Isaiah 64:8 – But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Our Florida home features the work of our favorite artists; the kids.
I have each of their best drawings in frames, a collection of their often hilarious writings, and a shelf displaying a row of crooked, clay pots made in school many years ago. I even have a rock that was turned into a smiley face with a little piece of carpet glued on top for hair..
I love that crazy thing.
Every one of these pieces embodies the expressed creativity of each child at a specific moment in their lives. These items wouldn’t get 5 cents at a garage sale, but if our home was going up in flames, you’d see me running out with their artwork..and yes, that rock.
Which brings me to my barn door.
Yeah, that was a whiplash transition back to the focus of our lives up here in Charlotte..the renovation of our town home. We are under the gun to complete a series of projects as our floor is going to be installed next week. Painting, staining and dragging a ladder around is so much easier when there’s nothing under your feet but concrete.
My job was to stain the barn door that is going to be hung in our powder room.
I’ll spare you the agonizing details, but suffice it to say..different woods “take” different stains differently. Ugh. I am surprised there is even any wood left to the door as I have rubbed and sanded the crap outta that thing chasing the perfect color to compliment the floor and the walls. I went to Lowes, Sherman Williams, and Micheals looking for the magic potion to meet my requirements. I watched hours of YOU-TUBE videos and scanned the pages of Pinterest..all to no avail.
After taking a “cleansing walk” with my sister yesterday afternoon..it suddenly hit me. I came home and realized that this was an art project. I had been approaching it like I was painting another wall when I should have looked at the barn door as a canvas.
Out came all of the spare rags, multiple cans of stain and sheets of sandpaper as I went in for another round with the door .. this time with a much lighter touch- trying to be creative- not perfect.
Slowly, slowly.. the look I was seeking started to appear. I imagined I was walking on a beach and found a beat up, sun bleached door bobbing in the frothy surf. I composed a story in my mind of a ship at sea sinking in a terrible storm, black and gray swells tugging it apart, the door silently floating away. I visualized myself dragging my treasure home, spraying off the salty grit and seaweed with a hose. I’d leave the battered door to dry under blue skies, the heat revealing the fullness of it’s imperfect state- it’s history left intact.
I smoothed on the stain to mimic the color of driftwood, a little bit here..a bit more there.. After an hour or so the story was complete…
and a useful lesson was learned.
Some projects are meant to be expressions of a vision; a manifestation of a feeling. It’s much more fun to let the interpretation unfold than it is to try and fit into some preordained, self imposed parameters. Tap into your God given creativity when it’s called for. There’s so much freedom when we follow our instincts instead of always following the rules! The result may not appeal to everyone, but just like with my children’s art, it’s a highly individual and personal statement; it’s the work of YOUR hands, the fruit of YOUR imagination..and if YOU love it- that’s what really matters.
Oh, how I’d love to take a moment to bask in the glow of this finished piece, but it’s time to move on to the next item on my “to do” list…
Life is a balance of structure and liberty – we need to “run free” whenever the door is left open.