Fragmentedmentalconfetti’s fallout zone

my written testimony of the quest to reach my dreams

Listening and Obeying February 27, 2010

In the past few months since I moved to Asheville, I have gone through a couple of situations that made it necessary for me to stand firm in who I am, and principles that I believe in. I have had to make the choice to voice my concerns and draw boundaries and make changes to protect my health. This has not been easy. In fact, in both cases I almost just slipped back into people-pleaser mode just to keep the peace with other people. However, I realized that *I* was not at peace. Therefore, I chose to listen to myself.

This weekend I have been thinking about that a lot — listening to God and myself. I realize now that by following health and listening to God, that I open myself and others to receive the blessings and lessons that God has intended. When I become selfish and swallow my pride, and refuse to move just to save face or avoid a confrontation, I could stand in the way of what God would like to do through me and for others. I choose freedom. Freedom does not always come easy, but it sure makes life worth living!


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my baby dream…. October 19, 2009

Last night I had a really interesting dream. I don’t always have dreams that seem meaningful or spiritual, but this one most certainly is. I wanted to share this in the hopes that any of you who are currently pursuing a life dream or who soon will be, or who want to but might be scared, will find comfort and hope and promise in my dream. What I’ve been shown can be yours too!

I dreamed that I had previously given birth to a baby, but it was really small, like “UH OH small.” I was in some sort of a community building holding my baby. I am not sure what the building was, but there were a lot of people present. I saw mostly women, but a few men were there. All types of people from ultra funky to super “straight-laced” individuals were in the room. There were some chairs lined up in rows with people sitting in them, but some people were moving around the room as if they were working or busy.

I was holding my baby in a bowl and tightly wrapped my arms around her as if trying to protect her, walking through all the people praying for my baby — like GOING FOR IT prayer — like, “IN THE NAME OF JESUS this baby is healed prayer,” Gradually while I prayed, my baby started growing right there in front of my eyes!! And once the baby had grown a little, I noticed the head of the baby had holes in it. I know — it was kinda freaky. But, I kept praying and believing and sometimes I’d fall on the floor weeping, and people were shocked. People just looking at me -like- “Oh, that poor woman.” Or, “What is that lady doing??” Some people were believers and prayed with me. As I walked up the room I heard a guy say, “Now that’s a woman who knows how to pray!”

I just continued watching the baby grow as I walked and prayed and declared health over my child, and at the end of the dream, my baby’s head was healed and she looked healthy and whole.

The meaning seems pretty clear to me. God is confirming that I gave birth to my dream that He had placed in my heart years ago. I am to remain strong in Him, keep walking in faith and prayer and He will bring it to wholeness, health. Another thing that I thought of is, a baby is ALIVE. By placing my baby in a bowl, I think that means I was sheltering her from harm. I knew I had to protect the life that I had given birth to. Same with my Asheville dream. I have to protect it. When a dream is new, it is fragile. It must be cultivated and protected.

How relieving and peace-giving it was to be able to see a picture that confirms God is growing my dream into wholeness! It is so exciting!

So, protect your dreams, my friends! And know that if God has placed something in your spirit, He will make it happen!

 

Weekend With Jeff Crabtree: My experiences and thoughts October 11, 2009

This morning I am up early and ready to process and journal about what happened in my life yesterday. It was BIG!

Saturday morning (October 10th) Our C3 Church in Asheville had an event called Worship Express. Our worship leader Steve Deal and his family hosted the event at their home. Jeff Crabtree who is the Minister of Creative Arts at C3 Oxford Falls in Sydney was the guest speaker for the day. He brought up really interesting points about how important creativity, music in particular, is in the church. He talked about how the arts bring people together and how one tool of control that some governments have had over people is to take their music away. He made the point that music and art have been taken out of churches even in America to a large degree. He urged us musicians and artists to use the gifts that God has placed in us, because when we are doing our art and sharing it with the church and world, we are fighting the battle for the hearts of people. Jeff said that we will win the war NOT by fighting the cultural wars, because we are losing that battle. He said that in our country, we win when an American heart is transformed. And he said we will win by each of us doing what God has called us to create. This is such a powerful message! I’ve never heard anyone speak about music and art and the church like that.

