Atelier = “Workshop”
Atelier was a week of setting aside time to create, worship and make space for God to rock up. It was a phenomenal time of resting in His presence and seeing the power of creativity in full.
I had the honour of helping expand the space on the walls for creativity and therefore had a bigger space to use as my canvas. I took up the whole wall during worship to create and draw pictures with the chalk.
It was such a treat to spread wide and have space to create. On the first night I was working on the left side of the wall and randomly I noticed part of it begin to look like an elephants face. Surprised by this I let it become just that. Then towards the end of the worship time someone had a word/picture of Elma the elephant (without having seen my picture on the wall). They explained they felt God was wanting to encourage us to be whole heartedly and freely ourselves and show our true colours, and not hide under the grey paint like Elma tried to. This was crazy spot on with my drawing as I had randomly drawn a rainbow over the top, the words “BEE YOU” to the left in yellow and then rain drops below! It was a moment that I could never have planned, so felt like a gift from heaven. Art really does have the power to speak beyond words.
The setting of the retreat was stunning and catered for an atmosphere of peace, rest and space to create. There was no agenda other than to give God room to move. Due to small numbers of people gathering, it ensured that relationships were accelerated and depths were reached within a short amount of space. We were incredibly fortunate with most days being beautifully sunny, however we did have the one moody weather day.
Each day we would have a quiet moment in the morning for self reflection and sketching. Then a talk, worship and lunch. In the afternoon there was a selection of different workshops run each day. On one of the days I was asked to lead a session called “Create to be Free“. I had a good turn out and a really powerful time with those who came.
One persons response to the workshop:
The painting process Jessica took our group on was lovingly patient and powerful. I loved that there was a structure to the session, yet total freedom within it to paint whatever we felt the Lord bring to our attention. We were asked to choose one colour at a time and paint on our page something representing an emotion or a relationship. Jessica facilitated space within which the Holy Spirit could move. Painting in this way really helped me to process pain and it brought to my attention things I hadn’t realised I still needed healing from. In that place I was able to connect with God and the session became a stepping stone to greater freedom. Thank you Jessica!
The beautiful mix of nationalities and cultures was inspiring and something I particularly loved. One afternoon we did a session on song writing. This I really loved as it’s an area I want to go deeper into and explore more with due to the number of poems and songs I spontaneously write. Rinke (above) came out with a beautiful song at one point that I woke up most mornings still singing:
“Oh come out and dance with Me.
See how proud your Father be.
As His child is dancing free.
The week was run by Jon and Anna White, along with their friends from Nashville, Ryan and Karen Hall. I felt truly honoured to be a part of the week and to see pioneers like them take up space and create new stories in each of our lives with ease and yet power.
Thank you to you all for your surrender, dreams, passions and perseverance in making this week happen!