Visit Joni's Studio

  • Sept. 21, 2018
  • #9495

Make the best use of your abilities and limitations to bless others and glorify God.

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and I love inviting folks into my art studio!

Really, I do. If you are ever in the Southern California area and happen to drive by Agoura Hills, you just have to get off the freeway to come for a tour at the International Disability Center, because part of the tour might include a visit to my art studio. As most of you know, when I broke my neck many years ago and lost the use of my hands, I did not (thank the Lord) lose my talent. It was my occupational therapist who taught me to write and type and draw holding pencils between my teeth. And when I got out of the hospital, I kept at it. I even took years of art lessons and studied art at the University of Maryland – only a few classes—but I did that. And now, so many years later, I am so honored that the team here at Joni and Friends displays my big originals on a big wall leading to the executive suite. And I'm so grateful that next to my office is a small studio with my easel and paints.

Now to be honest, I don’t spend as many hours at my art easel as I used to. Being in my 60’s and dealing with pain as I do, it’s gotten harder to hold those brushes and twist my neck at weird angles to cover the canvas. But when I do draw, I feel… well, I feel so free. My paintings, although, don’t “look” very free, they don’t look very painter-ly because I paint with my mouth, I'm limited. There are just some brush strokes that I simply cannot do with my mouth. That’s because mouths were not designed to hold brushes. right? Hands were! So, I can’t do those big broad, sweeping strokes, you know, those wide, dynamic strokes with big brushes (those brushes are just too heavy for me to hold in my mouth).

So, my paintings tend to look tight, they look like drawings. But you know what? That’s okay. I know that in heaven one day I'll get back the use of my hands and more and I'll be able to paint big beautiful murals, but for now, I do the best I can with what abilities I have, and applying the talent that God has given me. Because it’s gift, a gift from Jesus, and I so want to glorify Him through my artwork, especially through the cards that Joni and Friends produces. After all, 1 Peter chapter 4 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others.” Oh friend, that’s the whole point; I want to serve you through my artwork, inspiring and encouraging you to rise above your own circumstances, just as I have done, by the grace of God. It’s not easy, but with God’s grace it is possible. And I also want to glorify Jesus by telling others, “Hey, friend, do you see this artwork? If God can empower me to do what I can with what very little I have left, then, oh my, what won’t He do in your life?” Yep, that’s my message!

And this week, I get to share that message. I get to serve you; I get to encourage you today, and bless you by sending you my photo insert Christmas cards, a whole box of them. Just go directly to my radio page at joniradio.org and ask for your gift, and we'll get these cards off to you right away. And while you are on my radio page, take a minute to watch a video that actually shows how I paint. Finally, (and listen up, ‘cause here's the quadriplegic speaking, okay?) Whatever your talent, use, please use, whatever gift God has given you to serve others. Faithfully administer it for the building up of the household of faith. You would be amazed at what you can do when you reach down, as I once did, to discover the hidden potential the Lord has placed within you and when you discover it, O will you be glorifying Him.

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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