Last week I had a radio interview with Char Binkley at WBCL, along with my colleague Mindy Caliguire. As with any media event, I entered into the commitment with some nerves and anxiety, but Char and Mindy made it feel like it was just a chat amongst friends.
The morning hour breezed by as we talked about the book project Mindy and I endeavored on together, Faith Books and Spiritual Journaling: Expressions of Faith through Art. But of greater importance than the book, we talked about what we can do to nurture our souls and in the midst of it, move towards God. This is really Mindy’s life quest, and I’m so honored and blessed to be involved with her efforts to help others realize what it means to connect to God in tangible, honest ways beyond our basic belief system. You can read more about Mindy’s story here and I’d really encourage you to hear Mindy speak if you ever have the opportunity! Mindy’s Write for the Soul book candidly shares her journey towards learning to care for her own soul and offers some real, practical help if you’ve been feeling like yours is shriveling up. (Also, I believe our radio interview is archived on the site if you want to hear it. Look here and click on the October 12th interview.)
For me, 2006 has been an amazing year of new revelations as I’ve discovered how to integrate my artistic giftings into my spiritual life. Interestingly enough, I had found ways to insert my creativity into my professional pursuits…I had found ways to insert my creativity into my recreational pursuits…but why had it eluded my spiritual pursuits?! As a reflection of the ultimate Creator, this made no sense at all to me. But in this past year, as the Faith Books project realized, I truly have found new ways to insert creativity into my walk with God.
Like so many, my quiet times of prayer or meditation on scripture had become dry. Forced, formulaic, and sometimes feeling altogether disingenuous, I was searching for ways to connect with Christ anew. And you know what? Spiritual journaling (and for me, with the use of artistic faithbooks) was at the end of that search. When we journal our prayers, there is an honest, raw quality to that expression that causes our souls to find real connection to God. The walls drop, and so does any false pretense of spirituality. With the insertion of art and creativity, I’m finding that the emotions that I’d like to express to the Lord, but sometimes lack the words to even form to express them, are released and expressed through the use of color, texture, sketches and compositions.
I’m also excited to be cultivating the use of artful faithbooks to simply worship God too! Why has the use of art as a form of worship become so nonexistent? Unearthing and rediscovering this practice has been revolutionary for me. The use of song is commonly used to praise God, but why not the use of art? Hopefully, Faith Books and Spiritual Journaling will play some small part in encouraging people to visit that concept. Some of you may be scrapbookers, or card makers, or stampers, or needlepointers, or knitters, or quilters, or illustrators, or graphic artists, or fine artists…. some of you may express your creativity in the kitchen or on a dancefloor or at the piano. Regardless of the expression, creativity endowed on you by God can be given back to Him in an act of worship! I have really found this to be a very rich experience in my spiritual life, and I’m hoping you might be enriched by it as well!
As Faith Books and Spiritual Journaling has just barely started to hit the shelves, it’s been really exciting to hear how these concepts are being received. Sometimes you wonder if this is just something isolated God is dealing with you personally, and it’s always so thrilling to see that He is at work in a larger way. Already people have e-mailed and talked to me about they are going to start up little Faith Books groups at their own churches or with other women they are accountable with. It’s all so amazing and has me feeling pretty inspired! (This is a pretty big thing going on in my life right now, so I'll probably be talking more about it around the blog. )
Hey- speaking of some amazing stuff and feeling inspi(red)….you’ve probably heard about the RED campaign.
My little sister, Dr. Lisa Levsen Abdishoo (have I mentioned that I love and adore her!), urged me to help get the word out. She knows Bobby Shriver pretty well from her work at the Los Angeles Mission Community Clinic , and when she ran into Bobby a couple of weeks ago this was all he could talk about: this endeavor he and Bono have taken on. He urged her to spread the word and go out and buy something in support of Red. So then she urged me….and now I’m urging you!! Bono is urging you!! (Are you off your feet yet?) Here is our chance to possibly wipe out AIDS in Africa. Yes, you heard me right. Can you imagine!!! NO AIDS in Africa!!! Let’s put our American dollar to work! Let’s make Western materialism and design work for a greater cause. I’m really so entirely pumped up about this.
And don't you think giving (RED) this Christmas would be the obvious choice?!? What’s on your wish list?