Monday, March 12, 2007

Of Painting Seasons and Grace

Last night at 7 p.m. I began repainting our kitchen. I was going to begin this morning, instead, after Tom left for work, but Grace nudged me... whispered, "Why sit around with nothing to do, waiting for tomorrow?" So I slipped my ancient Growing Pains video into the kitchen video player and painted, painted, painted until 10:30, long after Tom had gone to bed. It was just me and the Seavers in the kitchen--oh, and Grace, of course.

I mean, usually I'm up by 5:00 a.m. each morning, so if I'm awake past nine at night, it must mean there's something incredibly interesting on tv to watch (and well, you can guess how often that happens). Yet when I cooperate with Grace--do things when and how she says to do them--I have all the energy and strength and inspiration I need.

But I traveled a long road learning that.

Way, way back in college I remember sitting in my dorm room with a beat-up guitar trying to teach (force) myself to play music. But Grace certainly was not sitting on my bed beside me. No, she was off in some corner where I'd sent her when I insisted on learning to play the guitar--something I was so not meant to do--while both she and God were more interested in why I felt I must play the guitar. She wanted to talk about my insecurities which made me grasp for attention by doing what I was not called to do. But I so did not want to go there. No, I struggled with the guitar, instead. And struggled... until I gave-up.

And then after I met Tom--who could sing like the proverbial bird and touch peoples' very hearts--I walked around my house and sang and sang, even taped myself to see how I could improve. There was no improvement for me, just frustration for, once again, Grace was not there to help me sing better so to feed my ego--she and God wanted to work on my continuing search for approval and acclamation. But I persisted in what I wanted, ignored what they desired, and failed at singing, too.

Oh the other times! The times God scared me by wanting to work on my tactless mouth, but I thought perhaps, working on my tendency to leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight might be a more timely thing... or my forgetfulness... or shyness, even. So I'd check-out library books about homemaking or improving ones memory or becoming bolder and I'd read, memorize and struggle... read, memorize and struggle (and hit invisible brick walls)... all without Grace and God. All without their blessing and timing and strength.

I have changed and times have changed because cooperating with Grace and God changes everything. They have a perfect timing, perfect seasons--and when I cooperate with them--I have all I need to see a thing through to completion. No frustration required.

And so welcome to the Painting The Kitchen Season of my life. These are 'before pictures', but the after ones won't be extremely different, for I'm just using a more chiffon-type of yellow and am enjoying watching the knicks and chips go away.

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