in which I convince you that you are an artist

Maybe you are thinking These art posts aren’t for me. I’m not the creative type. I’m more of a numbers girl. And well, that may be true. I know it can be a bold and maybe ridiculous thing to clump all types of art together, the I-paint-for-a-living type and the just-plain-living type. But that’s what we’ve been doing here because I think it overlaps a lot anyway.

For example, Kendra cooks. And it isn’t just about the food, it’s about what the food means for a family. It’s about feeding a soul. And she is so passionate about it, that she wanted to share that passion with people. So she opened her own business and began to teach cooking classes. And she was good at it, and people who took one class usually ended up taking two. Because when Kendra is in the kitchen, she creates. She is free. She makes art. She even started a blog about it.

Then, Kendra had a baby. And it became more difficult to teach the classes. And the business began to feel like a burden a little bit. And so she followed her heart, and she shut it down. And she quit her blog. And you know what?

She still makes art.

Every day, she cooks for her husband and she mothers that baby with love and fulness and hope. She isn’t perfect, she doesn’t always feel loving and creative, but she loves anyway and she makes decisions for her family that are smart. Right now, Kendra’s home is her canvas and her love is her brush. Balk at me if you want to, and call me a rainbow and unicorn lover, but that girl makes art everyday.

And so do you. But do you call it that? It’s not just paint, and it’s not just cooking. For some people, art might look like starting a business. And for others, it may look like shutting one down. Life is art. Don’t you see that by now? Do you trust yourself with the beauty of it? How can you doubt the art in you? How can you live, everyday, in this world packed with miracles, and not see the art? How can you, a miracle yourself with those deep eyes and that gorgeous laugh, how can you say you aren’t an artist? It’s not about art school or making a living with a paintbrush. I mean, it can be that. But it’s more. It’s so much more. See the art today, this day. And live it.


  1. says

    Not being particularly “artsy” (in face a former science teacher!), I appreciate your perspective that life in and of itself is art…and I’m starting to live my art!

  2. says

    Thank you for this perspective this morning, and for Kendra’s story. Loved her post about writing a mission statement with her husband.

    Sometimes it becomes hard to see the art of a home—we get so caught up in the everyday messiness of it all. But when you stop back and look at the huge impact we have (on especially the small) people in our lives, that’s huge. Coming alongside a child and helping him/her discover who God created them to be is such a work in progress.

    Enjoy your day. :)

  3. says

    Thank you for all this art talk! I’ve been feeling inspired and empowered by all these posts… reminded that my passion to create isn’t a silly little hobby. It’s who God made me to be!

  4. says

    thank you for this reminder. There is beauty all around us, everyday. I’m a designer-wanna-be enjoying every chance I get to express myself in my home. I love to re-do and make new through painting, sewing and creative crafts. My art is making a beautiful place for my hardworking family to retreat to.

  5. says

    I think instead of writing a to-do list for the upcoming day, I am going to write an Art to Create list. And sometimes that art may be clean laundry, a craft with the kids, or a blog post. It may even be the fine art of balancing a checkbook! I think just changing the way we look at our lives can make such a difference!
    Hope I get a chance to meet you Emily, this week at Blissdom!

  6. says

    loving this post Emily. you’re so right. i agree with every word. i too am sad Kendra’s blog is done, but i am so proud of her brave choice to say no. pulling back is always harder than stepping forward.

  7. says

    I am so thankful that God sends art to ordinaries and uses the megaphone of creation to catch us, even in the most mundane, from peelings on the cutting board to sugar crystals under the homeschool microscope, snowflakes showing off their crystals to the naked eyes by the millions, and a cobalt twilight that makes you stop to catch your breath on a long drive home.

  8. says

    I SOOO agree with you!!!! One of the arts that I am passionate about it creating healthy meals for my family and “plating” each person’s meal for them and making it look attractive to eat! 😀

    I am also loving the art of being a good wife to my husband! A real pleasure!!! I love the art of mothering my kids and learning and growing as a woman as I learn what they need as they grow and learn to live their lives too.

    And writing…pouring out my thoughts, passions, heart out in words that mean so much to me hoping that they will touch the heart and life of at least one person along the way…sharing what God is doing in my life…as I learn and make mistakes and discover God’s amazing Grace.

    Thanks for this post!!!! Living is art and ministry…its all in how we look at it! 😀

    I will be praying for you while you are at Blissdom, Emily! 😀 Have a great time!!!

    Building Home with Him,

    Mary Joy

  9. says

    and btw, this is my favorite…

    “Balk at me if you want to, and call me a rainbow and unicorn lover, but that girl makes art everyday.”

    and i love that you’re a unicorn lover, because i’m right there with you. 😉

  10. says

    I have SUCH a hard time FEEEEEELing artsy when I have thirty loads of laundry and five pounds of breakfast on the floor. Meep.
    Happy Monday!

