Most people feel some level of stress about Christmas gifts. This year during the month of November, I have been making Christmas presents for most of my immediate family members. Since I don’t have to work, being on a one year maternity leave, I wanted to use my talents to bless those closest to me. I sewed leaves on a shirt for my sister.
I was working on a painting but wasn’t sure who it was for. I was feeling quite stressed during the process of making the painting. I had the unfinished painting up so I could look at it and think about it. One time I looked up and saw it and thought, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And at that moment, I knew that would be for my niece. Later that day I heard that she wants to “make collages like her Aunt Nancy,” and to be called an artist. I felt close to God because of that encounter, unlike anything I’ve felt for a long time.
I struggle with how to deal with any kind of pressure or obligation and my art – people often ask me if I can make something for them (like when I made my own purse or shirt with birds sewn on it). Generally the process I go through to make something takes so much out of me, I never want to do it again! I find the concept of accepting money for something I’ve made very difficult. Even for gifts, it’s hard to believe that these pieces of art are “worth enough” to replace a commercially purchased gift.