For February’s Artist of the Month, we are featuring Kara Cline of Humilitea House!!! This post has been a long time coming, and I’m so excited that Kara is sharing her heart with you today! I met Kara when I was a freshman in college and have counted her one of my dearest friends ever since. Almost immediately after meeting her, I experienced her decided spiritual gift of hospitality; even in our crumbly dorm rooms, hers always felt like someplace homey and peaceful, where there was always a cup of hot tea in your hand practically right after you set foot in the door.
Kara is multi-talented as a gifted photographer, potter, writer, painter, hand-letterer, and musician (and probably something else she hasn’t bothered to mention to me), with a deep and abiding love of Jesus and every person she meets (with whom she is immediately friends).
I can’t say enough about Kara’s generous and perceptive heart, nor her overflowing creativity, nor her gorgeous flowing locks of golden hair. (I mean, seriously people, no one has hair like hers…) So, I’ll just stop saying things and let her take over. I’m sure there’s enough hot tea or coffee- or both- here for you and enough good words for your soul, too. Enjoy.
Hello fellow artist hearts and kindred spirits. Allow me to share a cup of coffee with you for a few moments, welcome you to my kitchen table as the snowflakes swirl outside, and be vulnerable with you. I want to share something I struggle with every day. You see, I’ve been procrastinating. Procrastinating to write this blog post, and, really, to create in general… because I’m afraid.
If I take a long hard look, I’m really astonished at how fear has managed to snake it’s way into my heart. Entwining it’s coils around every beautiful young plant that God has intended for good and for strength. It suffocates delicate shoots before they even press all the way through the soil, and chokes the light out of things that my Creator desires to use to help bring about wholeness and healing in this broken world.
As an artist I look at the tangled mess in my spirit and a voice slithers out and says that I am alone in this. The voice mocks and claims that God cannot use anything that comes from these two hands. The voice reasons that I am ugly through and through, and that no beauty can come from such a jumble of insecurities and half-hearted attempts at creating.
But, dear children of the Living God, I say this to myself as much as to you. That voice is a liar.
Christ has rescued me from the power of sin and death. Through His blood He has transformed me from a charred sinner into His holy and beautiful daughter. He has completely changed my life! Why, why, WHY then do I insist on viewing His gift of creativity in my life as a filthy rag? Why am I ashamed of it, holding it at arms length and desperately searching for a place to hide it lest people discover I’m a fraud? Why am I terrified of practice and of falling down? Why am I so prideful that I allow fear to keep me from sharing such gifts? Why do I say they aren’t good enough?
I’m rejecting His gifts and I’m making the Holy Spirit heartsick.
Friends, even though that deceptive voice keeps telling me that I’m alone, I know that I’m not. Once you dig through the surface, so many of us artists struggle with the exact same thing, but we’re fighting a battle that has already been won on our behalf.
“… for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
“ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
For so long I have let this fear and procrastination prevent the use of so many blessings. I can make excuses and put off sitting down to my pottery wheel, picking up my camera, or pressing my piano keys, and I usually do. I envision myself in an imaginary future where I am suddenly adept at all of those skills, or I look through my Instagram feed and fuel the consuming fire of comparison until I am immobilized. The real tragedy of this though, is that my days on this earth are passing more quickly each year, and I am wasting the precious time that my Father has given me. It may sound dramatic, but it is nonetheless true. We are eternal beings, yes, but our time in this world is not infinite.
How can we let such gifts stagnate when this globe is crying out for hope and purpose? It is no coincidence that the favorite tools of the enemy against creatives are fear and discouragement. The liar wants to keep us deceived. We have been blessed with creative voices. They are voices that are meant to be used, and used right now. Yes, we will create countless things that are far from perfection, but our God is a God who takes broken things and makes them beautiful.
So please, be encouraged from someone who is still fighting those lies. Whether your gifts are music, sculpting, homemaking, writing, painting, conversation, or a myriad of other combinations, don’t listen to the deception anymore that you have no place in the world as an artist. Turn your attention to the one who gave you such wonderful gifts…and pour out.
I’m so thankful for Kara stopping by to share these vulnerable thoughts that so often plague us as artist, and for sharing a sampling of her beautiful photography with us!!! (Remember back in October when she did our family photos? She captured us so perfectly!) You can see more of her photography here. Coming soon is her Etsy shop of her gorgeous, rustic ceramic creations! I’ll be sure to share the link with you all as soon as it’s up.