Every craft fair I do teaches me something. I’ll be honest, craft fairs are both fun to do and also a little intimidating for me. I’m a “behind the scenes” type of girl, an introvert, and someone who would rather be alone in the backyard coloring than out front in a craft booth.
This business I’m in makes me get outside my comfort zone. I have to be “out there” on social media and in front of people in order to sell my stuff. And really, I’d rather be in my studio, quietly putting paint on canvas or writing poetry in a notebook. But is that where God wants me to be?
I think part of understanding each of our own purposes in this world is listening to God. Very often, He will push us outside our comfort zone not to make us feel awkward and stupid, but to get us to a point where we remember that we need to rely on Him. When I am feeling out of my element, maybe that is when He can talk to me in a different way.
I think when it comes to our purpose (which can feel so “big” and heavy) it is probably not what we think it is. I don’t necessary think my purpose is creating art (maybe it is) but I think it is just making people feel hopeful. When they want in my booth, that is the thing I want them to feel the most. I want to give them a visual sense that this is a spot you can just “be” for a moment, quietly, looking at the images or taking in the messages, and feel good.
If they buy something, great sure, and that keeps me in business and I can continue doing that. But I think that view is also limiting, because in God’s world the smallest things have big impact because HE is the one working. That is why I think sometimes we think our purpose must be really great and powerful and that is why some of us struggle to “find” it. Maybe we all just need to give ourselves a break when it comes to that.
This weekend I did a craft fair and just wanted people to feel good. It isn’t even about being happy. My art, if you look closely, isn’t always “light” but it is filled with hope because God has placed that hope in my heart. Things are never perfect here on this earth. You all know my story is filled with broken pieces. But in them God was always working, providing light.
As Leonard Cohen said:
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
Most people who like my art “get me” and what my vibe is. Some assume I have always had a perfect and happy life and that is why I create whimsical images with bright colors. Some think I should shutup about my past (and current) pain because it makes them uncomfortable. They think I should be “positive” and never talk about the rest, but to me there is a balance. You cannot be a real source of hope if you are pretending everything is great. It isn’t, right now at least, on this earth. We deal with pain. We all have hurts.
No, in this world I want you to see the whole thing, the pain that has been a constant pest in my life and the ways I choose to work through it all, with art and poetry, and in the process if you step into my craft booth and feel good for a moment, well, that pretty much makes it all worthwhile.