I was writing on my illustration blog and I was getting a bit down on myself. I was questioning why I am spending so much time on the illustration thing. It doesn't make me any money. It looks like a waste of time to anyone looking from the outside in. It is just me and paper and pen -- when I draw or paint I'm not blessing my family or taking care of their needs or cleaning my house which always needs cleaning or doing dishes or cooking or anything that benefits anyone else.
But then I remembered -- I am pursuing a dream and that in itself is enough. Why do I (or maybe you too) think I have to make money at something for it to be successful? Why do I have to think it has to directly benefit others for it to be worthy my time? Why do I think it has to be industrious, meaning it has to directly benefit others for it to be worth my time? Where do I get these ideas? Why are they there?
I love being an American and I am always always thankful for being born in this country, but I wonder if this is uniquely American - -the need to use all my time in a practical way that benefits my family and our bank account? That the stuff I spend my time on has to a be worth something in these kinds of ways?
This isn't God's version of success. It shouldn't be mine. I should quit feeling the need to explain to others the way I spend my time. I don't even think anyone else has a problem with me drawing or writing or anything -- it is just me after I see the time I spend on it.
There is benefit though in us enjoying what we do and getting lost in it. As I write right now, I think these kinds of moments are straight from God. He wants us to enjoy life, enjoy what we do each day....We Americans sometimes see this kind of thing or pursue this stuff as escape from life rather than as life itself. Maybe that is the problem in my thinking.
Creating isn't an escape from life. It is life and you know I think that when we are really living, we are living successfully.
A guy at Shannon's work has started a blog and he is all gungho (not even sure if I spelled that right -- if you know the term you can probably figure out what I meant to spell...if you know how to spell it put it in the comments section for me please) about how he is going to make tons of money on his blog soon so he can quit his job.
He's been rubbing off on my husband. Shannon tells him how many hits I get on this blog (sometimes quite a lot) and he says, "Wow, that's great!" but the thing is is that I don't make any money off my blogs. None. At All. Well, that's not true. I think I have about $40 in my google ad account from this year. I guess if I sign up for direct deposit I can get that....but all this talk, and especially my husband kind of trying to get my blogs to make money is rattling my brain. I've really been blogging for 13 years now. My original site was LittleBigHeartranch.com (that link is no more so don't click on it -- though Little Big Heart Ranch is on Facebook so I'll give you that link ...just click on the name). If you go to that Facebook page you can see some of my past artwork.
I looked in my Bible concordance for verses about success. There isn't much -- at least not in the way we are taught to view success. I put the word success into a search engine. Most of the links that came up was about financial success (see -- we are so geared to equating success with finances). One link said it had 27 verses about success. I'll cut and paste the first one below:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ... " Matt 6:25-33
You know what i think a truly successful life would look like? It would be free of worry, full of joy and peace and loving others and God and enjoying life too, operating in the gifts and talents a person has and enjoying the process......
One more thought -- I truly think the artists, the writers, the actors -- all the branches of the creative arts -- are today's prophets if they use their gifts wisely. That doesn't mean they have to just talk or write or act about Jesus, but it means they use them to touch the hearts of people so God's work can be done. Sometimes that is through a fairy tale or through an abstract painting or through even a Hallmark movie.
Have a lovely weekend. Any thoughts you'd like to share with me? I'll listen. Be successful today.