I never would have called myself an artist. My drawing skills are limited, and I never could figure out how to get the eyes right. Paints and brushes scared me because I never understood what to do with them. The first time I walked into a Michael’s I felt lost.
So naturally this art journaling thing has been a bit intimidating to me. But mostly it’s been amazing—calling forth the artist in me. And I wonder how long I’ve been stifling my abilities by denying myself the courage to try.
Throughout my childhood, I bounced through a lot of activities trying to find my place in this world. I couldn’t do a somersault, so gymnastics was out. I had a stint of being the worst (but friendliest) person on the baseball team, then I became a ballet school dropout. The only reason I stuck with piano lessons for so long is because I adored the time spent with my teacher.
Basically, I was bad at a lot of things. So when my knack for storytelling was discovered I latched onto it like a parasite, sucking life from the creative venue of writing. I filled stacks of journals with various thoughts, wrote letters to loved ones and virtual strangers alike, and started collecting fragments of story ideas.
Writing was my gift, my passion, my purpose. And somehow I managed to convince myself that writing was all I did well.
I stopped dancing anywhere but behind closed doors even though I loved moving to the music. I stopped using my pen to create anything other than words. I never touched a piano if anyone else was in the house.
And I sold myself short.
Because, while writing may be the thing I do best, it is not all I can do.
I was made for more.
You were made for more.
It took me many years to discover that we are all artists, designed to create beauty in the world around us through whatever medium we choose. But we don’t have to use only one.
I want to encourage you to branch out, test your limits, and challenge yourself to do more than you ever dreamed possible. Because you deserve more than the limited life you’ve safely created for yourself. You’re missing so much if you’re clinging to just one gift.
While nothing has opened entire worlds for me in the way writing does, painting stirs a part of my soul that writing has never touched. Dancing frees my heart to worship, and singing brings joy to the surface of my life in a way the written word never has.
And my life is so much richer for having multiple ways to express myself.
My friend, there’s more. There is more out there to be experienced if you’re brave enough to try. Brave enough to throw your arms wide open and embrace these different ways of expressing yourself. So please don’t sell yourself short. Please don’t limit your potential.
Pick up your paintbrush and point your toes. Paint, dance, sing. This world is a symphony. Life is your canvas. Don’t close your ears to the music. Don’t leave the pages blank.
Stretch yourself by sinking into the wonder of life in more than the typical way.
I thank God for you, dear artist.