Creating a Masterpiece

By: Jenny Abbott Edwards

My boys and I  love to paint. We paint because while moving color across a page we are not whining. We are not arguing. We are not asking to go on our Nintendo DS or TV. We are not asking for fruit snacks or Rice Krispie treats at 6:00AM in the morning. We paint because it keeps the peace in our PJ's whereas pouting and arguing may ensue.

We paint because it helps me know that I need Jesus first thing in my day. Or else. Seriously. Or else, the mean, ugly mom who is impatient...who yells...she seems to appear on days I don't take time to meet with my coach before the day begins. My coach gives me a run down of how to get through my day and  the scouting report on what will work best with my children day to day. It helps me to know what His plan is...without it...I find myself falling back to punt every time.  Because you know, the opposing team studies me.  They knows my weak side.  They have watched the playbacks and studied the film. They know when I'm weary.

So, we wake up and paint. Not because I am a good mom  but, because I am a mom who is desperate for my Heavenly Father who knows my tendencies, my inadequacies and loves me unconditionally.  I'm sure he cringes when I fumble the ball and make a fool of myself while trying to figure it out while scrambling without him.  But, instead of benching me, he calmly pulls me aside reminding me that His ways are higher and redirects my paths while renewing my mind. Just as a good coach makes correction for the good of the players and the team, He is constantly coaching and teaching me.

In posting pictures to Instagram and Facebook of the little ones and me painting, it never crossed my mind that I may be giving the wrong message to people. I never thought I might be sending the message of "We've got it together over here!" Recently, a sweet friend of mine said something to the effect of "Girl, you are awesome. I can't believe you guys wake up and paint." I didn't know how to respond because immediately I realized I had never shared the reason we do!

The reason we paint is because we believe we serve an all powerful God who can turn our mess into a masterpiece. In this season of life, painting seems to help my children and  myself connect with each other and with God. So we paint.

The other morning while painting, my oldest kept getting frustrated at himself.  He wanted to paint. He wanted perfection. What was happening from his minds eye to the paint brush was failing to meet his expectations. I watched him feeling like I was looking at my own reflection. He is so hard on himself. As he made, in his own eyes, small mistakes on the page, he would crumble the paper up and throw it in the trash.  I allowed this to go on for a few sheets of paper. Then, I told him that what I saw was beautiful. I asked him if I could make a few changes on his paper to give him a new perspective. At first, he was hesitant. Just like I sometimes resist correction from my Coach.  He can see a bigger picture than I can. His ways are not my own. The almighty God who loves me, who created me with great purpose, knows when the excess needs trimmed away so the masterpiece can shine.

Carefully, I picked up Noah's artwork and began trimming away the parts that he felt were not "worthy".  Also, the parts I recognized as excess to the masterpiece. I cut away at the silly mistakes that previously caused him to continue throwing his work in the trash. I carefully retouched a few spots that I knew were troubling him. Gently, I told Noah, that the reason I love to paint is not because of the artwork we create as neither of us are naturally talented artists. I explained to him that the reason I love to paint is because of our time with God and our time with each other. I explained to him that my purpose in painting was to spend time together.

In our walk with Christ, so often, we feel as though our work isn't worthy. But our creator says, "It's my job to make it a masterpiece. It's your job just to spend the time with me."