Created to Create II // State of Kate

"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude."

Fredrich Nietzsche

I read this quote today and it hit me - my last post about creating was only slightly written out of a heart and mind of gratitude. Like, I am very grateful for the truths that I mentioned I'm doing my best to hold onto and claim daily. But half of me feels like if I was really grateful for them - if I really believed them - my life and business would look and function a lot differently.

You know what was really at the heart and mind of my last post on creating? Fear. Fear of people. Fear of failure. Fear of missing out. Creating is a very vulnerable activity. But it seems as though instead of being grateful for the opportunity, materials and the very act of creating - I am usually to afraid of what will become of my creation.

But this quote, it brings me back to the point of why we create, make, paint or construct art in the first place - because we are joyful and grateful. I believe thankfulness is one of the biggest motivators. It can drive us to do better, work harder and feel stronger - because we realize what we have and who we are because of what we've been given.

Now I know sometimes, many times, beautiful things are born out of not very beautiful circumstances. But I feel that the pieces created in response to hard times, show the grateful heart that down deep is rising up to overcome - to notice there is something to be grateful for, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

Now wouldn't you believe that one of the greatest lessons God taught me in 2013 was that 'Thankfulness can conquer so much fear!'. Hard to believe that I came to this understanding last Fall - literally  one year ago. At that time in my life, I was believing these words with great hope for even more things I would soon have to be grateful for - to leave my corporate job, to go full-time with my photography, to get to work from my home ... Here I am people, living a life where all those hopes have come true. Yet, I struggle with gratitude and fear!?

Fear is very selfish; it is deciding to cower, instead of boldly choosing to overcome. You are scared. You then allow whatever you're afraid of to have more control over your life than your own self.

Gratitude is very humbling; it recognizes the gifts given and revels in the fact that you are the recipient. You are special. You then allow whatever you've been given to have more of an impact on your life than your own fear.

Expectations vs. Reality

Just recently I was given the wonderful opportunity to speak to a wonderful bunch of women. I was asked to speak on using your gifts and finding your niche. I gave these ladies lots of questions to ask themselves so as to guide them toward careers, hobbies, interests, responsibilities and ministries fit just for each one of them. But it is one thing to figure out which direction to head and what projects to take on, it is another to actually imagine, plan and tackle those tasks. One of the first things to consider while you're in the planning stages of any new pursuit are your expectations.

Do your expectations make sense with your reality?

I have found a good way to evaluate your expectations is to measure them up against these parameters: your time, your abilities, your money, your passion and your season. Lysa Terkuerst taught me this and has a whole chapter dedicated to realistic expectations in her new book, The Best Yes.

The most practical and wise advice I can give you is to focus on the truth. No matter what you're dealing with - false expectations, overwhelming life circumstances, anxiety, worry, whatever ... when you take a deep breath and tell yourself the truth, you realize it will all be ok. For instance, if you become fearful of failure - you must realize failure is a possibility, but then remember your track record (even if it is not great), but also, the God whose grace is sufficient for all things, especially in your weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10) who has brought you to where you are now. His mercies are new every morning, He is faithful and He is there whether you succeed or fail. He knows what has already happened and will happen in the future. No matter the outcome, the best part about all of this is that He loves you no matter what.