Tender Hearts & Arts
I am quite the chatterbox this morning which is pretty stupid because of my poor throbbing finger, but I’ve been reflecting on some things and want to share.
Why Tender Arts? Nobody has ever asked me that, but there is a reason. When my husband Jerry died, I went through a very long dark stage in my soul. Bitterness crept in bit by bit until it was such a part of me that I thought it was normal. In January of 2003, I joined one of the best Bible Studies I had ever been in. It really went to the heart of me and allowed me to see how my bitterness was affecting all of my relationships. When we allow negativity, bitterness, rage to be the things in our heart, we contribute to the pain that is in the world. We become part of the pain. It is only by being tenderhearted that we can truly make a difference in the world. Of course it starts small. It begins in my heart and hopefully those who come into contact with me are encouraged and their hearts become a little more tender. Perhaps they will pass it on. Personally, I know that by letting go of the pain that bound me, I was able to really love again. And be loved again. And it has come back to me a hundredfold. Yes, I am open to pain, but it beats being bound by rage!
There is a verse in the bible that really spoke to me on this issue. There are, of course, many wonderful passages that speak to the issue of being tenderhearted. But this, in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, really seemed to be directed at me:
31Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
This is from Chapter 4 and is from the Living Bible.
But wait! There’s more! Unlike Jerry’s death which was more like a bomb that exploded in my life, my mom’s passing was full of lessons that I could learn as we said our good byes. She had advanced stomach cancer and after her surgery we had almost a year and a half (which was something of a miracle considering the stage of her cancer) to just love each other. She died in November, 2002. She was only 64 and had lots of plans for her retirement. As she weakened, I discovered dollmaking. At first they were very simple rag dolls, but they were the outlet I needed. As we neared the end of my mother’s life, it really began to sink in that life on earth is so fleeting. There are no guarantees, except in Heaven. All my life I had let fear be my dictator. Especially when it came to my creative side. I’ve always loved to make things. But I could never believe that anyone would want the things I made. People who loved me had tried to encourage me before to sell some of my crafts, but I was afraid. After Mom died I realized how much I was limiting myself. It didn’t matter if anyone wanted my stuff or not, it only mattered that I try!
So I did. My first ideas weren’t very good, but at least I was working at creating my doll business. One of my big issues was coming up with a name for my business. I tried out many goofy ones until one day while reading the Bible passage above, I got the idea of Tender Hearts. It seemed just perfect. Then I googled it to see if anyone else had it. Guess what! It’s a popular name! As I was looking at the name on paper, I noticed that the last letters in Hearts were arts. Well, arts is perfect too. My dolls are humble, but they are my creative expressions and therefore I will call them my art. Tender Arts. A personal reminder to me keep my heart tender and an expression of what I do which is craft from my heart.
But right now I need less reflection and more expression! I only have two things for sale! You would think by the way I’m talking that I am the head of an omnibusiness! And I need some Motrin for my finger!