for reading!!
Shelby Leigh Kizer