Reflecting on change
Hello, its been a while!
I told you I wouldn’t be filling your inbox with unwanted emails, but I did plan to do more than two newsletters a year! But just like Covid has disrupted our lives unexpectedly, I have had disruptions to my life and ministry. These things have caused me to pause, reflect and recalibrate. And so, while some things have caused a change of course, I have a better perspective now than before. This summer I took a long pause and pulled back from some things to get God’s vision to go forward. I quit posting or even getting on social media and took a month off with my directee’s and Spiritual Direction. It was a time of needed rest. The verses God gave me at the beginning of 2021 have continued to deepen in me. Isaiah 43:18-19 have become so meaningful as I navigate so much change and ask God His good and perfect will. Change is constant, but God never changes. As we head into a new season I feel ready to forget the former things and embrace some “new things”!
This August I began my training to lead others through the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The Exercises are a nine month personal journey in prayer and reflection on Christ. The Exercises were such a profound experience for me that when I felt God calling me to lead others I immediately signed up! Sometimes the path is just so clear! I am so happy to be able to offer this journey to others next year as part of Art and Soul Ministries, so stay tuned for more info on that! God has also blessed my Spiritual Direction practice abundantly and I am so grateful to God for the gift this is in my life. I absolutely love holding space with people as they seek a deeper experience of God. I’m still praying about how my art fits into my ministry, and while it’s not completely clear, I know God will use it in His timing. I have a vision and dreams for what could be, but I am waiting on God’s opening. I am learning to wait. (I am also failing miserably at waiting! 😂)
As we move from summer to fall I am reminded that to everything there is a season. With fall comes the beauty of falling leaves and cooler temps. A few years ago I made small paintings of leaves I’d picked up on my walks. God spoke to me as I painted those leaves and I’d like to invite you to do a Visio Divina meditation on this image of a leaf. I recommend you journal your experience with this practice since it can be a way to deepen the experience.
Close your eyes and ask God to speak to you through this image.
Take a few moments to look at the painting and just dwell with the image as you scan it all over.
Notice what speaks to you and jot that down.
Notice anything that bothers you and jot that down too.
Sit for a few moments with your eyes closed and imagine the image with your mind. What do you notice now?
As you open your eyes and look at the image again, see if you notice anything new or if what you see seems different in any way.
Where is God in the painting? How does this painting speak to you about God?
Take a few moments to reflect and journal about anything that you think, feel or experienced through this exercise. Take your time with this and allow God to speak through your journaling. If you don’t journal, just spend some time reflecting on these things.
Is there something you need to do or some way God has invited you to respond to what you’ve heard today?
As you end this exercise, thank God for anything God has spoken to you through this Visio Divina exercise.
As I painted these, I remember what God spoke to me as I looked carefully at each leaf. There is so much in nature that speaks to us about God and how he cares for us and our world. This week as I reflect on the changes that are coming for me, I am comforted by the constancy of the seasons. I feel an invitation from God to slow down and enjoy His goodness toward me even in the uncertainty of change. And again I am reminded of what and who never changes.
Bless your art and soul!