Studio Sneak Peek: A Beauti-FULL Mess

Mess in progress 1

I've been tracing tangles and slopping on layer upon layer of paint--just making a bit of a mess with the delicious colors of citrus and raspberry and dusty bubblegum pink. It's like therapy, in a way, trying to relax and to "cleanse my palette" in between focused sessions of working on a very detailed ink drawing (that I will reveal at a later point) until my eyes cross.

I think I also must be trying to work something out in my heart as I paint. I can tell because even though I'm trying to have fun and to feel free, I still have this weight on my shoulder--the worry that this painting just isn't "good enough." And though my brain is full of ideas about what this uneasiness might mean, I'm not really in the mood to write today, not in the mood to figure it out.

Mess in progress 2

But lookie there.  The Gypsy Mama's "Five Minute Friday" prompt today is the word "Full"; maybe a quick little unedited free-write is just the thing to uncover the story here, to let it spill out. So here goes:

Hands full
Heart full
Head full.
What if my hands were empty?  Would my heart be fuller still?
What if my head were empty?  Would there still be someone there to hold my hands
and to fill with them all the things
that I would not know how to carry for myself?
What if my heart were empty . . .
An empty heart
is sometimes the cost
of hands too-full and head too-full.
And heart-full sometimes comes at a high price too
but brings value beyond compare.
A mess. Because my life is FULL.
Full of good things.
And full of the knowledge
and the marks
of many things difficult
and not-so-good.
But that is where the beauty lies--


So that is where the beauty lies . . . and where exactly is that?  That five minutes felt more like one. But now I've warmed up, so I will write just a bit longer. Even in a life filled to the brim with moments of surpassing joy and happiness, there are still moments of confusion, brokenness and pain. And THIS is where the beauty lies, here in this beautiful mess:

Mess in progress 3

"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves" (2 Corinthians 4:7, New Living Translation).

God is in the good gifts, because He is the gift-giver. But the brokenness points back to Him too because He wants to carry this pain--to redeem it and to heal it.  The NIV and other translations of this verse call it an "all-surpassing power"--there is nothing that He can't handle.

None of us can ever be "good enough." But the human race is a beautiful mess because God's not finished with us yet.  He's the only One who can see the big picture--just like how I think this painting looks better on camera than it does in real life.  He works to clean us up and to make us whole when we let Him carry us--when we hand over our worries and fears and pain and place it as stripes on the back and wounds in the hands of Jesus, to bury it deep in the empty grave of the One who is perfect and whole, whose only brokenness is his heart for the pain and the rebellion of the people He loves more than His own life.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I wish I hadn't lost what I had originally said! But I will try to say it again....this was so powerful, Sadee...the free writing gave access to a depth of reflection that razor-focused in to deep eternal truth...I love the connection between the fullness (+ confidence), and the paradox of the opposite, and both co-existing...and how wonderful, the way you brought in the "earthen vessels" verse...

    Blessings always!

  3. Wow. That is so beautiful. The art. The scripture. The truth.
    Thank you for sharing. You just encouraged me in big ways.

  4. Beautiful! Such power in your transparency and vulnerability. Your artist heart is stunning! Thank you!

  5. Beautiful colors and words from your heart, very touching!

  6. "An empty heart
    is sometimes the cost
    of hands too-full and head too-full."

    WOW.. that is exactly what I needed today..
    Thank you.

  7. We are all a beautiful mess and HE is the only one that can see the big picture. That is so beautiful Sadee! So true and so wonderful! Love the art piece... amazing! :)

  8. oh how I miss yall on my week long computer-free vacation! SO glad i stopped by to see what you posted while I was away. I love this painting. Keep up the good work, keep those hands empty so HE can fill them with Good things.

  9. Absolutely beautiful words! Your post is very touching and I love that you were able to let loose and enjoy yourself and made ' a beautiful mess ' .

    Your new follower,



Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!