Desires of the heart

For years, I had wanted to be a creative writer and illustrator. It was a dream I’d had as a child, and one that was reignited when I read stories to my kids daily. Snuggly story time was my favorite. But, writing and illustrating seemed like a far-off gauzy daydream as I raised three children as a single mother and worked full time. While I loved raising amazing humans, the yearning to create gnawed at the corners of my mind and around the edges of my heart. Occasionally, I would snatch time to write poetry or do a little painting. But mostly, the desire was put on the back burner.

Laura's Creative Cottage. Laura Chalk. Illustration. Pink Flowers. Terra cotta.
Sitting Pretty. Mixed media illustration by Laura Chalk.

I decided to make the daydream a reality once my youngest was in her second year of college. I had put it off for so long that I was afraid I would never follow through, so I bought the domain name to my website and immediately started building it. I prayed for God’s assistance and that he would bless me with creative ability. I committed to write an illustrated blog post once per week, write poetry, and eventually offer greeting cards, prints and books.

Amazing things happen when we decide to take action.

Because I had made the commitment and prayed about it daily, it was at the forefront of my mind instead of in the shadows. I looked forward to sitting down to write and draw. Hours slipped by as I worked on illustrations, and the practice felt freeing, relaxing and peaceful. Old blockages within me melted, and I realized why the desire never went away: It was something I was meant to do.

A few days ago, I went to a favorite nearby town to do some Christmas shopping. I walked into a small store and admired the colorful, whimsical art. I got to the back of the store and saw the woman who worked there. I asked her, “Who’s the artist I’ve been seeing throughout your store?”

“It’s me!” she replied.

We went on to have a wonderful conversation about her art, the materials she uses and her process. I was shocked to discover that she does her own printing. She took me back to her office area and showed me her Epson printer, and proceeded to write down the website where she ordered her card stock, envelops, bags and mats. I was surprised to learn that while she is around my age, she had only started working as an artist five years ago. When I left her store, I knew that the reason I’d felt the sudden urge to go to that town was because I was supposed to meet her.

A couple of days later, I was running an errand near Nebraska Furniture Mart. I suddenly felt I should stop in to check out their printers. They had the six color HD printer for $100 off, and the sale ended that day. It was a great price, and I immediately knew why I’d had the urge to stop. I bought the printer, then went home and ordered card stock, envelopes and card boxes.

Two months ago, writing and illustrating were still unfulfilled dreams and goals. Then, I made a decision, prayed and took action. Since then, rewarding and providential things have happened. I thank God every day for guiding me into becoming more of who he designed me to be, and for giving me the desires of my heart. He yearns to do that for each of us.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalms 37:4