Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Stay in Your Lane

Have you ever had a glorious day that had the potential to be horrible? I did and it was Thursday, the day after I wrote this.

Stay in your lane,” I say it all the time.

To myself. My kids. My friends. Anyone who will listen.

Most of the time I try to practice it.

Today I would have done well to heed my own advice. Without even realizing it I swerved over the double yellow line and was cruising full speed toward possible derailment.

I signed up for an all-day intuitive painting class. The description alone was enough to send me running for the hills, I resisted the urge and showed up for class. I brought all the things.

It was a wonderful morning with intuitive exercises and practicing making our “marks” with lines and color while listening to scripture, finding our hand and trusting our hand. When we came back from lunch we were going to “paint.” I was excited until I returned to the room and saw my blank 22x30 blank watercolor sheet and excitement bowed out and dread took its place.


In my head.

Have you ever had crickets in your head? It’s a lot like crickets when you expect a response except they are in your brain and nothing is happening.



No inspiration.

Brilliant me, I pulled out my phone and pulled up a photo that inspires me done by a friend. I was going to copy it. I’m laughing now as I type because in retrospect I can see this is where it started to go wrong. Her painting on a canvas, using a  palette knife and acrylic paint I was using a brush and watercolor paper. They were not ever going to look the same. I was having fun so I kept going but it was getting worse, so I ripped the paper off the wall, crumpled it up and threw it in the trash. I wasn’t upset, but horrible thoughts came as I looked around the room and saw amazing things coming alive on other formerly blank sheets.

Quickly taking my thoughts captive I reminded myself of my goals for today and realized I had achieved them, so I put another sheet up, this time folding it in half to reduce the intimidation factor. Funny, huh?

I started painting and it was looking amazing, like a sunset, the look I was going for until I added a final color and then it just looked like washed out watercolor scrapbook paper. I folded it up and threw it in the trash.

And I was totally okay with it.

Lots of people shared about their paintings and we were almost ready to go when a lady reminded me of our earlier conversation about paper and how much I love paper. “You could have saved your sheets and used them for something else,” she said. She didn’t need to say much more before I was rummaging through the trash to retrieve my sheets. They had other people's paint on them and one had a gaping hole, but I folded them up and proudly tucked them away.

If you have ever been here before you know redemption is my heartbeat and today God redeemed my mess. He sent someone to speak life to me and rescue my perceived failures from the trash. Now I get to do what I do best turn trash to treasure.

I remembered something a friend said to me almost a year ago, “You are not a curator, you are a creator.” Today I tried to copy, not create and it ended badly, but God!

Stay in your lane,” takes on new meaning today.

And if that wasn’t enough, just in case I wasn’t listening, our speaker tonight Joel McKerrow all the way from Australia encouraged us to never throw our stuff away. My friend leaned over and asked, “God’s not talking to you, is He?”

After service, I ran to find the sweet lady that redeemed my art from the pit! We all need a little help sometimes and God sent the perfect person at the perfect time.

I'll be staying in my lane from now on because veering off my course sure isn't much fun at all!

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