The Beginning–My Revelation
From the time I learned about coloring books and crayons, and doing simple craft projects as a preschooler, I’ve had a passion for arts and crafts. My passion for creativity compelled me to teach myself a wide variety of creative endeavors. This also led me to experiment in drawing, painting, pen and ink, illustration, fabric arts, needlecrafts, ceramics, macramé, quilting, stained glass, desktop publishing and graphic design. I also took several classes, and learned what I could from nearly anyone who took the time to teach me.
At times God allowed me to use my knowledge of arts and crafts for His kingdom. In children’s ministry, I made craft projects for the students, that went along with the lessons. The children loved crafting, and it gave them memories of the lessons. Also, I spent time at home doing craft projects for enjoyment. On occasion I would donate my art and craft projects to help raise money for activities in the church. I enjoyed using arts and crafts for God’s kingdom, and God used these things to teach me.
On one occasion, I painted several decorative bird houses and glued stickers and other decorative items to them, making them look like places of business. I had a church, a photographer’s studio, a wedding place, and a little romantic cottage. I even had hummingbird stickers stuck to the houses so it looked like the birds were visiting the businesses. I enjoyed doing this a lot, and seeing the houses made me smile.
One day they were having an auction to help raise money for teen camp. I felt the Lord tugging at my heart, telling me to donate my bird houses to the auction. I didn’t know if they would bring in much money but I obeyed. The following day I heard that, though the collection only brought it $30, a couple of developmentally challenged men enjoyed the bird houses and kept commenting on them to others throughout the auction. I guess they provided entertainment for those attending the auction.
Another time I had completed several craft items and stored them on a shelf in my home. I was not sure exactly what I should do with them. In addition, an elder from our church gave me a large supply of fabric paints, supplies, and unfinished pictures as a “thank you” for helping take care of his ailing wife. The wife eventually went home to be with Jesus. I finished painting many of those pictures and added them to my collection of completed craft items.
Meanwhile I struggled, trying to find God’s purpose for my life, and His reason for giving me a love for doing arts and crafts. I wanted to use my gifting in a much larger way for God’s glory, but I didn’t know if it was God’s will, nor did I know how to do this.
As time passed, the craft pile grew, and soon Satan began to heap condemnation on me for having the large pile of unused items sitting on a shelf in my home, collecting dust. I thought someone could benefit from them, but I didn’t know “who.” For quite a while that pile of craft projects haunted me.
One day I got the idea of trying to sell those craft items to bring extra income into our household. I rented a booth at a local crafter’s mall and participated in some local bazaars. I tried several times and several ways to sell my merchandise but only a small number of items sold. I became discouraged with myself and with God.
One day, as I poured out my frustration to God, He answered with a rema word saying, “Look at the eternal value.”
I pondered those words for quite a while; then the revelation came: my focus was wrong. God wanted me to focus more on eternal things instead of spending so much time with things that are temporary. He wanted me to use the gifts He gave me for His kingdom, and to bring Him pleasure and glory—not for my own financial gain. He also wanted me to spend less time working on craft items and more time on eternal purposes. Though doing crafts brings glory to God, I spent too many hours making things. I needed to spend more time in God’s presence, in Bible study, and in sharing the gospel with others.
Not long after this, Satan began harassing me about the pile of craft items again. This time I recognized his tactics and donated most of the items to a fundraiser for children’s camp. Most of the items sold and I was set free from the whole situation. I also learned some valuable lessons.
After this, I continued to seek God for His direction and will for my life. Later, he called me to write for His glory and pleasure.