Friday, September 10, 2010

Giving Up

Tuesday my youngest started preschool again.

Halleluiah!  (Did you hear the angels singing?  I sure did.)

On Monday, aptly named Labor Day because that is what I did...labored...all around the house, cleaning, organizing, checking things off my to do list.  My plan was to get everything done, including my work for next week's Sunday school, so that on Tuesday I could revel in sweet silence for four hours.  In my house.  Alone.

Do you know what happens when you try to get everything done?  You fall short.  Well, at least I did.  I got my house in order for the most part, but my work still lay strewn across the study floor.  Well, I thought, at least I can work in silence.

When I got home from dropping Hannah off, I walked into the door.  It was raining outside. I lit some candles, and sat on the couch, telling God that I would at least have a 30 minute sabbath before I hit the computer.  I sat with my sketchbook in my hands, my pencils laying beside me. For whatever reason, I started writing down all my flaws.  Not just the petty ones, like yelling raising my voice when I want my children to listen, but deep ones that are so ingrained in me that they make up a large part of who I am.


The list continued, as you can see below.  After I finished scribbling out my ugliness, I paused.  I listened.  God said, Let me have the pencil.  Close your eyes.  Wipe out the images in your head.  Let me have control.

Do you know how hard it is for me to just move a pencil around a page?  No plan, no direction, no end goal?  To relax and possibly end up with something just...well, not pretty?  I laugh now when I think about this, considering what was already on the page was not pretty.

So, I actually let go and let God.  And I just moved the pencil and tried not to make sense of which direction it was going.  And the feeling?


It was a simple, tangible example of what it feels like to relinquish, to surrender, to clear the road map from my head, and just follow.  To just roam where He pulls me.

I opened my eyes and there before me was no masterpiece and yet, do you know?  There were now faults and flaws that I could no longer read.  With His hand, He had blotted them out.  And even though it was I that wrote the words on the page, I could no longer even remember what I had written.

Choosing Him and leaving my own agenda behind naturally seemed to erase some of my flaws.  Looking out for what Jesus wants means I'm less concerned about myself.  Striving less for perfect and more for Jesus.  Controlling less and giving Him more.  Competing less and contending for God.

And out of all that, new inspiration for another piece of art.  A new bloom to match my renewed heart.
I'm linking up with Jennifer's In the Studio, Rachel Anne's Home Sanctuary, and Andrea's Caffeinated Randomness today. Stop by these fabulous women and check them out!


  1. This is another beautiful post, Jen. Very encouraging. I love your sketches. You're very talented.

    Thank you for joining us at Tea Talk regularly. It's ok if you did it in the comment box. That's how I expect from those who don't have blogs. But I have guidelines in my sidebar for those who have blogs. It would be nice to have a post so others can visit you, too.


  2. Jen, Thank you for this beautiful picture of letting God's grace correct our agenda and cover our flaws.

  3. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I love the imagery you created in your writing and then in your artwork. I love flowers. I love the details in a flower petal. It reminds me that God cares about the details of my life too. Even in our imperfection we are still as beautiful as the most imperfect petal! Have a wonderful weekend:)

  4. Awesome! God is so good. Thanks for sharing your whole self today.

  5. Oh Jen..this post was actually brought tears at certain points. Sweet Lady, you have such a wonderful way of expressing yourself within the written word. Thank you for sharing your journey today.

    Hugs of Southern Sunshine, Terri

  6. I love this post- wit and wisdom included! Thanks for stopping by My Life in Crumbs! I visited your blog last week but didn't get a chance to leave a comment. Enjoy those quiet hours without the kiddos!

  7. wonderful post! I love the artwork... beautiful! :)

  8. You have such a beautiful way of sharing your thoughts and faith. Thanks for sharing from your heart!

  9. I absolutely love how you share your heart.

    Wow. That is so cool how you and He worked together....and now you have something tangible with which to remember. I think it is pretty!

    And the flower is beautiful!

    You have such a wonderful talent!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Very thoughtful post. Lovely sketch.

  11. precious to have a savior who is always guiding us (whether we want Him to or not!)

  12. Striving less for perfect and more for Jesus.....Love it!!!!!!!

  13. Oh, I just love what God brought you- beauty! The picture of words and art is just amazing.

  14. Beautiful Post! Your flower is beautiful.

  15. Beautiful post. I just love how you 'let go and let God'. Your sketches are gorgeous... love them! Thanks so much for joining us today! :)

  16. Competitve? Perfectionist? I too struggle with these issues. I really like how you've started incorporating your art in your writing. It gives the whole post such a unique feel.

  17. Wow--what an experience. It is amazing what can happen when we surrender and let go. I'm trying to do this more in my life too!

  18. I love your vulnerability in this post. Beautiful experience for letting Him guide you. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Just what I needed. Thanks!

  20. seriously?? I mean, seriously?? Your 30 minute sabbath was profound in so many ways. Letting God control. Hearing Him speak and obeying. The lesson of your flaws being blotted out. An inspiration for a new piece of art. I am in awe of what God does if we just give Him the time...thanks for sharing!


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