Through A Daughter’s Eyes-The Call And Reflection

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life”.–Mary Oliver

Why I Am On The Art Bus”–by my sixteen year old daughter

When I first heard about this journey I was so not sure if I wanted to go or not. I was thinking I would have just gotten out of school so why would I want to get back on a bus again the first week of summer? I know, so selfish and so not the right state of mind.

So then I began to pray and pray about it. I felt the Lord was calling me to go. There I would be the youngest on the bus with not much experience. However there is nothing that I love more than art, children, and Jesus Christ. The more I thought about it the more excited I began to get. This was my calling and the Lord was telling me to go.

Telling people about Christ and having an art studio on wheels is just so amazing. Watching people love on this bus just brings so much joy to my heart. The fact that we can bless others as well as the Lord with the bus is just so incredible.

I have learned lots of thing while along this journey. Number one, patience is key. Trust God no matter what happens. This brings me to one of my favorite verses…”Be cheerful no matter what happens.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19. Throughout the trip I was reminded that He has a plan for us and the bus and even if we were not able to see it, He can.

I can’t believe I ever doubted being apart of this team. This again is where I will thank God. He let me see that He wanted me to be apart of this and I thank Him again for giving me the ability to be able to listen and to obey Him. I was blessed with many new friendships on this trip that I wouldn’t trade for the world I thank God for that, also.

I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for it/us when we bring it back home. It can’t be anything but good. This has been one amazing journey and I am so glad I was called to hop on board!


The Big Yellow Metaphor

{This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on  my experiences on a wild and wonderful journey. A big colorful artful adventure, one  from New York to South Carolina as part of a team on The Art Bus Project roadtrip.}

Audrey. And others. They were my teachers.

I just went to summer school. And my classroom was a big yellow school bus.

The bus, my classroom screams loudly the lessons over the din of heavy black tires on I-95. Yells out over hot highway with her yellow zippered lines marking the lessons. Shouts Truth over the swoosh of passing eighteen wheelers in the fast lane and the screech of breaks on near missed turns. Through tolls and toils she lays out the lesson plan to her student held captive within the yellow walls.

My team members on The Art Bus Project, part of the teaching staff. I a student, a sponge soaking in the lessons. Some hard. All good. Life teaches well along the way. In the messy living.

The old, big, gas-guzzling, loud and sometimes hot classroom is a good teacher too.

When God calls us into ministry He is good to change us. And challenge us.And He is wise to teach those he taps . To instruct those whom he woos to come along for the ride. Moving us from Point A to Point B, never leaving us where we were found by Him. Transforming lives with Grace. Mercy moving us along. Increments of Truth and more of Him, measurements of movement.

And He is a gentle teacher. Loving His children and wisely never leaving His rag tag band, His co-laborers, His students of Grace unchanged. He lovingly shapes. He gingerly molds. We show up in a place carrying the now of what we know on our backs like a Patagonian hiker ready for a trek. He adds whats important, filling the pack with more of Him.  The weight of the important strengthens the sojourner’s back. Shoulders stronger, legs less wobbly, back braced for carrying the significant.

We show up ill-prepared. He refines the red clay of the soul on the spinning potter’s wheel.

And He uses His people in a beautiful way. There is no circumstance on the journey that He has not known. There are no combinations of facts or missing pieces which leave Him caught off guard or suprised.

So when I say yes and I show up He tilts the lense and sharpens the perspective. Divine fingers wipe the fog, remove the smudge on the window to the world. And over the shoulder on the looking back, He speaks. In the ear of the rewinding mind, He teachess.

And He takes one little, two little , three little travellers and more and binds them together over the bumps, through the wrong turns, past the monuments, through the dark tunnels, past the missed stops, and onward  on the road of learning.

The one about Him. And the one about us. And the one about the others along the way. The ones with the hurt and the pain. The ones with no one to listen and no one to care.

The weary woman on the way home, eyes blurred from hours in the office. The mom with a whispering heart, bruised by circumstances. The tender recovering soul who in her young life as a mother to two is now a widow and hurting. But aren’t we all.  And who doesn’t.

The eager child with the can of spray paint, eager to find a place to write and express. His name,his identity on the black asphalt, on the sides of the yellow walls. He teaches to listen and look for signs. They have a voice. They want to speak. They want to shout.

They all have a story to tell.

And we would do well to listen.

And we would be more like Him if we did.

