Aaaaah! A new year has begun! It's January 1, 2018 and something feels very different for me on this New Year's Day. Maybe it is because I have decided to finally start blogging. Or perhaps it is because I have chosen to fast off of social media for the next 21 days. But I think the main reason is because I am letting go of the old to make room for the new because I have a feeling (a knowing) that this year is going to BLOW MY MIND!
Over the past few months I have been going through an extraordinary transformation. So extraordinary that it has been almost impossible to put into words. This particular transforming season of my life (there's been many) started on March 25, 2017. This was the day I got an idea for a 31 day coloring devotional.
For months I had been praying for direction. I knew I was supposed to write a book about my healing story but was at a loss as to how to write it. Should I write my WHOLE life story from beginning to end? Should I incorporate art in my story? If so, how?
Thankfully, even though I tried, I did not have to figure it all out because I kept seeing little things here and there that were pointing the way for me. For instance, as I was eating lunch with some friends one day at a cafe, I noticed a bunch of woman sitting at the table to our right. There table was covered in markers and colored pencils and they were all coloring! Fascinated and intrigued, I immediately went over to their table.
"Hi, I love what you ladies are doing over here!" I said to them all. "Do you come here and do this everyday?'
"No, we come here once a week and color together. It is a way for us to relieve stress." One woman said.
Yes!!!! I thought to myself - coloring helps with stress - woman like to be together and talk - people like to color. That's it!!!
God what are you showing me, I thought?!
I asked the ladies a few more questions and then went back to the table with my friends.
"Wow! I think God is showing me something!" I said to my girlfriends. It was March 25, 2017 and boy, oh boy was I right!
After I got home from lunch I went straight to my room to journal and pray.
"Lord, what am I supposed to do with my life and my art? You have been showing me so much lately. I love making things for people to color. Please show my a way I can REALLY help people - a way that will get to the core and not just put a temporary band-aid over situations."
And then an idea struck me like a bolt of lighting. It was like a meteor came out of the heavens and landed in my heart. The idea was vague yet clear and it was to create a coloring devotional that would incorporate my story, art and His Word!
I was so excited. I could almost see the whole book! I could even see more books. I knew what the first page was going to look like. It was going to be a bunch of diamonds and jewels and it was going to bring Proverbs 3:15 to life - why? Because I needed to KNOW that I was far more precious than jewels!
Bringing the Word to life through art was something I had been doing for a few months. I saw how it was changing me and I was frankly desperate for this so I got to work. I knew I was going to change even more throughout the process of creating the book and I was right because creating this book, even though it was fun too, was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I almost quit a million times. Who are you to write such a book? You are no bible scholar or pastor! You think you can call yourself an author that writes books about God's freedom and love and peace?
I knew I could not just write about these things. I knew I had to embody them if I was going to put myself out there as the author of this book and many more. I knew I would have to walk my talk. I wanted to walk my talk. I wanted to live this way but was I this person?
No, not completely. I still had fear. I was still living in the past a bit. I needed to be changed from the inside out. So this meant that I had to go through a huge transformation process.
I had no idea what it was going to be like going into this project. If I did perhaps I would not have tackled it. But I am so immensely glad I did because writing this book has changed me in more ways than I have room to share. It's one of the main reasons my name has changed from Mandy to Amanda.
And tomorrow I get to bring the finished manuscript in to the publisher! Yay! I am so excited! I did it.
I know this book is going to change people. How do I know? I know because I went through my own book! Yup, after I was done I took 31 days to go through my own book and it was AMAZING how much it ministered to me!!!
So because there are some BIG things on the horizon and because I have changed so much over this season of my life. It has been a difficult process but one that I would not change for anything. I am being buffed and refined by my Creator into the TRUE woman He created me to be. He is making my path straight and clear and for this I am grateful.
There are too many good things in store and I want to simplify my life down the nitty gritty of what makes my heart truly soar! So out with the old and in with the new!
His mercies are new every morning. He has a good plan for you and me. "For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
How about you? How are you feeling on this New Year's Day? Are you feeling hopeful? Are you extremely glad 2017 is OVER? Or are you indifferent?
What do you need to let go of to make room for the new and amazing things God has for you in your life for 2018?
Post a comment on what that is for you and what action steps you can take today toward that!
Hello! My name is Amanda Rita Tardif and I occasionally, infrequently but sometimes blog about amazing artists.