February 11, 2015

Finding God, Finding Vision by Connie Inglis

An Artist's Date. Hmmmmmmm. What does that mean in my life? I must be honest. I don't go on Artist's Dates that often--at least not intentionally. There have been a few intentional ones. Last year my husband bought me (us) tickets to four ballets throughout the year. We wanted to do something cultural that we had never done. Those evenings, the live orchestra, the dance telling a story, were truly inspirational.

However, on a day-to-day basis, my life is not that extravagant. Still, that does not mean I can't find inspiration--that I can't be refreshed daily. The simplest things send me on an Artist's Date, if not physically then mentally and/or spiritually. To me, it's all a matter of perspective. It's all about seeing God, finding God in the ordinary.

Many years ago I helped with a missionary conference. The theme was, "Where there is no vision the people perish." Excellent challenge then and now for becoming involved in missions.  However, as I have started to focus more on my writing and the purpose of writing as a follower of Jesus, that verse has taken on a whole new meaning. I have started to see the world with new eyes--to see the story in everything from the pink cotton ball clouds at sunrise to the anxiety in my son's eyes in battling a mental disorder. There's a story in there--a story to tell the world. A story of God's beauty and love and redemption and HOPE. A story that the world needs to hear, so that they will not perish.
So what does that mean when it comes to rejuvenation in my writing? I am finding that I get refreshed by simple everyday things. The sunrise. A piece of Scripture. Words in a book. A song that comes on the radio while I go get groceries. The artwork of my daughters that hang on my walls. Going out for breakfast with my husband. I can see God in those things, if I have correct vision.

In those moments, the trick is to pause and make a mental note or a physical note, and not forget. Or just simply sit down right then and there and write. My poetry often happens that way. I am still learning the importance of this. Otherwise, the vision, the moment, passes and I forget.

That is not to say that I don't need those artist date inspirations. Going for a walk is probably one of my favourites. Reading is a given, especially poetry. Going for a drive with a worship CD and singing LOUDLY (and not caring what other drivers think). And then there's fine art...to see the world the way the artist sees--the brush strokes, the colour combinations. And I see God.

In thinking about this post, I did find a website that had a list of Artist Date ideas. Even reading the ideas was inspirational and I think I will return to that list on occasion when I find my well is dry. I laughed at one of the ideas: Spend your whole day naked. What??!!! How many of us have tried that one! But there was one that intrigued me that I decided to try. It actually came as a result of having my 7-year old granddaughter with me this past weekend. She is definitely one of my main inspirations. I think to see the world through a child's eyes is often the way God sees the world.

One of the things we love to do together is draw/colour/paint. Crafty things. So, I decided to do # 30 on the Artist Date list: Create a self-portrait. Lately I've been energized by Pablo Picasso's work and the way he viewed his world so I thought I'd do a crazy cubism self-portrait. My granddaughter
laughed at the nonsensical curves and angles of me but when I was done she exclaimed, "Grandma, it looks like you're praying. The way your hands are together." I looked. She was right. It was not my plan. It was the Spirit encouraging me--giving me a vision of how He sees me. I was in awe--and still am. I can still hear my granddaughter's words in my head. The Spirit won't let me forget. So, for the past three evenings I've continued my Artist Date. I scanned my pencil drawing and now have three different self-portraits but I think I will stop with three.
These remind me that my relationship with God is reciprocal. I seek Him in the everyday things of life, I seek His vision, and He enters into whatever I do. My prayer is that His presence enters my writing as well. That I can share His vision of love and hope in my writing to a dying world.


  1. Connie, thank you for this very inspirational and artistic post. I would love to encourage the artist in you and in all of us to take more dates, big and small ... and with children when possible. When our vision/our hope fades we struggle soul wise, and also creatively. Like many, I am also a sunrise/sunset fan.

  2. Beautifully written. I couldn't agree with you more.

  3. Thank-you for the inspiration, Connie. I really relate to your thoughts and often plead for correct vision! Anyone who read my blog knows I'm a sky-fanatic:)

    Bitty poem thanks to thoughts sparked by Connie...


  4. Thanks for your kind words, Jocelyn and Vickie.
    And Janet...you quoted me! That makes me happy. And I LOVE your poem. It makes me happy too--God's love is such a beautiful gift.

  5. An awesome post, Connie! Beautiful thoughts, beautifully written.


  6. Inspirational and thoughtful post. I love your self-portrait. And yes God is certainly in all of our work if we let Him in.
    I actually see you running with a book in your hand - telling others about Jesus.

  7. Thanks for this inspirational post. I was drawn to your thought that we can see God in the ordinary. That lifts our perspective up to the skies and we can see things more from God's view.

  8. Connie, you're beginning to up the ante in your Year of Writing Dangerously. Piccaso inspired art? That inspires me too.

    Very well written article, as well.

  9. Yay!! I loved this post Connie and was inspired by it.

  10. Thanks to all of you for your encouragement. Your words and being part of InScribe are also inspirational--like I'm on an Artist Date. hehehe. Seriously, you all have no idea what it means to me and how it has helped me to be a part of this group. Thanks.

  11. Thanks for showing your true creative colours here, Connie. It's neat to see your Picasso-esque art. I also am impressed with the way your creativity splashes on the rest of us. i.e. Janet Martin taking your thoughts and running with them to her another porch blog.
    Creativity begets creativity.

  12. The are quite amazing pieces of art you've made, Connie! I love the colors and you're obviously experiencing a freedom to experiment!


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