Do you have God-given interests and passions you’ve put to the side? It is time to start believing God placed them in you for a purpose.
One of the ways I’d like to celebrate Faith Barista’s Blog Anniversary is to celebrate the people who have created community here.
Yes. I’m talking about you.
— the ones who drop by for a visit and leave a comment.
— the bloggy ones who jam with me on Thursdays.
— the ones who quietly read and journey with me.
You’ve inspired me time and again.
You see, I’m not the only one you’re encouraging.
People write to tell me how much they love the thoughts you share. One reader exclaimed,
“I’m so encouraged by all comments that readers post. I like them as much as your posts!”
I was reminded of these words and our community of faith friends as I entered into the new school year with my son…
What I Noticed
TJ got inducted into kindergarten this week, but it wasn’t the first time I’d seen his classroom.
Earlier in the year, parents were invited to visit the school.
The last time I’d stepped into a kindergarten classroom, I was five years old.
One thing I noticed right away was the amount of art displayed. Hanging from the ceiling, taped onto the wall. Everywhere.
Crayon scribbles were decorating the room. Some used a few colors while others really blasted their papers. They were all beautiful. I chuckled imagining happy kids, busy at work creating and having fun.
The second thing that caught my eye were the names of the students plastered around the room. Everywhere.
What is Chole’s favorite color?
What does Chloe like to do?
We really like Chloe!
The message being communicated to the children through their names and their artistic expressions was this:
You — are a work of art.
Not So Generous
It’s often been said we all start out as a blank canvas.
But, I say we were born original works of art, created by God who is the masterclass artisan. Each of us has been designed with our unique set of preferences, sensitivities and natural born interests.
A sunset. Ever looked out at the horizon and said to yourself, “Average.”?
A rose. Ever placed a stem in a vase and thought, “Ordinary.”?
Yet that is how we’ve often view our God-given interests and passions.
We give children the freedom to explore a variety of interests and encourage them to nurture the ones they enjoy.
Yet, when it comes to ourselves, we are not so generous with grace. Instead of opening our God-given giftings, we keep them wrapped up, stuffed in the back of our closets, in fear of opening an empty box.
The Good News
The world likes to talk about “talent”. If you’re talented, it means you’ve got a special skill that makes others take notice.
It’s not a bad word. But, that word can unknowingly place an eraser in our hands.
When we place talent over God’s gifting, we devalue the interests and passions God naturally tucks away in our hearts.
When we judge our gifting by how many people like what we do, we forget our loving Heavenly Father beams with over-the-moon delight over our smallest expressions of faith.
The good news is that God’s gifting in us cannot be erased by anyone, including ourselves.
God’s Work of Art
No circumstance, mistake, problem or weakness is so big, that it can remove God’s unique expression of Himself in us.
Because God’s work of art in us is sealed with the Holy Spirit from the moment we became His.
Because God’s work of art is insured by His love.
The amazing thing is this: God puts the brush in our hands and invites us to paint on our everyday canvas.
Don’t be mistaken. God is not an observer. He inspires us from within — by reshaping our hearts and renewing our minds to see and take in beauty.
You and I have a part in this growing art: to nurture our interests and rekindle our giftings.
It is time to start living as God’s work of art. Because you are exactly that.
“For we are God’s masterpiece (the original Greek word poema is translated “poem“),
created in the Messiah Jesus to do good works
that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.”
Don’t discount that voice inside you, the one you were born to speak in — whether you do it through writing, photography, cooking or engineering, teaching, crafting and anything else.
Let’s start by celebrating each other here.
What is an interest or passion you’d like to nurture and grow?
Are you living as God’s work of art?
I love company and I’m here reading and replying to comments as you slip them in.
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*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Let’s encourage each other. Add your voice. Swap our stories.
This Thursday’s Topic 8/25: What is a passion or interest you’d like to nurture and grow?
Share your post by clicking on the blue button below “Add Your Link” or just comment directly.
Next Thurday’s Topic 9/1: WhitespaceWhitespace topic: Share anything you’d like about your alone time with God.
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I love your post Bonnie. My daughter started Kindergarten this year too. I love hearing all of the new things she has learned each day.
I agree that we are created with specific gifts that can be used for God’s glory. We are His masterpiece!
In the natural, music and singing came easy for me. In the Spirit, I am driven to see people healed, physically and spiritually. I am driven to seek the hidden things that many don’t desire. Over the years, I would watch healing ministries on TV and would sit in the floor and weep. It is planted so deep in my heart that only God could have placed it there.
Happy Thursday Bonnie!
Aw. Your little girl is starting kindergarten too! They look so cute with their backpacks, don’t you think? Music, singing and a heart moved by compassion. Beautiful Beth!
“You are a work of art.” Yes, you are, Bonnie! And thank you for being such an encouragement to the rest of us that we also are works of art. God blesses us through you.
