It hasn’t dawned on me yet, not even as I leap into my fifties, that one should try their hardest to color “inside” the lines. For me it’s been a life long journey embracing the driven desire to not only color outside the box but to scribble the heck out of it and all over the page. Seems more interesting this way. I love it when only two or three colors cross the canvas and smash into each other creating their own visual dance without anyone leading other than simply the colors being themselves. Now don’t get me wrong, I may have lived my life always desiring, testing and quietly hiding my colorful originality only to find too much of my life was spent forcing the structure of the lines or following those that tend to be more colorblind than what pulsed inside of me.
Fixing up an old bus beside my husband with dogs in tow helped set free again the artist that God birthed me to be. “Artist” seems to be such a narrow term nor am I interested in any kind of a title. In comparison to the gifts of those who have spent decades painting the ceilings of cathedrals or those that master the pen without lifting it off the page only to create a master piece to the very word “artist” just seems minuscule. If this word backed up to this kind of talent, I would not even come close to the yarn that straggles from the hem of their apron. Interesting enough, for the first time in my life a week ago, some kind person made note of me in an odd observant way and asked me…”are you an artist”. For the first time in my life I replied “yes” with the deepest most confident response. I felt my blood come alive. I truly always have been. Since I was a little girl, a song always poured off my tongue, I saw beauty everywhere and always desired, and quite frankly attempted to set everything within my reach free. Even the mud pies that I made had to be decorated just so and swooped in a direction that created a curly Q on the tip with a small pebble on the top. Flower peddles on the ground intrigued me, the colors danced in my mind at night wondering if I could one day color that somewhere, somehow.
Later in life with my sons, coloring, painting and creating simply was a pass time that always found its way in our every day living. Even my homemade muffins were master pieces to me. Filling my sons tummies with happy faces were my confirmation that what I created was a piece of art filled with deep love. In the years of outreach at our mission it was only natural to paint the walls from anything we could our hands on and sing and dance as the walls came alive for the purpose of the thousands in need that would enter in needing to feel life and hope again. Art is apart of my constant heartbeat and method that awakens the love that God has asked me to give. Even down to the little things. Sharing cookies at a fellowship night needed to be placed on a plate in a circle motion to show the love and free colors of the M& M/s. Sound exhausting? Not to me…the more I freely created the more I exploded with life even in the times of hardship and seasons of stillness or wonder.
Today, God has given my husband and I with our furry pack of doggies a new color in our seasons of life. After spending a year and a half living in the heart of the city He has provided us a place of our own to call home until He calls us elsewhere. A special serene place for our buses to easily park and travel out of as we continue forth in street missions with or supply buses and bus homestead. Everything has a place…including us. The time we have spent searching for a legal angle to create a tiny home sanctuary in the State of Oregon hit a sad wall from the inside of the box thinkers that dictate what a “house” should look like. Crazy coming from Oregon especially when Portland and Bend are widely published for open and accepting views of alternative living and tiny house dwelling. Portland costs are so astronomically high with minimal availability to say the least. The cost for parking space is often as much as rent would be normally. Together my husband and I worked to find the perfect spot with the key note being “affordable”.
Oregon being “the it” place to be now especially with cannabis being legalized and sanctuary cities being the theme, finding a place was almost as discouraging and time consuming as sitting in an never ending political conference while sitting in a metal fold up chair. Seriously the process was grueling. With the cash buyers moving into Oregon from other wealthier states, every little farm or place in a modest budget bracket ran out the door to the highest bidder far above an appraised loan within fifteen minutes after viewing. Case note, the low interest rates also allowed an open door for hard working folk which we applaud even in the middle of the turmoil.
All in all the journey into tiny house reality is flat out hard. Us colorful, out of the box thinkers have a blast being free as we create and live it out yet when the time comes to land its a bit of a struggle. Truly more than a “bit”. Seven months running while landing on our knees God prevailed and we have landed. The home that clearly God hath given does not look anything like what we had planned yet our buses have a home close beside our house and our journey continues deeply.
A few short blocks from the river which allows for some serene walks and a new place to rejuvenate while creating more as God moves us deeper into mobile missions. Not too many people are fully aware of the call God asked of us to embrace. Our buses are only a piece of the puzzle. They are a vehicle that brings us to where the lost and the hurting are. The entire color of the call resemble more colors than a canvas can easily hold as it leads to an eternal palate.
Fast forwarding….I am painting again. Now in the quiet of our safe home and resting in between the travels. Who knew this would be Gods recipe. When we saw the house close to river trails that we are serving on with a wide parking space beside it just right for our buses we knew…happened to be on Easter of all days. The only ones at the door of the house as if God was holding the listing still until we walked through. It did not come without an enormous flood of obstacles, all in all we landed, we are in and we are preparing the buses for July’s schedule and there after.
Funny thing is we are in a special little house and I keep painting buses on the canvas. They are in my blood now, my favorite color is school bus yellow. Go figure. Little side note, our hound dog rightfully named “Freedom” who we rescued from an abusive group of dog fighters has found her own quiet place. The front window staring into a road has always prompted a constant anxiety for her. Our new house close to the river has the main living window in the back of our house facing the treed landscape of our park like back yard where our big bus, Matthew, dwells. Oh the dog naps in our place are abundant now. Our little Freedom has peace for the first time in her life. She is the happiest we have ever seen her be. I bring my paints outside and paint with her napping on the old bus seat that is recovered just for the doggies to sunbath on. Quite a special place. Bus mission, free bird living as God leads us out. Love love love….more to come soon, with more paints too unveil.