Mysteries of the mountain are hidden and revealed as mist dances over the weary earth.
Last week I got an email invite from a sweet artist friend of mine, check her out. Super Woman Brunch. Hum. This sounds interesting. Thoughts progress. Do I want to go? Huh, not sure. Who are these people? A lot of women make me uncomfortable. What will I get myself into? Thinking of my adolescent memories. A counter to the negativity a thought bursts through the haze. But what could be the possibilities! Who new and exciting could I meet? Neglecting to make a decision. I closed the invite. If I think about it again, then I’ll sign up.
My friend texted me days later. “Did you get my email?” Checking back on eventbrite, dang the cheaper tickets are sold out! I signed up right then. Sometimes it’s best just to make a decision!
We were told to dress our best and prepare to meet other powerful women…
As I walked into the bistro several dolled up women lined the wall awaiting their photo shoot moment. I get in line amongst strangers and wait my turn. I see groups of women smiling, laughing, and posing together. I don’t know anyone. Will I pose by myself I wonder? My turn, a few girls grab my arms. Pose. Smile. Snap!
During the brunch we were challenged motivated and encouraged to step out of our comfort zone. We had an opportunity to take an honest look at our selves, to meet new people, and to share our purpose. If we did not know our purpose we were challenged to contemplate it and give ourselves deadlines of when we would be able to declare it out loud. Funny thing is my husband and I have been talking through this purpose / calling idea for a while now. This was a great experience for me.
Learning to be true to yourself and others and comfortable in your own skin in front of strangers is a healthy thing to do. I feel like the last couple of years have been this peeling off of layers. The layers of everyone else’s opinions of my life and the world’s expectations on me. It is high time to discover and walk in my God identity. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. And let’s face you are not created to please people. So, stop it!
I believe most times we know at least in part our created purpose. I feel like we are born with subtle road markers. But we often doubt it or even more we fear it. Hardships and people can get us all confused.
This superwoman brunch stirred the awakening already happening inside. It also helped me to realize how much more peeling needs to take place. But God will finish what He has started in me and in you. I have chosen to trust Him and stay on the path.
The biggest obstacle in our way may often be ourselves.
Faith not fear. Trust not doubt. Resting and Him not striving. Stepping not sleeping.
We are encouraged to seek out mentors that will keep you on the path and believe in you. Also, those who will tell you the truth. I believe wisdom goes a lot farther than a few financial investments. We are encouraged to listen to our gut, our instincts. And to ask for more money. Women in general have a problem with the money talk and often devalue they’re worth and their work.
Also, don’t let others or past memories talk you out of your destiny! This is also similar things that I’ve been listening lately to from TD Jakes book Instinct. I thoroughly had a blast at the superwoman brunch. I would like to get to know the ladies I met more and stay connected with these world changing, powerful and beautiful women. Find them at http://www.natashalake.com/ and http://www.socialdesignsconsulting.com/
Summing up my weekend now may I also challenge you? Don’t settle for what people have done to you, or what the world has to offer you. God created you for great purpose. I invite you, let’s grow together. We all need each other to fulfill His great plan. Our destinies are just a small part of God’s elaborate story. And for my self doubters, know this, we need your part of the story! Don’t discount yourself. You are NOT exempt. If we leave one ingredient out of a cake then it’s really not cake. And who likes a bad cake anyway?
I encourage you, seek out your purpose in Him. If you know it continue to run with Him. And may non of us settle for the lies of satan. Neither our past or present circumstances can stop us. Let nothing but Christ and your true identity define your today and your tomorrow.
When we started this project we did not know what were digging into. The Art and dialogue project has become something greater than we imagined. Even before we knew that our piece would be accepted my hubs and I committed to do the piece as unified voice in the midst of division and chaos.
My hubs and I began with an idea to work together as a way to display social, culture, and racial unity in the midst of division, violence, and deep rooted pain. As we begin to do research for our art project we unearthed different opinions, perspective and mounds of historical events about racial tension in America. At the root of it most people react and respond out of fear, frustration, or pain. But I beg to ask the question is there something more here, is there something deeper that we can learn from our past and our present issues.
I could list the various historical and present day facts of violence against minorities and the particular injustice against blacks. We could discuss the injustice against Native Americans, Asians, Jewish, Hispanic Americans, and also other who have migrated to this nation. To some it may be hard to believe but even white Americans from their different historically ethnic backgrounds have been discriminated against in some fashion. Even while writing this you see how divided we are I have to list SO many different types of Americans. Most times, if I travel overseas, I’m not white or black, I’m American!
I’m not saying that the disparity and the great gap of justice in America is fair. I’m not saying the injustice and violence is ok. But do we all as individuals value life or is the value of life and liberty subjective? At some point if we call ourselves American and we choose to coexist in this nation we have got to look at our past. Accept and acknowledge the wrong. And choose a different future.