You are, Lisa! 🙂 Love how you encourage us, in a way that only you can do!
In the beginning what I thought was simply just a stubborn gene that always reacted in a knee-jerk way to people that tried to bully me, became something more as if that seed sat there, hybernated, and finally under the right circumstances bloomed into a woman who can persevere through anything because I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and His work is worth persevering through. It’s worth standing when all else is falling away, and fighting for something people think worth leaving.
As I read this, I pictured a beautiful tree, growing tall, providing shade and beauty as it reaches towards the blue sky, Nikole!
Oh what a lovely post. Encouragement like this is what we need. I went to an art show of a friend this past week – I was excited and so inspired that I set up a new room in my house as my art room. Previously I had my art, my writing, my bills and every other ministry I am involved in squished into one tiny room. Now I feel like I can truly get back to my watercolour – passionately without forgoing my writing.
If there are any others out there who write and paint I would love to connect with you.
Jan, what fun it must be to decorate a space to inspire art in you! I don’t paint, but I love watercolor paintings. What do you like to paint?
I paint different things – really a beginner but I have sold 2 paintings. You can see some of my art at http://thevillageartgroup.wordpress.com/ and click on Jan.
I have painted the pictures for my picture book but I am still working on the words – editing, editing.
I still haven’t had time to finish my room – too busy with family and summer. lol:)
“Because God’s work of art is insured by His love” It’s wonderful to be “insured by His love”. Like we insure our cars, and people insure valuables, our talents need to be insured. Great thought! 🙂
God’s love insures our hearts! And what a beauty yours is, Jennifer! 🙂
I love this, Bonnie. I’m so glad you broke out of the wrappings to spread color and joy into my life!
And this! That we are His poem. That has left me speechless!
I feel the same about you, girl! 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing today! For as long as I can remember, I have always loved working with children. I take such joy in watching how each child’s face lights up at the smallest of accomplishments. Even it’s one that they had been working on for some time. It’s not something that I’m doing right now, other than with my own. But after your blog, that ” We are God’s masterpiece….” and asking the question ” Are you living God’s work of art?” ; I was reminded of this gift that God gave me that I’m not using. It’s time to dust it off and rekindle that spark into a flame that burns brightly for the One who gave it to me. Thank you again so much for sharing and reminding me of the gift that God gave me.
Dust it off, Lisa! 🙂 I pictured God’s face lighting up as you thought to rekindle that spark again. btw, it is a gift to love working with children. The kids feel it too! Some people have that touch that draws children out. It’s beautiful to see.
[…] Devotional I am linking up with Bonnie the Faith Barista for Faith JAM today. She has challenged us with this […]
Inspiring post! “we were born original works of art” That is true and I am glad that you have written a beautiful post to encourage us all. May we motivate each other to good works.
Thank-you for this post and for hosting the jam!
Can’t wait to read your post, Carol! Keep sharing your gift with us. 😉
I love that He will use every passion and interest for His glory as we’re surrendered to Him. We can limit ourselves so much by our thinking and compartmentalization. It is for freedom, He set us free. Thanks Bonnie. You bless me tremendously with your words and heart!
We’re on the same wavelength. Romans 8:1-2 was marinating this post as well. Jason, keep going, friend! We see God’s gift in you, keep going!
[…] while I do that, I’m going to meditate on this verse that Bonnie startled me […]
Thank you for sharing that the the original Greek word poema is translated “poem.” That opened that verse up in a whole new way for me.
It’s totally opened up a new way of living out my faith, too Mama Zen!
When your posts arrive in my inbox, I know I am about to be encouraged and “understood”. Hmmmm, how do you do that?
My son battled cancer at the age of four….two years ago. That raging storm brought me to my knees in surrender to God’s love and helped start me on my own journey of healing from my past.
Combine all of that with my heart for children in need of someone to hold them and affirm their place in this world…..and you have a woman who has no idea what I am supposed to do with all of these experiences and a hefty burden to stand up and speak up on all that God has done and can do.
Me? A work of art? Two years ago I would have deleted you. Today I have to agree and am hopeful that He will set me on whatever road He has in mind.
Whew! So glad I didn’t get deleted! LOL. 🙂 But even more crazy happy to know God’s brought you to a place where you can stand up and speak out of a heart healed by love. *chills* (the good kind!) JULIE!
I loved your post. I love to sing and write but I also love sharing conversation and hospitality over afternoon tea. There is just somethign about slowing down especially now as this teacher is back in the classroom with little butterflies.
Bless you Tammy this week! Teachers are heroes! Thanks for bringing your hospitality online here too!
