Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Artists Journal

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Philippians 1:6

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you 
will carry it on to completion until 
the day of Christ Jesus. 

Today I started a new kind of journalling project. For years I have filled uncounted numbers of spiral bound note books. I've vented, I've dreamed, I've been inspired, I've been confused. They have been an outlet for me when I have felt lost and alone. When I have felt misunderstood. When I've felt I could not talk to the people around me. When I have felt their own burdens too much to expect them to help me carry mine. I have written. I have stacks and stacks of these journals. I am learning more and more how to let people in and how to be open, honest and transparant.

I want this journal to be different. To start with I'm not using a book filled with blank pages. There is something about blank that is intimidating. I have found myself recently inspired by old music books and the musical print on the pages. A while ago my church was getting rid of a lot of old stuff. I picked up a small stack of old music books. I did not know what I would do with them. They have sat on the shelf for quite a while. Today as I thought about the canvas upon which I wanted to create this journal, I remembered them.

In the book Shelter for the Spirit by Victoria Moran, that I have been reading shared about how it is important to write down the things that you want to do. "Right now put down this book and get out a pencil and a piece of paper. Write down everything you want to do before you die. It doesn't have to be reasonable. Just write it. Visit a pygmy tribe in central Africa. Write it. Locate by best friend from sixth grade. Write it. Learn to speak Icelandic. (why not? Lawrence of Arabia did.) Write it. When you catalog your heart's desires, its sets in motion of chain of event that is indeed uncanny. It's as if your subconscious reads the list and sets about to make it happen." So today as I started this new artists journal I started to think of the things I want to do.

So I am writing on top of a previously printed and published pages. I want to fill the pages with quotes, and paintings, drawings, and my thoughts. I included this quote by Isaac Newton "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants."

I want this journal to not be one that I shove away in boxes or under desks hoping no one ever reads and finds out what a mess I have been and often still am. I want this one to be more of a legacy of inspiration that perhaps will one day sit on my children's or grandchildren's coffee table. One that someone could flip through and find encouragement and little nuggets of wisdom.

I will probably work on this journal on Monday, my resting day. I want it to become filled with things that feed my spirit. I have not even gotten to the beautiful pages filled with music yet - today I filled the title pages.

In the book Jesus Life Coach by Laurie Beth Jones she writes " I believe that each person consciously or subconsciously lives out a script that he or she has been given. The question is: Who wrote it? 

When Jesus encountered the woman at the well, her script was basically" fallen woman, living in sin, hiding out from society." Jesus met her where she was and gave her a new script: "bold woman, excited about life, telling her friends, supporting a new movement." 

She goes on to say "leadership is the art of changing parts or rewriting scripts - of redefining reality." I realize I am re-thinking mine. Why did I become an artist rather than a scientist. Why do I love music more than math. Is it just because someone noticed and encouraged those gifts when I was young. What lies have I believed that have kept me from overcoming the obstacles to become what God intended for me to become. If my life before me is a blank paper or canvas before me what will I decide to write or paint upon it?

In Laurie Beth's book she puts questions at the end of each chapter. In one she asks the question "Which old stories, like old camels, do you drag with you? A few weeks back I tried to answer that question in one of my many spiral bound journal. "For years I have believed my life was off course. The best I could do was settle for second or third best. For years I have believed I was not enough. That it was my lack in some way that kept me from the best story or my hearts desire dream life.
For years I have been above average but not really good enough to be sought out and paid well for my skills and abilities." Guess what I don't believe those lies anymore. They are part of an old script that I am tearing up and tossing in the trash. My life is not off course. I am enough to be sought out and paid well for my skills and abilities.

Her second question in that chapter was " What would it be like if you could be handed a new script today? Would you take it?  I took the time to try and answer that question in my journal. I tried to write out what I thought I would want the new script to contain.
I guess I will leave you with that question to ponder for yourself.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the journey and for the things you help us to see and discover along the way. That you will complete the good work you have begun in each of us.

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