Monday, July 21, 2014

In The Beginning......

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
-Genesis 1:1
I love every part of the scripture. In fact, this isn't my favorite verse, but it is close to the top. Why is that, you ask?
As an artist, I appreciate other artists. Writers, painters, musicians, photographers just to name a few. What do all these people have in common? They create their masterpieces. They see it, hear it, dream it first in their mind. They then began the process of creation. They pat paint onto a canvas. They set the f/stop on their camera's. They write those first words of a novel. They strum bars of a new song.
In the beginning, God created. He was the first artist and as someone that appreciates art, I have never been disappointed in His masterpieces. The lush green mountains that corral the Shenandoah Valley where I call home. The red dirt plains of Oklahoma where I grew up. The tree frogs that lull us into a peaceful state of mind in the evenings. The giggles that escape my children's lips as we share something humorous. The smell of the ground coffee beans that allow us artists to survive.
All of these lovely things are a result of God's Handiwork. From the first time He spoke the earth into existence to the everyday miracles I call my children. His vision, His creation.
I am so thankful God created me with an artists mind. For awhile I struggled with my identity. I played around with photography, and while that soon became nothing but a hobby, it taught me to look at the world with different eyes. Untended fields suddenly transformed into beautiful worlds as the evening sunlight glowed across them. The morning light played peek-a-boo in the shadows of a dilapidated barn and it quickly took on a Heavenly quality.
Although I loved photography, I soon realized that it wasn't the creative outlet that motivated me. I dabbled in crochet, which I still immensely enjoy. But even that would not get the stories out of my head.
These elaborate stories would began in my head and I would play them out bit by bit, scene by scene on the movie screen in my head. Several times I would sit down with a pen and try to get the stories out on paper. I would quickly realize that I had no clue what I was doing. In fact, I was probably going crazy. My Internet search history would soon show I was googling things like, "Am I crazy because I have stories playing out in my mind all the time," or "If I constantly have stories going through my head, does it mean I'm depressed?" True story.
It never crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, the Great Creator designed me as a writer. He created my mind to plot stories and to use these stories to glorify Him.
One day, just a few months ago, I was telling a co-worker that when I was a child, I wanted to be either a teacher or author. She looked at me and seriously told me that I could still do either one of those things. She encouraged me to go after my dream and I went home that day and thought long and hard about what I wanted in my life.
I sat down and started working on story ideas. I read anything I could find on Pinterest related to writing. I realized the mistake I made in my earlier attempts at writing was that it is a learned craft. Very few, if any, people pick up a pen for the first time and write a best seller.
I am working on my first novel and I am still learning so many things along the way. I just joined ACFW and I am hoping to attend their upcoming writers conference. I entered a short story into a contest and while I didn't win, I did place in the top fifty and will be published in an anthology. I was just able to purchase a laptop, which has made writing easier. I couldn't do this all by myself, though.
All of it has been made possible by the ultimate Artist, God. The first Creator.

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