Looking back at 2014 I am grateful to God for showing me His favor, mercy and grace. Many cool things have transpired this year; trips to West Texas to see my special friend, a trip to Ohio for my parents 65th wedding anniversary, a trip to California for work where I met up with my sweet friend Suzy, Friday evenings in the West End of Dallas with my peeps from church sharing the love of Jesus and more. What I wanted to talk first about in this post is the small business I started in 2013, that finally took off this year. I started teaching art class. I now teach three times a week; adult watercolors Monday nights, Kid’s Art on Tuesday evenings, and Adult Drawing class Saturday mornings. I have gone from a precious few students to almost full classes. I expect soon to have to start a list as I can fit no more classes into my schedule.
Teaching art class is what I would call a peak experience for me. I am amazed at how much I love it, how it energizes me. I love my students and a one especially has become a good friend. We are currently working on a book project drawing from my class experience in the watercolor class. We have discovered there are few resources on how to teach the art of watercolors. Somehow I have managed to communicate what I do intuitively and am beginning to see my beginning students gaining skills and confidence. My experience like others I have talked to is that most watercolor classes are taught by highly skilled artists from who you can learn a few things from if you are like me and learn easily by observing. Most students want it broken down. Most students need encouragement and permission to struggle and try again and again until they have a break through. I am working out the process and we are documenting it.
Last week I tutored a woman in InDesign on how to create eBooks. I plan to put the watercolor book into that form and also print sometime in the future. In the meantime, I have been applying what I have learned. I am asking questions of my students and getting their input. I am having a blast and also keeping my hands busy with a lot of painting and drawing and probably learning more than any of my students.
That is what is happening to me in my outer life. In my inner life I have drawn closer and closer to the Father and am finally getting it, how much He loves me. The last few years I have learned to let go of my fear. I used to live with so much fear. With that gone there is room now to explore God’s wonderful grace to me and to learn to trust Him more and more. I credit the flourishing of my business with the amount to which I have learned to trust Him. I have learned that God is crazy about all of us. I have no right to exclude anyone from His plans. I learned this going out to the West End with my church and engaging with people on the street. Going out has impacted me in many ways, but mostly by the people who have allowed me talk with them and pray with them. As a team we have given drinks to those who were thirsty in the 100 degree heat. We have fed people who haven’t eaten for three days, prayed with people just released from prison, laid hands on those who were sick, encouraged the discouraged. I have shared my testimony and how God delivered me from drugs and alcohol probably every time I have gone out. There have been many interesting and amazing encounters. My favorite one was when someone filmed and interviewed one of the leaders and myself for almost an hour as he asked question after question about what we believe. The Bible says “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1Peter 3:15. That is what we did that night. It was a joy to tell someone who was earnestly seeking what I believe.
I am looking forward to 2015. I want to continue to teach, write more, go out more and tell more people about the hope that I have in Jesus.