AMEN! Beautiful post Bonnie. Thank you so much for all of your encouragement. God has really helped me to get over some of my fears. I’ve always been the creative type, but I never considered myself an “artist.” I didn’t think I was good enough to be an artist. But, God has given me the gifts and talents of being creative, and now I can share my Faith with others through my art. I’ve just recently started my blog and soon I will open an Etsy shop. I’m very nervous, but this is God’s will for my life; He gave me these talents and I have to use them for His works. Bonnie, you are an inspiration and I thank you for your encouragement.
I love your heart Bonnie! I love the encouragement I receive every time I visit this community. My heart is to always encourage and build others up. I am learning to embrace my art!
Thank you Bonnie for the encouragement! It has only been the past few years that I have thought about being beautiful and a work of art before God. And you know what you are right I am and so are you! You are a treasure to my heart and your words speak to my heart all the time! Thank you!!! Now off to work on my post for the jam.
Your teacher is wise, because the names of the children and things that make them special will build confidense and cause them to know they are valuable. Works of art, yes that is what we are even when we feel like something that the nursery child drew. Even so it is beautiful. Writers may wonder if anyone is listening, but that one person who gives them inspiration is enough! Following God’s voice in the direction He says to go, is all we can do! Follow, I will follow Jesus.
Such a sweet and inspiring post, Bonnie!!
(and for the record, kindergarten was my FAVORITE!! I can, to this day, remember so many dear, sweet memories about that year! It amazes even me!!)
Here’s to a year full of precious moments and fun times in kindergarten for you and your little one!!
Wow you brought back flashes of memories of when the boys were that young and starting school. In 4 short years, our grandson will be starting kindergarten.
Here and now I am and my family are his works of art. I have to breathe this in again and sip on your brew. I needed this shot of faith today.
What a wonderful post, Bonnie! For me its finding the way back to my dawning, the place where my heart first opened. Using the imagery and medium of paper crafting, writing, and photography, my desire is to inspire and encourage. And, like Much-afraid, finding my way up the mountain where “perfect love casteth out fear” to share the talents God has created in me. Thank you for your beautiful words of encouragement this evening, Bonnie. I hope you’ll join me at Summerwalk Designs for the rest of my story.
My passion comes from the verses that we should love God with all our heart, souls and minds and love our neighbor as ourselves. Loving God is not easy but loving my neighbor is even more difficult for me. I wish they gave classes in college on how to love your friends and neighbors. I would love to develop my passion for caring about people no matter what walk of life, what their main sin is, how angry they are. I want to learn to love.
Thanks again for a wonderful post! The theme for me this weeks seems to have revolved around ‘rest’ and ‘gifts’. I’m not sure where He is going with all this with me but OK I’m game to follow! The 2 obvious things to me that I love to do are photography and sewing/quilting but another thing I do is write. I write boatloads of things and have numerous journals and computer files to show for it, and long comments here, sorry. I write my feelings and thoughts mainly for myself just to get them out. I’ve started my own blog for the purpose of writing out my story of healing as I’ve seen it unfold the past 3 1/2 years. Its a blog that I have set as private for now with only a few readers invited to see it. They do not follow it and haven’t read in a long time based on the stats of it. I’m fine with that, its not for anyone but myself right now. I would love to develop that skill of writing and put it with my photography.
Yeah, life is like a work of Art. Its a combination of different colors and with different kinds of strokes.
I just love your thought with the sharing of talents that are God’s gift to us. I know this is something really good to know more of how they these arts and its exhibits will help us in moulding our talents and to improve on them I really agree this is a real good post to know more and en-light our talents as well is also important.
I like how you said we are not so good with grace for our selves. I’m really good at dispensing grace to famiy, friends and even strangers. But to myself — grace often doesnt apply
Oh, so true, Bonnie. I’m terrible at offering myself grace, yet I want my children to fully know that they are loved by God! Thanks for hosting us each week!
Bonnie, I’m a bit late in adding my post. But I didn’t want to miss out on this one. You are such an encouragement to me. You always get me thinking and I love that. I do believe the Lord gave me certain abilities and I’m so grateful. But some things have been placed on hold. I pray that will change in the future.
Blessings and love,
PS. I love your description of your child’s kindergarten room. What a blessing to see little ones cherished and excited about all they can be.
[…] then the following day, I received aweekly blog post from a writer I recently started following at Faith Barista and the topic was What is a passion or interest you’d like to nurture and grow?”And then […]
I just started following your blog a few weeks ago. And oh. my. goodness. I can so relate to what you’ve experienced, and the thoughts and feelings you’ve had on your journey.
Thank you for such encouragement! I even forwarded my daughter a link to one of your posts.
This post was a confirmation to something the Lord was speaking to me– about me and music. the 3rd one in as many days. I wrote about it on my blog and even took a step of faith and posted a very short music/visual piece I created. 🙂
Blessings! I’m sharing this post as well.