No Fear

I am an artist.”

Mackenzie said this with no hesitation.

No questioning what anyone else thinks. No worries. No doubts. No obstacles. No fear.

With courage and faith… she knows.

Oh how I admired her enthusiasm and confidence.

I remembered how long it took me to say that I was an artist. And I wondered why. Why was I afraid to claim what God had put in my heart? His gift to me. Who am I to question that?

To know our gifts and to accept them willingly. To accept them with pure joy. To use our gifts. God wants us all to live that way.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 1 Corinthians 12:4

A sweet little girl showing what it means to follow your heart. Mackenzie’s passion is inspiring. How many of us know in our hearts what we are… but we are afraid to say it out loud?

I am not afraid to call myself an artist anymore. I see it as a gift. I am embracing the gift put in my heart and I am grateful for it.

Every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17

What has HE placed in your heart… your gift? Embrace it. Claim it!

By Jennifer, StudioJRU

  • Amy Hunt

    I’m thinking a lot about this and why as we age our perspective of ourselves is jaded, and our view of beauty is skewed. We’ve lived experiences where we’ve failed at perfection, and we’ve faced the imperfection of others–comments about us, stares at us… We’ve been hurt. Our hearts have wounds, from being hurt and from doing the hurt in revenge-taking. Pride has crept up as our defense mechanism. It’s been challenging to trust in our weakness and see them as allowed for purpose. And so, I think that’s one of the thin places where God’s glory is so incredibly amazing–how He specifically uses our failures and our hurt to test us in our trust of Him that He did indeed create us for purposes with specific gifts, and He wants us to See them, to name them, and to live them out loud. True it’s sad when we don’t recognize them anymore after we live years in the imperfect reality of life this side of Heaven, and yet it’s His grace to bring us to a place where we recognize that we have gifts that we have been too afraid to name. His leading us to the calling out of who we are–our uniqueness–and celebrating that, is giving Him worship. And THAT’s beauty…such amazing grace.

    (excuse such a long comment…this obviously resonated with me in a big way this morning, and I so much appreciate your post, Jennifer!)

    Rich blessings as you guard your heart, Jennifer, and choose to surrender fear and Simply. Trust…

    • Jennifer

      I am so happy to hear your thoughts today Amy. No reason to excuse you comment… that is why we are all here, to share our stories! It is such amazing grace to recognize and live those specific gifts He has created for us. That is beauty! Thank you Amy for your beautiful words.

    • Anna

      I love how you commented ” as you guard your heart.” I need to post this verse in a few prominent places. It is perfect. Proverbs 4:23 “Above ALL ELSE, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” Good reminder. Thank you.

  • Lisa H

    Not so long ago I could not answer this question. It was really less than a year ago at a women’s retreat we were asked to answer at our table what was our gift, what did we think we were good at, describe ourselves.

    I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t think of anything at all. This came immediately after I was given a ‘homework’ assignment from my psychologist to ask close friends to tell me what they saw in me, how would they describe me? They did and I honestly could not believe them. They were not talking about me, the person outside of my job. You see, I see myself as a great nurse. Please don’t think I’m conceited, but I think my gift is nursing and caring for my patients and their families as a whole. I love nursing. But outside of that I felt I was nothing, had no gifts.

    But I do. God has been opening my eyes and my ears and my heart to show me that I do have gifts that he has given me and no one else. Others may have similar gifts but we each have our own distinct gift. I am a photographer, my favorite subjects are nature, animals and candid shots of people when they just don’t even realize I am there :) my favorite! I love to document trips, events etc. I will be the crazy mama with the camera out at all times taking a bazillion shots just to get ‘the one’! And one day if its what God has in store for me, I would love to do photography full time—I wonder if there is a way to mix nursing and photography together????? hmmmm

    • Jennifer

      I can totally relate Lisa. I have also been in the position of describing what was my gift, what was I good at and I stumbled for the words and did not know how to describe myself. I love hearing how God has opened your eyes and heart to your special gifts! It is beautiful. And I totally think you can mix your gift of nursing and your gift of photography! Just think of how your patients would love to see all that beauty you capture!

  • Heather

    Awesome reminder to embrace who you are!

    • Jennifer

      Thank you so much Heather!

