Studio Sneak Peek: Dig Deeper
I spent this week preparing for my oldest daughter to turn three today. I guess you could say that I spent this week "spoiling" her, but that's not really the right word. Giving her a bit more responsibility, allowing her to explore more freely, make some messes--like helping me "paint" with tea, coffee and coffee grounds--to show her that I know she's not a baby anymore!
We also dug in a little deeper with some discipline issues, dealt with some things that we'd been putting off simply because it's easier to pick *not* fighting the battles. And you know what? The wrestling was a beautiful thing. Not easy, but beautiful--because I love her and I know that a person develops character in facing the hard stuff. And in helping her to reflect on her heart and attitude, I'm really reflecting on mine too.
With every challenge--every time the soul sinks into the mud pit of realizing hard truths--there is an opportunity to absorb the richness of that deep soil. To take a "mud bath," if you will. Cake it on with abandon and then scrape it away to discover a subtle and most beautiful tint lingers--a life stained not with "ugly," but colored by the grace that is ever-present in life's grime. It's the joy of believing--of knowing--that the darkest soil is the most nourishing. That the things we fear will harm us, and often do hurt us and break our hearts, God will use for good (Genesis 50:20).
My personality leans toward the "flight" option when adrenaline is pumping and I'm faced with the choice to "fight" or to run away. I'd just rather not deal with things. I'll pretend things are fine even when I'm writhing on the inside, just to maintain the delicate balance and not risk hurting someone's feelings. Marriage has helped me to face this fact about myself and to practice "fighting"--really wrestling to work things out--with lots of love, of course! Parenthood is calling me to crawl deeper into the trenches because there simply isn't the option of running away from the people whose hearts beat under mine for nine months--and still do, in some ways.
This is what I'm learning: the building of a family--and a home--is the intertwining of hearts; wrapping yourself closer even at times when you'd rather gasp for fresh air and independence. Family is giving up yourself for other people on a daily basis, finding yourself in their eyes, even as the world warns you not to "lose yourself."
Made my coffee- and tea-stained paper to use as a background for my "Home in the Heart-Tree" illustration...but having trouble with lighting this week and couldn't capture the paper on camera very well. Since I had already splashed in a little blue watercolor, I played with hues and textures in Photoshop and came up with some pretty blues. What do you think?
Linking with Studio JRU and Paint Party. Have a happy weekend!