Finding Beauty Where You Are

In pursuit of this calling of artistry, I find myself often perusing sources of information, inspiration, and history in order to supplement my creative juices. Lately, I’m sort of unashamedly attracted to Instagram Stories. I follow other artists like myself who specialize in either photography, branding, or some kind of craft/design. I make a point to find new accounts every so often to follow. Most of the time, they are businesses who are well established and I try to glean what I can from a virtual front row seat to their everyday experiences. But in the mixture of visiting creative websites, watching Stories, reading blogs, watching youtube videos of all sorts, a small yet encroaching cloud threatens to loom over my spirit, a mask that the Enemy marauds around in and stifles every creative fire for Jesus……this cloud, this mask, this lie is called comparison. 

Comparison. 

I don’t have a large airy studio where my passions can materialize and dance among the wall collages or the distressed brick wall where history validates the cool vintage mood of the place.  

I don’t have an established portfolio that appeals to a group of emerging artists who share a kindred passion for Jesus.

I don’t have any “clients” to ambiguously talk about and share my work process on a cool project I’m curating, that screams “millennial”.

Nor am I on some cool photoshoot locale or workshop that is worth documenting.

I also don’t think I have much experience or knowledge to really share anything useful for growing photographers or artists.

Yet, I do think I have a bit of valuable information from right here, right now. And that’s illuminating the beauty, the gifts of the moment, not where you think you want to be or feel like you need to be.

See, the truth is, I’m a visionary person who breathes expression, art, music, beauty and an audacity for intertwining Jesus and my existence more than our culture likes to allow. The way L.M. Montgomery writes the Anne of Green Gables series is the literary embodiment of how I see the world. So much beauty. Not idealism. But real beauty of the creation around us. The heart of Elsie Dinsmore is like a little-girl version of David, a man after God’s own heart. The heart I want to be after. The heart I long for. Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass embodies a spirit in poetry that I long to convey in my art. Stanley Kubrick’s blazing trail through film is a brave leap through the walls of conventional art that I can only imagine making. Jane Austen’s affinity for creating work that resonates and touches the hearts of an unimaginable number of readers through the ages is a vein in the history of writing that runs in my own creative frame.

I’m sure there are others out there who are fed and thrive on these trailblazers of art, just like me. A great number feel the same way about every single artist listed above, just like me.

But here is the truth, the truth about finding beauty. The roots of beauty do not start in us. They start in our Creator.  When He created us, He did it with a purpose. It is a lie when we hear those voices saying “What you have to offer isn’t useful. This other person is already offering so much, nobody needs what you give.” or “You’re not very good at what you do. your work is mediocre.” 

Ouch. Anyone with me?

Every comparison you make can potentially pave the way for a lie. For every lie, there is a truth. So let’s illuminate those truths. If you have some lies that are eating at you, I encourage you to write them down, then in larger words/letters, write the opposing truth to those lies. Here are the truths to the lies that could come from those comparisons I listed above.

I don’t have a large airy studio where my passions can materialize and dance among the wall collages or the distressed brick wall where history validates the cool vintage mood of the place.  

I have a peaceful office space to work, be inspired, and be productive in a spare room in my cozy home where my husband and I live. By the grace of God. 

I don’t have an established portfolio that appeals to a group of emerging artists who share a kindred passion for Jesus. 

I have a foundation of passion, faith, and adventure, and a repertoire of projects that can be built upon. By the grace of God. 

I don’t have any “clients” to ambiguously talk about and share my work process on a cool project I’m curating, that screams “millennial”. 

I am anticipating and preparing for upcoming projects and work that will serve as a great launchpad for future clients and projects. By the grace of God. 

Nor am I on some cool photoshoot locale or workshop that is worth documenting. 

I am currently working on this blog post from home, sitting on the couch, while my husband sits on the other couch, solving physics problems for school and watching Saturday football. Earlier, we were catapulting grapes into each other’s mouths from across the living room from our posts on the couches. It is nearly storming outside and I’m pumped for my hanging flowers and herb garden to get some natural water. Storms also mean there’s a great chance there will be another gorgeous sunset. I plan to observe the evening sky on a break from music practice tonight as we prepare for Biker’s Church tomorrow. Bella is also curled up next to me because she dislikes and fears lightning and thunder. Cute little pookie…:) (By the grace of God.) 

I also don’t think I have much experience or knowledge to really share anything useful for growing photographers or artists. 

I have a glad spirit of mentoring and giving knowledge to other creatives that will blossom into 1:1 workshops, discipleship, friendship, personal and deep relationships that provide life-giving testimony. By the grace of God. 

Peace. 
Foundation. 
Joy. 
Provision. 
Home. 
Relationship. 
Love. 

Aren’t those gorgeous, beautiful words? What kind of words describe your truths you wrote?

Lately, I’ve been falling in love with the sunsets here in Sebastian. This little snowbird river coastal town has it’s very own perks and beautiful points…just like every one of us. You can see the sunset from anywhere in the world. But it will never look exactly the same in any place. It is the same sun, the same colors, possibly. But it will never look the same in two locations.

Just like us. Our gifts, our talents, may be the same. But nobody on earth will display and express those gifts they way you do. Many people can sing. But nobody sings like you do. Many people write. But nobody writes like you do. Many people see and create art for our Yahweh. But nobody sees art and creates in the image of our Creator like you do.

And nothing, not even art, gives us significance, meaning, love, and fulfillment like our God.

Psalm 100

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-15511B" data-link="(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Serve the Lord with gladness;
<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-15511C" data-link="(C)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-15512D" data-link="(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the Lord <span class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NASB-15512b" data-link="[b]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[b]Himself is God;
It is He who has <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-15512E" data-link="(E)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>made us, and <span class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NASB-15512c" data-link="[c]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[c]not we ourselves;
We are <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-15512F" data-link="(F)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-15513G" data-link="(G)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>with <span class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NASB-15513d" data-link="[d]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[d]thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-15513H" data-link="(H)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>bless His name.
For <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-15514I" data-link="(I)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the Lord is good;
<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-15514J" data-link="(J)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-15514K" data-link="(K)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>faithfulness to all generations.

Nobody created us but The Creator.

May you be blessed in all your uniqueness and diversity!
xo – Kailee

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