{Counting gifts today with Ann over at A Holy Experience dot com. And linking up here at the Extraordinary Ordinary and here with Michelle and also with these two ladies here and here}

* the gift, possibly a first and a last, but hoping not, a mission trip with my daughter

*watching her serve, use her gifts and leave childish ways behind….way behind

*watching my daughter grow more and more into the woman God has purposed her to be

*meeting a freight container full of new friends this week, well I am prone to hyperbole

*seeing new places, exploring new corners, falling in love with the art of discovery all over again.

*regaining my sense of adventure and inquiry

* Asking and accepting the privilege to pray for two women, God grant me faithfulness to pray faithfully and diligently for their circumstances

*Eight new puppies in my world

*Watching my son care for the furry babies and seeing how nurturing He truly is

*getting  a text from my son at camp that he is homesick.  An unexplainable gift.

*counting down the days until we trek up to our beloved mountain home, where memory lives, and story waits to tell us more of the past, the present, and lend hope to the future

* new inspiration from new twitter folks, a welcome surprise. Reading tweet after tweet of words pointing toward the Father

Art Bus Project {Roll With It Baby}

What will it look like to look out from the inside, out past the self, into the eyes of the others, and open the heart to love with Jesus’ love through art?

And creativity. And joy. And with new paradigms for spreading the gospel?

Or newer for this writer. But isn’t He a God of new each time.  Doesn’t he create, and re-create, and make all things. new.

The tools are willing hearts, a big bus, a little bus, bubbles, a grill, and art supplies.  I imagine. I don’t  know all the details. There are ways in which the trip, which starts  (or continues) for me tomorrow, is still evolving. But I need only know He loves and lovingly provides. Resting in His provision with each turn of a plane wheel, or bus tire, its all we really need.

The adventure is in the stepping out, and into, and onto, and with, and beside. It’s following. With the spirit  leading the way. Trust bending the head in gentle agreement, yes we are on board. Yes, we hear this call.  Yes, we know He has a plan. And it is good.  It always is.  It always was.  

It’s  in imagining how The Creator will and does lovingly use creativity to reach and speak and draw in with love. Everytime there is love.

So here for the next six days I will share everything I can about this studio with a mission.

This art bus. The one that we are rolling with.

The one we are riding on. Weaving our way from Brooklyn to Charleston.

We know a little, we don’t know a lot.

But we know and love the One that does know. Oh, He knows the plans, His plans for a colorful, joyful, creative ministry. And when we step out and trust and watch as He reveals, we will be blessed observers and participants in His kindgom plans for a string of souls, the ones that He will love and who will love us along the way.

Isn’t the story still being written.  Mine is.

Doesn’t He ask us to be willing vessels. We know that no one will be more blessed than those going to serve.  Those intending to be used by God to bless, will in fact receive the blessings. With humility. Honored to have any role at all.  That he would trust and entrust with anything of even small importance to Him.  Loving and reaching His children.

We hope not to waste any chance along the way, on the ride. To stay alert and awake and sensitive to His whispers of how and when and where to go. When to speak and when to listen.

If you are following here for the next six days, thank you for your interest and your prayers. And if you have friends who want to ride along on these pages here, invite.(And follow along here too.)

And we will watch with expectant hearts to see colorful joy spread in a stroke of His love down the eastern seaboard.

Oh the privilege of being a part. Oh the joy in being in a community on a bus with a mission, along for the ride, as The Creator creates a story of art displayed in love for Him.

May all the Glory and Honor be His.

Counting Gifts with Ann, at A Holy Experience.

*Attending my niece’s graduation with my daughter…. oh the family time. Oh the bread , doesn’t it always accompany a celebration.  The joy surrounding this milestone was oozing out for days.  So grateful to be a part and to have a wellspring of memories of laughing and remembering.

*A long, very long visit with a childhood friend whom I hadn’t seen, really seen and talked with at length, for over 24 years. For laughter in the restaurant that drew stares and remarks. The remarks of one bystander caused me to realize anew how valuable and even priceless this friendship is.

*Sitting with wisdom and hearing new insight into a parent struggle. Regaining and reclaiming hope to shift somethings. Replenished reserves of hope leading to optimism and new beginnings for leading and encouraging differently.

*Time with my daughter on a recent trip, the getting reaquainted time after a very long school year which kept her so busy.

*Getting on a plane tomorrow with her to walk out in Faith this art bus project

*Going to Brooklyn with her to shop, have lunch, explore before we begin the true ministry portion of the trip.

*Plans for lots of time as a family in our beloved moutains at the old family home.  Memories to be made and savored and secured under the roof with three generations.  A huge gift.

Linking up with these fine ladies today, Michelle, Ann, and Laura