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  • Life with Kaishon

    She is a beautiful artist indeed!

  • Holley Gerth

    Jennifer, yes, you ARE an artist. Thank you for creating with and for the One who created you–and encouraging us to do the same too!

    • Jennifer

      Thank you Holley. Creating with and for Him… loving it!

  • Jennifer

    Oh she is! With just the sweetest heart ever! Thank you Becky.

  • Jen

    Love this post! I’ve thought lots about how kids have no hesitation when it comes to creativity and wondered what is it along the way that causes us, as adults, to doubt the creativity God has put in us. I love how you have embraced your creativity!

    • Jennifer

      Thank you so much Jen! It sure is inspiring to see how kids embrace it all, isn’t it? I love how you have also embraced your creativity gifts!

  • Jennifer

    If only we looked at life the way children do! Their simple lives filled with passion and love are beautiful.

    • Jennifer

      Exactly Jennifer! Lives filled with passion and love, it is just amazing. We can certainly learn from them.

  • Anonymous

    I find I have several gifts. The most obvious is encouragement. Someone going through a hard time.. I hear “write them a card, make a meal, pray for them”. That is exactly what I do.

    My other talent came out of unique circumstances. When younger I had 2 busted tympanic membranes (eardrums). The left one could not be repaired and I have hearing loss in that ear. I learned some signs to Christian Music and now am learning sign language pretty good.

    For special music at my church I pick songs out and do them in sign. The people there just love it, some even say it blesses them and I know it blesses God that I’m using His talents given to me.

    • Jennifer

      The gift of encouragement is so wonderful. What a blessing you are to those you encourage. And signing Christian music… that is amazing! I can only imagine just how beautiful it is to watch you sign a song like that. Thank you for sharing your gifts.

  • Floralba

    My kids teach me that all the time – how to stand up for myself and embrace who I am! Who God has created and destined me to be.

    • Jennifer

      Floralba, you are certainly blessed with amazing kids. What a blessing to learn from them like that. Happy to hear you embracing who God created you to be!

  • Maddy

    What a beautiful post! I remember having the same fear to call myself a photographer. But I think if we embraced our creativity (and cared less about what the world thinks!) as we get older, we’d be much happier :)

    • Jennifer

      You are so right Maddy. Overcoming the fear and trusting makes for such a happier life!

  • Beth Werner Lee

    i Loved coloring books but somewhere along the line i felt ashamed that all i could do was color in coloring books. i don’t remember what happened, but it was a breakthrough when my daughter was too little to read and yet she drew. We got the book from usborne i can draw people and i thought, well, i can do that! She watched me and learned easily. But the big confidence booster was for me, doing it with her. Then we got Drawing with Children and it had a test and lo and behold i did better than my mom who’s a confident elementry school teacher type of artist.
    I’m a writer, crocheter, baker type who also sews and loves on people.
    Thank you, thank you for this post.

    • Jennifer

      What an amazing teacher to your daughter you are! Thank you so much for embracing your gifts, claiming your gifts and sharing with us Beth!

  • gitz

    sweet friend, you are an AMAZING artist.

    I don’t know why it is always so hard to put that good label on ourselves. I never used to say I was a singer. I just said that I sang. Strange how that was always more comfortable… I don’t know that I really consider myself a writer, either. I just say that I write. Hmm.

    • Jennifer

      That is exactly what I said… I paint. It was more comfortable to say I painted, rather than saying I was an artist. I say you are a writer Sara! Embrace it and claim it girl! Thank you sweet friend.

  • Angie

    I am a writer – songs, books, reflections and counsel.

    • Jennifer

      Yay Angie! That is awesome. Thank you for claiming it!

  • Amy McCollister

    Even though I am not published–and don’t know if I’ll ever seek to be. It’s being revealed to me more and more that I am a writer in my inmost being.

    • Jennifer

      That is amazing Amy. How wonderful that you are seeing that special gift from Him more and more! How exciting!

  • Char Babette

    I’m currently in the position that Lisa is in – God has put me on the path of discovering the gifts He’s given me outside of my “job”. Amy spoke directly to what God is showing me – I’m so worried about imperfection and failure that I cannot experience the grace God is offering me as He uses my hurts and wounds to shape my gift.

