Hopemade Word for 2022: Express
After doing my 3-step reflection (end of year) process, I came back to a place I often come back to. I’m sure you know exactly how that feels. Is there a recurring theme in your life? Something you always set out for, voluntarily or involuntarily, yet, it still remains something you don’t fulfill? Every time you think you’re done, you’re reminded that you’re not. Well, that’s a special area for your life’s work.
Expression is that spot I find myself returning to year after year. Illustrator, author, storyteller beginning at a very young age. Photographer, painter, model during more formative years. Blogger, graphic designer, cook as an adult. Although there is distance among the hats and life changes brought me to different modes, creativity is the connector. I don’t find my identity in being just one of those things but in being a creative daughter of God. And lately I feel this loud knocking on my heart to give this skill more attention, time, and effort. To show my daughter that I appreciate the resources God’s given me and I am to use them for Him.
Creative expression has always been important to me. Truthfully, I find that it is important for everyone in their own way. Expressing helps us understand our inner state of being (whether it be holy or less than) because it gives us a tangible reflection of what’s inside. Expression makes us aware of two things: the harmony and the dissonance between our inner world and physical reality. Expression connects us to the external world through the formation of relationships with other people and with the value of our work, be it labor or art.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.Matthew 5:8
The Hopemade Woman is one of my most treasured expressions. It is not only a blog, or social media feed, it is a lifestyle branded by love, faith, womanhood and creativity.
Online, a woman can find from others many good pieces of advice, habits to practice, and models to appreciate. Yet, no matter how good the expression of another woman is, it is not the same as your or my expression as a woman. The most special thing about being a woman is that God gave us a purpose in our womanhood, and still God makes every woman slightly different, because we each have a gift to share.
As such, I’ve committed to express how God designed me to express. Let’s commit to being more cognizant about our expressions from our love for God and others to our moans and groans to our work, hobbies, even our tidiness, the way we drive, our resting faces.
Let’s commit to staying GENUINE with how we express. Authenticity does not give us a free pass to be nasty or depressing or scary. But really it means learning to say the truth in love. Be bold. Be real. Be a light. And remember you can say much without ever opening your mouth.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.JAmes 3:17-18
Other words for express are embody, materialize, epitomize. Being selective about what we bring into the world includes placing certain boundaries on deep bonding, surface socializing, creativity, working, everything you do! This is where there is a mysterious and fruitful balance between being expressive under discipline and expressive without restraint. Chastity and Freedom.
Some ways I, personally, will facilitate expression this year:
1. Careful not to embody what is not pertinent to me or my relationships and life. God gives me what He gives me and others what He gives others.
2. Be consistent with my creative mediums. For me, this means touching base at least once a week. (Other artists may advise once a day but I’m a mother, first, so I make a regimen pertaining to my life’s bigger needs.)
3. Relate with a genuine and honest character. This means staying true to my values, especially not to chase but to honor God and my family.
4. Love hard. Fear of vulnerability can trap us into loving little. However, the more my heart is open the more creative I am. It is easier to express without a block in front of my heart.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.James 3:18