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To Do List: 1) Love, 2) Everything else

Hello friends! Before I share a few comments today, I wanted to share this great Daily Prayer for You from Sunday, October 11th... This REALLY resonated with me...

"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:16-18 NIV

Loving and merciful God, I lift up to you today all who feel overwhelmed, anxious, and afraid of failure. I pray Lord, you would open their eyes and their hearts to reveal to them the priorities of your kingdom. As they see all that is before them to do today, may they hear your words and remember that the greatest assignment they have on earth is not to learn to do tasks well, but to learn to love well.

Thank you Lord that we may have confidence today for our future day of judgment, that you who tests our hearts, (not our job performance) will teach us to live in love. May we work to please you today-surrender our task list and our fears of failure--lay our weakness before you and receive the strength of your love. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones." 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (NIV)

(1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 John 4:12)


These Scriptures and this prayer have presented a real attitude-challenge for me since I read them Sunday. I can't say that I have completely surrendered my task list and fears of failure, but I have certainly been soul-searching about my fears, self doubt, and priorities. Being "self-employed" since mid February of this year has presented an awesome opportunity for creative freedom and exploration, but it has also presented an unexpected challenge: fear of failure. My shiny new studio provides a perfect place to create and is brimming with possibiities, I have stacks and stacks of notebooks from years of planning and dreaming as well as piles of magazines that are chock full of would-be wonderful ideas, I have TONS of awesome supplies, and I have the blessed gift of TIME, which I have never had in this much abundance before...so what's the problem?  How come I haven't filled my new space at the shop with lots of awesome hand-crafted goodies? How come I haven't done one tenth of what I had planned to do by this point? What's wrong with me??

I can list reasons, challenges, and circumstances of everyday life that have played a part in the overall lack of productivity of late...all true and valid (continual rainy weather that ruins plans for spray-painting pieces outdoors, health scare involving my husband last week...all is well now, illustration work that needed to be done first), but really, when I am honest with myself, I see that I am actually crippled with doubts about my ability to create anything anyone would be interested in purchasing for their home or as a gift. I'm sure some of you are screaming at the screen saying "get over it...get on with it!!"...well, join the club :o) I feel completely self-indulgent and spoiled when I read these words that I am writing, but this is part of learning to be honest with myself and own up to my feelings. To get through this, I must take these fears and weaknesses to my Lord and lay them at His feet, and allow Him to fill me with His love and remind me of His priorities for me... So, I'm meditating on the Scriptures about love and fear and praying for divine inspiration and direction, and the ability to simply DO what I know He wants me to do...

I found the following entry in a journal that I wrote almost 10 years ago, and it is as true and applicable today as it was back then...

"But WHAT should I create?  The eternal question....the answer lies not in "what" but in "why". The purpose must precede the product. Attempt to create much as you would with a friend or family member in mind. Strive to meet a need, offer encouragement, or share wisdom. The design and the medium will fall into place when you put purpose first!!"


So, I am off to the studio with a renewed vision and adjusted priorities. God's heart is always about people and His love for them, and He has lovingly reminded me of that today. So, my efforts will be along the line of "what would I make for Mom that would make her smile", or "how could I encourage my sweet friend today"...and then create accordingly. Forget about what I think will or won't sell...leave that up to the Lord. Get out of my head and lead with the heart and see what happens...

I'll let you know what we come up with...


Thanks for the freedom to share my heart with you...God is crazy about you and He has put that love for you in my heart too...and I am so very grateful that He has!! I hope you have a wonderfully productive week, with love as the first priority!!

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