Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something New

“I’d like a painting for my office,” he requests. “Will you try?”

“I don’t want to.” My daughter’s voice floats into the kitchen.

“I will.” The words spill from my mouth. I’m not a painter, but I’d like to try something new.

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I gather the materials–canvas, paints, brushes. It’s getting expensive.

When the house is quiet, I lay my three canvas pieces on the table. Paving the way, my hand begins sketching.

Finally, my brush strokes the canvas … little by little. And I love every glorious minute of it.

When I finish working each afternoon, I keep the sections hidden away through the rest of the day, until it’s ready. A birthday present.

I venture outside over the following days. The beautiful weather warms my heart. The breeze–such a gift.

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My unsteady hand wobbles, and the paintbrush shifts over of the sketched line. As I’m sitting there, in the daylight, all I see is the mess I’ve made. The outside border of my attempted subject is too wide, messy. And in the process of tucking them away, I’ve hit one canvas against another, and paint smears.

Why? I’m not …

I won’t give up. I haven’t come this far to give up. When the paint is dry, I decide to try … Focusing on steady, I take my foundation white and patch over the messy umber.

With the tip of the paintbrush between my lips, I evaluate the project. It’s not so bad. Perfectly imperfect has to be okay. Because, well … it’s me.

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My heart is nudged. I remember the beautiful canvas we are all given at the onset of life. And look … the smear, the mess I made. But you, O Lord, you painted me new. The crimson ran down to white, to pure. Free, yet so expensive a cost. You took your foundation and made me … changed me, covered me. My spiritual birthday–the gift that never stops giving, never stops covering.

But the destroyer creeps in, going into hidden places where he doesn’t belong, and pulls me out. He works with ease to scrape away the new, revealing my old, reminding me of my old … the times I stroked my brush out of line … the embarrassment of the ugly, the smears, the beyond ugly …

Not to help, but to hurt. And he so hurts.

And I wonder why I allow it. Why do I get pulled out? Time after time. O Soul Within, why …?

Father, help me “take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Psalm 57:1), where I’m loved every glorious minute. Give me the “I will” …. For you only. My eyes focused intently on you. Unashamed. Because that’s where I’m ready. That’s where I’m perfectly imperfect.

Until that day, when all is revealed.

O Soul Within, don’t be afraid to try something new.

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“Holy Spirit, blow peace, joy, and love in and through us today.”Wendy Macdonald


Have you ventured out to try something new?

*And I thought you might like to know that the painting is hanging on a wall in downtown Dallas right now. No matter how imperfect it is. Yikes!

 

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16 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something New

  1. Love this, Shelli, and the pictures brought me back to when I used to paint.

    One area in which I was always willing to try something new – which drove Barb to distraction – was food. I spent a lot of time creating ad hoc meals from what was available (“Hey, how about if we throw in some coffee and hot sauce? See how it tastes?”) and didn’t realize that not everyone did that.

    When I suggested that she try he vanilla ice cream with paprika (“See how it tastes, bet you like it!”) she sort of laid down the law, and I was never to suggest such a thing again.

    For the record, vanilla ice cream with paprika isn’t too bad.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/09/your-dying-spouse-360-faith-and-hope.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andrew, I love it! You are a chef!! If we didn’t try new things, we’d have never realized that chocolate goes so well with ice cream, and peanuts, and pretzels, and …. Lol. You made my day. And it started out a little rough. 🙂 So thank you.

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  2. Oh, Shelli, you’ve not only created beautiful artwork, you’ve written a poignant testimony of God’s grace. I feel inspired to “try something new” too. I placed my art supplies in a prominent place last night because I’ve been neglecting this joy-imbibing love of mine.Thank you for nudging us to keep trying. And thank you for including my quote–I’m honored, sweet friend. ❤
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wendy, thank you so much. I have one extra blank canvas … my heart is being nudged to pick up that paintbrush again. But what to paint? I’ll know in time, I guess. 🙂 And thank you for allowing me to use your sweet words from Insta … they really spoke to me …

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  3. This touched my heart so deeply. I love your courage, and boy, do I understand your moments of fear. I keep thinking I’d like to take another knitting class. I took one years ago b/c I wanted to knit one of my daughter’s a baby blanket. She’s dealing with infertility….hasn’t gotten pregnant, so I put it away.

    But there’s something so beautiful about giving something from our hands and our hearts.

    Your painting is absolutely gorgeous!! I teared up at the end of the post when I saw it

    I love you,
    Julie

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    1. Thank you, Julie. I’ve always wanted to learn to knit. A good friend knitted a baby blanket for Karalee, and when we were at the hospital when Katelyn had her kidney surgery, we accidentally left it behind. We lost it and her little pink hat. Broke my heart. And you tearing up made me tear up.

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  4. damonjgray

    What a beautiful testimony. I love the courage to embrace something new – and ostensibly daunting. And you transitioned beautifully into each of us being God’s canvas. It reminded me of Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship…” his “poeima.” We are a poem written by God, and just like you with your painting, a poet agonizes over every phrase, and sometimes every word, in order to get it just right. We are no accident. We are very, very deliberate – God’s masterpiece!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Damon, thank you so much. I love that we were so planned … You reminded me of this–“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

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  5. Shelli, such a beautiful post. I saw your painting on Facebook. So well done, my friend!

    And I love the analogy you drew here. God does begin with a white canvas at the beginning of our lives. And then, we scribble out of the lines, make our own messes. And our God? He lovingly makes beautiful the ugly we’ve marred the canvas with. He loves us so perfectly, doesn’t He?

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    1. Well, Jeanne … I tried. I’ve done a lot of trying over the years–quilting, cooking, writing. I suppose the thing that I’ve worked the hardest on, outside of relationships and a family, is writing. 🙂 Persistence … I’m so thankful that God persists with us. ❤

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