Sunday, March 17, 2013


I am so thankful for them.

Now that THAT season of my life is over, (thank you God), I am appreciating anew, how much art, in all it's forms, is healing. And life-giving. And just plain awesome.

First - it was movies.
I couldn't do much last December. Four hours of work a day was my limit.
But I did manage to see a dozen movies. Thank you to the friends who sat with (the comatose version of) me in theatres this winter. Most movies I had to see twice, and sometimes three times before I actually 'saw' them. Oh my goodness, Silver Linings Playbook really was a great movie...

Then January rolled around and I was working 5 - 7 hours a day.
And I was introduced to British television on DVD.
It started with Mandi, introducing me to Jonas, aka Robin Hood, and from there it was a slippery downward slide into total obsession with British/Irish actors.

After Robin Hood (all three seasons, against Mandi's advice), I was invited to enjoy North and South, where the bad guy (Guy of Gisborne) from Robin Hood played the the romantic lead (Mr. Thornton). So it was back to Robin Hood again - this time to watch/appreciate Richard Armitage tortured by his unrequited love for Marian. After that, it was Downton Abby, where Kate from Robin Hood was Anna, and Higgins from North and South, was Bates. And then? Game of Thrones; seasons one and two. Where nice Will Scarlett from Robin Hood was the evil Viserys Targaryen.  And then .. well you get the idea.

There must be a fairly small pool of actors in the UK, because the same ones keep showing up. Which is OK with me. They're starting to feel like family; we've spent so much time together in my house. Most of the male actors have some Irish in them, or are from 'the north', so they have these delightful, distinct accents. I suck at accents, but sometimes I catch myself thinking in Irish before speaking in Canadian. Weird, yes?

Anyways, all of that was very healing.
I'd come home from work, grab a bite to eat, then meet a friend for coffee and a dose of reality, then come home again and escape for an hour or two in front of my TV. No one stole anything from me. No one fired me. Or said mean things to me. My dad didn't die. My mom and I had dinner together often. My kids kept in touch. My friends were all one text away. It was a gentle way to re-enter life fulltime.

By February I was working 8 hour days and completely re-engaging with a normal-ish life. And in February - the art form that I got re-acquainted with was music.

Mumford and Sons, I Will Wait (with a 3x repeat) is on my morning commute playlist. And it's kinda become my prayer. I WILL wait.

And after seeing Building 459 live recently, I've become a huge fan. This song is on repeat as well:
Right Beside You:

And then today, Connie posted this video on her blog, AND I'M HOOKED. I've listened to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros about 100 times today. It's the perfect sunny Sunday afternoon song. I've not only been listening, I've been dancing.

Dancing. Do you know how long it's been that I've danced with abandon in my kitchen? TOO long.

I'm a man on fire
Walking through your street
With one guitar
And two dancing feet
Only one desire
That's left in me
I want the whole damn world
To come dance with me

I love this.
"I want the whole damn world to come dance with me."

Next up is books.
I admit this is the hardest for me. It's the last part of me to get better...
Watching movies and DVD's and listening to music is easy. Reading takes energy and concentration... and I'm just not there yet. I have a book to read tonight. It's 9 pm, so I've got 4 hours to read 400 pages before my book club meeting tomorrow night. Fingers crossed.

Even though books are posing a challenge for me, blogs are not. And today I got caught up on some of my favorites. Jon Acuff posted this on this Stuff Christians Like blog, and it so so very lovely and perfect and praiseworthy, I'm posting it here:
(If there are too many words for you to read, just read the ones I've made bold.)

The reason the church is not known as being a global leader in creativity and excellence is pretty simple. We missed God’s love letter to artists.

I missed it about a dozen times myself. But while doing a two-year walk through of a one year read the whole Bible study plan, I stumbled upon it in Exodus.
There are two parts and both are pretty subtle; the first takes place in Exodus 30 and 31. In 30, God anoints Aaron and consecrates the priests. It’s a big deal, with fragrant spices, sacred oil and a sense of the holy that is almost tangible through the pages. And after it’s over, do you know who God focuses on next? Do you know who comes second? The artists.

I had to read that a few times until I believed. There in the desert, as God establishes His people, as He sets into motion His very heart, the artists fall directly after the priests. Maybe that’s mind-blowing only to me, but I find that stunning. Of all the professions, of all the people in the desert, it is the artists He speaks to next. Is there a more beautiful reflection of the importance He places on art and creativity?

We’ve made God military in a lot of our culture. We march in God’s army. We have men’s groups that are based on battle, but He doesn’t focus on the warriors after the priests. He doesn’t say the strength and might are most important after Aaron and the priests. He says creativity is.

Here is what 31:3 says:
“and I have filled him (Bezalel) with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts- to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.”

This is not a cold, boring, vanilla God speaking. This is the first and ultimate patron of the arts sounding a gong for anyone that has a scrap of creativity in them

But I said this love letter to artists has two parts.
The second part continues in chapter 36. As they prepare to build the ark, God issues a call to the artists in the desert. Verse 2 says:
“Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work.”

That verse punched me in the stomach. If you read it, you realize there were only two conditions to building the ark as an artist. You had to have the skill and you had to be willing. That means that some people refused the call and sat on their hands in the desert instead. They could have built God’s ark, His temple, but instead chose to sit in the desert and waste their talent.

When I prayed about that, I felt like God told me I had the same opportunity to build his temple every day. He reminded me that in 1 Corinthians 6:19 it says the body is the temple. He reminded me that every time I use my skills to help someone, I am helping rebuild their temple.

Foof. That’s big. That’s scary. And that’s why I am writing (books and blogs) today. I’ve sat in the desert for years wasting what meager writing skills I have. I’ve sat in a pile of sand, while the people in my life are broken and hurting, hoping someone will help them rebuild their temple. And I just can’t sit in the desert anymore.

And as long as I keep writing, as long as I keep reading and responding to God’s love letter to artists, everything else is going to take care of itself.

Did you see that?
Every time artists use their skills, someone is helped; someone's temple is being rebuilt. 

My temple, (aka, me) has been rebuilt, partly, because of the artists around me, using their skills. 
(That, and a whole lot of prayer. And love.)

So, my question to you is, What is your skill? Are you willing to use it? Do you trust God enough?

Do you push pixels, arrange hair, manipulate words, capture footage, take pics, design houses or clothes, sing songs, make pretties, plan events, create meals, play piano, use a paintbrush, trim trees, plant flowers, memorize lines, write words, act, dance, dream, plan, create, share ... 

Then thank you. Thank you for sharing your gifts. 

We are better for it. 


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Friday night at the lake with a friend. Man. I love that place. And the people who join me there. THIS TIME there was an amazing thunder and lightening storm just minutes after we arrived. SO AWESOME. 

2. Dinner with another friend on Saturday night. And 'true confessions' in my truck afterwards. I LOVE the conversations I have in my truck. Hahahaha. 

3. A sweet visit with my dad this afternoon.

Peace friends.

1 comment:

janicenikkel said...

"Many Christians are aesthetically poverty-stricken more from ignorance andfear than from ill-will. Some are antagonistic to art and literaturebecause they have only met paintings and novels distributedby a secular, sophisticated elite or interpreted by self-righteous philistines.But there is a third alternative: meet the arts – music, dance, sculpture,architecture – and literature as a mandated gift from the Lord”
Calvin Seerveld

Love your appreciation of the arts. Whether it's a good book, an inspiring movie, a song that moves you to worship or tears . . . art impacts all of us. I wrote a lot about this in my Masters project written back in 2008. . . (

Your writing is an art.

Thank you for sharing it with us.