A New Year, a New Thing

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”  Isaiah 43:19-21

As I sat down to write today, a phrase entered my mind and I had to look it up.  These verses from Isaiah describe perfectly the direction life has been moving in the past few months.  I feel like I am finally learning to live.  As a new year opens up, I’m tentatively excited about the new opportunities that lie ahead.

The new thing I am currently exploring is creativity.  I have felt myself to be an ‘uncreative’ person since I was in my early 20s and realized how little I had to offer compared to the many people around me with significant artistic talent.  I am becoming aware, in my heart, of the futility in comparing oneself to others.  I haven’t written much in the last month because I am exploring new ways of being creative.  I have been pencil-sketching and trying out watercolor pencils, to the everlasting delight of my mother.

*Here begins a rabbit trail that you can skip if you like and continue with the main gist of my thoughts*
Mothers are so wonderful because they think that everything you do (aside from murder) is absolutely tremendous.  Just like my mother thought my permed bangs and stick-straight hair were gorgeous back in grade 4.  And I love that she thinks I’m in need of another 10 lbs.  She’s always saying things like, “Eat, eat!  You don’t eat enough carbs.”  My mother, an accomplished painter in oils, acrylics, watercolors, and pretty much whatever else she tries, thinks I have talent and gifting.  Ha!  But I’ll accept her opinion as true grace, so long as the rest of the world takes it with a grain of salt.  Really, mothers are a wonderful way of receiving God’s love…
I’ve also had made lots of time for my kids.  This Christmas was the first one I’ve really and truly enjoyed since I was a child.  We did puzzles, played lots of games, ate ‘Christmas snack’ almost daily, read books together, and painted/colored/drew together.  I miss the holidays now that school’s back on.  What is most amazing to me is that through all the activity and mess of Christmas, my house stayed reasonably clean, I cooked more often that usual (and something aside from scrambled-eggs-and-toast, a dish I have perfected through daily practice), and I didn’t feel stressed out!
The little lesson I’m learning is this: as I accept myself as a worth-while person, I am less and less scared of others’ opinions of me and feel more and more free to try new things.  Even painting, despite the presence Michaelangelos and Da Vincis in the world.

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