“I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Willem van Gogh

I like that quote from the famous Dutch post-impressionist painter! Think about it. There isn’t one thing we do NOW, that we didn’t do ONCE, for the very FIRST time! Right?

Before you took your first step, you didn’t walk.

Before you said your first word, you didn’t speak!

Before you rode a bicycle for the first time, you couldn’t.

So, why should it be so hard for us to do ANYTHING for the first time? Think of all the things you didn’t know you could do – until you did! You’ve proved you’re capable, but you had to do it for the first time, once.

And, I get it – it’s hard! I’ve been doing a lot of things for the first time lately. It’s not easy, but it’s important, unless we are content to remain forever unchanged, as stagnant vessels maneuvering through this thing we call life.

I’m not very good at being stagnant. Actually (and quite literally) it STINKS! Change is good. And firsts are good.

One of my most recent writing projects is a children’s book. I’ve never written a children’s book before. But, when God gives you a message, and you’re a writer, you’ve GOT to get the words on paper to deliver that message. So, I did it – another first!

It took a bit of research (to learn how to write in kid-friendly terminology), but I did it! And, after finishing it, I decided to try my hand at illustrating.

I’ve never illustrated a book before, and in comparison to many others, I’m no artist! I used to think I could draw fairly well until my son’s giftedness totally blew me out of the water. He truly has a gift from God, and I’ve reveled in it since he was a child. By the age of 16, he had illustrated two books. I wonder if I will illustrate a book by the time I’m 66? (That does give me a few years, in case you’re wondering!)

So…..I wanted to see if I could adequately capture the character of my book. I had him pictured in my mind as I wrote, with each scene playing out inside my head, as the words appeared on paper. But, could I take this strong-willed little guy named Jacob, and make him appear on paper? I found a sketch pad, and tried. And, actually, it didn’t turn out too bad, but I think I’ll hire an illustrator and stick to writing!

So……what firsts do you have looming in your tomorrows? Is there something you’d LIKE to do for the first time, but you can’t get out of your comfort zone to do it?

Grandma Moses began painting, in earnest, at the age of 78 – a prime example of someone who began a career in the arts at an advanced age. I’ve often claimed I would be the Grandma Moses of writing as my lifetime dream of being an author is just now coming into fruition.

In 2006, one of Grandma Moses’ paintings sold for $1.2 million! Now, I’m no Grandma Moses, and I may not make it to her level of fame. I may not ever have a best seller, but I won’t let that stop me from writing.

So…I wonder what’s next on my journey? Stay tuned to find out. One thing for sure, I’ll be trying new things. Every day.

I hope you will, too…and I hope you celebrate each one!

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