  11. says

    I just send Kelly an email with my little long ago restaurant story.
    Same message.

    thank you again. for affirming.
    for reminding
    for validating

    for living in the Spirit with a far away mama who lives very differently but very much the same.

    love you

  12. says

    I’ve often wondered why it’s so difficult to call ourselves artists (as if the words carry the air of something elite.) I did a post about it about a year ago when I started painting because I felt like I had to justify my poor paint skills and claim the word “artist” for myself. I agree…we’re all artists…different ways for all of us, but creativity is always at work! Thank you for the reminder today…I needed it!

  13. says

    What a gift! I’ve never considered that all the “non-creative” aspects of my life are art as well. This new thought is an Ah Hah moment— when it’s fully sunk in, I would venture to say my life will look different to me. Artful, beautiful, a celebration of creation, not just creativity. Wow. :)

  14. says

    I Thank you Emily, *tear*! Our Creator created us to create and He being the ultimate artist has billions of artists that are created in His image.

  15. says

    This post reminds me much of the first book I ever read on creativity. It was the early 70’s and I was a freshman in college and I still remember it. Hidden Art by Edith Schaefer. She sees all of life as art, which stems from being created in God’s image . . . the PERFECT ARTIST. I think you would love this book.


  16. says

    I love this, Emily.

    So often I think that I create art when I come up with a phrase or sentence that’s particularly pleasing in a rhetorical sense, and this post made me realize that creating art is as simple as living life deliberately, fearlessly, and well. It’s the simple ways I decorate my dorm room, the creative ways I save money as a college girl, the friendships I cultivate, the various ways – homework and applications – I invest in my education and career experience. It’s all the different ways I learn about the meaning and purpose of life.

    Thank you so much for this post. This was a lesson I needed today.

  17. says

    Emily, this is so, so true. I was just speaking with my favorite artist today and we talked about the joy of creation without the need of a platform or a reason to be recognized.

    To create for the purpose of creating.

    I adore this series. This is really speaking to my heart.

  18. says

    Is there a writing genre called “Artistic Motivation/Inspiration”, cause girl, you are WORKING these posts! I’m hanging on all of it. Give me more.

    And I really hoping to meet you later this week. I saw that you have 45 people on your list, so I won’t take long! 😉

  19. says

    Oh my goodness, why am I just now stumbling to your blog. I have some catching up to do…….beautiful-heart-hugging post, Emily. I embrace my internal arteest. :) Thank you!

  20. susan says

    Latest edition of “CottageStyle”, part of Rachel Ashwell quote: “Life can be art. We all do so many interesting things…” and you are both sooo right! You, MsEmily, just write it to our hearts! -s-

  21. says

    My wife found your blog the other day and told me that I needed to check it out. I have been back pretty much every day since. I enjoyed this post. Most days I feel like I get very little created, but when I get to love on my wife and son and know that I am making a future impact on thier lives with my love I am happy. The idea that love is the brush that we paint with makes a lot of sense. And that it can be art, all the better.

  22. says

    Oh Emily, what an important thought you are sharing. I wish I had understood this in my heart through my 20’s and 30’s.

    I am one who has been surprised by art. It kind of snuck up on me and it still amuses me that in my 40’s I find out that I am an artist. I can look back through the years and see some of the threads that would come together to allow this to happen, but I never would have guessed.

  23. says

    Love this! I discovered this a few years ago after an amazing artists’ retreat at which I felt a bit lost as I was Just a Teacher and Just a Wife and like to Make Things Pretty. I was asked what my medium was. Um….I have since learned, my medium is…my life. It is how I live, finding the beauty in the common things, in the home I make, in the friendships I nurture, the garden I grow, the kids I help form.

  24. says

    life is art.
    and our art is beautiful when we’re doing what brings life to us….

    thank you for reminding us of this huge truth!~

    art is not just painting or writing or ?????
    art is life.

  25. says

    This post reaches to the depths of my creative soul. Sometimes I feel like life and creativity are mutually exclusive…but out of our creativity, life is birthed. Thank you!

  26. Donna Bivins says

    Thank you for sharing about your time. Wondered how it would be to be there – and you shared it beautifully.

  27. says

    Mothering. Mothering is quite an art. Writing, too. Those are mine. :)

    I have a few hidden talents that I don’t have time for right now (drawing, photography). But, maybe down the road? :)

  28. says

    So true! And in different season of my life, he calls out different types of art.

    I had no idea 10 years ago that I would be any good at gardening, but here I am.

    Thanks for encouraging others to share what the Lord has put in them too.

  29. Roelien Botha says

    Thank you Emily! I am an artist, I love painting with oils, but seriously lack commitment, but I’m working on it, and what I read on your blog today already inspired me to make more of it.!

    What I take from you today is that I’m not just a stay-at-home mom for a difficult teen, and next time somebody asks me what I do for a living, my answer will be “I’m an artist, a home creator!”

    I’m Afrikaans speaking, and new to your blog, but already “addicted”. I love your heart and totally share you love for our Lord and Creator.

    Be Blessed

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