For the past several years I have believed that God has been calling artists to do a new thing in the church. I truly believe that artists alive today in the church are hearing God tell us to rise up, unify together, perfect our crafts and build a strong, powerful bridge across the gap between church and social culture. To hear someone in church voice what I have already felt was HUGE for me. I know that we are here “for such a time as this.” This is BIG, PEOPLE!

So, at the end of the day sessions, Jeff said he wanted to pray for those of us who are in big life transitions right now. So, I stepped forward to acknowledge that I am in that category. I had previously introduced myself to Jeff at the end of the first session, and asked him what he thought about visual art being used in worship today. He said he’d talk to me more at our lunch break, and he did say a bit. So I had the opportunity to tell him that I was an artist at that time.

When Jeff got to me at prayer time he held my hands up and said that I just “need to get to it!” He said, “PAINT!” He said that I need to stop asking so many questions and not worry about what people think, and that I need to paint freely in the Name of Jesus. He said that I would feel many emotions as I painted, and it was okay because God had wired me that way. He stopped for a second and looked right at me and said, “You know what? No one has ever commissioned you to do your art, have they? You poor thing! That’s what it is. Well I will!” At this point I was sobbing. I mean, that’s what Jeff does in our church movement — he teaches and commissions people to practice their art in the C3 churches… so this was a huge honor for me. I didn’t even have to go to the C3 School of Arts in Australia to get his blessing! WHOA. So, he asked everyone to pray together over me, and he basically gave me permission to paint and prayed for my gift of art.

This was powerful because it WAS a huge issue for me… I HAD been waiting for someone to give me permission to paint. I had been hesitating because I felt the church wasn’t quite sure what to do with me. That’s my perception anyway. I did constantly worry about what people thought of me. I knew I had a gift that God wanted to use in the church, and I knew it included Asheville, but I guess I just needed someone in leadership to confirm it for me. This is a huge relief for me!

In the evening, Jeff Crabtree, Steve Deal, and some of the C3 musicians from Asheville and Atlanta played in Pritchard Park, which is a well-known outdoor location in Asheville for local musicians to play. More than just a fun event, Jeff pretty much proved everything that he had said in the day sessions by playing music where the community could come and hang out and learn about C3 and see us desiring to interact with culture. It was amazing!! Our church gave out free CDs of the worship music, and we all mingled and danced and had a great time. At the end of the night, I heard comments from people in the community such as, “Thank you for being a church that really does care.” “What time did you say your service meets?” “Wow! Your band has a great sound! Do you have any more CDs???” “This was fun!”

I see how this form of outreach is a FAR CRY from what I saw from Christians protesting at the U2 concert last week. One guy there quietly held up a small sign that said, “NO BONO. SATAN INCARNATE!” Yeah, how many hearts were transformed by THAT sign. Not to mention he alienated those of us Christians who LIKE U2. Hahahaha!

Music and art really ARE a huge part of what defines cultures, and I have to agree with Jeff Crabtree that by doing our art, and showing interest in the arts of different cultures and seeking to share our arts with the world, we WILL be able to reach out and see people’s hearts be transformed. We MUST be approachable. We MUST be interested in people. We MUST break down walls in order to build a bridge. I believe that CREATIVITY is the bridge. I will fight until my death to make sure creativity is put back in schools, and churches, and communities.

How will I do that? I will PAINT!

 

Where Have I Been? August 14, 2009

Man. I have so much to say right now! I haven’t really been consistently blogging. It’s been intense for the past YEAR. I started a program at my church called School of Ministry (SOM) last August. I graduated this past May. A whole lot of exciting and challenging things took place in those 9 months. It just happened so fast I forgot to log it all in my journals and blogs. And to top it all off, my sister got engaged in February and I’ve been wedding planning for her ever since. Also, my dream to move to Asheville, NC still stands… and I’ve been job hunting from the time I graduated SOM.

