My new watercolor paints--still untouched
The day after Easter is 6 months to the day that we arrived in Germany. And that's the day I can start painting again. I love when there is a perfect little cycle like this, when the calendar seems to serve as a divine stamp of approval on an important leg of my life's journey.
The first three months living in Germany were . . . rough. My girls and I had birthdays in mid January and early February, and I started this blog to sort of keep me accountable in trying harder to be joyful and grateful. Since then it has been better. Still rough at times, but I can proudly say that it has been a whole month since I said, "I wish we had never moved here!" Ok, maybe I did say it only once this past month, but I'd had two flus in two weeks and I didn't really mean it then, anyway. :)
So I didn't paint during our first three months. The next two months I painted a little and blogged a little. I felt greater energy and joy in life. But soon after I became discouraged by several periods of sickness and an overall decline in my health and energy level. I had one very eye-opening day in March when I struggled with the fact that though I was trying so hard to be positive and joyful and grateful despite my circumstances, my heart just wasn't in it at times. As it turns out, this day was Ash Wednesday! It was an appropriate day to feel this way--and I hadn't even planned it. I can try and try and try to do the right thing, to have the right attitude, and to do it all with all my heart and all my strength--but my "righteousness" is still "as filthy rags" in the light of the One who is PERFECT.
And this past month? Well, I ordered 24 new tubes of my first "professional" watercolor paint, a new set of colored pencils, fresh India ink pens in three different colors, gorgeous German handmade watercolor papers . . . and then the Lord asked me to give it all up for Lent. And I guess in the process I must have given up blogging for Lent too . . . ha ha.
So this is why I am excited about how perfect it is that our 6 month anniversary of living in Germany falls on the day after Easter and on the day that I am so excited to begin painting again. I want to thrive in Germany, not just tolerate it. I can't wait to see what this time of contemplation and re-evaluation might usher in for my next 6 months here. But I do know one thing--I can't keep calling myself a "recovering perfectionist" when I'm still always trying so hard to be perfect. I want to rejoice more in my imperfection as a sign that true perfection does exist--and He is risen this Easter!