June 26, 2014
Wow, it’s here. Tomorrow I host my first art auction. I’m fundraising on the back end for my visual storytelling workshop in Portugal and on the front end for a trip to Lebanon and Syrian in November where I will use the skills I gained in Portugal to tell the stories of the faithful and courageous pastors and Christians in the Middle East.
It’s been a week of go-go-go, all the while trying to honor my need for rest and balance. A challenge, for sure, but amazing to see my resilience.
The event has not gone as planned. The plan would have been fulfilled with the success of a small (due to limited parking) reunion/fundraiser enjoyed by a number of my friends I traveled to the Middle East with a few years ago. Since one of those friends had graciously offered the venue, and experienced had proven everyone from our group LOVES any and every opportunity to get together, we both thought everything, and everyone, would fall right into place.
Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine
Siq Petra, Jordan
Nope. I was pretty disappointed about this for a little while. I was still holding onto hope people were merely taking their sweet time to RSVP. However, once the reminder email went out and the date to respond arrived, ‘No’s streamed into my inbox.
So, on Monday I found myself thinking: okay, it’s summer, people are out of town; it’s now four days before a Friday night event and most people plan much farther in advance for weekend plans; is anyone going to be there?
My fears of failure and humiliation which I had pretty successfully let go of by this point began to creep back. Fairly quickly though, I was reassured by remembering of words of loved ones I’d heard throughout the preceding days, “It’s not about being successful, it’s about being faithful,” and, “It’s okay, it’s your first one.” Or, “…first salon,” as my uncle and dad so sweetly kept referring to it.
My perspective began to shift as I acknowledged my fear and recognized it was feeding unwanted pride and other negative self-seeking motives. I was able to step back and transform my goal. Ultimately, when the event is over I want to feel satisfied. Satisfaction doesn’t require the attendance of particular people or making an outstanding profit, it requires an inner awareness and peace I have been faithful. Tangibly, this faithfulness looks like the steps I’ve prayerfully taken, letting my creativity flow, all the networking I’ve done, letting myself learn from the process instead of beating myself up, having fun along the way, asking for prayers, showing myself love and grace, just showing up. Offering my best. This is satisfaction for me. Success, as well. The results, those are in God’s hands.
Tabgha, Sea of Galilee, Israel
It’s a hard thing, a very hard thing, to let go of control. Once you do though, wow, it’s freeing. The pressure is off, but the motivation is still ripe. You receive the joy of discovering your true role and God’s true role. God’s: to be God, in control, providing, being faithful, gracious, kind, loving, challenging, mysterious, good. Ours: to respond in gratitude to God by co-creating with God, using our gifts, releasing our desires in order to have them be fulfilled as dreamed or by something even better, being open to the bigger picture, trusting God, going with the flow.
With this release of expectations followed a new lens and a wider view. I began to think beyond my initial dream to something deeper, purer, greater. I thought, here I have all this delicious food, wine, art, live jazz music, and a pool, I just want people to get to enjoy it!
Now that I’ve had to create pretty much entirely new guest list, I’ve had the opportunity to invite loads more people. People from a very wide variety of circles. This means more people are exposed to the work I’m doing! Additionally, due to the limited timing and availability of parking space, most of my invites have been to people I randomly run into. These face to face exchanges are always better, on every level–for commitment to the event, relationship development, and lasting memory of the cause. Awesome!
So, as I wrap this up I find myself basking in joy, wonder, awe and affirmation. My mind and heart have been transformed. I have grown in deeper trust in God and I am already tasting the sweetness of peace and satisfaction.
I invite you to enjoy some of my restful and reflective photography on my Etsy shop, Lux Pix: Where Life is Illuminated (luxpix.etsy.com). Plus, if you would like to support my trip a great way is to make a work of my art your own!