Nurture is my "one word" for 2012, and I am in the midst of reading two books that are great companions as I explore how to nurture what is inside me (and, as an extension, other people too). The first is one I was given by a friend last fall. I saved it for the new year. It's Dream Culture.
The quote that opens the book is by Lou Engle: "God had a dream and wrapped your body around it."
Maybe it sounds cheesy to some, but I think it's a great affirmation that what we see in the mirror isn't the sum total of who we are. There are great treasures to be mined if we will just take the time with the help of the one who created us.
Which brings me to the second book:
This is a library book by one of my all-time favorite authors, Madeleine L'Engle. I was surprised to find one that I hadn't read already. It's called And It Was Good.
This book contains L'Engle's musings about the early chapters of Genesis, including the creation, with some surprising and delightful insights. She writes about God specializes in asking us to do things that seem impossible to us, and fully expects us to do them. She continues, "Slowly I have realized that I do not have to be qualified to do what I am asked to do, that I just have to go ahead and do it, even if I can't do it as well as I think it ought to be done. This is one of the most liberating lessons of my life."
I submitted a piece to a juried art show last week-end. I already know the piece isn't good enough for the show, but it's been a dream of mine to participate in the show, and I found that it was very empowering to actually go through the process. Maybe next year I'll have something better to submit. (I won't even mind getting the rejection letter because at least I did something!)
Finally, the third piece of the puzzle (so far, at least) is Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class. Besides giving opportunities to make lovely art out of our photographs with Photoshop, one of Kim's objectives is to empower us to dream and really take off in new directions in the creative process. There are at least 200 participants from all over the globe, and I'm so excited to dive into this year-long adventure with them!
It's going to be an exciting year!