Monday, February 27, 2006

Lost Art

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mom, that's what I decided to call my blog when I began this venture nearly two years ago. It was meant to be clever on several levels. Being a fan of literature, there was the obvious tip of the hat to Mr. James Joyce. And I do like to create, in many different ways. But the deeper meaning had much less to do with me being an artist than one might think.

Although I appreciate art and even make art from time to time, the original title had more to do with God. He is the original Old Master, the creator of creativity. He is the maker of all things beautiful. I want my life to be a true reflection of His nature, His character. So how would the character of The Artist be portrayed in the everyday life of a very average mid-30's stay-at-home mom?

That portrait is what I strive for.

But I fail.

I fail so much more than I succeed. There is no art to be seen in my life. I am not a very good reflection of my Creator. I am not much of a portrait of The Artist as a young mom.

Remember the soft sounds of the early 80's song, "The Leader of the Band"? My life is just a poor attempt...

But I press on. I want God to make art from me. A vessel from this ugly lump of clay. A painting from this oily mess of paint. A drawing from this dirty stick of charcoal. A song from these dull, flat notes. A symphony from these idle and tuneless strings. A photograph from this lack luster, dark scene. A sonnet from this disjointed text.

I don't deserve the title of this blog, but I will keep it anyway. I am not ready to give up hope.

Oh, God, breathe your life into me again.


Funny, I started this post with the intention of saying that I haven't been doing any good photography for so long now. For me, this is usually an indicator of the state of my heart. I've been in transition for so long and for the last two months, in a bit of a survival mode. I have had nothing left for creativity and beauty. Once I sat down to write, however, I realized it was so much deeper than snap shots. Yes, my lack of making art shows the condition of my heart, but it has little to do with busyness or crisis. It has everything to do with allowing or disallowing the Master Artrist to work His beauty in me.


Jeannie said...

Thanks, Sherry -- thanks for baring your heart and sharing your thoughts. Boy, did I really need this today. I'm going through the same struggle right now. The thought that keeps coming back to me lately, is, "Keep on Keeping On". In fact, that is what I had decided (a week and a half ago) to name your quilt. That same thought was presented to me this morning in my "quiet time", in those exact words. It isn't easy.

AmberJ said...

sherry-girl, you bless so many people. You have spoken the words so many of us feel every day.

Cindee said...

"...and for the last two months, in a bit of a survival mode."

That exactly describes me right now. Ever since Abby was born I feel like I've been buried in an avalanche. It was so exhausting trying to dig my way out that I've decided to just hunker down in my little cave under the snow and do what I can. I know that spring is coming (literally and figuratively) and that the snow will melt and I will rejoin the world again but for now... it's just too hard. It doesn't help that at this moment I am sick and feel perfectly lousy. That too will pass, I know, but it just makes it a little harder to be optimistic.

I was just telling my husband the other day that right now I'm not doing anything very well. It's all halfway and that just isn't the real me... My house is a wreck, dust everywhere and grunge in the corners, behind on bookkeeping (to the tune of $630.00 in overdrafts!! We had the money just not in the right account. ARRGH!), little kids fussy, big kids feeling neglected, too much fast food, sending late b-day birthday presents, haven't had my 6-week postpartum check-up and it's been 8 weeks, baby's due for shots, houseplants are dying, goldfish is looking sluggish, husband is WAY neglected (though he hasn't complained), averaging 3-4 hours of sleep a night.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I know that it won't always be like this but I still hate it. I don't want to be hating this time, though. It's so frustrating. I'm afraid that this is all my bigger kids will remember about Abby being a baby. Rebecca (9 1/2) has already commented that she will NEVER have four kids. I think she even said that she won't have ANY kids. *sigh* This is not the attitude I want to foster in her.

Goodness... I should have just posted this on my own blog and not rambled on so on yours, Sherry. I apologize. Really, I just wanted to say that your post here has encouraged me even though my comments may seem otherwise. I read your blog often and I am always heartened by what I read.


Sherry C said...


No problem. You are welcome to vent all you want here. You sound exhausted, poor thing. I will pray that you manage to get a little more rest tonight.

Do you have a girlfriend nearby that you can call to come over and hang out? Or maybe someone to take your other kids for a few hours so you can nap when the baby does? You need something, friend. Don't try to be superwoman right now. No one cares that you have dust bunnies in the corners or a messy kitchen. A good friend never sees those things, anyway.

Your kids will recover just fine from this temporary chaos. Your husband sounds understanding (he's been through this stage before, too, remember). You will make it through this and eventually rediscover the person you know is behind those tired eyes.

You know all this, but it's easy to forget, so I'm here to remind you again.

May God bless you, friend, and grant you peace and rest.

CML_Shearings said...

I am so thankful for all the time and energy that you have and are continuing to invest in Esther. I believe it counts for eternity, but I pray it does not rob your family of anything the Lord plans for you. You continue to minister to many despite your exhaustion. PTL!

Ruth C said...

Sherry, as I read your blog and the comments of those before me the truth of "In our weakness, He is strong" rings ever true. I don't mean to overspiritualize, but neither do I want to miss a chance to name truth when it is right there for the taking. It seems to me that one of Satan's great strategies is to make us feel isolated and unworthy. Your sharing has just disempowered those lies in at least four people's lives. Thank you, dear sister, for not hiding your weakness.

Ruth C said...

Ok, I was on to the next thing but couldn't shake the desire to make another comment.

Cindee, I don't think I know you, but I just want to give you a big hug and cry with you, then watch your kids so you can do whatever it is you want to do! Since that's not possible, I'm going to pray for you. And that's no second place. May God truly encourage you in the most meaningful way...and soon!

Sherry, God's artistry in your life is so abundantly and manifestly evident to me...not only on your good days, but even on the bad ones. I have always noticed, but haven't always commented, on how yielded you continue to become. I know you dont' think so. It's the surrender that always comes after resistence, not the resistence itself that I notice. What is art if not process and surrender?

Mister Ed T said...

We all face siminar challenges. But our God never changes and His is our ever present source of strength through His Word, His Spirit, and His people. All of you in this blog sound like moldable clay. That's how God makes not only usable vessels but also beautiful masterpieces.