Look at the scars and imperfections of this oak tree. America is scared by slavery. There is much blood on her hands through violent and systematic means of oppression. However, to any person where wrong has been done, I say look at the wounds. Take off the bandages so some air and healing can get to it. Allow for the scab and embrace the scars as something horrible made beautiful. That’s what Christ does with all things. For healing and reconciliation is possible and for us to thrive as a people it’s necessary! It is likewise a time for oppressors to acknowledge and accept the evil, the wrong. It is the one who confess sin that is forgiven.
Only through forgiveness comes healing.
Let’s stop with the false pleasantries and really learn to live together in honesty of who we really are. May we all aspire to be our best self. Not out of faking it, pretentious and wounded underneath the surface but laboring at it together.
Let’s acknowledged that evil exist and determine in peace time where we stand. The battle is not against flesh and blood but against rulers and powers. If we fight the wrong battles, our sisters and brothers, we only destroy ourselves.
My husband and I are walking this out in our personal lives. For love to rule there is daily sometimes hourly sacrifice! 😄
1: Believe in yourself. Believe in the God breathed DNA inside of you. Many times we doubt what we are doing, we are insecure about ourselves, decisions, our work. Flip it! Have fun and believe that the essence of your work and purpose will surface as you consistently keep coming back to the canvas, the paper, the keys.
2. Train your timer. Now this one was hard for me. I was so use to putting others before myself that I, my creativity, and my identity suffered. To all my people pleasers this one is especially for you. “No” is NOT a 4 letter word. You are not defined by how much you do for others. You value and worth are in Christ alone. It’s a lie that people will love you more or less depending on how much time or things you give them. Now, train yourself to set up boundaries.
Work out a creative time that’s good for you. The mass of hours are not as important as the consistency. Like a date night, when I consistently commit a certain amount of time to my work creativity rewards me.
3. Do not be afraid of discipline. Many perceived artist to be all over the place, irresponsible, self asorbed. Some may be and that’s ok! But training yourself in good habits will help you go the distance. Creativity is not a shooting star. It’s a lifestyle. We are going for longevity, for permanence like the faithful sun that always shines. Now your creative habbits may be different from mine. Don’t just copy other peoples. Learn from others. Don’t be afraid to find what works for you!
More to come!
Yours with love,
Krystal J. F. Hart
Yesterday, a man approached me in a High Point University t- shirt. In the brief of our conversation he asks me about my salvation in Christ and tells me he gave His life to Christ four years ago. He tells me about his sick wife and how when he gets odd jobs he has enough money to get them a room for a few nights. Then its back on the streets. At one point in the conversation he says “but instead of speaking what I don’t have I thank God for what I do have. It’s hard to believe but there are some way worst off that me.”
This conversation made me think about the book, Why Suffering by Raavi Zacharias and Vince Vitale that I started reading last weekend as we headed to a family reunion. Our family reunion was at an all American icon here in North Carolina, Bills Barbecue! A southern foodie must try if you are in the area!
The events of the reunion were similar to ones in the past. We arrive, check in, say hellos, and give thanks for the food. Then most people gorge on foods that are rarely eaten everyday at home. As my 9 year old nephew put it “Its a family reunion, its all you can eat.” This is the same one who put down at least two plates of food several drinks and visited the dessert table at least 3 or 4 times!
What made this reunion different? I had the honor of sitting beside my aunt who is wheelchair bound due to multiple strokes. She wears a one false leg. Her arms and fingers are curled up permanently to her chest. There is a balled up bath cloth in each hand. She needs help doing mostly everything. Although her skin still looks smooth as of her youth, her face is gaunt and restricted in some places due to the losses from the stroke. Her speech is also garbled and at times completely unclear. My other nephew would look, stair, and at one time pointed. I believe he wanted to know the story behind the image. And like always, we polite southern people are taught to smile and nod like all is well. But I thought No! If he wants to know her story he should.
I feel like culturally we to often pretend that there is not a big butt in the room. More times if we are real it may take the weird or uncomfortable out of it. I do understand that most times one doesn’t want to offend or hurt feelings and so we stay on the surface. I wonder if by going deeper, or just childlike honesty would people treat persons like my aunt with more humanity.
How often or eager are we to be around unusual or even down right ugly things? Things that do not fit into our image of normal? Its easier to pretend the ugly, suffering, sorrow doesn’t exist. From my own sufferings, though nothing compared to what I just mentioned, I understand the distance. The miss understandings. The rejection. The loneliness. Many do not want to be around ugly things. Its inconvenient, we are self preserving people. Others want to help, but often try to solve problems for you that you didn’t ask to be solved. Many people suffering just like to know you are with them. There is great power in presence!
