Ever since I can remember, my life has included art. Every woman in my family is an amateur artist/crafter (and a few are pros). An oil painting painted by my great grandmother and framed by my great grandfather always hung in my childhood home. I have many fond memories of sitting around my Granny’s craft table with my Mama and two sisters; we made porcelain dolls, china sets, oil paintings, beaded necklaces, Christmas ornaments, scrapbooks and more.
As I started my own family in my early 20s, I loved doing art projects and crafts with my own kids, it was so playful, fun, and messy. I also found art to be an outlet away from my children whom I was with 24/7. As I would sit in a quiet place and do art (I was big into mixed media), the Lord ever so gently and patiently taught me of Himself. Because I loved the Lord, I often wanted to include scripture in my art and I learned how to do Bible journaling. At that time, I didn’t know that the Lord was speaking to me, but I did know that every time I sat down to do art that a little piece of me would come alive, stress would melt away, anxiety would cease, and healing took place inside my heart. For a while I was able to teach children’s and adult art classes and I loved it!
Fast forward a couple of years, and the Lord led me to my first Beauty for Ashes retreat. At the time, I wasn’t doing much art for myself because I was just so “busy” with my four children, and I had forgotten about the sense of peace that it brought me. During Beauty for Ashes retreats, we encourage ladies to try journaling by drawing with crayons. I was a self proclaimed non-drawer, so that part made me a bit uncomfortable, but every single time I put color to paper, the Lord spoke to me. I learned how to listen to and hear His voice as I journaled with color and drawings. I also slowly learned how to draw. Once again, I began to come alive and heal from deep wounds as the Lord spoke to me through the process of making art.
While developing the Hearing God Retreat for 61-Acres, Christi and Kim allowed me to walk them through an idea the Lord had given me through dreams (another way that God speaks to us). It was a hit! Even though neither of the ladies typically did art, all three of us experienced Holy Spirit’s presence as we listened to scripture, sat with Jesus, and created art as we communed with the Lord- He spoke to us through the process of creating art. In September 2022, we held our first Hearing God Retreat where I facilitated a session that I called “art journaling with Jesus.” All 14 ladies in attendance experienced the Lord’s presence and heard His voice as they created art.
Since then, we have continued to do the “art journaling with Jesus” sessions at our Hearing God retreats. In addition to that, the Lord has invited me to invite other women into my home to do art with me. In this, I get the opportunity to share what the Lord has given to me- a passion for intimacy with my Lord, a deep love for art, and the spiritual gift of teaching; and thus, 61-Art was born.
I LOVE doing art and creating with my Creator God. The Lord has vastly expanded my courage when it comes to art and getting outside of my comfort zone through preparing for and teaching others. The Lord has allowed me to tangibly experience His presence and guidance as I try new art mediums and techniques while creating gifts for others. He has healed deep places in my heart and given me such peace through the process of doing art and listening for His voice. I feel completely undone, unqualified, and overwhelmed with the Lord’s gift to allow me to walk others through the process of hearing Him through art, but I do it with open hands and heart in full expectation that He will speak.