a vision of color.

*all the pictures in this post are of my big christmas present from my husband, a commissioned painting by April Knight, an incredibly talented worship artist. I will cherish this painting forever*

I just started to notice that I was thirsty.
I’d stand in worship, or sit in worship, or hear His word corporately somehow and just feel THIRSTY. I’d think, this shouldn’t feel SO refreshing. I mean, being with other believers, sharing in our worship of Him should always feel refreshing and life giving – but it was starting to feel foreignly refreshing. Like something I really needed often, was depriving myself of, and came in contact with suddenly – leaving me relieved and desperate for more.

So I took some inventory. What piece of this faith am I missing on a daily basis? Could I be in prayer more? Should I be in the Word more? With believers more? The answer is always yes, to all questions – but there was something else nagging and tugging at me. So I asked the Lord.

And here’s the picture He gave me. I’m not calling it a vision, that sounds far too official and potentially blasphemous – but just a picture to long for, hope for, pray for, work towards. The picture came again and again and again, always in worship, always when I was thirsty.

painting by this beauty
I’m sitting in the living room of our sweet fishing shack. The nickname that I’ve given to this house we’ve lived in for the last year. This house that is built brick by brick with God’s redemptive love and grace. Sometimes I lay on the couch in that living room and look at the walls and see the bricks and count them. Grace, rescue, mercy, love. Grace, rescue, mercy, love.

Anyhow, in the picture He gave, I’m sitting on my knees in the living room with blanket canvases surrounding me. Propped up against the hand-me-down sofas and the crayon stained walls. Everywhere. And it’s quiet, save for some light worship music. And I’ve got brushes and mounds of paint around me. And I know in an instant why this is a picture/vision/hopeful idea and not reality – because in our real life, there is never a quiet night with nothing to do. No laundry to fold, no design work to be done, no packages to process, no groups to meet with, no preschool crafts to assist in, no projects that need to be completed. So something must be new and refreshing and wonderfully blank, in that I am sitting, on a free night, surrounded by canvases.

let me make it clear. not my painting, this lady's. 
But the picture keeps moving and with it, so do I.
As the music thumps and the melody grows, I’m up on my feet. Dancing and splattering paint and worshipping and letting Him create through my hands, in my home, for His glory. Joy and freedom and no fear and no competition and no need to produce. Just colors and beauty and His love making something beautiful. And letting me be a part of it, for no reason other than He LOVES me.

So the picture kept coming back. Until I had no choice but to pretend for a night. I had to absolutely trick my brain into believing there were no emails to answer, no orders to process, no laundry to fold, and no kitchen to deep clean. I went and bought myself some canvases and a few of the basic colors and some precious mint green paint brushes. And we put the kids to bed and made a magical playlist and I went to town.

What came forth wasn’t beautiful or professional – maybe not even nice to look at, but it was so amazing to just create without pressure. To ask the Lord to use my fingers and to lose myself for a few hours in colors and lines and shapes and thoughts about Him.

my fave christmas present. from Nick, via April. 
And that picture has carried me on rough days since. Because I see how the Lord meant it for all things in my life. Can I be undignified in my love, worship, and desire for holiness in my marriage? In my mothering? In my pursuit to make disciples? Friendships?  Could I have been thirsty for the space to believe in God giving me a colorful life? A life painted by the active and holy hands of His Spirit? Can I apply the picture of me absolutely being caught up in His Spirit and splattering love all over the canvases surrounding me to everything else, despite the life the waits beyond the living room?

I’m sure gonna try. 
Because why be thirsty for more 
when you know Living Water.