Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I had expected to be pleased with the progress all along.
I had asked Him to help me, to guide my hand, to create something 
she would think beautiful.
But at seemingly every stroke, I was just never fully
the last word graced the wooden canvas,
until my initials were tucked into the corner.
With the last gentle nudge of the paint brush,
I sat back.
It is complete.
It is finished.
And I think,
What if I had thought it complete so many strokes ago?
What if I had been satisfied from the beginning, in the  middle, or any time before the end?
What would be missing?
The restless tweaking, refining, urging, kept me hunting
for a state of perfection, 
for the fullness of completion.
And it gives me hope for the day-to-day living,
when I look in the mirror and see this imperfect creation,
with lots of flaws,
errant strokes.
But if I was satisfied with me now,
I wouldn't be willing to continue working,
For He who has started a good work in me,
will continue it through to completion.
Beholding Glory


  1. Beautiful painting Jen and beautiful post that is challenging my thinking... :)


  2. Such inspiring thoughts and beautiful painting - thanks for sharing!

  3. great words, timely encouragement. so glad you shared your work and your heart today.

  4. How good is God, that He doesn't leave well enough alone in our lives? He continues to shape, to mold, to perfect until the one day when we will be like Jesus.

  5. Jen, I love the extra meaning and thought in every stroke. Deep, purpose-filled strokes of God's plan and grace - what a gift!

  6. Your work is so lovely, and He teaches us through our work, doesn't he?

  7. what a beautiful painting, and what a lovely promise to go along with it.

    another wonderful piece from you.

  8. I love the sun you have painted, and a great reminder that we are all works in progress.
    Thanks, Kath

  9. What if I am not done yet? great thought provoking question. love the painting too!

  10. Ah, it's beautiful! I so got what you were saying... we are indeed a work in progress... our perfection will come when He does! Blessings!

  11. love your art. love that we are all a work that he doesn't give up on. I am thankful for his grace.

  12. So beautiful, Jen. The painting is fantastic. As I was reading your beautiful thoughts I was thinking that His work was not finished until the end when He hung on the cross and shed His blood. His work in us will not be done either until the end. I hope I can hold on to that thought as I am prone to find everything wrong with myself and be impatient!

  13. Beautiful words and beautiful painting. God has started a work in me and I don't want Him to stop until His picture is complete. Many blessings!

  14. beautiful, jen...i love it. and yes, we are a work in progress. let us not put down those paintbrushes just yet :)

  15. Oh, you make me smile with your art. It is so moving and I will join others who think you need to open a store! I love the verses you chose to put in there and the two characters watching...beautiful.

  16. Wow, what a painting! beautiful and I like the words on it!

  17. So beautiful. I love the meaning in the strokes and painting and the life we are given. :)

  18. Oh my goodness, thank you for this post. It's like you've been in MY head this week! :) I often think this very thing when I'm painting--I get so frustrated that my progress isn't what I want it to be, that the painting is falling so far short of what I want it to look like. And everytime He reminds me of exactly the same thing--that the "becoming" is never easy, and it's the striving after HIS perfection that makes every wobbly stroke and unsure step add up to something beautiful in the end.

  19. it is so hard before you see the final product, to believe that something good will come of it, but i do this too: i pray and ask God to be my hands as i paint, and he does, and i love this: uniting with the creator in creation. a beautiful piece, full of the holy spirit, jen. xo

  20. It turned out beautifully, and how blessed are we that it will hang in my entry?!! God knew what he was doing when he placed that verse in my heart, and your creative spirit knew just what to do with it. Thank you, sister.

  21. Very lovely and encouraging. As I keep reminding my grandchildren, God's timing is always so perfect. Patience is so hard, but I'm so grateful my times are in His hands.

  22. What great thoughts. Too many times I give up when it starts heading in a different direction than what I imagined. I am trying to be more patient and open.(I love the verse you used in your mural- it was in our wedding vows and I used it in a painting I did to celebrate our anniversary)

  23. Just beautiful! I love the comparison to our lives and how God is still doing a work in us!

  24. How wonderful Jen! I love the thought of HIM starting good work in us and HE will continue to completion! What a beautiful thought. Love this piece. Love the meaning behind it.

  25. the canvas is SO RICH with meaning. Thank you for sharing.

  26. This is so contemplative...I like your journey through the painting, and how your words have captured that; and given us something to think about for our own lives...


  27. Really appreciated the post, it echos my own experiences as well. Beautiful painting, rich with meaning.
    Linking from Studio JRU

  28. What beautiful thoughts and a beautiful painting.


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