Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Chasing Your Dreams on the bike trails in Northwest Arkansas


My artwork is always inspired by God in some form or fashion. Whether through scripture, or by something beautiful I've seen made by the hands of the Creator,  I love taking the truths that God has taught me and incorporating them into my artwork in a fun and whimsical way. I always love giving a little background on what inspired me to create my paintings.

If you've ever been to Northwest Arkansas, you have probably seen parts of the over 200 miles of greenway trails for biking and hiking. Since moving here, I've purchased all the gear and have ventured out on the bike trails...just for fun and leisure. My biking adventures have inspired me to paint a new collection of bicycle mixed media art on canvas, and the professional prints are now available in my Etsy Shop . Each bike print features popular phrases that have brought me back to God's word in search for His truth. 

"Chase your dreams"is a sentiment I hear all the time in popular culture. The message is that we should pursue our dreams at any cost, right? I'm a big dreamer, so I love this concept. And as I get older, I am more decisive about how I spend my time, and want to enjoy what I'm doing, whether it be work, service or leisure. I want it to be fulfilling in more ways than one. At my age, I've heard a lot lately about "bucket lists" and "to old to be doing something you don't love", but what does scripture say about all this? As a Christian, I was challenged to see what God says about chasing my dreams.

Here are some verses I came across that helped me to apply a Biblical concept to my painting "Chasing your dreams". Ecclesiastes 3:10-13 says, "What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?  I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God."  God loves for us to rejoice in doing good, and having our labor bring us joy is a gift from Him! 

Scripture also tells us that we each have a plan, calling and unique gifts. 2 Peter 1:10 says, "Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall." Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

I think the most important thing to remember as a Christian chasing your dreams is found in these three verses that bring us full circle back to God.  Matthew tells us, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Psalm 37:4, says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart," and Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."

Crystal McDowell, in her online article, "7 Biblical Reason to Chase Your Dreams", sums it all up so well for me. "Dream chasing is only relevant if it's rooted in God's calling for your life. When God sparks a dream in your heart, you won't be able to let it go..."

Art prints are all printed professionally here in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They are printed on archival paper and come package in a cellophane bag with foam core backing. They are available in 5"x7" and 8"x10". You can purchase them online at www.stacyspanglerart.etsy.com. 
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