Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finding a Way to Give

I always new that I would go to school for art. I knew I didn't want to work for someone else being told what create. That was all I knew. I graduated in 2007 from Kendall College of Art and Design. It didn't take long after I graduated that my husband and I wanted to start a family. At that point I was working full time and so was he. I worked up to my delivery with our son, and after I was immediately in a dilemma. I loved working, I loved my job, but I also found that being a mom was on a whole new level. A decision had to be made, and surprisingly it was easy! I would stay at home.

{The face that changed it all!}

We worked our schedules so that on my husbands days off I would work part time. It worked out pretty good. Then we had an opportunity to move back "home" to be closer to our families. So we did. And I became a full time stay at home mom.

I have to admit the decision wasn't hard. It was definitely life changing in many ways. The biggest change was going from two incomes to one. It is a big sacrifice, believe me, we had to change the way we lived, but it was so worth it!

Many things have happened since. One of the biggest changes was my husbands job change this last year. We took a huge pay cut. It would be safe to say we are now a very modest one income family. The hardest adjustment for me is probably the inability to give monetarily. I am a giver. At times it drives my husband nuts, not because he's not, but because I can go overboard a bit.

I also struggle with the fact I have a degree that I am not really using. God gave me a gift, a talent, for art. And I haven't been using it to my fullest. I will say, however, being a mom, comes first. And yes, art has and will take a back burner, but when I have time, I will do something little.

I have two problems, not having money to give, and having a gift or ability that I am not using to the fullest. So what do I do?

Well, a couple days ago, I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep. So I decided I would read a little until I tired. I read only a couple paragraphs and was hit with my anwser. The part I read was about a women who didn't have any extra money, but wanted to give to help others. She had a gift of baking so she asked her Pastor if after Church she could sell her baked goods so that the money she made could be given to ministries. She was using her ability God gave her to serve others! God gave us certain abilities and strenghts to serve others and to use for the good.

The Bible says in Romans 12:6-8 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contribution to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."

Then, 1 Peter 4:10 says, "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in it's various forms."

So my answer was this: I would use my art to serve and help others. Therefore, there are four pieces now in my Shop that I am donating 50% of my sale to Lydia's Gate. Lydia's Gate is a faith based nonprofit homeless shelter that is just starting up in Oscoda County, the county where I grew up. They are in need of start up funds, and are trying to buy a house to use as the shelter.


{In Good Hands}

{BSA Motorcycle}

{Van Andel Arena-Reflections of Grand Rapids}

I am not doing this to make myself look good to others or for an ego boost. I am doing this because I feel that is where God is directing me. I am doing it because there is a need, and I have a way I can help. We all have strengths and abilities. If we all used them to help others, think of all the good that could be done!

I finally feel that my art has a purpose, that there was a reason I was given this talent. I feel that I am doing the right thing, by my family, by staying home instead of getting a career in art. I am still using my gift at the same time instead of casting it aside. This is what is right for me, for our family. I pray that you find a way to use what you have in the way that is right for you, to give back and to serve others.