    Thank you, Jennifer, for encouraging me to embrace my gift.

    • Jennifer

      How wonderful that He has put you on the path of discovering your special gifts Char! I understand how the worries of imperfection and failure can creep in. Fear. That is when trust can overcome those fears and you will soar. You embrace those gifts Char, you can do it!

  • Morgan

    So true … when I claim something like, “I’m a writer”, I feel like there has to be some sort of physical proof to stand up in the court of law. Instead … it’s a heart issue. Thanks for giving me the Scripture to back that up! :)

    • Jennifer

      I am so happy that these Scriptures help you see it is a heart issue. It is straight from God, no proof needed. You are a writer… that is awesome Morgan!

  • Jamie

    It really is hard for me to pinpoint my gifts. I sometimes have difficulty distinguishing between spiritual gifts and talents. I am a teacher, and I believe that that is both gift and talent. I also play the piano and paint… not sure if those are talents. Yet, talents that I have surrendered to the Lord. Either way – I pray He will get the glory out of my life.

    • Jennifer

      I think He has given you all of those gifts. Each in a special way just for you! How wonderful that you give Him the glory!

  • Nancy

    I love that! Confidence is a good thing! :)

    • Jennifer

      Thank you Nancy!

  • Linda

    You are most definitely an artist Jen – a truly gifted one. Perhaps it is easier when we are children to accept the gifts with open hands and heart. My wish is to be a writer. I’m still afraid to whisper the words…

    • Jennifer

      Yes, accepting with open hands and open hearts… that is what we need to do. You are a writer Linda. He has given you a gift with words!

  • Rachel

    Thank you for this… I read it and kept thinking “if only we could be as transparent as our kids”… “with faith like a child” // love

    • Jennifer

      Faith like a child… such a beautiful thing Rachel. Something we can certainly learn from!

  • Muthering Heights

    That can be a difficult thing to do! In my case, I’m so unsure of my gifts…or really, how they can be used for God!

    • Jennifer

      Praying that you can feel that special gift He put in your heart and embrace it!

  • Soul Stops

    Your post is like a crescendo to the music that God has been playing for me the past few days… His message: I want you to be joyful as you exercise the gift I have given you even as I am joyful in who I created… you…

    I struggle to fully surrender to that truth but I am grateful for God’s gentle wooing of my heart.

    Thanks for your post and for sharing Mackenzie’s joyful passion!

    • Jennifer

      How wonderful! What a beautiful message from Him. Be joyful! Thank you for sharing.

  • Barbie

    I have a hard time referring to myself as an artist, writer, singer….I want this to sink deep into my heart so that I can fully embrace who He created me to be and soar!

    • Jennifer

      I hope you soak it all in Barbie and fully embrace those special, wonderful gifts!! Soar!

  • Erin

    Love the challenge in you asking who are we to question the gifts God’s given us, and instead, to claim them with joy. This is so true, and such a needed reminder (I think especially for women). Thanks for challenging us today! :)

    • Jennifer

      Thank you Erin. It is a challenge to claim with joy sometimes, but a great challenge!

  • tanna

    Oh, yeah. Beautifully, beautifully said, Jennifer. And, how exciting for McKenzie to have a mom who will support and encourage her heart’s gift! blessings ~ tanna

    • Jennifer

      Her mom does encourage her artist heart. It is a beautiful thing to see! Inspiring.

  • Amy

    I’ve only recently begun to see that I am an encourager. Aside from that, I’m not sure! But I should figure it out & embrace it!! :)

    • Jennifer

      How wonderful to be an encourager Amy! I’m sure you have all kinds of special gifts. Yes… embrace them!

  • Anna

    it is interesting that as we mature we need to work at remaining childlike.
    Beautiful post. Thank you.

    • Jennifer

      Funny how that works, isn’t it Anna. We can learn so much from childlike faith!

  • Bridget

    I love this. And I love how we so often learn through our children.

    • Jennifer

      Kids are pretty darn smart!

  • Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home

    such a simple statement and so often so hard to say.
    Thanks for this post.
    I AM an artist.
    There I said it.
    shhhhh… don’t tell anyone!

    • Jennifer

      Sharon… how wonderful! So proud that you claimed your gift. Yay!

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