Well, that’s the short version. Perhaps details will surface as I continue to keep this blog going. Also, I could expand on specific things now, but I felt like I needed to write a general where-have-i-been blog first.

 

Beautiful skies August 2, 2009

Filed under: art,beauty — fragmentedmentalconfetti @ 1:17 pm

I just left my Sunday night church “D-group” meeting and went about 2 minutes down the road and immediately saw the sky all around me was gorgeous! Amazing cloud patterns and the moon and setting sunlight making the sky burst into beautiful colors of pinks, oranges, blues, whites, greys and purples! I had to turn around and pull over in a shopping center parking lot and shoot these pictures. Some were taken outside my home when I arrived. Enjoy! Look at them all… God is the Master Painter, the Creator. He reminded me that there is a bigger picture for my life. He wants His children to look at the whole panoramic picture, don’t focus on only part of what you see in your life, look up and around you. There is more to see. More beauty. He has more of this for all of us!

 

Words March 13, 2009

Filed under: encouragement,life,peace,personal growth,prayer,spirituality — fragmentedmentalconfetti @ 11:18 pm

Words. They find their way into my head and some of them get my permission to pass on into my heart. It is a constant war to deal with what passes through my brain. It’s a lot like a concert venue. The security guards stand at the doorways and the people coming to the concert pile up trying to squeeze their way through. Some people try to hide cameras, water bottles, and God knows what else in their pockets and purses hoping the guards will be too lazy to pay too much attention to them and let them through without a fight.

And, so it is with the mind. All these people outside piling up all kinds of communicated words and messages, trying to fill my brain up with comments, ideas, and God knows what else.

I am aware that there is one who particularly is interested in pushing his destructive comments and lies into my brain hoping I will be too lazy to put up a fight and let the phrases take form and take root in my heart. His name is satan. I never can bring myself to capitalize his name. He doesn’t deserve that honor. He is only interested in destruction of my mind.

I have been asking myself lately.. when am I going to start really warring against negative words? How many do I let escape into my heart before I decide I’ve had enough of the pain? How much damage will I be willing to tolerate? Oh sure, God is big and can fix what has been broken. But, am I going to keep allowing the torment to continue instead of stopping the intruders BEFORE they get through security?

At concert venues, the security guards have the metal detector wands that beep loudly when passing over metal objects. I have a LIE detector made available to me. He is called The Holy Spirit. When I am standing at the door of my heart, The Holy Spirit is there with me.

When satan tries to send a spirit of disaster, The Holy Spirit warns me of that presence. He brings the Word of God to my mind and He says, “Remember, Daughter of the Living God, Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence. and will keep your foot from being snared.”

When the spirit of despair presses against me trying to get through to my heart, The Holy Spirit comforts me and strengthens me and encourages me to take hold of hope. I am perplexed, but not in despair. Life is at work in me.

When a spirit of darkness seems to grab hold of my mind and refuses to let go, The Holy Spirit is there when I cry out. He illuminates my way so I can see through the darkness. He reminds me that my Heavenly Father has equipped me with strength. He reminds me that I am free. I can release myself and run out into the Light of Christ.

Father, forgive me for not being persistent in questioning the words that present themselves at the doorway of my mind. So often I let my guard down and allow junk to linger in my brain. I don’t want my heart to be damaged. Father, I ask for more strength and clarity to recognize and halt things that don’t need to take root in me. Cut off all that does not glorify You. Holy Spirit, help me to listen to words that inspire me, grow me, and edify me.

 

“yellow flowers” February 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — fragmentedmentalconfetti @ 11:52 pm
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yellowflower

2.01.08: Yellow Flowers : Acrylic paint, watercolors, oil pastels. Done for a wetcanvas.com weekend drawing event challenge.