As I sat beside my aunt I wanted to do something to bless her. To stand with her in love. People would come by, hug her, kiss her face, hand her money. These were the hands and feet of Jesus. I love how generous and humble our family is! They are the power of His presence in the midst of suffering.
The Power of Presence!
Many have stood with me and loved me when I thought I was broken and useless. In the first chapter of Why Suffering Zacharias says ” Ideas cannot bring lasting meaning, comfort, or hope. Only a person can.” Jesus and the relationship with Him is that.
This could not have been expressed any better than during the entertainment hour. Hip hop was played. Dancers danced. My aunt sat quietly recovering from her big meal. It was only when one woman started singing old gospel song about God’s goodness and going home that the tears started to flow from my aunts eyes. Her husband wiped one side. I wiped the other. The songs continue. The tears continued. I, knowing the comfort of Jesus in the midst of complete darkness fought back my own tears as I thought of her everyday condition. Where these tears of joy that she is alive? I wondered if she still thinks about who she use to be. I wonder if she feels trapped in this injured body. Or she could have been crying for some other reason! But I do know that only Christ truly knows her and her husband’s suffering, the loss, the mourning over her losses. No one else can get that deep with you and yours but Him!
He is the all comfort. All Peace, All Joy. Only trusting in Him can allow you to worship when there seems to be no hope at all. I must say some of my sweetest nearest times with Jesus have been when all was lost and He was the only thing I had to cling to.
And this is why we need creatives, to sing of His goodness, to paint of it, to write of it, to record it in every season of our lives. So that they may know of a hope and anchor beyond these shores. Join Me on this journey.
Yours with LOVE,
Krystal J. F. Hart
Since 2014 my church has been in partnership with ministries and organizations whose mission is to fight for freedom. Human Trafficking is all around us. Not only globally, its in our country and neighborhoods. And most of us are unaware of it. We go about our busy lives undaunted by the pain and suffering of others. For some of us like myself, we often want to help but the magnitude of the task of ending modern day slavery is intimidating, overwhelming, and seemingly impossible. There are a brave few who dedicated their lives to such tasks. Find their links here.
We may not feel called to leave our day jobs start a 501(C)(3) and walk the streets looking for women, men, boys, and girls, who are sex or forced labor workers. But lets talk business here for a minute. Like my lady in shining muscles Miss Fit Tutor herself, Allison Lambert says ” its all about supply and demand.”
Simply put if we purchase products made from companies who use forced labor, slavery, we are siding with slavery not standing against it. The less demand for their products the more they will be willing to hear and change bad habits.
And men or women, if you engage or watch or support the billion dollar sex industry in any way you are perpetuating sex slavery. I told my husband if the men in our nation alone said no to porn, prostitution, other forms of industry sex it would bankrupt.
Use your purchase power!
I have in no way mastered using my purchase power. But we all must start somewhere. Personally as a descendant of slaves and a product of the slave trade I feel that I cannot turn a blind eye to how my lifestyle may empower or oppress others.
The task may seem dauting to overnight know how to make sure your dollars aren’t supporting a chid slave labor factory or the forced sex workers industry that influx into a city during the major sports event. But prayer, wisdom, research, and a little time can help you to be a more conscious shopper. Again, may our dollars empower not oppress.
If you are game, to help you get start our Fit Tutor has come up with a small list. To thank her follow her, like her page, and purchase her services! She will get you 💪.
Heres the list
Happy to create life with you. Join us on this journey to breathe life into all areas of humanity through art. @artistkrystaljherae
After church my 14 year old friend comes up to me, shoulder bag in hand. Pulling out her painting we spoke of a week ago. She hands it to me waiting my advise on her work. Silence passes as I look for what to say. We speak of her work and I motivate her to keep going. I even share some of the insecurities I am overcoming.
Its exciting to see younger ones pursue their creative passion.
Much to often creativity is discouraged for more realistic or productive things. Creatives have a duty to pour into culture. It is our call and service to humanity. Often its underappreciated and little supported. We all need practical things food, shelter, medical needs. But to often we trade deeper things for shallow immediate needs and our souls are neglected. Im not saying use you grocery money to buy art. I am saying be a beauty seeker in all moments of your daily life. We are not still long enough to breath. Exhale the clutter and inhale fresh air. A renewed mind. Even our vacations are busy. How many have heard or said I need a vacation after my vacation.
A sick soul can destroy the body. We can only survive on cotten candy but for so long. We need deeper things just as our bodies need a full meal.
My dear friend was seeking affirmation, encouragement and feed back to get better. We must support each other’s creativity so that the whole earth may be watered well.
Hey! Its more than possible! Lets do this together.
Krystal J F Hart
Aerate The Earth