The Creative Journey of a Human Magnolia
Magnolia trees are messy, gorgeous trees. But they're a treasure trove of beauty to a creative. So I like to
imagine “If I were a tree….I’d be a Magnolia”.
So, who is Donna Kaye Compton, what’s her creative journey all about?
Well…..“when I was born…” (NO, don’t leave!….I promise this is the “short” version!)
Each of us has a starting point to our creative journey. “It began in the heart of Father God”. But there is a moment in space and time, on earth, where something happens - a revelation of who we are, of our purpose(s). And that, dear friend, is when God begins to releases even more of His amazing favor - to help us along on our journey.
Is it possible a memory can also be given us - the confirmation/affirmation of our creative journey? Perhaps this memory is God's gift to us. Think about it while I share my first memory and my journey.
My first memory: I’m just a few months old; I see a window over our kitchen sink looking out into a backyard that ended at the train tracks. Everyday a train came by and the conductor would blow the horn for the children.
I saw it all while being rocked in my daddy's arms, looking over his shoulder into the kitchen where my mom stood at the sink, preparing a meal, looking out the window. I don't remember any sounds but I like to believe the train, rumbling by, horn blowing, caught my attention and formed this memory I love so much.
My husband would have insisted I add this: "Donna learned early that if she didn't toot her horn, her horn would go Un-tooted." Well, think about that! A horn found alongside all your stuff (After you're gone) and nobody knows it's story.....they never heard its sound.
Rocking in my dad’s arms, the window, train tracks, and even my hometown, was a prophetic word to my future. Being born in a city that’s part of two states, beginning life in a home along railroad tracks leading out to great and small places - There would always be a willingness to "cross the borders", look beyond the walls, and get “new” revelation to travel further on....and....maybe....(laughter here)...toot my horn for the child inside each of us. The loving arms of my daddy represents my heavenly Daddy…holding me up on His shoulder to see out into the creation He’s made just for me. I believe my mom is the nurturing part of Father God…preparing a banquet for me right at the opening (window) to my future. The rocking chair is God’s comforting me in troubled times.
I have to be real here, after all, isn't that part of writing this? My history with my mom and dad wasn’t all sweet, pleasant times. There was pain, sorrow, anger, and lots of forgiving, but also lots of adventure and fun. It was “life".
My hometown is Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas; hillbilly with cowboy boots!Crossing borders is a part of my heritage: going outside the box.
Artists, singers, musicians, preachers, poets - all part of my heritage. My husband, three children, five of my 7 grand children, two brothers, and several nieces and nephews, are all actively involved in the “arts” through dance, acting, singing, writing, music, photography, cooking. It’s hard to not be a “creative” in this family.
My first memory confirms so much that’s happened in my life. As long as I choose to rely on and be led by Him, I know He is there for me.
I was in my 30’s before I believed I could be “a creative”. A negative experience in 7th grade art class reduced my artistic flow to a trickle for years. At 32 I took a Folk Art class and the dam broke. The next 20 years I painted, sold and taught continually.
Do you hear a “Screeching” sound? 1995 - my art-life came to a halt! I found myself on the floor, weeping…….God showed me how my art had become my idol and identity. I closed up shop until I was given a word by a stranger five years later that God wanted me to “pick up my brushes again and paint”. I’d been doing custom murals and wall/ceiling finishes for two years but not any meaningful unique art.
But when I got my brushes out - I froze! I wanted to paint “for” God! Nothing came! I prayed for and expected a divine vision, an angel holding my hand as I painted. That wasn’t how God wanted it. He wanted me to take the steps to be filled with His Spirit and skilled in my art. He wanted me to break off the old ways, allowing the new to come from deep inside where it had lain dormant since my youth. He wanted relationship with me more than anything and through that, the unique creativity He’d given me would flow. He wanted me to enjoy the journey of discovery with Him - as I discovered Him. And, He wanted us to paint together!
Since I gained that understanding I’ve been living my “childhood” the way it was meant to be lived - He’s given me a new beginning. And, in 2012 the “train” sped up. I began getting more revelation, understanding, and courage.
, Then, on December 26, 2013, I fractured my left arm in three places, (I’m left-handed), and got a concussion causing an issue with my right hand! At first I was devastated, but I knew that more “old” had to go to make room for the “new” anointing. Two weeks after my fall, I realized my recovery time was to get "still", spend more time with Him and He would have me doing things I never thought I could do…like draw and paint with my right hand. But that’s just the beginning.
I produced (right-handed) a line of greeting cards in watercolor. I did not allowed this painful and frustrating issue to stop me from being a creative. Yes, was a Magnolia mess…..but I chose to make it all beautiful. And the fragrance is awesome - because of my deeper relationship with Father.
My train runs through valleys and up mountains; I keep moving and blowing that horn - living life out loud…willing the unique creativity that is me to be a blessing, and, therefore, be blessed.
There’s many miles, turns, valleys and hills yet to travel, and so much to be discovered along the way. My Magnolia tree is blooming.
How about your first memory. I encourage you to explore what yours means to your life. Ask the Lord. Write about it, draw the feeling that comes. I’d love to hear what you discover. Leave a comment below.